7 things a narcissist will do when you finally stand up to them

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A narcissist can make your life hell.

They can be incredibly controlling, keeping you under their thumb through skilled emotional manipulation.

They feed off the people they can attract into their orbit and need them to support the illusions they believe about themselves.

So what happens when people finally see through that fog of illusion and realize who the narcissist really is?

Not only is the narcissist going to be unhappy about it, but they’re doubtlessly going to get defensive and even downright nasty.

So put on your armor and prepare yourself for these seven things a narcissist will do when you finally stand up to them!

1) They’ll deny, deny, deny

When you realize that you’ve been lied to and manipulated by a narcissist, you might feel like the best thing to do is to confront them.

After all, this is how normal people deal with their issues.

Maybe you can just lay it all out on the table and that will help you work things out, right?

Think again.

See, a narcissist is living a lie.

They have delusions of grandeur and importance and work hard to convince others and, ultimately, themself that they’re simply better than everyone else.

If you confront them, this suggests that their narrative isn’t true, and they can’t handle that.

So they’ll dismiss what you have to say, deny, and deflect the facts to take the wind out of your sails.

If you were looking for an apology, that’s not what you’re going to get.

2) They’ll play the victim

If you stand up to a narcissist and tell them you’re onto them, they might not only deny your accusations but actually turn them around on you.

Far from taking responsibility, they’ll often try to accuse you of the things that they did.

They’ll say you are the one being manipulative and controlling.

They’ll act shocked and hurt that you’d accuse them of mistreating you.

That’s all to your face.

Behind your back, they’ll claim you attacked them out of nowhere.

They’ll have their little army of flying monkeys, the people they can (currently) manipulate into following them, believe that you’re the worst person around.

How could you even dream of treating them this way?!

3) They’ll call you aggressive and angry

Another common technique narcissists use to flip the script when they’re being called out is to make it seem like you’ve got issues, not them.

If you stand up to a narcissist or confront them, it’s very likely that you’ll do it with some anger.

No one likes finding out they’ve been used or manipulated.

So when you accuse them, they can turn your anger, as righteous and justified as it is, against you.

I saw this happen to a friend of mine who finally stood up to her narcissistic boyfriend. 

He’d been slowly turning Kelly from a fun-loving, sweet person full of energy into a shadow of her former self.

And then she found out Mark had been cheating on her, even while constantly accusing her of flirting with other guys.

She was hurt, confused, and, of course, furious.

But when she stood up to Mark, he not only denied everything (despite ironclad proof), but he also called the cops on her.

He told them he was being attacked and abused and nearly got her arrested!

She’d been angry but never did anything violent to threaten him.

So be aware that standing up to a narcissist is absolutely no joke.

4) They’ll smear you

A narcissist can’t stand to have their reality questioned.

They need to feel like they’re in charge of the narrative at all times.

If you stand up to them, that means you’re not going along with the official narrative.

If this happens, they’ll often follow the old saying, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

They’ll get ready to hammer you back into your place, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to smear you as far and wide as they can.

So they’ll embark on a campaign of misinformation or even real information if they happen to have dirt on you as so many manipulators do.

They’ll go around talking shit about you and make sure that they completely discredit you.

So then, if you try to tell anyone your side of the story, no one will believe you.

This is how they can regain control of the narrative and keep you from causing any damage to their carefully constructed web of illusion.

5) They’ll use this against you

If you blow up at a narcissist, they already get some ammunition to attack you right back with.

This can give them concrete proof that you’re emotionally out of control or you have anger issues.

So you might say to yourself, “OK, I’m going to keep my cool and be rational about this.”

You might think you can stay calm and respectful while you tell them how you feel hurt by what they’ve done to you.

The problem with this is that you show your hand.

When you confront them, they find out how much their behavior affects you and learn exactly what they’ve done to push your buttons.

In many cases, all this does is make them continue to treat you that way, just more effectively.

After all, this is big for the narcissist.

They may actually see this as a big win because they realize how much they’ve affected you.

That can make them feel powerful!

Or, if you manage to escape the pull of their gravity after this confrontation, they’ll use the same techniques on others.

They’ll have learned that what they did worked and will be able to use this to manipulate others even more effectively.

This is one big way that standing up to a narcissist can really backfire.

6) They’ll flip back to love-bombing

So far, we’ve been looking at all the negative ways that a narcissist might react when you stand up to them and tell them you’re tired of being manipulated and abused.

But there’s one thing they’ll commonly do that might seem completely opposite.

They might completely change and return to how things were back when you first met.

See, narcissists are often bold, exciting, and charismatic when you first meet them.

They also invest a lot of energy in new people who they want to attract. 

If they want you as a “friend,” they’ll give you lots of attention, interest, and praise.

If they want you as a romantic partner, they’ll love-bomb you.

This is when they shower you with affection, gifts, and attention to attract you.

It can be so intense you basically get swept off your feet. 

Later, when things change, they can always point to this love-bombing period as proof that they really care so much about you.

They’ll say they’re just going through a rough patch or some stress at work, but things will go back to how they were.

Well, they almost never do, except sometimes if you stand up to their manipulation and control and make it clear that you’re going to walk.

You might see this love-bombing turned right back on like a switch, but you can be sure of one thing.

It won’t last.

This is a tool for manipulation, not actions that represent their real feelings for you.

7) They’ll explode

Last but anything but least, your narcissist might blow up in a fit of what’s called “narcissistic rage”.

They might scream and yell, smash things, or even get violent and terrifying.

And all this can happen even if you call them out over something minor and basic like not sharing responsibilities around the house.

Why would they explode into a fiery ball of rage?

This brings us back to what a narcissist is. This is a person who lives a double life.

There’s the external persona of someone who’s entitled and thinks they’re better than everyone else.

This person has to be protected at all costs or they might have to deal with their true self, a person who they don’t like, trust, or value.

So when you stand up to a narcissist, you’re really taking a shot at their invented persona, suggesting that they’re not as great as they think or that they’re a fraud.

They often simply can’t handle anyone or anything that actually points out the truth, and they’ll go berserk as a last-ditch effort to keep this from happening.

Final thoughts

Confronting a narcissist is dangerous.

You never know which of these seven things a narcissist will do when you finally stand up to them, and some of them can actually put you in a very bad situation.

So, what’s better than standing up to a narcissist? 

Completely deflating them by leaving. 

They’ll know you found them out just as surely as if you told them.

But denying them a chance to react or further manipulate you renders them powerless and incapable of ever hurting you again.


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