In order to understand the concept of narcissistic rage one must first consider that a narcissist is extremely insecure.
At some point in their life he (or she) would have suffered a serious injury to their psyche (narcissistic injury or narcissistic wound) that led them to hide their true self.
The narcissist then constructs a fake outer persona that appears confident and successful.
This persona is nothing but a protective shell that hides the shame and insecurity underneath.
The narcissist does not want to expose his true self and will go to extreme lengths to prevent the outer shell from shattering.
What is narcissistic rage?
Narcissistic rage is a reaction to a perceived threat or slight to one’s ego. It can manifest in many forms such as aggression, defensiveness, and passive-aggressive behavior.
It often stems from an underlying sense of insecurity and low self-esteem that causes the individual to feel threatened when their sense of superiority is challenged or questioned.
Narcissistic rage can lead to destructive and violent behaviours if not managed properly.
A danger to the narcissist’s fake persona
The narcissist has an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for admiration and validation.
When their inflated sense of self-worth is challenged, or they feel they are not being given the attention they believe they deserve, they can react with narcissistic rage.
Narcissistic rage is a psychological phenomenon in which a person whose self-esteem has been severely injured reacts with extreme anger, violence, and sometimes even aggression.
It is an emotional reaction to the perceived threat of humiliation or rejection.
Narcissistic rage can be triggered by anything that threatens the narcissist’s ego, such as criticism, rejection, or even just the perception that they are not being given the attention they believe they deserve.
The reaction is usually disproportionate to the perceived threat and can result in verbal or physical aggression, sometimes even violence.
A narcissist is just like a cornered animal. He is most aggressive when he fears that someone is trying to expose him.
The following are some of the types of situations that could lead to narcissistic rage, which is a type of narcissistic abuse and manipulation by the narcissist:
- Contradicting or disagreeing with a narcissist, even if the topic is inconsequential.
- Criticising a narcissist, however well intentioned the feedback.
- Beating a narcissist, however unimportant the game.
- Stealing the spotlight away from a narcissist, who always needs to be the centre of attention.
Here are some tips on how to deal with a narcissist at work, in your friend group or in your family.
Narcissistic Rage: an example
Roger and Clare are at a board meeting.
Roger is making the case that the company needs to make some people redundant, but Clare realises that the data he is using is incorrect.
She is concerned about contradicting him because she knows he will react negatively, but the stakes are too high. People could end up losing their jobs.
So Clare speaks up and points out that Roger was misinterpreting the data.
Roger’s narcissistic rage is nuclear and totally disproportionate to the situation. He shouts that she is the most manipulative person he ever had to work with and leaves the room, banging the door behind him.
The other board members say nothing.
Clearly they do not want to get involved.
Clare realises that she did not achieve anything except make an enemy.
She decides to hold her tongue in future.
Narcissist mission accomplished.
What should you do if your partner is prone to succumbing to narcissistic rage?
If you are in a relationship with someone who is prone to bouts of narcissistic rage, it can be difficult to know how to handle and manage their behavior. Here are five tips for navigating this situation in the most effective way possible.
Communicate clearly: Set clear boundaries with your partner and communicate them effectively to avoid triggering narcissistic rage. Let them know what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, and have a plan in place for dealing with outbursts if they occur.
Remain calm: Make sure to remain as calm as possible when approaching difficult situations with your partner – this will help you keep a level head, be more objective in assessing the situation, and may even help to defuse the situation.
Seek support: Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed by the stress of being in a relationship with someone prone to narcissistic rage – whether it’s friends or family, a therapist or other professional guidance, having extra support can make all the difference.
Take care of yourself: It’s important to take time away from the situation periodically – take some time out just for yourself to relax, unwind and recharge so that you can stay strong both mentally and emotionally in the face of any challenges that come up in your relationship.
Get help: If things become too overwhelming, seek professional help – therapy can be incredibly beneficial for those who are in relationships with partners who struggle with anger or other behavioral issues such as narcissistic rage or aggression.
What should you do if you are faced with an enraged narcissist?
If you are faced with an enraged narcissist, it is very important to remain calm yourself, since you need to be able to think clearly in order to de-escalate matters and extract yourself safely from the potentially volatile situation.
Don’t engage: If confronted by narcissistic rage, it’s important to not engage in the conversation or conflict. .
Do not engage with them in any way, no matter how tempting it might be – even attempting to talk them down can be risky and potentially dangerous
Remain calm: It can be difficult, but try your best to remain calm and composed when dealing with narcissistic rage – this will help to defuse the situation and keep you from reacting in an emotional manner which could worsen the situation.
Avoid criticism: Try to avoid criticizing or challenging a narcissist’s opinion as this will escalate the situation. Instead, focus on expressing your own thoughts in a respectful way without attacking theirs.
Seek support: Reaching out to supportive friends, family or even professional therapists can help you manage the emotions that come up when dealing with narcissistic rage, as well as giving you advice on how to handle the situation safely and effectively.
If the narcissist becomes violent or aggressive, remove yourself from the situation and get to a safe place.
The Takeaway about Narcissistic Rage
Remember that it is possible to be in a relationship with someone who struggles with narcissistic rage, but it takes work and dedication.
It is important to remember to set boundaries, remain calm, seek support, take care of yourself and get outside help if necessary.
Dealing with narcissistic rage can be difficult, but talking openly and honestly about it can lead to healthier relationships for all involved.
If you are being verbally or physically abused, get out of the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Remember that whatever psychological pressures the person is suffering from, they are not entitled to take it out on you, so you should never hesitate to seek help if you are in an abusive situation.