The Psychology Of Narcissistic Supply: What Is It And Why Do Narcissists Need It?
The Psychology Of Narcissistic Supply: What Is It And Why Do Narcissists Need It?
To survive and thrive, narcissists need to be constantly reassured that they are superior, special, and attractive people. Their self-esteem usually hangs precariously on others’ perceptions of them. This is what drives their need for narcissistic supply.
In psychology, narcissistic supply is a type of reinforcement that modifies the narcissist’s behavior by providing attention, admiration, or other forms of positive reinforcement. It may be sought or achieved by attention-seeking behavior or public displays of admiration. In this article, I will explore what narcissistic supply is? Why do narcissists need a supply? Why do they discard their old supply and find a new one? Can a narcissist turn their supply into a narcissist?
What is a Narcissistic Supply?
Narcissists are often characterized as grandiose, egocentric, and needing excessive admiration. But what is it that they need this excessive admiration for? It’s something called narcissistic supply.
Narcissistic supply is a type of reinforcement that narcissists receive for their ego from other people. It can come in compliments, praise, or attention, but it’s essentially anything that makes narcissists feel good about themselves. Without it, they can feel empty, worthless, and even depressed.
Why the narcissist needs supply?
Though not many people know it, narcissists have a need for supply((Choosingtherapy.com)), the same need that drug addicts have for drugs or alcoholics have for alcohol. It’s an addiction.
They are addicted to attention and the need for adoration and admiration. Supply is the name given to the attention and adoration a narcissist receives from others. Even though narcissist often acts like they don’t want attention from others, it is the main driving force behind their behavior.
Narcissists cannot feel love, so they have to find a way to fill the void. That’s where the supply comes in. It fills that void. Supply is what the narcissist needs to feel good about themself. It is how they feel worthy of the love and attention they crave. Supply gives the narcissist the energy they need to keep on living.
Narcissistic supply is the lifeblood of the narcissist. The narcissist is always looking for new ways to get supply, whether it is through a new business deal, a new relationship, a new job, or a new hobby. It is how they get what they need. The more they get, the more they need and the more they get.
Types of narcissistic supply
There are two main types of narcissistic supply — ego supply and object supply.
- Ego supply is when a person provides the narcissist with what they need to feel good about themselves. This could be anything from compliments to admiration to financial support.
- Object supply is when a person provides the narcissist with what the narcissist desires, irrespective of whether or not it’s necessary. This could be anything from emotional support to sex to attention.
How Narcissists seek and attract Narcissistic Supply
Narcissists seek out people who are mirrors of themselves or who they can control. They may also look for people who have low self-esteem, are vulnerable, or are struggling.
As narcissists get closer to their supply, they exhibit behaviors that make the supply feel good. These behaviors might include flattery, attention, compliments, validation, or gifts. The supply may also feel like a partner or best friend, and the narcissist may even develop a codependent relationship with them.
It is important to remember that the supply does not have to be someone you know personally — it can be anyone you encounter in your everyday life. The key is for you to be aware of the signs that someone might be a narcissist’s supply, and to be cautious around them. If you do become involved with a narcissist, it is important to remember that you are not the only one who is hurt by this relationship — the narcissist will also likely be injured in some way.
Narcissists are often drawn to people who mirror their traits and characteristics. This is why narcissists often seek out people similar to them — they want someone to supply them with what they need. Here are some things that a Narcissist may look for in a Narcissistic supply:
- Someone who can fit into the Narcissist’s image of themselves — A Narcissist wants someone who can mirror their image perfectly and communicate this to others. They want someone confident, articulate, and able to stand up for them.
- Someone willing to be controlled and manipulated ((Psychologytoday.com)) — A Narcissist thrives off of being in control and will often seek out people who are also willing to be controlled and manipulated. This way, the Narcissist can have complete control over the other person and their life.
- Someone always available(Empath) — A Narcissist needs somebody who is always available for them — no matter what. They need somebody who can be there for them when they need support, encouragement, or a listening ear.
Examples of Narcissistic Supply
Narcissistic supply is often referred to as a form of unhealthy and codependent love. It involves someone providing an excessive amount of attention, admiration, or sex to another person to make them feel good about themselves. This can often lead to the other person becoming overwhelmed and dependent on the narcissist, who may use that dependency for their gain.
Some examples of narcissistic supply might include:
- Spending all day text messaging or calling the other person constantly to keep them happy and content.
- Giving the other person constant compliments and making them feel like they are the only person in the world that matters.
- Taking care of the other person’s every need, even if it’s something that they don’t need or want.
- Making all the decisions for the other person and telling them what they should do and how they should live their lives.
How do you know if you are a narcissistic supply?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as narcissists can vary greatly in terms of their level of self-love. However, some key signs that you may be a narcissistic supply include:
- You are often drawn to damaged or struggling people, as you feel that you can help them.
- You feel a sense of entitlement towards these people and believe that you are owed something to them.
- You find it difficult to let go of these people, even when they are no longer beneficial to your own life or well-being.
- You often take on the role of “fixer” for these people and feel responsible for making everything right for them.
- You find it hard to say no to people who need your help, even by putting your own needs second.
- You frequently put others before yourself, even if this means putting yourself in harm’s way.
How do Narcissists discard Narcissistic Supply?
Narcissists discard and lose narcissistic supply in several ways. Some common ways include:
- By undermining or attacking the person who is providing narcissistic supply. This can be done in a number of ways, including through verbal attacks, withholding of support, or ignoring the person.
- By withdrawing attention and support from the person who is providing narcissistic supply. This can be done by neglecting them, canceling planned events, or simply ignoring them.
- By withdrawing recognition or admiration from the person who is providing narcissistic supply. This can be done by refusing to give them compliments, refusing to grant them awards, or simply not mentioning them in conversations.
- By sabotaging the relationship between the person providing narcissistic supply and others in their life. This can be done through emotional abuse, cheating, or lying.
How do narcissists find new supplies?
Narcissists are constantly seeking new narcissistic supply — people or things that can fulfill their needs for admiration, adoration, and love. This can be a difficult task, as most people don’t have the personality traits that narcissists crave. Here are four ways that narcissists find a new narcissistic supply:
1. By exploiting others — Narcissists often prey on others to get what they want. They may use psychological manipulation and threat of harm to get what they want from others.
2. By using social media — Narcissists love social media because it allows them to find new sources of narcissistic supply easily. They may post pictures of themselves or write posts that focus on their achievements to attract attention and admiration.
3. By exploiting systems — Narcissists often take advantage of systems or structures to obtain what they want. This could involve taking advantage of their position in a company, using financial scams, or abusing legal systems.
4. By using relationships — Narcissists often look for relationships where they can get an emotional and financial return on their investment. They will often pursue people who are vulnerable and who they can control.
How do Narcissists treat their old Narcissistic supply?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the treatment of old supply can vary depending on the individual narcissist’s personality and relationship status with the old supply. However, some general information that may be helpful include:
- Narcissists often devalue and dismiss old supplies, sometimes even considering them as nothing more than disposable objects. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as refusing to speak to or ignoring the old supply, labeling them with negative labels such as “crazy,” “stupid,” or “narcissistic,” or even sabotaging their relationships with old supply.
- Narcissists may use old supplies for their benefit, often taking advantage of their vulnerabilities and using them for financial or emotional gain. They may also use old supplies to feed their ego or bolster their self-image.
- Narcissists may react violently or emotionally when they perceive themselves being challenged or rejected by old supply. This can range from verbal attacks to physical violence.
- Ultimately, the treatment of old supply is often dependent on the individual narcissist’s temperament and level of aggression. However, these tips may help you deal more effectively with any interactions you may have with old supplies in the future.
Can a narcissist turn their supply into a narcissist?
There is no definitive answer to this question. A narcissist may be able to turn their supply into a narcissist, but this is largely dependent on the individual and their unique situation. Some elements that may contribute to this transformation include:
1. Abuse — Narcissists are often abusive towards their partners, and this abuse may lead to them(supplies) being unable to form healthy relationships in the future.
2. Addiction — Narcissists often have an entrenched addiction to attention and admiration, which may lead them to seek out relationships with others who mirror or provide what they lack in their own lives.
3. Victimization — Narcissists often enjoy being the victim, which may lead them to look for relationships in which they can control or dominate their partner.
4. Sense of entitlement — Narcissists often feel entitled to everything, including love and respect from those around them. If they cannot achieve these things through normal means, they may turn to cheating or other destructive behaviors to get what they want.
In general, it is difficult to say whether or not a narcissist can turn their supply into a narcissist, as it depends on various individual factors. If you are concerned that your partner may be turning into a narcissist, it would be best to seek out counseling or therapy as soon as possible to help address the issue head-on and heal any damage that has been done.
Narcissistic supply is an important concept to understand if you want to know why narcissists do the things they do. In this article, I break down what narcissistic supply is and explore some of the reasons why narcissists need it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always here to help!