Narcissists like to be liked. They need to be praised and adored. They care about how they appear to the outside world because they constantly live in a state of having to prove to themselves that they are good people.
In a very twisted way, they are people pleasers — but only to manipulate people into liking them enough to please them. That’s why they need you to constantly admire them for their strengths.
They need to know they’re still a good person in your eyes — no matter how bad they’ve been to you. The problem is that’s just not realistic,
and they know this.
The Issue Begins When The Issues Begin
When you’re in the comfort zone (and feeling safe) the mask drops
Why is that? Because now the pressure is on, to be as perfect as they were up until that point — and they know they can’t. Because it was all an act.
They have not done the work to actually become the people they pretended to be in the “honeymoon phase”. Therefore, you actually being that person frustrates them and reminds them of how imperfect they really are.
Sure. You might be willing to look past it and work through the issue, but a core foundation of trust is broken on your end, and they know it even if you don’t. Especially when you don’t because they are the only ones who know it’s only the beginning.
Forgiveness is a wound to the narcissist
Narcissists don’t forgive genuinely and they project that reality onto their worlds. Therefore, they don’t believe you will forgive them genuinely either. They have to believe you have a trick up your sleeve because they always do.
This is why once they screw up they panic, they believe they’ve ruined everything. There’s a mark on their permanent record. Each time it happens afterward, the foundation is chipped away at more and more, until the toxicity of the cycle becomes natural and the foundation is entirely broken.
This is why they tend to be the ones who —
- constantly bring up breaking up
- an argument
- after a fight
- or once they’ve fucked up
The narcissist does not believe they can come back from their own mistakes. They hate themselves for it, so they focus all their attention on their strengths because they know just how ugly their weaknesses are.
They feel helpless to change so they focus on the best aspects of themselves and exaggerate them because they know they blow relationships. And they know it’s because of their deepest fears.
So they lash out at you to make you feel like you need them, have to chase them, and keep you in a state of continuous stress in order to receive love. This is when the devaluation begins. Why? Because the narcissist is jealous of you.
The Narcissist Is Jealous of Your Vulnerability
They love you for it, and deeply hate you for it.
Sometimes, they love you until they hate you for it. Why? They resent you for doing something so effortlessly that they can only pretend to do — be open.
Openness is a core part of being human. It’s a vital aspect of developing bonds and facilitating relationships. Openness is inviting. It draws people in and it’s magnetizing. Quite frankly, your vulnerability is attractive. It’s what attracted the narcissist to you.
The sad part is they don’t even want to hate you for it, they just can’t help themselves because they don’t deal with their own feelings. Nor do they communicate them. Therefore, they never get the practice needed to strengthen their own weakness. Vulnerability.
This Is Why They Need You
You make them feel strong, therefore you make them strong — they know it’s you. They just won’t admit this, to you or themselves. And if by chance, they do happen to admit this to you you better believe there is gonna be hell to pay once they’ve licked their wounds.
Many narcissists are unable to handle what they feel so they repel it bitterly — and usually in a rage. For example; they may cry and suddenly become enraged at the fact that they were brought to tears.
They hate that they aren’t strong enough to feel what they feel and resent you for being able to feel the same emotions, while still remaining open. The more you fight with them, just to love them (even in your own decline), the more they know you will continue to grow — emotionally.
In time, you will naturally grow tired of their unstable behaviors and the psychological games they choose to play. Their rude awakening comes once you’ve been pushed so far that you either —
- leave, unexpectedly (especially if you end up coming back)
- start fighting back (speaking up or defending yourself)
This sets off alarms to the narcissist because they realize they really can’t get away with not changing around you anymore. They can’t do to you, and talk to you, any way that they want anymore. The end is beginning.
This is when the abuse gets worse.
Narcissists Usually Improve As You Decline
Very rarely can the two of you be happy at the same time
Unless you’re in that little bubble of time between the post-love bombing and pre-devaluation stage. Other than that, you’ll notice your happiness irritates, irks, and even insults them.
Whereas, your misery is usually when they’re thriving the most. And they’re usually the reasons why you go from one extreme to the other.
You will ultimately begin to drift away from them, as you outgrow them. Whether you fight this or not. And the narcissist knows this is coming. The problem is that they know from the start. And this is what dooms every connection they chase.
They know their connections have a shelf life
Long before the people in them do. This is why the narcissist lives the entire relationship in survival mode. This is why they treat you so bad, leaving you mentally chained to them so you don’t leave.
They’re buying time. They’re buying time to replace you before you leave them. This is a competition, and from the moment you two began talking your connection was on a timer. Whether it’s because —
- the narcissist induces the destruction of the relationship themselves
- or triggers you to do it for (and ultimately, with) them
The illusion will always shatter, leaving them with a mess to clean up in the end. So, instead of trying to actually make what you two have work, they’ve already counted the relationship as ruined.
And once this happens, the honeymoon phase quickly ends because survival mode is activated. Usually from a perceived slight on their end, which then creates a toxic cycle that both parties remain in it for the remainder of the relationship. Until one of you exits it.
This is also why they look for more supply when they begin “losing” you. Because you were always going to leave them, eventually.
And they always knew that.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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