If you’re struggling with a difficult narc in your world, you might be pondering what makes a narcissist panic in order to regain control of your own life.
The biggest thing that makes a narcissist panic is the loss of control. This threatens having the truth of their False Self exposed, which ultimately leads to the loss of narcissistic supply.
Narcissists are incredibly manipulative and can unhinge even the most intelligent of those among us. However, once you’re familiar with who they really are inside and what their game plan is, you can actively disarm the narc by making them panic just a little.
I’m certainly not suggesting that you intentionally set out to put the fear into the narcissist as a means of retaliation or revenge. That would really just be lowering yourself down to their vibration, which is not who you truly are. In fact that would effectively put you at arms length of even more abuse from the narcissist.
The aim of educating yourself on what makes a narcissist panic is to completely step out of the narcissist’s game and not be susceptible to being pulled back in. It’s about putting your own integrity and self-worth first and standing in your true authentic power.
This is about reclaiming your life force from the narcissist and not allowing them to plug in and suck you dry energetically.
First let’s explore who the narcissist really is behind their mask, then we’ll delve into what makes a narcissist panic so that you can be empowered.
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Who is the Narcissist, Really?
To understand why the narcissist acts and reacts the way they do, it’s important to fully grasp who they really are behind the fake facade.
When the narc was younger, something transpired that was traumatic for them. It may have been childhood neglect, abuse, being overly aggrandised or even the tough situation of being raised by a narcissistic parent themselves.
Through this trauma they were left feeling completely unworthy and filled with shame. What they inadvertently learnt was that being vulnerable was a weakness and completely unsafe for them.
Their trauma response was to sever all connection to their True Self, leaving them with just their ego running the show. The ego is the unconscious aspect of the human experience, which demands attention and validation from outside of itself for it to remain in existence.
When they amputated their True Self, they also disconnected their ability to be a whole human being. With that means they no longer have the ability to feel empathy, compassion, kindness or anything truly authentic. They became a soul without a conscience.
The True Self is conscious, while the Ego is unconscious.
Ultimately they are left as a defective soul who needs to feed their ego in order to temporarily vanquish the feelings of utter shame and humiliation that rein deep within.
Without having access to their True Self, they also have zero access to their own divine life force. It’s that life force energy which is able to relieve those dark, low vibrational feelings that they actively seek to avoid.
So, in order to gain any sort of relief from the utter loathing of themselves, they are left with two choices:
- Meet those deep wounds and work to heal themselves
- Or… steal the life force energy from other whole beings and have a short-term ‘high,’ while actively ignoring the existence of the inner traumas
Due to the nature of narcissism, the vast majority go for option two. This where they unconsciously chose to invert their reality as a survival mechanism.
Instead of accepting their inner feelings of low self-worth, shame, humiliation and unworthiness they created a False Self to portray superiority, grandiosity and confidence.
The ego is now the narcissist’s master and the narc must do whatever it takes to protect the ego’s False Self. The narc’s biggest fear is having their truth exposed – that they are not actually their False Self, they are indeed a scared, insecure and vulnerable little child.
You will see this the most when they lose control or fail to get what they want, then flip out into a narcissist rage, which is essentially an adult tantrum.
I want it and I want it NOW!
Without the trappings of a conscience, they can manipulate, lie and pretend, all to get whatever they need to validate and feed themselves without feeling any guilt or remorse.
What Makes a Narcissist Panic?
Loss of Control
Narcissists run their lives by working to manipulate and control every single thing that happens around them. Heck, sometimes they even control others just for kicks. They need the constant reminder of, “I am powerful.”
In the narcissist’s warped reality, their ego has put themselves on such a pedestal that they truly think they are a God or Goddess. Therefore, if they are the God then the world must revolve around them, right? Well, that’s what they reckon.
Being in control for the narcissist means that they are more able to remain the central focus of those around them, granting them attention and narcissistic supply.
“I must be extremely important if I can have that much power over someone else.”
Having the ability to control others reiterates to them that it’s because they are that important and that special.
As you can imagine, losing control is what makes a narcissist panic big time! Access to their drug (narcissistic supply) is directly threatened when they are not the one moving all of the chess pieces around the board.
The narcissist will do whatever it takes to regain control – rage, gaslight, guilt-trip, hoover and smear people.
True independence makes the narcissist panic because their whole game is built around making people think that they need the narcissist.
The real truth is that the narcissist is 100% dependent on others constantly filling up their empty void, which is an insatiable quest. The black hole can never be filled, it can only ever be temporarily allayed.
Over time, the people who are being used to fill that nothingness end up being emptied out, but the narcissist is still hollow and on the continual hunt for more, more, more. Both parties lose.
Their need for narcissistic supply has no beginning and no end and they will use and abuse whoever they need to in the process of getting their hands on it.
One of the ways a narcissist can secure a good source of supply, especially for the long term, is to trauma bond the person to them. This way the other person becomes completely reliant on the narcissist being their source of approval and validation, meaning they’re much less likely to leave the narcissist.
As with everything the narcissist does, their whole version of reality is completely inverted.
The other person actually has the ability to tap into their own divine connection, granting themselves their own source of self-love, self-acceptance and self-validation. However, the narcissist does not want their victim to cotton on to this fact, because then they will abandon the narc, leaving them without their constant stream of supply.
Narcissist’s hate being ignored! They see it as a huge rejection, which their ego simply will not tolerate. Their self-centredness means that they believe they should be centre stage at all times.
Don’t you know who I am!
Having the spotlight move away from them makes a narcissist panic because ultimately, they fear losing the attention that their ego is screaming at them that it needs.
Here are some things you can expect to see when a narcissist is ignored:
- Rage – They’ll fly into a rage, demanding the attention back onto themselves. Positive or negative attention, they don’t care. Any attention is good to them.
- Ignore You in Return – The narc may ignore you right back, expecting you to go chasing after them or come grovelling back with apologies.
- Guilt-trip – They’ll often play the victim card, acting on your empathy and making you feel sorry for them, all with the aim of you handing your life force energy over.
- Accusations – Narcs will throw all sorts of accusations at you, designed to shift the accountability onto you, make you feel like you’ve got to defend yourself and often even blame you for the very things they’re doing.
- Threats – If some of their other tactics aren’t working, they’ll bring in some fear by threatening you into giving them the attention, money, material items etc. that they’re demanding.
- Fake Apologies – They’ll say they’re sorry, promise to change and even offer things that they never intend on following through with. Whatever they need to do to get you back on board right now.
- Smear Campaign – To control the storyline and make sure they’re portrayed as the victim at your cruel hands, they’ll smear you to all and sundry.
- New Supply – They cannot survive without external attention and validation, so they’ll replace you before you’ve had a chance to even catch your breath.
Criticism is a huge thing that makes a narcissist panic. Their false self works tirelessly to make sure that they always come off looking perfect and amazing.
If you should criticise them, even if it’s kind and constructive, you’re pointing out a flaw in them that they absolutely refuse to look at. For if they did look at that flaw, then they would have to be held accountable for all of their negative actions towards others surrounding that weakness.
You’re effectively telling them that they’re not perfect and they must annihilate you for that. They cannot have you shedding light on or telling people about these imperfections, which they have hidden so well, that they themselves don’t even think exist.
The way a narcissist handles criticism is through projecting their very failings back onto you and blaming you for them. Since the ego completely denies any faults, it will immediately superimpose those faults back onto you. Crazily, the narcissist then actually sees you as having those very faults and will blame you for doing exactly what they’ve just done.
It’s not their fault they did what they did… it’s your fault for pointing it out!
Another tactic is to refuse that it’s even a flaw at all. My narcissistic ex refused to see that he had massive anger issues. Instead, he saw it as a good thing because it made him feel ‘tough.’ I was the one with the problem because I had issues with people who got angry.
Not Being in the Spotlight
The narcissist draws all of their worth and validation from the world around them.
They need to be in the spotlight at all times, gaining constant approval. It confirms for them that they truly do exist, which feeds their egoic self.
Remember, they no longer have access to any type of divine energy source, which is where the rest of us can all access self-love, self-acceptance and self-validation. For the narc it must be siphoned from whole beings who do have their own energetic supply.
If you’ve ever had a conversation with a narcissist (which I’m sure you have, since you’re here), you’ll have witnessed how adept they are at constantly swinging the discussion back around to themselves. If you’re ever in the same room as a narcissist, observe how they manage to keep the limelight on themselves for pretty much the entire length of time.
They’re completely unaware of how ridiculous their self-absorption appears and how uncomfortable it makes others. In fact, they couldn’t care less, as long as they stay the focal point and get whatever they want.
They’re incredibly immature.
Another crazy length that narcissists will go to, to ensure they remain the centre of attention at all times, is to ruin special events and occasions.
I cannot tell you how many of my birthdays and such were ruined by my narcissistic ex. In fact, I used to dread any day that was about me because I never knew what to expect. I never felt good on those days, I always felt incredibly worthless and just wanted to crawl into a hole and be left alone.
Narcissists cannot stand to have an entire day where the spotlight is on someone else. They’ll be moody, resentful, play the victim, do things to sabotage the day or somehow make it about themselves.
You can read more of their mind-blowingly selfish tactics around special days below.
Honesty is what makes a narcissist panic deep inside because ultimately they fear being exposed. They are so deadset on their version of events being the true version and that they are the victim, they will come up with the most mind-boggling justifications to back it up.
Narcissists are the polar opposite of what honesty represents, which is morality, loyalty, fairness, integrity and trustworthiness.
Evidence and logic mean nothing to a narcissist, they will still continue to gaslight and blame shift onto anyone else in order to validate and sustain their own storyline.
Narcissists are not about being fair, loyal or trustworthy, they are wholly focussed on being right and winning at all costs. Narcs will never let the facts get in the way of their story, because it’s not about what’s true or honest, it’s about who can game the system and win.
Narcissists are extremely sensitive to humiliation. Humiliating a narcissist will trigger deep shame and cause a narcissistic injury, even if you don’t realise that you’ve said or done something to have induced it.
To humiliate someone is to reduce them to a lower position in the eyes of themselves and/ or those around them. It’s the feeling of being ashamed or losing respect for yourself on occasion.
As we well know, the narc’s whole false self is built on a foundation of faulty grandiosity, perfection and superiority above all others. For them to be humiliated means someone has publicly questioned the truth of their whole reality.
The ego cannot have its false identity exposed because that could cause the whole thing to come crashing down. The narcissist would then be left with nothing but the gaping black hole of who they truly are underneath the mask.
To combat the shame and humiliation, the narc will project all of those awful things they feel inside of themselves, directly onto you. The ego will then set out to annihilate those very wounds that it wishes to delete. Given that the ego now see those things superimposed onto you, it genuinely believes that you are the one to be shot at. So, the false self will do everything it can to crush you from existence all in order to protect itself.
This is where they will gaslight you to change your perspective, smear you publicly to rewrite the storyline, humiliate you as punishment and blame you to shift the focus off themselves. All of these things aim to avoid them having to take any accountability for their own inner wounding.
Being Called Out
Being called out is what makes a narcissist panic because again, their ego’s false self is in direct threat of being exposed.
Narcissists are pathological liars, meaning they continuously lie to get their own way. Over time, the lies become so constant and even elaborate, that they often end up believing their own lies. I mean they have to in order to keep that whole secondary reality running.
Sometimes along the way, the narc’s stories won’t quite add up or you may have witnessed an event play out with your own eyes, yet the narc tells the story completely differently.
If you call them out on their stories or lies, they will become very rageful.
I called out my ex multiple times with details that he was enhancing in stories when he was telling other people. I just couldn’t understand why he was changing those specifics, it seemed completely unnecessary to me. And my god he would get so angry with me for pulling him up. He would lash out and berate me for ‘interrupting’ him, then later when we were behind closed doors he’d say, “when I’m telling a story, do not question my details!”
The ego self is all about about competition – it needs to be better than everyone else for it to hold that sense of superiority and God-like status.
Hence why narcissists hate losing. To them, losers are lowly citizens and that is not them, nor do they want anybody else seeing them as a loser.
They need to appear the best, the most charming, talented, experienced, successful person in the room.
Interestingly, narcissists actually think that the way they view the world must be the way others view it as well.
So, if they think they’re better for winning, then others will naturally also think they’re more superior because of it. If the narcissist views others as being beneath them because they didn’t win, then of course they will assume others would think the narcissist is beneath themselves if the narc didn’t win.
Have you ever tried to play a board game with a narcissist? It’s not a fun experience, let me tell you. They’ll manipulate the rules to benefit themselves, but the bending of the rules only applies to them. Heaven forbid someone else wins the game and the narc loses – they’ll throw a big old tantrum and storm off like a sulky toddler.
I used to have a narcissistic room mate who loved watching the football. To him, his favourite team was an extension of him, so if his team lost, he’d lose his shit. One time he even punched a hole in the wall… I’m not even kidding.
Not Being Granted Special Treatment
The narcissist has propped themselves up on such a pedestal that they genuinely see themselves as a God who is to be revered. They do not believe that there is any power higher than themselves, which is why they don’t think the rules apply to them.
Heck, they don’t even think they are answerable to the universal or karmic laws. That’s why they can barge through life, doing whatever they please, lying, cheating and stealing, without any remorse or regard.
They do not believe they will be held accountable for anything they do, either while they’re on this planet or even after they leave.
Narcissists are the most entitled creatures to walk this planet and yet they’ve done absolutely nothing to have earned it.
A narcissist can walk into a coffee shop, not knowing a single soul there and expect to be treated above all of the other patrons. They will slack off at work, show up late and gossip about their coworkers, all while expecting a pay rise or promotion. Narcs will walk into their house and demand admiration from the entire household, even though they’ve done nothing to even warrant it.
And if they don’t receive the special treatment that they believe is rightfully theirs, just because of who they are, they will rage, play the victim, manipulate and even force it.
It’s utterly nauseating.
As a narcissist ages they fear becoming irrelevant, because their own self-created importance is exactly what is needed to feed their ego.
Without their youthful good looks, charisma, money and status, which they so heavily rely on, how else will they receive the attention and admiration they need to prop up their false selves?
Essentially, if the narcissist is unable to extract narcissistic supply from those around them, they become awful creatures. Their mask crumbles and their false self diminishes without the attention it needs to sustain itself.
The thought of getting old is what makes a narcissist panic, especially the grandiose variety, who are so heavily dependent on their exterior looks to manipulate and charm people.
This is why narcissists are prone to getting worse with age. As they have less resources available for them to pull people into their web, their supply decreases and they begin to lose power.
As with anyone who ages, your mind and body starts to decrease the amount of energy it has to pour into things. For the narc, the amount of energy they have on hand to put into plotting, scheming and manipulating also drastically decreases.
As a result, their false self falls away and you are left looking at who they truly are underneath it all. An angry, resentful, sad excuse of a human being.
The toxicity just oozes out of them and no one wants to be around them. You’ll find them often alone with no one but themselves, who they utterly despise.
They’ll be the ones abusing the nursing home staff, throwing demands at the doctors and yelling at the nurses.
There are some interesting ties between various end-of-life diseases that seem to have a common thread among narcissists. Something I’ve noted in my own narcissistic family line is that they have all ended up with Dementia and/ or Alzheimer’s Disease. It’d be interesting to see some research done on narcissism and how their end of lives pan out.
Being Alone with Themselves
Ultimately, being alone with themselves is what makes a narcissist panic beyond anything else.
Who they truly are inside is what they actively spend their entire lives avoiding and pretending not to be.
They don’t want to feel or accept that they’ve got painful traumas, which need to be met. They don’t want to have to take responsibility for their shortcomings and actively put in the effort to heal those wounds and turn themselves around.
They do not want to be left with the big gaping black hole, which is who they really are on the inside. That void is so utterly excruciating for them, they just cannot bear to go there.
You’ll notice that when things are calm and peaceful when you’re around a narcissist, they will create some kind of chaos completely out of nowhere and you’re left thinking, “where did that come from? Why couldn’t we just enjoy this moment?”
Well while you’re trying to relax and enjoy the peaceful moment, the tranquility actually causes the narcissist to start falling down into themselves and they hate it.
They hate being with themselves, they do not want to sink down into those feelings of shame and unworthiness. So, they explode and do something in their outer world to shift the focus away from that inner self back to the outer.
It was in these moments that my narcissistic ex would make a dig at me to start an argument or he’d literally flick me or poke me, just to induce a reaction. Then, as I would be totally thrown off balance, he’d be the one holding the power and actually getting off on the drama he’s just created.
Little did I know that I was effectively handing over narcissist supply while he kicked back feeling pretty smug with himself and reenergised by my own life force energy. Meanwhile, I would be left feeling confused, hurt, angry, sad and utterly drained.
The most powerful thing that makes a narcissist panic is true authenticity. The narcissist cannot compete with someone who’s standing in their true power, integrity and alignment with self, because the narc does not have the resources to come anywhere close to that.
When you’re focusing on yourself, acknowledging your own wounding and shifting those things out of your experience, the narc literally has nothing left to work with.
The narcissist’s whole game is based around locating your emotional traumas, opening them right up and pouring salt into them. It’s by targeting your deepest pains that they are then able to control and manipulate you.
If they no longer have that fodder to work with, their game is up. There is absolutely nothing the narcissist can do to you that will affect you.
When you’re doing the work and you’re in that space of being your own source of love, acceptance and validation, they cannot hook you in and get you dependent on them in any way because you know it’s all false.
Your energy will begin to move to a frequency where the narcissist can never exist, because they will never have the tools (in this lifetime) to meet you there, nor do they want to.
A narcissist will cower in the energy of a truly authentic person because your truth energetically exposes them.
Healing After Narcissistic Abuse
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