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Reactive abuse is our reaction to someone else’s abuse.

It is the abuser’s way of making the victim appear as the abuser.

Reactive abuse is psychological abuse

Our reaction to the narcissist’s abuse may appear abusive to the outside world.

But we are only reacting to their abuse.

Abuse can be anything from manipulation, gaslighting, infidelity, stone walling, verbal or physical abuse.

Pretty much anything the narcissist does that causes harm to their victims.

We can often react in an emotional and negative way when we are provoked.

And this is when the narcissist places blame on our reactions.

We are seen as the abuser while the narcissist appears as the victim.

Reactive abuse is manipulation that can involve gaslighting, blame shifting, victim shaming, projection and deflection.

It is psychological abuse.

Image by Budgeron Bach

Why does the narcissist use reactive abuse?

A narcissist’s fragile ego does not allow them to take accountability for anything.

To take accountability and be responsible is to admit that they are not perfect, that they made a mistake.

This will cause them a narcissistic injury because they do not want to feel shame and guilt.

Narcissists will do anything to avoid feeling these uncomfortable emotions.

So, by blaming the victim’s reactions, it permits the narcissist to feel in control, to evade their feelings, responsibilities and consequences.

And they gaslight themselves to believe that the true victim is the real problem or the one at fault,

because of the way they are acting when they are reacting to the narcissist’s abuse.

Narcissists will never believe that they are the cause of any problem.

Therefore, they do not see your actions as a reaction of their actions.

In their mind, they are right, they are the victims and they are always entitled and justified to do as they please.

Your reaction is twisted and manipulated to be the justification for the narcissist’s initial actions.

Or it is used against you to deviate from the real issue, making you the issue instead.

Image by Alex Green 

Avoiding blame and accountability

Narcissists are deeply insecure individuals and that is why they work tirelessly to protect their fragile egos.

They cannot allow themselves to ever take blame for their wrong doings.

So, they seek self-justification through our reactions.

They also feel entitled to do anything they want, even if it is abusive.

Narcissists believe they are above the law, and that rules only apply for everyone else.

But because they know what they are doing is wrong,

they need to deflect that blame onto someone else so their wicked and selfish actions or intentions remain hidden.

Blaming the victim because of their reactions, deflects from the real problem they are denying to themselves and others.

The narcissist does not want to deal with the feelings of guilt and shame that is connected to blame and accountability.

They do not want to face the consequences by admitting their part of the responsibility.

So, therefore it is much easier for them to deviate from the situation,

and paint others as the villain by using reactive abuse.

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Awareness is power.