What both drives and moderates the behaviour of Narcopaths lies in a different set of emotions that normal people have. Quite simply, they are wired differently with a different, and somewhat lacking, set of Emotional Regulators. Understanding this is crucial to managing the relationship with a narcopath – to Counter-Intuitive Thinking.
“Emotional self-regulation or regulation of emotion is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed. It can also be defined as extrinsic and intrinsic processes responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and modifying emotional reactions. Emotion self-regulation belongs to the broader set of emotion-regulation processes, which includes the regulation of one’s own feelings and the regulation of other people’s feelings.”
Emotional Regulation – Initiators
Beneath their often confident and charming exterior, Narcopaths are driven by an unsual set of emotions that are in overdrive – fear, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity, greed, spite, doubt, contempt and the like. These act as initiating emotions – pushing them to do things that normal people do not have the same drive to do. Examples will include infidelity, lying, theft, fraud, abuse, manipulation and such.
Emotional Regulation – Inhibitors
Whilst normal people might see the upside of some of these behaviours, such drivers are repressed or balanced with inhibiting emotions such as empathy, guilt, remorse etc. Narcopaths can’t feel these emotions, which for whatever reason have never been allowed to develop from early childhood on.
As a reader, your initial reaction may be one of disagreement – because on occasion you have seen you narcopath show empathy, or gratitude, contrition and love. Sadly these gestures were acts – mimicking the gestures of others that the narcopath has studied intently over the course of their life in order to fit it. Whilst shown, they weren’t meant – there was nothing heartfelt about them. There was no expression of genuine feeling, but instead a performance for the purpose of maintaining their cover or to get something they wanted.
Survivors can’t believe how quickly their partner, or parent, friend etc can switch from the person of their dreams and high regard one moment to being such a callous monster the next. The narcopath hasn’t changed in the slightest – they are simply failing to put on the show of and instead returning to their genuine self.
Wired DifferentlyUnderstanding that a narcopath simply has a different set of emotions – or is in effect “wired differently” – is a major building block of Counter-Intuitive Thinking.