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Dealing with a narcissist can be challenging and emotionally draining, especially when their behavior becomes toxic and harmful to others. Calling out a narcissist, although necessary for setting boundaries and seeking resolution, can lead to various outcomes. In this article, we’ll explore eight things that typically happen when you confront a narcissist about their behavior.

  1. Defensive Responses

Narcissists are often quick to become defensive when confronted. They may deflect blame, deny any wrongdoing, or counterattack by criticizing you. Expect them to resist taking responsibility for their actions.

  1. Gaslighting Attempts

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used by narcissists to make you doubt your perceptions and feelings. When called out, they may try to twist the truth, minimize your concerns, or invalidate your emotions.

  1. Projecting Fault Onto Others

Narcissists may project their own faults onto you during a confrontation. They might accuse you of exhibiting the same behaviors they are guilty of, shifting the focus away from their actions.

  1. Triangulation

Triangulation involves bringing a third party into the conflict to gain an advantage. Narcissists may involve friends, family members, or colleagues to support their position or undermine your credibility during the confrontation.

  1. Playing the Victim

Narcissists can be skilled at portraying themselves as victims. When called out, they may play the victim card, emphasizing their own suffering and casting themselves as the ones who are hurt or misunderstood.

  1. Rage and Outbursts

Confronting a narcissist may trigger anger and rage. They might raise their voice, become aggressive, or use intimidation tactics to regain control of the situation.

  1. Silent Treatment or Withdrawal

Alternatively, some narcissists respond to confrontation by giving the silent treatment or withdrawing emotionally. They may cut off communication or become distant as a way of punishing you for challenging them.

  1. Limited Accountability

While it’s rare for narcissists to admit fault outright, some may reluctantly acknowledge their behavior to a certain extent. However, their accountability is often limited, and they may offer only a partial apology or promise to change without taking concrete actions to do so.

Calling out a narcissist is a necessary step in setting boundaries and addressing harmful behavior. However, it’s crucial to be prepared for the various responses you may encounter. Narcissists are unlikely to respond to confrontation with self-reflection and genuine change. Instead, they may employ defensive tactics, manipulation, or attempts to control the narrative.

When dealing with a narcissist, it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and emotional health. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who can provide guidance and help you navigate these challenging interactions. Setting firm boundaries and managing expectations can empower you to deal with a narcissist more effectively, while protecting your own mental and emotional health.