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What is narcissistic supply? And why do those with narcissistic tendencies need it so much.

Validation Junkies

Believe it or not, many people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder struggle with a deep insecurities. Those who have NPD often need to lean on others for validation because they cannot validate themselves. People who have NPD may be ashamed of who they really are so they project a fabulous and grandiose appearance in order to attract validation and admiration from others. While this may make them feel better temporarily, the validation wears off quickly and they often need more in order to feel better about themselves. Those with NPD tend to surround themselves with people who will give them the validation, attention, and admiration that they need to feel good about themselves. Narcissistic supply simply refers to the validation that people give to the person suffering from NPD.

When You Stop Validating Them

So, what happens when you stop validating a person with NPD? Well, when you cut off the supply, stuff really hits the fan. To properly understand the reaction, you’ll need to understand just how deep the need for validation goes. People who like themselves and have healthy amounts of self-compassion don’t need to go around getting validation from others because they’re able to validate themselves. On the other hand, people who don’t like themselves and cannot cope with their mistakes cling to others, hoping that others will give them the validation that they cannot create for themselves. When people do not validate them, the person with NPD may become enraged or distressed. That rage and distress is often directed at the person who has not given them the validation they needed or expected.

Doesn’t Everyone Like Validation?

There’s an interesting relationship dynamic when one party has narcissistic personality disorder. Usually, when one party has NPD, they lean on their partner to fuel their self-esteem and sense of self. Though the person with NPD may be getting their needs met, the other party often doesn’t get their needs met. If the other party brings up their unmet needs, the party with NPD is unlikely to change, and may even make excuses for their behavior. Those who have bWhat Is Narcissistic Supply?een in relationships with this dynamic may learn to go along with whatever the party with NPD wants in order to placate them.

Can Narcissistic Personality Disorder Be Cured?

While there is no definitive cure for NPD, it is possible to reverse the symptoms with the help of a professional. However, the person who’s suffering from NPD needs to want to change and attend counselling sessions willingly make an effort to improve. Unfortunately, those who have NPD don’t usually realize that they need help, and they may refuse to attend therapy. If you believe your spouse has NPD, it’s important to recognize that you cannot cure them, and they need to put in the work and effort to change. While you may not be able to change your spouse, you may be able to manage the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.

Setting Boundaries

If your spouse is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, it’s important to set boundaries, even if you plan on ending the marriage. Setting boundaries does not mean that you make a list of rules for them. Instead, you make a list of rules for yourself. For example, you may decide that you’re not going to respond when your spouse sends you emotionally abusive text messages. Setting boundaries is about setting realistic expectations for those around you. If your spouse has NPD and they’ve learned that you will not tolerate disrespectful behavior, they may be less likely to engage in such behavior with you.

Getting Therapy

If your spouse is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, you may need therapy for yourself, especially if they’ve emotionally abused you. Even if you’re staying in the marriage, going to therapy can be a big help, especially when it comes to learning coping skills and ways to help your partner manage their symptoms. In some cases, marital counselling can help. However, this is not true for all cases as the person with NPD may use information from the therapy session against you. It may be best to seek advice on marital counselling from your individual therapist.

When You’re Getting Divorced

If you’re considering divorce, CoilLaw is here for you. At CoilLaw, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you protect your rights in high-conflict divorces. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation.


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