When you are dealing with a narcissist, you might find yourself feeling powerless. Thanks to their various manipulation and gaslighting tactics, you might also question your own sanity and doubt your own reality. But what if you have something on a narcissist, such as catching them in a lie? What if you make it known that you know? What if you question them or push them?
In any of those situations, the narcissist will feel threatened. And, as you may be aware, narcissists who feel threatened in any way will eventually demonstrate narcissistic rage and/or narcissistic injury.
Specifically, that means that narcissists who face injury to their egos will go into a state of rage. They may not show that they’re visibly angry, especially if they’re a covert narcissist. However, covert or otherwise, they will feel vengeful – and if their first response (rage) doesn’t get the kind of reaction they want or expect, chances are that they’ll go into the “poor me” thing – also known as narcissistic injury, or the victim role.
Types of Behaviors You Can Expect from a Narcissist Who Feels Threatened
Here are 5 common things that narcissists do when they feel threatened.
1. They’ll Put Your Job On The Line
Your average narcissist would actually go as far as calling your boss and telling them a lie about something you have done. For instance, they could tell your boss that you have been saying defamatory things about them. There is no proof but they can always become quite creative and make something tangible up. They may also call your workplace over and over again and become a nuisance, which many survivors report has caused them to lose jobs or to at least be reprimanded.
2. Get Involved With Your Relationship
If the narcissist isn’t your partner, they might take it upon themselves to tell your partner that you have been cheating on them, and in some cases, they might even create fake “evidence” of this fictional affair. They could get extremely creative with making it appear believable which can easily cause a breakup to happen. And if the narcissist IS your partner, they may cause drama or trouble in your friendships and other relationships in order to further isolate and control you. The more people they push away from you, the better they feel they can control you.
3. Ruin Your Reputation
Narcissists that feel threatened would do a great job of ruining your reputation. They could spread rumors that are defamatory and can do this online and offline. Some narcissists have been known to create sockpuppet accounts to leave you a lot of bad reviews on your business Google or Facebook page. They hope that any potential future business will fizzle out if they see any bad reviews on your pages. Alternatively, they might tell all of your friends and family members lies and exaggerated stories about you, or they might publicly smear you on social media. We call this the smear campaign.
4. They Will Isolate You From Supportive Friends and Family
As I mentioned earlier, narcissists want to isolate their victims in order to maintain control over you. This is why they tend to push anyone who might be supportive of you away. Threatened narcissists will find a way to contact your friends and family and convince them to turn their backs on you. It may or may not work, depending on whether they trust you or what the narcissist tells them. If they believe the narcissist over you, then that shows that they did not have true faith in you as it was – and like I always say, they weren’t really your people to begin with.
5. They Will Destroy Your Favorite Things
Narcissists don’t pay attention to what interests you (unless it benefits them to do so), but they sure are paying attention to what you value. When they feel threatened, they might target those things you cherish most and ruin them. This could mean they could destroy a painting you love, or vandalize your car, or anything that is dear to you.
Threatening a narcissist is almost never a helpful act. Rather than threaten them, your best bet is to use the gray rock method to manage your emotions when they’re around. If you need help and guidance as far as how to stop a narcissist in their tracks, you’ve got to start by taking away the one thing they really want and need: narcissistic supply – as in your emotional reactions to their behavior. If you want to get revenge on a narcissist the best thing you can do is to ignore them and live your life well WITHOUT them, despite their efforts to be the center of your world.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.