Everyone has their limits, even the kindest, most laid back person. This is never more evident than when a person is dealing with a narcissist.
One of the favorite weapons of narcissists is to push their victim so hard that the victim snaps while the narcissist remains calm, then they claim this is evidence that the victim is the real problem in the relationship, over reacting, over sensitive, mentally unstable or even abusive. A bonus is to quietly push their victim to this point in front of people so they see the victim as the narcissist says they are.
The aim of a narcissist in such a scenario is to make the victim look bad to others, to gain favor, support &/or pity for the narcissist & to make the victim easier to control by proving to them that they are everything the narcissist claims they are. It’s quite effective too, unless a victim is aware of this tactic. After all, when you are the extremely emotional one while the narcissist remains calm, on the surface, it does look like you are the problem. However, victims in this situation are NOT the problem! They are victims of something known as reactive abuse.
If you have been in this situation, please know that you are not alone, neither are you crazy, unstable, abusive or anything else the narcissist claimed that you were. Narcissists only say those things to you to make you think they are true, because someone who feels that way about themselves is easier to control than someone who recognizes the real problem at hand isn’t their reaction, but the behavior leading up to that reaction. I firmly believe narcissists say the things they do like that because they know they are the exact opposite of being true. In my experience, if a narcissist has said I was stupid, ugly, crazy, etc. I realized later that they believed exactly the opposite. In truth, they thought I was very smart, pretty, mentally stable, etc. That goes for you too! Whatever the narcissist says you are, there is an excellent chance that he or she thinks exactly the opposite is true about you.
And, if you are ashamed of how you acted when in this position, please try not to be. Easier said than done, I know, but please try! You were under extreme duress by someone who was trying to make you act the way you did. You acted as you did because you’re only human! As I said at the beginning, everyone has their limits. There is no shame in that. I realize many people say that no one can make you feel a specific way, don’t give anyone that kind of power, but sometimes, you have no control. When pushed hard enough to feel a certain way, you’re going to feel that way. There is no avoiding that entirely.
If anyone tells you that your behavior is abusive towards the narcissist, remember, it’s not. You are the true victim in this situation because you were pushed beyond your mental & emotional limits to react this way. That doesn’t make you abusive, it makes you a victim of abuse.
Lastly, whatever the narcissist told you about yourself to trigger this reaction from you is a lie. I know I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know narcissists enough to know that whenever they say something bad about someone, it’s a lie. It’s only said to cause pain, to make themselves look better, to manipulate or control another person. They don’t say these things as a form of constructive criticism to encourage another person to learn & grow. If that was their motive, they would be kinder about how they said things. People who truly want to help others are much gentler with their words when they must be critical. People who want to cause pain & control however are very cruel.
If you still have doubts, then I would encourage you to pray. Ask God to show you the truth. Ask Him if you are whatever the narcissist said you are, & let Him tell you what He thinks. His truth is the only real truth, & you can trust that.
2 responses to “When Narcissists Push Victims Beyond Their Limits”
Cynthia, your second paragraph speaks volumes of truth. I have noticed the victims finally snap over something small and the narcissist will say what did I do? Keith
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Yes!!! It happens all the time.
When I finally went no contact with my parents, it was because they were mad I didn’t tell them when my mother in-law died & I was focused on my husband. Telling them never crossed my mind. They knew she hated me & I hadn’t spoken to her in years. They sent Christmas cards, & only met twice so I didn’t think they’d care. But, both said they wanted to pay their respects & were upset they missed the funeral. This was bad, but not the worst thing they ever did. It was just my last straw.