10 Personality Traits Of People Who Can't Show Compassion

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narcissistic guy with no compassion personality traits

Do you truly know what it's like to experience receiving compassion from the person you love? Or does compassion seem to be a personality trait they're sorely lacking in?

Compassion seems like an uncomplicated feeling, but to a narcissist, it's non-existent.

RELATED: What It's Really Like To Love A Narcissist

What does a lack of compassion look like in behavior?

I remember watching a movie once about a couple in love. In one scene, they were having an argument. She started crying and he said, “Don’t cry. You know I can’t handle it when you cry.” Then he put his arms around her.

To this day, I can remember my reaction. I felt queasy, sad, jealous, and disappointed in what my life had become.

As with most of the romance movies I stumbled across, I rarely made it through to the end of any of them. At some point, they'd become unbearable for me, and off went the TV.

I couldn't picture having a relationship where someone showed that kind of compassion to me.

To this day, some six years after I left, I can still see the expressions on my ex-husband’s face when he entered emotional territory that was unfamiliar to him.

He recognized that he should have compassion, but had no idea what to do, didn't feel a thing, and didn't care to figure it out. He would say something to me so toxic that it would burn, something that I didn't have time to prepare myself for. 

Before I could stop, my eyes would fill with tears. Often it would happen so quickly, the tears were flowing before I had a chance to fight them back.

His reaction was always the same: He would look at me as if an alien specimen had just landed in our kitchen. He would stare at the strange liquid in my eyes.

Then he would turn and leave the room without another word. Every time, for 20 years.

As both a survivor of domestic abuse and an advocate for victims and survivors of emotional abuse, I know now that I was married to a classic abuser — a narcissist. And I also know why that's significant.

According to Psychology Today, personality-disordered individuals, or narcissists, perceive the world in black-and-white terms. They have a polarized view, which idealizes or denigrates people.

Individuals are perceived as either good or bad. Often, personality-disordered individuals value people who agree with their perspective and devalue or lack empathy for people who don’t.

Here are 10 personality traits that mean you're dealing with someone who is incapable of compassion.

1. They control conversations.

Narcissists like to talk about themselves and will dominate conversations. If you disagree with their opinions, you will quickly be dismissed or ignored.

2. They interrupt conversations.

Narcissists will interrupt a conversation to ensure that the topic turns back to themselves — their favorite topic.

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3. They'll break the rules.

Narcissists not only frequently break the rules, but also enjoy doing so. They will lie, cheat, and steal just for the pleasure of getting away with something.

4. They frequently violate boundaries.

Narcissists will overstep and use other people without consideration for their feelings. They will break promises and "forget" their obligations.

5. They project a false persona,

Narcissists will often exaggerate who they are, what they own, and who they know in high places. They will make up stories of grand experiences to make themselves appear better than others.

6. They have a big sense of entitlement.

Narcissists often expect special treatment and to have their needs placed in front of others. They expect others to cater to them, but will not return the favor.

7. They can be charming.

Narcissists often have charismatic and exciting personalities. When they're interested in you, they'll make you feel like the center of the universe. Once you are theirs, you become less important to them.

8. They have an exaggerated sense of self.

Narcissists think they are very important, and that others cannot live without them or their contributions to their lives.

9. They are skilled in cutting you down.

Narcissists can be emotionally abusive. They put others down in order to make themselves feel superior.

If you insult a narcissist, they typically come back with extreme and heated anger.

10. They're extreme manipulators.

Narcissists specialize in controlling others and the environment around them in order to suit their own needs. They do not worry about the consequences of their decisions for anyone else involved.

Looking back now, if I had understood at the time who I was dating, who I was marrying, and what these personality types look like… If I had known that they don’t change, that things get worse, what the warning signs of abuse were, maybe I wouldn't have been turning off those romance movies all of those years.

It’s not too late for you.

If you’re enmeshed in abuse, you can still find your way out. We can all find a way to a better life, we can all watch the romance movies right to the very end.

I do now, every time.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence or want further information please visit TheSoda-Pop.com or call The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org for more information, help, and to make a plan for your safety.

RELATED: People With These 7 Personality Traits Understand The True Meaning Of Compassion

Susan Sparks is an author, journalist, advocate, entrepreneur, and a survivor of domestic abuse. She’s also built TheSoda-Pop website as a home online where people can go for domestic violence help, education, and to find a community of others who share the same story.