What Happens When You Call Out A Narcissist

What Happens When You Call Out A Narcissist what happens when you call out a narcissist
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Are you considering calling out or confronting a narcissist? You’ve just done a brief Google Search, and you’re now certain that what you’ve been going through in that unhealthy relationship are, in fact, traits of a narcissistic relationship. You are eager and looking forward to confronting them about their abusive behaviors.

You may believe that if you call them out, they’ll probably admit their wrongdoings and change their behavior. You may also give them the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe they don’t know their behavior is toxic, so confronting them with the facts might help the situation and restore the relationship to the way it was.

Or you might be fed up with them and want to call them out for who they are, maybe even label them as a narcissist. Whichever way you approach it, when you call out a narcissist, you should expect retaliation from them.

A narcissist always wants things to go their way at all times, and confronting them is like disturbing their space. They want to be in control of every situation around them and will go to great lengths to maintain that control. That’s why they won’t entertain someone who wants to expose them, as it would require them to look inward and take responsibility for some of their actions, which isn’t part of the narcissist’s agenda.


The narcissist doesn’t believe that what they’re doing is wrong and spends most of their life protecting their perfect false self. So, don’t expect that things will improve if you confront them; in fact, they’ll likely turn what you’ve said against you, making the situation worse.

So, what does a narcissist do when you confront them?

When you call out a narcissist, they will open their toolbox of punishment tactics and switch into defense and attack mode. Their response depends on the situation and the kind of person they’re dealing with, but the goal is to maintain their status quo. They may engage in some of the following behaviors when confronted:

  1. Narcissist Rage

They might burst into a ball of rage and start hurling insults to shut you down. They will lash out furiously and might seem like they’ve lost control. They could threaten you, break things in the house, punch walls, or create an intimidating presence you’ve never felt before. Think of it like the way the Incredible Hulk gets angry in Marvel movies when he’s provoked.

2. Blame Shifting

They might shift the blame to you or anyone else as a way to avoid taking responsibility. For instance, they could say, “I did that because I was stressed at work.” It’s basically anything that deflects ownership of their actions or behavior. They’ll deflect anything you call them out on to something or someone external. (Read more on blame shifting in my previous article here.)

3. Gaslighting

They might outright deny what you’re confronting them about, claiming it’s a lie or that you’re making things up. Even if you have solid evidence, they’ll deny it and try to distort your sense of reality, maybe even calling you sensitive or crazy. They’ll say things like, “You’re always dramatic, you’re exaggerating, or you’re crazy.” Their aim is to minimize, invalidate, or deny your experiences. They’re planting seeds of doubt in you to make you quiet down or even feel bad about yourself.


4. Silent Treatment & Ghosting

When a narcissist feels cornered and has nothing to say, they might go silent on you, giving no response to your claims. They might just leave you hanging while you’re confronting them. This can make you feel guilty about what you’ve done, and you might even find yourself begging for forgiveness or begging them to talk to you because the silence is unbearable. They might also disappear and leave you stranded, making it impossible for you to continue confronting them.

5. Withholding

Narcissists crave control, so when confronted, they might hit you where it hurts the most. They could withhold emotional or physical resources that directly affect your present life. They might hide your documents, stop giving you money (especially if you’re financially dependent on them — look into financial abuse), alienate you from your kids, or isolate you from your loved ones. It’s all about asserting their power and control over your life.

6. Calling You a Narcissist

When you call out a narcissist, they might accuse you of being a narcissist as well. They could point out instances where you’ve reacted inappropriately. In a narcissistic relationship, you might get pushed to a point where you do things you’d never imagine as a form of survival. This is called reactive abuse (a response), where you might have lashed out, insulted them, or even broken things in frustration due to their mistreatment or provocation.

When you confront them, they’ll play this card and list those instances where you acted poorly. You might start to believe you’re the narcissist or that “you’re both toxic,” effectively stopping the confrontation. It’s like saying, “How dare you call someone a narcissist when you’re one too.”

6. Acceptance

When you’ve figured them out, they might accept their wrongdoings and try to win you back. They’ll try to brainwash you into forgetting or ignoring what’s been happening so they can keep their supply. They might shower you with praise, promises, and whatever you want to hear as they try to convince you of their love.

They might apologize for their actions to get you to forgive, forget, and let them back into your life. This is the most challenging scenario, as it can create mixed feelings. You might think they truly mean what they’re saying and give them another chance, only to realize it’s all part of their manipulation. They might even suggest therapy and pretend they’re committed to change. They pull this when they still need you to supply their needs or when they don’t have an immediate supply.

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” — Alan Watts

Calling out a narcissist will likely not yield positive results. In fact, it might make your situation worse. When you call out a narcissist, they may respond with more manipulation or act as if they’re in agreement with you and that they’ll change. The best way to deal with a narcissist is not to confront them.

If you’re calling them out hoping they’ll see what they’re doing and leave you alone or change, you’ll be disappointed. A narcissist is always seeking their needs and doesn’t have limits on what they can do to fulfill them. No amount of calling them out will keep them away; the only one who can do that is you.

So, if you identify a friend, partner, or parent as narcissistic, don’t waste time trying to explain to them. Instead, quietly plan your exit where possible or learn healthy ways to counteract their abusive behavior (if leaving isn’t an option). Remember, the default should be considering how to break free and cut ties with the narcissist. You deserve a better life free from manipulation and abuse.

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 (in less than 2 months) , 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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