Narcissists turn on their personality, charm and are very adept at keeping the focus on their veneer of perfection. Spending time around a narcissist can be draining, leaving you fatigued, disillusioned, perhaps, a bit withered. A narcissist can also use gift giving and/or receiving as a means to control the narrative about themselves and, also, about you. Narcissists feel entitled to receive nice gifts, but feel no need to give nice gifts.
For the narcissist, there is always a show attached to the giving, and, a narcissist does not give out of humility and compassion. A narcissist gives “gifts” that characterize their own desires, not from a desire to assist or please others. Gift giving is often combined with inflated stories of what they gave and how it was received. No doubt, the narcissist will repeat these stories over and over again.
Narcissistic giving comes from a need for approval, maintaining a relationship and to maintain control in that relationship. It stems from an entrenched need for power and control and they will do what they feel is needed to the keep the approval flowing.
If, by chance, you do get an expensive gift, or one they consider to be of high-value, from a narcissist, it is not because they think you are awe-inspiring. They may give a valuable gift because they want you (and, the world) to continue to think that they are awe-inspiring. A narcissist in reality sees the gift they give to you as a gift to themselves. There will be strings attached. You also will never here the end of it.
Their giving is conditioned on how you act and whether or not the narcissist judges you as worthy. They expect and demand never-ending loyalty and gratitude in return. You must remind the narcissist (and, the world) of how great they are. However, do not expect reciprocity from the narcissist.
Gifting or giving, in any form, is a channel that narcissists use to gaslight, spread innuendo, exert control and remind you (and, the world) of your place, worthiness. There giving is not altruistic, a narcissist’s generosity is designed to pull you deeper into a hole of indebtedness and their web of influence, their neediness for control, superiority and adoration.
- The narcissist pronounces their displeasure that the gift you gave them is not nice enough. However, you have no such reciprocal right of expression. In fact, the gifts you receive will be unpleasantly lacking. Any disappointment on your part will be met with stonewalling or you will never here the end of it.
- The narcissist expects gifts that are expensive, extravagant even if you cannot afford such. They believe they are worth every penny and more. Anything less will be taken as your lack of proper respect and love for the narcissist.
- When a narcissist asks you what you would like as a gift for your birthday, Christmas or whatever occasion; if you answer, you can rest assured you probably won’t get it.
- If you do not like the narcissist’s gift when you receive it, they will consider you ungrateful and let you (and, the world) know it.
- There are two sets of rules in a relationship with a narcissist. One set for the narcissist and the other set for you.
- The narcissist will buy you an inexpensive gift or give you a hand-me down or used item as a gift, while giving other family members nicer more expensive meaningful gifts. If challenged, they will have a ready made explanation and pretense. It’s possible they may not give you a gift, perhaps, in front of others while feigning an excuse. They may not attempt or put much thought into wrapping your gift. Whatever, in the end, the message is you do not measure up and are not worthy.
- If you give a narcissist the gift you know they have always talked about, you know it is finally the “right” one. Or, it is the gift they have specifically asked for, they simply cannot complain. Well, even so, they will complain the style is wrong, the color is wrong. Heck, they may even say they never asked for it or mentioned it. A narcissist never owns what they say.
- It is not uncommon for narcissists to ruin holidays and special occasions with their behavior. Or, feel comfortable in displaying their contempt and berate you on a special day or event.
Keep in mind that a narcissist will never change, as they believe everyone else has a problem.