Narcissism has become a major topic of interest in recent years, with more and more research emerging about this complex personality trait and its impacts on relationships.
While we all have some narcissistic tendencies, narcissistic personality disorder takes these traits to an extreme.
Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. They exploit relationships for personal gain and are often arrogant and condescending.
When involved with a narcissist, whether in a romantic relationship, as a friend, or even as a co-worker, it can have serious detrimental effects.
In this article, we will explore 33 reasons why narcissists can be so problematic and dangerous to deal with. We will look at the tactics they use to manipulate and take advantage of others, including gaslighting, triangulation, stonewalling, and more.
The sense of entitlement narcissists have leads them to be willing to exploit people without remorse. Their impulsivity and desire for control wreak havoc in relationships. Their lack of empathy and willingness to undermine others enables their abusive behaviors.
Understanding why narcissists act the way they do provides insight into protecting yourself and setting boundaries if you have the misfortune of encountering one.
Some of the reasons we will delve into include the narcissist’s inability to take accountability, their projection of blame onto others, their tendency to play the victim, and their lack of interest in personal growth.
We will also look at their obsession with getting revenge when perceiving a slight against them and their skill at presenting a likable mask to hook people in.
Additionally, we explore the narcissist’s tendency to lash out aggressively when their ego is threatened or challenged. Gaining awareness of these destructive attributes can help those dealing with narcissists recognize when they are being manipulated or abused.
While some narcissistic traits may seem harmless on the surface, they can underlie a damaging approach to relationships that serves to benefit the narcissist at the expense of others. Our in-depth exploration dives into the many facets of narcissism that make navigating any type of relationship with a narcissist fraught with risks.
We hope this article will help provide clarity and tools for those dealing with narcissists, so they can better protect themselves and make informed decisions. The insidious and pernicious nature of narcissistic abuse and manipulation cannot be underestimated, and awareness is key. Read on to learn the 33 reasons narcissists are so dangerous.
1. Narcissists Lack Empathy And Compassion For Others.
Narcissists don’t care about the impact that their actions have on others, and they don’t seek to understand anyone else’s point of view.
In fact, narcissists are so self-centered that they will often use other people as tools to get what they want: when a narcissist wants something from you (money, sex, etc.), he or she will convince you that it is in your best interest to help him/her out with whatever task requires doing — even if it means putting yourself at risk or inconveniencing yourself in some way.
Narcissists are also incapable of feeling guilt or remorse for any harm done because their sense of self-importance prevents them from seeing themselves as anything other than perfect beings who deserve everything good life has to offer!
2. Narcissists Feel Entitled To Special Treatment.
You may find yourself doing things you never thought possible, like cleaning up after them or paying their bills. Narcissists feel entitled to special treatment and make sure that they get it. They will use guilt, shame, and other tactics to manipulate you into giving them what they want.
Narcissists also expect their partner’s time, attention, and energy without reciprocating any of those things themselves — after all, why should they if no one else does? This can lead to resentment on both sides which can cause even more problems in your relationship over time!
3. Narcissists Exploit And Take Advantage Of Others.
Narcissists are always on the lookout for opportunities to exploit, manipulate, and take advantage of other people.
They may do this in a variety of ways: by asking you to do something they should be doing themselves; by taking credit for your work or ideas; by asking you for money or favors that they don’t intend to repay (or pay back in full); and so on.
In addition, narcissists often make promises that they have no intention of keeping — such as promising not to say certain things about you behind your back if only you’ll do what they want right now!
This is because narcissists see other people merely as objects who exist solely for their own benefit rather than autonomous beings with needs and desires of their own; if one object doesn’t function well enough for them anymore then there’s nothing stopping them from finding another object — or even several new ones!
4. Narcissists Are Masters Of Manipulation Tactics.
Narcissists are able to manipulate people because first, they have no empathy and second, they know how to play the victim card very well when needed.
They can convince anyone that their needs matter more than anyone else’s needs or feelings because they want what’s best for everyone involved!
A narcissist will use guilt trips, emotional blackmail, or even threats if necessary in order to get his/her way with you or others around him/her — even if it means hurting someone else in the process (and sometimes even if there are no consequences).
Because of this ability to manipulate others into doing things against their own self-interests (or worse), narcissists often succeed at getting away with things that would otherwise be considered unethical behavior by normal standards — like stealing money from charities just so they could buy themselves something nice without feeling guilty about spending charity funds on himself instead of helping those less fortunate than him; using sexual harassment tactics like cat calling women walking down streets at night who wouldn’t normally respond positively towards strangers harassing them during late hours when most people aren’t out walking around anymore anyway; making fun out loud jokes about children dying from cancer without thinking twice about how upsetting those comments may sound coming from someone else’s mouth.
5. Narcissists Engage In Triangulation.
Narcissists will often engage in triangulation, which is the act of bringing an outside person or group into a relationship to create conflict and drama.
This can be done by flirting with other people right in front of you, or it could be as simple as talking about how much they love your best friend or family member.
They do this because it makes you feel jealous and insecure, which is exactly what they want — it’s a way for them to keep control over you and make sure that no one else can have access to your heart (or whatever).
In addition, narcissists tend to isolate their victims from other sources of support so that their victims become dependent on them emotionally and financially.
6. Narcissists Are Adept At Gaslighting.
Narcissists are adept at gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that causes the victim to question their own sanity, and it’s a common tool narcissists use to control their victims.
If you think your partner is gaslighting you, there are some telltale signs:
- You find yourself constantly apologizing for things that aren’t your fault or making excuses for your partner’s behavior
- You feel like everything has been turned upside down, or that the world has turned on its head
- You feel powerless and confused about what’s happening in your relationship
7. Narcissists Project Insecurities Onto Others.
Narcissists have a hard time accepting that they are not perfect, and so they often project their own faults onto others. If you point out something about yourself that you don’t like, the narcissist will insist that it’s true of them too — even if it isn’t!
They do this because it allows them to feel better about themselves by comparison; if everyone is flawed and imperfect anyway, then it doesn’t matter how many mistakes or flaws one person has compared to another.
8. Narcissists Rage When Confronted Or Challenged.
You may have heard that narcissists are rageful, but you might not know why. PsychCentral says that narcissists have a “fragile self-esteem” and will respond with anger when their sense of superiority is challenged or threatened. In other words, they can’t handle criticism or being told no.
This makes sense when you consider what it means to be a narcissist: Your entire identity is wrapped up in being superior to others — you need them to think well of you at all times so that their admiration keeps your fragile ego intact.
When someone criticizes your behavior or disagrees with something you say, it threatens this carefully constructed facade and makes it harder for the narcissist’s true self (which we’ll talk about later) to emerge into view without being rejected by those around him/her first!
9. Narcissists Are Incapable Of Taking Accountability.
Narcissists will never admit that they are wrong and will always blame others for their mistakes, even if it means shifting the blame onto someone else. Narcissists will also make excuses for themselves when they do something wrong, sometimes claiming that what happened wasn’t actually their fault or that they had a good reason for doing it.
They always try to make themselves look good in front of other people, even if this means lying about things like how many partners they’ve been with or how much money they have spent on something like clothes or jewelry over time (or even just one day).
10. Narcissists Blame Others For Their Mistakes And Wrongdoings.
When a narcissist makes a mistake, they will not admit it was their fault and they will instead try to blame others.
For example, if a narcissist gets into an argument with someone else or hurts their feelings by saying something inappropriate or mean-spirited (and they know it), they may claim that the other person started this whole thing and was completely at fault for doing so!
The narcissist will say things like “You always make me angry” or “You’re always trying to start fights with me.”
The truth is that most people don’t like conflict; however, if someone does get upset over something you’ve done wrong then chances are there’s probably some good reason why this person feels hurt because of your actions towards him/her — especially if he/she isn’t normally prone towards emotional outbursts like yours tend towards being! So next time before blaming others for problems caused by yourself think twice about whether or not those accusations are really true…
11. Narcissists Feel The Need To Get Revenge For Perceived Slights.
You can’t win with a narcissist. They will always find something to be upset about, and if you don’t give them what they want, they will take it out on you.
Narcissists feel the need to get revenge for perceived slights — even if those “slights” are just something that makes them feel bad about themselves.
If someone criticizes their work or appearance, for example, they may go out of their way to make sure that person knows that he or she was wrong in some way: by purposely making mistakes at work (or doing poorly on tests), dressing badly in front of others so everyone notices how poorly dressed this person is compared with himself/herself (and therefore how much better than him/her).
12. Narcissists Engage In Smear Campaigns To Ruin Reputations.
Narcissists are notorious for engaging in smear campaigns to ruin the reputation of anyone who attempts to stand up against them or leave their influence.
They will use their network of friends and family members as pawns in order to do this, often enlisting people who have little knowledge of what’s really going on so that they can more easily be manipulated into believing lies about you.
This is especially dangerous for those who are still in contact with narcissists because these types of people will often use your own words against you — even if they’ve been completely taken out of context — to paint an unflattering picture of yourself.
13. Narcissists Spread Gossip And Lies About People.
Narcissists are known for spreading rumors about other people, particularly their romantic partners and family members. They’ll often do this in order to make themselves look better or to get revenge on someone who has hurt them.
This can be very damaging for the person being gossiped about because it may ruin their reputation in the community if they’re accused of doing something that isn’t true.
The narcissist also uses these lies as ammunition against his/her partner when they want to hurt them later on down the line by reminding them of all those nasty things that were said about them behind closed doors!
14. Narcissists Chronically Lie And Deceive.
Narcissists lie to cover their tracks and make themselves look good, but they also lie for no apparent reason at all. They have a pathological need for attention, so they will lie about anything if it means getting the attention of others — even if that means making up stories about themselves being stalked by aliens or having an imaginary friend named “Mr. Happy.”
This can be very confusing for those around them who are trying to understand what’s actually going on in their lives when they meet new people who seem like normal humans but then turn out not only to be narcissists but also pathological liars!
15. Narcissists Idealize Romantic Partners Then Devalue Them.
This is a classic narcissist behavior, and it can be seen in many relationships with narcissists. The idealization phase is when they first meet you and find out that you’re everything they’ve been looking for in a partner.
They love everything about you and think about the world of their new partner, who seems perfect in every way to them. However, as time goes on this changes; eventually they start to see flaws in their new partner which leads them to devalue them until eventually there are no more positive feelings left at all (at least not towards that person).
This cycle often repeats itself with multiple different people over time because narcissists don’t want anyone getting too close or having too much power over them — especially if those individuals threaten any image of perfectionism within themselves (which could lead others astray).
16. Narcissists Discard People Once They Become Useless.
People who are extremely narcissistic and manipulative will often use people for their own gain, before discarding them when they no longer serve a purpose.
This can include friends, family members, and even romantic partners who have been manipulated into believing that the narcissist is their soulmate or life partner.
It’s not uncommon for these individuals to leave behind broken-hearted victims who were once completely devoted to them as well as those who have given up hope in ever finding love again because of how badly they were treated by this person.
17. Narcissists Need Excessive Control In Relationships.
Narcissists are the type of people who will not let their partner do anything without their permission and approval, no matter how small or insignificant the task may seem.
If you are dating a narcissist, then you will always feel like your life is being dictated by them. You won’t be allowed to make any decisions on your own because they want all of the power in every situation they are involved in — including your relationship with them!
This can lead to some serious problems later down the road if things don’t work out between him/her and yourself; if this happens then it would be best if there’s some sort of contract between both parties stating that neither party can talk about past experiences or share personal details about each other (especially online).
18. Narcissists Lack Emotional Intimacy With Partners.
It’s one thing to be close friends with someone, but it’s another for you and your partner to share an emotional connection. Narcissists are unable to do this because their narcissism prevents them from getting in touch with their feelings or expressing them in a healthy way.
They may try to appear as they care about you, but when push comes to shove and something goes wrong in the relationship or if there is any kind of conflict between the two of you (even if it’s over something trivial), narcissists will shut down emotionally and withdraw from their partners without giving them an explanation as to why they’re doing so.
This is what makes narcissists so dangerous — they lack empathy and fail at giving support during times of need because they don’t know how else but through words alone; there’s no way for anyone else who isn’t also a narcissist themselves to understand what exactly went wrong between both parties involved until after those individuals have already broken up!
19. Narcissists Constantly Seek Validation From New Sources.
You may have noticed that narcissists tend to be very good at getting what they want. They can manipulate people into doing what they want with ease, and no one has any idea how to stop them. This is because narcissists are constantly seeking validation from new sources.
Narcissists need constant praise in order for their egos to remain intact, so if someone doesn’t give this praise or is critical of them in any way (even if it’s a minor criticism), the narcissist will seek out another source who will give him/her praise instead.
20. Narcissists Are Never Satisfied In Relationships.
They’re always looking for something better, a bigger and better deal. Their partner is never good enough, so they are always trying to find someone else who will be.
This can lead them to cheat on their partner or even leave them altogether if they think there’s someone else out there who can give them what they want (and deserve).
They also tend not to care about anything but themselves — they don’t want anyone else’s feelings getting hurt or being upset by anything that happens between the two of you because it doesn’t affect them at all!
21. Narcissists Become Aggressive When Ego Is Threatened.
When narcissists feel their ego is threatened, they become aggressive and hostile. This is because the narcissist has a fragile ego that needs constant validation from others.
When a person threatens or criticizes the narcissist’s sense of superiority, it can trigger rage reactions in them. This is why narcissists often lash out at their partners when they feel their ego has been hurt by something they did or said.
Narcissists are also known to use projection as a way of deflecting blame away from themselves when they feel attacked or criticized by others — even if there is no real reason for doing so! The following example illustrates this point: “If I criticize her for being late all the time then maybe she won’t criticize me for being late all the time.”
22. Narcissists Undermine And Sabotage Partners.
Narcissists see themselves as superior to their partners, so it’s no surprise that they’re often jealous of them. This can translate into a desire to undermine or sabotage the relationship in various ways — for instance, by withholding affection and sex from the partner out of jealousy or being overly critical of them in front of other people.
In addition, narcissists may use their partners as “safe containers” for negative emotions such as anger or sadness; this way they don’t have to feel negative emotions themselves!
23. Narcissists View Relationships As Transactional.
They don’t care about your feelings or needs, and they expect you to care about theirs — and if you don’t, then there will be hell to pay. If it’s not about them and what they want, then why even bother having a relationship with you?
This makes narcissists incredibly selfish people who will use anyone who comes into their lives for their own personal gain. If someone isn’t useful or interesting anymore, chances are that person will be discarded without much thought or remorse on the narcissist’s part; after all, there are plenty of other fish in the sea!
24. Narcissists Play The Victim.
In the same way that narcissists use gaslighting to make you doubt your own sanity, they also play the victim. They will tell you that you’re the one who is abusive and manipulative — even though they are doing all of those things to you.
In fact, narcissists often make victims feel so guilty for being angry or upset at their behavior that they start apologizing for having normal human emotions in response to their abuse.
This only serves to reinforce a toxic dynamic where the abuser gets away with whatever they want while also getting validation from their victims’ apologies!
25. Narcissists Are Resistant To Change And Growth.
Narcissists are resistant to change and growth because they believe that they are perfect as-is, so there’s no need for them to grow or improve themselves in any way.
This mindset makes them very difficult people with whom to have a relationship; if you try to get them out of their comfort zone (or even suggest it), they’ll likely react negatively towards you and shut down further discussion on the topic entirely.
26. Narcissists Lack Self-Awareness About The Impact Of Behavior.
Narcissists lack self-awareness about the impact of their behavior on others, so they don’t think twice about doing something that might hurt someone else.
They can be completely oblivious to how their actions affect other people and will often say things like “I didn’t mean anything by it” or “That’s just who I am.”
This lack of self-awareness extends beyond just saying hurtful things — it also means that narcissists don’t understand how their actions affect other people emotionally or physically either. They may not even realize that they’ve done something wrong until someone points out their mistake!
27. Narcissists Feel Entitled To Special Privileges.
Narcissists are so dangerous because they feel entitled to special privileges and expect you to give them what they want, when they want it.
This can include insisting on getting their way in all situations, even if it means hurting someone else’s feelings or damaging a relationship by acting out with anger or violence because of it not being their way.
Narcissists believe that they should be treated differently than everyone else because they’re more important than everyone else — and that’s why narcissism is so dangerous; because it leads people down paths where they start thinking like this.
28. Narcissists Take More Than They Give In Relationships.
They are often unaware of the needs of others and therefore don’t bother meeting them, even when it comes to their partner or spouse. Narcissists have no empathy for others, so they don’t try to understand what other people need from them.
They may also be unable to see how their behavior affects other people or how it could be hurtful — for example, if you tell your narcissist partner that something he did upset you and ask him not to do it again, he might not even remember what he did (or care).
This lack of understanding makes narcissists incapable of caring about anyone else’s feelings or needs unless it benefits them directly — and even then only until they’ve gotten what they wanted out of that person!
29. Narcissists Use “Hoovering” To Reel Partners Back In.
Hoovering is a term coined by clinical psychologist and author Dr. Joe Carver to describe the way narcissists try to re-engage their partners after they’ve been discarded or left.
It’s named after Hoover vacuum cleaners, which were popular in the mid-20th century and whose suction power was so strong that they could pull dirt from deep within rugs and carpets — and sometimes even suck up entire rooms!
Hoovering can take many forms: phone calls, emails, text messages (including those sent late at night), visits to your home or workplace — or all of these things combined together into one grandiose gesture designed specifically for its irresistibility factor.
Narcissists are master manipulators who know how to make themselves look good so as not only get back into our lives but also keep us there indefinitely under false pretenses of love and commitment when really it’s only about getting what they want out of us again (usually money).
30. Narcissists Engage In Stalking And Harassment.
Stalking and harassment are common among narcissists. They may send emails, texts, or letters to the victim’s home or work address and phone number.
They also can hack into their victims’ social media accounts in order to monitor their activity and post false information in order to embarrass them. Narcissists may even break into the victim’s house while they’re away on vacation, just so they can feel closer to them!
Narcissistic stalkers tend not only to be obsessed with their victims but also jealous of them; they often accuse their partners of having affairs when there is no evidence for it whatsoever (or sometimes even when there is).
This kind of behavior is called “erotomania” — a condition where an individual believes someone else loves them romantically when this isn’t true at all!
31. Narcissists Leave Permanent Emotional Damage On Partners.
Narcissists are dangerous because they can cause permanent emotional damage to their partners. They may not be able to hurt you physically, but they will leave scars on your heart that take years to heal.
Narcissists have no problem with lying, cheating, and stealing from others. And when it comes down to it, narcissists don’t care about anyone except themselves — even if those people are their own children or parents.
They simply don’t have any empathy for other people’s feelings; therefore, there is no limit as far as how low a narcissist will sink in order to achieve their ultimate goal: winning at all costs!
32. Narcissists Are Skilled At Hiding Their True Selves Initially.
Narcissists are predators. They know how to manipulate their prey and lure them in with false promises, only to turn around and destroy them when they have no further use for them.
Narcissists are skilled at hiding their true selves initially, which makes it difficult for victims to recognize what’s happening until it’s too late.
Narcissists will often put on a facade of being kind and caring individuals who are looking out for everyone else’s best interests, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! The only person they care about is themselves — and if you get in their way? Well then sorry but you’re gonna get burned!
33. Narcissists Are Adept At Coercive Control And Financial Abuse In Relationships
Narcissists often seek to establish complete power and control in their intimate relationships through coercive and manipulative tactics, including financial abuse. Here are some examples of how this can play out:
– Isolating their partner financially — They may prevent their partner from working, limit their access to bank accounts, and keep them on a strict “allowance” to limit their independence. A narcissist wants their partner to be completely financially reliant on them.
– Sabotaging their partner’s employment — A narcissist may cause their partner to lose jobs by showing up unannounced, constantly calling, or otherwise interfering with their work to exert control. They may also spread lies to get their partner fired.
– Running up debt in their partner’s name — Narcissists may open credit cards in their partner’s name or force them to take out loans and then max out the balances. This damages their partner’s credit and financial options.
– Hiding assets — A narcissist may hide income, account balances, investments, and other assets from their partner so they cannot access funds to leave. Lying about their true financial picture is a tactic to trap their partner.
– Refusing to contribute financially — Some narcissists will refuse to get a job or contribute fair finances to the household expenses, leaving their partner stressed and struggling to keep up. It puts the partner in a financially vulnerable position.
– Withholding access to necessities — As punishment or control, a narcissist may change passwords, cancel credit cards, and block access to money needed for groceries, utilities, medical care, or other necessities.
In essence, narcissists employ financial abuse tactics to maintain dominance, generate dependence, and prevent their partners from having the resources to leave. It is a dangerous extension of their controlling behaviors in relationships.
After exploring the 33 reasons narcissists can wreak havoc in relationships, it is clear how dangerous involving yourself with a narcissist can be.
From their stunning lack of empathy to their vengeful rage when feeling threatened, narcissists reveal themselves to be toxic and abusive. They drain relationships through their constant need for validation, yet are incapable of true intimacy and reciprocity.
The cunning ways narcissists exploit and manipulate others demonstrate how important it is to recognize the red flags early on. Their sense of entitlement, lack of accountability, and skill at deception make establishing boundaries and standing up for yourself essential. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, seeking help through counseling and support groups can provide tools to protect yourself.
Though narcissists can seem charming and likable at first, their true self-serving motives expose themselves over time. Their desire to control and dominate reveals an internal fragility that manifests as undermining and sabotaging their partners. Learning about techniques like gray rocking and no contact can minimize the trauma when dealing with a narcissist. While covering up their deeply ingrained issues, beneath the surface narcissists harbor pain, rage, and shame that drive their egregious behaviors.
Understanding the roots of narcissism provides insight but does not excuse their harmful actions. Providing narcissists with compassion only fuels their sense of entitlement and lack of motivation for change. Protecting your physical and emotional well-being from further narcissistic damage needs to be the priority when assessing whether to remain in a relationship.
If you see aspects of your own behavior reflected in some of these reasons, be willing to take accountability and pursue growth. Our culture breeds narcissism, but we can challenge that with self-awareness, empathy, and a commitment to evolving.
By recognizing the humanity in others as equal to ourselves, we cultivate true self-esteem beyond ego. Doing the inner work provides the antidote to narcissism’s dangerous traits.