How Do You Know When a Narcissist Is Collapsing And What Do You Do About It?

How Do You Know When a Narcissist Is Collapsing And What Do You Do About It? how do you know when a narcissist is collapsing and what do you do about it?
Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

We all know how narcs absolutely live for being worshipped and put on a pedestal. Their entire existence is sustained by that delusion of being superior, special, and worthy of constant praise and admiration. But here’s the thing — all it takes is one little prick to that inflated ego for everything to spiral into a raging narcissistic collapse.

It’s like they’re just coasting through life with these fragile egos made of low-quality balloons. So, one tiny little pinprick and that reality crumbles, and their whole false sense of self violently deflates in the most dramatic fashion.

You can as well think of it like this: imagine someone scratching your heavily bandaged wounds instead of treating them. Of course, you will get triggered and react explosively to protect yourself from the agonizing pain. That’s essentially what narcissistic collapse looks like on the inside for these people.

So, what are some of the common signs of narcissist collapse?

Explosive Rage

The most common sign of a collapse is that the narcissist may explode with rage, which you’ve never seen before. Narcissists hate being held accountable or criticized in any way, shape, or form. So when that ego is deflated, they’re prone to blind-rage meltdowns as a dysfunctional way of trying to re-establish their power and self-importance.

Expect loads of unhinged anger, aggression, and deflecting blame as they desperately lash out against the supposed sources “persecuting” them. They may also break a few things along the way just because they’re furious.

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That’s why you don’t really play with their ego much when you’re in a car with them or when you’re in a situation which can quickly escalate to a dangerous situation, as their rage may make them do something dangerous or harmful to you.

The Pity Parties

For more covert, vulnerable narcissists, a collapse may not always look like explosive anger. Instead, they might act withdrawn, gloomy, and even depressed. This happens because the collapse triggers their unhealed deep emotional wounds of abandonment or feeling inadequate and insecure. They feel exposed and vulnerable, so they try to gain your sympathy by pouting, exhibiting some sort of passive-aggressive behaviour, and seeking your emotional attention to feel important again.

The Impulse Binges

Another thing that happens when their ego is completely deflated is they may resort to impulsive or reckless addictions or behaviors to suppress or numb the emotional pain they’re experiencing. You see, a narcissist does what they do as a way to cope with intense discomfort or emptiness they feel on a deep level.

So, when there is a collapse, they will quickly look for another avoidance strategy so they don’t have to confront what’s going on inside themselves. Some of the compulsive activities may include excessive drinking, compulsive gambling, binging on porn, or just about anything to distract them from that inner turmoil and score a quick dopamine hit.

Self-Destruction Mode

And in some of the most severe cases, a narcissist may become so unhinged and unable to cope with the ego collapse, that they may jump into self-harm territory. They may threaten to commit suicide or jump off a building simply because their false reality is tumbling down.

Look, bottom line: any drastic change in a narcissist’s typical patterns of behaviour, mood, and coping mechanisms could signal that their house of narcissistic cards is tumbling down hard. It’s a scary thing to witness when their true crippling insecurities become impossible to bottle up anymore.

When You Can’t Just Block and Delete

Now, in an ideal world, the moment you realize that you’re dealing with someone who is illogical and manipulative, the best thing to do is to remove yourself from that situation as quickly as possible. However, that is often not a feasible option for most people due to a number of legitimate reasons — whether it’s co-parenting, family dynamics, or other complications that keep you tethered to this person.

How Do You Deal with Narcissist Collapse?

In those cases where you do have to find ways to constructively navigate their narcissistic collapse, here are some tips to protect yourself:

Set boundaries like your mental health depends on it (because it does). Make it explicitly clear you will not entertain their tantrums, manipulations or threats of any kind. Their ego is their responsibility, not yours. We do get entangled in their meltdowns when we don’t understand what we’re responsible for and what we’re not.

Detach with some serious emotional distance. When they try raging or melting down in your presence, refuse to engage or show any reaction that could reinforce the behaviour. Just be that grey rock because any move from you will feed their emotional reaction, it’s better to just not to be any part of it.

If threats of self-harm get extreme, encourage them to seek professional help and contact emergency services if needed. But do not enable them or take on that burden yourself. If you know they have those moments, just forward their number to emergency services but do not be tempted to try to be calm them down especially when your reality is still distorted by their games. In other cases, you may call their friends or family to talk to them but do not carry that heavy load by yourself, you have you own inner load to work on.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the narcissist’s emotional meltdowns are not your personal problem to fix or indulge. Their ego collapse, while chaotic, is a consequence of their own distorted avoidance of reality. By strictly prioritizing your own emotional wellbeing first, you deprive them of that desperately sought supply.

Will it be challenging as hell to firmly implement those boundaries while their world crumbles around them? Absolutely — which is exactly why having a trusted support circle becomes important as they can remind you about those boundaries. But commit to the work of protecting your own peace first, and you’ll slowly liberate yourself from being collateral in their collapse.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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