What Happens When a Narcissist Finds a New Supply?
My ex-narcissist and his new woman are making a show of it, and it’s kinda driving me batty!
It’s a sentiment we hear often.
Because narcissists are messy and braggadocious when they latch onto a new “supply” of admiration.
They smear their faux “happiness” all over social media and may even attempt to hold onto old lovers while building up new partners.
So what should you do if you’re the ex?
We’re unpacking it all below.
What Happens When a Narcissist Finds a New Supply?
Narcissistic supply is the perpetual stream of praise, admiration, and attention people on the self-centeredness spectrum need to feel good about themselves.
Without it, they lash out. And it doesn’t matter what category of egomaniac; covert, malignant, communal, and grandiose narcissists all need supply to feel stable.
To secure it, people with attention-fueled personalities will create likable “false selves.” It’s the narcissist’s version of weaving a sticky web to trap “food.”
So, with that in mind, let’s explore how to tell if a narcissist has a new supply.
1. “Ghost” Old Supply
When a narcissist finds someone new, they may “ghost” their old supplies. Typically, they do it for one of two reasons. Since they live in the “now,” some narcissists easily forget about “old” people when something new and shiny comes along. Other times, they ghost to try and teach their target a lesson, as they believe withholding their affection is hurting the other person.
If you’re ghosted by someone with a narcissistic personality, count it as a blessing and move on.
2. “Love Bomb” New Supply
“Love bombing” is when a person or group showers someone they just met with charm and compliments. It’s a classic tool for narcissists. In romantic situations, people on the NPD scale may rope in their targets by smothering them in positivity. Sure, it’s not genuine, but it feels good in the moment.
3. Spread Rumors About Old Supply
When a narcissist leaves you for someone else, they may not leave you alone and start to spread rumors. And yes, they will make up rumors and mangle things you’ve said to make them seem leagues worse.
4. Commit Quickly to New Supply
Narcissists tend to jump into relationships quickly. It’s part of their cycle. They meet someone on Monday, and by the following Sunday, they’re already talking about moving in and are tossing around the “L-word.”
5. “Hoover” Old Supply
Some narcissists circle back to their old supply after a few weeks — or sometimes even years — and attempt to suck them back into their orbits. It’s called “hoovering,” after the vacuum brand.
6. Undermine the Self-Confidence of the New Supply
Once a narcissist gets their hooks in a new supply source, they’ll begin slowly chipping away at the target’s self-confidence. It’ll start small, with quips disguised as jokes. At that point, the new person will either fall under the narcissist’s toxic spell or they’ll recognize what’s going on and get out.
7. Re-Commit Themselves to Exterior Aesthetics
One of the best ways to determine if a narcissist has a new “source” is their dressing and grooming habits. While they are typically fastidious, narcissists will pump up the volume on their aesthetics even more, apropos of nothing else, when they’ve found someone new. It’s all a part of the charm offensive they’re launching on the fresh supply person.
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How Does a Narcissist Behave in a New Relationship?
Narcissists tend to follow similar patterns when they find a new supply — whether a friend or romantic partner. Of course, every situation is accented with unique characteristics rooted in the exact circumstances. But generally speaking, a new relationship for a narcissist involves:
- Attempting to find the perfect balance between old and new supplies
- Ingratiating themselves in the new supply’s life
- Being super out-going
- Smothering the new person with “love” and compliments
When megalomaniacs find new sources to suck dry, they’re on top of the world. They feel sensational! For them, it’s like being hooked up to a constant IV drip of approval — the narcissist’s drug of choice.
7 Ways to Cope When a Narcissist Finds Someone New
Discarded sources of supply may feel terrible in the wake of a “breakup” — especially if they haven’t figured out that narcissism is in play. So what are the best ways to cope?
1. Get Support From Loved Ones
Your friends and family want to be supportive, so let them! Moreover, fill them in on everything. For starters, they need to know the whole story to support you properly. Furthermore, it’s best to explain everything before the narcissist elbows their way in and tries to start sowing discord and turning people against you.
2. Focus on Yourself
The best way to “win” a breakup is to be unbothered and take another step toward becoming your best self. So focus on yourself and your goals. If you don’t have any, start planning. After all, keeping your mind on something productive will make the post-breakup period go a lot quicker.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is much more than something your new-age-y, crystal-mommy friend is into. Through double-blind, peer-reviewed studies, scientists have definitively concluded that meditating, yoga, and journaling promote better physical and emotional health. Moreover, people who’ve built mindfulness into their daily routines display much better resilience than those who don’t.
4. Exercise and Eat Well
It’s a cliche, but how we eat plays a significant role in how we feel. The same goes for exercise. People who get their heart pumping at least once daily for about 30 minutes enjoy improved mental health. So if you’re splitting from a narcissist, and the situation is tumultuous, try to eat well.
We get it. You probably want to stuff your face with comfort food. And that’s fine for a couple of nights. But try not to let it become a habit because junky food leads to junky thinking and reckless emotions.
5. Get Back Out There
No rule says you can’t have a casual, rebound relationship. So get out there and have fun! So long as you’re safe and make it clear that you’re not looking for anything serious at the moment, the dating world is your oyster. Someone fun and uncomplicated may be just what the love doctor ordered.
6. Go the “Gray Rock” Route
“Gray rocking” is a term psychologists use to describe an effective method for communicating with narcissists in which you only give one-word answers and stick to mind-numbingly boring topics, like the weather. If your ex is trying to “hoover” you, and for whatever reason, you can’t go no-contact (which we’ll get to below), gray rocking may work and get them off your back.
7. Go No-Contact
Going no-contact is almost always the best route when severing ties with a narcissist. Block them from all your accounts and devices. Stay firm, and become immune to their charms. Remember: They will tell you what you want to hear to weasel their way back in, and once they do, they’ll start the cycle all over again.
As a general rule, narcissists never change — so cut them loose for good.
If an Old Supply Ignores a Narcissist, Would He Take It Out on the New Supply?
This could go one of two ways, depending on the type of narcissist you’re dealing with and the situational dynamics.
For example, if you have a grandiose or malignant narcissist on your hands, and the new supply gives them a sense of material or social power, they may move on and not think twice about what came before. After all, most narcissists live in the present, and at that point, they’re satisfied.
In these cases, narcissists are often (fakely) wonderful to the new supply — until that person flexes their backbone or begins to see behind the veil.
Conversely, covert and communal narcissists may try to hold onto old supply out of fear. If their previous partner or friend doesn’t play along, they may start smearing them to anyone who will listen.
Moreover, coverts and communals may treat their new supply with suspicion and begin to nitpick.
Because they want to hold onto as much as possible, and the thought of someone leaving them is intolerable. Resultantly, they may lash out and blame whoever is closest.
How Long Will the Narcissist’s New Supply Last?
New supply doesn’t stay fresh forever, but situational circumstances will determine whether it peters out in a month or a decade.
Suppose a covert narcissist gets their hooks into an empathic people-pleaser. That bond can last a long time if both parties continuously supply what the other needs. After all, people-pleasers feel most comfortable having someone to “support,” and narcissists take full advantage while bathing in their praise.
Another potential long-lasting “supply” may present itself when two narcissists get together.
However, healthy, well-adjusted people typically don’t last long in the “supply” role. Once they begin to notice the red flags piling up, they usually see themselves out the door. When this happens, narcissists will try to weasel their way back into the lives of former sources, and the target’s personality style usually determines if it works.
Sure, we all have some narcissistic tendencies, but narcissism is destructive when it reaches a pathological point. You don’t need that type of toxicity in your life. So when your narcissistic ex finds a new love, keep it moving and don’t look back.
Consider their departure a gift from the Universe, and count your blessings. A life without a narcissistic influence is one with more peace, serenity, and good mental health.