Narcissist Grooms Sources of Narcissistic Supply: Exploits Tragedy, Crisis, and Misfortune

Uploaded 5/1/2012, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Is the narcissist callous enough to exploit the tragedy of others? Is he ruthless enough to insinuate himself into your life after you have experienced a life crisis, the death of a loved one, a divorce?

Well, the answer is of course he is.

I compare narcissistic supply to drugs because of the almost involuntary and always unrestrained nature of the pursuit involved in securing narcissistic supply.

The narcissist is no better or worse, morally speaking, than other people, but he lacks the ability to empathize precisely because he is obsessed with the maintenance of his delicate inner balance through the ever increasing consumption of narcissistic supply.

Simply put, the narcissist is a junkie. Like every junkie, he will cheat you, deceive you, steal from you, betray you, just to secure his next dose, his next push.

The narcissist raids people around him according to whether they can provide him with narcissistic supply or not. As far as the narcissist is concerned, those who fail this simple test do not exist.

People who cannot supply him with narcissistic supply are two-dimensional cartoon cardboard figures. They are not real. Their feelings, needs, fears, priorities, wishes, all these are of no interest or importance to the narcissist.

But those identified as potential sources of narcissistic supply are subjected to a meticulous examination and probing of the volume and quality of the narcissistic supply that they are likely to provide.

The narcissist nurtures and cultivates such people. He caters to their needs, desires and wishes. He considers their emotions. He encourages those aspects of their personality that are likely to enhance their ability to provide him with his much needed supply.

And in this very restricted sense, the narcissist regards and treats his sources of narcissistic supply as full-fledged human beings.

I call it cold empathy.

This is his way of maintaining and servicing his sources of supply.

Needless to say that the narcissist loses any and all interest in these people and in their needs, once he decides that they are no longer able to supply him with what he needs, an audience, attention and witnessing his accomplishments and moments of glory.

Once they no longer serve his external memory, they no longer inhabit his internal memory.

The same reaction is provoked by any behavior judged by the narcissist to be narcissistically injurious.

If a source of supply cultivated, nurtured, loved, adored and encompassed by a narcissist, if this source of supply suddenly criticizes a narcissist, disagrees with the narcissist, he is dead in the water.

The narcissist switches on and off on a dime and ignores this source of supply forever and ever. Amen.

And so the narcissist coldly evaluates tragic circumstances. Will these circumstances allow him to extract narcissistic supply from people affected by the tragedy? Can he befriend a widow? Can he have sex on the rebound with a divorcee? Can he extract money from a gullible old couple?

A narcissist, for instance, will give a helping hand, console, guide and encourage another person only if that person is important, powerful, has access to other important or powerful people or to the media as a following.

In other words, only if the bereaved once recovered can provide the narcissist with benefits or narcissistic supply.

The same applies if by helping, consoling, guiding or encouraging that person, the narcissist is likely to win narcissistic applause, approval, adoration, a following or some other kind of narcissistic supply from onlookers and witnesses to his magnanimity, to his altruism and to his empathy and love of humankind.

So the act of helping another person in need, in trouble, in distress and enmeshed in a tragedy, the act of helping such people must be documented and thus transformed into a spectacle which will bring on narcissistic nourishment in the form of narcissistic supply.

So the narcissist always evaluates the victims of tragedies. Can they become sources of supply or can they be used as props in the theater of his life? Otherwise the narcissist is not concerned or interested in the problems and sufferings of others.

The narcissist has no time or energy for anything except for obtaining his next narcissistic fix, no matter what the price and who is trampled upon.

The narcissist is the tragedy waiting to happen.

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Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.

Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Narcissists are only friendly when they need something from you, such as narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or sex. They also become friendly when they feel threatened and want to smother the threat with pleasantries. Narcissists are also over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply. Some people prefer to live with narcissists because they have been conditioned to treat narcissistic abuse as background noise and are compensated for the abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. However, inverted narcissists are typically unhappy and in need of help, which suggests that they are victims who experience the Stockholm Syndrome.

How Narcissist's Victims Deceive Themselves

Narcissists cannot be cured and are a threat to those around them. Victims of narcissists often confuse shame with guilt and attribute remorsefulness to the narcissist when they are actually feeling shame for failing. Narcissists are attracted to vulnerable people who offer them a secure source of narcissistic supply. Healing is dependent on a sense of security in a relationship, but the narcissist is not interested in healing and would rather invest their energy in obtaining narcissistic supply. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand others, making them a danger to those around them.

Recluse Narcissist

Narcissists do not have friends in the usual sense of the word, as they are only interested in securing the provision of narcissistic supply from others. They overvalue people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, but discard them nonchalantly when they are no longer able or willing to supply them. The narcissist's behavior, choices, acts, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and life are curtailed by their sensitivity to outside opinion, and they avoid situations where they are likely to encounter opposition, criticism, or competition. The fear of flying is at the heart of narcissism.

Gullible Narcissist Victimized and Abused

Narcissists are more gullible than the average person because they live in a fantasy world of their own making, where they are at the center of the universe. They are prone to magical thinking and believe they are immune to the consequences of their actions. Narcissists feel entitled to everything and are easily duped, cheated, and deceived. They attract abuse and are often targeted by stalkers and persecutors, usually mentally ill people who develop a fixation on the narcissist.

Narcissists Have Emotions

Narcissists do have emotions, but they tend to repress them so deeply that they play no conscious role in their lives or conduct. The narcissist's positive emotions come bundled with very negative ones, and they become phobic of feeling anything lest it be accompanied by negative emotions. The narcissist is reduced to experiencing down-steerings in their soul that they identify to themselves and to others as emotions. Narcissists are not envious of others for having emotions, they disdain feelings and sentimental people because they find them to be weak and vulnerable.

When Narcissist Runs Out of Supply (Self-supply Compilation)

Narcissists exhibit a sense of sacrificial entitlement, believing that their presence in someone's life is a privilege and a sacrifice on their part. This self-perception combines grandiosity with victimhood, as they see themselves as superior beings who are condescending to interact with others. This form of entitlement is a method of self-supply, reinforcing their grandiose self-image while also framing themselves as victims who are giving up their potential for the sake of others. Narcissists may use this mindset to justify expecting gratitude, obedience, and submission from those around them.

Narcissists Rule: Narcissist in Positions of Authority

Narcissists are incapable of empathizing and view humans as only a means to supply them with narcissistic supply. They are prone to emotional extortion, blackmail, abuse, and misuse of authority to secure their supply. Narcissists lack a moral dimension and are atavistically responsive to fear, resembling an alien on drugs.

Narcissist Re-idealizes Discarded Sources of Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists keep discarded sources of supply in reserve and seek them out when they have no other supply source. They frantically try to recycle their old sources and re-idealize them without admitting to having been mistaken in the first place. To preserve their grandiosity, they come up with a narrative that accommodates both the devaluing content and the re-idealized image of the source. If you are an old source of narcissistic supply, simply ignore the narcissist as indifference is what they cannot stand.

Communal, Prosocial Narcissist: Misanthropic Altruist

Narcissists can be generous and donate to charity, but this is often a way to enhance their sense of grandiosity and control over others. They use their giving as a bait to lure people into their lair and manipulate them into subservient compliance. Narcissistic altruism is an abusive defense mechanism that avoids real intimacy and renders all relationships business-like, using the currency of money. Even the narcissist's benevolence is spiteful, sadistic, punitive, and distancing.

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