Hi Megan,

I get it. I have also been severely abused by narcissists, as a child and as an adult. I’m not advocating for sympathy. By compassion, I mean to understand that these “monsters” have no other way of being. To expect them to be different is to expect a tiger not to eat a child that you throw into its enclosure. Narcissists should not be allowed to be parents and their ability to occupy other positions of power and leadership should be greatly limited, which is what I suggest in the article.

Not having compassion for narcissists is sticking around and hoping that they can be rehabilitated, that they can change. Compassion allows for escape to safety (at least for an adult). Compassion allows for healing. I was abused but now I am safe. Their maliciousness was not willful in a fundamental sense. They’re such true monsters that they have no other way of being, including pretending to be nice and sweet, including gaslighting and manipulation. To see them as somehow having a choice is is to see evil in the world. Just as water runs down hill, narcissists have no choice but to manipulate and abuse.

We don’t jump into the ocean expecting it to not drown us. We should not relate with narcissists expecting them not to attempt to destroy us. We must not entrust our children to them.


An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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