7 Behaviors of a Narcissist When You Are Sick

7 Behaviors of a Narcissist When You Are Sick


Narcissistic individuals often display many behaviors when you’re sick, and not many of these behaviors are going to be supportive of you. Unless you’re in the early stages of the relationship, or by being supportive they can play the martyr and gain sympathetic attention elsewhere, when you’re sick, a narcissist’s behavior can often be incredibly self-centered and unsupportive, reflecting their inability to empathize with your needs.

There are several common behaviors that narcissists might display when you’re ill.

#1: Lack of empathy and support.

Narcissists typically lack genuine empathy and may show little to no concern for your well-being. They might dismiss your symptoms or downplay the severity of your illness. You tell a narcissistic partner that you’re not feeling very well, that you’ve got the flu, and they’ll respond with, “It’s only a cold. You’re overreacting. You need to get up and take care of things.” Basically, you need to get up and take care of them. When it comes to dealing with this, it’s about recognizing that their response is about their limitations, not your self-worth. Seek empathy and support from genuine friends, family, and healthcare professionals who understand your needs.

Recommended Book: Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself- By Shahida Arabi.

#2. Making it all about themselves.

To a narcissist, everything is always about them getting their needs met. Narcissists might turn the focus back onto themselves even when you’re unwell. They might complain about how your illness is inconvenient for them or how they’re stressed because of you being ill. While you’re bedridden, a narcissist might claim that they’re so stressed because you’re sick and now they have to do everything by themselves. When it comes to dealing with these kinds of people, set boundaries to protect your mental and emotional well-being, such as limiting interactions with them. Limit interactions with people who drain you and prioritize your own recovery.

Recommended Book: How To Kill A Narcissist: Debunking The Myth Of Narcissism And Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse (A Guide To Narcissistic Abuse Recovery And Healing From A Narcissistic Relationship)

#3: Withholding care and assistance.

Narcissists might withhold care and refuse to help with your basic needs or provide you with any assistance. They may view your illness as a burden and avoid taking on any additional responsibilities. You ask a narcissistic spouse to pick up some medication from the pharmacy for you, and they will refuse, claim that they forgot, or claim that they’re too busy and you should just handle it yourself. Arrange for other people to help you, such as friends, family, or neighbors who are genuinely going to support you. Don’t rely on the narcissist solely for assistance.

#4: Criticizing or blaming you.

Narcissists might criticize you for being sick, implying that it’s your fault and that you’re exaggerating. They’ll accuse you of being weak or using your illness as an excuse. Narcissists will often make up an illness to use as an excuse to get out of doing something, and they believe you’re coming from the place that they are. A narcissistic partner might simply say, “You’re always getting sick. Maybe if you took better care of yourself, you wouldn’t be such a burden to everybody.” Don’t internalize their criticism. Understand that their need to blame is a defense mechanism. Focus on your health and your recovery without engaging in arguments.

Recommended: Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.

#5: Demanding your attention and services.

Instead of caring for you, a narcissist will more often demand that you continue to meet their needs and give them attention regardless of your condition. Despite your illness, your narcissistic partner might insist that you continue to look after them, pamper them, and take care of them. Firmly communicate your inability to meet their demands and prioritize your health and getting better.

#6: Playing the victim.

Narcissists enjoy playing the victim when they’re not getting their needs met or when they’re called out on their behavior. They will act as though your illness is something that is happening to them. They might start to exaggerate their own minor ailments to divert attention away from you. When you’re ill, your narcissist might start complaining about a mild headache, seeking sympathy and attention, and downplaying your more serious condition. Maintain focus on your own recovery, politely but firmly redirect the conversation to what it was originally about, and disengage from those who monopolize conversations.

A Book: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

#7: Gaslighting your experience.

Narcissists may gaslight you by denying your symptoms, suggesting that you’re imagining them, or that you’re not as sick as you claim to be. A narcissistic family member might say, “You’re not really that sick. I saw you up and about earlier. You’re just looking for attention.” Trust your own perception of your illness. Keep a record of your symptoms and seek validation from medical advice and healthcare professionals. If you encounter a medical professional who gaslights you, seek advice from another one. Avoid engaging in arguments about the reality of your condition.

Dealing with a narcissist when you’re sick can be challenging due to their lack of empathy and self-centered behavior. It’s important to recognize these behaviors for what they are and to protect your own well-being by seeking the support you need elsewhere. Prioritize your health and set clear boundaries, such as maintaining emotional, psychological, and physical distance, to help you manage your recovery more effectively despite the narcissist’s lack of support.

Read More: How Narcissistic Abuse Hurts Your Mental Health.

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