If you are you wondering how does a narcissist react when they can’t control you, there is a particular pattern. A feeling engulfs them when they see you no longer stay within their whims and caprices.

Narcissistic abuse is far too common in society. Many people have fallen prey to narcissistic targets, which can happen among your family, friends, and intimate relationships. Narcissistic abuse has caused psychological damage to people, and you might be seeing your mental health unsettled.

However, much progress happens when you break free from a narcissist. This article will look at common narcissist behavior traits when you stop tolerating a narcissist’s acts and provide advice to cope with their manipulative tactics. Read on!

how does a narcissist react

More on narcissism: 

  1. Trapped in a narcissistic relationship pattern? The 11 awful signs
  2. The 12 traits of a narcissist to spot immediately and avoid attachment

How do you know if someone has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

·      They have an inflated sense of self-esteem.

One thing about narcissists is that they have an inflated sense of self. Narcissists believe they are better than everyone else, do not need others, and can do anything they set their minds to.

Narcissists need to show off their accomplishments and often exaggerate them constantly. They also have a strong sense of self-importance and expect special treatment because of their success.

Once they do not get what they want, they throw tantrums.

·      They are master manipulators.

Most narcissists know how to get what they want by manipulating people and situations around them, especially those who do not understand their behavior or motives.

Narcissists will use charm, flattery, threats, intimidation, and other manipulation tactics to get what they want from others.

They display arrogant behaviors and use these behaviors to control people around them by making them feel inferior or inadequate compared to themselves.

·      They are seeking constant approval.

narcissists control their victims

One way to know if a person has a narcissistic personality disorder is their need for constant approval. Narcissists only seek attention from you when they need something. To get your attention, a narcissist will do things like complimenting you or asking for help.

Narcissists will also tell you how much they love you and how great you are at everything, even when it’s not true. This behavior makes them seem insecure, but it’s part of their manipulation tactic.

They want to feel so loved that they’ll say anything to get it.

·      They are love bombing you since day one.

Love bombing happens when a narcissist wants to get your attention. It is one of the emotional techniques of future faking that aims at the narcissists’ target.

Love bombing happens when a narcissist continually showers someone with love to get them on their good side. Narcissists love this tactic much, just like they love seeking approval.

·      They show arrogant behavior.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are often boastful and arrogant.

Narcissists feel entitled to use their strength to get what they want, even if denying others’ needs.

They may also be quick to anger and have difficulty empathizing with others’ feelings. Hence they are likely to lash out at the people they love – their narcissistic supply.

·      They have an extreme sense of self-importance.

When narcissists feel unimportant, they get crazy

Narcissists need admiration and validation from others and don’t feel very good about themselves unless they get it.

Their narcissistic supply is people who will provide admiration, validation, attention, and praise, but they can become very depressed and frustrated when their needs are not fulfilled.

Some even go as far as losing control, and when they can no longer control themselves, they resort to narcissistic abuse or a smear campaign. They will do anything to boost their self-importance.

·      They are control freaks.

Are narcissists control freaks? Another way to know if someone has a narcissistic personality disorder is their propensity for controlling people. A narcissist will have a strong need for control over everything around them, including family members, friends, work colleagues, and even strangers.

Many narcissists are control freaks. They try as much as possible to track people around them so that they can monitor their behaviors. Once they are called out for this tactic, a narcissist reacts with emotional blackmail or silent treatment.

·      They are responding passive-aggressively to criticism.

Narcissists lose control when they realize how difficult it is to control an influential person. They then start to respond passively and aggressively to any form of criticism that comes their way.

What is narcissistic rage, and how long does it last?

narcissistic injury can destroy you for your past behavior

Narcissistic rage refers to the tendency for people with a narcissistic personality disorder to quickly get angry even when the situation doesn’t warrant it. Author Heinz Kohut first coined the term in 1972

 People with narcissistic personality disorder always expect admiration from others. They want to hear positive things about themselves. When they don’t get any of these, they may resort to narcissistic abuse. A narcissist reacts in an instant angry response and loses control without care for how it impacts the other person. 

The narcissist’s ego always causes their rage. The rage results from the fear that others will know their actual state, often different from what they try to portray.

Narcissistic rage can last up to 3 hours or until the narcissist feels you have learned your lesson, which may be just a few minutes if you seem highly distressed.

10 Signs you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse while in a relationship with a narcissist:

When a narcissist loses control, gets mad

·      You have low self-esteem compared to the past.

A narcissist will bring you to a realization that your self-worth is nothing. And this affects how you perceive yourself. You are not as confident, happy, and outgoing the same way you once were. You might even feel like a failure or a burden on your loved ones. Narcissistic abuse will make you lose control of yourself, as you will have no power over your own life.

·      You are losing your sense of self.

Narcissistic abuse makes you lose your true self. You will feel like you can’t express your opinion. Your narcissist partner uses control tactics and makes you feel like you are going crazy.

·      You are not the same person as before.

As a result of losing your right to personal opinion in the relationship, you begin to see yourself in a new light differently from how you used to perceive yourself. People around you will quickly identify your changes, and some may even call your attention to them.

·      Your own reality is distorted.

When your reality is distorted, your perceptions are warped, and you feel like you’re the only one who sees things differently. This is a common sign that you are dealing with a narcissist.

·      You feel guilty for choosing your friends or family over them.

intermittent reinforcement of narcissists

One effect of narcissistic abuse is feeling like an idiot for putting your family over them. The narcissist will constantly put you down and tell you that you are wrong, and this act makes it hard for you to stand up for yourself.

This is especially true if they own all your relationship’s money and power. A narcissist will want you to maintain no contact with your family therapist or people who can help your situation. They want to be the only person you talk to

·      You are losing control over your choices.

Another sign you are dealing with a narcissist is realizing you have no control over your choices. You can’t make any decisions by yourself anymore, and it’s all in the hands of the narcissist. Even when you decide by yourself, it will resort in the narcissists losing control and employing emotional abuse tactics.

·      You no longer have the upper hand in your life.

Another sign you are dealing with a narcissist is when you do not have much say about what goes on in your life, and you can not solely carry out a decision. You always have to wait for the other person to make every critical decision in your life. This is a significant sign that you are dealing with a narcissist.

·      You are losing your own identity.

Another sign you are dealing with a narcissist is that you no longer have the upper hand in your life and are losing your identity and becoming someone else’s puppet. This person will tell you what to do, how to feel, and how to think.

They might also make you feel guilty for not being “perfect” enough for them. The more aggressive they get with you, the more they prevent you from making personal decisions.

·      You are experiencing extreme tantrums from their side.

You are not a bad person if you don't fall for future faking of a narcissist

Another sign that someone is dealing with a narcissist is that you experience extreme tantrums from their side. This can include losing control when they don’t get their way, being unreasonable generally, and refusing or ignoring your need.

·      You lose control over your reactions and feelings.

Narcissistic abuse prevents you from expressing yourself. Your reactions become dictated by the narcissist you are in a relationship with, and as a result, you will remain at their mercy to define your feelings at all times. 

In a relationship with a narcissist? You might be feeling this way

Why do narcissists get mad when they can’t control you?

When a narcissist loses control, becomes mad at you

The need for control in a narcissist is intense. They employ some of the most invasive forms of manipulation to place themselves in positions of power over everybody and everything in their lives, but it does not always work.

When a narcissist cannot control you, they become enraged. It can be disturbing and highly uncomfortable, but it is critical to understand why they are so angry.

Narcissists get mad when they can’t control you because it contrasts their sense of uniqueness and stimulates their suppressed negative emotions. And since they are too emotionally inept at managing independently, they resort to narcissistic abuse tactics.

When narcissist control is non existent

How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

Narcissists are master manipulators, so don’t be fooled. Below are the common signs that show their reactions;

·      They will begin a smear campaign against you.

Starting a smear campaign against a person is a control tactic narcissists employ when they realize they can no longer manipulate a person. Narcissists are masters at self-promotion and will use any opportunity to make themselves look good and you look bad.

They will lose control and talk badly about you to others, try to sabotage your work or relationships, and spread rumors and lies about you. They will try to control what you do.

·      They will gaslight you.

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation involving making someone question their sanity, such as telling them they’re crazy or paranoid when they’ve seen something. Narcissists do this because they want to be in control, so when they can’t have their way, a narcissist will try to make you doubt yourself.

·      They will try to regain control through love bombing.

Love bombing is a tool that narcissists employ, usually encountered in the idealization stage. Narcissists may try to win you back by showering you with attention and compliments. They may promise to change their ways and make grandiose promises. However, this is just a tactic to regain control over you and should not be believed.

·      They will start a narcissistic rage.

When a narcissist loses control, they might begin a narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rages can be unpredictable and intense, but they usually start with insults and then escalate into full-blown assaults on verbal abuse, physical violence, and neglectful behavior.

·      They might offer you the silent treatment.

This is when a narcissist completely ignores you as if you don’t exist. They might pretend that you don’t exist or that they don’t know who you are. Narcissists also do this to people they are angry with or those who have done something that the narcissist doesn’t like. The silent treatment is a way to assert power and control over someone as well as a way to regain control.

·      They might be physically abusive.

SelfishSelfishSelfish people tend to have narcissistic abuse tendencies. Sometimes a narcissist loses control and becomes violent and hits, punches, or slaps a person when they realize their narcissist control no longer has an effect.

Narcissists will resort to this to exert power and control over you. This form of abuse can be hazardous, and it’s essential that the receiving party immediately speaks up and alert the authorities.

·      If everything else fails, they will play the victims.

This will usually involve a narcissistic person making up stories about how they were mistreated in some way or how someone has been taking advantage of them. If you have been the target of a narcissist’s smear campaign, then you know how effective this tactic can be. Narcissistic people are masters at playing the victim and can easily make even the most level-headed person feel sorry for them.

Read more: How to manifest someone to be obsessed with you in 7 easy ways

10 tips to cope with a narcissist trying to gain control over you.

·      Beware of the flying monkeys.

In your relationship with a narcissist, you must be careful of the flying monkeys. The term refers to “abuse by proxy.” This common narcissistic tactic involves others favoring the narcissist and portraying him as the victim while you are the wrongdoer. Flying monkeys can be the narcissist’s family, common friends, or coworkers.

·      Boost your self-esteem.

To develop strong self-esteem, you want to be free of a narcissist’s control. Narcissists tend to be very self-absorbed, so you must focus on your self-care and make yourself valuable. When a narcissist sees that you carry yourself highly and you have a magnetic personality, they will rarely take advantage of you.

·      Focus on your own life and hobbies.

The best way to avoid being controlled by a narcissist is to focus on what makes YOU happy. Get engaged in productive activities that you find fulfilling. Narcissists tend to prey on people who have no sense of purpose.

·      Get Support from your friends and family members.

You shouldn’t be quiet about your experience with a narcissist. Make sure you connect with your close friends and family members for their support. They will guide you from becoming the victim of narcissistic behavior.

·      Control your emotional response toward them.

Control your emotional response towards them. Narcissists will try everything in their power to get you angry or upset with them because that is precisely what they want: attention from people around them who might make them seem like the victim in the situation.

Instead of falling for it and reacting impulsively, try to analyze your feelings by writing them down in a journal

·      Go no Contact.

One of the most effective self-protective measures is to go no contact. It helps you to take the focus off the narcissist and place it all on your well-being. Immediately you stop interacting with a narcissist, and you begin to stay in control of yourself since you do not need constant approval from anyone.

·      Try the gray rock method.

Using the gray rock method is one way to deal with a person with narcissistic behavior. The grey rock method is a smart tactic when dealing with abusive or gaslighting behavior. It means becoming as unengaged as possible so that the narcissist loses interest and your relationship dwindles.

The gray rock method does not make you a wrong person. It is just one of the ways to maintain control of your situation.

·      Embrace your authentic power.

Find a way to embrace your power and uniqueness because that is the most effective way to deal with a narcissist and manifest abundance and self-love.  If you try to make no contact with them, they’ll use that against you. The best way to deal with a narcissist is to face them head-on—and then make sure they never want to see you again!

·      Cut mutual friends.

Letting go of friends you and the narcissist share is one of the ways to handle being a narcissist’s target. Narcissists usually feel they can prey on people they share friends with, so I often see narcissistic friends as victims. It’s not impossible to be narcissists as well, behaving like flying monkeys.

·      Learn to heal and let go.

Narcissists don’t just have control over your mind—they also control your life. As a result, you are likely to breed anger or resentment towards yourself or others. So acknowledge that this person has hurt you somehow, but ensure not to let them take advantage of those feelings by turning them into something more significant than they are.

Learn to let them go

They may try to make empty promises of change but don’t fall for it. Instead, focus on your healing journey.

For a holistic healing journey, check my wellness workbook here

Read more: The 140 top affirmations for self-love help you build confidence

you don't need clinical psychology to get away from narcissists

Takeaway – how does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

A narcissist loses control when they know that you are no longer affected by them.

You may be a child of a narcissistic parent or have a narcissistic family member, and you achieve great lengths by being able to break free from them. As mentioned, one way to know if a person has a narcissistic personality disorder is them needing constant approval.

Narcissists only seek attention from you when they need something from you. Narcissistic people usually have narcissistic abuse tendencies.

What usually happens when a narcissist loses control is becoming violent with their narcissistic supply when they realize they no longer have an effect.

Despite all these manipulative excesses of narcissists, you can deal with them and prevent yourself from their clutches by following the tips in this article.