What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You Have Figured Them Out?

Last Updated on February 14, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

Narcissists are notorious for their merciless manipulation of others to dominate and control them. However, when they catch wind that their game plan has been exposed, and their overblown sense of entitlement and superiority is unmasked, all hell will break loose.

In their mind, the tables have turned, they are no longer in control of their victim and this invokes a great anger within the soul of the narcissist. In most cases, there is no need to fear for your life; in general, narcissists are non-violent people with child-like insecurities.

However, this does not mean they don’t have the capacity to do some pretty vicious things to the person who has the audacity to cut off their supply.

If you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, you will need to think and act quickly to escape the clutches of the narcissist because if there is one thing a narcissist will not do willingly, is accept defeat. When the Narcissist knows you have figured him out, prepare for war! 

How Does a Narcissist React When They Know You Have Figured them Out?

what happens when the narcisssit knows you have figured them out?

Narcissists have a compelling need to control others; there is more to their obsessive desire to control than them just wanting to dominate their space. Essentially, it is about protecting themselves against narcissistic injury; any attack on their self-esteem or ego is devastating to them.

Narcissists live in constant fear of losing control; they are to be adored and admired at all times by the people they are surrounded by. They are the ones in control, and it is their thought processes that lead them to believe they have the right to abuse their partners if they don’t comply with their excessive demands.

Reading Suggestion: What Happens When The Narcissist Loses Control?

When a narcissist is unable to control their victim, they bombard them with narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage is a primitive, child-like, immature expression of their needs.

Reading Suggestion: What is Narcissistic Rage?

According to psychologist Adam Blatner, the narcissist experiences seven levels of anger:

  1. Anxiety: Displaying their anger indirectly.
  2. Stress: An inward feeling on anger.
  3. Irritation: Showing slight hints of displeasure.
  4. Agitation: Displaying their anger without blaming their partner.
  5. Frustration: Using harsh words or scowling.
  6. Anger: Shouting, swearing and verbalising to their partner that they are angry.
  7. Rage: Losing control of their temper, acting in an aggressive manner and going into a rage.

The bottom line is that when they can’t control you, and the narcissist knows you have figured him out, he no longer has a source of supply, and narcissists find this very difficult to deal with. 

7 levels of anger

How Long Can a Narcissist go Without Supply?

The narcissist preys upon attention, applause, admiration and approval. When they are running out of supply, or it is no longer available, they experience what is known as, Narcissistic Deficiency Dysphoria.

This is similar to depression, there is a change in their eating and sleep patterns, they become sluggish and always appear sad. They no longer find pleasure in the things they used to enjoy such as interests, hobbies, and pursuits.

The narcissist may experience violent mood swings and will often resort to an alternative addiction such as drugs, alcoholism, they will become a shopaholic or engage in reckless driving. They will withdraw into a faraway world, in a dreamlike state where there is plenty of narcissistic supply available. 

So the short answer to how long can a narcissist go without supply? Is not for long. Think about it like this, how long can a heroine addict go without heroine before they begin to have a physical reaction to the withdrawal? Not long right?

Once they start feeling the pain of the drug no longer being in their system, they will find a way of getting their next fix by any means necessary. The same is true of a narcissist; they are addicted to power, the feeling they get from controlling others is like a drug to them, and when it runs out, they will go to great lengths to find their next hit.

Therefore, things can get pretty tricky when you decide to end a relationship with a narcissist. 

Do Narcissists Care if You Move on?

Not particularly no. When you make the decision to break up with your narcissistic partner, they are not upset that you are moving on, they are more enraged at the fact that you had the gall to dump them because that’s their job.

As a result, they will go to great lengths to make your life hell. Here is what you can expect when you break up with a narcissist:

Confronting a Narcissist?

Narcissists live in a fantasy world where not only do they believe they are superior to everyone else, they also think they are invincible. So when a partner or a friend confronts a narcissist, they see it as an attack on their ego, and if they don’t have another source of supply at their disposal, they will come for you like a raging fire.

Reading Suggestion: 11 Typical Examples of Narcissist text Messages

Their anger will intensify if you decide to end the relationship. It is normal to feel hurt after a breakup, and depending on how much they valued their relationship, the average person will want answers or will try and win their partner back.

There will probably be some excessive text messaging, emailing, or phone calls. You might even show up at your ex-partner’s job or home. But after a while, once logic takes over and you regain control over your emotions, you will stop. The narcissist, on the other hand, won’t, and depending on the intensity of their NPD, will incite an all-out war against you. 

Why Does a Narcissist Want You Back When They Know You no Longer Want Them?

When the narcissist knows you have figured him out, they will hate the fact that you beat them to the discard; after all, that’s their job. Once they feel they have got everything they can out of you, they move on to their next victim. A person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder will perceive your decision as abandonment.

Unless you feel that your life would be in imminent danger if you sat down with your partner and told them why you were leaving, the decent thing to do would be to have this conversation. When you do, the typical narcissist is going to ignore your needs and focus on his own.

They will have no sympathy for your plight, and neither will they understand why you need to leave for the sake of your mental health; because at the end of the day, it’s all about them.

In other words, the narcissist doesn’t want you back because they are madly in love with you, they want you back because you’ve cut off their narcissistic supply.  

What Happens When You Confront a Narcissist?

They will cry and beg and plead, but this response is not because they are scared of losing the love of their life, but because they no longer have ownership over you and their egomaniac antics have been exposed.

Should You Confront a Narcissist

When you confront a narcissist, you are letting them know that you know who they really are, and that is the worst thing that can happen to a narcissist.

Reading Suggestion: How To Make a Narcissist Miss You?

The only thing they are mourning is their loss of power. As a result, narcissistic abusers are known to harass and stalk their former victims for months, and in extreme cases years after the relationship comes to an end.

Another possibility is that they start off by bombarding you with text messages, emails, phone calls, or contact you via social media. When that doesn’t work, they may start sending you threatening messages, love bombing you, or both.

They will vacillate between tenderness and rage causing a roller coaster of emotions for their victim who wants to be left alone, but at the same time will wonder whether their ex-partner’s behavior is a genuine attempt at winning them back. 

What Happens When The Narcissist is Exposed?

You will not see the full extent of the narcissist’s true character until you expose them. This is especially true of malignant narcissists; once you confront a narcissist about their behavior, they will try and convince you that you are imagining it and that you are the one with the problem.

When the Narcissist knows you have exposed them, they will gaslight you in an attempt to get inside your head and make you feel that you are the crazy one. If their tactics fail and you decide to end the relationship, in cleverly constructed text messages or through some form of written communication, they use a technique called ‘hoovering’ that involves using their words to put you on a peddle stall in an attempt to ‘suck’ the victim back into their web of splendor.

Reading Suggestion: What is Gaslighting in Narcissism?

But when you resist their pleas and refuse to meet up, remain friends or to rekindle the relationship, the narcissist will once again start hurling abuse at you. And it is this same split personality that reeled you in in the first place. The love bombing and then the abuse. 

Narcissistic Gaslighting Examples

Does the Narcissist Forget You?

If there is one thing the narcissist will never do, it’s to forget about you if they haven’t won. Therefore, they will try every trick in the book to get your attention, and one of them is to make you jealous. They will do this by flaunting their new relationship in your face.

Psychologists recommend that once you decide to break up with a narcissistic partner, the most sensible thing to do is block them, their friends and family members on all platforms. In this way, you won’t accidentally get a glimpse of their new life.

No matter how strong you think you are, most victims of narcissist abuse will always remember how good the love bombing stage of their relationship was. And a physical reminder of this through seeing pictures of your ex and their new partner can quickly send you into a downward spiral of self-blame and self-doubt, which opens the door to you considering taking them back. 

So Should You Tell a Narcissist They Are a Narcissist?

This is not a good idea; first and foremost, it is a pointless endeavor. Unless the narcissist is at the stage where he is willing to change, telling him will do nothing but make him extremely angry. Not because you are telling him that he is a narcissist, but because metaphorically speaking, you have ripped the mask off his face and he now feels very vulnerable.

Vulnerability is something that narcissists avoid at all costs since their main aim is to convince everyone they are someone they are not. If you are feeling the urge to confront someone about their narcissistic behavior, think about why you are doing it beforehand and weigh up the pros and cons of having this type of conversation with a narcissist.

If you truly believe it will help them, then go ahead, if not, it’s better you keep this information to yourself. 

Final Thoughts

What happens when a narcissist knows you have figured them out? Is a question many people who are in a relationship ask when they realize they are dating a narcissist?

It is typically asked out of fear, accepting the fact that the person you have been sharing your intimate space with suffers from a mental illness is scary, and your main concern is going to be for your safety.

Not all people choose to leave the relationship at this stage, if your partner is not abusive, you might want to work it out. However, if you are a victim of narcissistic abuse and you decide to cut ties, make sure you completely sever contact with them.

If you feel that your life is in danger, file a police report and let your support network know what is going on. Your safety is always your number one priority. 

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

4 thoughts on “What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You Have Figured Them Out?”

  1. Reading this article I realized I was about to do something I thought was a nature response to my pain and abuse; So I’m truly truly grateful you all providing this resource to those of us who are feeling lonely, insane, guilty all because the narcissistic told us so. My abuser is cunning as a snake in the grass and of course has discredited me with all around to make me appear insane. This article gave me hope there is a safe way out…. and that is ‘Yes or No” answer to avoid engagement until I can leave and leave I will running to secure a restraining. I’m finding it’s useless trying to explain why I’m leaving and never want to see or hear from them or anyone in their radar either because they have been infected too and living in fear and will betray in a hot minute to save their fearful souls from the narcissistic. The only way out from a narcissistic relationship is learn to accept there will be pain in process of leaving; but if you do it right you will NEVER experience that confusing, mind twisting feelings again and you can get back to your own timing….and I remember this I’M NOT THE VICTIM here they are, because they often refuse help because they always believe they are RIGHT all the time. But this time you maybe right but I won’t be their to prop up their diminished ego. Remember if you have had the unfortunate experience of sharing space with a narcissistic you are stronger than you think.
    So grateful for this Article. Helena B.

    Reply
  2. My Narc is a sibling. Just as dangerous- filed false police report and would like to see me dead I am sure. No contact only way. Stay safe.

    Reply
  3. Oh, yes
    Mother went of the rails after her last visit with her primary doctor. I am guessing that he identified her personality disorder (I started reading after she died. Narcissism fit her like a glove) so that she was now exposed and vulnerable. My guess is that he made some type of treatment recommendation for her mental problems. She demanded to take all of her 35 years worth of files with her (I am guessing to hide the diagnosis).
    She always seemed threatened by my wife’s family. Shortly after the doctor incident, my family visited her at her house. She was quite visibly agitated – here was an 88 year old rocking in an easy chair, scowling and clutching her body, rocking in the chair (it was not a rocking chair). She looked like a sulking 5 year old. The only thing missing was her dolly. It was very disturbing to see her like this. We only stayed for a couple of minutes. I was shaking. We all probably had a shocked look.
    Well, she immediately went into ultra defensive mode, probably because she exposed the severity of her condition. She changed the locks on her house, slammed the phone on me when I tried to call her, and I later found out from my oldest scapegoat brother (who fled out of state years earlier) that she had been on a smear campaign against me.
    I truly believe that the latest display by her was a result of us figuring her out. I always knew that she has some mental disorder. She was very abusive toward me growing up including the identified patient thing. Living in that house was really awful. I really started going down the wrong road. But fortunately I had an acquaintance that got me into a good career. I am now retired. I try to share what I am learning about this condition with scapegoat brother #1, who is clearly suffering the effects of similar abuse. What kind of mother forces her children to kneel on dried beans in their underwear? Threatens to have them arrested for nothing? A very disturbed individual who probably should have been in jail or a nuthouse.

    Reply
  4. Your assessments are spot on. I was raised by Narcissistic parents. I just tell people I was raised by wolves.
    Being raised this way, it took many years for me to unlearn, or correct the narcissistic behavior in myself.
    I still attract them, however.
    “Love bombing” is the most effective tool in their repertoire, when dealing with an adult child of narcissistic abuse, because we are usually love starved, from an early age. We simply do not know what real love looks and feels like, so we fall for it.
    Once you realize you are in a relationship with a Narcissist, remain calm and secretly make a plan, to get out. No explanations needed, unless you have children with them.
    Then disappear. Ghosting, is a good thing, in this case. Don’t look back. Love, is not supposed to feel like that. The love bombing, is an illusion.

    Reply

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