8 Things a Narcissist Absolutely Hates, According to a Psychologist

Narcissistic man clenching his fist angrily

When it comes to movies and TV shows, there’s no shortage of storylines that feature narcissistic characters—from Gaston in Beauty in the Beast, to Frank Underwood in House of Cards, to Mitch Hiller in Enough and Stephen DeMarco in Tell Me Lies. These fictional roles embody someone who is highly manipulative and controlling, lacks empathy and who can be overly charming in public, but acts like a completely different person behind closed doors.

For those who have never actually met anyone who’s been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), those qualities listed may seem like they’re an exaggerated depiction, seeing how many people misuse the word and think a narcissist is just someone who is vain or incredibly confident.

However, experts say those traits mentioned have not been overly exaggerated in Hollywood. In fact, in real life, they are just some of the qualities someone with NPD can have. Narcissists can also have interpersonally exploitative behavior, be incredibly sensitive to criticism, embody a sense of entitlement, have an obsession with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or love, and be extremely abusive physically, verbally, emotionally and financially. Because of this, they can be very dangerous.

To learn more, we spoke to licensed clinical psychologist and narcissistic abuse expert, Jaime Zuckerman of The Z Group. She breaks down some of the things that anger people with NPD the most, as well as what they absolutely hate. That way, you can not only start to understand the complexity of the personality disorder, but you can also see just how far a narcissist will go so that, hopefully, you won’t fall for their games.

Related: 10 Classic Mind Games Narcissists Play in a Relationship, According to Psychologists

What Angers a Narcissist the Most?

There are a handful of things that make someone with NPD upset. According to Zuckerman, the four major things that really get under the skin of a narcissist are:

  • When people see the blueprint pattern of their behaviors and try to figure them out.

  • When people set boundaries with them.

  • When they are called out and held accountable for their actions.

  • When someone starts to become independent from them.

Related: 13 Perfect Responses to a Narcissist's Texts, According to Psychologists

8 Things a Narcissist Absolutely Hates, According to a Psychologist

In most relationships (whether they be romantic or platonic), people try to figure out what sort of things someone likes and what makes them happy.

However, Zuckerman says if you affiliate with a narcissist, it’s actually best to do the opposite. Why? Knowing what things they don’t like, will give you a heads up on how someone with NPD will react to certain situations and help keep you safe. “Once you understand them, you’ll be able to anticipate their responses (rage, silent treatments, smearing your character), while simultaneously being able to formulate boundaries within that abusive relationship,” she points out.

Related: 8 Signs You Have a Toxic Mother and How To Heal—According to Psychologists

Here are eight things narcissists absolutely hate:

1. Being held accountable for their actions

If you ever call a narcissist out on something they did wrong, they won’t appreciate the note. In most cases, they will try to turn it around on you. “They will use gaslighting and other tactics to convince you it’s your fault,” Zuckerman says. “They can’t and won’t look inward at their own limitations.”

2. When someone else steals the spotlight

One trait of a narcissist is their love of attention. Therefore, when it’s taken away from them, they react. “Not being the center of attention and/or having to share it is something they hate,” Zuckerman tells Parade. “This is why narcissists will routinely ruin or start arguments on special days that aren’t uniquely theirs, or that they have nothing to do with, such as your graduation, your wedding day or a celebration to highlight a job promotion you got.”

Related: 11 Manipulation Tactics Narcissists Use—and How To Spot the Earliest Signs, According to Relationship Experts

3. Not having access to someone

If you have a close relationship with a narcissist, you’ve probably noticed that they get very angry when you’re not accessible to them when they want you to be. “Whether it be physically, emotionally or cognitively, someone with NPD views others as objects that belong to them,” Zuckerman reveals. “That’s why they feel it’s their right to have access to you and get upset when they don’t.”

4. When you don’t need their financial support

Narcissists like it when their partner (or someone in their life) depends on them for money. So, if things suddenly change and that person gets a job, or starts hanging out with someone else who buys them things, it really gets to them. “When you are financially independent it angers someone who has NPD because money is a common control tactic,” Zuckerman shares.

Related: 35 Phrases To Disarm a Narcissist and Why They Do the Trick, According to Therapists

5. When you want to spend time with a big group of friends

Did you know that narcissists aren’t fans of you hanging out with big groups of people? Zuckerman says they actually prefer to spend time with you one-on-one because it’s harder for them to use their manipulation tactics on you otherwise. “They don’t like it when you have a social support network,” she explains. “Those with NPD will attempt to isolate you from family and friends. This makes it easier for them to control you and make you dependent on them.”

6. When you want to become independent from them

A person with NPD isn’t usually drawn to someone with a super-independent personality. “Generally speaking, any movement of their partner/child/friend towards self-sufficiency is viewed as a personal attack or abandonment by a narcissist,” Zuckerman tells Parade. “They hate when someone has their own interests and hobbies. Basically, anything that makes you self-sufficient makes them feel they have less control.”

Related: What Exactly Is a 'Covert Narcissist'?

7. Being confronted with the truth about themselves

This is one sure way to make a narcissist see red! Zuckerman tells Parade that narcissists hate being exposed for who they are and what they do. When this happens, she says it often brings about extreme anger and rage because they take no accountability for their behaviors and their entitlement.

8. Criticism of any kind

While most people aren’t fans of being criticized, they can usually handle constructive criticism—some even appreciate it. However, not a narcissist. “A person with NPD hates any type of criticism,” Zuckerman informs Parade. “Even constructive criticism is viewed as a personal attack. They will be overly sensitive to criticism as well as anything perceived as criticism. Often times they have difficulty holding a job and/or having deep connections with others because of this.”

Next: 9 Ways Dating a Narcissist Changes You and How To Heal, According to Therapists