Narcissistic rage is an unusually dramatic outburst of anger.
The person showing it often loses self-control and acts in a way that no one else will.
Strangely, they may be aware that they are losing control, but they cannot stop themselves.
As a result, their angry reaction outgrows the size of the issue.
If you find yourself in the middle of someone’s narcissistic rage, your first response must be to protect yourself.
What causes narcissistic rage? What happens after?
When a narcissist gets angry, it can often be expressed as “narcissistic rage.”
However, it may also be shown by someone who has low self-esteem and has been made to feel hurt.
What is narcissistic rage?
Narcissistic rage is an outburst of intense anger, frustration, and at times, violent behavior.
- Narcissistic rage is a reaction to real or perceived slights or threats to a narcissist’s ego.
- It is usually characterized by disproportionate anger, frustration, aggression, or violence.
- It can be triggered by insults, criticism, rejection, or even a threat to the narcissist’s status or power.
- It is often overbalanced in relation to the perceived threat and out of proportion to the provocation.
Narcissistic rage has been compared to a flood of emotions and physical reactions, including:
- A sudden influx of self-hatred.
- The impulse to blame and punish.
- A sense of helplessness and despair.
- Inability to self-control anti-social behavior.
- The need for absolute certainty and control.
- The feeling of having been invaded, taken over, violated.
- Fear of being smothered or engulfed by another person or entity.
- The sense of being diminished, humiliated, defeated, or invalidated.
- The urge to get one’s needs met primarily by imposing one’s will on others.
What actually causes narcissistic rage?
Narcissistic rage is a reaction to a narcissistic injury.
Narcissistic injury is anything that a narcissist perceives as a threat to their ego, self-esteem, or self-worth.
Narcissistic injury can be caused by a variety of situations targeted at the narcissist, such as feedback or criticism, neglect or rejection, or simply a perceived slight.
And the show of narcissistic rage is their way of dealing with the unsettling effects of the narcissistic injury and regaining control and feeling powerful.
What happens after narcissistic rage?
It is critical to know how to prevent the aftereffects of a narcissist’s rage and to avoid doing anything that could further upset the person.
After a bout of narcissistic rage, the narcissist often feels empty and blank.
They may feel regret and shame, but these feelings are usually quickly replaced by anger and resentment.
The narcissist may also become more aggressive and paranoid.
In some cases, a frail-looking narcissist may turn physically violent like a person many times their size.
Narcissists may send in their “flying monkeys” to you to do their dirty work.
What happens when you ignore narcissistic rage?
Narcissists are often quick to anger.
They may react with aggression or violence when they feel threatened.
They are quite capable of lashing out at those they perceive as weaker or inferior to them. In some cases, the size of the person they are raging against does not matter.
Ignoring the vicious narcissist
For vicious narcissists, ignoring their narcissistic rage makes them more inappropriately angry.
If their victim is nearby, they will raise their voice. They may begin to throw increasingly toxic and hostile remarks at their victims.
They may start to break things or throw things around.
They can become physically violent.
If the victim is away, their rage will keep boiling until they can explode it on their victim or someone else.
If the victim is on a phone, and they disconnect the narcissist, they may keep dialing them non-stop.
If blocked, they may start reaching out to them through other forms of calling or messaging.
They might call their relatives and friends to tell them about their misbehavior.
Ignoring the benign narcissist
For many benign narcissists, ignoring their narcissistic rage may take away its intensity.
They may not attack them immediately or directly because they are aware it will cut off their narcissistic supply.
Often, they unload their anger against easier targets, who cannot lash back, like children or subordinates.
How to calm down narcissistic rage?
Narcissistic rage is unpredictable, unreasonable, and uncontrolled.
It is a destructive type of anger that is fueled by a sense of entitlement, self-importance, and a need to be in control.
In most cases, experts suggest that the best course of action when a narcissist is exploding is to disengage and move out of their reach.
The most workable way to calm down a narcissist showing narcissistic rage is to take a step back and let them cool off.
Do not try to reason with them when they are angry because they will not listen.
Instead, give them space and time to work through their feelings on their own.
Tell them, “I’ll talk to you later, when you’ve had a chance to calm down.”
Give them time to think about their behavior.
Later, when they are more reasonable, you can also help them see the consequences of their actions.
If you are dealing with narcissistic rage, the first step is to try to calm yourself down. This may mean taking some time to yourself to gather your thoughts and emotions.
It is important to avoid making any decisions while you are feeling angry, as this can lead to rash and impulsive actions.
If you are able to, have a conversation with the person who you feel has wronged you.
This can be a difficult and frustrating process, but it is important to try to see things from their perspective. It is also important to be assertive, but not aggressive when communicating with them.
Here’s a fresh perspective: narcissistic rage is possibly a primitive defense mechanism designed to keep the narcissist safe.
Narcissists are hurt-people. Most of their hurts came when they could not defend themselves, like when they were children reared by narcissistic parents.
And, hurt people hurt people. So, narcissistic rage is an unconscious response to a narcissistic injury that might happen to them.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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