8 Basic Skills a Narcissist Cannot Master

Rebecca Zung
4 min readApr 23, 2024

By Rebecca Zung, Esq.

Navigating relationships can be a complex journey, and for some, it becomes even more challenging when dealing with individuals who exhibit narcissistic traits. Renowned attorney and negotiation expert, Rebecca Zung, sheds light on the intricate dynamics of narcissism in her YouTube video titled “8 Basic Skills a Narcissist Cannot Master.” In this blog, we’ll delve into the key insights from Zung’s video, exploring the fundamental skills that narcissists struggle to grasp.

# 1 They Can Never Fake It

Narcissists may try to fake it, but they will never succeed. Despite their attempts to mimic empathy and understanding, they simply can’t fool anyone. Not even those who are closest to them see through their facade.

It’s truly unfortunate for them because they yearn to experience empathy, yet they are constantly unable to grasp its true meaning. As a result, they miss out on the profound connections that empathy brings. In their constant search for fulfillment, they are left feeling empty, forever longing for a bond they can never truly achieve.

#2 Self Reflection

Now, let’s talk about self-reflection again. This is another skill that narcissists simply cannot acquire. A fragile ego and deep shame prevent them from acknowledging their own flaws. Instead, they project and deflect onto others. Their fear-based mindset requires constant control, leading to poor treatment of those around them. People who feel secure and good about themselves don’t resort to hurting others.

Unfortunately, narcissists miss out on the opportunity for growth, transformation, and becoming better versions of themselves. They can never self-reflect in the same way as others. It’s a basic skill that eludes them, while others flourish and evolve.

#3 Genuine Apology:

One skill that narcissists will never be able to master is the art of genuinely apologizing. Instead, they only offer what I call faux apologies — fake apologies used for manipulation. For some people, saying sorry is an act of love, understanding, and acknowledging their wrongdoing. But when narcissists apologize, it’s usually a tactic to manipulate you. Their apologies often come with a catch or are laced with sarcasm, they rarely feel actual remorse. Genuine apology is just another skill they lack.

#4 True Commitment

When it comes to true commitment, narcissists fall short. They are only committed to someone or something as long as it benefits them. Their commitment is purely transactional — focused on what they can gain. Once their supply or value decreases, so does their commitment. They justify cheating or acting out because they feel entitled to do so when they no longer benefit from the relationship.

#5 Listening

Narcissists, no matter how hard they try, will never succeed in mastering this fundamental skill of listening. Despite their attempts to appear attentive, they are unable to truly listen. Even if they directly ask you a question, they quickly lose interest and focus on other distractions, completely disregarding your words. Their self-centeredness prevents them from truly caring about what you have to say.

#6 Being Alone

One skill narcissists struggle with is being alone. They despise solitude and fear it immensely. They mistreat others because they need someone to exert power over, but the thought of that person leaving terrifies them. It’s a constant push-pull dynamic.

#7 Accepting Responsibility

Narcissists have a fundamental inability to accept responsibility for their actions. Instead of taking ownership, they shift the blame onto others, even when it is clearly their fault. This refusal to admit fault is astounding, as they will deny the truth even when presented with evidence such as court transcripts, text messages, or emails. No matter the circumstances, narcissists will always shift blame onto someone else. And this is just one of the many traits that make dealing with them a challenge.

#8 Genuine Gratitude

Narcissists have a glaring inability to truly appreciate others and express genuine gratitude. No matter how much good you do or how much you deserve it, they simply cannot bring themselves to acknowledge you. Don’t waste your time waiting for it. Instead, remember that there are countless other things in life that you cannot afford to miss out on.


These eight basic skills narcissists cannot master provides valuable insights into the complexities of dealing with individuals who exhibit narcissistic traits. Recognizing these challenges is a crucial step in navigating relationships with empathy and understanding. By understanding the limitations of narcissists, individuals can make informed decisions about how to approach and, when necessary, disengage from these challenging dynamics, fostering healthier and more fulfilling connections.



Rebecca Zung

She is a Top 1% attorney, narcissist negotiation expert, YouTuber & creator of the SLAY Your Negotiation w/ a Narcissist program. www.rebeccazung.com