The narcissist believes that by being perfect they will receive the admiration/love/respect/attention they crave. Being perceived as ‘not perfect’ can result in feelings of shame, anxiety, guilt or anger.
If a narcissist’s self-esteem is threatened or wounded, they may react with anything from mild irritation to serious outbursts, or even violence. Destroying the perceived threat restores their sense of safety and power and gives them total control over their environment.
The rage is not about you, it is about the narcissist.
Respond to narcissistic rage with your mind, not with emotion. Do not rage back.
Do not try to use logic or reason to calm the narcissist as this will prolong the confrontation. There is no room for your opinion or viewpoint. This is not personal, it is about the narcissist.
Establish your boundaries. Keep calm and as soon as you are able, remove yourself from the explosive situation.
Do not believe that anything you say or don’t say, do or don’t do will change the person or the situation.
Accept that the narcissist will not display this behaviour in public view. In public, they are perfect – charismatic, fun, outgoing, laid back. It is only in private that they release their rage. Expect that unless the rage is personally witnessed, no-one will understand how life is for you.
Narcissists practice projection. When they accuse you of being selfish, inconsiderate, envious, dishonest, arrogant etc what they are projecting is inadequacies they feel about themselves. The projection is not about you, it is about the narcissist.
Narcissists may claim to have said something which they did not actually say, blaming you for not listening. Alternatively, they do say something but claim to have not. Narcissists can contradict themselves in the same breath!