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 real or perceived abandonment or rejection. It is often triggered by feelings of anger, humiliation, and entitlement.
If a narcissist feels rejected, they become enraged. For example, if a narcissist’s partner threatens to leave them, they will lash out. Or, if a narcissist is not given the attention they feel they deserve, they may also react with rage.
Narcissistic rage often leads to aggressive or violent behaviour, and it can be destructive to relationships, work, and personal well-being.
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 you are faced with an enraged narcissist?
If you are faced with an enraged narcissist, the best course of action is to try and calm them down. This can be difficult, as narcissists are often unwilling to listen to reason.
It is also very important to try and remain calm yourself, as this will make it more likely that the narcissist will also calm down.
If the narcissist becomes violent or aggressive, remove yourself from the situation and get to a safe place. It is also important to avoid any further communication with the narcissist, as this could escalate the situation.
The Takeaway about Narcissistic Rage
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is expressing narcissistic rage, the best course of action is to defuse the situation. It is important not to engage in any sort of argument or debate with someone who is in the middle of a narcissistic rage tantrum, as this will only make the situation worse.
If you are in a relationship with someone who engages in narcissistic rage, it is important to set boundaries and not allow yourself to be abused. 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 do not hesitate to seek help if you are in an abusive situation.
For Further Reading:
You might also want to check out the following posts about different abuse tactics in the narcissist’s toolbox:
- Abuse by Proxy
- Flying Monkeys
- Future Faking
- Love Bombing
- Narcissist Discard
- Narcissist Hoovering
- Narcissistic Abuse
- Narcissistic FOG
- Narcissistic Grooming
- Narcissistic Projection
- Narcissistic Rage
- Narcissistic Smear Campaign
- Narcissistic Word Salad
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