narcissist's prayer

The Narcissist’s Prayer Explained In Detail

Dealing with a narcissist is no joke. You end up being the culprit for their misdeeds and are left emotionally drained.

While no two people are the same, narcissists do share some common traits. And what simply and beautifully explains them is a small six-sentence poem by Dayna Craig.

The Narcissist’s Prayer is a work of literary art. It is one of those poems that will touch your heart and stay with you for a very long time, especially if you have a narcissist in your life.

It is so much more than just a description of the narcissist; it is also a message to you and a warning. It tells you how the narcissist lands a slap on your face while giving you a pat on the back for tolerating their behavior.

Keep reading to be as smitten by the poem as we are.

What Is The Narcissist’s Prayer?

That didn’t happen.
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
And if it is, that’s not my fault.
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
And if I did, you deserved it.

Dayna Craig wrote The Narcissist’s Prayer, which beautifully explains the workings of a narcissist’s mind.

The poem may appear simple at first, but as you dig deeper, you’ll see how brilliantly it lays out, step by step, how a narcissist can emotionally destroy you.

The Narcissist’s Prayer Explained

The Narcissist’s Prayer shows us exactly how a narcissist manipulates the truth. For a narcissist, the truth is not a fixed, past entity that cannot be rewritten; rather, it is something adjustable and replaceable.

Because of their self-serving, highly avoidant, and illogical perception of reality, narcissists are impossible to reason with.

No matter how much you try, you can never make a narcissist see things for what they truly are.

Let’s break down the narcissist’s prayer line-by-line and decode what a relationship with a narcissist is like.

1. That Didn’t Happen – Denial

Narcissist anthem—”If it makes you look bad, disown it.”

The first reaction that you will observe when you are in a relationship with a narcissist is straight-out denial. It is their knee-jerk reaction, an art at which they have become pros.

If, after a hurtful situation, you hear:

“You’re imagining things.”
“You’re always twisting things.”
“You’re remembering things wrong.”
“You’re confusing me with someone else,” and more, it is the narcissism in them speaking.

Narcissists have a need to feel flawless. They want themselves and the people around them to consider them special and perfect. This is because they are hiding or distracting themselves from what truly lies inside them—worthlessness.

Since they have worked so hard to conceal their true identity, they would rather deny it than admit their wrongdoing.

2. And If It Did, It Wasn’t That Bad – Invalidating

Is it really that important?

Yes. That’s how they do it. They will make the topic look insignificant and your concerns, invalid. Their self-centered personality doesn’t have empathy for anyone but themselves. So, if they are not affected, it is not really a big deal.

It could be anything—your success, your failure, their bad behavior, your health, your life, someone else’s life, or anything. If it does not make the narcissist the center of attraction, it is just a minor issue that does not need any importance.

So, expect to hear:

“Wasn’t that a very long time ago?”
“Will you just get over it.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

3. And If It Was, That’s Not A Big Deal – Gaslighting

When is the narcissist wrong? Never. So, you are perceiving things incorrectly.

The narcissist will manipulate you so badly that you will start questioning the decisions you make. This behavior of making someone question their own reality is called gaslighting.

“You are thinking about it all wrong.”
“You’re taking it the wrong way.”
“You are overreacting.”
“Why are you always ruining our relationship?”

When a person is constantly told that they are overreacting, being childish, or being difficult, they start questioning their perception. The person eventually stops trusting their own judgment and starts relying on the narcissist for sound judgment.

4. And If It Is, That’s Not My Fault – Blame Shifting

Narcissists perceive themselves as perfect and cannot comprehend being wrong. They will always find a scapegoat to dump the blame on while they play the victim.

So, if a narcissist cannot be the hero, they are definitely not the oppressor. It is always someone who made them do it, or it is a magical phenomenon that happens only in their world.

“You pushed me into doing it.”
“It’s not my fault that happened.”
“You’re the one who is lying.”
“I think I need to visit my doc.”
“None of this would have happened if the cashier wasn’t being so difficult.”

Even agreeing to the smallest of mistakes is a chink in their armor they cannot handle. It will destroy the image they have so carefully crafted. So, it can never be their fault.

5. And If It Was, I Didn’t Mean It – Nonpology

Receiving a true apology from a narcissist is like expecting the sun to rise from the west—it’s not going to happen.

They are never going to account for the bad things they did or the people they hurt. They may give a superficial, false apology—a nonpology—to manipulate the situation or exert control and power.

“I’ll apologize if that will make you feel better”
“Geez, I was just joking.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way.”

6. And If I Did, You Deserved It – Blame Shifting

In the rare case that a narcissist admits doing something wrong, they will have an argument ready, and it is most likely going to be your fault. So, they’ll tell you that you deserve what they did.

“If only you had…”
“It was only a reflection of what you did.”
“You brought this on yourself.”

They know your weaknesses and soft spots and know exactly how to push your buttons.

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