Are You A Source Of Narcissistic Supply?

A Source Of Narcissistic Supply

Some examples of narcissistic supply are:

  1. Praise and compliments
  2. Accomplishments and professional success (even if by cheating or using unethical means)
  3. Financial gain by any means
  4. Status symbols, such as a big home, gold toilet, expensive car, 5 Star dining and hotels
  5. Acquaintances with celebrities, public figures, and other high-status people and institutions
  6. Wearing designer labels and expensive accessories and jewelry
  7. Winning
  8. Using alcohol, drugs, or other addiction
  9. Sex
  10. Provoking arguments, emotional reactions, and chaos
  11. Receiving awards
  12. Attention in the news or social media
  13. Being admired and loved by romantic partners
  14. Having a mate that is desired by others, such as a trophy wife or influential or successful spouse
  15. Expressions of gratitude

Narcissists’ Insatiable Needs

To a narcissist, like a drug addict, it’s survival. They crave recognition and have an insatiable need to be admired.

Psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut observed that his narcissistic clients suffered from profound alienation, emptiness, powerlessness, and lack of meaning. Beneath the surface, they lacked sufficient internal structures to maintain cohesiveness, stability, and a positive self-image to support a stable identity.

Narcissists’ early losses, emptiness, and needs are so great and painful that when not fulfilled, they mentally disintegrate. Thus their need for their supply is never-ending. They require continuous reassurance from those around them, but, like a parasite, no matter how much you give, it’s never enough to fill their emptiness and satisfy their hunger.

Read: 10 Signs of Narcissistic Supply

Their need is constant and relentless. Like vampires who are dead inside, narcissists exploit and drain those around them. Once their charm wears thin, notice if you feel drained around a narcissist. 

If you continue to sacrifice yourself for them, you, too, will feel empty and dead. You may start to experience what it was like for them to have an invasive, cold, or unavailable narcissistic parent. Anne Rice’s vampire Lestat in The Vampire Trilogy had such an emotionally empty mother, who devotedly bonded with him and used him to survive.  

Trying to please them feels thankless, like trying to fill a bottomless pit. The hole is their inner emptiness, of which they’re unaware, but expect others to fill. Of course, it’s impossible. Instead, focus on meeting your own needs and healing your own emptiness.

Get Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People.

© 2021 Darlene Lancer

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert author on relationships and codependency. She’s counseled individuals and couples for 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books and other online booksellers and her website.

Check out Darlene Lancer’s website, What Is Codependency for more informative and interesting articles.

Written By: Darlene Lancer
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Are You A Source Of Narcissistic Supply?
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Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert author on relationships and codependency. She's counseled individuals and couples for 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books and other online booksellers and her website.View Author posts