To understand well why narcissists are so mean, I would like you to recall the last time someone hurt you. You probably felt angry and wished to see that person suffer and pay for their mistakes, right? You do not only feel emotionally disconnected from the person who has hurt you but you also wish to see them suffer. This is a normal reaction and there is nothing wrong with it, as long as it only lasts for a short period of time. Now, what do you think would happen if a person was constantly subjected to emotional abuse for years especially in childhood? How would this person’s personality turn out to be?
A mean narcissist is someone who was born kind and psychologically stable like everybody else. However, they go through a bad life experience that ruins their good personality and makes them develop narcissism. If a narcissist never managed to heal the emotional wounds that made them develop narcissism, they may develop hatred for the whole world. Because they have stored anger, it will keep leaking out in the form of aggression, hostility and bad temper, especially toward those who are close to them.
Mean narcissists protects themselves from being hurt
People usually take extra measures unconsciously to prevent the past painful experiences from happening again. Your subconscious mind can change your personality in order to achieve a certain goal. A person who was bitten by a dog in childhood may develop a fear of dogs that will last throughout his adulthood. By developing the fear of dogs he makes sure that the past will never repeat itself.
A mean narcissist is someone who is afraid that his unpleasant past may repeat itself if he becomes nice. For example, a narcissist who felt helpless as a result of being abused in childhood can turn out to be a mean and controlling adult to make sure that he will never experience the helplessness he felt in the past. Being mean means that people around him will suffer and not him.
A narcissist who developed inferiority feelings as a result of finding himself incompetent compared to his peers can be so mean towards anybody who reminds him of this inferiority in one way or another. This narcissist can do his best to sabotage the potential success of someone closer to them because outdoing the narcissist would remind him of his inferiority. The same narcissist can harshly criticize others and put them down to elevate his own superiority.
Short-term stress and short-term meanness
People in general usually have low tolerance of additional stresses when they are going through a stressful life event. Annoying a stressed person slightly can make them lash out at you, or even harm you. A narcissist can be very kind when they are going through a pleasant life experience but very mean when they are facing distress.
Emotional intelligence plays a huge role here. Emotional intelligence is the ability to channel emotions in the right direction. A man who is angry because he lost his job and shouts at his wife or children has low emotional intelligence. However, not all narcissists have low emotional intelligence, but those who do can be so mean towards others when they are going through a tough life event. See: why are narcissists so stingy with money.
Why is the narcissist only mean to me?
Sometimes you may find that a narcissist is so nice to everyone else but you. In fact, most narcissists are not mean to everyone but they only abuse those who are closer to them. So, why does this happen?
In my previous articles I said that abusive narcissists usually have intense inferiority feelings and in order to compensate for those unpleasant feelings, they try to dominate and control others. By abusing you, they gain a sense of control and dominance. But why don’t they treat everyone that way?
Mean narcissists understand that if they treat everyone badly, they will be hated, therefore they would never manage to get narcissistic supply. That’s why they may be so nice to their acquaintances because they know that an acquaintance can cut them off any time. See: why do narcissists blame you for everything.
Dealing With a mean narcissist
As you can see, mean narcissists deserve pity. They just have unsolved emotional problems that get them trapped in a certain mood all the time. Next time a narcissist does something mean to you, you should just feel sorry for them because they are the victims of unpleasant circumstances.
If you are dealing with a mean narcissist, the best way to prevent them from attacking you is to avoid looking too brilliant. Mean narcissists hate to see someone better than them. When you display strength and capability, the narcissist will feel threatened. They may not attack you right away but they will start working behind the scenes to make you suffer. I’m not saying that you should always look dumb or incompetent, instead you should display your strength and intelligence only when it’s too late for the narcissist to cause any harm.
In my book “manipulating the manipulator” you will learn how to read a narcissist’s mind like a book to understand their intentions before they cause harm. See: what words can destroy a narcissist.