How to Respond and Deal with Narcissistic Rage?

Have you ever felt like you’re walking on eggshells around someone because you’re scared of their next angry outburst? That’s what narcissistic rage can feel like. 

It’s when someone gets very angry in an extreme, often scary way, and it’s usually because they think too highly of themselves. Handling this kind of rage is tough, but keeping yourself safe and feeling okay is important.

In this article I’ll walk through what Narcissistic rage looks like and what you can do about it. Knowing how to deal with the Narcissist’s rage can help you stay calm and protect yourself.

Understanding Narcissistic Rage

Narcissistic rage is like a volcano. It can erupt suddenly and be pretty scary. 

It happens when the Narcissist feels insulted or threatened. Instead of getting just a little mad, they get really, really mad, and they might try to hurt you with words or actions.

Explosive vs Passive Rage

Narcissistic rage isn’t always loud and scary. Sometimes, it can be silent and sneaky, too. 

There are two types: explosive rage, and passive-aggressive rage. Explosive is easy to spot—it’s yelling, slamming doors, or worse. 

Passive-aggressive is trickier; it’s more like giving you the silent treatment or making mean jokes about you.

If you want to know more about what Narcissistic rage is, I recommend you to read my article –> What is Narcissistic Rage? Now let’s continue to how you should deal with Narcissistic rage.

15 Ways To Deal With Narcissistic Behavior

The following 15 ways are your toolkit for surviving and staying in control.

They’re about understanding the rage, protecting your peace, and making sure you come out the other side unscathed

#1 Stay Composed:

When dealing with narcissistic rage, the way you react matters a lot. If you stay calm, you’re more likely to defuse the situation.

Try not to let your voice or face show that you’re angry or scared because that can make the Narcissist even more hostile. 

Instead, think of yourself as a duck: calm on the surface, even if you’re paddling hard underneath.

How To Do This?  

Your partner starts yelling about how the house is a mess. You might feel like yelling back, but instead, you take a deep breath and calmly say, “I see that the mess is making you angry. 

Let’s clean it together this weekend.” This way, you acknowledge their feelings without adding tension and offer a peaceful solution.

#2 Create Distance

When someone’s rage is escalating, space can be a safety net. This could mean leaving the room or going out for a while. 

Physical distance helps you stay safe and lets you both cool off. Remember, it’s about protecting yourself, not avoiding the issue forever. You can talk about it when things are quieter.

How To Do This? 

Imagine your partner starts to get worked up over your spending habits. Instead of getting into a heated debate, you might say, “Let’s discuss our budget, but I need to step out for a bit to clear my head.” 

Taking a break helps prevent the situation from worsening and shows that you’re taking the issue seriously but not at the expense of your well-being.

#3 Avoid Escalation

When a narcissist is raging, anything you say can be twisted and used against you, so it’s wise to keep your words and actions as neutral as possible. 

Avoid challenging their points directly or responding with sarcasm, as these can provoke a bigger blow-up.

How To Do This?

If the Narcissist criticizes your work on a shared project, resist the urge to snap back with justifications or critiques of their work. 

Instead, you could calmly say, “I hear your concern. Let’s review this later to ensure we meet our standards.” 

This approach acknowledges their concerns without immediately stoking the flames, allowing for a more constructive conversation later.

#4 Communication Techniques

When facing someone’s anger, how you listen and respond can either calm them down or stir up more trouble. 

Reflective listening is a great tool. It means showing you’re paying attention and understanding their feelings, but without saying you agree or disagree.

How To Do This? 

Let’s say the Narcissist is furious because they think you’re not listening to them. Instead of arguing, you could say, 

“It seems like you’re upset because you don’t feel heard. What would help you feel like I’m listening?” 

This response can take the heat out of their anger and lead to a more authentic conversation about what’s bothering them.

#5 Deflect and Redirect

Changing the subject or suggesting a new activity might seem simple, but it can work wonders in shifting someone’s mood and pulling them out of their rage. This technique is about steering their focus away from the trigger.

How To Do This? 

If the Narcissist is fuming over a mistake you made, instead of dwelling on the error, try saying, “I realize this is serious, and I’m on it. 

Speaking of tasks, did we decide on the plans for our weekend outing?” This shift doesn’t dismiss their concerns but adds a positive distraction, potentially diffusing the immediate tension and giving both of you a chance to reset.

#6 Limit Engagement

Sometimes, less is more. Engaging too much with someone in a state of narcissistic rage can be like adding fuel to the fire. 

Keep your interactions short and to the point. This doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the issue; it just means you’re choosing a safer, more controlled way to communicate.

How To Do This? 

Imagine your partner starts blaming you for a problem at their work. You might want to dive in and defend yourself, but it’s wiser to say something like, “I’m sorry to hear you had a tough day. 

Maybe we can find a solution once we’ve both had a chance to unwind.” Keeping it brief cuts down the chance of the conversation escalating.

#7 Self-Care

After an outburst of narcissistic rage, it’s essential to take care of your own emotional state. 

Activities like meditation, exercise, or anything that brings you joy can help you recharge and maintain your equilibrium in a stressful environment.

How To Do This? 

Suppose you were subjected to an intense episode of narcissistic rage. To help regain your sense of peace, you might go for a run, call a trusted friend, or engage in a hobby you enjoy. 

Taking this time for yourself isn’t just good for your mental health; it’s necessary to ensure you have the emotional strength to handle these situations in the future.

#8 Reinforce Positive Behavior

When the Narcissist shows signs of calmness or reasonability, acknowledge these moments. Positive reinforcement can encourage more of the same behavior.

How To Do This? 

If there’s a day when the Narcissist talks about a problem without getting angry, point it out. I really appreciate how we’re discussing this calmly. It’s helpful.” 

This sort of encouragement can sometimes nudge a narcissist toward less hostile patterns of interaction, as they see constructive behavior getting noticed and appreciated.

#9 Counseling for Self

In handling narcissistic rage, it’s beneficial for you to have an outlet and strategies for managing stress. A counselor or therapist can be a valuable ally in building resilience and offering coping mechanisms.

How To Do This? 

You’ve been constantly on edge due to your partner’s unpredictable moods. 

Seeking a counselor’s support allows you to express your feelings in a safe environment and learn strategies to stay grounded. 

The therapist might teach you relaxation techniques or new ways to frame the challenges you face, giving you a stronger foundation to deal with the Narcissist’s outbursts.

#10 Set Consequences

When a narcissist crosses your boundaries, there should be clear consequences. This sends a message that their rage is not an acceptable way to communicate.

How To Do This? 

If the narcissist becomes verbally abusive during a disagreement, calmly state that this behavior won’t be tolerated and end the conversation. 

If necessary, leave the room or hang up the phone. You could say, “I’m willing to talk when we can be respectful. Until then, I need to step away.” 

Setting these boundaries with defined consequences can minimize instances of rage, as it becomes clear that such behavior results in a loss of engagement with you.

#11 Understand Narcissism

Learning about narcissistic personality disorder helps you anticipate and manage their reactions more effectively. 

It can explain why they need so much control or lash out when they feel slighted.

How To Do This? 

By reading up on narcissism, you discover that their rage often comes from a deep fear of not being good enough. 

This knowledge can make you more compassionate and patient. It also helps you not to take their outbursts personally or feel responsible for fixing their emotional state.

This whole website is dedicated to Narcissists and Narcissism so I advice you to continue reading more articles to educate yourself.

#12 Strengthen Support Networks:

A strong support network is crucial when dealing with a narcissistic individual. 

Friends, family, or support groups can offer advice and comfort, providing an outside perspective that helps you stay grounded.

How To Do This? 

Create a trusted circle where you can share your experiences and get advice. 

Whether it’s a weekly coffee with a friend or an online forum where you can vent and support others, these connections remind you that you’re not alone and provide a space to recharge emotionally.

#13 Use “I” Statements:

Communicate your feelings without blaming by using “I” statements. This can make the narcissist less defensive and more open to understanding your perspective.

How To Do This? 

Instead of saying, “You’re always ignoring my needs,” try, “I feel upset when I don’t feel heard.” This shift in language can lead to more productive discussions and less resistance from the narcissist.

#14 Know When to Leave:

Sometimes the healthiest choice is to leave the relationship with the Narcissist. Recognize the signs that staying is causing more harm than good, such as feeling afraid all the time or starting to lose sight of who you are.

How To Do This? 

If you find that despite your best efforts, the narcissistic rage is escalating or becoming abusive, it may be time to consider leaving for your own safety. 

Contact trusted friends, family, or professionals to create an exit plan and access support resources.

I also recommend you to read my article–> a Survivors Guide To Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse

Before you go

I hope these strategies have given you some tools to handle Narcissistic Rage better. 

Remember, dealing with this kind of anger doesn’t reflect your worth. It’s about someone else’s struggles. It’s okay to step back, look after yourself, and know when enough is enough.

You’re stronger than you think, and with these tips, you’re even more prepared to face the tough moments. 

Keep your head up, lean on those who care about you, and don’t forget to breathe and give yourself some credit for getting through it all. 

Take it one day at a time – you’ve got this, and you’re not alone.

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