narcissist videos

Forgiving the Narcissist | Empathy, Rejection, and Negativity

This video answers the questions: Can I discuss forgiving the narcissist? Is forgiving possible, necessary, or helpful? What about the role of forgetting the narcissist?


There are two types of narcissism: With grandiose narcissism we see characteristics like being extroverted, socially bold, self-confident, having a superficial charm, being resistant to criticism, and being callous and unemotional. Vulnerable narcissism is characterized by shame, anger, aggression, hypersensitivity, a tendency to be introverted, defensive, avoidant, anxious, depressed, socially awkward, and shy.

Frederick, T. (2015). Forgiveness and mental health practice. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 18(5), 418–424.

Cosgrove, L., & Konstam, V. (2008). Forgiveness and forgetting: Clinical implications for mental health counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 30(1), 1–13.

Gassin, E. A., & Lengel, G. J. (2014). Let me hear of your mercy in the mourning: Forgiveness, grief, and continuing bonds. Death Studies, 38(7), 465–475.

Sandage, S. J., & Jankowski, P. J. (2010). Forgiveness, spiritual instability, mental health symptoms, and well-being: Mediator effects of differentiation of self. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2(3), 168–180.

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  • Joe O'Sullivan

    Forgiveness is a two way street and only works if the person doing the harm is actually sorry for what they have done. Even then, it is still the choice of the victim if they want to forgive the offender. Some people don't want to and that's ok. Forgiving someone who is not sorry and takes no accountability for their abuse is pointless in my opinion and is just giving away your power. It is more important to forgive yourself for accepting the abuse when you didn't know better and didn't have the knowledge. As for anger, well, once you are aware of how these abusers operate, there is no point in holding on, as these abusers just saw you as an object to be used. Through counseling, the anger can be released and let go of in it's own time. Indifference, rather than forgiveness, is more important. With this said, some people want to go the forgiveness route, but it is not suitable or necessary for everyone and should not be forced or pushed on to anyone.

  • D M

    Unforgiveness will not be my new prison. I'm going to walk in grace, peace and redemption. God will redeem me. I want nothing blocking me from His blessings and mercy. None of us are 100% innocent at all times in everything.

  • N C

    Thank you Dr Grande.
    Forgiving the narcissist I encountered is no longer relevant to me the moment I realised he’s mentally-sick. I learned you can’t deal with them the same way you do, normal people. Infact I can easily forget and forgive a joker like this but the problem is I also realised he’s antisocial personality ( which most narcissistic people have anyway) & continues with his passive-aggression ( sometimes not so passive). So I think the rejection strategy is more useful; it’s about not letting them suck you into their fake twisted world.

  • Handicapped Henry

    After 19 years of narcissistic abuse by my mother In-law I am “no contact” for 10 months. I’m free at last! I truly hate her and it’s ok to hate someone. The things I went through are truly unbelievable. Since I was 15 years old I tried everything to get her to like or even love me all to a useless effort. Narcissist are truly mentally ill and do not see errors in there way. They live in another reality which is not on earth. I forgive her only because she is truly sick. At the same time I hate her with all my soul. I need to feel this hate so I don’t get tricked back into a relationship with her. The hate reminds me of the horrible things she put me through. Not to mention all the lying, back stabbing and gossip she spreads. The older she got the worse it got. It never gets better but instead worse with age. My husband and I are definitely not letting his parents back in our life. Now they have no grandchild (the only one) and karma is biting them in their ass. God is watching everything and he does have a plan. I sat back and took this abuse thinking there is nothing worse than this. Well come to find out taking her only grandchild from her is more painful than anything she put me through. So yeah I’m the winner in the end. Lmao feels so damn good! Sit back and let karma take control because they have a lot coming back to haunt them. You don’t even have to lift a finger because God does all the work. Feels good to be me!

  • Neiti K

    "Forgetting is not enough" – I think forgetting isn't effective in any way, contrary it means at the same time forgetting the meaning and the lesson of what happened. It's important to process it somehow and then place it in the so called "this happened" file which isn't hot contents any more. Forgetting makes you to repeat everything the same way (including mistakes).

  • Luz: natural cures

    I do not know if I forgave my narcissistic mother.
    I feel nothing for her.
    Yesterday obligatorily I had to be in contact with her in a court (curatorship). She kissed me. I kissed her and feel nothing. Then she started to offend me. I felt nothing and answer nothing.
    I feel nothing about her.
    But I do not want to be in contact with her because I have better people to be in contact with and better things to do to waste my time.

  • Laura Godines

    I left my ex 4 months ago.and i was taking a shower the other day..i started thinking about my ex narc..i started shaking and getting very angry….i do need to forgive him otherwise I will still living in hell as when i was living with him..

  • Jenny Browning

    I feel like since I've forgiven people over and over again for hurting me throughout my life, a big step for me was actually being angry and acknowledging that it wasn't ok what people did. Anger is an important part of healing too. Being so empathetic towards others can lead to excusing behavior that shouldn't be excused. For more on this I recommend Dogville. It's disturbing though so be prepared.

  • pspcraft

    I forgave my narcissist and currently pray for him. I pray our Lord God breaks every link in the chain that keeps Satan bound to him. I do believe this is spiritual warfare. I never took revenge; never yelled, cursed or made a scene, because I believe Vengeance is Mine says the Lord. I also think, in some cases, narcissist behavior/abuse is criminal.

  • bangkokstevie

    I'm 18 months out of a relationship with a covert narc. I was with her for 14 years. We had some good years I'm the first to admit that. My devaluation lasted about 2 years before the discard. It was subtle initially but got increasingly nasty towards the end and it took me a long while to work out what was going on. I was definitely doubting my own sanity. I called her out on a few things and she realised I'd worked out was she is. Then she left but to be honest I think that was only because she wanted to finish it before I did. I honestly think she would have been more than willing to dish out the emotional abuse a bit longer. I'll never forgive her. I'll never forget. The key to healing in INDIFFERENCE. Trust me….(oh yeah….and NO CONTACT).

  • Nana's Studio Banjara Arts

    Its been 8 years now that I left the narcissist .. I took divorce from him and since than no contact. Still it's like yesterday , still I hate him ni wish I burn him alive.
    He didn't let me do my arts. I was a full time artist n professional portrait painter he took my life my passions from me. I'm doing fine now but those wounds can never heal. Unfortunately.

  • Debra Anchante

    I’m not sure why I need to forgive someone who has spent the last 12 years trying to destroy me.. if I had a malignant tumor that was killing me I wouldn’t forgive the tumor.. I’d cut it out.. get radiation therapy and chemo.. whatever it takes to get rid of it.. then I’d rejoice and go on with my life. Did Sarah Connor forgive the terminator? No! She got rid of him… I don’t see why I need to forgive my narc.. after all he’s not asking to be forgiven and he’s not sorry. Even God doesn’t forgive us unless we admit our guilt and ask him to forgive us. I do not feel sorry for that narc.. he has no compassion or mercy on me.. he’s abusive in every possible way and he does it intentionally. When he changes and asks for forgiveness I will forgive. He doesn’t even say he’s sorry after he tries to knock my head off. He’s never once said he was sorry for the horrible way he’s treated me. Don’t get me wrong., I am a very forgiving person.. that’s how I’ve stayed with him all these years. But there is a limit.

  • Sharon Wellman

    Forgetting would be the most viable option in my opinion. As you stated forgiveness would infer that a horrible injustice had been committed. Being a highly empathic and forgiving individual myself has been a curse when dealing with narcissism. It is the single solitary trait that has kept me locked in to this cycle of torment for at least 4 of the 6 year on and off relationship. I have just recently applied rejection after the last of numerous discards. It was and is hard for me because I do understand the depth of delusion and pain these individuals experience. Eventually I had to face the fact that the futility of my suffering was pointless in the end. I can only hope and pray I stay strong in this truth until he finally faces it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In time I hope to forget because that would mean I have healed enough to no longer take it personally and view it as another sad experience in my life that I could do nothing but accept. The past is done. The present is shaky. But I look forward to a much wiser and peaceful future. Thank you Dr Grande for helping me find my footing.

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