Dr. Gary Bell
The narcissist is someone who has buried his true self in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self. This alternate persona often comes across as grandiose, “above others,” and self-absorbed.Narcissistic rage can be defined as intense anger, aggression, or passive-aggression when a narcissist experiences a setback or disappointment, which shatters his (or her) illusions of grandeur, entitlement, and superiority, and triggers inner inadequacy, shame, and vulnerability.
Examples of narcissistic rage range from intense outbursts and sudden fits of anger, to passive-aggressive acts such as simmering resentment, icy silence, deliberate neglect, or cutting sarcasm.
What distinguishes narcissistic rage from normal anger is that it is usually unreasonable, disproportional, and cuttingly aggressive (or intensely passive-aggressive), all because the narcissist’s wants and wishes are not being catered to. It is a blow to their superficial, idealized self-image.
Narcissistic rage is used as a manipulative tool on the outside, and a pain-avoidance device on the inside. Like a spoiled child who throws a tantrum when not catered to, the narcissist attempts to use their “rage” to coerce their victims to give in.
At the same time, the intense “drama” distracts the narcissist from the inner pain and inadequacy of not constantly being worshipped on a pedestal. The narcissist falls apart psychologically and emotionally at the prospect of not being “special,” “unique,” or “above others.”
The heavy price many narcissists pay for their “rage”, as well as for their narcissistic behavior in general, may include one or more of the following: family estrangement; relational dissolution & divorce; relationship cut-offs; loneliness and isolation; missed opportunities; financial, career, or legal trouble; damaged reputation and deep-seated fear of rejection / being unimportant.
Can a narcissist change for the better? Perhaps. But only if he or she is highly aware, and willing to go through the courageous process of self-discovery. For narcissists no longer willing to play the charade at the cost of genuine relationships and credibility, there are ways to liberate oneself from falsehood, and progressively move toward the “higher self.”
For those who live or work with narcissists, perceptive awareness and assertive communication are musts to establishing healthy and mutually-respectful relationships. Tune in and learn about this crazy personality disorder and how to cope with being around it.
Photos:”Self-love”, Courtesy of Geralt, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Selfie”, Courtesy of Apostolos Vamvouras, Unsplash.com, CC0 License