When a narcissist refuses to participate in the communication and connection of a relationship, it is called stonewalling. One of the most common ways that this manifests is through blocking. 

Narcissists block you to reassure themselves of their grandiose self-perception of being someone who is powerful, in control, wanted, special, and unique. They aren’t necessarily angry at you, they just want to feel powerful, in control, and validated.

This article is going to guide you through the different reasons that narcissists block people so that you can grasp a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Narcissists Block You to Feel Powerful, in Control, and Validated

If you’re to understand the reasoning behind a narcissist’s ability to use blocking to feel powerful, in control, and validated, you have to start with their origin story. 

It is widely believed that narcissism originates from an abusive childhood upbringing.

This upbringing consisted of primary caregivers who were emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent. 

Because of this, the narcissist never had their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs mirrored.

As a result, they didn’t get the validation, admiration, and reassurance that they needed to develop a realistic sense of self. 

The reason that we have mentioned all of this is because the feeling of power, control, and validation that narcissists receive when they block a person stems from the emotional immaturity that their abusive childhood upbringing created.

What do we mean?

Well, once the narcissist realized that they weren’t going to get the validation, admiration, and reassurance that they needed from their primary caregivers, they turned to their external environment to get it.

To do this, they used a tactic called mirroring.

In this context, mirroring refers to a narcissist’s ability to absorb an extraordinary amount of information about someone’s or a group of people’s identity and use that information to create a falsified identity others can identify with.

In other words, narcissists used mirroring to portray themselves in a way that they believed would be validated, reassured, and admired by society.

Here’s the problem though…

Because of how emotionally immature the narcissist’s abusive upbringing left them, they were incapable of looking past society’s superficial exterior when they constructed their falsified identity.

Therefore, they ended up constructing themselves out of the most superficial, materialistic, and trivial aspects of life. 

All this did was make the narcissist even more emotionally stunted and immature.

Because instead of constructing themselves out of important aspects of life such as respect, thoughtfulness, honesty, healthy relationships, and so on, they turned to things like social media, money, appearances, and social status.

To sum up everything that we’ve stated so far…

Instead of summoning a sense of power, control, and validation from healthy things like self-control or self-awareness, they summon them from unhealthy things such as blocking you, having multiple partners, manipulating and/or dominating others, and many other emotionally immature behaviors.

How Do Narcissists Block You to Feel Validated, Powerful, and In Control?

There are three types of narcissistic blocking that we want to bring to your attention: normal blocking, antagonistic blocking, and protective blocking. 

To truly understand each type of narcissistic blocking, you have to be familiar with the 9 personality traits that the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has associated with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD):

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance.
  2. A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions.
  4. A need for excessive admiration.
  5. A sense of entitlement.
  6. Interpersonally exploitative behavior.
  7. A lack of empathy.
  8. Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her.
  9. A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes.

It is important to be aware of those nine personality traits, particularly a sense of self-importance, specialness, uniqueness, and a belief that others are envious of him/her, because narcissistic blocking always originates from or contributes to one of those traits.

A narcissist getting ready to block someone.

Normal Blocking

Normal blocking is pretty straightforward.

It occurs when a narcissist blocks you on all real-time and verbal communication platforms (e.g. social media, instant messaging, phone calls, etc.).

The point of normal blocking is that narcissists want to feed their grandiose sense of self-importance, specialness, uniqueness, and need for excessive admiration by creating a situation where you are “chasing” them. 

They want you to make different social media accounts to maneuver around their blocking, they want you to try to communicate through friends and family, they want you to show up unannounced.

They want to feel special, unique, and important. 

Antagonistic Blocking

A narcissist will use antagonistic blocking to portray you in a negative light.

They will create a situation to make you upset, agitated, angry, or defensive to get you to engage with them.

But the moment you are about to send your message, they will block you so you can’t say anything. 

With antagonistic blocking, it is very common to see a lot of baiting.

Baiting is a manipulation tactic that occurs when someone says or does something abusive or manipulative to get you to engage in a negative interaction with them.

It is very common for those with a narcissist in their life to experience antagonistic blocking after normal blocking.

For example, if a narcissist were to use normal blocking but felt like they weren’t getting enough out of it (e.g. you weren’t trying to get in touch with them) they might start to bait you into responding.

Recommended Article:

Our article How to Respond to Narcissistic Baiting has a ton of helpful information that you can use to respond to a baiting narcissist.

The sneaky thing that they will do here is they will use your response, no matter what it is, to portray you in a negative light and possibly victimize themselves.

If you have an angry response, they will pretend that you are being abusive and if you respond calmly, they will try to gaslight you or twist your words to victimize themselves.

When you come across antagonistic blocking it is best to not get upset and try to get in touch with them.

If they do reach out and try to bait you into a negative confrontation, you should restrain yourself from engaging in meaningful interactions with them at all costs.

Recommended Article:

Our article How to Protect Yourself From a Narcissist (6 Strategies) has a ton of helpful strategies that you can use to protect yourself from baiting.

Protective Blocking

When a narcissist uses protective blocking they are trying to protect themselves from experiencing a narcissistic injury (ego injury).

They want to block you before you can say something that contradicts their grandiose self-perception and triggers all of their suppressed negative emotions. 

If you were having an electronic disagreement, argument, heated conversation, etc., with a narcissist and they felt like they were losing power and control over the situation, they might block you to prevent you from causing a narcissistic injury (ego injury) and to regain a sense of power and control.

A narcissist telling another narcissist to block someone.

For someone as shallow, emotionally immature, and misguided as a narcissist, the concept of blocking another human being can feel extremely powerful, validating, and give them the control that they desperately need. 

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

Narcissists block you because they are emotionally stunted and immature. Childish actions like blocking allow them to feel powerful, in control, and validated.

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      This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care. Please consult a health care provider for guidance specific to your case.


      Hawk, Skyler T., et al. “Narcissistic adolescents’ attention-seeking following social rejection: Links with social media disclosure, problematic social media use, and smartphone stress.” Computers in Human Behavior 92 (2019): 65-75.

      Somerville, Tiffany A. “The effect of social media use on narcissistic behavior.” Journal of Undergraduate Research 25 (2015).