top of page

Recognize a Narcissist's Money Plays

CNBC Thursday 14APR2022 10:20AM EDT “Narcissists share these 5 toxic money habits, says psychologist:’They often go unnoticed or ignored’ by Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Read CNBC for all the detail

Summary by 2244

Narcissists famous for “grandiosity, superiority, entitlement and a lack of empathy”... seek to hold power over others as a way “to feel better about themselves, and money is a tool they use to manipulate and control.”

The 5 Toxic Money Habits

“They are secretive about their finances”

Narcissist's are secretive about their and possibly your finances too in a personal or business relationship. They have a way of stealthy keeping you from knowing their or your combined finances. They might imply it’s too much of a hassle for you to manage or as you bring other strengths to bear, like being the creative one, “I’ll manage the boring money stuff.” If confronted with such a scenario then, because there clearly are implications that may impact you if there are financial blunders, insist on being involved.

“They are only generous with money in public”

In "show time"they display generosity but in private “they may be stingy.” This sets up a dichotomy of the show that’s displayed publicly versus the reality you alone may only be aware of. In this circumstance consider working through your feelings by journaling, working with a therapist and even leaving the relationship if your narcissist refuses to change.

“They skimp on the essentials”

Your narcissist may spend wildly for “self-serving, unnecessary spending…but skimp on essentials” to the extent that as a partner you might have to “quietly save money, so [you] can take care of [yourself].” Same holds in business, where workers suffer from poor pay while a CEO lives it up using “company funds to fly first class and book luxury hotels.” Such a situation calls for a serious face-to-face conversation about change or even leaving the partnership.

“They are hypocritical”

According to the author “narcissism and hypocrisy go hand in hand because hypocrisy is a form of entitlement.” For these folks there’s a belief that “rules don’t apply to them” although they “are quick to enforce them on everyone else.” They may spend at will, blowing your collective budget, and then “[criticize] you for spending more than they deem necessary.” You are unlikely to be successful in swaying your narcissist that their spending is “out of sync with what’s actually right” so understand you are entitled to your fair share of the budget and keep good records as data might be needed “for legal purposes down the road.”

“They are punitive with money”

“They may reward you financially when you do what they want, and then withhold money when they feel vindictive.” So given this situation, “just to keep the household or business running,” consider setting aside “some funds…for basic expenses.” Such a plan is a good strategy and alleviates “feeling blindsided.” Again exiting the partnership might have to be considered.


bottom of page