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.

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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.

Narcissists Hate Women, Misogynists

Narcissists view women as objects and use them for both primary and secondary narcissistic supply. They fear emotional intimacy and treat women as property, similar to the mindset of European males in the 18th century. Narcissists frustrate women by teasing them and then leaving them, and they hold women in contempt, choosing submissive partners whom they disdain for being below their intellectual level. The narcissist projects his own behavior and traits onto women.

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.

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.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

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.

Narcissist's Romantic Jealousy and Possessiveness

Narcissists experience anxiety when they become aware of their possessive and jealous tendencies. Anxiety characterizes all their interactions with the opposite sex, especially in situations where there is a possibility of rejection or abandonment. The narcissist's envy of their female mate is a result of an unconscious conflict, and they exercise their imagination to justify their negative emotions. Narcissists often strike an unhealthy balance by being emotionally and physically absent, which drives their partner to find emotional and physical gratification outside the relationship.

Narcissist: Women as Sluttish Huntresses or Sexless Saints

Heterosexual narcissists desire women but are frustrated by their inability to interact with them meaningfully. They hate women virulently, passionately, and uncompromisingly, and their hate is primal, irrational, and the progeny of mortal fear and sustained abuse in early childhood. Narcissists are infinitely pessimistic, bare-tempered, paranoid, and sadistic, and their daily routine is a rigmarole of threats, complaints, hurts, eruptions, moodiness, and rage. They are their own worst enemy and cannot conceive of life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan or career path or relationship.

Self-destruction as Narcissistic Supply: Narcissist's Self-denial and Self-defeat

Narcissists frustrate others to satisfy their masochistic tendencies and sadistic urges. By withholding love, sex, and intimacy, they torment those around them while obstructing their own gratification. Self-denial, self-destruction, and self-defeat buttress the narcissist's sense of superiority and uniqueness, as they prove to themselves that they are the strongest and can overcome powerful desires and emotions. These behaviors and choices engender narcissistic supply, as they demonstrate the narcissist's independence from society, nature, and even themselves.

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.

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