One of the most uncomfortable times in your life will be when you call out a narcissist for their behavior. Be smart and careful when you do.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are some of the most difficult people to be around. When you discover their true nature, you will enjoy every moment you get away from them. When they are loved ones, this alone time may be rare. And when you call them out on their true behavior, expect harsh opposition.

What happens when you call out a narcissist?

Simply put, narcissistic personality types hate to be confronted with the truth. They’ve spent so much of their time hiding their identity that it’s scathing to them when the real person is revealed.

Even if this truth comes in small portions, they cannot stand to face themselves. So, several things happen when you call them out. Understanding this beforehand can keep you safe and prepared.

1. Rage

When you call out someone with narcissistic personality disorder, expect rage. You don’t even have to straight-up call them a narcissist, but you can say things like, “You’re a liar”, or “You gaslight people”, and this can make them angry.

If you confront them about proof of something they’re hiding, they will also rage, maybe in the form of a tantrum, and they will turn everything around on you. People who have this disorder do not like to see the truth of their negative behavior, so they get angry in response or use anger to throw you off track.

Be careful, some of them can be violent.

2. Gaslighting

Narcissists are well known to use gaslighting when you confront them about their actions or toxic words. If you understand what gaslighting means, then you know what they will say. But, in case you aren’t familiar with this term, gaslighting is when someone tries to make you look crazy, or twist facts in their favor and against you.

For instance, if you remind a narcissist of something heinous that they did to hurt you, they will say,

“What? I never did anything like that. I think you’re imagining things.”

Gaslighting is a way for the narcissist to invade your thoughts and attempt to make you confused. If you call them out, they will use this for sure.

3. Reverse accusations

If you tell a narcissist that you know what they are, they will call YOU the narcissist. You see, most people have access to the internet, and the narcissist, believe it or not, reads about themselves.

They know the characteristics of someone with narcissistic personality disorder, so if you call them what they are, they will say you possess the traits of this disorder and so, YOU must be the real narcissist.

While you may have some of the symptoms of narcissism, as we are all located somewhere on the narcissistic spectrum, you may not have a disorder like they do, probably not. But watch out!

If you call them out, they will try to do the same thing in defense. Oh, and from my personal perspective, when you call a narcissist out, they love to say things like,

“You think you’re a saint.”

This is because, it’s unbearable for them to accept they aren’t perfect themselves, so they lash out.

4. Blame shifting

When you call out a narcissistic person, they are prone to immediately find something to blame. You see, they rarely take responsibility for their own actions, and if they act badly, it must be someone else’s fault. They may say things like,

“I wouldn’t have cheated on you if you were intimate more often.”

Yes, they really do this. Or another thing they may say would be,

“I wouldn’t have been late for work if you hadn’t made me so mad that I couldn’t sleep.”

You see, nothing, and I mean nothing is ever their fault, no matter how obvious it is, and if you bring out proof, then here comes the rage.

5. Silent treatment

A covert narcissist is prone to use the silent treatment when confronted. Maybe they will get angry first, deny things, or use blame-shifting, but when they see these do not work, they will go silent. This could last for hours, days, or even longer. It’s uncomfortable for some people when the narcissist does this.

So, sometimes innocent people will apologize when they’ve done nothing wrong just to get the narcissist to talk to them again. I remember going through this toxic experience when I was younger. You must be strong and expect this when you confront them.

Do you really want to do this?

When I read about confronting someone with narcissistic personality disorder, I feel kind of frustrated. Unlike others, confronting someone with this disorder seems like a fruitless endeavor.

If you think, however, that you can get through to someone you love that has this disorder, then try. People do have the ability to improve and change, even when it seems impossible. It’s about having hope.

But, if your relationship with a narcissist is damaging your health, either physically or mentally, then leave them alone. Calling out a narcissist is not for everyone, and not everyone with this disorder can change. That’s the saddest part.

So, I leave you with these warnings. If you call out a narcissistic person, be prepared to endure one or more of these reactions.

Be safe and stay strong.

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner mobile

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. vanessa walters

    loving one of these people, will NOT fix them. patience will NOT fix them. time does NOT heal all wounds. more of any kind of loving, forgiveness, reasoning talk..does not nor will not work. Just leave them,, the sooner the better.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Unfortunately, they are definitely difficult to help.

  2. Gary Jessup

    This sounds so crazy! Why would anyone invest time is such people or allow them into their lives?

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Gary, It’s because they are experts at what they do. You see, they were mostly born just like anybody else. Something in the way they were raised scarred them so badly that they became empty. They keep trying to fill that emptiness with all sorts of made-up things and filling. Their face is always covered with a mask. They become perfect at being something they are not. So, in the beginning, you see, they “love bomb” you. They make you feel like you are the best thing in the world. Over time, they gradually wear you down and if you are a really empathetic person, they will fool you easily. That is just a small part of what they do and why they exist in the form they have.

  3. Chiara

    Gary, that’s possible because when you first meet them, they are very subtle and good at hiding their true nature…
    I have been living with one, who is my husband.. and now it’s time for the silent treatment… No words, he acts as if he were the victim of my deeds and make me want to think I am the wrong one. His word against mine. It’s so frustrating! But I have to take care of my son and of the little creature in my womb.. fingers crossed, maybe in a couple of years I might be strong enough to leave.. now I just can’t. Good luck to everyone

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Stay safe, Chiara. Focus on you and your children. Do not give in to the silent treatment. It’s the attention they seek.

  4. Sherrie

    No one means to invest time in living this way with a mentally sick person. It happens in a way that just blindsides you. I’ve invested decades in people like this. My reasons, in the beginning, were ignorance because I was a young adult and not educated on narcissistic personality disorder. Since I had a mental disorder from childhood, my abuser convinced me that all the things he did were my fault, I was imagining them, or I needed help with my mental condition. There was conditioning, programming, and all sorts of manipulative tactics that kept me under his power through birthing three beautiful sons.

    You know, It’s easy to see this from the outside and not understand why people stay with others like this, but it’s quite different when it is all you know from an early age. It’s something you have to eventually realize over time. Yes, I did eventually realize that I was no the problem. But so much of my life was spent groveling to a person who treated me like a puppet. It is crazy, and it is sad. I didn’t grow stronger until halfway through my life, and I still struggle from time to time with others that have similar characteristics. But I stand my ground now.

    And trust me, you can be thrown off guard by them. They come with such charm.

  5. London

    Hey guys ! Just read this and a word to the wise meaning all that are reading this 🙂 I finally exposed my ex-wife in an attempt to Hoover me and basically said nice Hoover attempt however I have moved on and perhaps you should as well.

    Could I have done this with confidence let’s say a year ago ? Probably not… here’s the secret and the kryptonite against the nar nar …ready ??? Wait it for it ….. work on yourself/ love yourself/ set boundaries/ when you do this truly take time and do this you will be the superhero and become Teflon!!! I thank God have mastered this thanks be to God and put in the work and now it’s laughable when she tries to Hoover or whatever lame trick she tries to pull.

    It took 4 years for me to master the narcissist and trust me you can call them out when you are ready and confident because in the end they are sadly like 3 year olds ( emotionally and they don’t have a soul that’s why they want to suck yours like a vampire… lol ..

    . praying for everyone that has gone through hell with any type of narcissist but like I said you can conquer and move on and the narcissist will get the hint… God bless !! Don’t give the narcissistic more credit then they deserve they wanted you for a reason and that reason is that you are freaking awesomeness!!!

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, London.

  6. Sandi

    It’s an enigma. The narcissist treats you horribly, you/me develop CPTSD, and depending on your offense at protecting yourself/myself, the fire power from the victim can become very dangerous for the abuser.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      If you’re not careful, you can take on some of the traits of the abuser as well. Truly keep up with your introspection as you’re staying safe from narcissistic attacks. Do not let their sickness infect you.

  7. Lisa Martin

    I think my husband might be a narcissist or has traits. He shows me no live or affection, sex maybe 1 time a month. I don’t feel loved or wanted by him either, 8

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.


      There could be many reasons why this is happening. While I am sure you’ve talked to him already about this, I think you should keep trying. Also, pay attention to what he’s doing. Is he changing his appearance? Is he suddenly getting into shape? Consider all options. And yes, pay attention to any traits that might be narcissistic. See if they get worse. It’s like circumstantial evidence. EAch piece of something will reveal what it is in time.

  8. Samantha

    I called my Narcissist out for trying get two close friends of mine to betray my trust in them. When I called him out he immediately went no contact It ‘s is humiliating, and painful that I can not trust him. This is the second time around, that I allowed him back into my life. And hope that with all the painI i’m going through that this the last time,

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Samantha, please be careful. Always protect yourself when dealing with people like this. And also, focus on yourself and your other loved ones as much as possible. Stay strong.

  9. Noah B.

    I always knew i couldn’t be the only person that has ever encountered narcissistic family members. I thank God for his Holy Spirit; His Holy Jesus blood stained hedge of protection surrounds us all Amen.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      You would be surprised by how many people deal with the relentless struggle.

  10. John Doe

    I have a sibling who is a Narcissist. I made the big mistake of letting him back into my life over the past 10 years. Never again, as I have learned how conscienceless and evil he really is. I thought he was mellowing out in his age, only to find out that he just got better in his con game. Truly a shell of a human being with no soul. I have learned that these manipulative people don’t change inside and they will always try to control you in some way. When you stand up to them or call them out, they will try to destroy you to “teach you a lesson”!
    DO NOT PRAY FOR THE NARCISSIST, they are evil at the core, you are wasting your time as they cannot change, instead pray for their victims. The narcissist will get what they deserve eventually, a lead sled to hell.

  11. Jean B.

    I had a narcissist friend from childhood. He eventually became friends with my husband after we married. Over the years, narc friend became toxic, continually angry, combative. We became aware of highly questionable behaviors towards others, and we pulled back from him. He was always at the periphery of our lives, and at times, he would engage with us, usually when he needed support of some kind. I knew that he had experienced a horrific childhood, so I put up with more of his troubling behaviors than I ever should have done. A couple of years ago, he was in a bad spot financially, and we needed someone to do a few things for us. He was qualified to do the tasks. We all came up with a price for his services, which we paid up front, before he had done anything. We paid in advance to help him out of a financial bind. Of course, we lived to regret it. After a couple of weeks of our home being filled with his simmering anger, resentment, manipulation, and nasty remarks, it all came to a final showdown. He raged at us, accused us of all sorts of crazy behaviors (equating it to his sexual abuse of his childhood), and even smeared my dead father and brother. Incidentally, my father and brother were always kind to him, my father even helped him out financially with a well-paying job. He was completely out of control during his rage, and I honestly believe that he would have become physically violent if he didn’t understand that my husband would stomp his butt. He ended up leaving our home without completing his work, but we were so relieved that he was gone that we were okay with it. After a few months, we discovered a financial fraud that he had attempted against us, which could have resulted in us losing our home. I can only say that it was a miracle that the fraud was stopped, and no long term consequences for us occurred. Here is my current dilemma: when he stormed out, disappearing from our lives, he left behind two items which have a value of around a few hundred dollars. We don’t know what to do with them, and we certainly don’t want anything around to remind us of him, or tie ourselves to him. Some have suggested that we give them to his family members to pass on to him, but he has terrorized his family and we cannot put them in that position. One person suggested that we drop them off in his front yard, another that we give them to his landlord. Knowing him as I do, I feel he will look at any interaction with him, however far removed, as permission to re-engage, whether through face to face confrontation, or more attempted fraud. In other words, we are trying to not kick the hornet’s nest. My solution is to take the items to the city dump and be done with them. I have zero intention of ever again acknowledging his presence on this earth. If I saw him face to face, I would treat him like a stranger, which of course, he is, in reality. I welcome any insights, or suggestions. Thank you.

  12. Cindy

    My mother and my aunt sadly! Years of abuse and experience. They both to this day think the issue was not them. I give up with them, I just blank them out and try and keep out their way.

Leave a Reply