Narcissists try hard to hide who they truly are. They hide behind masks. But what happens when the mask slips? What happens when the narcissist is exposed?
Narcissists are deeply broken human beings with a lot of baggage and childhood trauma. Deep inside, they know they are not worthy of love or attention. Their inner self is so weak and fragile. That’s why a narcissist tries to overcompensate. They lie to themselves and everyone, trying to appear larger than life itself. With an over-inflated ego and a lot of entitlement, a false outer persona is all they have. They try really hard to be charming and charismatic, and people often fall for them. But, if you are armed with knowledge about narcissism and you are intuitive, you can expose them and see through the façade. Either way, masks are bound to fall eventually and when it happens, things get ugly. The more extreme their narcissism is, the more severe their reaction will be. A narcissist has the emotional capacity of a child; they failed to develop a sense of self. They are unable to look deep inside and be introspective.
If you confront a narcissist, expect any of the following:
Like a vicious dog when cornered, narcissistic rage is what happens when a narcissist receives a narcissistic injury which is a threat to their big ego and self-esteem. So if you expose a narcissist, and they are shown as less than perfect, they might react in intense anger and aggression. Being hostile towards you can range from passive aggression and silent treatment and resentment to being verbally or even physically abusive! In case of malignant narcissism, the most extreme form of narcissism, this may even lead to murder.
In a moment of absolute anger, they may do unlawful things like destroying your property, slash the tires on your cars, steal from you , etc. You have to be prepared e.g you can install cameras around the house. You can take legal actions to protect you like a restraining order.
Narcissists have a huge lack of self-awareness. They can’t look inside and identify their shortcomings. It’s always someone else‘s fault. It’s always your problem. They might even tell you “you are the narcissist”! You are the monster. They would call you what they are. And it’s their subconscious mind talking. They project their bad traits onto you because they can’t handle the truth that they are bad, horrible people. A narcissist would tell you “you are the selfish one”. Or you cheated on me, etc. or you are the reason the relationship didn’t work. It’s blame-shifting and an automatic defense mechanism they resort to when they are exposed and faced with their own short-coming and bad character flaws. They are irresponsible, always.
If the narcissist is exposed to everyone around them they might pull a vanishing act where they would go and look for supply somewhere else. This happens when there is enough evidence against them and they can’t save face.
When faced with evidence they can’t deny, that they are bad people and not special or not that great, they might vanish because they are depressed and deeply ashamed. Remember: they have fragile ego under the mask! Narcissists are known to isolate themselves in what’s called narcissistic withdrawal; it’s usually their last attempt to preserve the last pieces of their special sense of self. They run to their secret world where they can live their fantasy of power
Vanishing might also be a form of silent treatment as they cut contact with you to punish you. They often come back as a form of hoovering where they will try to convince you of their innocence and beg you to take them back.
When confronted and belittled, when you expose them and try to end the relationship, a narcissist may resort to one of the ugliest tactics they can pull. A smear campaign.
Narcissists spend a lot of time trying to secure their narcissistic supply but when the supply turns against them, it can get ugly. Even if the relationship was good one day, they won’t cherish the good times.
A narcissist will call you crazy and emotional. They would call you a psycho-b**ch, they would call you every name in the book and even get others to back them up in their journey to destroy your reputation. It’s all designed to be a character assassination; they would spread blatant lies and rumors to try to convince people that you are the bad one. And they are heroes and victims.
Narcissists are masters at manipulation and they won’t save effort, the will manipulate your family and friends and even your coworkers to make you look crazy.
“They won’t believe you”
A narcissist knows they can be charming and charismatic enough to discredit you by manipulating the truth. “Who would people believe me or the crazy one?”
When confronted, a narcissist may tell you that you are imagining things or trivialize the problem; they will plant seeds of doubt inside you to get you disoriented and derailed away from the truth. Not only they will deny they did wrong, but they will deny that you witnessed the wrong-doing. They may believe their own lies, like what happens in projection.
A final piece of advice:
You may be tempted to confront a narcissist for many reasons. You might think that confronting them and telling them the truth may be the best thing to do. To set the record straight. But as you have seen, narcissists don’t back off, they fight back with a vengeance. They won’t recognize their fault and they will never admit they are less than perfect. It just doesn’t work. Of course it all depends on the specific circumstances and your relationship with them and the length of the relationship. If you are hoping you will help them change you can’t be more wrong. People with narcissistic personality disorder never change. Even with therapy that most of them refuse from the beginning. The best advice is still No Contact, if you can.