Living With a Narcissist: What Can You Do When a Narcissist Is Mad at You? by Dr. Sanam Hafeez
Q. "What can you do when a narcissist is mad at you?"
Narcissists are notorious for exploding in a rage from the slightest provocation. When coming across a narcissistic rage, it is frightening and you are often unsure what to do. The narcissist's outburst is typically brief, so do not panic or engage in their anger.
Meditating and different breathing techniques could work in preventing panic attacks. Stay calm and provide reassurance that they're still important to you. Even if being empathetic is hard now, it will assuage the situation. It is easier said than done when someone says the most out-of-pocket things, but avoiding overreacting will calm the situation. If you do react with the same intensity the narcissist gives, the narcissist becomes triggered and they realize you are affected. This will make them feel more powerful.
Setting boundaries is significant in ensuring your safety during a flare-up. You want to disengage from the argument and physically distance yourself as well. The narcissist needs to be told that they are violating your boundaries and once they calm down, you are willing to have a conversation. This must be consistently done because if not, the narcissist finds it a weakness and will continue their abuse. If you do not set your boundaries and are not assertive, the narcissist exploits that.
Being assertive does not mean being aggressive, it means understanding you have the right to be respected and choose to leave. Understanding that narcissists have an ego is essential in helping yourself react to a rage. Instead of trying to change the narcissist, change how you respond to the narcissist. An example of what you can say is, "I understand you feel hurt."
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