Scary Signs A Narcissist Wants To Get Even With You

Scary Signs A Narcissist Wants To Get Even With You

Narcissists see the world through a lens of power and control. When they feel you’ve slighted them, caused “narcissistic injury,” or threatened their carefully constructed ego, they don’t simply get angry – they get vengeful and immediately start planning a counter-attack. Here are the chilling signs a narcissist is preparing to “get even” with you, whatever that even means in their warped minds.

1. They give you the silent treatment out of the blue.

Sudden, unexplained silence after regular communication is a manipulation tactic. It’s designed to make you anxious, confused, and desperate to regain their approval (and sadly, it often works). This destabilizes you emotionally, and that can be terrifying. They’re not genuinely withdrawing; they’re observing, gathering information, and formulating their attack plan behind the scenes.

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2. They try to poison other people’s perception of you.

The narcissist twists the narrative, painting themselves as the victim of your cruelty. They might spread lies, exaggerate minor disagreements, distort your words, and rally “flying monkeys” (their loyal supporters) against you. The goal is to isolate you from your support system and damage your reputation, making their revenge seem justified.

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3. They act overly sweet or apologetic, even when it feels fake.

After injuring their ego, a sudden shift to charm is a major red flag, Business Insider notes. They’re lulling you into a false sense of security. This isn’t genuine remorse; it’s a calculated tactic to make you drop your guard and potentially gather information they can use against you. Trust your gut – if their niceness feels insincere, it probably is.

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4. They become obsessed with your life, monitoring your every move.

guy talking on phone looking depressed

Their curiosity isn’t benign. They stalk your social media, ask mutual friends about you, and might even follow you to learn your routines. Each detail becomes ammunition. Your happiness fuels their rage, while any struggles they perceive become points of weakness to exploit when they strike.

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5. They gaslight you, trying to make you question your own sanity.

They’ll deny saying hurtful things, twist past events, or hide your belongings just to claim you’re “losing your mind.” Their goal is to undermine your confidence in your own reality. This makes you easier to manipulate and less likely to be believed if you try to expose their abuse. Keep a record of interactions (if safe), and confide in a trusted friend to help you maintain a grip on reality.

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6. They sabotage you passively, setting you up for failure, then feigning innocence.

They might “forget” to pass on an important message, subtly undermine your work, or spread malicious gossip about your competence. Their aim is to make you look bad while playing the concerned bystander offering faux support. They revel in the private satisfaction of knowing they orchestrated your downfall.

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7. They make veiled threats disguised as warnings or jokes.

guy texting out on city street

Pay close attention to statements like, “I wouldn’t want to be your enemy,” or “You have no idea what I’m capable of” followed by a chilling smile. It’s a test. They’re gauging your reaction to size you up as a threat. Never dismiss these “jokes,” particularly if they align with a pattern of past vindictive behavior.

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8. They escalate stalking behaviors or hoovering attempts to regain control.

A narcissist hates losing control over their former “supply.” If you’ve gone no-contact, they might start showing up unexpectedly at places you frequent, shower you with unwanted gifts, or bombard you with messages alternating between pleas and rage. This isn’t about love but about reasserting power over your life.

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9. They subtly provoke you, waiting for you to react.

Narcissists thrive on drama, per Psychology Today. They know your triggers and will poke at your insecurities, hoping you’ll explode with anger or become defensive. This then justifies their retaliation in their warped worldview: they were simply responding to your “unreasonable” behavior. Remain calm (easier said than done!), and learn to disengage from their attempts to bait you.

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10. They weaponize your vulnerabilities or past mistakes against you.

Everything you’ve confided in them becomes ammunition. Embarrassing moments, struggles, or shared secrets are no longer safe. The narcissist will strategically expose your vulnerabilities to cause maximum humiliation and pain. They know exactly where to strike to do the most damage.

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11. They recruit others to do their dirty work.

Narcissists rarely execute their revenge alone. Their flying monkeys (enablers) might launch online harassment campaigns, spread malicious rumors, or act as spies reporting back on your life. They use these proxies to inflict damage while maintaining an appearance of innocence and plausible deniability.

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12. They start legal battles or file false reports, turning institutions into their personal weapons.

False accusations to police, weaponizing the court system with frivolous lawsuits, or reporting you to professional bodies are all tactics a narcissist might use to inflict damage. They want to drain your resources, energy, and tarnish your reputation. Remain calm, document everything, and seek legal representation if they escalate to this level.

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13. They isolate you from your support system.

Portrait of a young woman talking on her mobile

Friends, family members, and even your own children might become targets of their smear campaign. The goal is to leave you with no one to turn to for help, making you more vulnerable to further manipulation and dependent on them once again. Do your best to maintain strong connections to those who understand and believe you.

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14. They try to make you jealous by flaunting a new victim they’ve secured.

Couple in love spending time in cage together ignoring real communication using gadgets , bored hipster girl chatting online while her boyfriend having mobile conversation addicted to devices

Parading a new partner, particularly so soon after a breakup, is about inflicting pain. They want you to see them as desirable and happy, even if it’s a calculated facade designed to hurt you. Don’t get hooked into their drama. Remain indifferent – your lack of reaction is the worst punishment for them.

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15. They project their own shortcomings and abusive behaviors onto you.


The ultimate mind-twist. They’ll accuse you of being narcissistic, controlling, or unstable. This projection allows them to play the victim and obscure their own destructive patterns. It’s a way to maintain their false image and further vilify you to others, making their revenge seem like justified self-defense.

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16. They never truly let go, finding new ways to inflict pain even years later.

Angry Caucasian man and senior dad sit separate on couch ignore avoid talking after quarrel fight. Mad stubborn mature father and adult grown son have family misunderstanding. Generation gap concept.

A narcissist might pop back into your life sporadically with a snide remark or another attempt to stir up trouble. They lack closure, and your existence is a constant reminder of a loss of control. The best defense is maintaining strict no-contact. Block them on every platform, refuse to engage, and focus on building a new life, untainted by their toxic influence.

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Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.