The Narcissist’s fear of abandonment can be triggered very easily. For example, if you don’t respond to a text message in a timely manner. If for whatever reason they are unable to get a hold of you. If you are late for a meeting. All these everyday things can cause a Narcissist to worry about abandonment. It is a bit extreme but it is how the mind of the Narcissist works.
The next thing the Covert Narcissist worries about is losing respect. Narcissists do not just desire respect they demand it. Their ego cannot handle anything less. Especially, after working so hard on that fake image and fake persona, which is everything to them. As a result, their fear of losing respect drives them to pay close attention to how people interact with them. They observe your facial expressions and pay close attention to not just what you say but how you say it. If they spot the slightest change in the way, you greet them or speak to them, especially your tone of voice it will cause the Narcissist to think that you are about to be disrespectful towards them and they will become super defensive or keep their distance by going silent.
The third thing they worry about is others spotting their flaws or weakness. That is why whatever projects they undertake they prefer to do it with someone else. So, that if it all goes pear-shaped, they can put the blame on them. Working with others can help the Narcissist to avoid taking responsibility.
A very wonderful book: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
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