1. Narcissistic injury.
The most common reason they do it, in my experience and knowledge, is because someone has given them a narcissistic injury. Someone slighted them, insulted them, or they felt humiliated, whether that truly happened or it’s just in their imagination. However, in their mind, it absolutely happened and they feel very vulnerable, disrespected, and they are completely emotionally dysregulated. So that narcissistic injury must be alleviated and accommodated for, in order for them to feel better, and narcissists do not know how to emotionally regulate themselves in normal healthy ways.
Their emotional maturity is about at the age of a toddler, so how do they resolve this injury and this dysregulation? They rage, abuse, insult, scare, terrify, degrade, and humiliate someone else, and they are acutely aware of who and when they can hurl this rage at someone. So it’s usually people in their own family; meaning their partner or children. I can remember my father raging at me from as early as I can remember, and being subjected to this rage causes all kinds of damage and destruction to the victim’s mental health.
However, even though they know that it’s wrong and they know the victim will suffer serious consequences due to these rages, due to these violent attacks and the emotional and verbal abuse, they just don’t care. In their eyes, no one is as important as they are, and raging at someone in order for them to feel better is an entitlement that they are absolutely deserving of in their mind. They believe they are entitled and have an absolute right to do this to another human being.
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