Reactive aggression refers to aggressive behaviour in response to real or perceived threat, provocation or frustration, and is typically impulsive, immediate, and directed toward the perceived perpetrator (Berkowitz, 1993).tandfonline.com
Dealing with a narcissist can be a nightmare. The constant denigration of who we are, the bickering and arguing, and the unprovoked attacks on us can cause severe levels of stress, anxiety, and even paranoia.
Narcissists are unhinged and broken people, and they have an innate desire to break as many people as they can.
It is not uncommon for people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist or who are still in relationships with the narcissist to be on edge and be a bit more “aggressive” when they feel attacked.
The psychological toll that narcissists place on their partners is absurd and genuinely unjustified, so when victims of the narcissist are criticized or perceivable attacked by someone, we often feel a need to defend ourselves, and we come off as hostile.
In this article, I want to explain what reactive aggression is and answer whether we are the narcissist or if we have become like the narcissist.
Reactive Aggression: Why We Think We Behave Like The Narcissist
When dating a narcissist, it is not uncommon for them to see anything that is not praising their mediocrity as an attack against them.
If you are dating a narcissistic guy (and depending on which type of narcissist you are dating), anything that does not boost his ego up will be perceived as you not loving him hard enough.
If you are dating a narcissistic girl and if you are not pampering her 24/7, then you are NOT “Man Enough.”
These people are childishly entitled, and the amount of work we do for them to stay happy can be draining and exhausting.
It is not uncommon for anyone to NOT develop severe depression and anxiety levels, especially with guys who get no outlet to voice their frustration and anger.
Much like a dog that is trying to sleep and rest is provoked and lashes out, so too are we empaths and just SANE adults, when provoked by these narcissistic kidults, will lash out.
“Let sleeping dogs lie” is a phrase that I think sums up what reactive aggression is with us.
We have every right, EVERY RIGHT, to defend our own happiness. In the minds of these lunatic narcissists, they see us as nothing more than toys, tools, instruments for their own pleasure.
So they think they can keep poking at our heartstrings and play us as of we are puppets.
When we do realize what they are doing, it is RIGHT and justified to lash out and get angry and say, “I WILL NOT BE YOUR PUPPET.”
This does not make us narcissists for defending ourselves; this makes us human.
The Broken Empath
There are some times where an empath can truly become like the narcissist, and this is because the narcissist was able to break the empath psychologically.
The Broken Empath is an empath who becomes broken overtime psychologically by the narcissist, and they no longer have ANY connection with who they were before they met the narc.
They have lost all trace of who they are and now are unwilling puppets to the narcissist, with or without the narcissist in their lives.
So they start to behave, think, feel, and embody all the traits, characteristics, and mannerisms of the narcissist, with the most apparent trait being using their victim hood status as a means as to why they are so cruel to others.
The major difference between the reactive aggression and the broken empath is the usage of the victim hood nonsense.
Much like a narcissist will use their victim-ness to get away with hurting people, so too will a broken empath use their victim-ness as a means to hurt people preemptively and then blame their past relationships.
They attack people before they even do anything; this is a significant difference.
Am I The Narcissist?
It can be a frustrating revelation that we have become like the person we have grown to hate and despise.
But here are clear signs that we are not narcissists and that we have not become like them:
- If you defend yourself when ATTACKED (not preemptively attack someone), you are not a narcissist
- If you are willing to admit that, “Hey, I misread what you were saying or I misread your intentions” after lashing out at someone, you are not a narcissist
- If you can take accountability when you have wronged someone unjustly or don’t mean to hurt someone and make amends, you are not a narcissist.
You are the narcissist or becoming the narcissist when you proactively go out there and try and hurt, provoke, or harm others for the sake of your own pleasure.
If you are doing this and feel no remorse or guilt, then you are a narcissist, or you have become like a narcissist.
If this happens and you hate what you are becoming, you will want to look into therapy.
Therapy is a great way to get back on the right track.
Don’t let these people take you away from you.
Seek professional help, get all that is weighing on your chest off and get back to living a happy healthy life.
If you would like to start therapy, you can sign up with my affiliate link, Online Therapy, and get 20% off your first month’s session.
Download Bundle Pack: Empathic Warriors Survival Stories and get FREE Confuse Them With Silence ebook. If you are dealing with narcissistic people, KNOW that it is possible to defeat them, to move on, and to THRIVE after a toxic relationship.