RFN #47: The Speed at Which They Move On
In this video, I cover five main points:
– What “narcissistic supply” is
– The cycle of narcissistic abuse
– Why and how narcissists are able to move on so quickly
– Why they end things in such hurtful ways
– What Narcissists typically do after they move on
But before I get into those points, here are some examples of this red flag in motion:
– Them ending the relationship in an abrupt and unexpected way to where we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us
– Them ending things at a highly emotional time (right before finals, on our birthday, or Christmas, Valentine’s Day, close to the birth of our child, or if a loved one is dying).
– Taking down pics on social media—replace with new partner—and erasing all signs of our relationship with them—even if we’ve been with them for years or decades
– Move in with new partner in a matter of weeks
– Huge level of “indifference” Which is really how a lack of empathy and lack of remorse comes across
– Selfish—why can’t you be happy for them?
– Entitled—they may even expect you to move out or for you to pay them alimony when you’ve given them everything and paid their way the whole time
– Blame you for everything wrong—and odds are they are accusing and blaming you of everything that they did. They might be calling you abusive, or manipulative, or even a narcissist. (This is called projection and this is something the vast majority of them do.) It feels like you are losing your mind and you will probably be wondering if you are remembering things wrong or wondering if there’s this side to you that you don’t know about.
– Blame circumstances. Must go take care of their sick ex or sick child, or must join the peace corps or volunteer, or go on this church mission.
– Blame you. Either by projecting all their behavior onto you (accusing you lying, cheating, stealing, etc.) Or blaming you for unrelated things you didn’t even know were an issue. Or blame you that you are never home, or don’t give them enough attention.
– Blame themselves. These are the true master manipulators. They may tell you that they don’t deserve you. That they could never give you what you need. That they love you so much but must go before they hurt you. The desired response is to get you to scramble after them, or to feel like they are this amazing person—this baby bird with a broken wing. …Of course this all plant the seed for a hoover if they circle back, because they’ll just pick up this soap opera where they left off, and generally talk about getting therapy, or needing you to stand by their side while they get better.
– You might find yourself throwing yourself at them. Promising to make whatever changes necessary and that you are so sorry, that you didn’t realize they were so unhappy.
What is “narcissistic supply?”
To a narcissist everything is about them. Everything. And they view the world through the lens of “what’s in it for me?” This includes people. Other people are only supply to them, and “supply” is generally some form of shelter, transportation, money, sex, public image, and/or social status. …In short, narcissistic supply is anything that either meets a physical need or feeds their ego.
Once a supply source has been tapped out, or another one comes along the narcissist attaches themselves to this new source of supply and then proceeds to drain them as much as possible. This “parasitic” behavior is in part where narcissists get the nickname of energy vampire.
The cycle of narcissistic abuse
I think perhaps the best way to talk about this red flag is within the context of what’s known as the cycle of an abusive relationship, which was developed by Lenore Walker.
The cycle of abuse runs the course of Idealize—Devalue—Discard. However, I think it’s helpful to flesh out that cycle a bit more to see a fuller picture of what tends to be a more common experience, and that is the idealize—Devalue—Replace—Discard.
So if we are experiencing them moving on at lightning speed, as thought the relationship meant nothing or like it never even happened, odds are it’s because they found a replacement for us before they upped and left. That’s why it feels so sudden for us, but in reality they most likely were either talking to the next person, or they were already in a relationship with the next person.
Why do they end things in such a hurtful way?
They end things in such a hurtful way most likely because abusive people are all about gaining and keeping power and control over others and over the situation. One of the ways they do is to end things on their terms. They end things in a hurtful way because it reassures them that they are powerful and the more we suffer to them the more it shows them how important they are.
How are they able to move on so fast, like our relationship with them meant nothing?
You might be wondering how is it that you feel like they are your soul mate but now you are wondering if they even liked you.
This is because narcissists wear masks. They are actors and puppeteers all at the same time. They manipulate others to think, feel, and act in the ways that they want—because everything is all about them.
Narcissists and other types of emotional manipulators have shallow emotions, meaning they don’t bond at a deep level with others. Remember during the love bombing stage (which is part of the idealize stage) where they were professing their love and there was all this talk about this perfect future with them?
None of this had real depth to it. Anyone who is quick to hop into making major life decisions is probably also quick to hop out of them as well.
Narcissists are quick to promise love and devotion, because those terms might mean everything to them in the moment, but there is no long term depth or sincerity there—it’s about on the same level as a child promising to be devoted to a new puppy and that they’ll wake up early and take it for a walk, and clean up after it, and do whatever it takes.
The child is saying all the right things, and seems to understand what all is involved in taking care of a puppy, but you as the adult know that getting a pet can be a 20 year commitment, and so you are thinking about this seriously and long term whereas the child isn’t.
The child just wants a puppy because puppies are cute. And so what happens? They get the puppy and once the newness wears off they expect others to take care of it, and they generally aren’t holding up their end of the deal—there is no follow through. The same goes for a narcissist.
What narcissists tend to do after they’ve moved on
To add insult to injury, narcissists often launch what’s known as a “smear campaign.” This is where they spin things around to make themselves a victim of the whole situation. You may find that the new partner as well as maybe even friends and family are giving you the stink eye. You may come to find out that they’ve been telling everyone that you were cheating on them, or that you were using them for money or that you were abusive or manipulative. (When the opposite was true.) Meanwhile they paint themselves out to be the saint.
This is crazy making and can be absolutely enraging if this happens. If you are feeling shocked and stunned by being so suddenly discarded, you are not alone. If you are open to joining a support group, I strongly encourage you to do so. There are many out there, and here is a link to mine: http://www.facebook.com/groups/healingafternarcissisticabuse
Remember: You are not alone. You are not crazy. You really can heal from this.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 55: How Do I Stop My Addiction to the Narcissist? - August 23, 2017
- Episode 53: Strategies to Help Prevent Your Child from Being Manipulated by a Narcissistic Parent - August 21, 2017
- Episode 54: How can we handle victim blaming and revictimization? - August 18, 2017