What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants

  • Nov 06, 2023
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What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants

When a narcissist doesn't get what she wants, he may experience a range of reactions and behaviors. Narcissists have a constant need for attention, admiration and validation, and when they don't get what they want, they can express anger and frustration, contempt, a desire for revenge, etc.

Narcissistic people may make several attempts to get what they want. As a result of the difficulties they have in accepting that some event does not happen as they wish, they can lead to harmful behavior for those around them. In this Psychology-Online article, we tell you What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants.

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  1. Anger and frustration
  2. contempt and contempt
  3. Handling
  4. Victimization
  5. Withdrawal or isolation
  6. Revenge
  7. Search for new sources of validation
  8. Emotional blackmail

Anger and frustration.

Anger and frustration are common emotions that people with narcissistic traits can experience when they don't get what they want. These emotions may be part of your response to

perception of failure. Here we explain how anger and frustration manifest in individuals with narcissistic traits:

  • Gonna: When a narcissist doesn't get what he wants, he may feel intense anger. This can be expressed in different ways, from a constant irritability even outbursts of anger. You may blame others for your anger and use it as a control tactic, trying to get people to give in to your demands.
  • Frustration: It is another common emotion in people with narcissistic traits when their expectations are not met. A narcissist may feel frustrated by the lack of admiration, attention, or recognition that he believes he deserves. This frustration can trigger critical and dissatisfied behavior.

Contempt and contempt.

Contempt and belittling are behaviors that are often associated with people who have narcissistic traits. These attitudes may be part of your control and manipulation strategy, and are used to undermine self-esteem and confidence of others. Here we explain what they consist of:

  • Contempt: it's a feeling of superiority or disdain towards others. People with narcissistic traits may show contempt by considering themselves intellectually, emotionally, or socially superior. This feeling of superiority can lead them to belittle the opinions, achievements or feelings of others, making them feel inferior.
  • Disparagement: involves actively and openly showing disrespect or contempt. It can manifest itself through hurtful comments, sarcasm, ridicule, or constant criticism. People with narcissistic traits may belittle the achievements, appearance, interests, or values ​​of others to devalue them.


Manipulation is a common behavior in people with narcissistic traits, as they often They seek to control others to satisfy their own desires and needs. They may use a variety of manipulative tactics to achieve their goals. In this article you will find more information about Psychological manipulation techniques.

What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants-Manipulation


Victimization is a common behavior in some narcissists when they don't get what they want. In this context, victimization refers to the tendency to represent oneself as a victim, even when in reality they are not, in order to obtain sympathy, attention or support from others.

It is important to recognize that victimization in the context of a narcissist is generally not a genuine sign of vulnerability or need. Rather, it is a manipulation strategy which they use to maintain control over people and situations, and to satisfy their constant desire for attention and validation.

Withdrawal or isolation.

When the narcissist doesn't get what he wants, he may opt for prolonged isolation. Maybe withdraw from people and social activities, even cutting off contact with friends and family. It is important to note that withdrawal or isolation from a narcissist can serve several purposes, including manipulation and control.

I might use this tactic to put pressure on people and make them comply with your wishes, or to protect your own self-image. Find out if A narcissist can change in this article.


How does a narcissist act if he doesn't get what he wants? One of the most common reactions is revenge, an emotional and behavioral response that some people, including those with narcissistic traits, they use when they feel hurt or harmed in any way. In this article, we tell you what the Revenge in psychology and what types there are.

What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants - Revenge

Search for new sources of validation.

The search for new sources of validation is a common behavior in people with narcissistic traits when they do not get the validation and admiration they want from the current ones. Some ways in which they perform this search are:

  • romantic adventures: They seek romantic or sexual relationships outside of their current relationship to feel desirable and admired by a new partner.
  • Social networks- They use social media to seek validation and attention, posting photos, stories, and content designed to gain likes, comments and praise.
  • New social circles- They may look for new friends or social groups who are willing to admire them and give them constant attention.
  • Success and professional recognition: They may focus on professional achievements and seek validation in their career or financial success.
  • Image and appearance changes- They may make significant changes to their appearance or lifestyle to attract the attention and admiration of others.

Emotional blackmail.

When the narcissist does not get what he wants, he usually uses emotional blackmail, a manipulative tactic that some people use. to get what they want or to control others. It can be subtle or overt, and often involves the use of guilt, fear, shame, or emotional intimidation to influence the target individual's behavior.

Emotional blackmail is a harmful strategy that can cause emotional distress to the person experiencing it. If it happens to you, in this article, we explain How to get out of emotional blackmail.

This article is merely informative, at Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to What happens when a narcissist doesn't get what he wants, we recommend that you enter our category of Personality.


  • Ruiz Medina, M.S. (2014). Narcissistic love and real love: two faces or two conceptions of love? VI International Congress of Research and Professional Practice in Psychology. XXI Research Conference. Tenth meeting of MERCOSUR Psychology researchers. Faculty of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires.
  • Trechera, J.L., Vásquez de la Torre, M., Fernández, G., Morales, E. (2008). Empirical study of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Acta Colombiana Magazine, 11 (2), 25-36.
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