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

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Standing up to a narcissist can be a real game-changer.

When you finally muster the courage to confront their toxic behavior, the reaction you receive can be quite shocking.

They don’t take too kindly to being challenged, and they can respond in ways that are both baffling and hurtful. But knowing what to expect can make all the difference.

In this article, I’m going to share 9 common reactions a narcissist will have when you finally stand your ground.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone in this fight. Let’s dive into it together.

1) They play the victim

Narcissists are notorious for playing the victim.

When you stand up to them, they often twist the narrative to make it seem like you’re the one causing harm. They may claim that your actions are unfair, unkind, or even abusive.

It’s a classic move – and one that can be incredibly disorienting.

This tactic is designed to make you second-guess yourself and question whether you’re really in the right. But remember, this is just their way of deflecting blame and avoiding accountability.

Don’t fall for it. Stand your ground and hold firm to your truth.

2) They lash out

In my own experience, this is a common reaction when a narcissist feels cornered.

I remember one particular instance with an old friend. When I finally confronted him about his constant belittling and dismissive attitude, he immediately went on the offensive.

He accused me of being oversensitive and even brought up unrelated past issues to try and shift the blame onto me.

His words were harsh, and it was clear he was trying to regain control of the situation by making me feel guilty and wrong.

But I stood my ground.

It wasn’t easy, but keeping in mind that this lashing out was a typical narcissistic response helped me stand firm.

3) They give you the silent treatment

Often, when a narcissist feels threatened or confronted, they resort to the silent treatment.

This is not your typical cooling-off period or need for space, but rather a manipulative tactic used to regain control and power in the relationship.

The silence is designed to make you feel rejected, unworthy and desperate for their approval.

But remember, this is just another ploy to manipulate you.

Don’t let it shake your resolve.

4) They try to gaslight you

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that makes a person question their own memory, perception, or sanity.

And narcissists are masters at it.

When you stand up to a narcissist, they may start to deny things that happened or twist the truth to fit their narrative.

They might even accuse you of making things up or being overly dramatic.

It’s a confusing and disorientating tactic, designed to make you doubt your own reality.

The goal is to make you feel crazy and therefore, more reliant on their version of events.

But trust yourself and your memories.

You know your truth. Don’t let them distort it.

5) They make grand promises

When you finally stand up to a narcissist, they may suddenly become very agreeable.

They might promise to change, to treat you better, or to work on their behavior.

It can be incredibly tempting to believe these promises. After all, it’s what you’ve been wanting to hear. But be cautious.

These grand promises are often just another manipulation tactic.

Narcissists are known for their charm and ability to say exactly what you want to hear in order to regain control.

Actions speak louder than words. Wait for consistent, long-term change before you start believing their promises.

6) They resort to emotional blackmail

They may threaten to harm themselves, end the relationship, or spread rumors about you.

I know how hard it can be. You care about them, and the thought of them hurting themselves or losing them can be terrifying.

But remember, you’re not responsible for their actions.

Emotional blackmail is a form of manipulation. It’s their way of making you feel guilty and forcing you to back down.

Stand your ground and seek help from professionals if necessary. You’re doing the right thing – for both of you.

7) They try to win you back

They can be incredibly charming when they want to be, and they often use this charm to try and win you back when you stand up to them.

I’ve been there, too. I remember feeling so hopeful when my narcissistic ex-partner started showering me with affection after a major confrontation.

It felt like maybe things could really change.

But it’s important to remember that this is often just another manipulation tactic.

It’s known as “love bombing” and the aim is to make you feel so loved and valued that you forget about their previous toxic behavior.

It’s hard, but try not to let their charm cloud your judgment. Remember why you stood up to them in the first place.

8) They discredit you to others

When you stand up to a narcissist, they may try to discredit you to mutual friends, family, or colleagues.

They might portray themselves as the victim and paint you as the villain.

It’s a tactic designed to isolate you and make you feel unsupported.

This can make it easier for them to regain control over the situation.

But remember, those who truly know and care about you won’t be swayed by one-sided stories.

Trust in your relationships and your own version of events.

9) They might not change

This is perhaps the hardest thing to accept.

Despite your best efforts, despite standing up to them and setting boundaries, a narcissist might not change.

Their ways of thinking and behaving are deeply ingrained, and often, they don’t see any problem with their actions.

It’s important to understand this, for your own wellbeing.

Remember, you can’t control their actions, only your own.

You’ve done your part by standing up to them.

Now, it’s time to focus on what’s best for you.

Final thoughts: It’s about self-care

The complexities of human behavior and interaction are often deeply rooted in our psychological makeup.

One such complexity is dealing with a narcissist, particularly when you finally decide to stand up to them.

These encounters can be emotionally draining and psychologically challenging. But it’s important to remember, it’s not about changing them – it’s about taking care of yourself.

In standing up to a narcissist, you’re setting boundaries and asserting your worth. It’s an act of self-respect and an important step towards healthier relationships.

Whether you’re learning to cope with a narcissist at work, in your family, or in a romantic relationship, remember this: your wellbeing matters.

Every step you take towards protecting your emotional health is a move in the right direction.

Even when the road seems tough, remember that these challenges are shaping you into a stronger, more resilient individual.

You’ve got this. And just know, you’re not alone on this journey.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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