A Narcissist Reacts When You Start Treating Them How They Treat You.
In interpersonal relationships, it is essential to maintain a healthy balance of respect, compassion, and understanding. However, some individuals, known as narcissists, possess an excessive sense of self-importance, lack empathy, and exhibit manipulative behaviours. Dealing with a narcissistic person can be immensely challenging, and at times, one may find themselves resorting to treating them how they treat you. This article aims to explore the dynamics of such interactions and shed light on the reasons behind both the narcissist’s hurtful behaviours and their subsequent reactions when faced with similar treatment.
One might start treating a narcissist how they treat you for several reasons. It could stem from frustration and exhaustion after repeatedly attempting to work with them, only to hit a wall. Narcissists often resist collaboration and dismiss the input of others, leading their counterparts to eventually give up and respond in kind. Alternatively, one may unknowingly pick up narcissistic fleas, adopting manipulative tactics as a result of prolonged exposure to the narcissist’s behaviour.
Another reason could be the belief that “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Dealing with a narcissist can make one feel powerless and invalidated. Consequently, mimicking their behaviours may seem like an attempt to regain some control or level the playing field. However, adopting the tactics of a narcissist is not a healthy or productive solution in the long run.
Narcissists treat others in hurtful ways due to several factors. Firstly, they are often aware that their actions cause harm. Their primary focus is on themselves, and their need for admiration and superiority often outweighs any concern for the well-being of others. This self-awareness allows them to exploit vulnerabilities, emotionally manipulate others, and exert control.
Additionally, narcissists lack empathy. They struggle to understand or connect with the emotions of those around them, leading them to disregard the feelings of others. Their actions are driven solely by their own desires, needs, and self-interests. This absence of empathy enables them to justify their hurtful behaviours as they do not comprehend the impact it has on their victims.
Narcissists often perceive themselves as above the rules that govern social interactions. They believe they deserve special treatment and entitlement while expecting others to adhere to different standards. This inconsistency creates an asymmetrical power dynamic, allowing narcissists to exploit and manipulate their victims without guilt or remorse.
When treated in the same manner they treat others, narcissists typically react in predictable ways. One common response is their sudden silence. This silence may arise from a sense of shock, as they are accustomed to being the dominant personality in the relationship. They may also respond with anger and aggression, attempting to reassert their control and superiority.
Interestingly, when a narcissist is faced with silence from their counterpart, they often find themselves uncomfortable and desperate for attention. Having their own manipulation tactics employed against them unveils their deep-seated insecurities and need for constant validation. Their reactions may vary, ranging from frantic attempts to regain attention to lashing out and intensifying their manipulative behaviours.
Gaslighting is another tactic frequently employed by narcissists. This tactic involves distorting reality, making the victim doubt their own memories, perceptions, and sanity. When confronted by a victim who remains steadfast in their reality and does not succumb to the gaslighting, narcissists may resort to other tactics, such as accusing the victim of stealing or misplacing items. This diversionary tactic is aimed at shifting blame and asserting dominance.
Narcissists often exhibit secretive behaviour as a means of maintaining control and keeping their victims off balance. This secrecy serves to generate intrigue and mask their manipulative tactics. When their victims stop sharing personal information or refuse to discuss certain matters, the narcissist’s reactions may range from attempts to pry the information out of them to displaying annoyance or anger.
Furthermore, narcissists are often highly critical of others but respond poorly to any constructive feedback directed at them. They view criticism as an attack on their fragile ego and self-image. Consequently, they may become defensive, deflect responsibility, or launch counterattacks to undermine the credibility of their critics.
In an attempt to protect their fragile self-image, when attacked, narcissists tend to respond with heightened aggression and hostility. They perceive any attack on their superiority as a direct threat and will go to great lengths to assert their dominance and regain control over the situation.
One of the most damaging ways narcissists react is by smearing the names of their victims. When their behaviour is exposed or criticised, they utilise manipulation tactics such as spreading rumours, twisting facts, and discrediting their victims. This smear campaign aims to protect their own reputation and undermine the credibility of others.
The sense of entitlement that narcissists hold contrasts starkly with the assertiveness of their counterparts. While the narcissist believes they are deserving of special treatment and unquestioned authority, the assertive behaviour of their counterpart challenges this notion. As a result, the narcissist may respond angrily, attempt to belittle the assertiveness, or even escalate their manipulative tactics.
Moreover, a narcissist’s arrogance is often met with confidence from their counterparts. While the narcissist’s arrogance stems from a need for validation and superiority, the confidence of the recipient challenges their perception of power and threatens their fragile ego. Consequently, they may react with defensiveness, hostility, or attempts to undermine the confidence of their counterpart.
In conclusion, understanding the complex dynamics involved in interactions with narcissists is crucial for coping with their hurtful behaviours and subsequent reactions. While resorting to treating them in a similar manner may seem like a means of regaining control, it is important to remember that engaging in narcissistic behaviours can be detrimental. By maintaining self-awareness, setting boundaries, and seeking support, it becomes possible to navigate the challenging landscape of narcissistic relationships in a healthier and more effective manner.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.