Why are Narcissists so Angry?

Courtesy Photo Stock

Courtesy Photo Stock

At the beginning of the relationship a narcissist is in need of constant attention, admiration, and approval.  Much like a child he or she is dependent; any sign of disapproval transforms the charming angel into a sadist.  As children, most narcissists grew up in families where explosive behavior and verbal and physical abuse were common.  Many experienced a consistent sense of dread that things would go badly and they would not survive.  To avoid feelings of failure and inadequacy they learned at an early age to control others with rage.  The narcissist tends to be anxious by temperament.  Self-hatred, feelings of powerlessness, fear of abandonment, and emotional deprivation are sources that fuel their rigid, systemic pattern of abuse.  Eventually attempts to control these feelings fail because the anxiety is within them, not in their environment.  The narcissist resents dependence on others for attention.  The frustration between an all-pervasive dependence on adulation and any perceived lack of subservience makes him or her prone to outbursts.

The narcissist cannot feel others pain and will never put a partner’s needs above theirs.  Anger and jealousy are the only authentic emotions they ever experience.  They are incapable of acknowledging how their cruelty hurts others and erupt compulsively without regard to the negative consequences.  The most devastating part of being involved in a narcissistic relationship is you love them and they don’t care.  Brief periods of stopping fury may occur out of concern for losing a mate or until a replacement can be found, but eventually the narcissist will be off again on another tantrum.  Control over anger is lost as a relationship progresses, much like the progression of drug addiction.  The narcissist is addicted to the rush of negative excitement and the look of pain on the face of a victim.  They sometimes pick fights for the high.  A partner’s trapped desperation makes the emotional sadist feel self-important and all-powerful.    The abuse becomes increasingly cruel as the partners self-esteem is no longer under their control.  Anger, revenge and vengefulness destroy any chance for happiness.  This power over people provides pleasure as they pull you into their shadow.

Narcissists are often preoccupied with resentment and fantasies of retaliation which continually leads to uncontrollable outbursts.  Most are professional martyrs who dramatize their lives to manipulate, deflect responsibility, and feel special.  The academy award-winning displays of emotion is not caring or empathy, it’s a trap.

“Stonewalling” or resounding silence are a favorite sadistic weapon meant to punish you for disagreeing with him or her.  The person is left feeling abandoned, unheard, undesirable, and insignificant.  The emotional abuse tends to happen every day and the effects are insidious and cumulative.  Living in an emotional combat zone, partners lose dignity and become unable to think, feel or act autonomously.  The narcissist’s voice becomes so well internalized in his prey that he no longer needs to say anything to control their submission. The heartless infliction of emotional pain contributes to a partner’s hyper-vigilant stress response and frequent mood swings.   The sadistic narcissist delights in cruelty and is vindicated in anger.  Anything short of obedience is not tolerated.  Why are narcissists so angry?  Because narcissists hate themselves and are true cowards with empty souls.   They are forced to suck the joy out those they take hostage to feel alive.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes put an end to relationship abuse.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

 Roberta

 

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27 thoughts on “Why are Narcissists so Angry?

  1. I have been reading about narcissism for the last year or so. I have been in a relationship with a man for the past 7 years. Until recently he didn’t call it a relationship, he called it a situation. In the 7 years that I have been involved with him I have had been talked down to and had my successes demeaned. He has never wished me happy birthday on my birthday and has become very irate when I have brought it up. He gets upset when I do things that do not involve him and reacts dismissively to any god news that I have, comments such as ‘well that’s good’, ‘great’, ‘that’s nice” re part of our daily conversations. In April he accused me of cheating with my boss, I responded with a text where I would normally call. He text me to tell me that he was going to block me and that was his last call or text to me. I responded with silence. He sent a text to me the night accusing me of being with him for money and marriage. He also called me a broke a** b**** and a broke down b*****, again I responded with silence. For the next week or so, he called everyday and in the voicemails he said he did not understand what had happened. Throughout our relationship, I have expressed my feelings in regards to his attitude towards me, he has called me a cry baby, even laughed when I seem upset and dismissive of my feelings. When I have said I love you, he says he only says I love you when he wants to not when I expect it. He eventually showed up at my house with a card and tears in his eyes. He expressed he loved me, and he promised that he would be the man of my dreams. I felt a panic and against my better judgment we continued on. In the 7 years , I had never met his mom, dad, friends or family. The excuse: things just weren’t lining up for an introduction. He never showed an interest in my family. Now we are 8 months into this ‘relationship. I have met his mom and his family but have been told by him when I asked if I should invite his mom and sister for lunch, that they prefer to get to know me at family gatherings instead. I am miserable, he did not keep any of his promises. Instead, he is back to the same way, indifferent, dismissive and contemptuous of me. I can’t seem to walk away despite all that he has done to me. I feel like nobody most of the time and in constant emotional pain. I need to walk away but can’t seem to do so. Anything you say will help me………

    • Dear Miranda,

      Loving individuals can have the hardest time exiting an abusive relationship. It has been some time since you have written to me and I hope you have found some relief. Negatively judging your process of leaving this nightmare is being unkind to yourself. Most victims go back and forth before they walk away from the insanity. If you are still struggling I would get some support from a therapist to help you with no contact. In any situation where we are not being valued the message/lesson is always that we need to value ourselves. My heart goes out to you as does I’m sure many of my readers. You have met one of your life’s greatest teachers about what love is not. I am wishing you absolute loving, joyous, nurturing, self-acceptance.

      Best Regards,
      Roberta

  2. Thank you so much for this piece, it is indeed what I have been looking for. I come from an African background where most men behave in this narcissistic manner and it’s just generally accepted as a man thing . I grew up from a healthy home but got married to someone from a broken home who witnessed a lot of physical and mental abuse. He used to blame his parents for a lot of things and it was actually 4 years ago that i got him to reconcile with dad. Mum was a very good woman (now late) and every description she gave of her ex husband is better imagined than said, there was too much bitterness. At some point she actually said her only son (my husband ) was beginning to act like him…
    In a nutshell we have been married for 11 and I had been physically abused twice, now 9 years ago. The silent treatment is his speciality, the longest was 3 months (last year), just 3 months after I had our last child. Thank God for my wonderful family and friends around me who didn’t make me feel it that much. That was what finally made me realise I wasn’t dealing with a normal person. He always finds a way to blame me for the things he did wrong, even when the excuse is absolutely senseless. He has no control over his emotions and would even get angry with little children. He tries to play the very nice guy outside who is always helpful and thus gets used and dumped frequently by friends. He hates the truth no matter how you say it.
    Now that he knows that I have figured him out and can no longer tolerate his childishness, he has even become nastier when he starts the silent treatment. The only thing I no longer do is beg him because I have realised he is the one with the problem not me. I am a very strong personality and with a very forgiving heart as well, I am not the type that gives up on anything and he also knows that about me and I bet he thinks I can’t walk out of the marriage, what a mistake. I sometimes wonder whether this qualities are a problem to him. His good friends always tell him how lucky he is to find such woman but as it is now am not sure if I can hang around for long. I am scared that my kids may get scarred too. I know I deserve a lot better than him but the kids love their dad even though they say there are somethings they don’t like about him. I just can’t stand the bitterness and anger that eats him up.
    When he wants to be good he can be good, but then not until he has been told off for doing something wrong or stood up to, the story changes . He would sometimes quickly make peace but most times he goes on the silent treatment.
    For anyone who is just starting this type a relationship, the word is RUN

    • Dear Sade,

      Thank you for sharing about your painful relationship. I apologize for such a long response time but hope you have been able to make some changes. The silent treatment is incredibly abusive. Your eyes are wide open and I believe you will do what is right for you and your children. Abuse is a deal breaker. I am wishing you much grace and continued courage.

      Best Regards,
      Roberta

  3. That was my relationship with my husband m, we were together for 20yrs. I met him when I was 16. I divorced him this year, I would like to say that it was easy but it was not. I’ve had to retrain my brain, instead of saying “he likes this”, or “doesn’t like this” or “I can’t because he doesn’t like it”, his voice is so strong in my head I can still hear it with every decision I make. I am focused on learning what I like and dislike now, it’s still so very hard!
    Thanks for your post it makes so much sense!

  4. I am unsure if I am married to a narcissist. I am and have been in love with her for over 10 years. Our 10 year anniversary is this March. My career choices and life choices have always been made out of consideration for her and I have been proud of that. Sometimes I cant even start a conversation without her getting angry and telling me my intentions are an attack on her in some way. Often this is completely opposite of what I am trying to say to her. If I disagree with her in any of her frequent accusations, she shifts to going through a laundry list of my wrongs. Most of these are not at all accurate and completely distorted. It seems like a temper tantrum from a 6 year old to me. She uses accuses me of always and never doing this or that. I can do a dozen thoughtful things for her, but it is all erased by one thing that is below her expectations. The perceived slight against her is all that she can think about me. My nature is to be patent and thoughtful and do not escalate these accusations into an argument. I will just wait it out and hope that she calms down and thinks about how outrageous and hurtful the things she said were. I would never lob an attack on her of that kind, because I love her and do not want to see her hurt. If she apologizes later it feels great and I really forgive completely, but it rarely happens now. I always thought that we were meant for each other because I have a gift for patience(It is a very conscious effort), and she is very hot blooded. I can take it even when it hurts, because I empathize with others and believe she is a good person that has problems handling anger. She is just getting it out is what I thought. Other times she is wonderful and seems caring towards me and the kids. It led me to believe that this was just her personality and only a surface level problem that I am willing to live with because I am deeply committed and love my wife.
    I recently found out that she had a one night stand when traveling for work. She knew this was the thing that would hurt me more than anything in this world. I found out something had happened because I looked at her phone and she was telling a friend how sad she was that it did not work out for her, after seeing someone else at work have an affair and later get married. I gently put my hand on her shoulder and woke her up by saying her name. After asking if she has been truthful with me(we had a heart to heart a week earlier and promised to forgive each other for anything we hold against the other and to be completely open, and treat each other better going forward), she got up and looked at her phone. I had left the message up on the screen. She did not acknowledge to message, but was furious that I woke her, and that I looked at her phone. My world felt like it crumbled. I did not ever think she was capable of hurting me so much. I looked at her phone because we talked about not having any boundaries with accounts such, like when we first were married. My heart was heavy that night for some reason, and I was looking for something to make me feel good before going to sleep. Thinking she might be saying something good about me for a change since we had been so caring towards each other lately.
    After the cat was out of the bag we talked and she accused me of being emotionally abusive towards her. She told me the one night stand(made out with a woman and felt each others boobs up over their clothes) was when she was drunk, and that she did it out of spite. This was over a year ago. She also said that she had been in love with a woman and was having an emotional affair, but the woman did not feel that way about her. That she had been fantasizing about leaving me and being with the woman where they would not be mean to each other and not have any kids or stress and a perfectly clean house all the time. She has been telling her friends, one of whom is my cousin, that I am basically awful and that I am emotionally abusive. She has been telling them for a while that she is planning on leaving me. She told me that when she would tell me she was sorry for things, that she didn’t mean it. I love her more than she can possibly understand. I would walk through fire for her, and stand with her through anything that came our way in life. Including mental illness. Before this revelation, I thought that unfaithfulness was the only thing that would be to far to recover from.
    I’m going to try to see if this marriage can be saved. If it is at all possible. I understand narcissism is difficult to treat, but do not know if that is the problem or if it is anger. She seems unable to forgive anything even if she says she does. I think she seriously still gets furious thinking about me leaving the toilet seat up 8 years ago and at times can only see me in reference to what I have done wrong in her opinion. She can be what I consider verbally abusive to the kids within minutes of coming home from work.(usually if they are playing loudly or left their toys on the floor) Sometimes we wake up in the morning and she is already an angry tornado in the house before anyone has done anything wrong. She will sometimes go out of her way to do something that she can complain or make me look bad about later. She asked what I needed from town recently and I told her that we were low on feed for the animals, but that I will get it later because she shouldn’t have to load the 50lb feed bags into the car by herself. She went and happily picked it up anyways. I don’t know if there is a person that she knows, that has not heard the story of how she had to lift heavy feed bags by herself at the farm store. She tells this story to new people right in front of me in a tone like I make her do everything. Sorry for getting lengthy here, but this is really just a few examples to help get an idea of the dynamic. She did have a bad childhood with an alcoholic father and some drug use going on in the home, so I do understand that some of this could have stemmed from that.
    Please let me know if you have any advise. I realized that I had know idea that she was capable of what she did, and thought that I had my soul mate. I can handle a lot, and thought that the anger and such was only surface deep(possibly a common marital issue), because as soon as it started, it would often subside and we would truly have wonderful times together. I am praying for my path to be clear.
    P.S. After trying to have a third baby for several years we did not think it would happen. Just found out before all of this that she is pregnant. I can’t imagine not being around to comfort my baby in the middle of the night. It cant be the reason behind my decision though.

    Thanks,
    John

    • Dear John,
      Thank you for writing to me. It sounds like your wife has a manipulative character and does not (or will not) take responsibility for her mean behavior. I think the indicated action is getting guidance from a therapist. I recommend you give this correspondence to him/her when you meet. You deserve a better marital relationship and so do your children. Invest in yourself by learning about codependency and relationship abuse. I can see that you have a big heart; please be kind to yourself. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

      • Thank you for the response. It is interesting that when life gets so difficult, you realize how few people you are close to. I kind of put all of my eggs in one basket, and I was happy with that. I got a contact for a councilor from a coworker. Ive never done anything like this before, its a little scary to trust someone to be in the middle of my marriage. Until now, I have never spoken to anyone about my marriage other than my wife. I saw it as disrespectful to her. I guess she didn’t think of it the same way. She has been talking to others about it/me for a couple of years at least. They knew more about what she thought of me than I did.

  5. This describes my mom to a T. I’m sure I don’t have to explain how she damaged all her children. Not to mention my poor dad putting up with her for 60 years now. She puts so much effort into trying to convince the world that she is perfect and everyone else is a devil. But everyone can see that she is the monster.

    • 1 of 7,

      Your life path is challenging growing up with a narcissistic mother. I hope you make a commitment to loving yourself. I’m certain your siblings are wounded. You have the right to create a life that works for you and set limits on the time you spend with your mother/siblings. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  6. this article hits the nail on the head with my ex husband. His anger and jealousy were over the top. It was as if he couldn’t wait to pick a fight over anything and everything I did or didn’t do, what I said or didn’t say and how I said it . His jealousy was so repugnant, even assaulting a man in front of his wife that we just had met at a small dinner party for “flirting” with me. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that he was drunk and couldn’t keep up with the remaining 5 of us in conversation. He said I should have “repelled” him! Repel what! Sorry but you can’t talk to me and therefore I must ignore you and everyone else at the table?

    His jealousy again reared it’s ugly head the night of my fathers funeral. He again got drunk( not onlywas he a narc but an alcoholic as well) and got angry because a guy I knew all the way back from jr high school showed up. A guy I never even dated! He said he had to leave as HE was hurt and disrespected , never mind I just buried my father! As he was leaving I tried to get his car keys as there was no way he should be driving ( I had to drive him that night even tough I was an emotional wreck) and I ended up over a chair falling hard on to ceramic tile flooring and left uncontainablly crying.

    He was jealous of my male coworkers and didn’t want me going out after work for drinks, even though he came home hours late drunk. He had multiple affairs with his secretary and got angry at me for finding out he bought her $700 in jewelry for her work anniversary, even though he bought it a day before her birthday which I later found out. I suffered for bringing that to his attention and he turned everything g around on me treating me like garbage.

    I put up with a lot of the silent treatments and rage attacks and “you don’t put me number one” BS that I can’t even keep track of and other garbage.

    It wore me down….almost lost myself in process. I left after my fathers incident.

    Since then has had a few Dui’s, tried to hook up with his secretary again, didn’t work out yet she still works for him ( he has his own law practice) has lost business due to all of his drinking garbage, let alone fines and court costs…..and has a blow and go in his car. All of this and he still denies mistreatment of me , his other ex’s and his children. He denies that he has problem as well… He doesn’t have a drinking problem… He has a drinking and driving problem as he puts it! So he thinks he will just drink at home and take taxi’s and have his se restart and everyone else pick him up from drinking establishments and parties when he drinks! Goody for them! I used to call it Driving Miss Daisy and I was sick of it… But he thought that was mine and everyone else’s job to accommodate him… And thought nothing about how it interrupted our sleep or lives. But hey, his time was more valuable as he would always tell me with his superior and demeaning attitude.

    Oh well…. He is gone….. On to the next poor soul he can mistreat…… I truly wish HER well. She isn’t going to deserve what’s coming anymore than the rest of us did.

    • Sandy,

      Thank you for writing to me. I hope you are being good to yourself. It sounds like you are truly done with this relationship. Fully grieve the ending of the nightmare. Don’t let him continue to suck the joy out of your life. Grieving is a tough process and you have what it takes. I am wishing you much strength and courage.

      Regards,
      Roberta

  7. My hubby is a narc. For a long time I was in denial. Even the first time he slept with another woman. After an affair with a home wrecker that has lasted over 6 years, I can no longer deny that he is a narc. The woman he is cheating on me with is also married. They are both narcs.

    • Hurting,

      I am wishing you much strength to take care of yourself. Investing in yourself by learning about your pain will help you to stop the victimization. My heart goes out to you. You deserve better treatment.

      Regards,
      Roberta

  8. I have been in a horrific and insidious, dehumanizing relationship with my ex for 12+ years. When we first met, he appeared to be my ‘soulmate,’ perfection and extremely attentive and caring. I should have seen the red flags early on, but I chose to brush it off as ‘he must really love me.’ He would call 10 times straight on my landline and my daughters would get annoyed with his constant calling. Soon after, he insisted I answer my cell phone within the 1st ring,otherwise, he would swear and be asccusory. He consumed all my time and wouldn’t allow me to go out with girlfriends. I moved in with him, thinking he would feel secured. He needed my password to my emails, and monitored my every move and periodically, kicked me out of HIS house when angered. My daughters witnessed his demeaning treatment. One night, my daughter came over and told me I needed to get out of HIS house and I went. I was mad at her for taking me away from him. We broke off for a year and a half, but we continued to see each other on HIS TERMS. He asked to take me out for my birthday, but I found out later, he told his friends, that I called because I was lonely and wanted him to take me out for my birthday and he felt sorry for me. Still, I overlooked this, although it hurt me intensely. I attended a support group for battered women, as I was slowly healing and stopped my communication with him, he aggressively pursued me and I told him he was controlling, and he promised to stop, which he did. I thought he changed! I went back to live with him and his tactics took a whole new level of ‘EVIL!’ He began to fault me for everything, kept a calendar when I complained (I was only voicing my concerns; he would command me to do things and all I asked was for him to say ‘Please’ as I would do it anyway, but felt it would sound nicer for him to ask, rather than demand. He said because I asked him to say ‘please, moreso, he wouldn’t and he’s busy so he doesn’t think about having to say ‘please.’ He would play mindgames with me, denying he said something and twisted his words and I would self-doubt. He would lie about small things that was not necessary. He would buy me a gift for my birthday, then find an excuse to demand it back, saying I was not deserving of the gift. I cried all day, but he never apologized or took any action to resolve. He would give me angry looks, give me the silent treatment for weeks or months, isolating him totally from me. His words were like a sharp dagger piercing in my heart, as I couldn’t imagine ‘Who does this? Who says these kinds of things?’ I was so scared to approach him; he seemed angry all the time. Sometimes, I have to think 2 weeks ahead of time, if I needed to ask him something; thinking how to approach him and what words to use. Nonetheless, he would still get angry no matter what I did or said. He was so secretive about his personal life and thoughts. I couldn’t have a difference of opinion from him or voice how he made me feel, which was disregarded and unimportant. He’d get raging mad and would somehow revert the guilt and blame onto me. You see, he broke me down so bad, I was at the brink of suicidal tendencies, being so depressed with self-blame. He told me to ‘I want you out and you won’t leave!’ This was a normalcy of what he would tell me often, but blamed me for getting him so mad that caused him to say these horrid remarks. I tried effortlessly to leave numerous times, but initiated the call to him because I wanted to go back to him and endured constant rejection and saw him only by his terms. I was so miserable, scared to come home, not knowing what I would face. He was full of contempt and hatred for me! I finally moved out in November 2014 while he was out, and went over that night to let him know why I left because he told me to ‘get out,’ he just calmly said ‘I never said that. It was your decision to leave….so now, we’re through. I stopped loving you 4 years ago and since, haven’t called you ‘honey’ for a long time.’ He had to be cruel in my lowest point, there’s absolutely no winning or resolution! Through the years, his punishment got more severe, his words were unimaginably more crippling, with no empathy or cosideration on my feelings. I am now struggling emotionally with this lost (I don’t get why?) and found through mutual friends, that he is on the prowl and in fact, is out and about dating. Is there any justice in this? I just have to take it a day at a time.

    • Alison,
      You are experiencing a dark night of the soul. Please hang in there and don’t go back. The best thing to do is to learn all you can about codependency and narcissism. This life lesson is forcing you to change and you must because you are the one that has been made sick by the abuse. Let the illusions about the relationship be shattered and fully grieve your loss. It would be beneficial to get guidance from a healing professional. It is important that you block all avenues of communication with him (Facebook, email, phone, etc.) and change your daily routines. I would also change all your passwords. You might ask people you know in common with your ex to stop reporting what he is doing or saying unless they are concerned for your personal safety. It’s imperative that you separate emotionally or you might go back for more abuse. It is not okay to hurt yourself and you deserve better. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for writing to me.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  9. Does the Narc know they hate themselves ?? I live with one I am in therapy he is not!!! Do they know they hate themselves??? ty

    • Danielle,
      A true narcissist does not accept that they have any problems. It’s always everyone else that is the problem. I have treated hundreds of narcissists that were court mandated to see me for a year. I have discussed self-hatred as fueling their violent behavior and they don’t care. A narcissist is not capable of accepting accountability for their actions. They can pretend to feel bad with dramatic displays of emotions, but it is just a trap. Their actions always give away their character. It’s good to hear you are in therapy. Keep showing up and learning to love yourself. It is easy to default to denial when you are under the control of an abuser. I am wishing you much courage to do what is right for you. Thank you for writing to me and I apologize for the long response time.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  10. I was unlucky to come into contact with a loser narcissist in the sport that I love – he largely managed to have me excluded socially from it – and I am only now starting to get a grip on the whole situation…

    what is really freaking me out now is that through having the experience of this loser and the learning I have done to understand his behaviour and so know a lot about narcissism now – more than I would ever wish on anyone…

    the shocking thing is that this understanding has shown me that my wife is one – that I have been abused by her for 20 bloody years – that I have been sort of brainwashed… the learning has given me some structure to see her behaviour – demand – threat – silence – is so frequent its invisibly normal – not now though as I can see what she is doing though new eyes…

    I am so worried I am fitting her into what I now know… making her into a narc because it fits… but the behaviour is classic…

    I am reeling to be honest…

    • Silkred,
      The feelings of shock and hurt when we discover our partner is a narcissist can be some of the most difficult to face. Sharing your feelings with others can bring relief and healing. Thank you for commenting on my post. I do understand what you are experiencing. I want to tell you to please show up for yourself. Let the disillusionment move you to make the changes that are right for you. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

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