Do narcissists worry about being narcissists?

Narcissistic folks are a challenging bunch. If you’ve ever dealt with a narcissist, you’ve probably longed for them to recognize the negative impact they have on you, so they can change their ways.

While you’re longing for them to change, you probably also wonder if the narcissist worries about their own behavior. While healthy, non-narcissistic people tend to consider the impact they have on others, narcissists usually don’t think in this way.

So, does the narcissist worry about being narcissistic? Probably not. 

Reasons narcissists don’t worry about being narcissistic

As a non-narcissist, you probably have a difficult time making sense of a world in which someone can be narcissistic and show no concern for their negative behavior. 

Such is the paradox of narcissism. These folks show extremely damaging behavior, but the nature of their personality is such that they cannot correct this behavior.

If you’re wondering why narcissists don’t worry about their narcissistic behavior, I have answers for you. The traits below prevent them from worrying about their own negative behaviors. 

Lack of empathy

People who worry about their negative traits and the effect they have on others have one key ability that narcissists lack: the skill of empathizing.

Narcissists have extreme difficulty with empathy, meaning they really cannot consider the emotional experiences of others.

A person with empathy would worry if they were coming across as selfish or uncaring. A narcissist, on the other hand, isn’t considering the feelings of others, so they aren’t particularly worried about their narcissistic traits. 

Sense of entitlement 

Narcissists have a strong sense of entitlement. They believe that they should get exactly what they want, and they don’t care how their needs or demands affect others. 

The point is, the narcissist’s sense of entitlement prevents them from worrying about their behavior.

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They act the way that they do, because they feel they have a right to do so. It’s definitely not something they’re losing sleep over, as long as they continue to get what they want. 

Defense mechanisms

Narcissists may seem confident and put together, but they are secretly unsure of themselves. Beneath the facade they present to the world, they have extremely fragile egos.

To prevent themselves from experiencing emotional pain or feelings of inferiority, narcissists employ a variety of defense mechanisms.

For example, if you accuse them of wrongdoing, they’ll justify their behavior by blaming you for their actions. Or, if you tell them their behavior was offensive, they will gaslight you by telling you you’re too sensitive, or you’re remembering things incorrectly. 

They will also project their negative traits onto others, thereby taking no responsibility for them.

All of this means that the narcissist isn’t particularly worried about their narcissistic traits. Since they’re using defenses to avoid facing these traits, they aren’t even within the narcissist’s conscious awareness. 

Grandiosity 

Narcissists view themselves as being superior to others. They think they are a gift to the rest of the world, and they exaggerate their accomplishments and positive traits to maintain this air of superiority. 

To avoid feeling inferior, narcissists will go to great lengths to appear superior. They also live in a rather distorted world, where they are unique, admirable, and worthy of special treatment. 

Because narcissists convince themselves they’re so wonderful, they aren’t stopping to worry about their negative traits. In fact, they don’t think they possess any bad qualities! 

Limited self-awareness

The other features that come along with narcissism typically result in limited self-awareness. 

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For instance, because the narcissist is likely to use defense mechanisms to avoid accepting fault, they aren’t able to take a true look at their own negative behaviors. 

Their tendency to blame-shift means narcissists also view most of their problems as being someone else’s fault. 

These tendencies result in limited self-awareness, which prevents the narcissist from being concerned about their narcissistic traits. 

Self-focus

Narcissists are not particularly concerned about traits that may be perceived negatively. They are entirely too focused on themselves. 

This means they spend most of their time seeking out external validation and presenting themselves as superior to the rest of the world. 

Narcissists are primarily focused on enhancing their self-image and maintaining a sense of superiority. Worrying about being narcissistic would contradict their self-perception that they are exceptional individuals.

What do narcissists worry about?

Narcissists are more concerned with preserving their inflated self-esteem than with introspection or self-improvement, so they really aren’t worried about being narcissistic.

Does this mean narcissists never worry? Not exactly. Instead of worrying about being narcissistic, they are probably more anxious about the following things.

Failure and criticism 

Narcissists are terrified of failure, because failing would mean that they aren’t superior or perfect. The thought of being criticized for their failures is also terrifying to the narcissist.

Being exposed as a fraud

Remember, beneath the surface, narcissists are incredibly unsure of themselves. They put on a facade of arrogance and superiority to protect their fragile egos.

Deep down, they fear they’ll someday be exposed as frauds who aren’t as perfect as they portray themselves to be.

Lack of attention

Narcissists need constant attention and admiration to survive. Without it, their feelings of inferiority are triggered. Narcissists are constantly worried about seeking sources of attention, validation, and admiration.

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Losing control 

Narcissists need to maintain power and control over others to feed their feelings of superiority. If narcissists have control over others, this control reinforces their belief that they are superior.

The loss of control can cause the narcissist to fall into a web of anxiety. 

Experiencing rejection and abandonment

Despite portraying themselves as being confident and superior, narcissists are incredibly insecure. Because of this, they are always fearful that people in their lives will reject or abandon them.

This is perhaps one of the narcissist’s greatest fears, because they need people to remain in their lives to provide them with attention and admiration. Their egos also cannot handle the pain of rejection. 

Failing to receive special treatment

Narcissists need to be recognized as special, and they feel they are entitled to favorable treatment in all situations. They might worry that others will not give them the special treatment they deserve. 

Takeaway: They’re unaware, and they don’t care

In response to the original question, narcissistic people don’t worry about being narcissists. They don’t have enough self-awareness to consider that their behaviors might be problematic.

If they are aware, on at least some level, that they’re upsetting others, they really don’t care. They’ll quickly shift the blame onto someone else, or use a defense mechanism to justify their negative behavior. 

In addition to these truths, the narcissist has far more important things to worry about, like seeking admiration, maintaining power and control, and presenting themselves as superior. 

Although this information might be painful to hear, now that you know the truth, you can decide how to proceed. 

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