After months, years, or even decades of having a narcissist exert power and control over you, you might ask, “Do they have any weaknesses?”

The eleven weaknesses narcissists have is their need for admiration, fear of abandonment, lack of empathy, sensitivity to rejection, difficulty handling criticism, fragile self-esteem, dependency on others, unrealistic standards, jealousy of others, manipulative tendencies, and lack of accountability.

In this article, I will guide you through these weaknesses to help you better understand narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

1.) Need for Admiration

Narcissists’ first weakness is their need for admiration, which is an intense craving for validation and recognition from others. 

This constant yearning for approval is a weakness because it places their emotional well-being in the hands of others. 

When they don’t get the validation they seek, they experience tremendous psychological tension and emotional distress. 

Being so dependent on external validation makes them vulnerable, as their self-worth fluctuates based on the level of validation they receive.

This causes them to become emotionally unpredictable, unstable, and insecure.

2.) Fear of Abandonment

The second weakness narcissists have is their fear of abandonment.

A narcissist showing their fear of abandonment.

It is a weakness because it can dictate their interpersonal relationships, often leading them to act impulsively to avoid perceived rejection. 

For example, they may sever ties prematurely to protect themselves, leaving them isolated or with a trail of broken relationships.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Narcissists Discard You?

3.) Lack of Empathy

The third weakness narcissists have is their lack of empathy.

At its core, a lack of empathy is an inability to genuinely understand or resonate with the emotions and needs of others. 

This deficiency is a considerable weakness because it stunts the growth of meaningful, deep relationships. 

Without genuine empathy, narcissists often harm others by overlooking their feelings or needs. 

In group settings, a narcissist’s inability to appreciate the perspectives or emotions of others can hinder collaboration.

In personal relationships, it can create a one-sided dynamic where the narcissist’s needs overshadow everything else.

Just like their fear of abandonment, their lack of empathy often leaves them isolated or with broken relationships.

4.) Sensitivity to Rejection

The fourth weakness narcissists have is a sensitivity to rejection.

This is a weakness because even mild or perceived rejections can lead to disproportionate reactions such as narcissistic rage.

Suggested Reading: What Is Narcissistic Rage?

They may lash out, seek revenge, or withdraw entirely based on the smallest slights, making both personal and professional relationships unhealthy. 

Their heightened sensitivity can also cloud their judgment, leading to overreactions and making it challenging for them to navigate situations objectively.

5.) Difficulty Handling Criticism

The fifth weakness narcissists have is difficulty handling criticism.

The primary weakness here is that instead of using criticism as a tool for growth, they view it as a direct assault on their self-worth. 

A narcissist showing their distain for criticism.

This can hinder personal development and lead to defensive or even aggressive responses. 

Professionally, it can slow progress, and in personal relationships, it can create barriers to communication and understanding.

6.) Fragile Self-Esteem

The sixth weakness narcissists have is fragile self-esteem.

Underneath their often confident exterior, narcissists possess fragile self-esteem, heavily reliant on external validation. 

Suggested Reading: Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem?

This is a weakness because their sense of self-worth is not grounded in internal beliefs but fluctuates with external perceptions. 

Such volatility can result in mood swings, unpredictable behavior, and a dependence on others for emotional stability. 

Their need to constantly repair and uphold their self-esteem can make them exhaustingly reactive to the environment around them.

7.) Dependency on Others

The seventh weakness narcissists have is their dependency on others.

They won’t admit it, but narcissists are emotionally dependent on those around them, especially those who support their self-image. 

A narcissist showing how dependent she is on others.

This reliance means they can become easily unbalanced if those they depend upon waver in their support, leading to emotional turmoil and impulsive reactions.

So, this dependency is a weakness because, like their need for admiration, it places their well-being in the hands of others. 

8.) Unrealistic Standards

The eighth weakness narcissists have are their unrealistic standards.

Narcissists often set sky-high standards for themselves and others, and this is a weakness for two reasons.

First, these unrealistic expectations can lead to persistent feelings of dissatisfaction and resentment when they or others inevitably fall short. 

Second, such standards can isolate them, as others may feel constantly judged or belittled, resulting in strained relationships. 

Additionally, when narcissists themselves don’t meet these high benchmarks, it can lead to internal conflict and an intensified feeling of inadequacy.

9.) Jealousy of Others

The ninth weakness narcissists have is jealousy of others.

Suggested Reading: Why Do Narcissists Get So Jealous?

Their jealousy is a profound weakness because it keeps them in a perpetual state of comparison and competition. 

Instead of focusing on their journey or fostering genuine relationships, they are often preoccupied with outdoing others or feeling threatened by others’ achievements. 

This mindset can hinder genuine contentment and lead to destructive behaviors, as they often try to undermine others or place themselves in the spotlight.

10.) Manipulative Tendencies

The tenth weakness narcissists have is their manipulative tendencies

This behavior, while it might seem advantageous in the short term, is a considerable weakness in the long run. 


Well, relying on manipulation erodes trust. 

As people become aware of these tactics, they distance themselves because they don’t want to be used or deceived. 

This results in strained personal and professional relationships, and over time, the narcissist may find themselves surrounded by superficial connections.

So, much like their fear of abandonment and lack of empathy, their manipulative tendencies often leave them isolated or with a trail of broken relationships.

Suggested Reading: How Do Narcissists Manipulate You?

11.) Avoidance of Responsibility

The eleventh weakness narcissists have is their avoidance of responsibility.

This is a significant weakness for several reasons. 

Personally, it prevents self-reflection and growth; by not acknowledging and learning from mistakes, they are doomed to repeat them. 

In professional environments, this inability to take responsibility can hinder progress and create resentment among colleagues or subordinates. 

In addition to this, consistently avoiding responsibility can lead to a loss of credibility, trust, and respect from those around them.

What Should You Take Away from This Article?

While they try to paint themselves as “perfect,” narcissists have many weaknesses that hold them back. 

I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading it, and have a great rest of your day!

About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

If you’re ready to heal, visit The Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse to get started.


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