What happens when the narcissist knows you’ve figured them out
Following narcissistic rage, is the shift back to calculated manipulation and abuse. It is the return from being out of control, to fully in control and mindful of all actions and behaviours.
The malignancy the pathological narcissist is capable of, and that you experience in some forms regularly throughout devaluation, is at this point fully unleashed.
Not only to teach you a lesson about who has power and control over you, but to punish. To cause harm. Because in their minds a) they are entitled to do so, and b) you deserve it.
So, what does this cruelty look like? Again, this will depend on the flavour & ‘go to’s’ of the narcissist. Common strategies that leverage the knowledge they have of you based on vulnerabilities you have shared with them are:
- Baiting – deliberately provoking and antagonising you to react negatively by jabbing at your deepest wounds.
- Gaslighting – ramping up efforts to have you question your sense of reality and mental health (for more on this strategy read 5 ways to counteract the narcissist’s gaslighting).
- Withholding/Stonewalling – removing your access to information, emotional or physical resources you either depend on or value the most. Denying access to children for no valid reason, isolating you from emotional/social support, and financial abuse, are all examples.
- Smear campaigns – spreading false information and gossip, to discredit, undermine, control and isolate you further (for more on smear campaigns & how to tackle them, read Narcissists and smear campaigns: Why they do it and What can be done to stop the narcissist’s smear campaign).