What Is the Number 1 Thing Narcissists Can’t Accept?

What Is the Number 1 Thing Narcissists Can’t Accept?

(Prefer to hear instead of read? Click here to view on YouTube.) When I went no contact with my mother, my decision was made in a moment of extreme distress. It was immediately after I learned that she had done something that was a huge and unexpected betrayal – and I won’t go into that right now, but you can read the whole story here, if you’re interested. Anyway…I remember feeling completely blindsided and devastated in the moment.

Immediately, I picked up the phone and called her to confront her. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have given her the satisfaction – but I didn’t fully understand what I had been dealing with at the time. Anyway, when I told my mother that I knew what she had done, she began to scream and yell and rage. I pretty quickly told her never to call me again, and I hung up the phone.

At the time, I didn’t understand the concept of “going no contact with a narcissist,” but I would later learn that I had somehow instinctively made the right decision in that moment.

Over the next couple of weeks, I learned through the grapevine that the extended family was talking about me in some pretty interesting ways. It seemed that they believed I’d be back – and that at the very least, they’d see me for the holidays. They reportedly said I was just being dramatic and begging for attention.

In reality, I was done. And I still am. But at the time, they were apparently in denial, or so I thought. Later, I’d learn that my mother was playing the victim. She acted like she had absolutely no idea why I’d stopped talking to her, and she told people she was afraid I’d come and physically hurt her, despite the fact that I’d never even raised a hand to her or even been verbally aggressive. She of course omitted the fact that she had been very physically aggressive to me until I was 18.

A few weeks passed by and I learned that my mother had planned to send my brother to my home without notice, as a sort of “sneak attack,” to apparently “straighten me out” or confront me for having gone no contact. When I learned this, I sent a quick email explaining that he wasn’t welcome and that the police would be called if he showed up.

A couple of months after that, someone told me that my mother had been using my name in a newsletter that was sent out to around 300 people by mail – saying that I had “mental health issues” and that people should pray for me. That was taken care of with another quick email and a brief reminder that I happened to have had a much bigger audience than she did, some of which included her people. It turned out that the threat of exposure was enough to stop the smearing in this case.

So, why did this narcissist behave this way? What was she thinking and what was the one thing that she just couldn’t accept? It seemed that I had somehow managed to do the number one thing that narcissists just can’t accept. What was it? What exactly was the thing I did that made her act like that?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today – the one thing narcissists can’t accept, and what to expect when it happens (see video on YouTube).

If you have been profoundly impacted by one or more narcissists in your life, whether it was a parent, an ex, or a friend, or even a co-worker, you might already know what to expect from them. And you are well aware that there are many things that a narcissist will not and cannot accept. You know they will not accept being confronted or criticized, they will not accept you living your own life on your terms, and you know that they won’t tolerate you speaking up for yourself.

They most definitely cannot stand being humiliated or embarrassed. And they can’t imagine what would happen if they were to be exposed for what they truly are – the idea of it is so painful for them that they literally lie to themselves about who and what they are.

But none of those things are as big of an issue for a narcissist as the one we’re discussing today.

So, what is the number one thing that narcissists can’t accept?

It’s simple: a narcissist will never accept rejection. They just can’t. That’s right. Rejection is the one thing that narcissists cannot accept.

What does rejection mean to a narcissist?

Fearing and disliking the feeling of being rejected isn’t just a narcissistic thing – nearly everyone has this fear. But for narcissists, feeling rejected can happen in any number of situations. Obviously, if they are turned down when they ask you to be with them, they’ll feel rejected. Or if a friend or family member refuses to speak to or see them due to a decision to go no contact, they will feel rejected. If they don’t get the job they wanted, they’ll feel rejected. And I think all of those things are fairly normal. We can all relate to that.

However, a narcissist might also feel rejected if they simply don’t get what they want, or if a situation doesn’t go their way. They’ll feel rejected if they call you and you don’t have time to talk, or if they want to see you and you’re at work and can’t leave. They’ll feel rejected if you’re spending time with your kid and you make that a priority over them. They might feel rejected if they see you in public but you don’t see them. Or if you decide to go out with your friends one night and ask them to stay home and take care of the kids.

They might feel rejected if you win an award, because they didn’t win one too. Even if the award is for something they’re not involved with – like your job or a particular talent you have that they don’t. They’ll even feel rejected if they don’t know the answer to a question and someone else does. Or if they misspell a word and are called out on it. Or if they fail at literally anything at all.

Of course, the biggest rejection for a narcissist is the moment you decide you’re done with their abuse and you go no contact. You refuse to see or speak to them. You block them on social media. You actively avoid them. This makes them feel like they’ve absolutely lost control of you – and they have. But you’ve also taken away their source of narcissistic supply, maybe for good.

What Happens If You Reject A Narcissist?

The first thing you need to know here is that rejecting a narcissist, if you ask the narcissist, is practically the kiss of death. It just isn’t acceptable in their world, because their ego cannot handle the emotions associated with it. Plus, if you ask them, they’re the ones who get to do the rejecting – NOT you or anyone else.

If you reject a narcissist, you’re essentially cutting off a source of narcissistic supply. And my friend, you can expect to deal with a very unpleasant reaction from the narcissist.  For all the bravado and grandiosity, you would think that narcissists are practically indestructible. But the truth is that a narcissist will feel like their word is ending at even the tiniest “slight” that an average person would just let roll right off their back.

Let’s discuss the primary reactions you can expect from the narcissist after you make it clear that you want nothing to do with them again.

1. Narcissistic Injury

No matter what actually happened that caused you to reject them, the narcissist will quickly change the narrative of the situation to cast themselves as the victim. They will also talk about you mercilessly during this time, focusing on spreading lies to everyone they know about how you victimized them in some way.  This is what we call a smear campaign, and it’s how the narcissist sort of “advertises” their “victim status” – and at the same time, how they try to get their narcissistic supply needs met. This is very difficult to imagine for your average person – we don’t see things the same way as a narcissist. Maybe this will help you see it a little more clearly. Think about how you feel if you unexpectedly stub your toe in the dark. It throbs with pain! You might find yourself cursing and screaming about it. Well, the narcissist will react the same way to being rejected – it almost feels like a literal injury to them.

2. Narcissistic Rage

If the narcissistic injury doesn’t work, the narcissist will inevitably become enraged. They are feeling a mixture of anxiety, shame, and depression as they turn the rejection inward. And when that happens, they will direct their narcissistic rage towards you or anyone who rejects them. They will scream, yell, hurl insults, and more. They’ll call you names. They’ll tear you down as a person. They’ll dig at you on every single sensitive topic they can think of – whether it’s how you are in bed, what kind of parent you are, how you keep the house or how bad (or good) you are with money. Or, if they’re more covert, they’ll go passive-aggressive on you. They may behave vindictively by sabotaging you in ways that can really mess up your life. For example, let’s say you have an interview for your dream job. The narcissist might send screenshots of the photos your friend posted on Facebook that one time you got drunk 5 years ago, hurting your chances of getting the job.

3. Hoover and Reject

This one might be the most painful way a narcissist could react to being rejected, but it’s not uncommon. See, in this case, the narcissist will hoover you – as in, do anything they can to get you back on board with the relationship, whether it’s a romantic one, a family connection, or a friendship. In the story I told at the beginning, it didn’t work. But I’ve experienced it in other relationships and have heard it from many clients. Essentially, in order to get you back, the narcissist will say all the things you’ve always wanted them to say. And they’ll bend over backward to convince you that THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT! This time, they’re REALLY serious and they’re TOTALLY going to follow through with all of the promises they’ve made you. You’ll doubt them at first, but eventually, you might give in – either out of exhaustion or hope. In either case, hold on to your hat, because once they’re sure you’re 100 percent committed to them again, they’ll do something you won’t be expecting: they’ll reject YOU. And then you’ll be back to square one, wondering what is wrong with you and posting in your narcissistic abuse recovery support groups about how you can’t believe you fell for it yet again. You’ll doubt your own intelligence and you’ll feel humiliated and embarrassed. They, however, will – at least temporarily – feel vindicated because they “got you back” for rejecting them in the first place.

Any of that sound familiar to you? If so, know that you aren’t alone, and know that you can take back your life and find happiness.

Question of the Day: Have you ever committed the one act that narcissists cannot accept? If so, how did you manage the fallout? If not, are you considering it? Share your thoughts, share you experiences, share your ideas in the comments section below this video and let’s talk about it.

What Does The Narcissist Fear The Most?

What Does The Narcissist Fear The Most?

If you know someone who behaves like a toxic narcissist, you have probably recognized that their seemingly unflappable personality is pretty difficult to deal with. But did you know that there are a number of things that the average narcissist is seriously afraid of – and that they hide these fears in order to avoid having them used against them? It’s true, and that’s exactly what we’re talking about today – the narcissist’s biggest secret fears and exactly why they feel that way.

Your average toxic narcissist might seem pretty fearless, but the truth is that they have a number of secret, hidden fears they don’t want you to know about. Most narcissists want to appear invincible and untouchable. The exception is covert narcissists who purposely appear vulnerable as that is their standard operating mode – but even they have a few fears that they hide from you. The reality is that all toxic narcissists have some deep and dark fears – and you might be surprised to learn exactly what causes their hearts to race.

(Watch video on YouTube)

What are the narcissist’s biggest fears?

1. The Narcissist Fears Their Imperfections Being Exposed

You might be totally okay with others knowing about your vulnerabilities and imperfections. That is because you know you are human and you know you are not perfect. And perhaps you can help someone else that is dealing with the same issues and having the same type of insecurities that you are suffering from. The way to do that is by sharing that part of yourself with them. However, the narcissist will do anything they can to hide their imperfections.

They know deep down that they are far from perfect (not that anyone is perfect), and that is why they fear that their imperfections can be exposed somehow. Once that happens, their perfect image will be tarnished for good which is something they want to avoid at all costs.

2. The Narcissist Fears Embarrassment/Public Humiliation

No one wants to be embarrassed or humiliated in public. But for the narcissist, this is the worst possible thing that can happen to them – even though this is often one of the ways the narcissist will use to manipulate and control you. In fact, if they are worried that someone will humiliate or embarrass them in public, one way the narcissist tries to prevent this is to go out of their way to embarrass others instead. And if they feel at the least embarrassed then they will embarrass you even more – whether or not you’re the one who actually caused the humiliation.

 3. The Narcissist Fears Rejection

Narcissists fear rejection like everyone else. But for narcissists, it’s different. Since they desperately require the narcissistic supply of their partner’s (and everyone else’s) admiration, they feel almost like they’re starving if they don’t get it. Their deep, hidden sense of inferiority and their secret sense of being unlovable drives them toward superficial attention and perceived acceptance from everyone around them. Rejection would highlight their desperate need for supply. It would remind them that they are not the person they pretend to be and that they are not lovable. Despite the fact that narcissists obsessively attempt to make themselves appear untouchable, they fear rejection when it comes to love, job seeking, or being social. If a narcissist is rejected, they will display narcissistic rage because, after all, you have triggered one of their worst fears by rejecting them.

4. Narcissists Fear Accurate Criticism

If you’ve spent any amount of time with a narcissist, you’ll know exactly how blunt and painfully they will criticize you – from everything from your appearance to your thoughts and feelings to your ethics and core values. Yes, it’s true that narcissists are all about dishing out criticism, but they aren’t so good at accepting it – constructive or otherwise. If you’ve ever criticized a narcissist, chances are you dealt with narcissistic rage and/or narcissistic injury. It’s their natural response to criticism is to first get angry, then display narcissistic injury (the “poor me” act), followed by (or in conjunction with) the “narcissistic flip” – where they turn your criticism around and find something to criticize you for instead. They will attack you and deflect your criticism by finding something to cut you down a few notches.

5. Narcissists Fear Being Exposed

While they like to appear to be perfect to the general public, most narcissists are secretly insecure and self-loathing. We know that the average toxic narcissist has a false self that acts as a mask to their true self, which is damaged and vulnerable. For all of the bravado and grandiosity, the real person behind the mask is most often insecure and desperate to be loved. Sadly, since they’re so self-focused and only concerned about their own emotions, it’s difficult for narcissists to maintain a long-term, mutually satisfying relationship. And when their true self comes through, anyone who isn’t already actively entrenched will run the other way. So, one of their biggest fears is being found out – being seen for what they truly are. This leads to my next point – narcissists fear abandonment.

6. Narcissists Fear Abandonment

As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire and serve them as needed. But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune. In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way. With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.

7. The Narcissist Fears Not Being Special

As you might have guessed by now, the narcissist’s biggest and most daunting fear is being seen as ordinary or not special. See, narcissists like to see themselves as different and better than everyone else. Above the law, and deserving of special treatment at all times. The idea that they might be anything other than absolutely extraordinary is almost devastating to them. They want to be the smartest or richest or best-looking person they know. They need others to see them this way, and if you can’t do that, they can’t stay in their little narcissist bubble. They don’t want to be treated just like everyone else – they want to be treated better than everyone else. But forcing them to acknowledge (or even just treating them like everyone else) will make them feel attacked and demeaned.

8. Narcissists Fear Your Self-Respect

One of the narcissist’s biggest secrets (and, incidentally, one of their most intense secret fears) is the idea that you might develop self-respect and learn (or remember) that you’re someone who has value. See, when you do develop (or redevelop) self-respect, you’ll quickly learn that you deserve to be treated with respect. You’ll start setting boundaries, and you’ll stop taking their crap. This of course can lead to all of their other fears coming to the surface – their imperfections will be exposed, they’ll be rejected, which will lead to embarrassment and being found out – and ultimately, abandonment.

Bottom line? Narcissists have some pretty deep fears, but they would never knowingly let anyone see or know about them. That is because letting anyone see their fears triggers shame – and shame is one more thing that narcissists fear.

Question of the day: Do you know a narcissist who displays these fears? What other kinds of fears have you recognized in the narcissists in your life? Let me know your thoughts, experiences and ideas in the comments section below this video.

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