Calling out a narcissist on their shitty behavior is one of the quickest ways to anger them. This might be done covertly, via silent treatment or gaslighting, but the truth is, narcissists cannot handle being held accountable, because they survive on the double standard that expects one set of behaviors from everyone around them (namely adoration) and another (whatever they feel like) from themselves.
The world of smoke and mirrors is what sustains narcissists, and shedding light on that can bring the whole illusion crashing down. No wonder they hate the truth so much!
6. Lost youth or success.
Narcissists thrive on vanity, so it’s no wonder that they often become even more unstable as they age or lose success. Those trappings which were so important to building this illusion on which they’ve built their identity or no longer so solid, and they can’t stand it.
As a result, they flail. For somatic narcissists (who may be most concerned with health or appearance), they may have nothing else to fall back on, as that appearance or fitness was at the core of how they identified. For cerebral narcissists, aging can cost them their intellect or business skills—the things on which they’ve built their identity. In both cases, the loss of that identity leaves them with nothing, given that they were already empty shells as people.
And as a result, they lash out, often wildly and inconsistently. They can be especially terrifying to be around, even compared to other dastardly narcissists.
Death is the end of their illusion, and proves they really aren’t in control. Of course narcissists are afraid of it!