Narcissistic Injury Examples and Ways to Deal With It

If you have a dilemma regarding what a narcissistic injury may look like then, here are some Narcissistic Injury examples and ways to deal with it.

When you are the one being the victim of narcissistic injury, this whole situation may seem confusing, surprising, and scary to you as the signs of narcissistic injury are not obvious and the narcissist may start acting up out of the blue.

Knowing about narcissistic injury, the signs, and examples can help the victims to find ways to cope with such difficult situations.

What is Narcissistic Injury?

When the false, exaggerated, and inflated self of the narcissist is threatened, this causes them a narcissistic injury. This threat may be real or may be imaginary. Through a narcissistic injury, the narcissist’s distorted reality is shaken and they are reminded of the fake and the illusionary image that they have made for themselves.

A narcissistic injury penetrates the shiny and sturdy imaginary armor that they have worn to keep their imaginary perfect selves from being disclosed. Once they sense that their fake image is in danger, they might do anything to save it. And in certain situations where they need to strongly defend, they may also use rage to dodge the situation. Thus narcissistic injury leads to narcissistic rage. They are two sides of the same coin.

Narcissistic injury in simple terms is psychological or emotional harm experienced by someone with narcissistic traits. Narcissistic injury can lead to intense feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy, humiliation, and indignity which may trigger untamed defense mechanisms like narcissistic rage, violence, physical harm, and resentment.

The way narcissists react or respond to narcissistic injury is cruel. They may devalue that person and might mistreat them as if they are inhuman. Their behavior may cause lifelong trauma for the person who caused them narcissistic injury. That person may be no longer viewed as a living being and may be objectified as something useless and worthless.

This person or the incident hurt the narcissist’s ego thus they may have to face the narcissistic rage and project as a defense mechanism to their ego that has been fractured.

Narcissists are unable to showcase empathy for others nor do they feel remorse for others so they may resort to rage and vindictiveness when confronted. Narcissists have a goody-goody or a judgemental attitude thus connecting them to the beliefs of superiority, grandiosity, and greatness.

When their behavior is doubted, deep-rooted insecurities and doubts emerge from the facade, making them vulnerable. This situation enforces their urge to seek revenge against the imposed, harming their self-esteem causing emotional injury, and making them feel threatened.

Signs of Narcissistic Injury

Here are some signs of narcissistic injury,

Passive Aggressive Behavior – Passive Aggressive narcissists create conflicts on a loop and lack intimacy, making the relationship toxic and unpredictable in a bad way. They may perceive emotional injury by displaying silent negative gestures like purposefully forgetting something or misplacing important documents.

Narcissistic Rage – Rage is an outburst of anger. It is a common outcome of emotions or an emotional response for someone with a narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is a reaction or response to a Narcissistic Injury. It may have various forms that include taunting, bullying, smear campaigns, abuse, or yelling.

Playing the Victim – Narcissists often believe that they are the victims in almost all situations, and this belief stems from the victim mentality. They expect to be pitied when held accountable for their actions.

Silent treatment – Some narcissists, especially covert narcissists resort to isolation, shutting themselves down and employing silent treatment when they are hurt emotionally. This behavior is often intended to punish the person responsible for the wounds.

Denial – Denial is the first and foremost sign of narcissistic injury. Someone who might possess narcissistic traits may automatically deny the happening to save themselves from embarrassment and guilt and also to avoid being accountable. They may deny accusations even when slightly outed by others.

Manipulation – Narcissists are natural manipulators and they do this effortlessly. They may manipulate you smoothly despite being the culprit. They may beg for forgiveness, just to even things with you. Emotional manipulation is the go-to tool for many narcists when they are wounded.

Gaslighting – Narcissists may gaslight their victims to believe that they are the reason the narcissist is emotionally hurt and thus they shift the blame easily upon the victims. They would distort the reality of the situation which may confuse the victims.

Narcissistic Injury Examples and Ways to Deal With It

Narcissistic injury can be better understood with the help of examples.

Common Narcissistic Injury Examples

You as a victim might have faced the narcissist when they are emotionally injured but might not be familiar with the concept and examples of narcissistic injury. Thus a few examples are mentioned below,

Someone has not lived up to the narcissist’s expectations

Narcissists have crazy fantasies about power, success, money, or a successful life. Thus if the narcissist is unable to fulfill these fantasies, they may lay those fantasies on their children and force them to live through them.

For instance,

If a narcissistic mother had a dream of becoming the greatest chess player but due to some reason they were denied to play either because they lacked, or were not coached properly or any such efforts. Firstly the narcissistic mother would have tried her best in her childhood to fulfill her dream. After attempting several times and facing failure, she might give up, but this is not the end.

She might enroll her kids to learn and play chess professionally. This may seem like a supportive parent supporting her child until she does not allow the kid to leave chess for any reason.

Even if the child comes up and pleads to leave the sport (chess) due to a lack of interest, the narcissistic mother would not allow her kids to give up and live her dream through them. If the child denies and does something to upset them then this causes a narcissistic injury.

A Narcissist gets embarrassed by someone in public

Narcissists believe that they are unique, special, and better than others and thus they must only engage with people of high status or financially better than others as this can add up to the substantial personality of the narcissist, and thus their thinking and belief may lead them to embarrassment in public.

They do not know how to maintain somebody’s boundaries and thus they might keep interrupting their life to get what they wish, it can be power, financial status, or a strong footing in society.

For instance,

If a narcissist is trying to date someone who may be influential and add to the narcissist’s grandiose image. It so happens that the narcissist has finally convinced them to meet up for a date after days of love bombing, idealizing, and projecting.

The date goes well until the narcissist starts drinking or some of the serving staff may have an incorrect order for food they might have ordered. Instead of dealing with the situation patiently, the narcissist may shout, curse, and call names for that staff member making a scene.

This inappropriate behavior of the narcissist escalates the situation and everyone present in the eatery might have eyes on them. Even the manager of the eatery gets involved. This situation becomes out of control and thus the date decides to get up, teach the narcissist some manners by acknowledging the ideal behavior, and leave them immediately.

Even the eatery asks the narcissist to leave the premises for the inappropriate social behavior. Thus this causes them an emotional injury as they believe they are superior to others and Evevyrone should regard their greatness. This damages the narcissist’s ego causing a narcissistic injury.

A narcissist loses a competition

A narcissist has a heightened sense of entitlement which is revolting. They believe that they deserve everything they desire and at the desired time. They believe that they deserve or are entitled to success, money, good fortune, the best partner, and so on.

For instance,

In a working environment, at the office, the narcissist always wishes to be the best be it employee, boss, or at any position. Narcissistic employees are always in search of better positions, and bonuses, and are boss pleasers.

So if a narcissist has been eyeing a promotion for a long time, and they do not get it, they might act vigorously and may also do things that may tear down other employees’ reputations who might have received the promotion that they might have been eyeing.

At this point, the narcissistic employee might feel inadequate, worthless, and weak, and at the same time, they might be thinking of ways to avenge the mishap.

A few other examples of narcissistic injury include,

  • Trying a new skill and failing
  • Being denied of something
  • Receiving negative feedback or criticism at work or in a relationship
  • Being abandoned or breaking up with their love interest
  • Losing and facing failure

Ways to Deal With Narcissistic Injury as a Narcissistic Abuse Victim

When you are a victim of narcissistic abuse and have to deal with a situation where the narcissist is injured emotionally, then what should you do? How should you deal with such a situation? Let us know a few ways,

Remain calm

You must calm down when you encounter an emotionally injured narcissist. Narcissists are vulnerable at this point as their ego has been damaged and they may try to do anything and everything to upset you and get a reaction out of you. Thus by being calm you can control the situation and protect yourself.

Choose your Battles

Selectively responding and claiming to rise above them is a way to avoid the narcissistic drama. If a narcissist is smearing your reputation, or spreading lies about you, you may choose to not respond and prove your worth.

Instead, you may just mind your own business and avoid them. By doing this you may prove that you are ar better than them and the truth may appear publically because the narcissist’s made-up lies would not last longer.

Seek Support

Dealing with a narcissistic injury can be confusing, shocking, and saddening for you especially when you know you are the victim of narcissistic abuse and the narcissist is claiming to be the sufferer. This situation can be gruesome for you.

By seeking support of the loved ones, or the people who truly understand and appreciate you like family members, friends, or co-workers. You can seek help from anyone who might have seen the narcissistic abuse and who might understand your viewpoints. Doing so may assure your emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Create Physical and Emotional Distance

While facing the irrational behavior of the narcissist, it is crucial to protect yourself. Start maintaining a physical and emotional distance from such narcissistic people. Do not provide them an opportunity to damage you and control you.

For instance, if you have a narcissistic friend, then try to meet them less, if you have a narcissistic colleague; switch desks or shift to another company.

Recognizing the signs and causes of narcissistic injury is crucial, along with acknowledging narcissism and the different behaviors associated with it in depth.

Know when to Leave

When the narcissist goes beyond limits and crosses and breaks all your boundaries just because they are hurts emotionally, then this is the time for you to decide whether to stay in such a toxic relationship and keep bearing the consequences of being with a narcissistic partner or leave them to avoid getting involved into their dirty mind games.

The narcissist might try to make you feel unsafe and worthless at the end of the relationship but do not get trapped in their words and choose wisely for yourself.

Start your healing journey, regain your worth, power, and confidence, and work on yourself. You may soon be able to find a better partner, friend, or someone truly supportive than the narcissist that you had in your life.

What should the reader take away from the article?

The final thoughts are,

When you have to deal with a narcissist who is injured emotionally, you must ensure your security, safety, and emotional stability to protect yourself from the narcissist.

Being on the receiving end and dealing with a narcissistic injury, can be a confusing and scary experience.

Dealing with a narcissistic injury can be confusing, shocking, and saddening for you especially when you know you are the victim of narcissistic abuse and the narcissist is claiming to be the sufferer. This situation can be gruesome for you.

Seek all the help you need, be emotionally strong, and leave the narcissist if you have to.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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