20 Things That Drive Narcissists Absolutely Nuts

We might all think Narcissists are the strong ones, the ones in control. But in reality, the Narcissist is busy maintaining his fake superior image. They are fragile creatures inside, and they are afraid everyone will start to notice that.

The idea that they are exposed, being called out, or worse….being ignored drives them NUTS.

Here are 20 things that drive Narcissists Nuts.

#1 Being Called Out: 

Narcissists hate when their manipulative tactics or lies are challenged or exposed, as it clashes with the facade they present.

When you call out a narcissist on their manipulative tactics or lies, it strikes a nerve; they loathe having their carefully crafted facade disturbed.

This challenge to their perceived perfection and control can provoke anger or even rage. They’ll often react defensively, redirect blame, or play the victim.

It’s a desperate attempt to maintain their self-created illusion.

#2 Dealing with the Truth

They do not like dealing with the truth, especially when it challenges their false self-image or deceptive narratives.

Narcissists find it incredibly difficult to confront the truth, particularly if it shatters their falsely constructed self-image or undermines their deceitful narratives.

They can’t stand it when reality doesn’t align with their skewed perceptions.

#3 Fighting Back

It can be deeply unsettling when someone reacts firmly against their attempts to control, belittle, or undermine.

Just as they struggle with accepting the truth, narcissists also have a tough time when their attempts to control, belittle, or undermine are met with firm resistance.

It’s deeply unsettling for them when you stand your ground, refusing to be manipulated or put down. They’re used to being in control, and your defiance shakes their world, leaving them frustrated and, often, furious.

#4 Standing Up for Yourself

They are annoyed when others stand up for themselves, as it goes against their desire for dominance.

Pushing back against a narcissist’s dominance can throw them off balance, and they resent anyone brave enough to stand their ground.

Narcissists crave control, and when you assert yourself, you’re denying them that. They can’t stand it when their power is threatened like this.

#5 Ignoring and Blocking Them

Narcissists like to be the center of attention. Being ignored or blocked shakes their esteemed self-image.

While standing your ground can rattle them, denying them the spotlight by ignoring or blocking their efforts is another effective way to shake a narcissist’s self-image.

They crave attention, and they’re left unsettled when you don’t give it.

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#6 Silence

Silent treatment can be very aggravating for a narcissist who thrives on the attention.

In the grand theater of human interaction, your silence can be the most disturbing noise for a narcissist. They thrive on attention, and your refusal to engage strips them of that spotlight. It’s their kryptonite, rendering them powerless.

Your silence doesn’t just annoy them, it shakes their self-esteem. So, when dealing with a narcissist, sometimes, silence is golden.

#7 Using Grey Rock Method

A technique involving minimal response to their behavior. They despise being completely deprived of emotional responses to feed on.

Just as your silence can be disarming, employing the Grey Rock Method—giving minimal response to a narcissist’s behavior—can be equally, if not more, infuriating for them.

They thrive on emotional reactions, and you’re robbing them of their power by denying them that.

You’re not feeding their need for drama.

You’re simply a grey rock: uninteresting, unresponsive, and utterly frustrating for them.

#8 Exposure of Who They Are

The fear of revealing their genuine, often insecure self beneath the superficial perfection can cause distress.

Narcissists dread exposing their true selves, hidden beneath layers of crafted perfection and grandiosity. They fear the unveiling of their genuine, often insecure self. This fear isn’t groundless.

It’s possible to be seen without the mask, the facade they’ve meticulously built. The thought of their imperfections being laid bare can distress them immensely. It’s a reality they can’t stand to face.

#9 Being Laughed At

It can trigger a sense of shame or humiliation, challenging their grandiose self-image.

Imagine the scene: you’re laughing at a narcissist, perhaps pointing out a small mistake they’ve made.

This can ignite a deep sense of shame or humiliation in them, directly challenging their inflated self-image. They’re not used to being the butt of a joke.

It’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s a direct hit to their ego and can make them livid.

#10 Knowledge Gap

It can be very irksome for them if they are out of the loop or others know something they don’t.

When you’re privy to information that a narcissist isn’t, it’s like a thorn in their side. They can’t stand being out of the loop. Knowledge gaps drive them crazy.

It’s not just about feeling left out, it’s about their need to be superior. If you know something they don’t, it challenges their self-perceived dominance, and that’s a bitter pill for them to swallow.

#11 Reputational Damage

Narcissists value their reputation and public image highly and any harm to it can drive them into a rage.

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If there’s even a hint of damage to their meticulously crafted public image, it can send a narcissist spiraling into a fit of rage. They’ve spent years building and polishing their reputation, so any slight, real or perceived, feels like a personal affront.

They can’t tolerate being seen as anything less than perfect, so they’ll do anything to prevent their image from tarnishing.

#12 Losing Control

Any loss of control, especially over others’ lives, is deeply frustrating and threatening to them.

Just as a narcissist can’t stand the thought of a tarnished reputation, losing control, particularly over others’ lives, deeply unnerves them. You’ll find them scrambling to regain their power, their self-worth attached to the puppeteer’s strings.

They feel threatened and cornered. Any hint of independence from you is met with manipulation, tantrums, or cold dismissal. It’s their desperate bid to remain at the helm, in control.

#13 Denial

Saying “No” to a narcissist can spark extreme anger as they’re not used to being denied what they want.

Denying a narcissist something they want isn’t just a simple ‘no’ for them; it’s an insult to their entitlement, which often triggers an extreme reaction. This ‘no’ sparks an anger they can’t easily quell, because they’re unaccustomed to denial.

#14 Refusing to Play Along

Not feeding into their manipulation games can provoke their ire.

When you refuse to participate in a narcissist’s web of manipulation, their frustration often manifests as anger and hostility. They’re used to having control and playing mind games.

But standing your ground, not feeding into their tactics, truly irks them. It disrupts their power dynamics, forcing them to face an uncomfortable reality: they can’t always get their way.

#15 Losing

They have a deep need always to win. Losing, whether in work, social scenarios, or relationships, can frustrate them.

Narcissists are exceedingly competitive, and a loss in any area of life, whether professional or personal, can send them into frustration and resentment. They’re driven by a need always to win. When they don’t, it’s not just a setback, but a personal affront.

This extreme reaction to losing can lead to strained relationships and workplace conflicts as they struggle to regain control.

#16 Cutting Off Contact

Going ‘no contact’ deprives them of the control and attention they seek, driving them into a frenzy.

Have you ever considered what happens to a narcissist when you cut off all contact?

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It drives them absolutely nuts. Narcissists thrive on control and attention; without it, they’re sent into a tailspin.

Going ‘no contact’ strips them of their power, leaving them scrambling for a way to regain it.

It’s a simple yet effective way to kick them off their self-built pedestal.

#17 Independent Thoughts and Opinions

Narcissists strongly dislike when others show autonomy, contradicting their views or decisions.

Exerting your independence and voicing your thoughts and opinions can truly rattle a narcissist’s cage. They can’t stand it when you show autonomy, contradicting their views or decisions. It’s like a direct blow to their inflated ego, leaving them feeling threatened.

#18 Seeing Others’ Success

Other people’s success, especially when surpassing their own, provokes envy and resentment.

When you shine brighter than them, particularly in areas they value, narcissists can’t help but feel a twinge of envy and resentment. Your success, especially if it surpasses their own, drives them up the wall.

It’s a blow to their inflated self-image, triggering feelings of inadequacy. They’re left grappling with bitterness, struggling to accept that someone else is outshining them.

#19 Displaying Empathy

They can’t understand or appreciate empathetic behavior, often viewing it as a weakness.

Just as your success irks them, showing empathy – a trait they can neither understand nor appreciate – is another thing that drives narcissists up the wall. They view it as a sign of weakness, not strength.

This inability to comprehend empathy often leads to frustration and confusion. So, when you’re kind and understanding, you’re not just being good. You’re also getting under a narcissist’s skin.

#20 Feeling Inferior

Anything that makes them feel less superior or important can spark intense negative reactions.

Narcissists often struggle intensely with feelings of inferiority, and anything that suggests they’re less superior or important can trigger extreme negative reactions. They’ll interpret this as a clear sign of disrespect if you slight or overlook them.

They can’t stand being outshone or feeling second best. Always needing to be the center of attention, they’ll overreact if they sense they’re not.

Final Words

So, you see, narcissists can’t stand being called out, dealing with truth, or seeing others stand up for themselves. 

They hate being ignored, blocked, or when others display independent thoughts.

Other people’s success, empathy, or anything making them feel inferior drives them nuts. Remember, their need for dominance and inflated self-image is at stake.

Navigate with care, but never compromise your self-worth for their comfort.

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