In my mind, narcissists exist in different orbits than “normal” (although I am quite aware that “normal” differs for each of us). If you have to deal with a narcissist, though, you know what a I mean.
They are constantly a little “off” and live in their self-created fantasy world, which puts them an orbit or two or several away from the rest of us.
Depending on your level of contact with a narcissist, your orbits may only intersect slightly- an eclipse here or there- or they may overlap almost completely.
Because narcissists orbit in fantastical, self-created orbits, far, far away from reality, when they are confronted with reality, it can be very disconcerting for them.
I call this “Narcissistic Re-entry Phenomenon” . There the narcissist is- all happy, floating round in their delusional orbit- and WHAM! something or someone derails the orbit. Picture a space craft completing dismantling upon re-entry- pieces and chaos occur everywhere.
Normally, this occurs when the narcissist has to interact with ANYONE outside their sphere of control. Situations and people include: teachers, school principals, waiters, waitresses, baristas, doctors, attorneys, judges, grocery store clerks, receptionists and so on.
Any one or any thing that does not get in line with the narcissist’s orbit trajectory (i.e. follow each and every command) is likely to stimulate re-entry phenomenon in the narcissist. Symbolic pieces will go flying everywhere.
I write this so you understand if your stress level increases when you sense your favorite narcissist will be forced to deal with reality. Your stress increases because you worry how bad the re-entry will be. Will the narcissist begin screaming at everyone? Threatening people? Be completely clueless and so on ?
You are not responsible for the narcissist’s re-entry into reality. It’s a price they need to pay for living in a fantastical, made-up world, far, far away.