Do’s & Don’ts of Narcissistic Rage Storms & Family Gatherings Part 2
We’ve all been at a family gathering dreading that one relative. The one who does everything better than anyone else, who is always the smartest person in the room, and who is visibly jealous of most everyone else. Narcissistic rage makes the victims feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells. Well, what happens when they have a narcissistic rage storm?
What do you do if it’s your parent, your romantic partner or your relative having the rage storm at this family gathering and what is the fallout?
It’s very interesting to see who doesn’t clap for you when you succeed. Pay special attention to these people. They are incredibly jealous of you and they will purposely try to hurt you or at the very least show disrespect.
Brace yourself for the impact of the storm
Know that people who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder have a disproportionate reaction, this is not normal anger. Also, this reaction truly has nothing to do with you. You didn’t do anything to deserver it. These people are wired differently and they have a huge unrealistic sense of self-worth. They genuinely believe they are special and superior to other people.
How to respond to narcissistic rage?
Each situation and each narcissist are unique. However, there are some general do’s and don’ts to follow:
1. Attempt to engage in a logical debate
2. Respond with your own anger
3. Blame yourself
4. Apologize for your behavior
5. Mollify or appease them
Don’t do anything that escalates their rage. Remember that narcissistic rage is triggered by a narcissistic injury. Raising your voice or showing them they are wrong will only infuriate them more. When a narcissist rages, their cognitive thinking is impaired. They will never see logic. Never blame yourself for this situation. You can’t make someone act abusive towards you. Only they can do that for themselves. Apologizing or appeasing them only reinforces their bad behavior and that they are right and you are wrong.
1. Show your high emotional intelligence by staying calm and putting your safety first.
2. Set boundaries
3. Seek support from other people who witnessed the rage storm for comfort
4. Empathize with them
5. Practice self-care
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions while recognizing, understanding, and influencing the emotions of others. Narcissists have low emotional intelligence. Maintain your calm by doing breathing exercises. Do not take their bait. Respond mindfully instead of reacting to their provocation. Everything narcissists do is to provoke a reaction out of you. Sometimes, the best option in this situation is to empathize with your narcissist. I know that sounds abhorrent but narcissists love it. It makes them feel seen and heard. This validation may even de-escalate the storm. Make sure to set boundaries.
Boundaries are your personal limits and rules. No one gets to tell you their wrong. It’s really important to have another witness’s perspective. Narcissists use gaslighting to defend themselves and will definitely try to change the reality you experienced. An outside perspective can be very helpful against gaslighting. Please don’t underestimate the effect this type of abuse and trauma has on you. Narcissistic abuse is unlike other forms of emotional abuse. You need to address the trauma and talk to someone before it bleeds into all aspects of your life. Your nervous system has suffered too as you’ve been the victim of narcissistic rage.
Unfortunately, in family situations, sides will often be taken. The recollections of the events will be very different. Blame will be assigned. Remember, it’s never the narcissist's fault and they are always the victim in their story. No one appreciates them and their flying monkeys will remind them that no one deserves them either. If you are their child, try to maintain some distance while they cool off. If you want peace with them, don’t challenge them. Stay on their script. Most importantly, talk to someone who understands what you’ve been through.
Since I’ve been coaching people 1:1, I’ve found that survivors of narcissistic abuse need to experience all 3: clarity, validation and comfort. For those of you who are looking for a quick fix to this problem, you didn’t get here overnight. You’re going to need to do the work to survive narcissistic abuse.
I’m currently in the midst of leading my first group coaching program. I launched this group program in order to help more people who weren’t able to participate in the 1:1 program. It’s a great success. As a result, I’m launching the second cohort of the group program on July 19, 2023. We will meet once a week for an hour over 3 months for a total of 12 sessions covering the concepts of narcissistic abuse and providing strategies for you. These strategies will help protect your mental and emotional health as well as navigate narcissists or any high-conflict people you may encounter. I’m keeping the cohort small so please message me right away if you’re interested. email@example.com
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