Across four studies, narcissists were more angry and aggressive after experiencing a social rejection than were nonnarcissists. In Study 1, narcissism was positively correlated with feelings of anger and negatively correlated with more internalized negative emotions in a self-reported, past episode of social rejection. Study 2 replicated this effect for a concurrent lab manipulation of social rejection. In Study 3, narcissists aggressed more against someone who rejected them (i.e., direct aggression). In Study 4, narcissists were also more aggressive toward an innocent third party after experiencing social rejection (i.e., displaced aggression). Narcissists were not more aggressive after social acceptance. Self-esteem plays little role in predicting aggression in response to rejection. These results suggest that the combination of narcissism and social rejection is a powerful predictor of aggressive behavior.
Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2003). “Isn’t it fun to get the respect that we’re going to deserve?” Narcissism, social rejection, and aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(2), 261-272.