What’s a narcissistic insult? Some disturbed characters experience it when reality clashes with their grandiose sense of self. Of course, no one likes feeling insulted. But a narcissistic insult is different. Narcissists can take umbrage when no insult whatsoever is intended. All that’s necessary is for the truth of circumstances to challenge their inflated opinion of themselves. Narcissists hate to have their grandiose self-perceptions challenged. Traditionally, we’ve thought this is because they find such challenges threatening to an underlying fragile sense of self-worth. But some narcissists really believe in their greatness. So, it riles them to think someone or something wants to knock them off their perch. That’s also when they’re likely to fly into a rage.
The most malignant narcissists won’t hesitate to abuse when challenged. Insinuate they’re not as superior as they believe and they’ll be quick to attack. They can attack by demeaning or degrading. Or they will try to hurt and punish you. They want you to know how powerful and superior they are. So, they want to put you in your place. And they want you to rew the day you dared challenge them.
Folks who have to deal with narcissists know how rageful they can be. And sometimes they try to appease or placate them. But there’s no safety in this. You can’t buy loyalty from someone incapable of being loyal. To be capable of that, you have to genuinely care about others. Moreover, you have to let principle as opposed to pure self-interest govern your actions. Narcissists neither recognize nor respect any higher power or governing principles. (See also: Egotists: Above the Need for a Governing Higher Power.) They worship only the god of self-interest. So, when they experience narcissistic insult, they’re capable of just about anything.
Narcissistic Rage and the War on Truth
Narcissists refuse to recognize or subordinate themselves to any higher power or authority. They see themselves as above the need. Besides, in their own minds, they’re always right. Reality sometimes clashes with that distorted self-perception. For narcissists, objective truth is an obstacle. So, they prefer a reality of their own making. (See also: Narcissism and the War on Truth.) They can carry things to extremes, too, becoming truly delusional. (See: Delusional Grandiosity and Narcissism.)
We live in an age where reverence for the timelessly valuable is at an all time low. That includes reverence for the truth. In fact, it seems like we’ve even stopped humbly seeking the truth. Rather, we’ve all taken sides, becoming more polarized than ever. Each side claims ownership of the truth. And knowing they’re right, each side experiences narcissistic insult when challenged. That makes it too easy to condemn or mock the other side for not seeing things the “right” way. Of course, narcissists carry this dynamic to a pathological extreme. But the phenomenon is a prime feature of our narcissistic age.
What the World Needs Now
Our times demand a serious, honest, and humble dialog. We have lots of problems to solve. And we won’t solve them unless we overcome our pettiness . We have to listen more. We have to seek answers with an open heart and mind. This is particularly challenging in narcissistic times. But need could not be greater. The key lies in reclaiming true reverence for the truth. And that demands that we set ego aside.
Heeding the third “commandment” of character is hard. But revering and embracing truth truly saves us. Mostly, it saves us from the scourge of vanity. And that opens the door to true communion.
Next week we’ll be moving on to the spirituality of the fourth commandment. (Review those commandments in Character Disturbance.)
32 thoughts on “Narcissistic Insult Can Prompt Rage”
Not to be a picky English teacher, but.. RUE 😉
Checked it before printing it. Webster says rew is correct. The meaning for rue is different. Thanks Tim.
Webster said that rew is a dialectical variant of rue. (My autocorrect didn’t like me typing rew just now, haha.) It then gives a link to rue. What was the meaning of rue that you found different?
Perhaps we need a dialog about this.
The dictionary associates “rew” with hedgerow, which is the second less common definition of rue (the first being regret/sorrow). It is also identified as a NOUN but you are using is as a verb in the phrase “rew the day”.
In this context, “rew” is incorrect.
Gosh, I noticed that too! And I so wanted to correct it! 😉
“They see themselves as above the need. Besides, in their own minds, they’re always right”…. isn’t this EXACTLY what current professional psychologists/psychiatrist are peddling …… horrible what happened to you – I have this pill that will make everything better for you, etc…. I seriously have no idea how to differentiate narcissist, sociopaths, or psychopaths, and unfortunately those educated and taking our hard own money have NO CLUE either – if they did – we wouldn’t still be contemplating all this..
I doubt there is any pill to fix a CD person.
I’ve heard it like this…not every narc is a sociopath. However, EVERY sociopath IS a narc!
What does this mean for someone co parenting with a narcissist?
My teenagers refuse to have any communications with their npd father. His history of alcoholism and infidelity have become too much (he has achieved long term sobriety).
We are getting divorced.i am sad to think that there will be no future relationship here. I want to try to help mend things. He was once a good guy…
By interfering am I preventing him from hitting rock bottom? Are the kids truly better off without him in their life?
This is a tough question. You say very little but I will try to respond. In asking for guidance in this forum of what is right or wrong, looking for an answer to do the right thing makes me think you are a respectable stable parent.
You don’t say the ages of your children, I am going to assume they are teenagers. Many times in difficult situations the judge can take the children aside and talk with them privately. Also, I believe the courts will appoint someone from the courts on the behalf of the children. I am hoping one of our other posters such as Andy or Lucy chimes in on this one since they have had personal experiences.
I will share this, my neighbors wife left him and took both sons with her. Joint custody was granted and withing 2 months both boys were living with their father. It is over 2 years and the boys have lived full time with their dad, the boys absolutely hate seeing or being with their mother.
The boys are 13 and 16. The father is waiting for the boys to make their own decision, the 16 year old expressed once he gets his drivers licence he will decline seeing his mother. I don’t think the courts can force a child to see a parent they don’t want to be with. Both boys bury themselves in video games, anything so they don’t have to relate with her.
This is about all I can say on this, other than, always take the high road. This man is their father, I would caution you to never speak negatively in any manner. In the end things will work out and your children will respect you for not running down their father. They will make their own choices whether to see him or not. If the father achieved sobriety he may also agree to go through counseling to learn how to redeem a relationship with his children.
Just my point of view and will pray everything turns out well for you.
Those are difficult circumstances. I would put both children in counseling, hopefully you can find a good capable doctor.
Not knowing the particulars of your situation, if the father is injurious to their emotional well being, they should be protected from that injury. If the relationship is strained but not what you’d call harmful, then there could be a chance of saving the relationship and not letting it deteriorate till there is nothing left of it. Only you would know this.
There are different levels of narcissism, some more tolerable than others.
I watch my daughter, who is 27, suffer through the strained relationship with her father. He can be somewhat kind, or tolerable to her, then if she somehow inadvertently offends him he lashes out, upsets her, makes her cry, stresses her out, makes her physically sick. Then the cycle continues. She has a grandson and that is what keeps the ties I believe. It’s a sick, unhealthy relationship. I tell her what I think as I see it, which isn’t sugar coated. I tell her that he wants to keep her under his thumb, in an up position, but that the but reality is that she has the upper hand, she’s got what he wants (her little boy). She so desperately wants a loving father, supportive, but it will never be. All she can do at times is not read his texts because they are badgering. So I went on too much about my situation . . . .
If their relationship with their father is harmful, it should be restricted. That’s my opinion.
Dr. Simon is perfectly on point:
“The most malignant narcissists won’t hesitate to abuse when challenged. Insinuate they’re not as superior as they believe and they’ll be quick to attack. They can attack by demeaning or degrading. Or they will try to hurt and punish you. They want you to know how powerful and superior they are. So, they want to put you in your place. And they want you to rew the day you dared challenge them.”
To anyone who intends to divorce the malignant narcissist, this is a forewarning. Be prepared and as ready and as strong as you can possibly be, because you will need every ounce of energy (and money) to leave, litigate and divorce him/her.
But also note that when you are free from this person, your life will change for the better, your health will improve and you can then find joy and peace, rebuild, renew and restore.
Right on spot, as usual.
My experience with the NPD that is my son’s father is exactly that. You have to walk on eggshells when you’re around them and even then it’s impossible because you never know what unintended comment of yours can be taken as an insult to their ego.
Rage always comes next. When I tell him that I’ve filed for divorce.
I have been here before. Almost free. It turned ridiculously violent. I was a mess and terrified. I came back, knowing that it was safer to appease him than to continue “crossing” him by completing the divorce. That was three years, one dislocated jaw, two hard shoves/falls (the last shove resulted in my wrist and elbow taking SEVEN weeks to heal), and multiple chokings ago. (The last one is the worst. When you can’t swallow for two weeks without pain, have to lie to the chiropractor about why your neck is fucked, and have lost full range of motion).
I had to make a plan. I needed a better way out. So I went to work.
I found “WHY DOES HE DO THAT” by Lundy Bancroft. “CO-Dependent No More” and “The Gift of Fear”-all life changing. I met with a counselor. I didn’t confront him about ANYTHING-EVER. I played nice and was allowed to attend a short term school/training (I had been forbidden to go to college for nursing, after scoring one of the highest scores on their entrance exam-because I would certainly have affairs with doctors.)
I worked my ass off to complete the programs and found a job, all while constantly being checked up on and being accused of cheating and money laundering (WTF?!?).
I left my phone and car at work the other day and borrowed a co-workers car to FINALLY put down the $3,500 retainer for the divorce attorney. I couldn’t risk him driving by or checking my shared location on my phone (because he has trust issues since he’s been a serial cheater for 20 years. It’s really taken a toll on him-since he’s learned all women are whores.) Poor fella.
And now, I wait. Wait for the papers to be filed and pray to God that I don’t die in the divorce process.
My heart goes out to you. I went through an ugly divorce in 2003 and subsequent years of parental ailenation and my ex taking me to court trying to prove me unfit. Ha! Backfired on him twice.
One recommendation is to document interactions with the soon to be ex. I kept what I called an e-diary. A simple Word document to capture date, time, mood, location, and summation of conversation whether in person or on the phone, and save all emails. My attorney said this was helpful. If you have concern he may find it on your computer, keep it on a thumb drive and keep it well hidden.
My sincerest thoughts and prayers to you.
I am glad you found Dr. Simons site and encourage both of you to continue to share your stories. We learn from each others experiences and share knowledge and resources.
I am sorry both of you are going through all this, use if for good and you will grow in character. As you both post I am sure many will chime in.
God bless and remember No Contact and the less interaction with these vile character disordered individuals is to your advantage. I also agree with the books MLNK referred to are excellent books to read. I would also encourage you to read the books Dr. Simon has written. I have a library on the topic and Dr. Simon keeps it short, concise and to the point.
I welcome you to continue to post and interject you thoughts.
I’m so glad I found this site!! Just reading this evening makes me feel as if I’m not alone. Right now I want to move out of state and get away from this drama. Serioulsly! My husband’s ex sent a letter
In 2010, adult son came to our house and was blazing mad and bc my husband couldn’t immediately speak with him, he stormed out of the house. My husband followed. I didn’t go out there, they are two grown men.
So 10-15 min later, hubs come running back inside to the bathroom screaming for me. I find that he is bloody with grass stains all over him. Bloody nose, black eye forming, scrapes and dirty. His son jumped him in the front yard. Hubs didn’t hit his son, but son hit him 25+ times. Hubs did not want to press charges. Plus my parents were here visiting (2 more witnesses), it was the day after Thanksgiving.
This is an adult son with 4 masters degrees, 2 or 3 bachelors and a handful of associate degrees. He is in the ministry.
The letter received this week from the ex wife was about that incident in 2010. She wants hubs to call this well respected friend of ours, who the son reached out to apparently, and admit to the above demands. In her letter, she said our friend said he wants nothing to do with son, btw, friend knows full well about this incident in 2010.
Mind you, their divorce was in 1995!
What is this helicopter mother doing demanding the father (hubs) say he was wrong for trying to reason with his son in the front yard? It was hubs fault that this happened to him and her son is blameless? It’s insane!! I hope this makes sense, I’ve been a mess for 3 days now.
Welcome to this site and keep reading. You’re definitely not alone.
What I’ve learned as have many others who want to go on with a peaceful life is to disconnect from the crazy, which sounds like you’ve done for quite awhile. Drama-ridden people will feed off of your response to their drama, so I’d give it none.
I can’t figure out what the ex-wife’s deal is, but sounds like the drama should stay with her.
If any reply at all, I’d keep it short, concise, and let her know you want no part of this recent incident. Your husband doesn’t owe anyone an explanation nor an apology.
I’ve learned to Not Feed The Beast.
You have control of your life and do not have to let CDs enter it freely. You can turn her off and out.
Once the interaction starts it snowballs. I’d let it die right at the outset.
Lucy gave you words of wisdom. In reading your post I would encourage you in what advice Lucy gave you. Also, welcome and encourage your input.
Thank you Lucy and BTOV! The letter the other day just threw me into a tailspin so I started researching again.
One thing my counselor told me is ‘hurting people hurt people.’ What doesn’t make sense is after 29 years, the ex wife is still at it. She became a master at parental ailenation before it was such a term. Which is why the son has such anomisity toward his dad.
I saw her for the first time at the son’s wedding in 2014. She looks like she’s sucked on a lemon half her life; disgruntled, judgmental looks, and huddled with her sister and two brothers, were all peas in a pod, glaring at me and my then 17yo old daughter with my husband (her ex). I had strength then, I held my head high and had the mindset all day that she is the one with the problem, not me.
I don’t buy the “hurting people hurt people” BS. Mean people, people with a lack of empathy and conscience, people who are selfish, people who want something from another will hurt to achieve their goal – this type of person will hurt other people. Don’t ever feel sorry for this person.
You’ve done the right thing by holding your head high. Shows her she means nothing to you.
Keep doing what you’ve been doing.
Please stick around. you have a lot to offer us all who are dealing with this type of person.
I agree with Lucy, I have been hurt tremendously in my life and I do not go to weddings and treat people badly with stares and dirty looks. People who do that are trying to have and or hold power over others. It’s called control by shaming, intimidation, demeaning… whatever.
Many people are actually EXPERTS at this.
I just stopped babysitting for my grandkids recently. My 3 yr old was coming in the house repeatedly and all of a sudden having “accidents” here multiple times.
The last time ran in the house peed on the carpet and started running around laughing like a lunatic.
My 4 yr old yelled out that she did it and that it was on purpose because she was laughing!!!
When I asked her if she was having accidents at school, NO. At mom’s friends house? NO. At the stores? NO At home? She says YES. I said what did mommy say? She says CLEAR AS A BELL… I peed right in front of the toilet yesterday and first mommy got mad.. then she laughed!!!
I said no she didn’t. She said yes she did she laughed Grandma and then she said do that at Grandmas house tomorrow!!
I texted her mother right away and of course she lied about it. I texted my son and told him they should find another sitter.
These weren’t the only rude and obnoxious things they were doing. I have been through many parents in my life who use their children to do their dirty work so I was done. That’s been about 2 months ago.
We went over to talk with our son about it. He literally said nothing after we all had some small talk.
He sat there and got angrier and angrier without anyone saying a word.
I believe that is because I have been a parent of integrity with him AND my insolent daughter in law. I think he knew that no matter what he said to either of us that I have so much experience with this in the past and he was a witness to it ( I was a court ordered supervisor for 4 relatives who were being exploited by their parents) and he knew there is no way out of this by lying.
I am by NO MEANS a perfect person or parent. But my reputation is not a liar or manipulator. He even said to me before he was married…why do I get the feeling that I’m going to be your next——? That’s a name of a woman I won’t name. Suffice it to say she was a con woman of the highly narcissistic type.
So needless to say as per Dr Simon’s post I’m sure they are both just buzzing telling everyone they know a fresh revised version of what they’ve done and how terrible his mother really is!
My granddaughters birthday is in 10 days and we are NOT INVITED!!!
Huge surprise that I predicted! LOL! I knew this would happen and was fully prepared for it. Nothing takes the pain out of having to make this decision but I know it had to be done.
I always say now… ANYONE who is being treated like this by a Narc or CDP needs to remember DO NOT DEFEND YOURSELF!!!
Hold your peace and let the Lord fight your battle. Your battle is spiritual and NOT against them.
For 4 years I babysat my grandson and daughter, up to 3 times a week!!!
HOW BAD COULD I BE RIGHT???? Well…… just ask them!!! 🙂
I’m angry with them at times as their behavior probably won’t change, but I pray for them often to feel a strong conviction regarding their actions towards a loving grandfather and mother.
God is in control and I believe ultimately those children belong to HIM as do we all.
You gave yourself sound advice using wisdom. I had other counsel me not speak up in things just like Jesus stayed silent. I know it is painful, but it is best to leave the CD to their own devices an depart from them. There are so many kind and caring people in life than to step down and be walked on and used by the CD.
Thanks, yes I know it’s a very difficult decision as I have a very small family. However, I will NOT be held hostage by anyone who obviously does NOT have my best interest at heart like I do them!
I have a family of them and they hate me that I had the audacity to walk away from them long ago. Believe me, they will never forget you said NO to them refusing to put up with them and part of their sick game. All CD are adult children and limited in any real emotional concern for others except how the CD can use another.
Stay strong and hold your ground, above all the CD loath and respect strength at the same time.
Stay strong and in all this we can never let our emotions play a part, we need critical thinking and yes, prayer.
Sounds like you have planned well and know what to expect from this man. I’m very concerned for your safety.
Do you have a plan, somewhere to go?
Are you still living in the same home together?
I’d suggest going to the police station and explaining to them your situation so when/if you do call them they will have background and be prepared.
You may want to try to obtain an Order of Protection, since you’ve got this abusive history with him and can forsee what may happen when he’s served. It won’t really “protect” you totally, but if you see him in the immediate vicinity you can call the police and they will come and remove him from the area.
Can you go to a local shelter temporarily?
I hope to hear back from you.
You can come out of all this and live a life after.
You’ve got a lot of courage. You can do this.
I don’t know where you live but I am in the Chicago area if you EVER need refuge or emergency ride or help!
Everyone has a psychological issue that needs (or could use) clarifying insight. Few lack the courage to be thorough in their efforts to understand the source of their individual conflicts. There is a strong relationship between psychiatrists and suicide. Narcissism is very American; so is passive-aggressive bi-polar anti-social paranoid schizophrenia. Jesus allegedly knew all this, right? So Jesus sent Huckabee to “intellectualize” about the biblical plan for saving America’s economy with commercial tv sexuality; and the same types of traditional political/religious corruption that led to the murder of Jesus long ago when humanity was really really SICK and greedy and vain and selfish and proud. I still contend that extroverted sensory judgment is the most problematic foundation in human relations; followed by the fear of the introverted sensory judgers. Some many people think the word ‘God’ means “creator of the universe.” I am called a plethora of insulting things when I say, “sorry, God is a PAGAN term for the word GOD, which means “Generator, Operator, Destroyer.” I searched the internet for over 10 years asking the world what does the word GOD mean; NO ONE knew; In God’s alleged country; so that means that I am a narcissist; at least to some people; including Huckabee, Trump, clintons, obama, the lgbtq/pedophile, military, police crowds; and a LONG LIST of other Americans, i.e. teachers, “politicians” in God’s country where abortion is “normal.” (After going thru what i did over the research that resulted in the publication that appears in the Journal of Psychological Type, Volume 21, 1991; pages in the 60’s; i became more isolated and insulated from the sick world that mocked my efforts; and began to examine myself on an entirely different plane. America is a smelter’s pot of vanity & egomania. I am not anti-social; but I can barely tolerate most of society; especially the proud know it alls who accuse me of being a know it all.) Only certain types of people behave in a continuous PROUD in denial ME ME ME pattern; think of this when you watch commercial tv; and see if you can filter out and recognize the commonality in the mouth/ass focus that is the tv format. America is like a circuit board in a computer; only the circuitry is coated with sugar and dead animal grease and fat that is stuffed into the mouths of the proud; along with the pills. (So if you have a ________ problem, call this law firm; and if you have this ______ problem, call this law firm; and if you have a _______ problem, call this law firm; and if you have this ______ problem, call this law firm; and if you have this issue, take this pill or that pill…………..and know, there is HNO Jesus coming back;” ho ho ho, hippity hop and trick or treat; America. Time to grow up, isn’t it, people?
Thank you for your interesting post. Your words illuminated another meaning for GOD, that I did not know or could have imagined. Peace!
Go to Joseph Prince and watch him everyday for a month. Also, go to Bethel.com and sign up for the Sunday messages, which are free. Or, you can listen to the podcasts, and you don’t have to sign up for those. The list for those podcasts goes back to Dec. Listen especially to Kris Vallotten & Bill Johnson. After a month you should be exclaiming that you had no idea such things even existed, and begin to have a completely different outlook on life.
I will check out the sites you listed. Thank you and hope you continue to post..