One of the key behaviors of a narcissist is the pattern of idealize-devalue-discard. They will shower you with attention and praise one moment, only to abruptly discard you the next, often without explanation or closure. This can leave you feeling confused, hurt, and betrayed. Ironically, however, the situation also impacts the narcissist negatively, with one of the most puzzling aspects of the situation being the fact that a narcissist worries after discarding you.
This worry is not a manifestation of concern or empathy for you; rather, it’s a reflection of their intrinsic fears, anxieties, and self-serving needs.
Let’s delve deeper into this facet of narcissistic behavior.
Fear of Exposure
Narcissists are, by nature, extremely concerned about their public image. They painstakingly craft an idealized persona that exudes success, power, and attractiveness.
This façade is vital to their self-esteem and sense of worth.
However, it’s just that—a façade.
Beneath it lies a deeply insecure individual, plagued by feelings of inadequacy and fear of criticism.
When a narcissist discards a partner, they’re often worried about potential exposure. You, having been close to them, have seen behind the mask.
If you were to reveal these truths to others, it could shatter their carefully constructed image.
This fear of exposure can cause significant worry for a narcissist post-discard.
Anxiety Over Loss of Narcissistic Supply
Narcissists are emotionally dependent on others to an unhealthy degree.
This dependency stems from their need for ‘narcissistic supply‘ – a term that refers to the attention, admiration, and emotional reaction they solicit from those around them.
This supply is crucial as it validates their inflated self-perception and satisfies their insatiable need for validation and superiority.
When a narcissist goes through the process of discarding, they essentially sever ties with a significant source of their narcissistic supply.
This can cause considerable worry and anxiety. After all, they’ve just lost a reliable source of the adulation they crave and feel entitled to.
The narcissist worries about whether they’ll be able to find a new source of narcissistic supply that’s as fulfilling or ‘profitable’ as the one they’ve discarded.
They may also fear that the new source won’t be as easily manipulated or as willing to put up with their abusive behavior, which can lead to a potential shortage in their narcissistic supply.
Moreover, the process of cultivating a new source of supply takes time and effort.
They need to charm and ensnare a new person, establishing the same level of control and influence they had over you. This process might not always go smoothly, adding to the narcissist’s worries.
This means that if the narcissist discarded you without securing a new source of supply, they may face a period of ‘supply drought’. This period can make them feel vulnerable and exposed, further fueling their anxiety.
Fear of Abandonment
However, when they discard you, they voluntarily surrender this control, which can cause significant worry and anxiety.
This is where the paradox lies – despite being the ones to sever ties, they fear the loss of control over you and the relationship.
When a narcissist discards you, they are also confronted with the prospect of you moving on.
The thought of you finding happiness without them or, worse, with someone else, can be deeply unsettling for them.
Even though they have initiated the discard, they dread the idea of being replaced or forgotten, which fuels their fear of abandonment.
Regret and Re-idealization
Narcissists harbor an inflated sense of self and rarely admit to making mistakes. However, post-discard, they might occasionally experience flashes of regret.
They may question if they were too hasty in discarding you or if they were stupid to let go of a valuable source of narcissistic supply.
Despite this seeming self-doubt, it’s crucial to remember that this regret is often more about the loss of control and validation than any genuine remorse over their actions.
In fact, one of the defining characteristics of narcissistic behavior is the cycle of idealization-devaluation-discard.
But what follows discard can often be a phase of re-idealization.
During this phase, the narcissist may start to romanticize the relationship, conveniently forgetting how they have hurt you and the fact that they have discarded you.
They remember only the good times, the moments when you served as a bountiful source of their narcissistic supply.
This re-idealization can cause considerable worry for the narcissist.
They may fear that they’ve lost someone who understood and catered to their needs.
The thought of you moving on and no longer being available for manipulation can trigger anxiety and exacerbate their fear of abandonment.
Concluding Thoughts on Why The Narcissist Worries After Discarding You
Navigating the treacherous waters of a relationship with a narcissist is a challenging endeavor, further complicated by the perplexing behavior they exhibit post-discard.
Understanding why a narcissist worries after discarding you is key to decoding their actions and motivations.
Narcissists thrive on control, validation, and maintaining an idealized public image. Discarding you, paradoxically, threatens all these aspects.
They lose control over you and your narrative, cut off a significant source of their narcissistic supply, and face the risk of exposure and potential damage to their meticulously crafted persona.
In understanding the narcissist’s worries post-discard, it is crucial to remember that their anxieties stem from their insecurities and need for control and validation.
In the end, the narcissist’s worries after discarding you reveal more about their inner turmoil and less about your value.
It’s a testament to their inability to form genuine, empathetic connections, and a reflection of their deep-seated fears and insecurities.
So, if you find yourself discarded by a narcissist, remember – their worries are not your burden to bear. Your focus should be on your healing and growth, beyond the shadow of the narcissist’s influence.
Posts About Divorcing a Narcissist
When a Narcissist Leaves You for Someone Else
Breaking Free: Strategies for Divorcing the Narcissist Husband
Why The Narcissist Worries After Discarding You
Carla Corelli, a writer, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse, draws from her own upbringing with a narcissistic father to shed light on psychological trauma. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her articles, Carla aims to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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