So, you want to know what narcissists hate the most. While I wouldn’t suggest you use the information I’m about to give you to push a narcissist’s buttons, I completely understand if that is why you’ve landed on this article.

The ten things narcissists hate the most are criticism, being ignored, not being in control, being rejected or abandoned, boundaries, not being the center of attention, being held accountable, aging, the success of others, and being challenged.

In this article, I will guide you through these ten things that narcissists hate so you can better understand narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

1.) Criticism

The first item on my list of things that narcissists hate the most is criticism.

Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

Suggested Reading: How Do Narcissists React to Criticism?

Narcissists hate being criticized, even if it is meant to be constructive because they view criticism as an attack on their identity.

This is because narcissists hold an inflated view of themselves. 

This view is commonly referred to as a grandiose sense of self-importance, and it causes them to perceive themselves as superior.

A narcissist acting superior toward others.

This false self-perception that narcissists have is an integral part of their identity.

Therefore, criticism is seen as an attack on their identity because it contradicts their sense of superiority and grandiose self-perception.

2.) Being Ignored

The second item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is being ignored.

This is because narcissists have what researchers call fragile high self-esteem.

Suggested Reading: Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem?

Meaning that their feelings of self-worth are unstable, uncertain, based on unrealistically positive self-views, and entirely dependent on external validation.

When a narcissist is ignored, they are deprived of the external validation they need to maintain a sense of self-worth.

Without external validation, the painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions they have suppressed within themselves get triggered and cause a lot of psychological tension.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, I am referring to the feelings of being unlovable, unwanted, inadequate, worthless, and weak that narcissists struggle with.

So when they are ignored and deprived of validation, they can no longer maintain a sense of self-worth, and as a result of this, they get reminded of all the painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions they hate.

3.) Not Being In Control

The third item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is not being in control.

Control is a significant aspect of a narcissist’s interactions and relationships.

Suggested Reading: 8 Ways Narcissists React When They Can’t Control You

This is because being in control allows them to direct narratives and situations to align with their self-perception and desires. 

Not being in control makes them feel exposed and vulnerable because they cannot ensure that their external environment reinforces their grandiose self-image. 

This lack of control can be uncomfortable for narcissists and trigger the painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions they have suppressed within themselves, particularly the feelings of inadequacy and weakness they struggle with regularly. 

4.) Being Rejected or Abandoned

The fourth item on my list is rejection or abandonment.

I mentioned this in a previous section of this article, but a narcissist’s sense of self-worth depends entirely on external validation. 

A narcissist begging for validation.

As a result, the stability of their self-esteem is primarily dictated by how others perceive and treat them. 

Because of this, rejection or abandonment can significantly harm a narcissist’s self-perception and trigger their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

5.) Boundaries

The fifth item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is boundaries.

This is because boundaries prevent them from having total control over others.

Suggested Reading: 7 Ways Narcissists Respond to the Boundaries That You Set

You can even go as far as to say narcissists view boundaries as personal attacks because they challenge their sense of authority and superiority.

And as I mentioned earlier, when a narcissist isn’t in control or feels personally attacked, they get reminded of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions, such as being unwanted, worthless, and weak.

6.) Not Being the Center of Attention

The sixth item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is when they aren’t the center of attention.

Remember, a narcissist’s sense of self-worth depends entirely on external validation. To get this validation, they need attention.

So, when the spotlight is on someone else, it can cause a narcissist to feel threatened, devalued, and overlooked. 

This might manifest as jealousy, bitterness, or resentment towards those receiving attention. 

But the result is that their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions get triggered and cause them to spiral into the depths of desperation and despair.

7.) Being Held Accountable

The seventh item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is being held accountable for their actions.

Accepting responsibility for mistakes or wrongdoing can threaten their self-perception of perfection and superiority, leading to feelings of shame and inadequacy. 

A narcissist refusing to be held accountable for her actions.

Narcissists use tactics such as denial, blame shifting, and gaslighting to manipulate others into justifying, rationalizing, and ultimately, normalizing their behavior to protect themselves from being held accountable.

By doing so, they can maintain their image of perfection and evade the feelings of guilt and shame, which they hate with a passion, that can result from acknowledging their errors or wrongdoings.

8.) Getting Old

The eighth item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is getting old.

For most narcissists, physical appearance plays a significant role in their self-esteem and the validation they seek from others. 

Suggested Reading: 3 Reasons That Narcissists Get Worse As They Get Older

As such, the natural aging process can be particularly distressing because it can directly threaten their self-worth and the validation they receive. 

It is common for narcissists to go to great lengths to try to preserve their youthful appearance, but nobody can escape the effects of Father Time, which is why narcissists typically hate getting old.

9.) The Success of Others

The ninth item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is the success of others.

This is because one of the biggest ways that narcissists maintain their grandiose self-perception is by viewing themselves as superior to others.

When others achieve success, it can feel like a threat to this sense of superiority and make narcissists feel insecure because the success of others contradicts their belief of being the best or the most important. 

A narcissist angry because someone else won.

This often manifests in their having difficulty genuinely celebrating others’ accomplishments, especially if those successes outshine their own. 

In response, narcissists might attempt to downplay or dismiss the success of others, divert attention to their achievements, or even undermine the person who has succeeded, all to protect their inflated self-perception.

10.) Being Challenged

The tenth item on my list of things narcissists hate the most is being challenged.

Again, this is because of their inflated self-perception.

They see themselves as superior in every regard and the ultimate authority and believe their opinions, beliefs, and decisions are the best. 

Being challenged disrupts this perception and feels like an attack on their self-worth. 

This can result in defensive behaviors such as dismissiveness, arrogance, hostility, or even personal attacks against the one who challenged them. 

What Should You Take Away from This Article?

So there you have it, the top ten things narcissists hate the most. This article was for educational purposes only. I do not want you to use this information to push a narcissist’s buttons, but I completely understand if you have the urge to do so.

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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