Individuals who routinely refuse to forgive often have what is called a narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists believe that they’re entitled to special rights and privileges, whether earned or not.
They are demanding, selfish, and expect special favors without assuming reciprocal responsibilities and express surprise and anger when others do not do what they want.”
If you’re a narcissist, you may often feel wounded and enraged when others refuse to comply with your agenda. Your exaggerated sense of entitlement leads you to assume that people are mere instruments for your self-enhancement, placed on earth solely to serve you.
Since others don’t exist to you as separate individuals with requirements, desires, and feelings of their own, you’re likely to exploit them and not see how this exploitation may set up the conflict you blame them for creating.
If you identify some of these qualities in yourself, you may be someone who is dependent on the admiration of others to keep your self-esteem afloat, and hypersensitive to anyone who threatens your sense of specialness.
Reasons behind You May Feel Good For Not Forgiving People
Being the kind of person that does not like to forgive anybody may come across as an appealing option for at least two reasons.
- It makes you feel invulnerable. Not forgiving gives you an aura of invincibility. When you refuse to forgive, you gather strength by humiliating the person you accuse of humiliating you. The strength you feel from striking back at someone who hurt you may not be entirely illusory. You may force him to think twice about re-injuring you and reduce the frequency with which he tries. Of course, you might inflame the conflict and provoke him into attack again; but your tough, retaliatory stance may also intimidate him and show him who’s the boss.
- It lets you blame others for your own failures. Not Forgiving lets you blame others for your own failures and transfer to them whatever it is you curse in yourself. It helps you ward off the shame and humiliation that come when someone gets too close to the unflattering truth about you. You conveniently blame the other person for all your troubles, when the problem may be you – your inability to take the initiative, ask for help, or say no. It replaces the emptiness inside you with a surge of elation.
Any experience of degradation or personal failure may cut you so deeply that you feel not just slighted but annihilated. Rather than admit how much you require others to fill the emptiness inside you, you may devalue them and assume an air of superiority.
Forgiveness is not an option for you – you have too great a sense of self importance and too little humility. Without these qualities, you’re unlikely ever to forgive.
It’s difficult to forgive someone if, lacking humility, you believe that he’s completely at fault and that you’re perfect and can do no wrong. You might respond more charitably if you could accept a degree of complicity, but that would shatter your grandiose view of yourself and ask more of you than you have to give.
When a Narcissist Feels Wronged
When most of us feel wronged – when our sense of fairness is violated – we generally vacillate among three responses:
When a narcissist feels wronged, on the other hand, he believes that his only choice is retribution. He can see no option but to strike back and settle the score with anyone who dares to defy his power, weaken his control, or threaten his belief in his own perfection.
The narcissist is unlikely to be affected by these words, because he’s unlikely to read them. Incapable of tolerating the discomfort of self-scrutiny or criticism, he seeks admiration, not self-knowledge.
He attaches to those who flatter him and discards those who do not. People who get into therapy are often those who are desperately clinging to a narcissist, trying to be good enough, trying to apologize and make peace with someone who is chronically unrepentant and unforgiving.