Living With a Narcissist: What Can You Do When a Narcissist Is Mad at You? by Dr. Sanam Hafeez

Living With a Narcissist: What Can You Do When a Narcissist Is Mad at You?

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."

We get lots of great questions from our community members, and we have lots of great experts to provide answers. Have a question? Send it to us at and we'll do our best to get it answered for you!

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get inspiration in your newsfeed daily. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Cycle Breaker: Forging a New Path Away From Trauma, Heartbreak & Narcissist Abuse

Are You Dating or Married to a Narcissist? Here Are 7 Red Flags From a Clinical Psychologist

I Think My Husband Is a Narcissist, But How Do I Know for Sure & Help My Kids Understand?

Expert Q&A: What Makes a Person Become a Narcissist? Are They Born That Way?

My heart goes out to anyone dealing with this. 🙏🏼
Elisa Schmitz
Been there, done that. Empathy is a useful tool. Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Dr. Sanam Hafeez !
Please look out for yourselves no matter what.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Kids & Grief: 5 Ways to Help a Grieving Child Express Their Feelings

Celebrating Mom: A Son's Mother’s Day Reflection On Strength & Resilience

How Playing Board Games With Kids Helps Language Development

Parenting Preschoolers: 10 Essential Parenting Tips for Nurturing Your Preschooler's Growth