What are the signs of a narcissist’s collapse?

This article will show what are the most common signs of narcissist collapse. Aside from that, the article will explain what it means that a narcissist is in collapse, and what may cause that to happen.

What are the signs of a narcissist’s collapse?  

The narcissist collapse can happen differently depending on the type of narcissism the person has. That is because narcissism will usually happen on a spectrum of severity. But the signs of the collapse can often happen in minor or major ways in every narcissist. Here are the most common signs of narcissistic collapse.

Act impulsive 

Narcissists are people that are often impulsive, but as they begin to collapse, it can be that they become even more impulsive. That is because they will focus on getting as much as they can from each situation to not feel as bad as they do when they are collapsing. 

Taking impulsive decisions can also be a way to try and regain the admiration of the people around them. They want to be perceived as someone brave and assertive, so they may begin to act in that way to try to rebuild the fantasy people had of them.

They become distant 

Depending on the type of narcissist you are dealing with, it can be that, as they are collapsing, they will become more distant. This will mostly happen as you deal with a covert type narcissist since they have traits that tend more to be shy. They will go as far as being passive-aggressive to regain your attention.

Differently from those, the overt type narcissists will often be ones that will act outraged by the situation that is causing them to collapse.

Turn to risky behaviors 

When a narcissist is collapsing, they can be so afraid that they can turn to even more risky behaviors. Narcissists haven’t learned how to deal with fear, and as this emotion presents itself, they will turn to reckless behavior such as gambling, or unsafe driving.

As they do so, since they can’t feel empathy, they will likely have no concern about how their actions may be hurting the people around them.

They begin to act cruelly 

When a narcissist is collapsing they can become extremely mean. They will project how they feel on others, so if at that moment they are feeling worthless, they will likely turn to make the others feel worthless. 

Instead of talking about how they feel, which they never learned, they will just act cruelly. It may sound strange, but in doing so they are looking for you to go back to admiring them. As they make you feel as worthless as they do, they hope you will go back to looking up to them as your only source of love.

They can experience a mental breakdown 

When a narcissist is collapsing it can be scary for them, and the people around them. All their notions around the world and themselves are collapsing, and this can go to a point in which they begin to have hallucinations, and can even experience psychotic breaks.

When that is the case, the narcissist will need professional support to get better, and maybe reintegrate their sense of self.

They will complain a lot 

When a narcissist is collapsing they will also have the firm belief that the world is against them. It can seem like they are complaining a lot, or even that they are paranoid, believing everyone is out to get them.

If you are around a narcissist that is collapsing, you may notice that they are turning more irritable, and can even become verbally, or physically aggressive.

Anger will drive them 

A narcissist will often collapse if they feel that someone has won over them, meaning that someone has torn their fantasy world apart. And when that is the case, they can become enraged. 

Narcissists will often be driven by anger because they have never learned how to process their emotions. Instead, they just become angry to not face their shortcomings. 

Once again, it is important to highlight that the type of narcissist makes a difference in this matter. An overt narcissist will most likely express anger when collapsing, as the covert narcissist will withdraw.

They can switch patterns of behavior 

If the narcissist in your life has always been overt, it may be that while they are collapsing they will turn into a covert narcissist. That will likely happen when they feel so ashamed for losing their sense of identity, that they choose to isolate themselves.

The opposite is also possible, and a covert narcissist can become an overt as they collapse. In that case, they may do so to try and be more straightforward and regain the admiration of the people around them. 

They will bad mouth you to other people 

Instead of dealing with the broken fantasy, and all the lies they have built up to you, as the narcissist collapses they can begin to bad mouth you to others. That is a way they have to prevent them from breaking down, and they feel completely hit by you discovering their lies.

They will likely share all the little intimate secrets you may have told them throughout the relationship. And may do so very publicly.

They can begin to stalk you to bait you in again

If a narcissist collapses, and they see you are moving past them, they will often try to find a way to lure you back in. They can begin to stalk you and try to spend time together as a way to bait you back. They will do so because they need your admiration to feed them.

And if at any point you open yourself up once again, they may maintain the relationship until it doesn’t suit them anymore. That is when they will likely discard you.

What is narcissist collapse? 

A narcissist’s collapse is what happens when a narcissist feels cornered, and because of that, they will panic, and even lash out. 

The narcissist collapse can be caused by many factors, but it usually is related to the narcissist losing the person that was their narcissist supply, or even because something or someone is putting at risk the idea they have on themselves.

When a narcissist loses their source of narcissistic supply, they can go on a tantrum and collapse, and that may happen ultimately as a way to try and get the person that was supplying them back. 

Or if they feel like someone has come too close to realize they are not that image they have created of themselves, they can collapse as their sense of identity does the same.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are signs of a narcissist collapse? 

How will narcissists act when they can’t control you?

When the narcissist feels like they can’t control you, they will be enraged. They can begin to use all sorts of manipulation techniques they have to try and get back their control over you. 

They can use gaslight, the silent treatment, or even threats, those can be threats in which they will say they will harm you, or that they will harm themselves if you don’t come back under their control.

Is there a cure to narcissism?

No, there is no cure for narcissism. What can happen is that at some point the narcissist can understand that their narcissistic traits are causing them problems. When that happens, they can decide to look for help.

There is no medication to treat narcissism, although they can use it to treat correlated conditions, such as depression, or anxiety. The treatment that they can receive is therapy, and in that, they will be able to see themselves away from that filter of perfection.

They may also learn how to deal with the high expectations they have of people and themselves. And setting more realistic goals for their lives, so they don’t feel so frustrated.

Will a narcissist regret losing a person in their lives?

Yes, it can happen that a narcissist will regret losing a person in their lives. But what you need to have in mind is that they don’t regret missing the person in themselves. They will regret missing what the person used to do for them.

That will happen especially if they have difficulty finding other people that will fulfill them in the way you used to. 

But as they regret losing you, and try to get you back, you need to keep in mind the reality of the situation, that they are just going back in hopes that you will fulfill their every wish, and need. If at any moment they find someone that will do this job better, they will quickly discard you.

Can a narcissist have a long-term relationship?

The relationships of a narcissist will likely last something between a few months, and a few years. But it is important to know that the narcissist will quickly lose interest as the relationship requires more and more intimacy, and they are supposed to show their vulnerable side.

The relationship with a narcissist will also end if they ever feel they have won, and they have pushed you through everything they have ever planned for you. At that moment, you may become less interesting to the narcissist, that will easily discard you.

Do narcissists cheat?

Yes, it is extremely common that people with narcissistic traits will cheat on their partners. Because they constantly look for praise, and validation, if at any moment they feel like their partners are not treating them well enough, they can just go looking for that in someone else.

They can also cheat because they enjoy the games and the manipulation that will come with them. They can also cheat because they feel entitled to do so. And since they have no empathy, they will never take into consideration what the other person may feel about their actions.

Narcissists can also cheat because they want to avoid the intimacy that will come with a relationship, or because they want to assert their power over their partner. It is a way they will know they are still controlling them.

Can a narcissist recover from the narcissistic collapse?

Yes, it may take some work, and lead the narcissist to look deep within themselves, but ultimately a narcissist may recover from the narcissistic collapse. 

They will often need to go to therapy to recreate a sense of self and maybe do so in a way that they don’t feel so overwhelmed by the pressure they impose on themselves.


This article explained what are the common signs of narcissist collapse. It also showed what causes them to collapse, and what that means.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.



10 Signs of a Narcissistic Collapse & Tips to Avoid the Trap

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