What Happens When Narcissists Lose Control And What To Do
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What Happens When Narcissists Lose Control And What To Do

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What happens when Narcissists lose control? Do they lash out their rage at their victim, or do they just keep calm until they’re in control of their emotions?

Narcissistic personalities are characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. However, beneath their ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Today, I will be sharing with you, 10 things that happen when a narcissist loses control, the signs a narcissists is losing control, and what to do when it eventually happens.

10 Signs A Narcissist is Losing Control

1. Increased Manipulation Tactics

When narcissists perceive a slip in their control, their reliance on manipulation escalates. They might employ guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or silent treatment more frequently, to regain their grip on their victim’s emotions and decisions.

Related: How Narcissists manipulate others

2. Aggressive Behavior

A notable uptick in aggression can signal a narcissist’s desperation to maintain dominance. This aggression can manifest verbally, through insults and threats, or physically, in more dire scenarios.

Related: How Narcissists make you feel 

3. They shift their blame on you

Another sign that tells a Narcissist is losing control is that they tend to shift their responsibilities to others. For example, they paint themselves as victims of circumstances or the actions of others, by sidestepping accountability.

Related: How to make a Narcissist look stupid

4. They Isolate themselves from you

In a bid to regain control, narcissists may attempt to isolate their targets from friends, family, and any external support system. This tactic aims to reinforce the target’s dependency on the narcissist. This is another sign you should take note of.

5. Public Humiliation

To assert dominance, narcissists can resort to demeaning their target in public. This strategy not only diminishes the target’s self-esteem but also serves to display the narcissist’s perceived superiority.

Related: How narcissists react when you leave them

6. Overwhelming Love Bombing

Conversely, narcissists might suddenly overwhelm their target with affection, also known as love bombing. This disorienting switch from cold to warm behavior is a manipulative effort to regain control through emotional dependency.

7. Excessive Criticism

Increased criticism, particularly targeting aspects of their victim’s personality or appearance that the narcissist previously praised, is a tactic to erode self-esteem and assert control. This is another indication that a Narcissist is losing control already.

8. Threats of Self-Harm

In more extreme cases, narcissists may threaten self-harm if they perceive their control slipping away. This manipulative tactic aims to emotionally blackmail their victim into submission.

9. Projection

Narcissists often project their insecurities and flaws onto their targets, accusing them of behaviors that are characteristic of the narcissist. This can confuse and destabilize the target.

10. Sudden Disinterest

Alternatively, narcissists might display sudden disinterest or detachment as a control tactic, to provoke a reaction or instill fear of abandonment in their target.

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10 Things That Happen When A Narcissist Loses Control

1. Intensified Emotional Turmoil

The target of a narcissist may experience heightened emotional distress, confusion, and anxiety as the narcissist’s behavior becomes increasingly unpredictable and manipulative. This is the first thing that happens when a Narcissist loses control.

2. Deterioration of Relationships

As the narcissist escalates their tactics, the stress and tension can spill over, affecting the target’s relationships with others, causing misunderstandings, conflicts, and isolation.

Related: Why Narcissists pathologically lie

3. Erosion of Self-Esteem

The constant criticism, public humiliation, and manipulation tactics employed by the narcissist deeply erode the target’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

4. Development of Anxiety and Depression

The prolonged exposure to such toxic behavior can lead to the development of serious mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, in the narcissist’s target.

Related: How to deal with a Narcissist

5. Enhanced Manipulative Skills

In their desperation to regain control, narcissists often refine and escalate their manipulative tactics, becoming more cunning and covert in their approach.

6. Increased Societal Withdrawal

Feeling overwhelmed and humiliated, the target may withdraw from social interactions and activities they once enjoyed, leading to increased isolation and loneliness.

Related: What Narcissists hate most 

7. Physical Health Decline

The immense stress and anxiety can manifest physically, leading to a decline in the target’s physical health, including symptoms like insomnia, weight changes, and chronic fatigue.

8. Professional and Academic Impact

The upheaval in personal life can adversely affect the target’s performance and engagement in professional or academic settings, impacting career or educational paths.

9. Escalation of Conflicts

Conflicts between the narcissist and their target can escalate, becoming more frequent and intense, as the narcissist struggles to reassert control.

10. Potential for Self-Reflection and Growth

In some cases, the loss of control can force the narcissist to confront their behaviors and the consequences, potentially sparking a journey toward self-reflection and change.

What To Do When a Narcissist Loses Control

1. Maintain Emotional Distance

Creating emotional distance is crucial when dealing with a narcissist losing control. Engaging with their drama can be draining and unproductive. Instead, safeguarding one’s emotional well-being by maintaining a level of detachment can prevent getting caught up in chaos.

Related: Signs of a Narcissistic mother

2. Set Firm Boundaries

Setting clear, firm boundaries is essential. This involves communicating one’s limits and enforcing them consistently. Boundaries can help manage expectations and protect against the manipulative tactics narcissists may employ to regain control. Here is my previous post about how to set boundaries with a Narcissist

3. Seek Support

Navigating interactions with a narcissist can be complex and emotionally taxing. Seeking support from friends, family, or professionals can provide the necessary perspective and emotional resilience to deal with the situation effectively.

4. Stay Calm and Collected

Maintaining composure in the face of a narcissist’s attempts to destabilize is powerful. Calmness can counteract their efforts to provoke emotional reactions and can serve as a form of silent resistance to their manipulative behaviors.

Related: Narcissism quotes that will inspire you

5. Use Clear Communication

When communicating with a narcissist, clarity and directness are key. Ambiguity can be exploited, so it’s important to express oneself clearly and without room for misinterpretation. This minimizes the narcissist’s ability to manipulate the narrative.

6. Avoid Power Struggles

Engaging in power struggles with a narcissist is a losing battle. Instead of fighting to win, choosing one’s battles wisely and knowing when to disengage can prevent unnecessary conflict and emotional exhaustion.

7. Practice Self-Care

Prioritizing self-care is vital when dealing with the stress of a narcissist losing control. This includes physical care, like rest and exercise, as well as emotional self-care, such as engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

Related: How to make a Narcissist leave a relationship

8. Educate Yourself About Narcissism

Understanding narcissism can provide valuable insights into their behavior and motivations. This knowledge can demystify their actions and equip them with strategies to handle interactions more effectively.

9. Document Interactions

In some situations, keeping a record of interactions with the narcissist can be beneficial, especially if legal or professional repercussions are possible. Documentation can provide an objective account of events, which can be useful for personal reference or if third-party intervention is needed.

Related: How to get a Narcissist’s attention

10. Consider Professional Help

Sometimes, professional guidance is necessary to navigate the complex dynamics of dealing with a narcissist. Therapists or counselors specializing in narcissistic personality disorder can offer tailored advice and coping strategies.


When narcissists lose control, the fallout affects not just them but also those around them, particularly their closest targets. For those entangled with a narcissist, recognizing these signs and understanding the potential outcomes is the first step towards liberating yourself from a Narcissist.

Has a Narcissist ever lost their temper on you before? Share your thought with us in the comment below.

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