When the Narcissist Moves On: Jealousy and the New Source of Supply

When the Narcissist Moves On: Jealousy and the New Source of Supply

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About a year after my divorce was final, I got a call from my ex-mother-in-law, letting me know that my ex was getting remarried. I was only mildly surprised – mostly that it had taken him almost two years to meet, successfully propose and schedule a wedding with his would-be second ex-wife. In hindsight, I’m actually kind of surprised it took him that long because usually, narcissists move much quicker. Still, I have absolutely no doubt he was dating and being “in love” with someone – more likely, more than one person, shortly after I left him, but for me, I didn’t even start dating until the divorce was final, and that itself took close to a year after I left.

Even though I did not in any way want him back, part of me felt some kind of way about this whole situation. It wasn’t that I felt jealous. I felt…confused. I felt like I wanted to contact this woman and tell her what she was in for. But if I’m being honest, I wanted to know how he was treating her. Was he being nice? Had he suddenly become the person I’d always wanted him to be? Had all the time and effort I spent trying to help him get it together finally benefitted someone, even if it wasn’t me?

Part of me hoped that he would be different for her. But the other part of me knew he wouldn’t.

It would be about five years later that I’d finally speak to her. When my now-husband decided to adopt my oldest son (the one I’d had with my ex), I had to reach out to the ex. He agreed to sign the papers because it might mean that he would no longer be on the hook for child support. Understandably, despite the fact that she’d never met or spoken to my son because he’d spent literally no time at all with my ex, his then-wife was quite concerned about the situation and showed up with him when I met him to sign the papers.

Once everything was resolved, she ended up calling me several times to discuss her husband and their relationship. She wanted to know if her experiences were like mine. It turned out that her marriage was nearly identical to mine, except she didn’t tolerate as much of his crap as I had. This led to his increasing the intensity and frequency of manipulation and gaslighting. Either way, though, she ended up divorcing him not long after. He’d end up married twice more after that, as far as I know.

The one thing I had felt worried about was that he would be better for someone who wasn’t me. But after having the opportunity to talk to both his second and third wives, I learned the truth: he was the same person for them as he’d been for me. He never changed.

Will the Narcissist Change for the New Supply?

Have you ever felt worried that your ex would somehow change for their new “source of narcissistic supply?” If so, you’re not alone. In fact, I hear this question all the time. People want to know: will the narcissist change for the new supply? Will they take everything I tried to teach them and use it successfully in a new relationship? Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today – narcissists and their new sources of supply – how they treat them and whether their new relationship is as good as they make it seem from the outside.

So, you’ve finally had the nerve to leave your partner, who you’re pretty sure is a toxic narcissist. And now, after years of psychological and emotional mind games, and you’re finally starting to breathe again. You are finally free of this horrible, selfish energy and you feel like you’re a brand new person! Life is just starting to get really, really good.

And then it happens. In-person or on social media, you spot your former would-be soulmate with someone new. You are startled and it feels like you’ve been slapped in the face. But pretty soon, you notice that there’s something different about them. They seem happier, brighter. Relaxed, even. They’re having a good time with a new person – maybe even someone who looks a little like you or who has something in common with you. They’re laughing, talking and even being charming.

“Who IS this person?” you wonder.

You’re confused. You’re hurt. You’re angry, maybe. A far cry from the narcissist you recently knew, your ex has somehow transformed themselves back into the amazing person you fell in love with. But seconds later, almost as if time is moving in slow motion, you realize what is happening. Your narcissist has found their next victim – and they’re in the process of love bombing this person, and for just a moment, you get a front-row seat.

Listen. I know it stings. I know it hurts when you see the person you fell in love with re-emerging after you’re away for a while. And I know that you wonder (at least a little bit) if somehow he narcissist was right all along – and if it really WAS just you.

(Side note: I PROMISE you that it wasn’t you.) Let’s talk about it.

The Truth About Narcissists in Relationships

Time for a reality check, my friend: you were never the problem in your toxic relationship. I’m not saying you were perfect. I’m not saying you didn’t make mistakes. I’m just saying that the majority of your issues in the relationship were a direct reaction to the mind games and manipulation that you were putting up within the relationship.

First, let me acknowledge that while every step in the healing process after a toxic relationship with a narcissist can be very painful, this one is probably one of the most confusing. See, while the bigger part of you knows that the narcissist is never going to REALLY change, this other little part of you still loves them – or, to put it more accurately, the version of them that you once believed was real. The one you signed up for in the first place. And that’s the part of them that they’re parading around now – so it’s like you’re mourning “that version” of the narcissist all over again.

But let me repeat: the problem was NOT you! The problem was that the narcissist took you for granted. They got used to having you around. They got spoiled by your supply. And they got bored, or you demanded that they behave like an actual grownup. Or maybe they got shiny new object syndrome, or they said they didn’t love you anymore, and left you to pursue whatever it was they wanted in the moment. Maybe you just finally had enough and you left the narcissist yourself.

Either way, the relationship ended, and you moved on. Or at least, you’re trying to. But you keep asking yourself that question: will the narcissist treat the new supply better? Will the new person get a better deal than you had?

Why the Narcissist Becomes the Person You Fell In Love With When You Leave

Maybe it would help you to understand why the narcissist has suddenly become Mr. or Ms. Perfect again. Here’s the truth: now that the relationship has ended, whether it was the narcissist’s idea or yours to end things, the narcissist was left without a source of regular narcissistic supply – and it is not possible for a narcissist to exist for long without it. Sure, they’ll have their little circle of supply. Friends, family members, even people they’ve cheated on you with. But now that you’re no longer officially together, the narcissist is out there on the prowl again, seeking out the new source of narcissistic supply that they need to save them from themselves.

This is normal – it’s exactly what you should expect from a toxic narcissist. And while a small part of you might secretly hate the new supply, the other part of you sadly already knows that it isn’t going to be all hearts and flowers for this person either. That’s right – if you really think about it, you’ll know exactly know how this story is going to go.

Narcissistic Abuse Has a Standard Cycle

Now, as you know, narcissists are very hard to live with, and even a reasonably intelligent person would feel ashamed that they tolerate the narcissist’s manipulative tactics. This means that the new supply is probably keeping any drama and BS under wraps. And if you’re being honest, you might have done the same thing back then, especially on social media. I remember being really embarrassed if anyone found out what I’d been dealing with, so I told very few people.

Here’s what you need to remember. Narcissistic abuse runs in cycles. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the standard toxic relationship pattern that narcissists use is pretty basic: initially, they love bomb and idealize you. Then they devalue and discard you. Then, many times, they hoover you back in, and the cycle can begin again.

This happens in varying iterations and it happens often inside the same relationship over and over for decades sometimes. But if I’m in your shoes at this point, I’m going to make use of the no-contact/low-contact thing and use it to my advantage. That means to block them both on Facebook so you can stop torturing yourself by stalking their profiles. It means you will not listen when some well-meaning flying monkey tries to offer you updates on the narcissist and the new supply.

It means you’re going to move forward and focus ONLY on what you can control (not what you can’t), and since you couldn’t control the narcissist while you were together, you sure as heck can’t now (nor should you want to – this person no longer your problem!). If you have kids together and you can’t go completely no contact, then you go low contact, meaning that you ONLY deal with the narcissist about the business of raising the kids. Nothing else.

But how do you deal with the painful reality of watching your ex narcissist be perfect for someone else?

How to Deal When the Narcissist Moves On with Someone Else

1. See the Patterns!

Start by remembering what you dealt with and by recognizing what the new supply will deal with soon enough, if they’re not already going through it. (And even if you’re tempted to warn your narcissist’s new supply about what they’re getting themselves into, don’t do it – even if your intentions are good. Since chances are they’re still in the love-bombing or idealization phase, and since your ex has likely told them a lot of lies about you, they won’t likely believe you anyway and you’ll end up regretting the decision to reach out.)

2. Realize the Truth!

Don’t sit around thinking that the narcissist’s new supply will end up getting the benefit of all the work you did trying to fix them. It doesn’t work like that. The narcissist is and always be exactly who they are. Narcissists do not change. I’m not saying they can’t – because I believe that if a narcissist were to really dig in to discover and heal their core wounds, it might be possible. But I’m saying they don’t. In all the years I’ve worked in this business, I’ve never seen it happen. I’ve never seen it happen with any narcissist in my own life and I’ve interviewed and worked with a number of psychologists and other experts who will tell you the same thing: a narcissist does not change (not for long, anyway). The most you’ll get is a temporary behavior modification, and that’s only if the narcissist gets something out of it.

3. Grieve the Relationship!

This is one place I failed in my early recovery. Rather than grieving the relationship, I decided to avoid my feelings and just move forward. That turned out to be a bad idea as it would later come back and bite me in the butt – and while the grief process will wait, it will not just go away. Eventually, you’re going to have to grieve the person you signed up for and let them go.

4. Be Honest with Yourself!

Remember that you’re not really mourning the person you lost; you’re mourning your illusion of who you believed they were. It’s an ever-turning cycle that the narcissist will repeat in varying iterations for the rest of their life. Be glad you’re off the wheel.

5. Put Yourself First for Once!

Stay focused on you, and on making your own life better. You have already been tortured enough – if you let this situation keep making you miserable, you’re only allowing the narcissist to continue the abuse and control you from afar. Take back your life, my friend, and choose to be happy, in your own way. Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t.

6. Focus on Healing.

It’s time for you to heal and release the anger and sadness. As you work on your own healing, the layers of anger and sadness will soon disappear. One of the hardest things for me and for many survivors of these kinds of relationships was mourning the illusion of that perfect relationship we wanted to truly believe that we had. Letting that go was a big step for me and many other survivors have told me the same thing.

7. Don’t Overthink the New Supply.

NEVER compare yourself to the new supply, unless it’s to feel sorry for them as you take note of the pattern that you’re thankfully no longer subjected to in your life. Don’t do yourself the disservice of trying to think the new supply somehow “better” than you; the truth is that narcissists are very picky, so chances are, if the new source of narcissistic supply “seems” better somehow, it’s only because the hasn’t ruined them just yet.

8. Skip the “What Ifs.”

Don’t “if only” and “what if” yourself to death. It’s common to have feelings of regret after any relationship ends, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t wonder what you could have done differently or whether something you did or said could have been the trigger that caused it all to go downhill. But that’s not the truth, and it’s not helping you – it’s only causing you more pain – and chances are, you couldn’t have changed the situation without going completely insane trying to make the narcissist happy. Remember that the narcissist will NEVER be truly happy, because true happiness comes from within – and they are empty on the inside, at least on an emotional level. Now it’s time to live in the moment and to think about how you want the future to go.

What do you think?

Question of the Day: Have you ever experienced watching your ex-narcissist get involved with a new person, or even just appear to return to the person they used to be, and how did it make you feel? What advice would you offer your fellow survivors in this situation? Or are you currently dealing with this issue? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it.

Why Do Narcissists Copy You? The Shocking Psychology of Mirroring in Narcissists

Why Do Narcissists Copy You? The Shocking Psychology of Mirroring in Narcissists

(Prefer to watch/listen instead of read? See video on YouTube)

I remember thinking I’d met my soulmate within a couple of weeks of meeting my ex. It was so crazy how much we had in common. He was an artist like me and even wrote dark, brooding poetry as I did at the time. We liked the same music and we both loved to dance – the list could go on and on. And while I didn’t think much of him when we first met, it wasn’t long before I was telling a girlfriend that while we seemed so different, I couldn’t believe how much we had in common.

Of course, I’d later understand that he was likely a toxic narcissist, and relationships with narcissists move quickly. So, within less than a year, we’d be living together and married with a baby on the way. It was around this time that I’d be smacked in the face with the fact that much of what he’d claimed we had in common was a complete fabrication. But why would he do this?

Why do narcissists copy your personality as well as the personalities of others? Is it a manipulation tactic? Do they know they’re doing it? Well, I have a theory on this, and the answers to these questions will go much deeper than you might expect. So, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today – the psychology of how and why narcissists copy the personalities, behaviors, hobbies and speech patterns of the people in their lives.
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Narcissists, Codependency, and Mirroring

Narcissists have a way of copying you, or mimicking you or in some cases, nearly becoming you. And, when you think of narcissistic mirroring or copying, you think of the average narcissist who sort of takes on parts of the identities of other people. But what you may not know is that this behavior, as annoying as it can be, is often the result of an early childhood wound caused by a lack of mirroring. And while narcissists manifest this by imitating people around them, any of us could have been affected by the same childhood wound and could be manifesting it through our own codependency. Yes, I’m serious. Let’s talk about it.

What Is Mirroring?

Mirroring is the usually subconscious replication of another person’s nonverbal signals.  In layman’s terms, mirroring is when you reflect back the mannerisms, behaviors, and other behaviors of other people. It causes us to adopt different facial expressions, body language, as well as tone and for some of us, will lead to empathy.

As adults, we may use mirroring subconsciously as a way to create rapport with others. And, despite what a lot of people will tell you, mirroring isn’t a narcissistic behavior, technically. In fact, mirroring is a normal part of the development of humans. It begins as early as the day you’re born and is a requirement for the normal development of babies, toddlers, and kindergarteners. It helps them to develop their identities. But what happens when a tiny human doesn’t experience this important connection during infancy and early childhood?

How the Lack of Mirroring in Early Childhood Affects You Long-Term

As infants, humans will naturally adapt to whatever parenting we get. When our parent is depressed, anxious, stressed, or even distracted often, they don’t always give us the eye contact we need. In these cases, and in the case of a parent who might have narcissistic personality disorder, we are nearly doomed on a psychological level when we don’t get the kind of connection we need for our brains to develop normally.

See, published research tells us that beginning when we’re born and throughout our in early childhood, regular eye contact with our mothers indirectly helps us develop a sense of self.

For most people, the natural times to give this kind of eye contact would happen during feeding, diaper changing, and other kinds of physical care of their babies. And you would think that it’s a sort of natural thing for most people to look at their babies and talk to them or coo at them, right?

Good Enough Parents Vs. Toxic Parents

The thing is that most parents do this naturally, even parents who might not be considered “good” parents by the average person. And even when “good enough” parents do what comes naturally to them, babies and toddlers will reciprocate and even begin to initiate eye contact and connection over time.

But when our mothers have the problems I mentioned or any other issue that causes her to not focus while she’s feeding and caring for us, for example, she might not give us the eye contact that we’d so desperately have needed to properly attach to her. This leads to us losing not only our ability to develop our authentic selves, but it leaves us instinctively feeling that our needs haven’t been met.

That is because we are receiving an unconscious message that we don’t matter – and later, if our mother IS a narcissist, we learn that in order to have any value whatsoever, we must meet her needs (and the needs of others). This kind of perception can manifest in several ways, becoming a big part of the core self we develop. It will, in nearly every case, affect our relationships in adulthood as well.

Two Extreme Ways a Lack of Mirroring Can Affect Your Adult Relationships

Since the lack of mirroring in early childhood leads to you feeling unimportant and that your value comes from how you serve other people, you would naturally become more attractive to someone like a narcissist. You spend your life trying to make the people around you happy and take care of their needs in order to feel like you’re worthy.

While you and I might have developed the “disease to please,” if our mothers were unable to connect with us on this level, those who develop toxic narcissism or even narcissistic personality disorder are affected differently. See, when narcissism manifests, it is because those who develop that way have developed the trademark lack of empathy as a result of not having felt understood, appreciated or tuned in with their parent. So, unlike those of us who became people-pleasers, narcissists are unable to see others as whole people – they can’t understand or appreciate the autonomy of anyone else.

Worse, the lack of mirroring in infancy can lead to a very toxic legacy in your family. That’s because, for example, when a mother doesn’t naturally mirror her babies, chances are she didn’t receive mirroring in her own infancy and early childhood. As a result, unless she chooses to develop the awareness needed to overcome this and to intentionally change the pattern, she won’t be able to offer it to her kids either. This leads to her trauma being passed on to her children, and this can continue in families for generations.

How Does Mirroring Lead to Copycat Behavior in Narcissists?

Maybe you’ve noticed that the narcissist in your life picked up some of your hobbies or ideas – or even certain personality traits you have. Your reaction might have been to worry, and then you might have thought you were reading into it too much. Or maybe you thought it was an amazing bit of kismet and that you’d finally you met your soulmate, as I did initially with my ex.

But by now, you’ve realized you’re dealing with someone who might be a narcissist. And you are painfully aware that narcissists are manipulative. Mirroring can be used by narcissists as an almost unconscious manipulation tactic and it can be used consciously by sociopaths and psychopaths.

When adult narcissists use mirroring, they copy your behaviors, mannerisms, speech patterns, and personality traits – it can really be extreme and for some of us, a little disconcerting. Since narcissists feel like they have no substance, it is almost like they cannot exist without being a reflection of someone else – or more than one person. This, as I explained, is likely due to that early childhood wound of not getting the kind of nurturing they needed on an emotional level – their mothers often didn’t give them the eye contact and recognition that they needed to properly self-actualize.

When the Narcissist Suddenly Changes Their Personality or Behaviors

Often, when you’re in a longterm relationship with a narcissist, you’ll notice a shift in their personalities over the years. For the average narcissist, you might see a sudden shift in personality when they start spending time with a new person. Or, if they are your parent, they might take on some of your own qualities, habits or hobbies as you develop them, and this might continue into adulthood.

What’s interesting about this is that it can be a “tell” if you think about it. Why? Because when they do suddenly change, you can often just look around at the people in their lives and figure out exactly what is going on. Chances are that they are either jealous of someone and taking on their qualities, mimicking them, or they’re obsessed with them and taking on their qualities, behaviors or mannerisms for that reason.

Why Do Narcissists Engage In Mirroring in Relationships?

As you know, narcissists are by nature very competitive, and when you’re in a relationship with them, it can feel like they want to take your identity in one way or another. In the case of mirroring, they will almost become you on some level. Ironically, they will often find you attractive for whatever quality they will eventually take on, and as the relationship progresses, you may actually lose that part of yourself. for a codependent, this can be devastating and have lifelong effects. But what is the psychology of the mirroring behavior for narcissists in adult relationships?

There are several reasons that narcissists engage in mirroring in adult relationships, including the following.

  • Narcissists don’t have a stable identity – I’m not talking about the kind of identity theft in which criminals use your information to open up rogue bank accounts to hurt your credit – though narcissists aren’t above it. They never established a real sense of identity growing up, thanks to the lack of eye contact and human connection in early childhood. They might be literally attempting to adopt your identity.
  • A tactic to win you over – Mirroring in narcissists also happens when they really want to win you over. I like to call this a sort of “soulmate scam,” because they will pretend they like and dislike the same things that you do. For instance, if you love Fleetwood Mac but strongly dislike The Eagles, then ‘coincidentally’ they will too. Meeting someone who is so much like you might make you feel like they’re your soulmate and cause you to warm to them more quickly.
  • They pretend they are being intimate – Narcissists are not by nature able to express true empathy. Certainly, in some cases, they are able to fake it when they need to, but generally, they don’t have the skills or even the desire to have a connection that is real. But they need narcissistic supply, and in order to get that, they need relationships. They logically understand that intimacy is important. So, they pretend, and they learn to do this by watching your own behaviors. In other words, they fake intimacy by imitating you.

While narcissists will stop actively mirroring you after the love bombing or idealization phase, they’ll also continue to hold on to whatever qualities or traits they’ve picked up from you, unless and until they find someone else to imitate.

So, what do you think?

Question of the day: have you experienced a narcissist who copied your identity, and if so, were you surprised by the answers I shared today on why that happens? Do you agree or disagree with my theory? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it.

7 Reasons Why Narcissists Don’t Give Closure

7 Reasons Why Narcissists Don’t Give Closure

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One of my clients shared with me that her ex broke off their relationship in the most interesting way. She said that her ex told her he needed a little space, and abruptly moved out after 23 years together. He said that he wasn’t ending their long-term relationship, and in fact, that he wanted to start dating her again. He wanted to fall in love with her all over again, he claimed. He almost made it sound exciting and healthy.

He said he was in a rut and needed to shake things up – he needed to find himself. She was of course devastated, but she tried to play along.

Of course, what I haven’t mentioned about this situation is that this man spent the previous 23 years systematically manipulating and psychologically destroying my client. He had future-faked her for years – so much that they were literally engaged for two decades, but never actually married.

She confessed to me that she’d tried to leave him repeatedly, thanks to several episodes of cheating, but he’d always sucked her back in. In fact, they’d gotten engaged 20 years ago because of the first cheating episode. She told me that he’d showed up at her mom’s house, where she’d retreated to after finding him with another woman, with a ring and a big public proposal. He’d wooed her back into submission, and this pattern would continue, much to her chagrin.

Each time she tried to get him to set a wedding date over the years, he always had an excuse. They didn’t have the money. She was pregnant. Their dog died. He wasn’t sure if she REALLY loved him. He wasn’t sure if HE really loved HER. Then she was pregnant again. And now, after 23 years of not-wedded not-bliss and two children who were now a young adult and a teen, he was doing it yet again, and this time, she was sure it would stick.

But she couldn’t seem to let go of him, and she didn’t know why. She had become so enmeshed with him that she didn’t even recognize herself anymore. She knew she wanted to be done so she could finally move on with her life, but she couldn’t figure out how to even begin to do it. Why? Because, like all narcissists, he absolutely refused to give her the closure she needed to move forward and let him go.

Narcissists Don’t Do Closure!

Narcissists have a way of leaving you hanging, don’t they? They just don’t do closure. But why? Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about, today: narcissists and closure – why they don’t give it, how you’re affected by the lack of closure, and how to create closure for yourself.

First, let’s discuss what I mean when I say closure. It’s a sense of resolution or a sort of “conclusion” at the end of any relationship. Unfortunately, this is often denied to survivors of narcissistic abuse. This leaves us feeling obsessed with figuring out the details and implications of our toxic relationships – we find ourselves stuck and spinning as a result of not getting closure. This leaves many of us feeling the need to either find our own closure or spending years trying in vain to emotionally heal after these toxic relationships, unable to move forward and not understanding exactly why.

Why don’t narcissists give you closure at the end of a toxic relationship?

There are so many reasons narcissists don’t give you closure. But for the most part, their reasoning (or lack thereof) probably falls into one of the following points.

1. Narcissists Only Care About Themselves.

You know that narcissists are not capable of being empathetic. They simply cannot put themselves into the shoes of anyone else. That is one reason that they won’t give closure. They will ghost you without a second thought, and the idea of wondering how it would make you feel when they do that is a completely foreign concept to them. All they know is that they had their reasons, and they don’t even consider your feelings. They may even seem shocked when you ask them why they’ve done what they’ve done. Truth? Teaching a narcissist empathy is like trying to teach a fish to ride a bike – a frustrating, impossible endeavor.

2. They Don’t Think You Deserve It.

Since narcissists don’t have empathy, they can’t imagine that you might even NEED closure, much less deserve it. That’s right. Despite the fact that you have spent a long time bending over backward to make sure they get what they need, now that it’s over, they don’t figure they owe you anything at all – and sadly, this includes closure. Plus, by not giving you closure they ensure that you’ll keep thinking about them – and what narcissist doesn’t want that?

3. They Don’t See You As a Whole Person.

This one is tough to hear, sometimes, but it’s the truth. Narcissists do not see you or anyone they’ve grown close to as real, whole people. Rather, you’re almost like an object to them – an object that they can use and consume at will, and toss aside when they’re done with you. And, they have no issue whatsoever coming along and picking you up and using you again, when they’re ready. They literally see you as less of a person than they are – which, if I’m being honest, is kind of ironic in a way, given their own shallow nature and the probability that you are a deep, thoughtful and compassionate person. How do I know that? Because narcissists can’t manage long-term relationships with anyone else – they need someone who will take care of their emotional needs (and often, all of their other needs as well).

4. Because You Want It.

Did you ever notice how, when you’re really stressed out or times are hard, narcissists have a way of sort of “kicking you when you’re down?” Narcissists can be real sadists, and part of them loves to see you squirming in emotional distress. And even though narcissists cannot empathize with you, they still get that you would appreciate closure and maybe that it would help you move on. And not only does knowing this gives them a bit of a power buzz, but it assures them that you won’t be able to move on when they need your supply again. Which brings me to my next point.

5. They Need Your Supply, Maybe.

Narcissists require narcissistic supply. You, as the narcissistic supply, are used by the narcissist for attention, validation, admiration – all the “supply” they need to feed their ego. On to of this, the narcissist often has a circle of supply or “narcissistic harem,” and like it or not, they’ve pegged you as one of them. Now, this circle or harem might include people they’re cheating with, their mothers or fathers,  various friends, coworkers, neighbors and other family members. You might be (or have been) their primary source of supply for a long time. And since you’ve been such a good source of supply up to this point, the narcissist figures they might want to “use you” again at some point. So by leaving the door open, you’re left spinning and, if the narcissist has anything to say about it, you won’t be moving on with your life. This way, when they need you, they can wiggle their way back in again when it is convenient for them.

6. They’re Not Secure with New Supply  Yet.

Speaking of narcissistic supply, there’s another possibility: the narcissist is actively trying to procure a new source of supply, and they’re not 100 percent sure yet that they’ve got it all locked down. The new supply still has the nerve to think that they are as important as the narcissist in the relationship, and so the narcissist might still need to dump on someone when they feel stressed or overwhelmed. And since they’re actively love-bombing and idealizing the new supply, they may not feel comfortable enough to take the mask off yet. So, if the narcissist can find a good reason to connect with you when they need to blow off some steam or get some comfort, they most certainly will do that. And even when the new supply is fully locked in, they may still want to keep you on standby, just in case. After all, as I mentioned, they don’t see you as an actual person, so why wouldn’t they use you when and how they can?

7. They Are Giving You a Message.

Throughout your relationship, regardless of the nature of it, the narcissist has been making a few things clear: they see you as powerless. They don’t want you to have any control whatsoever over the relationship, much less your own life. They want you to understand that, as far as they’re concerned, you don’t deserve any recognition for what you’ve done for them – no, not even for the years you spent trying to make them happy. And, sadly, they want you to believe that you are so unlovable, that you don’t even need to be acknowledged. This is all part of their cycle, part of the way they control you throughout the relationship.

Narcissists and Closure: What You Need to Know Now

This part is going to be a little tough, but you need to know that someone usually gives you closure because they actually care about you and the relationship you had. They give closure because they want peace and they care enough about you to want you to be happy. The narcissist knows that if you have closure, you’ll be able to find that peace and to move forward without them. By keeping you in their toxic loop, they keep you open for a hoover and they are able to keep taking, future faking and using you at will. It would require them to take personal responsibility for how they’ve treated you, and it would mean ending the lies and manipulation they’ve been using to keep you emotionally engaged. Just the idea of real, genuine closure is unthinkable to a narcissist.

There are many things you can do to get the closure you need, and I’ve talked about this pretty often. See the video for additional information.

So, what do you think? Question of the day: Have you struggled to find closure after a relationship with a toxic narcissist, and if so, how’d you deal with it? If not, are you worried that you won’t be able to get closure if and when you do end your relationship? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments below this video, and let’s talk about it.

 

Recent FAQ on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery at QueenBeeing

Recent FAQ on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery at QueenBeeing

After a recent poll of my email subscribers, I noticed a few commonly asked questions and thought I’d share the answers with you as well. (Though, if you are one of my email insiders who completed the survey, you may have already seen this. If you aren’t, you can claim your spot on the inside right here). I’ll even give you some helpful free stuff when you do.

If you don’t see the answer to your most pressing questions below, please check out my FAQ pages as well – I’ve got a surprising amount of information covered there, too.

Without further delay, here are the answers to the 9 most recent frequently asked questions about QueenBeeing Narcissistic Abuse Recovery.

Q. Can you start publishing the transcripts with your videos?

A. I recently started doing exactly that. Check out my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Blog and let me know your thoughts!

Q. Can I email you my questions and expect to receive an answer?

A. If I’m being honest, I get hundreds of emails every day. There is just no way I can possibly answer all of the questions that come my way, especially when sometimes people send me lengthy stories that I need to read to understand what they are going through. I DO try to answer as many emails and messages as I can, but it’s really hard for me, and I don’t currently have anyone who can help me with certain types of questions. This leads me to three suggestions for you:

  • First, if you keep your question to one paragraph or less (say, no more than 350 words), I am far more likely to catch and respond to your question.
  • Second, if your question is about something like an appointment, a group, a class/course or where to find something, you can always email my office manager Melina, at melina.a.moutria@gmail.com. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll know where to find it.
  • One last tip: use your search bar in Google and/or YouTube and type your question along with my name (for example, you might type something like, “angie atkinson what is gaslighting?” to be directed to both my YouTube videos and/or my QueenBeeing blog posts on this topic. I have done a LOT of work in this field and a lot of people are surprised that this simple tip will often get them the answers they have been seeking. (It could save you time, anyway!)

Q. Why did you name your website “QueenBeeing” anyway? Isn’t that kind of narcissistic?

A. Well, it all started with my own need to feel powerful. (Click here to read my story) This made-up word “QueenBeeing” felt powerful to me. There is a lot of symbolism in it for me (read about that here). In fact, you might say it’s a whole art form – or at least a lifestyle. You can read about the Art of QueenBeeing here and see if it feels like a fit for you. Once you’ve read my reasons, I don’t think you’ll feel like it’s so narcissistic after all. It’s more about reclaiming personal power than anything else.

Q. I wish there were other ways to be part of the community. I am not on Facebook or any other social media, but I would like to be part of a group like you have on Facebook. Am I right that I would have to pay to subscribe to be part of a non Facebook group? I am not sure what my options are.

A. I totally understand. You’re right that the free groups are primarily Facebook based and I know that doesn’t work for everyone. However, I do have an off-Facebook option at MySpanily.com that is available. It does cost $3.99 per month as it costs me money to keep it up and running. However, if you are in a position where you cannot afford $3.99 per month and you really need the off-Facebook support, please let us know – I’ll gift you a membership. I want to support everyone I can and this is one place I am able to bend a little, and I do when someone needs the help.

Please Note: if you want to help cover the costs of memberships for people who can’t afford them, you can submit donations to my PayPal account under angyatkinson@gmail.com. You’ll see my business name, BlissFireMedia, LLC – don’t worry, that’s me.

Q. I would like to see real survivors giving video testimonials about their abuse and life with their narcissists, how they managed to leave and start over, how things went for them and what steps they had to take to get to where they are now, and what their life has been like, since; ways it’s improved and ways in which it has deteriorated. Maybe a once weekly slot that a survivor volunteers to fill and allows to show on your site​.

A. This is an excellent idea! The only issue is that a lot of survivors don’t want to put their faces on camera. However, I would be thrilled to work with anyone who would be willing to share their stories on camera. If you’re one of those people, let us know and we’ll send you instructions on what to do. And don’t forget that we do have a whole section of survivor stories on QueenBeeing.com. I would LOVE to help you share your story too! You can learn more and submit your own written story here, if you’re interested. It may take a couple of weeks to get published, but we do our best to say on top of entries.​

Q. Perhaps you have it already, but I’m looking a place to reach out for counseling. I am seeking one on one.

A. I do offer one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching, as do my fellow coaches. You can learn more and schedule an appointment by clicking right here. We also offer group coaching and many free support groups, if you’re interested. Learn more about that right here.

Q Could you offer more courses on Udemy?  Could you offer more learning courses anywhere online?​ 

A. I’ll consider adding more courses to my Udemy selection (I just noticed the two I have there are currently part of a huge sale Udemy is having!), but in the meantime, you might want to visit Life Makeover Academy – I have TONS of free and paid courses there for you. If you have a course topic you don’t see over at LMA that you’d like me to create, please let me know! Like I said, I want to do whatever I can to serve you.

Q. Is there a way to find content for me personally, for just the stage of recovery I’m in right now? 

A. Yes, I have a little quiz you can take to figure out where you are in the recovery process (click here to try it) and your results will direct you to some resources specifically for you. If you already know which recovery phase you are in, you can click here to find the resources you need. I’ll keep working on making this easier for you to find and always appreciate your ideas and thoughts on this stuff – please let me know if you have any thoughts on how I can make everything easier to find for you.

What Is the Number 1 Thing Narcissists Can’t Accept?

What Is the Number 1 Thing Narcissists Can’t Accept?

(Prefer to hear instead of read? Click here to view on YouTube.) When I went no contact with my mother, my decision was made in a moment of extreme distress. It was immediately after I learned that she had done something that was a huge and unexpected betrayal – and I won’t go into that right now, but you can read the whole story here, if you’re interested. Anyway…I remember feeling completely blindsided and devastated in the moment.

Immediately, I picked up the phone and called her to confront her. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have given her the satisfaction – but I didn’t fully understand what I had been dealing with at the time. Anyway, when I told my mother that I knew what she had done, she began to scream and yell and rage. I pretty quickly told her never to call me again, and I hung up the phone.

At the time, I didn’t understand the concept of “going no contact with a narcissist,” but I would later learn that I had somehow instinctively made the right decision in that moment.

Over the next couple of weeks, I learned through the grapevine that the extended family was talking about me in some pretty interesting ways. It seemed that they believed I’d be back – and that at the very least, they’d see me for the holidays. They reportedly said I was just being dramatic and begging for attention.

In reality, I was done. And I still am. But at the time, they were apparently in denial, or so I thought. Later, I’d learn that my mother was playing the victim. She acted like she had absolutely no idea why I’d stopped talking to her, and she told people she was afraid I’d come and physically hurt her, despite the fact that I’d never even raised a hand to her or even been verbally aggressive. She of course omitted the fact that she had been very physically aggressive to me until I was 18.

A few weeks passed by and I learned that my mother had planned to send my brother to my home without notice, as a sort of “sneak attack,” to apparently “straighten me out” or confront me for having gone no contact. When I learned this, I sent a quick email explaining that he wasn’t welcome and that the police would be called if he showed up.

A couple of months after that, someone told me that my mother had been using my name in a newsletter that was sent out to around 300 people by mail – saying that I had “mental health issues” and that people should pray for me. That was taken care of with another quick email and a brief reminder that I happened to have had a much bigger audience than she did, some of which included her people. It turned out that the threat of exposure was enough to stop the smearing in this case.

So, why did this narcissist behave this way? What was she thinking and what was the one thing that she just couldn’t accept? It seemed that I had somehow managed to do the number one thing that narcissists just can’t accept. What was it? What exactly was the thing I did that made her act like that?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today – the one thing narcissists can’t accept, and what to expect when it happens (see video on YouTube).

If you have been profoundly impacted by one or more narcissists in your life, whether it was a parent, an ex, or a friend, or even a co-worker, you might already know what to expect from them. And you are well aware that there are many things that a narcissist will not and cannot accept. You know they will not accept being confronted or criticized, they will not accept you living your own life on your terms, and you know that they won’t tolerate you speaking up for yourself.

They most definitely cannot stand being humiliated or embarrassed. And they can’t imagine what would happen if they were to be exposed for what they truly are – the idea of it is so painful for them that they literally lie to themselves about who and what they are.

But none of those things are as big of an issue for a narcissist as the one we’re discussing today.

So, what is the number one thing that narcissists can’t accept?

It’s simple: a narcissist will never accept rejection. They just can’t. That’s right. Rejection is the one thing that narcissists cannot accept.

What does rejection mean to a narcissist?

Fearing and disliking the feeling of being rejected isn’t just a narcissistic thing – nearly everyone has this fear. But for narcissists, feeling rejected can happen in any number of situations. Obviously, if they are turned down when they ask you to be with them, they’ll feel rejected. Or if a friend or family member refuses to speak to or see them due to a decision to go no contact, they will feel rejected. If they don’t get the job they wanted, they’ll feel rejected. And I think all of those things are fairly normal. We can all relate to that.

However, a narcissist might also feel rejected if they simply don’t get what they want, or if a situation doesn’t go their way. They’ll feel rejected if they call you and you don’t have time to talk, or if they want to see you and you’re at work and can’t leave. They’ll feel rejected if you’re spending time with your kid and you make that a priority over them. They might feel rejected if they see you in public but you don’t see them. Or if you decide to go out with your friends one night and ask them to stay home and take care of the kids.

They might feel rejected if you win an award, because they didn’t win one too. Even if the award is for something they’re not involved with – like your job or a particular talent you have that they don’t. They’ll even feel rejected if they don’t know the answer to a question and someone else does. Or if they misspell a word and are called out on it. Or if they fail at literally anything at all.

Of course, the biggest rejection for a narcissist is the moment you decide you’re done with their abuse and you go no contact. You refuse to see or speak to them. You block them on social media. You actively avoid them. This makes them feel like they’ve absolutely lost control of you – and they have. But you’ve also taken away their source of narcissistic supply, maybe for good.

What Happens If You Reject A Narcissist?

The first thing you need to know here is that rejecting a narcissist, if you ask the narcissist, is practically the kiss of death. It just isn’t acceptable in their world, because their ego cannot handle the emotions associated with it. Plus, if you ask them, they’re the ones who get to do the rejecting – NOT you or anyone else.

If you reject a narcissist, you’re essentially cutting off a source of narcissistic supply. And my friend, you can expect to deal with a very unpleasant reaction from the narcissist.  For all the bravado and grandiosity, you would think that narcissists are practically indestructible. But the truth is that a narcissist will feel like their word is ending at even the tiniest “slight” that an average person would just let roll right off their back.

Let’s discuss the primary reactions you can expect from the narcissist after you make it clear that you want nothing to do with them again.

1. Narcissistic Injury

No matter what actually happened that caused you to reject them, the narcissist will quickly change the narrative of the situation to cast themselves as the victim. They will also talk about you mercilessly during this time, focusing on spreading lies to everyone they know about how you victimized them in some way.  This is what we call a smear campaign, and it’s how the narcissist sort of “advertises” their “victim status” – and at the same time, how they try to get their narcissistic supply needs met. This is very difficult to imagine for your average person – we don’t see things the same way as a narcissist. Maybe this will help you see it a little more clearly. Think about how you feel if you unexpectedly stub your toe in the dark. It throbs with pain! You might find yourself cursing and screaming about it. Well, the narcissist will react the same way to being rejected – it almost feels like a literal injury to them.

2. Narcissistic Rage

If the narcissistic injury doesn’t work, the narcissist will inevitably become enraged. They are feeling a mixture of anxiety, shame, and depression as they turn the rejection inward. And when that happens, they will direct their narcissistic rage towards you or anyone who rejects them. They will scream, yell, hurl insults, and more. They’ll call you names. They’ll tear you down as a person. They’ll dig at you on every single sensitive topic they can think of – whether it’s how you are in bed, what kind of parent you are, how you keep the house or how bad (or good) you are with money. Or, if they’re more covert, they’ll go passive-aggressive on you. They may behave vindictively by sabotaging you in ways that can really mess up your life. For example, let’s say you have an interview for your dream job. The narcissist might send screenshots of the photos your friend posted on Facebook that one time you got drunk 5 years ago, hurting your chances of getting the job.

3. Hoover and Reject

This one might be the most painful way a narcissist could react to being rejected, but it’s not uncommon. See, in this case, the narcissist will hoover you – as in, do anything they can to get you back on board with the relationship, whether it’s a romantic one, a family connection, or a friendship. In the story I told at the beginning, it didn’t work. But I’ve experienced it in other relationships and have heard it from many clients. Essentially, in order to get you back, the narcissist will say all the things you’ve always wanted them to say. And they’ll bend over backward to convince you that THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT! This time, they’re REALLY serious and they’re TOTALLY going to follow through with all of the promises they’ve made you. You’ll doubt them at first, but eventually, you might give in – either out of exhaustion or hope. In either case, hold on to your hat, because once they’re sure you’re 100 percent committed to them again, they’ll do something you won’t be expecting: they’ll reject YOU. And then you’ll be back to square one, wondering what is wrong with you and posting in your narcissistic abuse recovery support groups about how you can’t believe you fell for it yet again. You’ll doubt your own intelligence and you’ll feel humiliated and embarrassed. They, however, will – at least temporarily – feel vindicated because they “got you back” for rejecting them in the first place.

Any of that sound familiar to you? If so, know that you aren’t alone, and know that you can take back your life and find happiness.

Question of the Day: Have you ever committed the one act that narcissists cannot accept? If so, how did you manage the fallout? If not, are you considering it? Share your thoughts, share you experiences, share your ideas in the comments section below this video and let’s talk about it.

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When You Feel ‘the Shift’ in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery


Throughout the course of my recovery from a toxic relationship with a narcissist, I have found myself experiencing several shifts in mindset – moments where it felt almost like some sort of switch had been flipped – where I suddeNly understood things differently and recognized that I had been wrong all along in some way or another. Each time, I found myself evolving and growing in new ways.

For example, I have told you the story of how, after a profound betrayal by my toxic family, I almost literally felt something break inside me. That was one of those moments.

A couple of years later, I found myself in a very unexpected moment of anger one day. Through the process of my inner child work, I had managed to recognize that I wasn’t the complete waste of skin that I had been led to believe I was. You would think that would make me happy, and it did, eventually.

But when I recognized how much of my life had been wasted believing that I was worthless – and that it was directly caused by the fact that I had allowed other people’s opinions of me to become my own opinion – and on some level my own reality?

I was incredibly angry. I felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, what I call justified rage. That moment would lead to another one of those “light switch” moments where my perception was suddenly shifted and I launched into a whole new period of personal evolution.

And then there was the birth of my oldest child – which led me to have a shift in my understanding of my relationship with my father, for reasons I won’t go into today. The birth of my youngest child, and only girl, caused a different shift in me – it led me to recognize a connection with the generations of women who came before me.

And it made me start digging into my family history and genealogy – because since I couldn’t feel connected to my mother, I felt the need to feel connected to the other women who came before me in a whole new way. I could go on for hours about the little “shifts” that have led me to this particular point in my personal development and evolution, but I won’t.

Today we are here to talk about you and your own personal evolution. We are discussing The Shift vs. Profound Metamorphosis in Our Evolution after narcissistic abuse.

I found this quote a while back. It reads:

“As you are shifting you will begin to realize you are not the same person you used to be. The things you used to tolerate have now become intolerable. Where you once remained quiet you are now speaking your truth. Where you once battled and argued you are now choosing to remain silent. You are beginning to understand the value of your voice and there are some situations that no longer deserve your time energy and focus.” ~Unknown

It spoke to me on a soul level. In fact, I did realize I wasn’t the person I had been before. And I was no longer tolerating the same crap I once did. And clearly, I am now speaking my truth.

I had also stopped bothering to argue with people who would refuse to hear or understand me – I was saving my energy and my voice for things and people that actually DO deserve my time and focus. People like YOU.

Here’s the thing -THIS is why I do what I do. Because even if you’re not ready to say goodbye to the problems (or problem people) in your life, you will personally shift as you learn about what you’re dealing with and as you’re learning about yourself.

The shift thing, though – that’s real. And maybe I never even considered it a shift before. Maybe I saw it as something fancier – a metamorphosis or a profound transformation.

But it all begins with this one thing – it’s a shift. A shift in your mindset. A shift in your thought patterns. A shift in your personal awareness and a shift in the deepest part of your soul. It’s a shift in your energy. Yes, it becomes a metamorphosis. YES, it turns into a profound transformation. But without the shift – well, it never begins, does it?

As you shift, you become less and less tolerant of things that tarnish your energy and corrode your life – and over time, you raise your standards. Slowly but surely, you grow in confidence and understanding of yourself. Bit by bit, step by step.

If you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist at this time, you find that before long, you KNOW you have to change if you ever want to be happy and to grow. But once that shift is underway, a powerful and sometimes shocking thing happens. You SEE the problem, and you KNOW the solution. Things have never been clearer!

Now it’s time to shine because you are about to create something better. Something new. Come hell or high water, you will start taking care of yourself as your mother SHOULD have, and you will become your own fiercest advocate. And this is when, even when it seems impossible, you figure out a way to make the obvious solution become a reality.

THAT is the shift, right?

As we go through the healing process, we learn first that we have the problem, then we understand the “mechanics” of it.

Eventually, the psychology, the behaviors and at some point, it all comes together for us and we recognize the depth of it. Then, and in my opinion, ONLY then, can we really begin to evolve – to shift – and to become the truest, fullest versions of ourselves.

 

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