Jan. 19, 2013 _ Lance Armstrong’s public apology for lying and bullying for many, many years doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I’ve seen how narcissism works up close and stepping up to the mic and declaring “I did it” isn’t that big a deal for people with that condition.
My ex has made repeated apologies to me throughout our relationship about how bad he felt for hitting me, lying to me, leaving me, and so on. He has written me letters confessing these sins to me. He has declared in a deposition that he hit me and generally mistreated me.
The trouble is, that my ex’s apologies don’t mean that his mistreatment is over. Nope, not at all. Every single time that my ex hit me or physically abused me, he would apologize from “deep within his heart.” However, he never cried while owning up to slamming me against a wall, choking me while I was 9 months pregnant, disappearing for 3 weeks leaving me with two young children. You would think that after committing those horrendous acts against his wife and the mother of his children, he would have some sign of remorse emotionally. But, he never did.
He could create the sentences that flowed through his mouth that sounded sincere, but like a person with a false smile, you can see the lack of real emotion in his eyes. During the clips of Lance Armstrong’s interview, you could see the stone within in his gaze, too.
It’s not that a narcissist isn’t sorry, though they aren’t, its that they don’t understand the emotion in the first place. They have learned that when their lies are exposed, a certain behavior is required in order to spin the turn of events into something they can use to put them back on top.
Narcissist are very talented and fight nearly to the death to maintain their position of power, image and control, and when it looks like they have been exposed and knocked down to the dirt (where some belong), they don’t slither off to a place never to be seen again. They come back.
Narcissist don’t learn or never feel contrite. They feel temporarily offset and they go off to recalculate their actions to find their way back into the game.
An apology is just empty words spit out like an actor on the stage reciting Shakespeare. Wonderfully written with the emotion of a man dead 400 years ago, but not the sentiments of the speaker.
I expect Armstrong to find a way to earn public attention again after this. Maybe he will be allowed back into sport. Maybe he will become a TV personality. A reality TV show, perhaps. Maybe he will become a commentator on some Xtreme sport show or the E! channel. I’m sure he will be writing a book about it all.
My ex had apologies down to a science. I believed them for nearly 20 years! And I have a very high IQ. But, funny how the apologies never, never ever lead to a change in behavior. He always abused again. Still does in fact, just not physically.
Apologies are a necessary tool, equal to violence, lies, anything that helps the abuser maintain his dominance. And afterall, narcissist’s apologies are a twisted form of victimizing themselves. Remember Lance’s words “I have to live with that for the rest of my life.” he told Oprah…. Big freakin deal. Try living with what his victims have to live with. Victims of real trauma caused by Lance Armstrong.
Lance is like two personalities, one who did it and one who has to live with the consequences of it. Neither is sorry for what he did. He is sorry that he got caught. Sorry that he has to admit a mistake. But, now that the spinning is underway in Lance’s head, you can bet that he is eating up the attention.
My ex told me once, while fighting with me about our kids, that he told his new wife “through tears” that he beat me and that she was oh so understanding as he cried to her one night at their kitchen table about what he has to live with. Wow. He never cried with me about what he did TO ME by CHOICE year after year. And of course, after that tearful confession to his wife, he then sued me for custody of our teenagers. Um, how sorry are you if you are willing to put me and our children through the trauma of a custody suit. (Which he lost, by the way.)
Oh, I’m not angry about it despite how it sounds and frankly I feel very sorry for his wife. She has got to be struggling with his crazy-making behavior. But, narcissist can always find a way out of their consequences and can con very smart people into believing their bull shit.
If Lance is really sorry for his actions and lies and bullying, then he should fade into the woodwork and let those people he tried so hard to destroy heal. Instead, he grabs the limelight we all so willing shine his way and does yet another dance. Rest assured, Lance will not fade away yet. He is still to interesting to the voyeurs in us.
Me too. I watched all of 3 minutes of his interview with Oprah before I thought, “what the hell am I giving this asshole my precious time” and turned it off.
I know that doesn’t make me an expert on his interview. But the truth is, I’ve heard his apology a hundred times before. I could quote it word by word.
Narcissist will stay around trying to suck the air out of the room as long as we give them the venue to do so and as long as we fantasize that they will change. Few do. Instead they go down fighting to stay on top anyway they can with no shame.