Do narcissists, with their egocentric arrogance and lack of empathy, feel strong emotions? You bet they do, though the strongest emotions they feel are negative, such as hate and fear. It can be helpful to understand the emotions of a narcissist to better understand what they hate and fear.
A narcissist, like an addict, will do just about anything to avoid painful situations, and they seek to hide the most vulnerable parts of themselves. This is part of their key weaknesses. Thus, it stands to reason that any scenario where they have to think too deeply about their innermost feelings or reveal any important parts of themselves will have them scrambling.
Continue reading for a run-down of what narcissists hate and fear the most in their secretive lives.
1. Commitments and Introspection
Making a commitment is tough for a narcissist, because it might mean that their needs won’t always come first. They hate the thought of being beholden to someone else, having to respond to others’ desires. They especially despise the idea of having to reveal their true selves to someone, so they often sabotage relationships when they start to get serious.
This also reveals their fear of introspection. Narcissists don’t want to look too deeply into their souls, for they already know that they are filled with doubt and insecurity. They’re afraid to acknowledge their inadequacies, because that will make their delusions of superiority and grandiosity completely false.
2. Insults and Rejection
Narcissists really hate insults—even though they themselves are excellent at hurling them at others. It wounds their sense of superiority and threatens to disrupt their carefully curated façade. They are so agitated by insults that they will often imagine insults where there aren’t any, inflating incidents way out of proportion.
This hatred is in conjunction with a deep-seated fear of rejection. If they are rejected, then it means that all the effort they put into building this projected image didn’t fool you. Because they have no true sense of self, they rely on their inflated self-image for their self-worth. Rejection indicates that the emptiness inside them is the real truth, as they feared.
3. Shame, Shame, Shame
While the narcissist spends much of their time consumed by shame, they keep it buried underneath the surface as much as possible. They both hate and fear this feeling, because it forces them to confront the ugly truths about their real personality. They spend infinite amounts of time constructing a false persona, and they know that they are a fraud.
Shame is so distasteful to a narcissist because it indicates that they don’t hold a special place in their social or professional group. People who are shamed are shunned, rejected and made to feel less than others. This goes against everything the narcissist tries to project with their arrogance and egocentric behavior.
4. Lack of Admiration and Importance
Narcissists also feed off the admiration of others, so the hate it when they are not the center of attention. They depend on this “narcissistic supply”—of attention, of admiration, of validation—for their sense of self-worth. Without it, the emptiness overwhelms them, and they are forced to face their lack of psychological stability.
Likewise, narcissists fear not being important. Without influence and control over others, the narcissist would have to examine what else makes their lives worthwhile. They seek power for power’s sake, and a crucial part of their self-image is that they are winners, always on top. Even if they haven’t really accomplished anything extraordinary, they wish to be recognized anyway.
5. Feelings of Remorse and Gratitude
While narcissists don’t often feel guilt over their behavior, they really hate it when they have a twinge of remorse. To narcissists, this indicates weakness. It’s not that they don’t really have any feelings of remorse; rather, it’s that they absolutely refuse to show it. That would be a show of vulnerability.
They also dislike experiencing feelings of gratitude. This also reveals weakness, in their thinking, to be beholden to someone else for what they can do for you. Narcissists like to believe that they need nobody else’s help—ever. This levels the playing field, so to speak, and narcissists don’t appreciate being compared to others, who they see as inferior to them.
6. Getting Caught
Narcissists really, really hate being called out on their constant and grandiose lies. When their exaggerations are revealed to be fake, it pulls the whole crumbling edifice of their façade down. They are left vulnerable, weak, and exposed. This is absolutely intolerable to a narcissist.
Narcissists are well aware that they are stretching the truth when they make aggrandized claims for their accomplishments and talents. It leaves them constantly paranoid that someone will reveal their lies and show them to be the insecure and worthless person they fear they actually are. Hence why all of the lies are necessary in the first place, to mask their feelings of inadequacy.
While we all fear death at least in some small manner—the fear of the unknown is real—narcissists fear their own mortality in significant ways. Death is the ultimate leveler, as everyone will eventually succumb to it. Even the narcissist cannot convince themselves that they are superior enough to cheat death (though we might think of some famous figures who’ve tried).
This makes all their arrogance, all of their inflated achievements, all of their exaggerated lies completely unimportant. It doesn’t matter how high up the ladder they climb, they will, in the end, be brought low by death. Contemplating their own mortality forces the narcissist to confront their humanity.
Hate and fear are really two sides of the same coin. What narcissists hate are the emotions and situations that will reveal their innermost fears. Since they cannot be perceived as weak or inferior, they must inflate their ego and fill their inner emptiness with the admiration of others.
When it comes down to it, the narcissist really hates himself or herself. Their real self is inadequate and vulnerable, so they must bury it underneath a pile of delusions and falsehoods. Exposing this truth to anyone threatens the very core of their being.
The result of hate and fear is often rage, and this post has some tips for dealing with narcissistic rage. It’s a must for ensuring you know what to do when confronted with this common expression of hate and fear.
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