Money is a tool that individuals with narcissistic personality disorder use to control and dominate others, making them dependent on the narcissist.
A narcissist can shift between generosity and frugalness at the flip of a switch. One day they are overgenerous, buying gifts and expensive dinners. The next day, they are highly stingy, analyzing every expense and carefully evaluating every purchase.
Narcissists crave various things from the people in their lives to fuel their narcissism; they have no problem using money to ensure the people in their lives are at their beck and call. This article will explore the links between narcissism, money, and frugality.
Why Are Narcissists So Stingy With Money?
It’s because narcissists derive a sense of pleasure and power from money. Money can help boost the self-image of a narcissist, help control people, and elevate their social status. Relationships with an individual with NPD can often feel like a financial dictatorship.
Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder may exhibit some small behaviors first, such as removing the other person’s name from shared bank accounts, before moving on to bigger stunts like stealing money, threats, and extortion.
Here are some of the underlying reasons why narcissists are stingy with money:
Unmet Emotional Needs
Narcissists have an extreme need for love, attention, and acceptance. When these needs are unmet, the narcissist will often become more frugal with money. When people lack a critical thing, it can impact their emotions and behaviors, causing them to overcompensate in another area. Suppose narcissists feel that their needs for attention, admiration, and love are not being fulfilled. In that case, they may become frugal with their money and display cruel or depressed behavior.
A Need To Control
An individual with NPD may see money as an opportunity to exercise financial control over you and dictate your actions. They use the leverage of money to enforce their own rules and demands. If you don’t act according to what they want, they may withhold your money to get you to behave as they wish. This power dynamic further reinforces their stinginess with money and perpetuates their control over you.
Suppose a narcissist grows up in a family with many financial struggles. In that case, they can develop a deep-seated insecurity about money which can last long after they are financially stable. In many cases, narcissists’ money habits are closely related to their psychological state, not their bank account balance. Their stinginess stems from their mindset and emotions driven by a need for independence, self-centeredness, and fear of losing status.
Narcissists tend to see compassion as a sign of weakness. They do not want to appear less dominant and vulnerable. Due to their strong desire to avoid any perception of weakness, narcissists who harbor such beliefs tend to exhibit extreme stinginess when it comes to money.
It’s essential to recognize that not all narcissists exhibit the same behavior, and individual differences exist within this personality trait. Their relationship with money reflects their deep-seated insecurities and relentless pursuit of maintaining a façade of strength and dominance.
Do Narcissists Use The Money To Control & Abuse You?
Yes, narcissists indeed use money as a means to control and abuse others. Financial manipulation is one tactic that narcissists may employ to assert power and dominance over their victims. Taking away their victim’s ways to earn or access their money can make them easier to influence.
A narcissist can interfere with your life in many areas, such as work, relationships, and hobbies. They have no problem making your life difficult for you by any means possible. Their lack of empathy gives them a complete disregard for your feelings.
Let’s dig a little deeper into how narcissists use money for nefarious purposes:
- Employment sabotage
Narcissists often attempt to interfere with their victim’s employment. This manipulation involves hindering job opportunities, diminishing financial stability, or coercing the victim to relinquish their source of income through emotional and physical abuse. For example, the narcissist may interfere with their target’s job. They may behave obnoxiously and show up unexpectedly or repeatedly call the place of work. This can lead to their victim getting in trouble at the office or even fired.
- Economic exploitation
This manipulation involves taking advantage of the victim’s resources, assets, or financial capabilities for the narcissist’s benefit. They may use various tactics, such as demanding excessive financial contributions, siphoning funds for personal use, or coercing the victim into providing financial support beyond their means.
The narcissist intends to maximize their financial advantage while disregarding the well-being and financial stability of the victim. For example, the narcissist may take their victim’s credit cards and max them out. They’ll refuse to make the payments leaving you high and dry.
- Take away access
The narcissist wants to control everything in their lives, so they take away their victim’s access to money, making them dependent on the narcissist for everything. If the narcissist gets upset with the victim, they can simply take away access to cash as a punitive measure.
For example, the narcissist may dole out an allowance to the victim, giving them a small amount of money to live off while ensuring the victim is dependent on them for anything else they need. They may make all financial decisions without consulting the victim.
Money is an effective tool the narcissist has in their repertoire to torment their victims. They sabotage employment, exploit economically, and restrict access to money to maintain power. Recognizing these patterns is vital for breaking free from their control.
Can You Trust A Narcissist With Money?
No, you should not trust them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder will often prioritize their own needs and desires over the needs of others. Money is very important to them; they often act dishonestly to ensure they have the necessary money.
Due to their self-centred nature, trusting a narcissist with money can lead to financial instability, exploitation, or loss. It is important to exercise caution and seek professional advice if dealing with financial matters involving a narcissistic individual.
Narcissists will generally not give anything away for free. If you receive money or gifts from a narcissist, you must realize that there are most likely strings attached. They may seem generous, but they always expect something in return.
In intimate relationships, keeping financial matters vague can cause problems. It gives one person the power to make one-sided money decisions and control what they consider affordable. This dynamic can also occur in business partnerships, with one person handling finances and undermining the other’s contributions.
This can lead to theft, restrictions on accessing money or possessions, opening accounts without consent, lying about purchases, and manipulating budgets. It’s important to be aware of these possibilities and maintain open communication about finances to prevent such abuses. Narcissists may also try to entangle themselves in your financial life, combining accounts, businesses, or property to gain control.
In legal situations like divorce or child support, narcissists may manipulate and lie about their bank statements to gain more money, prioritizing financial gain over the well-being of their children and ex-partner.
Fortunately, suppose you are in any financial relationship with an individual with narcissistic personality disorder. In that case, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself from the financial abuse often perpetrated by narcissists.
How To Protect Yourself Financially From A Narcissist?
You should recognize the signs of narcissistic financial abuse and act accordingly. Consult a lawyer to understand your rights and explore legal avenues for protection. Protecting your financial well-being is essential for your overall security and independence when dealing with a narcissistic individual.
To regain some financial independence, start by setting small boundaries. Consider opening your bank accounts and having your income deposited there. Avoid handing over complete control of your finances to the narcissist. If you have a joint statement, regularly review transactions and keep track of your credit score. A financial class promoting balance and healthy money management can be beneficial. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and maintain financial stability.
When confronting a narcissist about financial abuse, it’s essential to approach the conversation calmly and rationally. Using reasoning and offering compliments can help maintain a more productive dialogue. Remember, addressing the issue assertively is a step towards breaking free from their control.
You should be aware of the signs of narcissistic financial abuse to protect yourself. Stay informed about your finances and consider attending economic classes for better money management. These steps are crucial for breaking free from their control and ensuring your financial well-being.
What Happens When A Narcissist Runs Out Of Money?
A narcissist will be very discomforted when they lose their money. It can cause a lot of fear and emotional pain. They may start to act out and try to acquire more money by any means possible. Nothing will get between a narcissist and what they need.
Money is tied to how an individual with a narcissistic personality disorder sees themself. Losing their financial status is like losing a part of themselves; money was used to fill a void within the narcissist, and when it disappears, they need to address the underlying problem.
When a narcissist runs out of money, it can have various consequences. Here are some possible scenarios:
When they have no money, the narcissist can get quite desperate in their search for money. They might manipulate and exploit people close to them to meet their financial needs. This can involve borrowing money or even resorting to fraudulent activities.
Loss Of Status
Individuals with NPD often attach their self-worth to their material possessions and wealth. When they run out of money, they take a significant emotional hit. This can make them frustrated and angry, desperately trying to regain their financial position.
Dependency On Others
When narcissists run out of money, they might start depending on other people for support. They might rely on loved ones, close friends, or romantic partners for financial assistance, taking advantage of their kindness and controlling them to meet their needs.
Narcissists may run up large amounts of debt or experience financial hardship if they don’t manage their money responsibly. Their extravagant spending patterns can trigger a downward cycle of financial instability and crisis if combined with a lack of responsibility and planning.
Loss Of Social Connections
Relationships may become strained, and the narcissist may lose their social connections if they run out of money. Their actions might cause friends, family, and acquaintances to lose faith in them and sever ties. This isolation may make them feel even more insecure and self-conscious.
It’s essential to recognize that the effects of narcissistic financial struggles can vary depending on the situation and the extent of narcissistic traits. The narcissist and those affected by their financial behavior can benefit from professional help, such as therapy or financial counselling.
Are Narcissists Addicted To Money?
Yes, many narcissists display an unhealthy preoccupation with material wealth and financial success. They may excessively pursue wealth, possessions, and status symbols to boost their fragile self-esteem and create a façade of superiority. To the narcissist, money is power.
Narcissists intertwine money with their self-worth, using it to validate their inflated image. They seek validation through extravagant spending, manipulation, and showcasing wealth. However, valuing financial success or possessions doesn’t automatically make someone a narcissist.
Money represents an external goal for narcissists, lacking an inner drive for fulfillment. This focus on external rewards can lead to unethical behavior, such as cheating, substance abuse, or neglecting relationships. Narcissists believe they deserve these rewards, driven by their inflated egos.
To narcissists, others become a mere means to an end, even those they claim to love. Relationships are transactional, driven by what they can gain. They often employ tactics like hiding money, lying about income, or refusing to help financially.
In summary, narcissists use money to control others and fulfill their desires. They can be stingy with money and manipulate financial resources to assert power. Trusting a narcissist with money is risky, as they prioritize their needs over others.
Protecting oneself financially and being aware of the signs of narcissistic financial abuse is crucial. When narcissists run out of money, they may become desperate, lose status, depend on others, accumulate debt, or lose social connections.
It is important to remember that not all individuals who value financial success are narcissists. Still, the unhealthy obsession with money and disregard for others’ well-being are defining characteristics of narcissistic behavior. By understanding the dynamics of narcissism and money, we can better protect ourselves and build healthier relationships based on trust and mutual respect.
A resilient writer who has emerged from addiction, depression, and anxiety with a renewed sense of purpose and a powerful voice. His journey has shaped his writing, allowing him to explore the complexities of the human condition intimately. Also blogging about mental health at www.medium.com/@Patrickmeowler