By Rebecca Zung, Esq.
Unfortunately, narcissists aren’t limited in their terrorizing tactics to just one area — they can also use cars as a weapon against their victims. Cars can become an extension of a narcissist’s control: whether by creating fear through threats and high-speed driving or using it as yet another platform for humiliation and power plays. In this blog post we explore 6 ways that narcissists commonly terrorize victims while in cars — understanding these tricks will help keep you safer if faced with similar situations in the future.
#1 Driving Violently
When it comes to narcissists, driving with them can be a terrifying experience. Narcissists are known for driving erratically or violently, and this behavior can put you and others on the road at risk. These individuals have a tendency to speed, weave in and out of traffic, and ignore signals and signs. Their erratic behavior can leave you feeling anxious and on edge, as you never know what they may do next.
#2 Threaten to Kick You Out of the Car
When it comes to dealing with a narcissist, you never really know what to expect. One moment they may seem perfectly charming and the next, they are threatening to kick you out of their car. This type of behavior can be both shocking and terrifying, leaving you feeling confused and powerless. Narcissists are known for their manipulation tactics and their need for control, making the car a prime location for them to exercise their power.
#3 Threaten to Turn the Car Around
Narcissistic behavior can leave a profound and bitter impact on your life, especially when experienced in the confined space of a car. With their incessant need for power and control, narcissists can resort to manipulative tactics in a moment’s notice. One such tactic is the threat of turning the car around and not attending an essential event, leaving you feeling helpless and betrayed. Whether it is a crucial work meeting or a significant family gathering, the prospect of missing out on a crucial event due to a narcissist’s actions can be devastating.
#4 Pick a Fight with You
When it comes to dealing with a narcissist in a confined space, such as a car, it can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. Narcissistic individuals have a tendency to pick fights, and on long car rides, this can be extremely frustrating and even terrifying. The worst part? They simply won’t let up. No matter how much you try to deescalate the situation, they continue to push your buttons and make you feel like you’re going insane. So, if you find yourself trapped in a car with a narcissist, be prepared for a bumpy ride and try to keep your cool.
#5 Total Silence
There’s nothing quite like being trapped in a car with a narcissist who refuses to speak to you. The silence can be incredibly daunting and feel like a physical weight pressing down on you. They may even go so far as to refuse to answer your questions, leaving you feeling as if you don’t exist at all. It’s a subtle form of terror that can slowly chip away at your self-esteem and make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells.
#6 Physical Abuse
When it comes to being in a car with a narcissist who is prone to physical abuse, it can be a distressing and potentially dangerous situation. Narcissists often use this confined space as an opportunity to exert their control and aggression over their victim. They may engage in reckless driving, slam on the brakes, or grab the steering wheel while in motion. The manipulation and intimidation can be overwhelming and have long-lasting effects on your emotional and physical well-being.
Car rides are supposed to be an enjoyable experience. No one should have to endure the wrath of a narcissist while in transit. It’s essential to keep your boundaries and know your worth so that you don’t get caught up in someone else’s toxic habits. If verbal abuse is happening, give yourself the permission to leave or tell them off before they can make the situation any worse. You deserve to feel respected, safe and heard while riding in a car; don’t let anyone take this right away from you. Although it requires courage, speaking up and standing up for yourself is what will help protect you from further tauntings or put-downs. Don’t forget that when it comes to self-respect and safety, there are no compromises necessary!