The Problem Narcissistic Men Have with Strong, Smart and Capable Women

Mark Goulston
3 min readAug 22, 2019


I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks when you see this dynamic happening.

Or maybe I won’t…

One of the main reasons some narcissistic men put down strong, smart and capable women is because these men have a case of fearful aggression.

Fearful aggression occurs when people become aggressive out of fear towards someone or some category of people.

And what is it that narcissistic men fear when they are in contact with strong, smart and capable women?

When such a man is with such a woman, three things are going on:

1. He knows he’s full of crap

2. She knows he’s full of crap

3. He knows that she knows he’s full of crap

With narcissistic men it’s not just their fear of having their being full of crap exposed.

Narcissistic men are more deeply afraid of having their utter unconcern about anyone but themselves being exposed. What frightens them about this is that such narcissistic men project on others the way they would feel if they discovered they were being deceived by someone who claims to care about them, but in reality couldn’t care less about them and furthermore mocks them in private behind their backs.

If a narcissistic man were to discover another person lying to them and mocking them in private, that would trigger narcissistic rage. Therefore, a narcissistic man projects onto these women, that they must be enraged with him, because that is what that man would feel if he were them.

Why is it that narcissistic men don’t have this same fear of other men?

Just as there is no honor among thieves, men don’t become as threatened by other men, because there is an unspoken belief between them that they’re all full of crap too and posturing (a.k.a. the “good old boys” club).

Interestingly most narcissistic men are often attracted to highly beautiful and sexy women because first, they don’t fear being called on their crap and second, there is an unspoken covenant that that woman will not expose that man if he drowns her (and buys her off) in luxury.

The honeymoon of this unholy and sordid exchange often ends when such a couple has a child. That’s because the maternal instinct of the woman and bond with her child frequently overrides the “mutually using each other” deal she has had with her husband.

In other words, the beautiful and sexy wife of a narcissistic man can look the other way — especially when the throws money at her — when he bullsh-ts her when she is just a wife, but if he does that to her (and his) child it can unleash the fury of the mother bear in her.

And when that happens, her not tolerating his treating her child the way he treats her can then unleash the cheater in him.

How often does this happen?

Sadly, so often that it is a cliché among the rich and famous and seriously f — ked up.



Mark Goulston

Dr. Goulston is the world's #1 listening coach and author of "Just Listen" which became the top book on listening in the world