A repeated or recurrent identical or similar threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Identity) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof). Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury, which is a perceived threat to a narcissist's self-esteem or self-worth.
Narcissistic injury occurs when a narcissist feels that their hidden, 'true self' has been revealed. This may be the case when the narcissist experiences a "fall from grace", such as when their hidden behaviors or motivations are revealed, or when their importance is brought into question. Narcissistic Injury is a cause of distress and can lead to dysregulation of behaviors as in narcissistic rage.
Narcissistic rage occurs on a continuum, which may range from instances of aloofness and expressions of mild irritation or annoyance to serious outbursts, including violent attacks and murder.
A repeated or recurrent psychological defense against a narcissistic wound. Such a narcissistic defense is intended to sustain and preserve the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof).
Narcissists invariably react with narcissistic rage to narcissistic injury.
Any threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof).
The narcissist actively solicits Narcissistic Supply - adulation, compliments, admiration, subservience, attention, being feared - from others in order to sustain his fragile and dysfunctional Negative Ego. Thus, he constantly courts possible rejection, criticism, disagreement, and even mockery.
The narcissist is, therefore, dependent on other people. He is aware of the risks associated with such all-pervasive and essential dependence. He resents his weakness and dreads possible disruptions in the flow of his drug: Narcissistic Supply. He is caught between the rock of his habit and the hard place of his frustration. No wonder he is prone to raging, lashing and acting out, and to pathological, all-consuming envy (all expressions of pent-up aggression).
Four dimensions of narcissism as a personality variable have been delineated: leadership/authority, superiority/arrogance, self-absorption/self-admiration, and exploitativeness/entitlement.
Causes of Narcissistic Rage
- Challenge to their Confidence: People with narcissism often place unrealistic demands on their partner or children. These demands are frequently challenged by the person in the relationship. When challenged, the narcissists’ brittle egos are unable to accept the idea that they were wrong or seen as imperfect. They turn this into a personal attack and respond with rage toward that person to regain their sense of superiority.
- Injury to Self-Esteem: When a narcissist’s shortcomings are pointed out by someone, they feel an overwhelming sense of shame. The narcissist then lashes out toward the person who pointed out the shortcomings. The rage is executed to seek revenge upon the accuser. The need for revenge results in explosive rage and does not die down until the narcissist feels the person was dealt appropriate punishment.
- False Sense of Self: The narcissist has a false sense of self. Underlying this false sense of self are feelings that he is not loveable for who he is or what he offers in relationships. When a lover or partner begins to feel doubts about the narcissist, that is when the narcissistic rage surfaces.