Discovering what they’ve lost can be a significant turning point for narcissists, so it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard. In these moments, they are forced to confront their shortcomings and the reality of their actions. While the response may vary from one individual to another, common patterns emerged when a narcissist realizes the extent of their loss. Here are 10 things narcissists do when they realize what they have lost:
Number 1: Denial.
Narcissists resort to denial when they realize they lost someone. This is because they can’t accept that someone no longer wants to be in their life. They struggle to acknowledge their faults and shortcomings, preferring to believe they are perfect. They refuse to accept the pain of rejection and convince themselves that they don’t care about that person anyway.
There’s a fear of facing the truth of their inadequacies and would rather live in a world where they are always right and never at fault. Denial helps them protect their fragile self-esteem and maintain their false sense of superiority. Denial allows them to maintain control and avoid feeling vulnerable or weak.
Number 2: Gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a tactic narcissists use to manipulate situations and get you to question your view of reality. Narcissists do gaslighting after they realize they have lost you, to continue controlling you. They try to get you to doubt your recollections and experiences. Using gaslighting, narcissists can place the blame for their actions on you and escape accountability. They distort the truth and twist facts to make you feel confused and uncertain.
They also try to make you doubt your abilities to recover control and convince you that you are the issue in the relationship. Narcissists use gaslighting to protect their egos and avoid accepting the loss of a loved one who has chosen to leave their lives because if they do, they will be forced to accept that they aren’t perfect.
Number 3: Projection.
When narcissists realize they have lost you, one tactic they often resort to is projection. It’s their way of deflecting their negative emotions and flaws because they simply can’t handle them. Instead of acknowledging their shortcomings, narcissists project them onto you, squarely placing the blame for relationship issues on your shoulders. Narcissists make you feel like the one with all the problems, diverting attention away from themselves.
They can avoid taking responsibility and maintaining their false sense of superiority by projecting their negative traits onto you. It’s a manipulative tactic that leaves you feeling guilty and ashamed while they deny any fault. Projection serves as a shield for their fragile ego, allowing them to preserve their self-image as faultless. Interestingly, this is one instance where narcissists don’t enjoy being in the spotlight.
Number 4: Grandiosity.
Once they realize they’ve lost you, narcissists often resort to exaggerated self-promotion to uphold their inflated self-worth. Narcissists go to great lengths to exaggerate their achievements, talents, and importance, all in an attempt to boost their ego. By showing their superiority, they aim to make you feel inferior and regret leaving them.
Narcissists seek admiration and validation from others and engage in grandiosity to attract attention. This defense mechanism serves to conceal their deep-seated insecurities and feelings of worthlessness. Ultimately, their actions stem from a desire to convince themselves and others that they are better off without you, making it seem like losing them was your loss.
Number 5: Manipulation.
Manipulation is a skill that narcissists excel at. When they realize you’re pulling away, they’ll use it as a tool for control. Narcissists guilt-trip you, making you feel responsible for your pain and suffering. Playing mind games, they manipulate your emotions and thoughts, leaving you confused and weakened. They don’t hesitate to twist the truth or lie outright, causing you to doubt your perceptions. Ever heard of love bombing?
They’ll shower you with affection and attention, hoping you’ll reconsider. Narcissists exploit your vulnerabilities and insecurities and use them against you to regain power. So, what is their aim through all this manipulation? You got it. They want to regain control and keep you within their grasp.
Number 6: Victimhood.
Narcissists often resort to playing the victim as a way to dodge accountability. They aim to elicit sympathy and attention by painting themselves as the ones who have been mistreated, even if they were responsible for the relationship’s demise. Narcissists twist the narrative to portray themselves as the suffering party. Their goal? Manipulating your emotions and making you feel guilty for walking away.
And they may exaggerate their hardships, presenting themselves as helpless and needing support. Through playing the victim, they seek to gain your sympathy and plant seeds of doubt about your decision to leave them. What else would narcissists do to avoid taking responsibility?
Number 7: Hoovering.
When narcissists realize they’ve lost you, they often resort to hoovering. This strategy involves contacting you, pretending to have changed, or expressing remorse for their past actions. Narcissists shower you with compliments, gifts, and promises, hoping to lure you back into their life.
They’ll try to evoke nostalgia and remind you of the good times you shared. By exploiting your emotions and vulnerabilities, narcissists aim to tempt you into giving them another chance. Hoovering is a manipulative ploy to regain power and ensure you don’t move on without them.
Number 8: Triangulation.
When narcissists realize they’ve lost you, they’ll pull a sneaky move called triangulation. Narcissists bring a third person into their relationship, creating competition and jealousy. Their goal is to regain control over you. They’ll introduce someone new, like a romantic interest or a mutual acquaintance, making you insecure and unsure.
They’ll go on and on about how great this person is, making you question your worth. Can you believe they’d go to such lengths to keep you hooked and make you feel like you’re missing out on something precious? It’s their twisted way of holding on to power even after you’ve walked away.
Number 9: Self-reflection.
Albeit superficial, narcissists struggle with self-reflection. But sometimes, they pretend to reflect when they realize they’ve lost you. They might apologize and admit their mistakes, but it’s usually not genuine. Their self-reflection is shallow and lacks genuine introspection.
Narcissists do this to make you think they’ve changed and can improve. However, it’s just a trick to regain trust and manipulate emotions. They want to seem sorry and redirect the blame. Ultimately, it’s all about their selfish desire for control and power over you. How do narcissists use superficial reflection to manipulate others?
Number 10: Moving on quickly.
Narcissists see relationships as transactions and easily replaceable. When they realize they’ve lost you, they move on quickly, seeking admiration and attention from someone else to fill the void. Narcissists are thrust into new relationships to prove they are desirable and unaffected by the breakup. Moving on fast helps them avoid dealing with their emotions and the reality of the situation.
They want validation from others and use these new connections to boost their ego by appearing unbothered and finding a replacement swiftly. Narcissists try to make you feel insignificant and regret leaving them. It’s their way of staying in control and protecting their fragile self-esteem. How do narcissists use quick replacements to manipulate their ex-partners?
When narcissists confront the reality of what they have lost, their responses can range from denial and gaslighting to manipulation and projection. It is essential to recognize these patterns and protect yourself from further harm. Remember, understanding their behavior is crucial in breaking free from their grip and building a healthier future for yourself.
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