One tool narcissists love to use is calling their victim abusive. Whether overt or covert, this tactic is a favorite of the more extreme narcissists.
My overtly narcissistic mother & I were having an argument once when I was 17. As usual for that time, she had been screaming at me, literally in my face. Finally she backed off. She then balled up her fist & pulled back like she was going to hit me. I immediately closed my eyes & threw the first punch. Even as dysfunctional as I was then, I was NOT going to let anyone hit me. When I felt that I’d hit her, I opened my eyes. She was shocked I hit her, obviously since I’d never really stood up to her before. Immediately she said, “You hit me in the breast! Now I’m going to get breast cancer & die & it’ll be all your fault!!” When my father entered the room a moment later, he asked what was happening. My mother started to cry (she can turn her tears on & off like a faucet) & said I hit her, failing to mention what she did leading up to that.
My late mother in-law was a covert narcissist & extremely good at the covert part, having everyone close to her convinced she was a great person. She used to go through my purse every time I left it out of my sight when it was at her house. One time when my husband & I were at her home doing some laundry, she snooped through my dirty laundry, coat pockets & purse. She left $40 in my purse. I got my husband alone & absolutely flipped. I told him I was sick of her crap- there is NO reason for her to snoop through my things & I don’t want her $%^& hush money. YOU talk to her- she doesn’t listen to me & right now she doesn’t want me talking to her anyway. He did. The little bit I heard of the conversation, she was whining about having “allllll this cash just lying around the house” & she didn’t know what to do with it, so she wanted to do something nice for me. She claimed she had no idea why I was upset.
See what I mean? Narcissists can turn themselves into victims in pretty much any situation, no matter what craziness they have done to you. The worst part is while you are yelling or crying, they maintain complete calm. This makes you look & feel absolutely insane. Or, they pull out the tears, which makes you feel incredibly guilty.
When this kind of thing happens, remember, narcissists gain narcissistic supply from this sort of thing. They feel powerful when they can make a normally calm person act crazy. Strong emotions, whether positive or negative, make them feel powerful too because they know they have an effect on someone.
This is also good for them because if they can prove to you that you’re crazy, over reacting, etc., you will be willing to change your behavior. You’ll be ashamed of how you acted, so you’ll be more likely to listen to the narcissist’s advice on how you should act. This tactic makes a victim more pliable.
When you confront a narcissist, be as calm as humanly possible, asking God for help. The more emotion they see in you, the more they will push your buttons & the more likely their victim side will come out.
And, before confronting a narcissist, think & pray. You really need to pick your battles wisely. It’s not a good situation- narcissists need confrontation to know they can’t get away with the things they’re doing, yet confronting them often is incredibly frustrating. Sometimes, they behave worse after the confrontation because they know how to provoke a reaction from you.