You might hear people casually referring to a person as narcissistic whenever someone prioritizes themselves first. But that’s not what it is. What is narcissism? What is narcissistic rage silent treatment? Is narcissistic rage harmful? This article offers briefly detailed information on narcissism, narcissistic anger with a narcissistic rage example, their causes, and the treatment. If you know anyone who fits into this category, keep reading to know what can be done to help that particular person. Because as far as everyone knows, narcissistic rage silent treatment is not to be taken very lightly.
1. What is Narcissism?
This is a term used for a person who thinks very highly of himself or herself. One who needs constant admiration, who believes that others are inferior to them, and also lacks empathy for others. A narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder where the person with the disorder has an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for attention, and troubled relationships. Behind all that facade they possess fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to even the slightest criticism. (See What is Personalization Cognitive Distortion?)
2. What is the Origin of Narcissistic Anger?
In 1972, Heinz Kohut coined the term Narcissistic Rage to refer to the tendency of people having narcissistic personality disorder to burst into a rage with what might have seemed like no provocation or slight provocation. When the need for constant admiration is not satisfied, it elicits the underlying shame which in turn triggers anger and they lash out at the recipient without realizing how it affects the opposite person. (See Anxious Attachment in Adults)
3. What are the Causes?
An NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) person has a thin skin and is very sensitive to criticism. The fear of being found out for not being the actual person they portray leads to the rage they are exhibiting whenever they feel threatened. Apart from this, there are certain reasons for their narcissistic rage silent treatment which cause anger for a narcissistic person. They are,
- When they fear they are not in control of the relationship or their surrounding environment,
- When they are being reminded of their charade, manipulation i.e. their true self,
- When they are caught breaking rules, boundaries, disregarding social norms, etc.,
- When they are asked or made accountable for their actions,
- When their high esteemed self or ego takes a blow,
- When they are denied special treatment. (See 20 Reasons People Break Up)
4. What are the Signs of a Narcissistic Anger?
It is important to note that not all angry outbursts are signs of narcissistic anger. As mentioned before narcissistic anger occurs when a person having NPD isn’t the center of attention despite having other priorities. Narcissistic anger is different from other forms of anger outbursts as it often takes the opposite person by surprise. It is disproportionate as though the person has a hair-trigger response. This rage can be passive or active based on the problems. Some of the outward and inward signs of narcissistic anger are:
- Intense explosive outbursts,
- Becoming verbally and physically aggressive,
- Tries to inflict pain either emotionally or physically on others intentionally,
- Giving silent treatment,
- Cutting off people to save their self-esteem,
- Becoming hostile or bitter.
It is important to note that they exhibit these signs when their self-esteem is threatened or when they don’t get the attention they always want. Don’t confuse this with other forms of anger. (Also read The 10 Types Of Personality Disorder)
5. What is Narcissistic Rage Silent Treatment?
Narcissistic anger silent treatment is a form of stonewalling where the person with NPD uses the silent treatment as a tool to punish someone who behaved in a way that they don’t like or when they feel threatened by the person. Instead of trying to protect the relationship by discussing it, the narcissistic person tries to absolve themselves of the blame by putting the spotlight on the recipient. They use the silent treatment to make the others feel that they were wrong and blame is on them. They won’t break the silence until the recipient apologies to them. Why? Because their goal is not to repair the relationship but to meet their own needs. (See What is Priming Theory?)
6. What is the Narcissistic Rage Example?
Some examples of narcissistic anger include situations where people show intense outbursts, sudden fits of anger, passive-aggressive behavior like cutting sarcasm, icy silence, deliberate neglect, and simmering resentment.
An imaginable scenario for this anger is someone might lash out at you if they feel they have lost control of you or the situation or your boss lashes out disproportionately when you deny an unreasonable request to work long hours during the weekend at the last minute for a project. (See Am I Passive Aggressive?)
7. What are the Types of Narcissistic Rage?
There are two different types of narcissistic rage, outward or explosive and inward or passive.
- In outward or explosive type, the person yells, screams hurls insults, and even threatens to harm others or themselves.
- In the passive or inward type, they refuse to engage with you and go into a period of isolation. (See Different Types of BPD)
8. How to Diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
People with NPD face issues like addictive behavior and rage which isn’t as simple as anger or stress issues. There is no specific test for diagnosing NPD or narcissistic rage silent treatment. A mental health professional diagnoses a person for NPD in the following ways. (See Importance of Child Behavioral Psychologist)
- It can be diagnosed using the observed and reported symptoms.
- A physical examination should be conducted to rule out the physical issues that cause the symptoms. Here the criteria in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), are to be verified according to the medical classification list by the WHO. (See
- A psychological examination can be done where criteria match the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) according to the American Psychiatric Association.
9. How to Cope with Narcissistic Rage?
A person with NPD may not be aware of their narcissistic rage silent treatment and outbursts internally. If you have read this far and slightly realized that you might have narcissistic rage, then have a better sense and interest to interact more healthily with the world. Though it might feel odd at the moment, NPD drives people away, and interfere with your goals, and success in your life in the long run it is wise and better to approach a therapist and undergo therapy. Realizing that you have the disorder is the first step in overcoming it. Though the treatments are challenging, it is always better to try and get control of the disorder. (See Significance of CBT anger management)
Anger is normal human emotion. If you realize that you do not have control over your anger that doesn’t mean you have narcissistic rage. It could also mean that you have anger issues. A mental health professional will help you identify if you have NPD, have narcissistic anger and help you work through your narcissistic rage. I believe this article with its information on narcissistic rage silent treatment, and narcissistic anger example helped you get a better understanding of the NPD. (See Benefits of The Elevation Experience)