Narcissists notoriously hate the holidays and they all have one thing in common. They absolutely act like seasonal WRECKING BALLS. Narcissists will be the first to tell you they love Halloween (because they can grandstand and dress up extravagantly). Aside from that, they will be the first to tell you about how everyone hates holiday XYZ or that people are just celebrating holidays because they have been sold a bill of goods with regard to the whole “consumer culture” thing. Narcissists hate Thanksgiving. They can’t stand spending Christmas Day with friends, children, and family members. They only go to church when they are forced to out of guilt or family shaming habit on Easter and/or Christmas Eve.
They despise having to smile and make nice during the Christmas season. They hate New Year’s Eve. They hate New Years. They hate Hanukkah. They hate Passover. They hate Easter. The list goes on and on. They basically hate everything about any season or celebration that involves teaching empathy to children or helps to encourage universal kindness and compassion. They even hate birthday celebrations — not their own so much but definitely YOURS. And if they say they are not jealous a family member or child that has a birthday to celebrate, watch how fast they insist on giving gifts THEY want (if they even bother to give one) or how fast dominating a party or the party planning ritual themselves will occur.
Why do they act like such fools and “Debbie Downer” types around the holidays? Why does it seem like no matter how hard empathetic people try to decorate a home or make their lifestyle friendly that the Narcissist has to pull some attention-seeking rage, blame, ridicule, or shame game to silence or thwart the goals of having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season for all involved?
Bottom line, people with narcissistic tendencies alone — not even people who meet diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (#NPD) or some other form of a Cluster B personality disorder but just plain old selfish folks who by habit spend any holiday season self-obsessing while they pervasively bitch and moan — ALL contribute to the collective mob devaluing holidays. It’s part of the Narcissistic habit of love bombing a romantic target… then subsequently devaluing and discarding.
“Narcissists are incapable of handling any time of year or any event (birthdays anyone?) where they might be expected to show responsibility and loyalty to the people that care about them. This is not to say that he doesn’t spend the holidays with someone somewhere [because he does]. It’s just that he chooses the environment and/or relationship situation that is most self-serving to his seasonal narcissistic needs – whatever those may be – and that is where he’ll spend his time during that part of the year. A narcissist is seasonal. Without fail.” — The Narcissistic personality
Narcissists will agree to participate in holiday events they come ready to play active saboteur. Always ready to undermine, “poo poo”, make fun, or refuse to cooperate with hosts or the family member who seems to most need the festive regard, their little black rain cloud of seasonal frost follows them everywhere they make a not-so-merry pit stop.
Whether a Narcissistic person shows up at your holiday party and spends the entire time discussing how:
- holidays are really quite stupid
- holidays are too commercial
- holidays are for kids
- going on and on about how Santa Claus is not real
- everyone hates Christmas
- their aches and pains
- some religious BS
- how bad their life is (persistently focusing on the negative)
- why someone else’s dream will fail
- why someone else’s career is stupid, not a real job, or is going nowhere
- picking fights
- drinking heavily to the point of becoming irrational and/or antagonistic
- getting wasted on alcohol or some other mind altering drug to the point they are functionally incapacitated
- falling asleep in a common area or while watching a film (complete with snoring that indicates the family event is boring)
- yelling at or bullying pets, children, or party-goers
- giving people the silent treatment (refusing to speak)
- participating defiantly (if at all) at a slow pace or with excessive huffing and puffing
- blathering on about some topic ad infinitum that has a sour note specifically to control the mood and tempo of the celebration by injecting a discordant or off-key note
- ADD YOUR FAVORITE NARC TACTIC TO RUIN A HOLIDAY MOOD OR FESTIVITY HERE
Seriously… if someone you know and quite possibly love has a real problem celebrating or enjoying the holidays, consider the source. If you bend over backward time and time again, day after day and year after year to see the positive in all things and strive to create a loving home environment, what is THEIR contribution to the social home environment?
Do they spend the day making undercutting and backstabbing references to upset or undermine a host? Do they create aloof or attention seeking dramas to try to turn the full attention of every person present to somehow (one way or another) having to deal with them? Do they help or constantly distract, annoy, antagonize, and sabotage holiday celebrations, birthday parties, anniversaries, or special events?
If a person in YOUR life is failing to contribute to the social tradition of sharing community time with loved ones or like-minded people who derive pleasure from celebrating positive lifestyle traditions with family and friends, they just might be a card-carrying Narcissist — or worse.
Do keep in mind that people who have been traumatized during holiday events past themselves may have a low tolerance for PTSD triggers. This is not the same mechanism that affects Narcissistic or egocentric people.
People who experience holiday blues have suffered — typically — a lifetime or narcissistic abuse. Their triggers come as being flooded with waves of nostalgia and traumatizing memories. As such, their emotions might be so strong that it becomes easy to react quicker than normal to negative or positive stimulus.
Narcy folks, on the other hand, hear Christmas music start playing (for instance) in their local Walgreens or see some big seasonal promotional end cap at a Target or Walmart and they perceive it as a reason to launch. Expect a narcissistic person to attention seek, dominate conversations, and openly rage about the holiday season or conversely pitch and absolute toddler-style temper tantrum any time they see someone happy flitting about.
Ultimately, the “Seasonal Wrecking Ball” person cannot wait to be invited to attend your Christmas party, birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner, or Easter Sunday social gathering. The trouble is they only look forward to showing up so they can devalue the host’s efforts, dominate the party-goers attention, and destroy any feeling of comfort, love, joy, or interpersonal connectedness.
Instead, they insist on being invited or included. Then, if they bother to show up (rather than stand people up at the least minute — another narcissistic abuse tactic) they spend the entire time manufacturing chaos, complaining, and picking fights. Their social engineering to dominate the situation from a narcissistic standpoint is so overt that it eventually becomes clear to all who know them.
The only reason they even attend social gatherings of sentimental import is that they delight in engaging sadistically in spirit sabotage.