How does a narcissist react when you stop chasing them/block them or what happens when you stop playing their mind games? Does it bother a narcissist when you DON’T care? I’ve seen it firsthand because I help people negotiate with narcissists, and I’ve helped people regain their power and stop feeling afraid. They’re not happy about it when you stop chasing their mind games. They’ll look to you to get that narcissistic supply. That’s why they attach themselves to you. To begin with, they’re like leeches. They attach themselves to you to suck that supply out of you.
Narcissists will do when they are being ignored. Ignoring a narcissist can be beneficial and troublesome for you as a supply or former supply. The narcissist can be very unpredictable. One of the most common things is you’ll get lots of annoying calls and messages, and then after a while, if that doesn’t do the trick, the narcissist will often switch up their tactics. Sometimes you’ll see a more sincere side of them, and they’ll seem to understand what you’re talking about here.
They want to get your attention so that you can feed their ego. When you keep ignoring them, things can get a little rough. After a while, You might find yourself dealing with social media, stalking, and much more. They’ll do all psychological manipulation to make you come back, do what they want, or at least pay attention to them. Their main source of supply is attention. The bottom line, the narcissist is looking for a fix. We’re going to take on a very interesting question that you often don’t think about with narcissism, but it’s a big part of the dynamic: abandonment. So let’s talk about that.
How does a narcissist react when you stop chasing them?
When we play out the usual narcissistic relationship cycle of idealization, devaluation, discarding, and hoovering, it can look like the narcissist is hopefully in control. Moreover, it feels that the narcissistic person is pulling the strings, doing the love bombing, engaging in seduction, or doing a deep dive into pseudo-empathy. Once they have you, they start getting uninterested in you, right? They devalue you. It’s their contempt at the point they have you and their incapacity for intimacy.
The Chase is typically the most engaging part of a relationship for a narcissistic person, and then they often decide to leave or at least threaten to leave. But sometimes, and I would argue far more often than you think, people leave narcissists.
As we get more awareness of narcissism and abuse, people leave narcissistic relationships more often than we think. It’s because people recognize that these patterns will probably not change. When you leave a narcissistic relationship, the narcissist does not like it. It means they have lost control of the narrative and, frankly, control.
It means they will lose validation, whatever conveniences you brought to their life and power. Their responses to being left by you or being left by anyone will range from rage to mockery. Do you think you’re going to make it without me? The piece that many people forget about is that people who are quite narcissistic or have narcissistic personality styles are very vulnerable to feelings of abandonment. We often view abandonment in line with more fragile or despairing personality patterns or mental health issues. We think that the narcissist is too cold for that.
Abandonment is also a bit of an interpretation issue. It can even be experienced when somebody goes away on a trip, goes to work, or goes home for a little while. Just that moment of separation activates something quite primal in narcissistic people. It’s not true that narcissists are immune to abandonment for various nuanced psychological issues.
Narcissists do not regulate abandonment well. Some of this relates to work that comes from the world of attachment theories which hold that people with narcissistic personalities are likely to have attachment styles characterized by anxious, disorganized, or avoidant patterns. As a result, it can be very difficult at a primitive level for a narcissistic. The moment of departure is always very difficult for them. It activates all that attachment stuff.
1. Narcissists start conditioning you
Narcissists come along to love-bomb you and start conditioning you. It’s so predictable and sick in a certain way, and whether it’s a business relationship or a personal relationship, it doesn’t matter.
I personally was in a business relationship with a narcissist, and they all start the same way, in what they call the love-bombing stage. It could be called idealization, a love bomb, and it doesn’t matter. But it starts in this where they are super charming, and they’re very good at reading people. They know how to be amazing.
2. Narcissists want to get a fast spot
Narcissists want to be in the taking stage, not the given stage. The love-bomb stage is only to start grooming you so they can get to the taking stage as fast as possible. They want to get where they can get to you as fast as possible. So, they need that narcissistic supply, which is anything that feeds their ego, anything that feeds their need for adulation, money, or that need to control you.
Their oxygen or lifeblood feeds their need to make them feel better in some way because they have no sense of inner value. So, how can Narcissists feel some sense of value? They condition you from the beginning. When they’ve been love-bombing you for a while, and they come on super strong, they say:
“We need to move in together right away,” “We need to be business partners right away,” “I can get you anything you want,” “I will send you fifteen thousand roses.” It’ll be so fast that you suddenly want to trust them.
You are going to trigger something within them. That narcissistic rage may come flying out, or something will happen within because they’ve got this narcissistic injury that could get triggered. It’s not going to be good. So, what’s going to happen is they’re allowed to treat you however they want, but you’re not allowed to do it back to them.
3. Narcissists try to make you feel guilty
When does the narcissist realize you are done? Narcissists are going to try to make you feel guilty with psychological games. For example, “I can’t believe you’re leaving the family,” or “I can’t believe you’re leaving me like this. “I can’t believe you’re leaving me an alert” to make you feel guilty for what you’re doing to them. They’re going to make something your fault.
Also, they’re going to get very angry and hostile, and you’ll start to see whoever this person was. They tried to pretend, especially if it’s a covert narcissist, and they tried to pretend they were so lovely. You’re going to start to see how rude and horrible they can be, or they’re going to start to do awful things.
4. Narcissists try to shame you
Narcissists will try to shame you or put you down and say awful things to you like, “Nobody else would have stayed with you,” “No one else will love you,” or “No one else likes you anyway.” They might try to bad mouth you to everybody else. The married narcissists could use the court system as their sword, file on us unnecessary motions, harass pleadings, refuse to give up discovery, ignore court orders, use the children as pawns, and all those sorts of things as well. Run up the attorney’s fees. Certainly seen all of that and sometimes react with anger, rage, and violence.
They go little nuts sometimes, but you can shut them down because they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. When they realize they’re not going to get supply out of you anymore, they realize how you can expose them. They will ease on down the road, got to figure out how to do it.
5. Narcissists will get more and more agitated
Narcissists will start arguing with you about small things. The relationship will only feel more difficult. You may feel frustrated because you want your last few days or hours with this person to be pleasant, but the more you try, the worse they behave.
You may get into a blowout battle on the way to the airport as you get to the hour of departure. A similar pattern can arise when you see them again when they get back from the trip or when you get back from the trip instead of falling into each other’s arms with each other. You may find that your narcissistic partner or a narcissistic person may be tentative, almost detached, and distant.
These patterns are not uncommon in people who have these attachment issues, anxious or avoidant, or disorganized attachments. All of this is consistent with the idea that that upcoming departure. As a result, when somebody in their adult relationship with them is going away, or they’re going away for hours or days. Maybe in some cases forever. Internally, they experience it as a cataclysm.
People with antagonistic personalities are high inequality, called rejection sensitivity. The experience of rejection for them is emotionally unsettling. They are often quite hyper-reactive in the face of rejection, even if someone not wanting to come to their house for dinner.
This is a lower-grade level of abandonment. Fear may not be as big, but that rejection sensitivity can explain some of the excessive reactivity that rises in any form of criticism or not showing up. Outwardly, despite all of this fragility, it’s a different story.
6. Narcissists will act as real
There are some signs a narcissist wants you. A person with a narcissistic personality does not like to look weak to other people. So they will deny the impact of these departures and are more likely to rage against you. You’re the person who has activated these uncomfortable feelings they don’t understand. Then they will want to understand them. You may be so used to them being the controlling, dominant one in the relationship that you are surprised that they are becoming so fragile in the face of an upcoming or even possibly threatening separation to them. That doesn’t even exist.
When you try to become sweet and soothe them, they may become more contemptuous because you’re bringing their fragility to light in some ways. Fears about abandonment and strong reactions against it are often considered to be a part of what is designated as what’s traditionally been thought of as a borderline personality style. Abandonment and borderline personality are often viewed together.
But the borderline and narcissistic personality styles are closely related in terms of some of their origins. So the abandonment crises of the narcissistic personality, theoretically in light of the attachment stuff, does make sense. We aren’t expecting it with a narcissistic individual because we don’t see the same levels of despair and instability that we might see with more of a borderline style. The issue of abandonment can also explain hoovering. You may be wondering if they’re afraid of abandonment.
7. Narcissists try to hide their fear
if a narcissist craves attention, why do they discard/push you away or ignore you? Narcissists leave and then try to pull you back, and they might try to pull you back if you’re the one who left. Interestingly, narcissists will often leave relationships because sometimes, when people are afraid of something, they try to get ahead.
They try to abandon the other person first. It allows that person the lever to control the narrative, to control the fear. That style often characterizes narcissistic relationships, where you often see the hoovering, and you may fall for it. The whole cycle starts again.
The fear of abandonment shared by many narcissists is often related to the fear of losing validation and narcissistic supply control. Then there’s the activation of shame scripts around being rejected. When you think of it that way, it may make more sense. But all of this adds to the roller coaster quality of any relationship with a narcissist. So that begs the question, what’s the antidote to abandonment? How do we keep our abandonment fears at bay by feeling secure and safe in the world?
It comes down to therapy and doing the work, doing the work of self-compassion, self-reflection, self-awareness, and recognizing that emotions are not scary. None of this comes easy to people with narcissistic personalities.
Think of the narcissistic individual as somebody who feels a constant threat from the world. When nothing is coming at them, part of it is what they say to themselves. The person in a narcissistically abusive marriage, especially the one who doesn’t want to get divorced. We’ll hear this threat over and over again. Stop chasing narcissists!
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