“I’m sorry, it just worked out better for me this way. You know, it’s an hour and a half instead of two hours, it’s only $5 a day to park my car instead of free, I don’t have to stay overnight in a motel [with you]….”
This might be the only time in my life that I’ve heard my mother say “I’m sorry,” but in fact it was simply a figure of speech meaning, “I changed my mind.”
Originally, we were both supposed to fly from Charlotte on the same day, she to help install her sister in a nursing home up North, and I to go to Michigan to pick up my RV. Since I am flying one-way and eventually coming back in another vehicle, it is problematic for me to get to the airport in Charlotte without a car. If I were to drive myself to the airport and leave my car there, then how could I retrieve my car? A bit complicated.
But since she was driving to the airport anyway, that seemed to be a moot point, as I could ride along with her. There are inexpensive hotels that will keep your car without charge, if you only stay one night, and have shuttle service to the airport. So the plan was for us to share a room, and fly our separate ways the following day. When she got back (date unknown), her car would be waiting for her, free of charge.
For some reason known only to her, she changed plans in midstream and decided to fly from the airport that is only half an hour closer. Her flight from the nearer airport would, in fact, take her only to Charlotte, where she would then board the original non-stop flight that I had found her.
“But there will be plenty of time between flights, and I’m only taking a carry-on. And you can take the transport from here. It shouldn’t be any trouble.”
There is a transport that one can book to get from here to the airport, if one reserves it several days in advance. It’s only $45. However, it will not take you anywhere except to the airport itself, and I need to stay in a hotel the night before, since it’s an early flight and the shuttle from here can’t start until 8 am. So I will have to get myself from the airport to the hotel, via the hotel shuttle, with all my luggage and dog, and then kick my heels until the following morning, and take the shuttle back to the airport. No trouble at all.
This goes against my nature.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up having to please Mrs. Narc or face the terrible consequences, that I am super-conscious of making every effort to make other people’s lives easier. I would much rather inconvenience myself than someone else. My therapist feels that this bending-over-backward to please others is pathological. I only agree with her partway.
Being thoughtful of others is one of the supposed signs of empathy that makes humans different from animals, although recent studies of primates and even non-primate species are proving that other animals have empathy and even exhibit altruism, the act of giving without expecting anything in return. That is the highest form of giving, and has been the measure of character from time out of mind.
The thing about a true narcissist is that they don’t consider the needs of anyone but themselves. Their inconsiderate acts are not necessarily malicious–it’s just that if they perceive something to be more convenient for themselves, well, that’s the choice they make. And if someone else is inconvenienced by their acts, well….
“Sorry, you’ll have to make your own way. I’ve made other plans that suit me better.”