Narcissist Re-idealizes Discarded Sources of Narcissistic Supply

Uploaded 10/29/2012, approx. 3 minute read

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

The narcissist keeps discarded devalued sources of supply in reserve in kind of a mental warehouse.

The narcissist seeks out his old sources of narcissistic supply when he has absolutely no other narcissistic supply source at his disposal.

Narcissists frantically try to recycle their erstwhile and wasted sources in such a situation.

But the narcissist would not do even that had he not felt that he could still successfully extract a modicum of narcissistic supply from the old source.

He must realize that even negative supply is narcissistic supply, even to attack the narcissist is to recognize the narcissist's existence and to attend to him.

So, contacting a devalued and discarded source of supply requires its re-idealization.

When he dumped and abandoned the old source, the narcissist devalued it. He convinced himself that the defunct source was low-quality, inferior, deficient, defective, hostile or otherwise not such a big loss.

But now what to do? He has to be in touch with such a source again.

So now the narcissist has to rekindle his appraisal and re-idealize the source without admitting to having been mistaken in the first place.

To preserve his grandiosity and sense of omniscience, the narcissist comes up with a narrative that accommodates both the devaluing content and the re-idealized image of the source.

Examples. In the devaluation phase, the narcissist may say, I am leaving her because she is abusive. In the re-idealization phase, the same narcissist says about the same devalued and discarded source of supply. She may have abused me, but she meant well. Whichever way she acted, it was with the best intentions in mind.

In the devaluation phase, the narcissist would say, I am highly intelligent and cannot maintain a relationship with a stupid person such as this woman. In the re-idealization phase, the narcissist would say, she may be naive and callable, but this renders her original and authentic.

A re-idealization of the devalued source.

So if you are an old source of narcissistic supply, first get over the excitement of seeing him again. It may be flattering. Perhaps sexually arousing.

Try to overcome these feelings.

Then, simply ignore the narcissist. Don't bother to respond in any way to his offer to get together. If he talks to you, keep quiet, don't answer. If he calls you, listen politely and then say goodbye and hang up. Return his gifts unopened.

Indifference is what the narcissist cannot stand. It indicates a lack of attention and interest that constitutes the kernel of a negative narcissistic supply which is to be avoided.

One should be careful not to romanticize the narcissist. His remorse and good behavior are always linked to fears of losing his sources.

Narcissists have no enemies. They only have sources of narcissistic supply. An enemy means attention. Attention means supply. So even an enemy can be a source of supply. One won't sway over one's enemy.

If the narcissist has the power to provoke emotions in you, then you are still a source of supply to him, even if these emotions are negative, like hatred or fear.

Regardless of which emotions the narcissist provokes, you are his supply source forever.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

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.

Issues in Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists devalue their sources of supply for the very qualities that make them sources of supply in the first place. The narcissist resents his dependency on narcissistic supply and perceives intimacy and sex as a threat to his uniqueness. Narcissistic supply includes all forms of attention, both positive and negative, fame, notoriety, adulation, fear, applause, approval. Narcissists frantically try to recycle their old and wasted sources when they have absolutely no other sources of supply at their disposal.

Negative, Fake, Low-grade Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists crave attention, both positive and negative, and use it to regulate their sense of self-worth. They construct a false self and project it onto others to elicit admiration, adulation, and fear. Negative supply can become narcissistic supply when positive supply is scarce. Narcissists also crave punishment, which confirms their view of themselves as worthless and relieves them of the inner conflict they endure when they are successful.

Narcissist's Objects and Possessions

Narcissists have a complex relationship with objects and possessions, with some being accumulators who jealously guard their belongings and others being discarders who give away their possessions to sustain their sense of control. Objects provide emotional decor and elicit narcissistic supply, and the narcissist often compares people to the inanimate. Narcissists collect proofs and trophies of their sexual prowess, dramatic talent, past wealth, or intellectual achievements, and these objects operate through the mechanism of narcissistic branding. The narcissist is a pathogen who transforms his human and non-human environment alike, objectifying people and anthropomorphizing objects to optimize or maximize narcissistic supply.

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

Narcissists are callous and ruthless enough to exploit the tragedy of others. They are obsessed with the maintenance of their delicate inner balance through the ever-increasing consumption of narcissistic supply. The narcissist regards and treats his sources of narcissistic supply as full-fledged human beings, but only as long as they can provide him with what he needs. The narcissist always evaluates the victims of tragedies to see if they can become sources of supply or can be used as props in the theater of his life.

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.

Narcissist's Certain Losses

Narcissists are obsessed with securing sources of supply, but once they have them, they lose interest and take them for granted. Many sources of supply eventually break free from the narcissist's grip, causing the narcissist to feel abandoned and lose control. However, when the loss is tangible, the narcissist regains his former zeal and embarks on a charm offensive to reacquire what was lost. Once the targets are reacquired, the narcissist reverts to his abusive and indifferent behavior until another round of losses and reanimation.

Inanimate Objects as Sources of Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists can find inanimate objects as sources of narcissistic supply, as long as they have the potential to attract attention and admiration. Narcissists often use objects as status symbols, which can elicit admiration, envy, and aspiration from others. However, narcissists can also become attached to objects and memorabilia, which can provide emotional support and remind them of their past glories and potential future grandeur. Narcissists can objectify people and anthropomorphize objects to derive maximum narcissistic supply from both, leading to a shared psychosis and cult-like behavior among those closest to them.

Narcissist Hedges His Bets

Narcissists engage in what could be described as narcissistic hedges, infusing selected subjects, topics, areas, and people with narcissistic investments. They prepare these fields, areas, topics, and people as auxiliary sources of narcissistic supply and as backup options in case of a systems failure. However, the correlation between the various selections the narcissist makes may not be very strong, which is why they can be used as hedges. Once a crisis erupts, the violently reduced narcissist, a faltering shadow of his former false self, is too depleted to make use of the narcissistic hedges that he has created in the first place for exactly such a situation of emergency.

Narcissistic Supply: Narcissist's Drug

Narcissistic supply is the attention, admiration, and adulation that a narcissist seeks from others to regulate their sense of self-worth and self-esteem. The narcissist projects a false self, which is everything they are not, to elicit constant interest and reactions from others. There are two types of narcissistic supply: primary, which is attention, and secondary, which includes leading a normal life. The sources of supply are those who provide the narcissist with narcissistic supply on a casual or regular basis. Narcissistic supply is the fuel that runs the narcissist's machine and is the drug to which they are addicted.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy