To understand the concept of narcissistic supply, it is useful to think of a narcissist as having a gaping black hole where their self confidence and self esteem should be. The narcissist’s constant mission is to find ways to fill this emptiness inside the core of their being.
Narcissistic Supply refers to anything that fills that hole, providing temporary relief to a narcissist. Achieving this supply becomes a form of psychological addiction. The narcissist craves the dopamine hit that the narcissistic supply provides.
There are lots of different sources of supply that narcissists can tap into. The most obvious ones are admiration, power, compliments, control and attention. However every individual is different so the supply can take on different forms, such as money, sex or drugs.
Black holes in space suck in everything around them without ever being filled. Unfortunately, the same applies to the black hole in a narcissist’s soul. Nothing is ever enough to make them feel whole. This makes them go to extraordinary lengths in order to attain what they crave, trampling over anyone in their way. For a narcissist, it is only their own needs that matter. The needs of others do not feature in the equation at all.
Finding a victim to provide narcissistic supply
In another post I compared narcissists to vampires who suck positivity and motivation out of the people around them. The same analogy applies to narcissistic supply.
Narcissists are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable people they can victimize. Once they identify a potential victim, they will manipulate, bully or seduce them. The ultimate aim is to turn the target into a source of supply. Once ensnared, the victim endures a constant barrage of narcissistic abuse, such as gaslighting or abuse by proxy. The new source of supply is trapped in an endless loop, feeding a narcissistic ego that can never be satisfied.
In order to pacify the narcissist, the victim resorts to behaviours such as adulation. They allow the narcissist to take control, unquestioningly complying with their decisions and desires. Their mission becomes the supply of whatever the narcissist needs in order to feel better about him or herself.
The sad truth, however, is that you can give endless special treatment, admiration, importance or validation to a narcissist, but it will never be enough.
How can you avoid becoming a source of narcissistic supply for a narcissist?
The first step is to understand what narcissistic supply is and how it works. Narcissistic supply is anything that a narcissist can use to fuel their ego or maintain their sense of self-importance. It can be attention, admiration, approval, or even just simple validation.
One of the best ways to avoid being a source of narcissistic supply is to simply give them less attention. Don’t seek their approval or validation, and don’t go out of your way to give them positive attention. If you must interact with them, try to keep it brief and to the point.
It’s also important to set boundaries with a narcissist. Make it clear that you’re not going to tolerate their manipulative behaviour or put up with their constant demands for attention. If they cross the line, don’t hesitate to walk away or end the relationship altogether.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to please everyone. It’s okay to say “no” sometimes, even to a narcissist. You don’t owe them anything, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about putting yourself first.
If you do not know how to break free from the narcissist in your life
If you feel trapped by a narcissist who is clearly using you as a source of supply, it can be difficult to break free. They may use guilt, manipulation, or even threats to keep you under their control.
If you’re ready to break free from a narcissist, the first step is to recognise that you have a right to your own happiness and wellbeing. You deserve to be treated with respect, and you don’t have to put up with their behaviour any longer.
Next, start setting boundaries with the narcissist. Let them know what you will and won’t tolerate, and stick to your guns. This may be difficult at first, but it’s important to stand up for yourself.
Finally, begin to detach yourself emotionally from the narcissist. This can be difficult, but it’s necessary if you want to break free. Start by focusing on your own needs and happiness, and don’t let the narcissist control your life any longer.
For Further Reading
- How to Deal with a Narcissist
- How to Define a Narcissist: The 5 Traits You Need to Look Out For
- How Narcissistic Leaders Create Toxic Workplaces
- Narcissistic Supply – Feeding the Narcissistic Ego
- Narcissistic Injury – The Agony of the Fragile Narcissistic Ego
- 8 Ways Narcissists Get Worse with Age
- Can a Narcissist feel Empathy? The Answer May Surprise You
- The Devious Traits of the Female Narcissist – What to Look Out For
- Narcissist Meme Gallery
- How to Tell If You’re a Narcissist
- Does a narcissist ever truly regret hurting people?
- Can Narcissists Change? The Truth About Personality Disorders and How to Treat Them
- Can a Narcissist Ever Be Happy? Appearances May Be Deceptive
- Can a Narcissist Be Nice? The Myth of the Generous Narcissist
- Can the agony of the narcissistic injury ever be healed?
- What is the Root Cause of Narcissism?
- What’s a Narcissist? Characteristics of a Narcissist and How to Spot Them
- The Five Types of Narcissist – Which One Are You Dealing With?
- Narcissist – Covert – How to Recognize and Deal with a Covert Narcissist
- The Traits of a Covert Narcissist: What You Need to Know
- Grandiose Narcissism: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It
- What are the Treatment Options for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
- How To Identify the Traits of Narcissism
- What is an Enabler? A Critical Asset for the Narcissist
- Unmasking Narcissism – What are the 5 main habits of a narcissist?
- What are the signs that someone is narcissistic?
- The Effects of Narcissistic Abuse on Future Relationships
- What are the red flags of a narcissist?
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