Narcissist and Money Series
Are Narcissists good with money?
Yes and no.
Like anyone else, there are narcissists that are great with money and those who struggle. The difference is that narcissists tend to use money as a weapon of control. The narcissist knows this so clearly, even when we do not or if we choose to look the other way. If you are knee-deep in a relationship with a narcissist or early on in the relationship, you might be so taken in by the love-bombing that you don’t want to see the reality of it all. This love-bombing makes us more dependent and the narcissist, more dominant.
This series is all about narcissists and money because this has been such a hot topic with my clients and community.
Understanding Narcissists and Their Money Habits
Narcissists will blame you for any financial struggle if you confront them. They will ruin your credit rating if theirs is already ruined; realize that you will have sometimes a decade of recovering your credit after as little as a few weeks of shopping sprees by a narcissist.
This is exactly what they want. They want to render you powerless financially so that you have no ability to obtain credit, no assets to sell, and thus, no way to leave them.
One more warning. A narcissist will often claim that the credit card companies already make enough money, and they will have the attitude that they do not deserve to be paid, and won’t.
Another habit of a narcissist is that they will abuse taxes. They will try to claim dependents they will claim to write-offs and even fabricate money that they donated- yet never did.
How Narcissists Weave Control with Money
Once a narcissist stops love-bombing you, they begin to put you on an allowance or are highly critical of your spending, or both.
They make it an impossibility to budget.
They set you up for failure so that they can initiate fights with you and then, cause you stress and lower your resilience. thereby setting you up for failure in order to justify their refusal to give you access to money. They make it production to get the basics, like groceries or medicine. They question your personal hygiene choices and clothing needs.
They will claim you do not need these items because you don’t deserve them. Narcissists are big on punishment either through silent treatments or various other abuses like sexual, emotional, physical, or more financial abuse. They may even restrict you from working by sabotaging it, hiding your keys, or outright telling you to quit. They want you to look bad, they want to look good, and they could care less how they get to that end result.
What are narcissists like with money?
Narcissists often have no interest in love, relationships, bettering themselves or meaningful lives; they are superficial by nature and thus, money that provides the ultimate relationship and security for narcissists.
Money is sort of like the oxygen in which they breathe. They will always assume that more money will come to them to support their lifestyle, and often it does. It comes to them usually, in the form of mooching off of an unsuspecting new partner.
There’s grandiose thinking when it comes to money. They believe that they should have, could have, or do have more than they actually possess.
Because of this, they are reckless with spending.
This might look like shopping, hoarding, gambling, or even substance abuse.
Of note, a narcissist engages in what is known as “magical thinking” which is irrational and delusional thoughts; this leads them to live a delusional life that is filled with short-sighted and irresponsible behaviors.
In short, they think they are immune to the ramifications of debt, and they will overspend on everything from clothes to cars, and then fall into deeper debt and sometimes, commit financial crimes.
All of this is to seem important, more accurately, to seem like the most important person in the room, but lacking the substance.
Why do narcissists need money?
As I mentioned earlier, narcissists need money because they need to have a relationship with something and this is something that helps them to boost their fragile egos. I do not state this out of contempt, but they actually are quite fragile people who are sad, living in denial most of the time. They wear masks to fit in and make others feel that they are people of depth and compassion.
They need money because money is also an instrument for them.
They are absorbed in its pursuit and only that. While many people want to increase their income or investments, to live a more relaxed life in security, they often want to share with others and do so in a way that is selfless. Money is just one facet of their lives.
For the narcissist, money is everything. They don’t want people to be independently wealthy around them because they fear that those people would leave them. Yet, they do not invest in human connections because it takes time, energy, and emotions to form bonds with others; you can’t just cover it up with dollars and cents.
Narcissists need money to compensate for their lack of interest in anything deeper.
Because money does not fill the gaping hole of not having a true human connection, the narcissist is never satisfied and is always looking toward the next “high” of spending.
Are Narcissists generous with money?
Narcissists can often be generous with money but for two specific reasons.
One reason is they use money as control, and when they shower you with things, with gifts, with a home, a car, or other items, they assume they’ve bought you- that you belong to them. On paper that sounds romantic that they’d want you to think much; but they want to abuse you. You are just a breathing person to use and abuse. They lured you with financial bait.
The second reason is that narcissists enjoy the idea of looking important and they are attracted to prestige and influence. These also, do not fill them up enough, and they constantly want more. When they do not succeed or are broke, they won’t take any responsibility for it. They will blame you.
The narcissist is a parasite to your body, mind, spirit, and wallet. They will love to ride the coattails of successful people and will fall all over someone who they think has clout, money, or potential, and then ignore the alleged important people in their lives, like their own children.
The narcissist will go to a party, bring nothing, eat until they are bloated, drink the champagne and never offer to invite others to their home to return the favor.
They might speak of religion or ethics but you will quickly see that they are without moral or spiritual depth and they just seem inauthentic when they speak. They work hard at trying to convince you how amazing they are.
Healing from Narcissistic Financial Abuse
My book, "How to Heal from Financial Anxiety" is a powerful way to take back financial ownership.