Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a complicated mental disorder.
If you look up the dictionary term for a ‘narcissist’, you will read, “An extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. A person who is overly concerned with his or her physical appearance”
But behind their toxic personality is deep insecurity and a crippling lack of self-confidence.
The narcissist creates a facade of superiority, so they can convince others that they deserve respect, admiration, and a place of authority.
They use divisive tactics to ensure that their victims “known their place”.
But there are a few things that narcissists are terrified of! These things take away their “power” and rip off the mask of false superiority.
Below are 7 things narcissists are most afraid of.
1.) They Fear People Speaking To Each Other and Comparing Stories
One of the narcissists favorite tactics is called “triangulation”.
This tactic is used to manipulate an interaction between two people who are not communicating to each other. In other words, the narcissist is the “go-between”!
For example, a relationship between two friends can be triangulated by the narcissist when there is a small disagreement. Or a parent can triangulate the relationship between two siblings when there is a minor misunderstanding.
Triangulation is the perfect way to create a toxic relationship between to people, where the narcissist can play the “good guy” and the undercover supporter of both sides.
What the narcissist DOES NOT want is for those two people to get together and compare stories.
The narcissist doesn’t want reconciliation! This will take away their narcissistic supply and build distrust and resentment in the two “victims”.
Creating separation and division are the best way for the narcissist to stay in control of people and manipulate their perceptions of themselves and those around them.
2.) They Fear Other’s Succeeding In Life
The narcissistic parent doesn’t want their child to succeed UNLESS it directly impacts their quality of life and makes them look better.
The narcissistic friend doesn’t want you to look better than them because their jealousy and resentment is crippling.
The narcissist always fears being “left behind” by those in their social circle. They always have to be on top!
It is difficult for them to celebrate someone else’s successes and accomplishments because they are already looking for a way to one-up them!
When other people become more successful than them, it feels like the spotlight is being taken off them – and they HATE that!
A narcissistic parent may be heard describing their child’s success as follows:
- “I taught them everything they know!”
- “They got their skills from me! If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have accomplished this.”
If a friend or an acquaintance is doing better than them, they will ask nosy or demeaning questions like the following:
- “Congrats on the new job. How much more money are you making?”
- “Why do you want to do that? I thought you were a better person than that.”
- “At your age, I was dong more than that.”
Since the narcissist sees everyone as an extension of themselves, it is impossible for them to feel genuine happiness for the success of others.
If it doesn’t directly impact or benefit them, their jealousy will show through very quickly!
3.) They Fear New People Being Brought Into Their Social Circle
- Their children having a new boyfriend/girlfriend or getting married
- A close friend (aka victim) making a new friend
- Their significant other having friendships they aren’t actively involved in
The narcissist always sees these “new people” as direct competitors for ATTENTION!
They will often show this jealousy by talking badly about the new friend or their child’s new love interest.
“I have a bad feeling about your girlfriend! She seems very selfish and a bit proud.”
“I don’t trust your friend! I think they might be jealous of you and a bad influence.”
They have to be the most important person in your world! They have to hold the most influence over you.
If anyone else stands in the way of that, they have to go – ASAP!
Because this “new person” might figure the narcissist out. They might open the eyes of the “victim” to how manipulative and toxic the narcissist is.
4.) They Fear Being Humiliated In Front of Others
To the narcissist, humiliation comes in many forms!
The narcissist hates being the brunt of jokes! You cannot poke fun at them or look better than them.
They hate it when other’s win or get the better of them. They don’t like it when someone is cast in a more positive light than they are.
Their ego is so fragile that they cannot be cast in a “lesser light” than anyone else.
To them, this means that they are losing respect in the eyes of others and becoming a complete failure.
If you do humiliate the narcissist (intentionally or unintentionally), you will pay for it.
If you want to know the cruel tactics that many narcissists use to “get back” at people, read the article 11 Mental Abuse Tactics of Narcissists.
5.) They Hate Being Confronted With Their Behavior
No one likes to be confronted! Accepting you are wrong and asking for forgiveness is rarely easy for anyone.
Although it is hard, most sensible people evaluate their behavior, accept fault for their mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and move forward with some form of changed behavior.
To the narcissist, however, confrontation is the enemy! They are at fault for NOTHING – ever!
Unfortunately for the person confronting them, they will become their next target. In this situation, the narcissist often chooses to “character assassinate” their accuser.
This is when they spread lies, cruel rumors, expose secrets, and poke at the insecurities of the person who confronted them.
To find out more, read What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You’ve Figured Them Out?!
6.) They Fear Being Abandoned
People are allowed to figure out who the narcissist is, but they have to stay compliant!
Otherwise, they’ll be punished with gaslighting, smear campaigns, projecting, guilt-tripping, etc.
When the narcissist senses that they are about to get abandoned, they will respond several different ways.
The list includes (but is not limited to) the following tactics:
- They will love bomb you. Showering you with gifts, tokens of affection, flattering comments, love notes, special treatments, adoring social media posts, etc. This tactic is used to get someone back into their “good graces” by showing them what they will miss if they distance themselves.
- They will abandoning you first! The narcissist will cut ties with you and reject you before you can do it to them.
- They will twist the story and make themselves look like the “victim” or the “good guy”. “Yes, I had to get out of that relationship because they were such a taker and a bad influence.”
- They “get even” with you. To find out their favorite tactics, read 11 Mental Abuse Tactics to Watch out For.
Rejection puts the narcissist in the position of being exposed for who they really are! This will make them feel invalidated and worthless to the core!
Don’t ever expect to abandon a narcissist without there being an angry backlash.
7.) They Fear Aging and Loss of Appearance
To most narcissists, appearance is everything!
They may want to be seen as handsome/beautiful, wealthy, affluent, and highly successful.
One character trait of a narcissist is when they perceive that others are jealous of them. Naturally, this means that the narcissist has to have something to be jealous of!
The narcissist wants an attractive spouse, talented children, expensive home, youthful appearance, successful career, and the envy of others!
As the narcissist ages, they start to feel that they are losing value. For years, their fragile ego has been directly connected to how they look!
Imagine how crippling it feels to be losing the one thing that they spend their entire lives concerned about – their appearance.
This is one of the reasons elderly narcissists are so critical, angry, and mean. They feel like they have nothing left to live for!
Reminiscing the “good old days” of attractiveness and affluence isn’t good enough. Depression and abusive behavior is often the only way they choose to express themselves.