Andrew Parker

22 Things That Will Drive a True Narcissist Crazy

‘Narcissist’ is a word that gets thrown around all too often these days. It seems like everyone gets called a narcissist, no matter if they really are or not! However, for those people who really are ones, here are 22 things that are sure to grind their gears. 

Word of Warning

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Before we start, just remember dealing with narcissists can be dangerous for your mental and emotional health. If you ever meet someone like this, make sure you maintain your self-worth by setting firm boundaries. Remember, narcissistic abuse can have lasting effects, and you should protect yourself. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, you may want to seek professional help.

Criticism of Any Kind

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Oh, how narcissists hate criticism! Even the most constructive or helpful feedback can unleash an absolute storm from a narcissist. Studies show that, more often than not, they’ll respond with aggression, although you might also face denial or a sudden cold war. It’s their kryptonite, as any criticism completely destroys their self-crafted image of perfection. 

Not Being the Center of Attention

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If there’s one thing narcissists crave more than compliments, it’s the spotlight. Being sidelined is their personal version of a nightmare. Expect pouting, interruptions, or them suddenly turning into the world’s greatest storyteller to steal back the scene. And if that fails, watch as they magically find a way to make even the most unrelated topic about themselves!

Boundaries

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If you ever mention boundaries, they’ll probably feel confused. To them, your boundaries are just suggestions, not rules. They see it as a personal challenge to overstep them, only to act baffled when you’re upset, followed by a performance of playing the victim. They’ll try to make you feel guilty for even suggesting such outrageous concepts as personal space or privacy.

Being Ignored

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Narcissists can’t stand being ignored! Whether you give them the silent treatment or fail to give your undivided attention, expect a performance aimed at getting you to look their way again. They might suddenly develop an interest in whatever you’re doing or create some drama to ensure they’re impossible to ignore.

People with High Self-Esteem

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Narcissists don’t like people with genuinely good self-esteem. People with strong self-esteem can’t be easily controlled or manipulated, making them less appealing targets for these folks. To a narcissist, these individuals are a puzzle that can’t be solved with the usual tricks, which leads to hatred or even envy.

Accountability

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Asking a narcissist to take responsibility is a huge mistake. They’re masters of deflection, and they’ll twist the narrative to make you the villain in any scenario. You’ll be surprised at the Olympic-level mental gymnastics they’ll use to avoid taking any accountability, complete with a gold-medal dive into a pool of self-righteous anger.

Disagreement

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Disagreeing with a narcissist will definitely bring you trouble. They take it as a personal attack rather than a difference in opinion. How dare you disagree with them?! Brace yourself for a debate where the goalposts are constantly moving, and don’t be surprised if they bring up things completely unrelated just to throw you off balance.

Other People’s Independence

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Narcissists see other people’s independence as a threat. Independent people are harder to control and manipulate, so they’re less attractive in a narcissist’s eyes. They’ll often try to fight this independence by trying to undermine or devalue the other person’s achievements. It’s all in a day’s work for a narcissist!

Not Getting Special Treatment

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Narcissists expect to be treated as VIPs in every situation. When they don’t get their expected special treatment, you’ll face a mix of disbelief and outrage, often with an Oscar-worthy temper tantrum. And after it happens, they’ll share stories of these “injustices” to anyone who will listen, just to get sympathy and validation.

Emotional Intimacy

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Emotional intimacy requires vulnerability, something narcissists avoid like the plague. It’s a place where they can’t maintain their superiority, so don’t be surprised if they seem uncomfortable. You’ll probably find them sabotaging moments that could lead to genuine connection. That’s a narcissist’s worst nightmare! Research shows that narcissism can have a huge effect on these folks’ sense of intimacy.

Being Forgotten

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The idea of not being remembered or talked about is their version of social oblivion. They love being the topic of conversation, even if it’s not always for the right reasons. The thought of being anything other than the center of the room can send them into a frenzy to reclaim their ‘rightful’ place. For a narcissist, any news is good news.

Losing Control

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Control is the bread and butter of a narcissist’s world. Losing it, whether over a situation or a person, triggers their anxiety, so don’t be surprised if they take desperate measures to regain it. They’ll try anything, from charm offensives to outright manipulation, all in the service of restoring their sense of power.

Privacy Invasion

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While they have no issues about invading your privacy, narcissists guard their own fiercely. Anything they see as an invasion of privacy leads to outrage and accusations of betrayal. They don’t see any irony in their demands for absolute loyalty from others, while they also offer nothing in return. They’re hypocrites!

Unpredictability

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Narcissists prefer a world where they can predict and control outcomes. Unpredictable situations or people unsettle them, making them feel less in command. This lack of control leads to, you guessed it, anxiety, which they often mask with anger. They might even try to force the unpredictable elements back into a box they can manage.

Genuine Apologies

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Offering a genuine apology means acknowledging you did something wrong, which is almost impossible for a narcissist. They might offer a non-apology or an “I’m sorry, but…” to shift the blame. It’s a defense mechanism designed to protect their fragile ego from the harsh reality that they, too, are imperfect. According to research, they’ll never admit to mistakes – because they don’t think they make any!

Equality

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Equality? What’s that? The simple idea of treating everyone as equals is completely alien to narcissists. They believe they deserve more recognition, respect, and resources than others. You’ll often find them acting in an entitled way, where they expect everybody to treat them better in every aspect of their lives, from personal to professional.

A Lack of Admiration

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Narcissists feed off admiration like plants do sunlight. Without it, they’ll feel diminished and desperate to get some. You’ll find them desperately trying to regain your approval or attention – by any means necessary. This might involve a sudden burst of charm or an unexpected act of generosity, but it’s all calculated to make you fall in love with them again.

Confrontation About Their Behavior

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Directly confronting a narcissist about their behavior is probably the most dangerous thing you can do. They’ll very likely react defensively and deny any wrongdoing. Or worse – they’ll retaliate. This reaction is a protective measure designed to avoid blame and maintain their carefully curated image of perfection.

Therapy or Self-Improvement Suggestions

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If you suggest to a narcissist that they might benefit from therapy, don’t be surprised if they laugh in your face. To them, needing any help suggests that they’re imperfect, which is just not how they think of themselves. This resistance comes from fear — the fear of facing their true selves and the vulnerabilities that lie beneath their polished exterior. 

Rejection of Their Expertise

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Narcissists think of themselves as the ultimate authority on…well, pretty much everything. Questioning or rejecting their so-called expertise is a personal attack on them. They don’t care about being right – they care about making sure everyone understands that they’re the smartest person in the room.

No Laughter at Their Jokes

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To a narcissist, their sense of humor is the gift that keeps on giving, and they expect an audience ready to laugh on cue. When their jokes or witty comments fall flat, it’s like a sitcom without a laugh track – awkward, uncomfortable, and a clear sign of their need for constant validation. Their silence is louder than any applause!

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