Are you tired of constantly feeling controlled and manipulated by a narcissistic individual in your life? It’s time to change things to right. Break their controlling cycle and discover how narcissists react when they can’t control you.
Narcissists are individuals who have an inflated sense of self-importance and an excessive need for admiration and attention. In order to attain those, they need a sense of control over others. So, narcissists exploit those in their lives by manipulating and showing no empathy for them to gain control over them.
In relationships, this can manifest as attempts to dominate and control their partners through tactics such as gaslighting, bullying, and coercion. It’s important to recognize these patterns of behavior and seek help in addressing them if you are in a relationship with a narcissistic individual.
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Why do Narcissists control others?
Narcissists want to control others to maintain a sense of power and to regulate their own insecurities and self-esteem. By controlling their environment and the people in it, they can avoid feeling vulnerable and ensure that they always receive the admiration and attention they crave.
Additionally, control allows them to manipulate situations to their advantage and avoid being held accountable for their actions. By exerting control, narcissists can also feed their sense of superiority and assert their dominance over others.
How do Narcissists feel when they control others?
When a narcissist is able to control others, they often feel a sense of power, validation, and superiority. This reinforces their belief in their own grandiose sense of self-importance and further fuels their need for admiration and attention. It is worth noting, however, that this sense of satisfaction is typically short-lived and also wants more. So, the need for control often becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
It is possible that the act of controlling others releases dopamine in the brains of narcissists. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation.
Controlling others can be a pleasurable and rewarding experience for narcissists as it reinforces their sense of power, superiority, and self-importance, leading to a release of dopamine in the brain and making the behavior more addicting.
How do Narcissists react when they can’t control others?
When a narcissist can’t control you, it brings out their inner insecurities. Narcissists when their self-esteem and pride get failed leading them to get anxious and feel defeated. Hence, they may react in any of the following ways
Become Angry Birds
When they can’t control someone, it is common for narcissists to react with frustration and anger when their attempts at control are challenged, as their sense of superiority is often tied to their ability to control others.
When their sense of superiority is threatened, they may lash out in anger, either through verbal or physical aggression, or passive-aggressive behavior. This reaction is often rooted in a need to reassert their dominance and regain control. Malignant and grandiose narcissists are more likely to react in this way.
Gets Disappointed in the Core
They may feel frustrated and inadequate when they can’t control a situation, leading to feelings of disappointment. This can be particularly challenging for them as their self-pride gets down and the feeling of grandiosity drops.
Some narcissists may have a greater need to control others as a means of regulating their own emotions and insecurities. When they are unable to do so, they may experience greater levels of disappointment.
Withdrawal from everything
In some cases, they may withdraw from the situation and avoid any further interaction if they feel that their attempts at control have failed. This can involve physically withdrawing from the situation, such as leaving the room or ending a conversation, or it can involve emotional withdrawal, such as becoming distant or unresponsive. This can be a way for them to avoid facing their own limitations and inadequacies.
On the other hand, they do withdraw in the form of ghosting. This helps narcissists to regain attention and control over you. By ghosting you, the narcissist can communicate their dissatisfaction and exert a passive form of control.
Shameless gets shame
If their attempts at control are publicly exposed or challenged, they may experience feelings of shame and embarrassment. Their sense of superiority is often tied to their ability to control others, and when this is challenged, they may feel a deep sense of humiliation.
Narcissists may try to hide their feelings of shame by rationalizing their behavior and shifting the blame onto others. Below reactions by narcissists is the cause of the excess shame, they feel when they can’t control you.
Denial as if nothing happened
Denial is a common defense mechanism used by narcissists, and it can be a barrier to growth and change. Narcissists deny that they have failed to control you and experiencing negative emotions. For example, imagine a narcissist is told by a friend that they were rude and dismissive during a conversation. Instead of admitting that they might have acted inappropriately, the narcissist may say something like, “I was just having a bad day, you’re overreacting.”
Projection to protect them
They may project their own feelings and behavior like, accusing you of trying to control them or of having the same motivations that they themselves have.
In such cases, the narcissist will point out you as the problem rather than admit their controlling attempts. The narcissists might say “It was you who trying to control me”.
In another instance, if a narcissist is unable to convince someone to do what they want, and instead of accepting that they were not successful in exerting their control, they blame the person for being stubborn or uncooperative.
For example, imagine a narcissist trying to convince a coworker to work overtime on a project, but the coworker refuses. Instead of accepting that their request was declined, the narcissist may say something like, “You’re just being difficult, you don’t care about the success of this project.”
The boundary-breaking Manipulation
They may try to regain control by resorting to even more manipulative tactics, such as gaslighting or playing the victim. When a narcissist is unable to control someone, they may resort to manipulation as a means of achieving their goals. Narcissists are often skilled at manipulating people to get what they want.
To gain the control they have over you, they may use various forms of manipulation including Gaslighting, triangulation, love bombing, flattery and guilt-tripping.
Coping with Blame-shifting
Blame-shifting is a common tactic that narcissists use when they can’t control someone. When a narcissist is unable to control a situation or person, they may deflect responsibility for the outcome onto someone else, rather than accepting that they were at fault.
It is a little the same as projection where narcissists blame the victim for their actions whereas blameshifting is where the narcissist blames anyone/anything to reason with their action.
For example, imagine a narcissistic boss trying to control the employees to work overtime daily and getting declined by the employees. The boss will blame all the employees for not being loyal to him and threaten to deduct their salary just for wanting their basic right to leave the office on time.
First Envy then Sabotage
If narcissists see others successfully exerting control, they may experience feelings of envy and resentment. Narcissists then see them as competition and they may feel envious of someone who they see as having something they desire or who they perceive as being in a position of power or control. This envy then turns into a sabotaging behavior where the narcissist may attempt to sabotage the person’s success or happiness, seeking to undermine them and regain control. The narcissists may also try to mirror the person’s behavior or style in an attempt to diminish the differences between them and gain a sense of control.
Jealousy of the uncontrollable
Narcissists feel fear and jealousy when they cannot control someone because they see the person as a threat to their sense of superiority, feel envious of the person’s abilities, traits, or possessions, and fear losing their status or power.
They may feel jealous of the person’s abilities, traits, or possessions that they desire but do not have. This jealousy may manifest as hostility, envy, insecurity, resentment, and possessiveness, leading the narcissistic individual to act in manipulative and controlling ways.
Failed and fell into Depression
In some cases, the failure to control others may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression, particularly if they feel that their sense of self-worth and identity is threatened. When they are unable to control others, it can trigger feelings of depression, frustration, and anger. They may become sulky, passive-aggressive, or lash out in an attempt to reassert their control. However, it’s important to remember that their behavior is a reflection of their own insecurities and not a reflection of their worth.
Ending with a Note
When narcissists failed to control you, their emotions become unstable. They may react in any of the above reactions causing trouble to the victim as well as others. This reaction can take many forms, from sulking and passive-aggression to outbursts of anger and aggression. It’s important to remember that this behavior stems from their own insecurities and need for control, and is not a reflection of their worth. To protect your own well-being, it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries and assert your independence in a healthy and confident manner.