If you have a narcissist close to you, you have probably noticed their strange obsession with money. They might seem greedy or generous, but they use their cash against you either way.
Narcissists are obsessed with money as a means of obtaining power, demonstrating control, and buying love. However, they couldn’t care less about money in itself. This strange combination makes them both endlessly covet money yet spend it wildly when they get it.
Because money problems are so detrimental to personal and business relationships, it is essential to understand why you can’t trust a narcissist with money. And what you can do to delay their reckless spending.
What Makes Narcissists So Obsessed with Money
Narcissists will use any leverage they have to control your image of them and manipulate you into loving them. On this front, money is typically beneficial.
Narcissists want to be wealthy and of high status. They honestly believe that good things should come to them without effort. And they lack the humility to desire anything less than the best.
This combination of entitlement and overconfidence leads narcissists to positions where they have the means of accumulating large sums of money. Once they begin to show an aptitude for making money and experience the admiration that comes with being financially successful, they are hooked for life.
Narcissists CEOs make more money, have more extensive total shareholdings, and make more relative to their employees when compared to managers with less pronounced narcissistic personality traits.
Narcissists are more likely to reach higher positions in companies or work higher-paying careers. See: “Most Common Examples of a Narcissistic Employee”
How A Narcissist Uses Money Against You
In a narcissist’s hands, all forms of money are a tool for manipulation. Some common ways they will use cash against you include:
Showing You With Money
Early on, they may find ways to shower you with cash in an effort to appear wealthy, powerful, and generous. There is a more sinister side to their actions in that they hope to make you look forward to their contributions and eventually make you partially dependent on them. This gives them leverage in the relationship, friendship, or professional acquaintance, which they can use against you later.
Being the Big Man in Town
Narcissists love to show off and win admiration. You may see them spending big bucks on clothes, hairstyles, cars, jewelry, expensive dinners, and shows. In relationships, this often manifests as the narcissist spending way out of their means. In business, narcissists will spend company money as quickly as possible to boost appearances, particularly theirs.
When you push back against a narcissist for their crazy spending habits, they will try to make it out like you are abusing or depriving them. They may even blame you for wasting all the money and leaving them destitute. See: “Why All Narcissists are Hypocrites”
When a narcissist gets the upper hand, controlling your source of money, they will eventually start to tighten the strings on you. Depending on your relationship with them, this can happen in different ways. On one end of the spectrum, they might try to inhibit you from buying things you like while still allowing you to keep up appearances. On the other end, they might try to cut you off completely. And then claim you are greedy when you ask for assistance.
Are Narcissists generous with money?
Narcissists are not generous but commonly spend money freely to impress people they meet. Their free use of funds is not generosity because they use it to manipulate you rather than out of a desire to give you joy or assistance.
Why are narcissists so greedy?
Narcissists are greedy because they see money as a tool they can use to make themselves appear important, attract attention, and manipulate individuals in their circle. Additionally, narcissists are entitled and self-centered, leading them to honestly believe they deserve to make more than everyone else.