Narcissists may put on a tough fearless mask, but that’s all it is: a mask. Beneath the hard shell lies an insecure self who would do anything to pass for something else.
This doesn’t make them victims, just people who care about their image and about boosting their ego at any cost. However, deep down they struggle with deep-seated fears which they don’t know how to handle. Here are some of them:
1. Being made fun of
Here’s the thing: narcissists take themselves too seriously. This makes them unable to unwind and laugh at themselves every once in a while. And if they can’t make a joke at their own expense, then no one else should dare.
That’s because they need to maintain the image they’ve created: they need to be guarded and imposing above all else. Of course, this doesn’t prevent them from making fun of others. Or how we like to call it, bully.
2. Abandonment and rejection
Most people carry these fears inside because our childhoods were far from perfect. But narcissists are absolutely terrified of being rejected and abandoned. That’s because they associate it with being nullified, zero, nothing, invisible and small. And their ego just couldn’t take it.
To reject a narcissist is also to deny the false grandiose self they’ve so carefully created in order to impress others. And since that self is completely dependent upon people’s approval, it cannot survive on its own. That’s why they will fight endlessly to maintain that self – they know they are nothing without it.
This is yet another thing they dread. Narcissists can’t stand feeling vulnerable, they have their self to protect so they build up walls after walls. For them, exposure means dismantling everything they’ve worked to hard to defend. This is all due to a fragile ego that would shatter with every instant they feel exposed.
What they also do when they feel threatened is project their own imperfections on you. This is what will make them the victim and you the bad one. Also, calling them out on their actions will make them very angry.
4. Being ignored
They just need the spotlight. Not to thrive, but to survive. Without external approval and attention, they are nothing and they know it. Ignoring them means their ego will be dissolved, which equals a torturous death. In fact, they would rather be hated than ignored or simply dismissed. That’s because they still get to put on a show, albeit a disturbing one.
5. Loss of success and youth
Being young, successful and rich is what narcissists value the most in their life. This is because they are particularly interested in status. Their ego thrives on these things because there is no real value to cherish, like love.
So in their empty twisted selves, they will hold on to what secures and maintains their position. The word “shallow” doesn’t even begin to cover it. But better shallow than small and terrified.