Have you ever fantasized about confronting a narcissist? I’m sure you have. Although it can be incredibly tempting to finally confront the narcissist in your life that has been making you miserable, it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with so that you can protect yourself. Narcissists have what is called a narcissistic injury that, when triggered, will incite narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage is definitely something you are going to want to be wary of if you do decide to confront the narcissist in your life- especially if you are dealing with a malignant narcissist. Outside of triggering narcissistic rage, there are a number of things that you should expect if and when you decide to confront any type of narcissist.
The Four D’s
Similarly to when you catch a narcissist in a lie, if you confront them about any given situation – they will likely deflect. When narcissists deflect, they will shift the narrative to go away from them and on to you. While you are trying to gain power by confronting them, they will whisk it right away by confronting you about something else. This is a classic devaluing tactic that all narcissists use.
Especially if you are confronting them about infidelity or catching them in a lie- narcissists will nearly always deny and lie their way out of it. They live in a fantasy world and have absolutely no hesitancies about lying to themselves or to you if it serves them.
Dismissal is a classic devaluing behavior that narcissists adore. A narcissist may dismiss you when you confront them by ignoring you, giving you the silent treatment, or by outright telling you that what you are saying is not important and that they do not want to hear it.
Although devaluing is a larger umbrella of the types of behaviors that narcissists will exhibit when you confront them, it’s important to note that this will nearly always happen. Dismissal, denial and deflecting are all forms of devaluing; however, name-calling and bullying can definitely be expected.
If none of the above behaviors end up giving the narcissist their desired result once you have confronted them, they will likely turn to love-bombing or hoovering. They might do this by making faux-pologies, future faking, gift giving, etc. They will express their sincerest apologies and promise never to do whatever it is they did again- remember not to believe this lie. Narcissists do not change. Although it may feel good in the moment to be love-bombed by the narcissist, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s solely a manipulation tactic and nothing more.
Escalation of Hostility/Narcissistic Rage.
If the narcissist does not turn to love-bombing or hoovering, they will lean towards the opposite extreme and portray an increase in hostility as a result of their narcissistic rage being triggered. This is when you will have to be incredibly careful – especially if you are dealing with a malignant narcissist. Narcissistic rage can result in a plethora of ugly behaviors. The narcissist may end up becoming violent, loud, angry, mean, and abusive. It’s important to avoid confronting the narcissist in your life in a situation where you might be vulnerable to this if you believe the narcissist you are dealing with is capable of becoming hostile, violent, and abusive. Your safety is more important than anything.