Narcissists are terrifying in the way they can destroy your life if you let them gain a foothold in it. There are few things worse than getting stuck in a situation you feel like you can’t get out of as the result of a narcissist.
But what terrifies narcissists? It turns out there are quite a few things, actually. Check them out in the list below:
1) Rejection or abandonment.
As terribly as narcissists may treat the people around them, there are few things they’re more afraid of than being left. They can’t handle it, because it forces them to at least consider themselves. Instead, they need that false security of other people around them at all times, especially the people they can control.
And that’s why if you do threaten to leave they may fly off the handle at you, and if you do get away, they’ll grovel to try and get you back with false promises of reform and change.
2) Being the butt of a joke.
Narcissists can’t laugh at themselves. They’re fully incapable of it. So while they can readily laugh at others’ misfortune, don’t you dare craft a joke or laugh at a situation they find themselves in, because they response will not be proportionate in any way, shape, or form.
Instead, they’ll lash out. Narcissists are very, very sensitive and their fragile sense of self can’t take a joke, because that would require being at peace with their inner self. Narcissists, however, refuse to look inward, and they don’t like the suggestion, even via joke, that they should.
Look, you don’t like it when some fails to respect you, either, but you can move on with your life when it happens. Narcissists? They can’t do that.
Instead, they need people around them to constantly puff them up and tell them how great they are, because they are nothing but empty ego. So when someone does disrespect them? They use every nasty tool at their disposal, including denial, fabricating, false affection, gaslighting, lying, projection, rages, and silent treatment.
4) Being ignored.
If you’re not paying attention to a narcissist, how can they prop up their fragile ego? The truth is, without attention, the narcissist might be forced to look inward, and they can’t handle that. They’d rather be hated than ignored.
Calling out a narcissist on their shitty behavior is one of the quickest ways to anger them. This might be done covertly, via silent treatment or gaslighting, but the truth is, narcissists cannot handle being held accountable, because they survive on the double standard that expects one set of behaviors from everyone around them (namely adoration) and another (whatever they feel like) from themselves.
The world of smoke and mirrors is what sustains narcissists, and shedding light on that can bring the whole illusion crashing down. No wonder they hate the truth so much!
6. Lost youth or success.
Narcissists thrive on vanity, so it’s no wonder that they often become even more unstable as they age or lose success. Those trappings which were so important to building this illusion on which they’ve built their identity or no longer so solid, and they can’t stand it.
As a result, they flail. For somatic narcissists (who may be most concerned with health or appearance), they may have nothing else to fall back on, as that appearance or fitness was at the core of how they identified. For cerebral narcissists, aging can cost them their intellect or business skills—the things on which they’ve built their identity. In both cases, the loss of that identity leaves them with nothing, given that they were already empty shells as people.
And as a result, they lash out, often wildly and inconsistently. They can be especially terrifying to be around, even compared to other dastardly narcissists.
Death is the end of their illusion, and proves they really aren’t in control. Of course narcissists are afraid of it!
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.