The 7 Things Narcissists Are Most Afraid Of

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The 7 Things Narcissists Are Most Afraid Of

Are narcissists afraid of anything? You bet they are, and there are 7 things that scare them silly.

1. Abandonment and rejection.

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Narcissists can’t stand being rejected or abandoned.That’s why they fly into rages and punish and threaten you if you threaten to leave them, and love bomb you if you do manage to get away.  To reject a narcissist means you are rejecting the false self they have so carefully constructed to impress you.  To reject that false self negates their entire reason for existing, since whatever true self they may have left is completely inaccessible to them and the false self cannot survive on its own; it’s completely dependent on the approval and attention of others, who it feeds from like a vampire.  When you reject a narcissist they are forced to confront their own emptiness and nothing scares them more than that.  They will fight tooth and nail to avoid it, even if it means they have to destroy you in the process.

2. Being made fun of.

 

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Narcissists have no sense of humor.  Nada. None. Zero. Zip.  They may laugh cruelly at you when you fall and break your arm, and they may chuckle at the discomfort of someone else (since they have almost no empathy), especially if the discomfort was caused by them (because remember, to them you are not a real person but an object),  but they are completely incapable of ever laughing at themselves.

A few years ago on a forum I posted on, there was a man who became enraged when someone wrote “LOL” at a joke someone else made at his expense (the joke wasn’t very offensive), and from then on he gave both of them the silent treatment.     They take themselves very, very seriously and are very, very sensitive.  But that sensitivity doesn’t extend toward anyone but themselves.   The reason they are so bothered by jokes at their expense and can’t laugh at themselves is because the self they present to the world is a false one that must be propped up and supported at all times by everyone else.   To poke fun at a narcissist is to poke fun at a self that’s as empty inside as a puppet.  It has no substance.     It will fall to pieces and then the narcissist is forced to confront that terrifying emptiness that constantly haunts them.

3. Being disrespected.

 

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No one likes to be treated with disdain or disrespect, but the narcissist is downright phobic about it.   He or she worries about it all the time and imagines slights and personal attacks even where they don’t exist.  Again, it boils down to the false self which he or she must constantly keep propped up.  It’s your job to puff it up and inflate it constantly lest it collapse into a limp pile of flimsy rubber.    Disrespecting a narcissist is like popping a hole in their balloon-self and they feel like they are going to die.    To avoid this, a narcissist uses every defense mechanism they have in their arsenal–gaslighting, rages, silent treatment, lying, projection, denial, fabricating,  and false affection–to keep you inflating their balloon-self so they don’t have to acknowledge the horror of recognizing they have lost their real one.

4. Being ignored.

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This is a no-brainer.   Ignoring a narcissist means giving them no supply at all, and without narcissistic supply, the narcissist dies a slow death.   Or believes they will.   That’s why some narcissists would even rather be hated than be ignored.  Negative attention is still attention, and at least it provides acknowledgement that they still exist.   When you ignore a narcissist, it’s as frightening to them as being killed.  They’re no longer confident they exist without your attention.

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'Hear No Evil Speak No Evil' by Shadow Mario on Deviantart For a long time I thought I suffered from The Trifecta of Victimhood (largely brought on by my lifetime of living as prey in a jungle of predatory narcissism): Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD) and Aspergers Syndrome. Try living with that combination. Never a dull moment, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It's still better than being a Narc. [my thoughts on that last remark after my dive down the rabbit hole: HAHAHAHAHA! LMAO! Why the laughter? Because for awhile, from about August 2015 through December I was absolutely convinced I was really a Covert Narcissist. It's very confusing, but thank God I'm not one. My therapist doesn't?t think I do, but Complex PTSD, BPD, and Avoidant PD together can look an awful lot like Covert Narcissism. I also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (fall/winter type) and was recently given a new diagnosis of C-PTSD (replacing the BPD).

22 COMMENTS

  1. Seems to have hit some nerves but I, from the perspective of a linguistic anthropologist, humbly think that some have missed the purpose and are not attacking the author because they are mean people but rather misidentified the cause and perspective of the author. These forum comments provide adequate psychological distance to attack people who use blogs to work through trauma as well as provide well understood relationships in academically peer-reviewed research on narcissism. I offer some thoughts below and remember…if you don’t like my thoughts on the subject,, you are not obliged to read it . I participate here in good will and with no intent to demean anyone.

    1. This topic is important and it merits the attention it is getting.

    2. If one reads the author’s bio text, one finds a frustration with our ‘trial and error’ approach to diagnosing mental health conditions. The brain is our most powerful and least understood organ and being told you are “x” by one doctor and “y” by another has significant impact on the psyche. A plausible logical entailment – if the brain is our most complex.organ, there is a wider range of conditions that can go wrong with brain chemistry. than with organs that are both better understood and serve fewer functions. The word PTSD appears in this author’s bio which leads me to #3

    3. For those with PTSD, particularly childhood-related PTSD, the 2016 us election of a clinically diagnosed malignant narcissist ,was a trigger for a flare up of PTSD episodes. Anecdotally, I can say that this was my own diagnosis from my psychiatrist who noted an almost 1 to 1 correlation between c-ptsd patients and profoundly increased levels of anxiety and depression. For those who say, “that is crap”, I am sincerely happy for you as that means you do not have this condition. It is part of the human condition that we try to use our own feelings to understand. If one does not suffer from c-ptsd, the causation is hard to grasp cognitively. In point 4, I offer an attempt to explain this connection.

    4. For starters, this website helps illustrate this connection; https://luckyottershaven.com/2019/06/01/if-youre-suffering-in-these-dark-times/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
    Childhood ptsd, by latest statistics, develops among roughly 51% of those who endured significant childhood trauma. So one may have experienced very significant trauma – this only means that they re part of the 49% who were fortunate enough to not have the brain impacted in this way. As a child, trauma is most often accompanied by powerlessness to control the abuse we experienced. The surprise (for many of us at least) of the arrival of such an Authoritarian leader (on the Authoritarian vs. Nurturing cline) who threatens and bullies consistently takes us right back to that trauma in childhood and triggers the fight or flight response and hyper reactivity to stress or the potential for stressful events. This point, point 4, is why at least some of us must find a way to cope with a return to a hell we fought hard to escape. Now, I have no knowledge of whether this is the situation for the author of this article but it informs my opinion point #1. More people than one might expect (archaic stigma around mental health prevents self-reporting from being reliable) are now struggling to find a way to understand and cope with a narcissist who has power over us.

    5. The author’s referential information about the traits that define a narcissistic personality are current and accurate. But the author interjects a great bit of phatic or emotional information that indexes personal pain at the hand of a narcissist (not narcissistic behavior which we all perform at some points in our lives…these two cannot be conflated if we want to understand what a labeled Narcissist is vs. occasional narcissistic practice). People will react differently to the emotional interjection. Personally, I find it courageous to be willing to subject oneself to public scrutiny while trying to inform and perhaps work through some personal trauma. I would call this the “excruciating vulnerability” that Brené Brown (TED talk worth the 20 minutes to hear her research on factors that define happiness). But that is just my take. If one finds the article irrelevant, must one question the validity of another human’s experience? Or perhaps, one can simply choose to not read articles about topics that they feel are not germane to their own experience?

    6. Narcissists may feel insulted by having adult fully-developed personality traits placed in the public sphere. However, I don’t see any insults nor do I believe that a majority of people fall under the clinical definition of Narcissist. This is similar to the distinction we must make between clinical depression and the emotion of the same name. We all get depressed from time to time but fewer people suffer from the condition of clinical depression. Narcissists would be offended for the very reasons the author points out in her (non-exhaustive) but accurate list of traits of a fixed Narcissistic personality.

    7. Regarding problems and solutions, I think these are outside the scope of what she chose to present here. It is not a doctor’s report but the writing of a human being struggling as many of us are to find a solution.

    I offer this humble post in hopes that we can find our better selves and have constructive discussions rather than using people’s work as a venting outlet for our own frustrations. If one thinks the topic is overly discussed, why would one read through enough of the article and then spend the time and energy to write a condescending commentary about it. Is that not essentially screaming at fire for being hot? It won’t change anything and ultimately hurts the readers who allows themselves to get angry over the existence of the article.

    I am in academia but I do not consider myself any more intelligent than anyone who has posted on the topic. I work hard (I believe it is hard work for us all) to remain open to other perspectives and have been convinced I was wrong many times by folks who make cogent points or think of things I didn’t consider.

    If you’re still reading this…well, I thank you and congratulate you on your patience 🙂 Complex issues often require complex answers. Oversimplification of these issues “that’s stupid”..etc. cannot promote arriving at a real understanding.

    I welcome discussion and, for those who wish, please feel free to attack. I can take it. But can we all? Before all else, I believe we would be happier by embracing the “first, do no harm” approach in these discourses. We are writing to real people with real problems, feelings, insecurities…we are not writing for a computer to read. Words matter and can be just as destructive as physical violence.

    Wishing all good health and good spirits.

  2. Are you serious? You have accurately described and insulted the majority of our population why don’t you focus on the solution rather than the problem we all know what we are… How do you think we can fix ourselves? Everyone incarnated has varying degrees if what you term as narcissism I am predominately empathic and that totally complements my narcissistic side we are here to integrate ourselves into atonement not to annihilate ourselves into a early grave never complete our spiritual lightwork.