Narcissists tend to handle rejection badly, often resorting to a range of manipulative tactics that are designed to make themselves feel better about the situation.
Understanding how a narcissist will react and which steps they will take after being rejected can go a long way towards clarifying what your next move should be.
In this article, we will look at 11 ways a narcissist handles rejection, as well as ways to respond to the many forms of rejection they will throw your way.
Here are 11 ways a narcissist handles rejection and no contact
1) They refuse to believe it
Narcissists are driven by a strong need to be admired and accepted. As a result, they often react with disbelief when someone acts in a way that contradicts their own self-image.
For example, if you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist for some time and then start to feel things are going stale, the narcissist will likely refuse to believe it. They’ll likely accuse you of being “unfeeling” or “unloving” and tell you that your feelings are entirely fabricated.
So if you’re the one who initiates the breakup, a narcissist will likely refuse to accept that it’s happening.
They may even accuse you of being “manipulative” or “unfaithful”, despite the fact that you’ve been completely honest about your feelings and what’s going on in your life.
2) They may blame the other person and say they deserve it
According to Dr. Ava M. Roth, a BBBH therapist who specializes in narcissism treatment, if you’re the one who initiates the breakup, a narcissist will likely blame you for it.
They may even say that it’s your own fault (or the other person’s fault) and that you deserve it.
But wait, there’s more!
Not only that, a narcissist will often say that they were the one who initiated the breakup and that they are the one who deserves “credit” for ending things.
So don’t be surprised if you hear that it’s your fault the breakup happened and that it’s your fault that they’re no longer interested in being with you.
This type of reaction is usually a way for a narcissist to try and make themselves feel better about being rejected. Rather than deal with their own hurt feelings, they project them onto you.
3) They continue trying to get the other person back with more manipulation
Another way that narcissists deal with being rejected is by trying to control the other person.
Let’s dig a little deeper:
They may repeatedly text, call or email you after you’ve ended things.
They may say that they miss you and can’t live without you.
Or they may tell you that they don’t care about the way things ended and that they want to be with you regardless of what’s happened before.
A narcissist will often try to manipulate the other person in an effort to get them back into the relationship. They’ll typically do this by playing on their desire to be loved and accepted.
You might wonder why they would continue to try and get the other person back with more manipulation. The answer is simple: power.
Narcissists are very competitive and will often try to use their power over a person to force them into the relationship regardless of what they want or how they feel. They simply don’t know when to give up.
4) They may try to use guilt tactics on the other person
Have you ever heard of gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a term used to describe the way in which someone manipulates another person into questioning their own feelings, instincts, or sanity.
Gaslighting is a very common narcissistic tactic that’s used after being rejected.
If you’ve been rejected by someone with narcissistic personality disorder, they’ll likely try to make you feel bad about it. Their goal is usually to make you feel distant and alone so that they can step in and be there for you.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
Let’s imagine that you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist for a few months and then decide to end things.
Instead of dealing with their own grief, they will likely try to make you feel guilty about the situation. They may accuse you of being “unfeeling” and “cold” and telling you that it’s “your fault” for ending the relationship.
A narcissist will often try to use guilt tactics to make you feel bad about the situation and then offer to “rescue” you.
5) They make it seem like they are doing you a favor by letting you go
Narcissists are very skilled at making themselves look good to others.
And the fact that he/she is being rejected by you can be turned into a story about how “lucky” you are that he/she has chosen to let you go.
In other words, instead of dealing with their own hurt feelings and grief, they’ll turn rejection into a situation where they deserve credit and praise.
Many narcissists will actually say things like “you’re better off without me” or “I’m doing you a favor by letting you go”.
Don’t fall for this line of thinking. It’s a trap. They’re not doing you a favor. They’re dealing with their own hurt feelings and using you as an emotional punching bag in an attempt to feel better about themselves.
6) They look for validation from others
Here’s the truth:
Narcissists get their sense of self-worth from the outside world.
This means that most narcissists need constant validation from others in order to feel “worthy”. Constantly being rejected can be devastating for a narcissist because it throws into question their own self-worth.
A narcissist might turn to friends, family, or online support groups in an attempt to validate themselves and feel better about the situation.
Be aware that they may contact you again with the intention of trying to get validation from you. They may reach out to you via text message, email, or social media and try to get your attention.
Try your best not to fall into the trap of trying to convince a narcissist that you’re better off without them or that what happened was the right choice.
7) They sometimes make up excuses of why the other person’s not worthy of them
One of the most common ways that narcissists deal with being rejected is by making up stories about why the other person isn’t worthy of them.
Let’s say that you and a narcissist have been dating for two months when you decide to end things. Instead of dealing with her own hurt feelings, she may try to make you feel like you “wasn’t good enough” for her.
She might tell you that you’re too demanding, or that she’s just not attracted to you anymore. She might even tell you that she simply “doesn’t have time for relationships” or that the relationship was never serious.
It gets worse:
She might even go as far as to call you “crazy” or “mentally unstable” in an effort to distance herself from you.
It’s important to note that narcissists will often use this tactic in an attempt to get others to validate them.
For example, she may try and tell people that the reason things ended is because of the way that you treated her. She may “accuse” you of having an abusive personality or insist that the relationship was toxic.
8) They start overstepping boundaries and pushing others away
It might sound strange, but narcissists often try to “push others away” in an effort to avoid being rejected again.
This means that they’ll avoid certain situations or end certain relationships and try to push people away who might “hurt” them.
It’s important to note that not all narcissists do this.
Some narcissists will actually choose to avoid certain situations in an effort to avoid being rejected.
It’s also important to note that not all situations “hurt”. It can be very draining and exhausting for a narcissist to deal with rejection after rejection.
No matter what type of narcissist you have in your life, it’s important to take care of yourself in the aftermath of a narcissistic breakup. To do so, learn what he/she did so that you can protect yourself next time.
9) They start rumors or gossip about what happened
I know that this is a difficult thing to hear, but narcissists are known for spreading rumors and starting gossip about their exes.
Narcissists will often lie about the other person in an attempt to convince others that they’re not at fault for what happened. This is especially common if the person being rejected was a narcissist themselves.
Many narcissists will claim that their exes were “crazy” or “unstable” in an effort to make themselves look better.
But the bottom line is this:
Narcissists are psychologically incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. They’ll usually blame others for what happened and try to convince others that they’re at fault.
This tactic almost always backfires, because most people won’t buy the “explanation” and will quickly realize that the narcissist is only trying to deflect blame from himself.
10) They lash out at themselves or others who are close to them
Based on what we’ve already discussed, it should come as no surprise that narcissists can be dangerous in the aftermath of a breakup.
Most narcissists deal with rejection by lashing out at themselves or their loved ones. Because narcissists are always looking for external sources to validate them and make them feel better, any type of rejection can be very devastating for them.
If you’re dealing with a narcissistic friend or family member after your breakup, be aware that they may lash out at you, or do something dangerous to themselves.
But the good news is this:
The more emotionally mature you become, the less likely you’ll be to get into a relationship with a narcissist.
If you’re dealing with a narcissist in your life, take a step back and try to understand what makes them tick. They may not be able to change on their own, but the more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to distance yourself from them.
11) They begin stalking the person to find out what their plans are
Don’t be surprised if a narcissist begins stalking the person they’re trying to get back with in an effort to figure out what their plans are.
The narcissist might try and “snoop” through the other person’s social media, text messages, or emails in an attempt to get information on how they’re moving forward.
They may even show up at the other person’s house unannounced or call them on their phone unexpectedly.
This tactic can be very scary for an ex-lover, but it’s important to understand that the narcissist is simply trying to get a feel for the situation.
They may start doing this because they’re worried that the other person wants nothing to do with them or they’re trying to get them back.
6 ways to deal with this type of narcissistic behavior
Now that you know what to expect from a narcissist in the aftermath of a breakup, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
1) Don’t give them any attention
It’s important that you maintain your self-esteem, and you can learn to do this by giving yourself some space.
Don’t make any effort to get the narcissist back. This isn’t about you.
Once you stop making an effort to get them back, it will be easier for you to see that they’re not worth the trouble and avoid any further conflict with them.
2) Don’t allow them to make decisions for you
It’s very common for narcissists to try and “make decisions” in an attempt to try and get themselves back.
This is why it’s important for you to keep your self-esteem if you want to avoid becoming a victim in this situation.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to make decisions for yourself.
Focus on the things that are most important to you and try not to take the narcissist’s opinions or advice into consideration when making decisions.
3) Don’t try to justify yourself
It’s important that you don’t look back in order to justify why you reject the narcissist in the first place.
As we’ve been discussing throughout this article, narcissists are incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions.
Instead of trying to make a case for why you shouldn’t be getting back with them, focus on protecting yourself.
The best way to do this is by learning to have boundaries with your loved ones and creating emotional distance between you and the narcissistic ex so that you can avoid further involvement with him or her.
4) Surround yourself with supportive people
There’s a good chance that the narcissist will try and put you down in an effort to “prove” that you’re not worth anything.
If this happens, it’s crucial that you surround yourself with people who can help lift you up. Encourage yourself to spend time with people who make you happy.
Focus on things that make you feel good instead of what makes the narcissist feel good. By doing this, you’ll be able to overcome the emotional wounds of the breakup and put a stop to this type of bullying from narcissists.
5) Keep yourself busy
Distract yourself from the narcissists.
If you’re dealing with a narcissist, it may be hard to find a way to let go of them. The best way to deal with this is by finding ways to distract yourself from the narcissist. Try and pick up a new hobby, or find something you can do outside of the house.
This will help you keep your mind off of narcissists, and it will allow you to avoid any unnecessary interactions with them.
6) Get out of situations that make you feel vulnerable
Once you get to a place where you’re able to get over the narcissist, it’s important that you don’t allow yourself to be put into situations that can make you feel vulnerable.
Set boundaries with your loved ones and make sure you’re not putting yourself in situations where the narcissist can easily find you.
While it’s important to put yourself into situations that are “emotionally neutral,” it’s also important that you spend time getting to know people who will uplift and support you, rather than those who will attempt to bring you down.
Hopefully, this article will give you a better idea of how a narcissist handles rejection and no contact.
Whether we’re dealing with a narcissist at work, in our friendships, or in relationships, it’s important that we find ways to handle them in a way that doesn’t cause us any additional emotional damage.
It’s also important that we take time out of our days to make sure that they don’t get the best of us.
Distract yourself from negative people and remember that you’re worth a lot more than you think you are.