What are a narcissist’s biggest fears? You’re probably thinking, do they even have any fears because they don’t seem like they’re afraid of anything, do they? But the actual truth is that deep down, deep down inside of them, they are scared little creatures. That’s the biggest secret of all. Narcissists were traumatized at some point in their childhood. As a result, they just feel like they have to survive all the time. Narcissists are actually more scared than any of us. You are actually the stronger one. So their biggest fear is anything that’s going to uncover that. Remember that narcissists need an endless amount of what we call narcissistic supply. That’s what drives them, that’s what motivates them, that’s what motivates everything that they do. It’s like rats in a maze with a piece of cheese. They literally are going for that cheese all the time. They just want supply.
And supply can come in the form of positive things (or at least not bad things( such as a big house, expensive car, the right career, the most prestigious friends, or a healthy bank account. All of these kinds of things give a narcissist supply because it feeds their need for external validation. They’re constantly feeding this black hole. It never gets filled, but they keep feeding it. . Supply can also come in the form of degrading, devaluing, debasing people, bringing them down, cutting them down, and controlling them. All of these kinds of things also gives them a form of supply because it bolsters their ego.
So anything that is going to hurt their supply source is going to be the thing that they fear the most. Taking a look at what is going to be a threat to their supply, what will matter most is the form of supply that feeds their ego the most. For most narcissists, one of the things that means the most to them is how they look to the general public, and especially to people that they respect. So in a divorce setting, it might be to the judge or to their lawyers or to the mediator. They really don’t want to be exposed.
Their number one fear is public humiliation. They would rather die than be publicly humiliated. An example of what that may mean in a divorce setting, it might mean losing their children. A lot of times you’ll see them saying, “I want 50-50. I want to have my kids.” As much as I would love to say it’s because they love their children and they want to be with their children, more than likely it’s because they simply don’t want to be publicly humiliated that they lost custody of their children or that they didn’t get 50% of their children. That would be a public humiliation.
Of course none of us do, want to look bad. We all care about looking good and avoiding looking bad. But for a narcissist, it’s survival. It means basically death because a narcissist has no inner sense of value. For those of us who have inner sense of value, we go, “Well, that happened. That sucks, but I still know that I’m a good person. I still know that I’m a valuable person.” Narcissists don’t have that. So number one, the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, their biggest fear, is public humiliation.
Number two is a loss of admiration from their romantic partner. Remember they start off with love bombing. So all narcissists go through these stages of love bombing, devaluing, and discarding. Those are the three stages of a narcissistic relationship and they all do it. They start with love bombing first. Whether you’re dealing with a covert narcissist, a grandiose narcissist or a malignant narcissist, this is how the relationship begins. Loss of admiration from a romantic partner is a huge one for them. They must be respected. They must feel that sense of adulation. They need an endless amount of adulation, and any amount of tone or anything that seems like there’s not full on adulation is actually a besmirch to them. It’s actually against them. You’re either for them or you’re against them. (And by the way, you’re supposed to have this full on adulation and full on give them all of yourself and everything that you’re supposed to do, but not get any thanks, acknowledgement or appreciation. You’re just supposed to give, give, give, give, give, and they just are allowed to take, take, take, take, take. That’s just the price of being allowed to be in their space.
If they think that they have lost your adulation and your admiration, then they are devastated. Believe it or not. Even though they treat you so poorly. It’s so crazy because they treat you so poorly and they can’t put together that you’re not going to want to continue to admire them because you’ve treated them poorly, but yet they want you to continue to admire them. It’s a really, really messed up way of thinking but that is one of their biggest fears – oss of admiration from their romantic partner.
Number three is being rejected or going no contact, which is the thing that you have to do if you’re going to preserve your own sanity. They cannot take rejection. That’s going to inflame them. You’re going to trigger their narcissistic rage because their narcissistic injury has been exposed and so that rage is going to come unleashed. They can not take any form of you going no contact or putting up boundaries because they feel entitled. They think, “How are you doing this to me? Why are you doing this to me? I’m special!” So they’ll react by going way over and above to make it look like they aren’t being exposed in some way to appear as if they’re still in control. That’s their biggest fear of all – you rejecting them or going no contact with them. But you will have to do it eventually. You have to do it to save your soul.