Jealousy and Envy

How narcissists redirect anger 

Narcissists are masters in the art of redirecting anger from themselves on to others.  They are especially proficient at this when dealing with their own children.  All children of narcissists are angry with their narcissistic parents because they were brought into this world with parents who absolutely were not prepared to do the job they signed up for and got angry and defensive with their children for making demands on them or pointing out their short comings.

A child knows instinctively that a parent is supposed to support and protect them, listen to their woes, ease their pain and above all make them feel safe and loved.  Our culture reinforces this all of the time.  Narcissistic parents don’t do this.  What they do is they make their children feel as insecure as possible so that they can control them through fear.  Fear of abandonment and fear of their visceral rages.

The narcissist parent knows that their children are angry with them and will select someone else to take the brunt of this rage.  If there if more than one child the parent will select one of their children to be the dumping ground for the collective pain and anger within the family system (aka the Scapegoat).  This is done by modelling to the other children that it is okay to bully their sibling by actively going on a relentless smear campaign against that child and by punishing their other children if they offer any support to that child.  This can be done verbally,  or simply by giving an irritated twitch or glance or by punishment (children of narcissistic parents are very reactive, they live in a state of danger management and are always on high alert for potential punitive measures.

The narcissist parent(s) will take everything away from that child that they can.  They will attack their self-esteem and confidence and they will isolate that child so that they have absolutely no support network within or outside the family that might validate that they are being treated unfairly and cruelly.  The treatment of the scapegoat child will be peppered with acts of “kindness” (always done publically) to keep that child in a state of confusion to the point that they do not trust themselves and to make sure that no one would believe the child if they told someone of their parent(s) behaviour.

These so called acts of kindness serve to make the other siblings angry with the scapegoat child because the parent is behaving out of character and that might mean that the parent could swap roles for one of the other siblings.  The parent(s) will sit back and enjoy the show as the other siblings attack the scapegoat (and or each other) and suspicion is fostered between them.

Amongst adults the narcissist will redirect anger by creating false rumours or attributing cruel things that they said to other people, through triangulation , they will lie about other people and sometimes in a group of friends will try to create animosity within a group so that they can control the dynamic and be the centre of attention.  If you get angry with a narcissist for something they did, they will either launch a counter “attack” by saying “well you…”, flatly deny that they took the action or blame someone else.  If they cannot get away with any of those ploys, they will become unreasonably upset about the criticism so that the other person feels obliged to at least back down.

Narcissists will often have a person in their lives who they treat like an idiot and who they can “blame” if anything goes against them.  This person will be ridiculed behind their back and the narcissist will openly say abusive things to this person.  Very often, because the things the narcissist says are so outrageous that the side kick thinks that they are joking.  They may be said in a light tone, but they are not joking.  The narcissist takes the avoidance of all responsibility and culpability very seriously.


It is common for example in detective programs for the “leader” of a team to have a side kick, for example detectives like Hercule Poirot and Hastings or Sherlock Holmes and Watson, they treat their side-kicks with total disregard, treat them like idiots, completely disregard common civil niceties, they bark orders, have no consideration for the fact that their side-kick might have a private/social life and get angry with them when the “leader” gets it wrong or misses something in their investigation.  It is a common pattern and it turns up again and again.

Common expressions are

  • “Why didn’t you …”
  • “You s/he should have..”
  • “why didn’t you tell me” (when the have said “not now” before hand)
  • “You said…” even when you didn’t

The other thing they do is to attribute something nasty that they said to someone else to try to split and create disharmony between people.

Jealousy refers to resentment against a rival/ another person enjoying success, advantage/privilege or their relationships with other people.

Envy refers to a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions and relationships

Narcissists take jealousy and envy to an extreme level, resulting in pathological jealousy and pathological envy. “Normal” jealousy looks like:

  • A jealous individual may resent that a colleague at work got promoted and they did not, or feel uncomfortable with their perceived relationships of others.
  • An envious individual may feel resentful because their partner feels good about themselves, has great friends or a satisfying job.

When these emotional states become pathological, delusion an incoherent behaviour emerges.

Pathological Jealousy

Pathological jealousy is where a narcissist thinks that s/he has exclusive ownership of another person.  Like when a toddler realises that he has to share his parents with a second child or his aunts and uncles with his cousins.  It is at this stage of emotional development that the narcissist gets “stuck”.  S/he does not understand the concept that people have different relationships with different people, or that if a person has a relationship with another, it does not automatically diminish the quality of one that the narcissist has with that person.

Pathological jealousy can lead to abuse, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.  Pathological jealousy is not rational so a narcissist who show signs of this level of jealousy is beyond any rational reassurance or mollification.

Signs of Pathological Jealousy

  • Checking up on you all of the time through constant questioning and cross questioning about what you have been doing or who you have been talking to.
  • Going through your things, phones, email, post, bags and pockets of clothing.
  • Accusations of spending more time with friends, family, hobbies than you do with them.
  • Constantly on the alert for possible flirtations/affairs with others.
  • Putting down anyone who you may admire or have a good relationship with.
  • Always wanting to know what you did on trips away from them in minute detail and will get angry if they think that you are holding something back.
  • Trying to isolate you so that you only socialise together.
  • Might stalk you if they suspect that you are “up to something”, or just to see where you go after work
  • Incomprehensible verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Not letting the facts testify against their jealousy.
  • Blaming you for their jealousy
  • Denial that their jealous behaviour is inappropriate
  • Denial that they are jealous at all, they will sneer and say “who would be jealous of you?” after they call you at 4 AM “to see how you are”
  • Get angry if you won’t tell them your passwords/PINs

Pathological Envy

Pathological envy appears in a narcissist when they feel that they are lacking something in comparison to someone else.  This inevitably causes problems for the narcissist because it “shows them up” for not being the best at absolutely everything.  Not that they would admit to that, but it does cause a reaction.  The reaction (albeit a distorted one) will be as a consequence of the narcissist feeling an assault on his/her grandiosity or an attack on their sense of entitlement to have everything that they want.  Frequently the narcissist will attack a person who they feel “makes them look less than”.  The target of this attack will have no idea where this venom is coming from because they will have done nothing to provoke such a reaction, (other than be themselves) and will be left in a state of confusion and bewilderment.  The attack in reality comes from the narcissist’s low self-esteem, self-worth and insecurity but it is hard for most people to make the connection.  If someone is complimented in the presence of a narcissist, the narcissist can interpret the compliment paid to someone else as an indication that the person who paid the compliment sees them as “less than” and the person who was complimented as a thief, deliberately stealing the limelight from them.  The narcissist will then endeavour to punish both.

  Signs of Pathological Envy

  • Discredits other people
  • Gets uncomfortable when another person is given praise or attention.
  • Will walk away if they cannot swing attention on to themselves
  • Sneers at the ideas, interests, talents and relationships of others.
  • Get upset if a person is happy and enthusiastic about something
  • Depressed if a person who they are comparing themselves to is successful
  • Offering unsolicited advice which is usually counter intuitive.
  • Get annoyed when they are not consulted
  • Devalue reputations
  • Devalue the interests of others
  • Undermine the work of others
  • Undermine friendships
  • Destroys the celebrations/achievements of others

For a narcissist to admit to any of the above would be to acknowledge a weakness which they would never do.  However, they will go on the offensive if they feel threatened and that attack can be vicious and cruel but it is not about the person they are attacking, it is all about them protecting their precious ego.  It can feel very personal, but it is not – as always it is just all about them.


Authentic Vs False self


There are several ways that you can distinguish between someone who is being sincere and authentic and some who is presenting you with a mask or false self.  Below is a list of some tell-tale signs that someone is presenting with an image rather than an authentic personality.

Authentic self traits: 

  • Are energised, awake and aware of who they are and the effect that they have on others
  • Have good clear communication techniques where their language, body language and intonation all relay the same message
  • Are empathetic, kind and co-operative
  • Are aware and respectful of the needs, dreams and can see perspectives other than their own
  • Are honest, open and have integrity
  • Expect equality in all relationships that they enter into
  • Have a strong sense of justice and decency (will always try to do the right thing)
  • Can spontaneously express their emotions in a balanced way
  • Can genuinely relate and form bonds with others
  • Are able to judge without being judgemental or critical
  • Can forward plan and postpone immediate gratification if they perceive it as unfitting for the moment
  • Spiritually in tune and aware
  • Consistent in their values and ethics (they apply the same values to themselves as they do to others)
  • Constantly curious and are growing through learning and experience
  • Genuinely enjoy other people’s happiness and success
  • Are not interested in gossiping about others

Unauthentic or false self 

  • Have low energy levels, walk around as if they are in a dream and have virtually no self-awareness or the effect that they have on others
  • Are very poor at communicating, can completely contradict themselves in a very short period of time, leaving their listener feeling confused.
  • Their language, body language and intonation all contradict each other
  • Are completely lacking in empathy, very reluctant to meet the needs of others unless they stand to gain something
  • Usually unaware of the needs, dreams and perspectives other than their own and they are strongly disinclined to learn what they might be
  • Are pathological liars, are very secretive/closed  and are open and are corrupt in their thoughts and actions
  • Expect to be treated as a superior in all of their relationships
  • Their sense of morality is for how they think others should treat them. The same rules do not apply to them and will always do what they think serves their own needs best at the time.  Will have absolutely no qualms about doing something that hurts someone else
  • Will constantly be looking for cues from other people when it comes to “expressing emotion” so that they can decide how to “play it”
  • Have absolutely no capacity to relate to others and find it impossible to form genuine bonds and relationships
  • Are hyper judgemental and critical of others
  • Cannot forward plan and are only interested in immediate gratification no matter what the consequences
  • Are spiritually dead although they can use religion as a leverage for feeling superior
  • Highly inconsistent in their values and ethics (they do not apply “rules” to themselves as they do to others) and these can vary hugely depending on the company that they are in
  • Have no curiosity and do not feel that they have to make the effort of developing and improving themselves (they think that they are already perfect)
  • Genuinely enjoy other people’s defeats and failures
  • Love to gossip about others, especially when it is malicious


About us

Narcissism is rife at the moment, not because I think that there is an exponential growth, but because we have a name for it, the patterns of behaviour and language usage is alarmingly predictable and because somewhere along the line we have been given permission to move away from people who make us feel uncomfortable (aka toxic people).

We set up this website for educational and informational purposes only.  Our goal is to provide as much information about this personality disorder as we can so that people can recognise and protect themselves from NPD.  We are not here to vilify anyone, however, we are not going to pretend that the impact of being around people with this condition is not extremely dangerous and destructive.  It is also important to know that Narcissism is a spectrum and some people with the condition are a lot more abusive and sadistic than others who might just manifest the traits as being without empathy extremely self-absorbed.

Education is the key to keeping yourself safe.  Recognise it for what it is and you will be able to navigate the murky waters around a narcissist much more effectively.  That does not mean that they will not try to destroy your reputation, steal your ideas or take credit for your achievements.  What it means is that you will know that the way that they treat you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  They may name call, try to destroy your reputation, constantly say “you are so …”.  It is their issues that they are trying to shake off and blame someone else for.  It is called projection “I don’t like this about myself, so it is your fault”.  So hold your ground, learning about NPD is very hard and it changes your perspective on everything.  Don’t try to learn too much too soon, let it sink in slowly and gently reinforce your boundaries.

A word of warning: Once you realise that you are with a narcissist or have come from a narcissistic family of origin, it is very easy to become obsessed with learning all about the condition.  However, you (one) will only be able to absorb the concept in small increments, so there is no point in getting up at 4 am and Googling facets of narcissism.  You (one) simply won’t be able to absorb it in a speedy way.

Another word of warning: There is little or no point in talking to people who have not experienced or are not educated about narcissistic abuse.  They simply will not know what you are talking about and it might only serve to make you feel even more isolated and vulnerable.  There are a lot of support groups out there and it would be more beneficial to converse with people who know what you are talking about, rather than those who will imply that you are being too sensitive, paranoid,  feeling sorry for yourself or simply lying.

Fifty common traits found in narcissists (A cheat sheet)

  • Lack empathy
  • Very disrespectful of others
  • Regularly make and break promises
  • Always have an excuse for all of their behaviour and comments
  • If they apologise, it is always general and never sincere and they do not change their behaviour
  • They are always angry or irritated, or are just hiding it under a very thin veneer
  • Expect perfection from others but expect to be “let away with it” for themselves
  • Have little or no self-awareness
  • Constantly try to prevent others from expressing themselves
  • Hyper critical of others
  • Regularly attack the reputations of others by lying, sneering etc.
  • Confront others rather than connect with them
  • Pathological liars
  • Thieves
  • Refuse to be accountable or take responsibility for their own actions
  • Can only think in the very short term
  • If they decide that they want something they will go to any lengths to get it including criminal activities
  • Use people and treat them as objects
  • Try to curtail the freedom of others
  • Try to arrest the development of others
  • Try to hinder the development of their own children so that they can keep them focused on the parent
  • Have no friends, just acquaintances
  • Don’t listen to anyone
  • Assume that everyone tells lies as much as they do
  • Assume that everyone is as self-serving and amoral as they are
  • Have issues trusting others (think that others think like they do)
  • See kindness as a weakness
  • Hyper defensive of self and hyper critical of others
  • Argumentative for no reason
  • Constantly contradict themselves which creates confusion as it is difficult to understand what they mean. They don’t know either
  • Behaviour changes depending on who is around them
  • Unforgiving
  • Enjoy others misfortune detest others happiness and success
  • Terrible gossips, betray other people’s secrets
  • Completely self-absorbed unable to see another person’s point of view
  • Prone to temper tantrums
  • Quit when things get tough
  • Expect others to take care of all of their needs without any reciprocity
  • Get angry when others express or assert themselves
  • No core beliefs or values
  • Pathologically envious/jealous of others
  • Always have to be right, get inappropriately angry when people disagree with them
  • When in an argument they fight to “win” not to find a solution
  • Extremely manipulative
  • Use weakness and vulnerability (victim syndrome) as a tool for manipulation while abusing others
  • Violate people’s privacy, will open post, text and emails etc.
  • Will happily be disrespectful of other people’s reputation in an attempt to make themselves feel more important
  • Cannot be teased, will end in temper tantrum
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Fear of being ignored
  • Fear of being disrespected
  • Extremely ungrateful