Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for admiration. People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) often come across as arrogant, entitled, and self-centered. However, behind this façade of confidence and superiority lies a deep-seated anger that is often directed towards others.
What Is Narcissistic Rage?
Narcissistic rage is an intense outburst of anger that is triggered by a perceived threat to the narcissist’s self-esteem or sense of superiority. This can occur when their grandiose sense of self-worth is challenged, or when they do not receive the admiration and attention they feel entitled to.
Unlike normal anger, which is a healthy and natural emotion that is expressed in response to a perceived threat or injustice, narcissistic rage is irrational, disproportionate, and often explosive. It can be directed towards anyone who the narcissist perceives as a threat or obstacle to their goals, including friends, family members, colleagues, and even strangers.
Why Do Narcissists Get Angry?
There are several reasons why narcissists get angry:
- Threats to their sense of superiority: Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe that they are better than others. When their superiority is challenged, they may become angry and defensive.
- Perceived slights or insults: Narcissists are highly sensitive to criticism and rejection, and may interpret even minor slights or insults as a personal attack.
- Failure to receive the admiration or attention they feel entitled to: Narcissists have a constant need for attention, admiration, and praise. When they do not receive the level of attention they feel entitled to, they may become angry and resentful.
- Jealousy and envy: Narcissists are envious of others who they perceive as having more success, status, or attention than they do. This can lead to feelings of jealousy and resentment, which may manifest as anger.
How Do Narcissists Express Their Anger?
Narcissists express their anger in a variety of ways:
- Verbal aggression: Narcissists may use verbal abuse, insults, and aggressive language to attack and belittle others.
- Physical aggression: In extreme cases, narcissists may become physically violent towards others.
- Passive-aggressive behavior: Narcissists may use passive-aggressive behavior such as sulking, giving the silent treatment, or withholding affection or attention to express their anger.
- Manipulation and control: Narcissists may use manipulation and control tactics to get their own way and punish those who they perceive as a threat or obstacle.
Can Narcissists Change?
While it is difficult for narcissists to change their behavior, it is not impossible. However, it requires a willingness to acknowledge and address their problematic behavior and a commitment to long-term therapy and self-improvement.
Therapy can help narcissists to develop greater self-awareness, empathy for others, and healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with their anger and emotional regulation. However, it is important to note that not all narcissists are willing to seek help or change their behavior, and some may be resistant to the therapeutic process.
In conclusion, narcissists are often angry because of their deep-seated insecurities and need for validation and attention. Their anger can be triggered by threats to their sense of superiority, perceived slights or insults, and a failure to receive the admiration and attention they feel entitled to. While it is possible for narcissists to change their behavior with therapy and self-improvement, it requires a willingness to acknowledge their problematic behavior and a commitment to long-term change.