Fear is an emotion we all experience at one point or another in our lives. It’s natural. However, there are some people who fear more than others in certain aspects of life. Who are we talking about in particular? Narcissists. Love them or hate them, we’ve all come across them in one form or another. It’s easy to feel badly towards them and cast them off as evil people who are emotionally unavailable. But the truth of the matter is that they have battles just like you and I.
What is a narcissist anyway? Words like “proud,” “selfish,” “obnoxious,” “conceited,” or even “vain” may come to mind. Simply put, a narcissist is a victim of their self-importance. This means that they regard themselves more than they should, more than the average person views themselves. As a result, they view others as beneath them and thrive on attention and status.
With this definition in mind, let’s look at 10 things narcissists fear the most.
1. They fear committing to a relationship
You need to let your guard down when you’re in a relationship. This means your partner will get to know all of you, that is, your faults and imperfections. This is a no-no for a narcissist because it attacks the very things a narcissist thrives on: self-importance and value. The thought of being exposed for who they truly are makes them scared silly. So don’t take it personally if they never truly open up in a relationship. It’s a way of protecting themselves from reality. Fun fact: there’s actually a term called sexual narcissism where men (usually) think that they are really good in bed but aren’t and so they withdraw before they are exposed.
2. They fear looking deep into their own soul
It’s difficult for us to look at ourselves critically in order to better ourselves. This is more so for narcissists. Remember, a narcissist has carefully created a world where they are number one and very important. Looking deep into their own soul would make them realize their faults and limitations, and burst the world they have created. Such a person is not ready to see the world for what it is. As such, every effort will be made to avoid delving into their most intimate thoughts in order to keep their perceived value intact. A narcissist doesn’t want to come face to face with what’s wrong with them because they won’t be able to fix it without having to ask for help, something they don’t want to do.
3. They fear being insulted
We all get hurt when someone insults us. However, with a narcissist, it’s tantamount to treason. This person is hypersensitive and will sulk for weeks on end as they think about what you said, why you said it and how it hurt them. It’s a long, draining process that could eventually lead to them never getting over what was said or seeking revenge. Whatever choice is made, the narcissist must make sure that their self-importance is restored, even if it means hurting someone else.
4. They fear shame
Shame affects us all in a negative way. No one wants to be embarrassed or made to feel like a real loser. For narcissists, though, status and value in society is everything. Because they place such a high value on these things, they are willing to do anything and everything to avoid being stripped of this. We all care what our friends and others in our community think about us. However, for narcissists, shame affects their ego and pride negatively, making them more vulnerable. Because they believe that they are very important and unbeatable, it can be a huge shock to the system when they are shunned or exiled from society.
5. They fear not being admired by others
Being in places of importance in society helps narcissists feel important and relevant. These include being a CEO, judge, and business owner. The opposite is the case if they are made to feel like they’re invisible. Ever noticed that people in positions of leadership tend to feel themselves a lot more than they should? They feed off admiration. It must be noted that this in itself is not a bad thing. However, because a narcissist views himself as being highly important, admiration is par for the course; it comes with the territory. Be sure to praise them for work well done but not to overdo it.
6. They fear not being in important positions
This carries on from our previous point. Being in positions of importance makes them feel important and valued in society. Therefore, they will do all they can to make it to the top so they can have power and influence. As a result, they are incredibly competitive. Winning and being the best is the name of the game, and being a leader or the boss is their ultimate victory. I mean, who doesn’t like to win? Another downside to this is that narcissists also like to be admired or recognized even if they haven’t accomplished or achieved anything. Thus, assuring them that they are doing great at their job, even if it isn’t a management position, could give their ego the boost they need without making them resort to hectic stunts to get more recognition.
7. They fear being called out on their lies
It’s not nice when someone catches you out in a lie. It’s very embarrassing and can cause a lot of issues for you in the future. This is a problem for a narcissist because it’s part of them to lie and exaggerate certain things to make themselves appear more important or impressive. Why? Because it proves just how weak and insecure they are. It’s important to note that narcissists are aware of the truth. It’s just that they stretch the truth to suit them. They hope that they will not be found out and this is where the fear comes in: the fear of someone discovering the truth.
8. They fear feeling remorse
This is a huge fear for narcissists because it’s a feeling they actively avoid showing. Showing remorse is a bad thing for a narcissist because it means that they are admitting that they have made a mistake. But how can this be when a narcissist doesn’t believe he is capable of making a mistake, much less has flaws? We all find it difficult to apologize, especially when we’re in the wrong, but when you’re a narcissist, it’s even more so because remorse is not part of your vocabulary. When you feel self-important, there is nothing you can do that is wrong. Even if someone points it out, you’ll feel justified in defending why you acted in a certain way. Narcissists struggle with this particular fear because they are not willing to be vulnerable or emotionally frail.
9. They fear feeling gratitude
Gratitude, for narcissists, is a sign of weakness, just like remorse mentioned above. They see it as giving other people power over you because you owe someone something and actually need someone’s help. In a narcissist’s mind, they believe they don’t need anyone because they are capable of doing anything and everything. This is a huge blow to their ego because by accepting something they needed from someone else, they are just like everyone else; something that lowers their social status and makes them feel unimportant. They need to feel important so that they can thrive. If they are made to feel like everyone else, this importance is put at risk.
10. Narcissists fear death
Death is not a topic for the faint-hearted or anyone for that matter, especially not narcissists. The fact that we’re all going to die, whether we are narcissists or not, makes us all equal. Narcissists feel highly important and invincible. However, death does not discriminate. When they die, all they did to seek prominence in society, their lies and exaggerations, will die with them and mean nothing. If they could find the water of life, they would gladly do so in order to beat death and continue elevating themselves. At the end of the day, death reminds them that their behavior was pointless. ‘So why do it?’ we may ask. Only they can answer that.