Phoenixrising81704 wrote:The first time I actually got a reaction from my therapist was when I told her I felt closer to my dog than my son. I don't percieve animals to have ulterior motives, most people do.
I've heard this alot, actually. In therapy and outside therapy. I can see why your therapist would react and seize the opportunity with you.
There was a narcissist poster here some time ago who felt very little for his child, except that the child was a demanding, timegrabbing nuisance who impeded on the narcissist's freedom to do what he pleased when he pleased how he pleased.
Mothers of children with narcissist fathers can tell tale after tale of negligent or disinterested parenting by the narcissist.
Lack of empathy is always a factor in NPD; it is harder to fake empathy with a child as children are especially dependent and needful and demanding and the need is constant and seemingly never-ending... just the things that can drive an NPD person up the wall.
As to animals, I think that the fact that some narcissists relate better to animals than humans is due, in part, to similar reasons as others have said: animals are fairly self-sufficient, don't demand much, are readily grateful for even small tokens of attention, can be easily corraled or pinned up when they are a bother, etc. There is little real intimacy with an animal in the same way that a human might request or require intimacy. Intimacy is a thing that scares the hell out of narcissists, and seems outside the range of their abilities. Animals get by fairly well on limited attention; humans not only want and need attention but some healthier humans want and need intimacy and not just occasional bouts of attention.
My mother doted on her 3 Persian cats. All the best things for those cats. They had semi-precious jewel collars, and they even had their own room in the house, with their names on the door. She had little interest in her kids but immense odd interest in her cats. I found it even more interesting that she not only chose cats as the objection of whatever real affection she might have since cats are noted for being aloof – but that she chose Persian cats, not just for their status, I think, but also for the fact that Persian cat personality is known for being even more remote and standoffish than other cat breeds. She called these cats her ‘children’ and although it was partly a joke, I think she felt closer to these cats as her kids than she did to her real-life kids.