Narcissism is a personality disorder characterised by an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. While narcissists may appear confident and self-assured on the surface, beneath that façade lies a haunting reality they cannot escape. In this article, we will explore eight things that haunt a narcissist and dig deeper into the reasons behind their impact.
One of the most significant things that haunt narcissists is criticism. Narcissists often struggle to handle any form of negative feedback as it threatens their inflated self-image. Even constructive criticism can shatter their fragile self-esteem and force them to confront the gap between their grandiose self-perception and the external world’s reality.
Narcissists dread experiencing humiliation. Their constant need for admiration and validation means that being publicly embarrassed or humiliated can be devastating for them. They fear that this exposure of vulnerability may puncture their carefully crafted facade and reveal their true insecurities to others. The idea of being seen as weak or imperfect is deeply distressing for narcissists.
- Past Slights:
Narcissists often hold grudges and have a tendency to cling to past slights or perceived injustices. These negative experiences, whether real or imagined, continue to haunt them long after the incident occurred. Their obsession with these past slights feeds into their need for validation and fuels their resentment towards those they perceive as having wronged them.
- Abandonment and Rejection:
For narcissists, abandonment and rejection are deeply haunting experiences. Their excessive need for attention and admiration makes them fear being left alone or cast aside by those they value. The idea of being abandoned triggers intense feelings of unworthiness and can result in a desperate need to control and manipulate others to prevent being abandoned or rejected.
- Others Doing Well:
Narcissists have an insatiable desire to be “the best” and will go to great lengths to achieve this status. Consequently, they struggle to cope when others around them succeed or outperform them in any way. The success of others serves as a harsh reminder to narcissists that they may not be as exceptional as they believe themselves to be, leading to feelings of envy and frustration.
- Being Upstaged:
Similar to their struggle with others doing well, narcissists detest being upstaged. Whether it is in a social setting, professional environment, or even in personal relationships, narcissists crave the spotlight. When someone else steals their thunder or overshadows their achievements, they feel threatened and become obsessed with reclaiming their attention and importance.
- Being Called Out:
Being held accountable for their actions is a nightmare for narcissists. They dread being called out on their manipulative behaviour or dishonesty, as it contradicts the image they strive to project. Facing the consequences of their actions challenges their perception of being infallible and perfect, causing intense distress and often leading to defensive, aggressive responses.
- Being Wrong:
Finally, narcissists struggle with the concept of being wrong. Their inflated ego and belief in their own superiority make it difficult for them to accept that they may have made a mistake or held an incorrect point of view. Admitting fault or acknowledging other perspectives can shatter their illusion of infallibility, resulting in anxiety, anger, and a desperate need to prove themselves right.
While narcissists may appear larger than life on the surface, they are haunted by various realities that challenge their sense of self. The fear of criticism, humiliation, abandonment, and being wrong, among other things, can consume them. Understanding these haunting realities helps shed light on the complex inner world of narcissism and the fragile self-esteem that underpins their behaviour. Whether they choose to confront these haunting truths or continue to evade them, the ghosts of their insecurities remain a constant presence in their lives.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with (Sponsored.) BetterHelp. where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.