Why Do Narcissists Call You Crazy?

If you’ve spent any time interacting with a narcissist, you know that these folks are no walk in the park. 

They’ll lie to you, criticize you, and exploit you while feeling no remorse for their wrongdoings.

Even worse, after they’ve put you through the ringer, they’ll have the audacity to call you names like “crazy,” “unstable,” or “insane.” They are so convincing with their words that you might even start to believe them.

So, why does a narcissist do this? There are a handful of reasons they resort to calling you crazy. It’s all a part of their games. 

Ten reasons narcissists call you crazy 

There are plenty of reasons a narcissist will call you crazy. It’s important to understand they use this term as a manipulative tactic.

Ultimately, calling you crazy undermines you and helps them maintain control. If you’re looking for more detail, we’ll discuss ten reasons narcissists call you crazy, below. 

1. Gaslighting

Gaslighting allows the narcissist to manipulate reality. With gaslighting, narcissists engage in psychological warfare, leading you to question your reality and sanity. 

Gaslighting occurs when the narcissist tries to convince you that your perception of reality is incorrect. By calling you crazy, they can distort your perception of events.

Ultimately, you’ll begin to doubt your own mental stability. This makes it easier for the narcissist to take advantage of you. 

2. Projection

Projection is one of the narcissist’s favorite games, because it allows them to displace their issues onto others. Instead of taking the blame for their wrongdoings, the narcissist projects it onto you.

When they label you as crazy, the narcissist can take attention off of their own irrational or harmful behavior. Their hope when they call you crazy is that you will see yourself as the problem, instead of viewing their behavior as problematic.  

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3. Avoiding Accountability

Narcissists cannot take accountability for anything, so they must dodge any blame. When they are confronted with something they’ve done wrong, they might call you crazy, because this allows them to avoid responsibility.

This tactic shifts the focus away from the narcissist and onto you. They distort the narrative rather than taking accountability, which their ego cannot handle.

So, the problem isn’t them; the problem is that you’re just so unbalanced and irrational! At least it makes sense to the narcissist. 

4. Creating Confusion

Narcissists need to maintain control of other people to reinforce their feelings of superiority. One way they stay in control is by fostering uncertainty. 

When they call you crazy, it creates confusion and uncertainty in your mind. The label also introduces a level of chaos that makes it challenging for you to trust your own judgment and decision-making.

Over time, your doubt and confusion will lead to increased reliance on the narcissist for guidance and support. When this happens, they have you exactly where they want you: under their spell. 

5. Control and Dominance

If anyone is on a never-ending power trip, it’s a narcissist. They must stay in power to fuel their egos.

Asserting control and dominance over you makes them feel special. When they call you crazy, they gain a sense of power.

This label undermines your confidence and self-worth, allowing them to manipulate you more easily and making you dependent on their approval and validation.

6. Undermining Your Credibility

Narcissists cannot have their way with people who have a strong network of social support. If you had support from others, they’d probably tell you that the narcissist’s behaviors are unacceptable. 

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By calling you crazy, the narcissist can undermine your credibility in the eyes of others, leading others to believe that you’re the problem. 

This isolates you from friends and family members who might otherwise support you. With reduced support, you’ll be more vulnerable to the narcissist’s control.

7. Instilling Self-Doubt

Narcissists love to erode the self-confidence of their victims. When you have low self-esteem, you’re easier to manipulate and control.

So, calling you crazy serves a pretty important purpose for the narcissist: it wears away at your self-esteem, leading you to doubt yourself.

The narcissist hopes that you’ll begin to believe their accusations about your mental stability, so you’ll go along with whatever they say, no matter how outrageous it may seem. 

8. Gaining Sympathy

Narcissists need support from others, and one way they can get it is by gaining sympathy. Calling you crazy can be a way to get the sympathy the narcissist so desires.

They may turn to others and confide in them about your “crazy” behavior, while painting themselves as the rational, caring partner who suffers as they deal with your instability.

This is a way for them to manipulate others into taking their side, thereby giving the narcissist the upper hand. 

9. Maintaining a Superior Image

Narcissists must maintain a facade of superiority and perfection to cover up their underlying insecurities and weak egos. To maintain this facade, they must maintain a perfect public image.

By labeling you as crazy, they can take the attention off their own flaws and deflect negative attention onto you. This can help them maintain the appearance of being rational and composed. 

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They may even use your alleged instability to make themselves appear to be a caring person, willing to set their own needs aside to tend to your mental health needs. This makes them look even more perfect. 

10. Reinforcing Dependency

Fostering reliance is one of the narcissist’s key manipulative tactics. By making you feel emotionally unstable, the narcissist ensures you remain dependent upon them to confirm reality.

If you’re constantly checking in with the narcissist to confirm your perceptions, they maintain control over all your actions. You’ll become so dependent upon them that you don’t make any decisions without consulting them.

This gives the narcissist the power they crave so deeply. 

Concluding Remarks 

If a narcissist is calling you crazy, you must understand this is just one of their many manipulative tactics. With this awareness, you’ll be better prepared to resist the narcissist’s games.

Once you understand the narcissist’s reasons for calling you crazy, you can protect yourself from their attempts to undermine your reality and control your life. Remember, you aren’t actually crazy; the narcissist just wants you to believe you are so they can have power over you.

Rather than accepting the narcissist’s labels as reality, seek support from trusted friends and family. Distance yourself from the narcissist if you need to, and never forget that you’re worthy of respect. 

If you need additional support and validation, there is never any shame in reaching out to a mental health professional. They can help you process your emotions and overcome negative thoughts about yourself. 

And, if this is your end goal, a mental health professional can help you gain the courage to cut the narcissist out of your life altogether. 

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