Have you been discarded by a narcissist, only to learn that they’ve already moved on to another partner days, weeks, or even hours after your relationship ended? Or, have you learned the hard way that your ex (or soon-to-be-ex) is already involved with someone else even before your relationship ended? Sadly, it’s all about narcissistic supply. Let me explain.
What is narcissistic supply?
Narcissistic supply is what makes the narcissist sort of an “energy vampire.” In other words, they get a certain amount of attention, validation, admiration – basically your energy, from people in their lives. While a narcissist’s main source of narcissistic supply usually comes from one or more people, it can also involve pets, groups of people, and more. The so-called “supply” is the food for the narcissist’s ego. Many narcissists have a whole circle of supply or “narcissistic harem.”
Why do narcissists move on so quickly after they discard you?
Why does it always seem like narcissists need a new source of narcissistic supply almost immediately when your relationship ends – and that’s assuming they haven’t secured it ahead of time? The narcissist most often moves on quickly after a relationship. Many narcissists will be already involved with new supply before discarding you and so the new supply is well in place before they lose your supply.
This is one really devastating part of the narcissistic pattern that hurts and leaves survivors with no sense of closure.
Many survivors deeply internalize the final blow from this as if they have no worth, and never meant anything to the narcissist. They worry they must be at fault, that they are not good enough. They wonder if they should have done more, if they are less beautiful/handsome, that they are inadequate…are you feeling me here?
I’m hoping that by seeing this is a toxic pattern of the narcissistic person and some reasons they do this you may feel validation or even a sense of relief that you are indeed not the problem and never were.
Narcissists Take No Accountability
One thing to understand and really, to me it’s one of the main indications of a toxic person, is that a narcissist will not accept accountability for their actions or emotions. They have a constant need to protect the delusional personality they set up.
What they think is who they are, they reason. So, when seeing any issue they may cause that does not align with the delusional belief of “self,” they push it away and start to blame shift or deny.
One big way a narcissist uses denial is to use a new person to bolster the ego and delusional created self. After all, how hard is it to convince a stranger through love bombing and overt attention that you are an amazing person? This is the lie they are telling their new supply. They are shirking all responsibility both to the old relationship, yours, as well as to their own healing from a breakup. They need others to give and boost their sense of self so badly they do not care who they use to get there. It’s like if they have someone new to mirror back all the love-bombing they can prove to the world how astoundingly perfect they are and thus continue the delusion they live in. Couple all of this with zero empathy for others and you have a selfish drive for attention and the use of another to regain the sense of their own inflated ego.
You were once the new source of narcissistic supply.
If you find yourself asking why or doubting your worth because the narcissist has a new supply, remember that you too were a new supply once. Remember that narcissists use all others in their life to feed their egos in one way or another. While it can hurt a lot and it can seem like the person who is new supply is at fault, oftentimes they are as much a victim as you were.
Of course, there are cases where the new supply seems to be as toxic as the narcissist – but then you might ask yourself do you really want any attention or association going to those people? New supply is simply that, a new person to be used by the narcissist for supply and you, too, were in the position of being that new person once. You were told lies about their exes and were made to feel like you were different and needed by the narcissist.
The narcissist is the common denominator.
The most important thing to realize is this is not because of you. You are not the problem and you are certainly deserving of being treated way better than any narcissist will treat you. You are no less valid or important because a toxic narcissist has found a new supply. You deserve the healing and amazing things life outside of narcissistic abuse can give you. Moving on fast is a narcissist’s weakness not because of you or who/how you are. The narcissist is a perpetual liar with the most significant lie being who they present themselves as. They are seeking the supply they need and taking and using another person. You deserve a better life and to be loved for who you are. Love yourself, find the truth of your amazing truth, and do not compare yourself to the new supply. New supply is the new victim, you have survived and can move past the abuse into a thriving life.
Worried the narcissist will be better for the new source of narcissistic supply?
Lise Colucci is an intuitive healer and certified life coach, as well as a certified narcissistic abuse recovery coach. She is a long-time admin and mentor for the SPAN Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Group, actively helping survivors of narcissistic abuse in the expansive community to learn and heal.
Imagine this: you’ve left your toxic narcissist after years of mental and emotional abuse, 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.
As you’re humming to yourself in the grocery store, you spot your former would-be soulmate two aisles over – and there’s something different about him. He seems happier, brighter. Relaxed, even. He’s laughing, talking, and even being charming. That bastard!
You’re confused. You’re hurt. You’re angry, maybe. A far cry from the man you recently knew, he’s somehow transformed himself back into the amazing guy you once loved.
(Note: I’m writing from the female perspective because 75 percent of my readers are female. With that being said, this could apply to either a male or a female narcissist.)
But seconds later, almost as if time is moving in slow motion, you realize what is happening. Your narc has found his next victim – he’s in the process of love bombing her, and for a moment, you get a front-row seat.
I know it stings. I know it hurts when you see that guy who you fell in love with re-emerging after you’re away. And I know that you wonder (at least a little bit) if somehow he was right all along – and if it really WAS just you.
Why the Narcissist Becomes the Person You Fell In Love With When You Leave
Time for a reality check, my darling: you were not the problem. First, let me acknowledge that while every step in the process is very painful, this one is probably one of the most confusing. See, while the bigger part of you knows that he is never going to REALLY change, this other little part of you still loves him – or the version of him that you once believed was real. And that’s the part of him he’s parading around now – so it’s like you’re mourning “that version” of him all over again.
But let me repeat: the problem was NOT you! The problem was that the narcissist started taking you for granted. He got used to having you around. Maybe he got shiny new object syndrome, or he said life was too boring and left you to pursue whatever it was he wanted. Maybe you just finally had enough and you left him.
This is normal. And sadly for her, you already know how this story is going to go. Now, as you know, narcissists are very hard to live with, and even a reasonably intelligent person would feel ashamed that she tolerates the bullshit – so she may keep it under wraps, like you probably did. So you might never know for sure.
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 block them both on Facebook so you don’t have to see it when you’re torturing yourself by stalking their profiles. It means you will not listen when some well-meaning flying monkey tries to offer you updates on him.
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 him while you were together, you sure as hell can’t now (nor should you want to – he’s no longer your problem!).
How to Deal With Your Ex Being Perfect for a New Love
So, how do you deal with the painful reality of watching your narcissist be perfect for someone else?
Start by remembering what you dealt with and by recognizing what she will deal with soon enough. (And even if you’re tempted to warn your narcissist’s new supply about what she’s getting herself into, don’t do it – even if your intentions are good.)
Read more: Should I warn the new supply about the narcissist?
Don’t sit around thinking that the narc’s new supply will end up getting the benefit of all the work you did trying to fix him. It doesn’t work like that. He is what he is, and even most experts will tell you: a narcissist can’t change (not for long, anyway).
Remember too that you’re not really mourning the person you lost; you’re mourning your illusion of who you believed he was. It’s an ever-turning cycle that the narcissist will repeat in varying iterations for the rest of his life. Be glad you’re off the wheel.
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 him to continue the abuse 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.
Heal and release the anger. As one of my beautiful SPAN group members said: “Work on your healing and the layers of anger will soon disappear. One of the hardest things for me, was mourning the illusion of that perfect relationship I wanted to truly believe. Letting that go was a big step for me.”
NEVER compare yourself to the new supply, unless it’s to feel sorry for her 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 she’s somehow “better” than you; the truth is that narcissists are very picky, so chances are, if she “seems” better somehow, it’s only because he hasn’t ruined her yet.
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 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 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 him happy. Now it’s time to live in the moment and to think about how you want the future to go.
A Better Way to Deal: Move Forward Without the Narcissist (Stop Obsessing!)
I know it’s easy to obsess over the narcissist and what they’re up to now. Believe me, trauma bonding is no easy thing to overcome. But the very best way you can deal with the narcissist and their new supply is to NOT deal with them. What I mean is that maybe it’s time to focus on yourself – on your healing and on creating your brand new life as you navigate narcissistic abuse recovery. This video offers insight and help on exactly how to stop obsessing about the narcissist and what they did to you. It will help you to finally let go and start moving forward.
What about you? Have you ever experienced watching your ex-narcissist get involved with a new person, or even just appear to return to the person he once was?
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.