This weekend, I realized there's probably a big difference in the way people react to a narcissist.
There's the way WE - adult children of the self-absorbed - react.
And then there's the way others react.
My narcissistic father called and my 15-1/2 year old daughter answered the phone.
He asked her what she'd done that day.
Normally, she'd say something like, "Not much," because she's learned he's not interested in what she has to say, and then quickly hands the phone to me.
But she said he sounded eager and chatty and welcoming, so she TRIED to explain that she had standardized testing all day and how boring it was. She must have managed to utter a sentence before he cut her off. That's when I heard her say, "Never mind. Mom!" She thrust the phone at me with an oh-well shrug.
I don't think for a second she lost any sleep over it. I asked her about it later, and she said, "He's just like that." My husband has met plenty of kooky, self-centered people over the years and it's more a source of amusement to him because he just thinks they're weird and not worth his time. This is pretty much the same reaction of some of my friends raised by non-n parents.
Then there's me! When somebody ignores me, interrupts or in some way doesn't acknowledge me, it's more than just annoying. It touches something very deep inside. It pulls apart the edges of a wound that won't quite close.