Why Narcissists Love to Rage – The Psychology of Narcissistic Rage

Written by Angela Atkinson

“No one can tell you all that love is, but I can tell you what it isn’t. One thing that I’ve found to be true is that REAL LOVE doesn’t hurt – at all.  And when you are hurting, it’s not from a place of love! Don’t confuse the two.” ~Tony Gaskins, Jr. on Toxic Love, The Daily LoveHow to Understand Narcissistic Rage

Understanding Narcissistic Rage

If you’ve ever lived with, known, or loved a narcissist, you have likely been the victim of narcissistic rage, a term first introduced in a 1972 book entitled The Analysis of the Self.

This kind of rage manifests when a narcissist vents his frustration when their ego takes a hit. Since narcissists have an inflated level of self-importance, they often find it hard to deal with criticism, real or perceived. So, if you or someone else happens to insult the narcissist’s fragile ego, you can expect a serious backlash – and it’s not going to be pretty.

If you’re currently in a toxic relationship involving a narcissist, it’s important that you understand these narcissistic rages and why they happen – and even if you’ve already left your narcissist, it might help you to understand WHY you were treated the way you were – because truly, it wasn’t (and ISN’T) your fault.

What is narcissistic rage?

Often coupled with narcissistic injury, narcissistic rage is used by a narcissist when they know they’re wrong but won’t admit it, or when they don’t get what they want, or when people don’t treat them different or more special than others, or when their sense of entitlement is threatened – anytime things don’t go their way. This is when narcissists get inconsolably angry in an attempt to bully or coerce you into giving them what they want.

Why causes a narcissist to rage?

Psychologists have identified several typical causes for narcissistic behavior and personalities, including a general obsession with self, often gained through certain experiences during childhood. They often have an addiction to anger, and as they rage, it’s often because of a blow to their inflated sense of self-esteem.

They may often make self-deprecating statements, no doubt silently begging you to disagree with them and tell them how amazing, beautiful, wonderful, and perfect they REALLY are…and when you don’t, the rage could begin.

As I said, a narcissistic rage often launches when narcs become defensive because they think you’re insulting them (or if you attempted to communicate a problem or concern about your relationship with one). They may also be caused when a narcissist finds himself feeling unfulfilled and blames the victim/target for that feeling. The narcissist feels powerful when they rage at you, and they’re not likely to stop until their requirements are met – or until they get bored or tired of it.

What if the narcissist doesn’t get what they want when they rage?

As we’ve previously discussed, narcissists believe that by appearing perfect, they can get the love, admiration, attention, and/or respect they feel they deserve. But when they think that someone feels they’re “not perfect” or “not good enough,” they often find themselves feeling shameful or anxious. Sometimes this can manifest as guilt or anger.

In any case, when a narcissist’s self-esteem takes a hit, they might react in a number of ways on a broad spectrum—anywhere from just being mildly irritated all the way to having seriously explosive tantrums that can even become violent in some cases.

This kind of “narcissistic injury” causes the narcissist to need to destroy the perceived threat to his self-esteem, and by raging against the offender/victim, the narcissist is able to feel safe and powerful again—and like he or she has total control over the environment.

What is narcissistic injury?

Narcissistic injury is displayed when a narcissist gets upset, hurt, or offended about being treated like a normal person, or when they don’t get special treatment or favors, or literally anytime they don’t get what they want. In most cases, this is a manipulation tactic often used in combination with narcissistic rage to get what they want from a target. It can also be a clear indication of the narcissist’s struggling self-esteem, but most often, it’s simply a type of “victim act” used to get what they want.

Are there different types of narcissistic rage?

There are three primary types of narcissistic rage, including explosive rage, passive-aggressive rage, and rage that causes self-harm.

Explosive Narcissistic Rage

An explosive rage happens when a narcissist has a violent outburst, whether it’s physical or verbal. This is the most obvious kind of narcissistic rage, but since the narcissist usually uses this type of rage behind closed doors, only those closest to the narcissist actually see it. However, in rare cases, the narcissist may explode in public (think: your average “Karen,” for example).

Passive-Aggressive Narcissistic Rage

Narcissists express passive-aggressive rage as a way to passively punish you. They might do this by ignoring you, by being blatantly rude, or even by doing nice things for another person and flaunting them in your face. In any case, you’ll know it’s happening, and the narcissist will feel perfectly fine with telling you you’re crazy and pretending they’re not doing anything at all. In some cases, they might even be so bold as to inform you of your infraction and require you to submit to the punishment willingly in order to make your way back into their good graces.

Self-Harm and Narcissistic Rage

When a narcissist manifests his rage through self-harm, you might not understand what’s happening. It doesn’t seem consistent with the narcissist’s personality– but it DOES get them plenty of attention. Some narcissists have been known to cut, burn or even stab themselves, among other extreme self-injuries, during a narcissistic rage.

Have you been the victim of a narcissistic rage? How did you handle it? What would you tell a friend or loved one who was dealing with a narcissist on a regular basis? 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

The good news is that you’re not alone here. Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

Related articles

Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor 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 personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, 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. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

(Visited 5,045 times, 1 visits today)

Get Guided Help with Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie – packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

Where are you in your recovery?

 

Subscribe

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Powered By ConvertKit

Award for Angie’s YouTube Channel

Disclosure – Click to Read

advertisement

You're not alone.

We have been there and we can help you heal.

Related Articles

Think Like a Scientist, Reduce Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Timeline

Think Like a Scientist, Reduce Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Timeline

You’ve probably spent hours, days, even weeks trying to make your relationship better. And you may feel like you’ve tried everything already. But learning more about emotional abuse can make all the difference in helping you break free from an abusive situation forever.

Dealing with relationship trauma

Dealing with relationship trauma

Are you dealing with relationship trauma? The bad news? The second you fall in love with someone, the likelihood that you’ll be dealing with relationship trauma increases exponentially. The good news is that you don't have to suffer in silence - and there are things...

Sadistic Narcissism

Sadistic Narcissism

Narcissism and sadism have much in common, including a lack of empathy and the tendency to exploit others. Find out how to identify a sadist, a narcissist, and what the connection is between narcissism and sadism. Plus: learn how to spot a narcissist who is a sadist, and learn about pathological narcissists and their manipulative, controlling behavior in toxic relationships.

Get Guided Help with Your Recovery & Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join the SPANily! Start with our free newsletter.

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie - packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

    Where are you in your recovery?
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!