How to Piss Off a Narcissist in 12 Surprisingly Easy Ways?

Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by Alexander Burgemeester

Narcissists love attention, validation, and power. So what drives a narcissist crazy? Simply put, anything that jeopardizes their basic needs for superiority can quickly irritate them. If you want to know how to infuriate a narcissist, you can look no further than by giving them nothing at all. 

But you can also stand up for yourself, set boundaries, and refuse their gaslighting strategies. Let’s dive into how to piss off a narcissist

1. Praising Someone Else Or Something Else

Did you see the way he performed last night? He was incredible!

She’s such a good wife. He’s lucky to have her.

They did a great job decorating their home. I love it.

What pisses off a narcissist? Feeling like someone else is better than them. Very few things make them feel more miserable than that insecurity

Their egos cannot comprehend that other people deserve recognition and attention in the same ways they do. Instead of feeling happy for someone else’s success, they tend to experience confusion, jealousy, and even contempt. 

When they hear you praising someone else, they will usually respond by:

  • Criticizing you or your taste (making it seem like you’re acting crazy).
  • Trying to take credit for that person’s success.
  • Shrugging off the praise, as if it doesn’t matter to them.
  • Attempting to one-up their success.
  • Getting angry and telling you that you should be with that person instead.
  • Discrediting the praise and blaming the person for lying, stealing, or manipulating.

In other words, a narcissist doesn’t really know how to be happy for someone else. Instead, they will search to find a narrative that suits their personal success story.

how to make the narcissist angry

2. Pursuing Your Own Interests

Narcissists assume they know the best way to live life. For instance, if they love golfing, you’re an idiot if you don’t enjoy the game. If they enjoy a particular restaurant, you lack good taste if you prefer somewhere else.

Pursuing your own interests can easily piss off a narcissist, especially when your preferences clash with theirs. Some major conflicts of interest can include:

  • Voting differently from them. 
  • Being more or less religious than they are.
  • Spending time with friends they don’t like.
  • Following a different diet.
  • Consuming media (certain movies or music)  they don’t enjoy. 

To retaliate, they may tease or criticize you for your choices. Or, they may try to sabotage you altogether. Their efforts to belittle you often come from a place of insecurity and fear. Deep down, narcissists feel afraid of losing power- and they worry about losing you to someone or something else. 

3. Disregarding Material Goods

Many narcissists are obsessed with earning and flaunting money. Big houses, fancy cars, designer clothes- they want it all, and they want to show it off to everyone in the world.

Many times, they substitute love for money. They also may inflate their worth by trying to prove their love by how much stuff they give you.

If you don’t show much interest, they may feel oscillate between feeling embarrassed, confused, and irritated. What do you mean you don’t want this? What’s wrong with you? Anyone would kill to be in your shoes! You don’t even realize how lucky you are. 

How to Piss off a Narcissist #4. Helping Someone Else

It’s no secret that narcissists tend to be extremely selfish. Their large egos leave little room for caring about other people. Subsequently, they perceive others as either pawns or challenges- not as entire people with complex thoughts and feelings. 

If you choose to be generous or compassionate towards someone else, it will likely result in them feeling angry.

They may demean you with mean comments like, why are you being such a martyr? Or they might try to stop you altogether with expressions like we don’t have the money for you to just donate to charity right now. You need to focus your attention on our family.

#5 Succeeding (And Outperforming Them)

It’s a misconception that narcissists only want weak-minded people in their lives. Many narcissists do enjoy the company of intelligent and thoughtful people. There’s just one caveat. They still need to be the best. And if they’re not the very best, they need to be pretty close to it.

How to piss off a Narcissist? By becoming better than them. If you start succeeding, it becomes extremely threatening. They don’t quite know how to cope with this new reality. Instead of celebrating and feeling happy for you, they may respond by:

  • Dismissing your success: It’s not that big of a deal. Anyone could have done that!
  • One-upping your success: It’s great you did that. By the way, did you hear about my new promotion at work…?
  • Accusing you of cheating, lying, stealing, or having some kind of external advantage: You only got that opportunity because your boss wants to sleep with you.
  • Attributing your success to their actions: I’m glad I told you to go after that! If I hadn’t said anything, you wouldn’t have even tried.
  • Blaming you for hurting them: You’re just trying to make me look bad, aren’t you?

You deserve every ounce of your success. Choosing to embrace (and even revel!) in it will continue to enrage them.

#6 Validating and Loving The Scapegoat

Narcissists see the world in a strict black-or-white sphere. These extremes allow them to either love or hate other people- there is no in-between. 

As a result, narcissists use scapegoats to project blame and frustration onto other people. These scapegoats are singled out for their real or perceived flaws. They become the victim of emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse.

But it’s not just the narcissist who wants to blame the scapegoat. They want other people to rally against them as well. They want the entire world to see how messed up the scapegoat really is. 

When you defy this narrative and stand up for the scapegoat, you shatter part of their master plan. You create friction within the dynamic, and that enrages the narcissist. They aren’t interested in seeing your perspective, but they also don’t like knowing that you aren’t on their team.

#7 Being Stoic

Stoicism refers to withstanding pain or discomfort without exhibiting an outward emotional response. In other words, it’s taking things as they come without complaining or reacting.

Let’s be real. Narcissists love to create drama– they live for stirring the pot and causing problems. They expect you to react and even retaliate. Even though you think that your emotions might irritate them, the opposite holds true. Having no emotional response tends to be the most threatening response of all.

That’s because narcissists need to know they control the room. In a way, your anger or sadness shows they have power over you. It shows they can contort your emotions. So when you don’t give them that pleasure, they are forced to examine their hollow selves.

#8 Respecting Authority

Have you ever noticed how often narcissists have issues in the workplace? It’s because they don’t play very well with others, and they certainly don’t know how to follow the rules.

Narcissists tend to detest authoritative figures, whether it’s their boss, law enforcement, politicians, or even their parents. They don’t like someone calling the shots unless that someone is them.

Moreover, they expect you to agree with their ideology. They will spend a great deal of time trying to prove to you why the other person is incompetent, unfair, or otherwise idiotic. 

The best way to piss them off? Keep following the rules. Respect the authority figures appropriately. Consider thanking the authority for their hard work and good efforts. 

If you do this, you can watch the narcissist unravel. It will happen very quickly.

#9 Consistently Maintaining Your Boundaries

Narcissists aren’t stupid. They understand the concept of boundaries, and they recognize that everyone has personal limits. 

But they also believe that they are entitled to what they want. Therefore, even though they logically comprehend boundaries, they see themselves as exempt from the rule. To them, boundaries are simply a suggestion or even a challenge. They will do what they can to try to convince you that your boundaries are silly or inappropriate.

The solution to this insanity? Implement your firm boundaries. Every single time. No ifs, ands, or buts. No one-time exceptions.

The more you stand firm with your limits, the less power they have over you and your actions. And yes, this will piss them off endlessly. You will see the rage in real-time by the way they call you stupid or crazy or mean. You will see it in the way they try to smear you to others or gaslight your reality altogether. 

#10 Going To Therapy

Just like narcissists dislike authority figures, they also tend to resent healthcare professionals. Narcissists don’t want anyone poking and prodding about their lives. They want to act in their usual ways without any real accountability for their appalling behavior.

If you choose to pursue therapy, the narcissist will feel threatened. They will undoubtedly worry about what you talk about in your sessions. They may fear the therapist siding with you or discrediting them.

More than that, narcissists don’t like thinking that someone or something may empower you to think differently. They want you complacent and complicit with their behavior. They know that therapists may try to explore alternative ways of coping with your emotions.

This anger comes out in several different forms, including:

  • Bargaining: You don’t need therapy. You can talk to me. I’ll always listen. 
  • Scapegoating the therapist: They’re just after your money. They don’t care about you!
  • Stalkerish, controlling behaviors: I want to go to the next session with you. If you’re going to blab about your personal feelings with someone, I want to know who they are.
  • Complete refusal of support: I am not going to pay for these sessions. You’re on your own.

#11 Spending Time With New Friends

Narcissists want to know the people in your life. Mostly, it’s because they want to vet them. Are they someone who will align with the narcissist’s values? Or, are they someone who may pose a serious threat?

When you hang out with new people, it activates their insecurity, jealousy, and confusion. They can’t exactly understand why they wouldn’t be enough for you. 

They may respond in several, dysfunctional ways, including:

  • Criticizing the other people before they have even met them: I’ve heard she’s crazy.
  • Acting like the victim: Do you not like spending time with me anymore? Am I really so boring?
  • Praising your old friends: What about so-and-so? They’ve always been so supportive of you. I think you should try to reconnect more with them right now.
  • Trying to charm you all over again: I know you were planning on having dinner with so-and-so tonight, but I’m cooking you something special, and I have a great surprise afterward. 
  • Responding with passive-aggressive comments: I guess you’re too busy for me now. I’m happy for you, though. You obviously need a change. 

#12 Ending Your Relationship Entirely

A narcissist believes that you’re fortunate to have them in your life. You should be thanking them for their wonderful existence! 

If you choose to cut ties with them, prepare for the tumultuous rollercoaster of shock, rage, and terror. They are so used to the status quo of them dictating everyone’s behavior that they don’t know how to cope when someone stops playing by their rules.

To retaliate, they will usually try many different tricks to manipulate you back into their lives. 

  • I miss you! I promise to change. I’m going to start going to therapy.
  • I didn’t mean what I said. Can you give me another chance?
  • You need me! Who else would put up with you?
  • What would the kids think if you left? Is that the kind of parent you want to be?
  • What about all the good times we had? Do you really want to throw them all away? 
  • Just wait until I tell everyone what kind of person you really are.

These all represent different scenarios where a narcissist may attempt to gaslight you. Because they are crafted to tug at your emotions, they often work. So when you take the opposite approach and continue to take the high road, it’s absolutely infuriating.  Did you try any of these things? Please share them with us in the comments.

How to piss off a narcissist

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

7 thoughts on “How to Piss Off a Narcissist in 12 Surprisingly Easy Ways?”

  1. The first one I finally broke-up with after 1 1/2 year of utter confusion and hellish behaviour, burst into tears and love-bombing during my ‘break-up speech’.
    When I still stood ground she started taking off her clothes and threw her (beautifull) body against mine.
    When I refused her invitation all hell broke loose and I left her house. Leaving her yelling and screaming all curses you can think of.
    Under way back home I called her parents to tell the news and to please keep an eye on her. I still was worried she could harm herself.
    What she did actually (I found out later) was calling my younger brother rightaway. He kind of had a crush on her I knew but never bothered about it really. We were brothers and talked a lot together.
    She seduced him the very next day just to retaliate. It was shocking. She managed to crush our relationship (brother and me) for years to come. She just left him after 3 months without any explanation. But the damage was done. My brother and I never got close again.

    The second Narcissist/Sociopath (I prefer the latter label) I met years later had a different approach but in essence the same. The love-bombing at the start just overwhelming your bounderies with attention and fast induced intimicy (sex). They just won’t take no for an anwser. I was very carefull to not hurry things. But after ~3 months she won me. Mostly by playing the saint who helped disabled people and presenting herself as a graduated artist/painter at the highest art-schools in Holland. She still does while all of it is just a lie.
    She never graduated but was adviced to quit on those art-universities by lack of talent. Finally they send her away.
    That was the real story I heard years later from her back-then partner I just happen to speak about her in a restaurant. My jaws dropped.
    The road she took was mainly playing the victim to me of this ‘harsh live’ she was living. No regular job, no recoqnition about her ‘art’. Living from wellfare.
    This was the mask she presented to me most of the time that got me hooked far too long. I was going to save this poor girl I loved so much. And I did in a way. I supported her financially and motivated her to take a nurse-eductation. She was accepted. After all this was set and done she announced to go to Australia for 6 weeks. She must have preparing this for months but never said a word about it to me. And where she got the money from? I asked her? She just told me she had saved E 6000,- during the time with me and that this was ‘different money’.
    She left to Australia at the time my mother was dying of cancer in the hospital. 10 days after she left my mother died. When I called her to inform her and told her I missed her by my site she went angry and told me I was making things much worse than neseccary between us.
    I heard nothing for another 3 days. But on the day of the funeral she wrote me an e-mail which was like this:

    ‘Ge, I know this must be one of the most difficult days in your live. I don’t want to stabb you in the back but today I’m ending my relationship with you.’

    It turned out much later she already smeared me for half a year at least, in her family and friends group and had a new lover on the side walk for months.
    I demanded a final talk just after the break-up face to face to explain herself.
    She agreed. I got no answers at all only dull comments.
    When we parted and she biked away she yelled; ‘and I still love you’. Completly nuts.

    I pissed her off by becoming very angry after this. Acting in ways she never expected coming without any proof to her where it was coming from. The bitch got some consequenses but will never change ofcourse.
    But I got some of my selfrespect back by fighting back and acting out my anger. That’s what matters at last.

    Reply
  2. Good for you, Ge!
    We know we aren’t supposed to “stoop to their level” but I’m doing it anyway. I’m Leaving For Good. I too have dealt with 2 narcissistic relationships and it really is true there’s no stopping the hurt without cutting ties. In the meantime I’m hitting him where it hurts (emotionally) and in the meantime acting as if nothing he says or does bothers me in the least. In fact, I’m happier and him knowing this is going to drive him crazy! All the best to you, I, and others in avoiding getting caught up in any more narcissistic abuse from anyone.

    Reply
  3. I’ve thought for several years now my wife is a narcissist. She doesn’t have all of the narcissistic traits, yet has the majority of them. Playing the “silent treatment” game is her favorite. This game has been agonizing for me and consistent over 20 years (8 consecutive weeks, the longest one). She said not 1 word to me for 2 days on our honeymoon. Big red flag 🚩 right there. Over 20 years later, I’m still with this woman who is Never, and never has been, there for me emotionally. Tells me when I (rarely) cry, “I thought you were strong.” No touching, no support, no sweet texts (or any texts back for that matter), no loving words, and positively no passion. Always, “I’m too busy at work to attend your family reunion, go on that vacation with you… Yet, when invited by one of her girl friends to Italy, stops Everything and goes with she & her husband And her husband’s male friend leaving me home because “you weren’t invited.”
    Is this narcissist behavior?? Or is she just a plain, cold-hearted bitch from Hell.

    Reply
    • Hi, Katherine, I’m sorry you’re going through shit like that with your wife… I just wanted to say I’m sorry, but also that (although I don’t know what other signs she might show just based on this comment alone) if she has a lot of narcissistic traits and is big on the silent treatment, have you ever compared her behaviors to a list of borderline personality disorder signs and symptoms? Unfortunately it’s something I’ve had a lot of experience with and therefore is at the forefront of my mind a lot, so I could just be mistakenly projecting lol, but it may be worth looking into. People with BPD (borderline – not bipolar) tend to have some of the qualities of narcissistic personality disorder, but BPD does entail a whole other dimension of behaviors that are hard to put into words sometimes when experienced in a shitty way. (Not that all people with BPD are abusive, but… When they are, it can be absolutely horrific.) I don’t know how much this would help, but I figured it might be worth mentioning if it could help in the slightest… That being said, there are definitely other mental health disorders that also resemble narcissistic personality disorder in some ways but have additional issues as well, such as sociopathy, but whatever is going on it sounds intense and like there’s probably something there for sure, and I definitely feel for you… Good luck with everything though, and I really hope things get better one way or another for you!

      Reply
  4. The phrases I’ll use against my stepdad, if I absolutely HAVE to move back in with my family for financial reasons:

    “I know you’re lying. Continue.”
    “I know you can’t be reasoned with, so I don’t care.”
    “Not my problem. Keep venting tho.”

    I’m currently applying to the BOS to catch up on my Abitur, and go to Uni to either learn how to program, do Engineering, or I’ll just apply for an apprentice ship that demands an Abitur.

    And if he acts as if everyone could have done it, I’ll be like: “do it.” , and if he accuses me of using advantages (the Bafög, which is welfare for students under 26) , I’ll be like: “not my problem. Keep venting.”

    When my cats pass from old age, they’re 10 rn, and are therefore out of the danger zone, I’ll absolutely move back in with my mom. Just so I have good opportunities to support my little sister and my mom in front of him while running to the police for every piece of tech of mine that he might break.

    Reply
  5. “I know you were planning to have dinner with XY, but I’m cooking you something nice today.”

    My response: “you know that I had different plans, and it’s not my fault if you’re cooking dinner today and not tomorrow.

    Reply
  6. hi
    I am in an unusual position. My ex who I have known for 25 years and we are friends has married a narcissist for supply. My ex has all the money and property and of course now so does the narc. who I think tacticly brought on the marriage.
    My ex asked me to go to live with them both in Portugal. I was hesitant only because it meant giving up a bloody good job and trusting entirely which i had no reservations.
    The VERY first day and i mean within 6 hours the lazy fucking narc (who hasn’t worked for 7 years) started on me and so it went (and goes on) 3 years hence….pure filth including hiding food, food patrols (this narc actually studies food patterns within saucepans to see if anyone has tampered!) selfish, spying, stealing, destroying my property the list goes on and on and on…….The idea obviously was that rather than the narc tend the garden and wash up, that was now my exclusive function…particularly when it knows me and my ex goes shopping…it will prepare a dish knowing it will be entirely for itself and then expect me to clean its pans. So much for caring for his husband!
    on point 1 – No comment
    on point 2 – It’s taken to reprove an in-law as maladjusted at the same time as graduating 2 flying monkeys which pathetically and obviously do their bidding
    on point 3 – the day we moved over I found my boxes opened and confused with the narcs hence my stuff has been forever lost – I I labelled over 176 boxes and can only find about 10 – on top of this it spilled shampoo over my car contents, continues to this day to destroy 2 phone and 3 computers…I mean It must google this stuff…how do i destroy a laptop?…easy by sticking a paper towel bundle between the lid and the charger point thus crushing the point and causing a short circuit; another computer it crushed the screen (screen touch tech.) my computer was out for months (fortunately one of his flying monkeys friens repaired it for me….Karma!) Everyday stuff is attacked like a new pair of levis suddenly sans buttons and rips in stitches; holes torn out of pockets, a ne light stand next to my computer destroyed…on and on..
    on point 4 – A german ex-pat lady is suffering from some emotional problem -the narc sees it as an opportunity to ridicule her as being weak and maladjusted …I try to reason with it and it goes into full narc rage
    on point 5- a group of us is studying Portuguese – guess who has to be the best and let everyone know it!
    on point 6 – you know what I am tired of completing this ever ovious pattern…the narc is far, far, far worse than I have the energy to recount

    I am planning for its demise (i am shocked by this admission). I know i am a decent person looking for a decent life…all of this is in a holding patter. Fortunately its dismissal of biology (i’m a biologist) is contemptuous, it really thinks it’s invincible..> 8000 kcal perday, no exercise, 10 hours on its back and 11 hours playing fortnite.marvellous!!!
    Be gone.

    Reply

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