How to Make a Narcissist Miserable

From a recovering narcissist

Alan Trapulionis
4 min readOct 8, 2021


Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes. Commercially licensed by Lazurite via Flickr

The definitive trait that sets narcissists apart from other people is their compulsive need to be adored.

Narcissists, unlike psychopaths, are still very much human. They need to eat, sleep and socialize to be happy. They need careers and hobbies to feel fulfilled. But, above all, they need to be admired. I know, because I am one.

I realized this, of course, with help of other people. Humans are exceptionally good at spotting things in others they cannot spot in themselves. I am no exception. Narcissists attract other narcissists, and I had plenty of material to study.

In short, narcissists participate in admiration-for-admiration games. I pat your back, you pat mine. As long as it keeps going, we’re both happy. When this unspoken rule is broken, we’re going to have a fight.

If you’re not willing to participate in these games, the best thing you can do is leave. Otherwise, you’re going to make your narcissist very unhappy. Here are a few sure-fire ways you can make a narcissist miserable.


Narcissists absolutely hate it when their authority is being questioned. They thrive on half-truths and taboo subjects. One of such subjects is their authority. Nobody likes it when their authority is being questioned, but narcissists tend to take it for an insult.

In their mind, they are the central source of authority. Narcissism does not imply stupidity, so narcissists will often mask their superiority complex by throwing around names or quoting a news article, but deep down they think they know better.

Investigating their core beliefs is a sure-fire way to piss them off. A non-narcissist will have no problem identifying the sources of their beliefs. They will point to a particular book or life experience that made them believe what they believe. Your investigation may elicit some surprise or unease, but not anger.

A narcissist, on the other hand, will turn more and more aggressive the deeper you dig down their belief system. For a narcissist, their very views have become their source of authority. To question their views is to question their worth, which spoils the fun. I came here…