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What is narcissistic supply?

(5 Posts)
Wheredidsummergo112 Tue 07-Jun-16 14:12:11

What does the term narcissistic supply mean? And how do you avoid giving narcissistic supply to someone? We have 1, maybe 2, narcissists in the family. I keep reading that I shouldn't give them any supply but I don't really understand what that means. Can anyone help?

mickyblueyes Tue 07-Jun-16 14:39:32

Narcissistic supply = Attention

That can be adoration, praise etc - I suspect this is their preferred method of supply, but they also apparently get it from confrontation and if they can't get the from adoration etc, then they push your buttons to get a reaction, albeit negative it still feeds their supply.

I guess its like the saying ' Any publicity is good publicity'...'Any attention is better than no attention at all'

There are several methods to counter this...Stonewalling or Grey Rock no matter how much they provoke you DON'T react, walk away if you can. It's easier said than done but practice makes perfect.

If possible the best way to cut off the supply is 'No Contact' and keep them out of your life...they are emotional Vampires!

I'm no psychiatrist, so would recommend looking on the web for more material...its a fascinating subject and can give you answers to a situation that might have you thinking that you were going crazy when its the Narc thats Bat Shit Crazy!

Wheredidsummergo112 Wed 08-Jun-16 11:17:02

Micky Thanks for the info! So I suppose the theory is that if you don't give them supply they can't use it against you? Or that they will get bored and direct their bad behaviour elsewhere?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Wed 08-Jun-16 17:04:29

Nice summary, mickey.

In my experience, if the narc was ok with me deciding something, it was made clear that she had my full approval (patronizing me as though I was 6yo) and make no mistake-there was always a hidden agenda that I then owed her something for her magnanimous generosity. And a narc will never fail to collect. The hidden agenda leading to a debt/collection is a supply strategy. The minefield of "gifts" fall into this strategy too.

I recommend this book:
The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

You are right in that anything you say can and will be used against you. It might be described as a campaign of Death By Ten Thousand Cuts. Not always obvious, often subtle and seemingly petty so you could easily be made to look unreasonable if you complained. Or the wide menu of Left Handed Compliments.

Do not engage. Simple, or one word answers -the best one being: "I don't know" (so they will go ask someone else, which they would probably ask someone else anyway to zing you for supply) Do not ask them questions. Definitely do not share future plans...just talk about past events if you are given a chance to speak... about yourself.

they will get bored and direct their bad behavior elsewhere
They will never see their behavior as bad, btw. They are right and everyone else on the planet/Milky Way is wrong. But yes, they will move on to someone else. The narc in my family collects people, like having a stable of horses-who is she going to exercise today? There are a couple of people she treats fairly though...perhaps they have set boundaries and made it clear not to cross it and to avoid complete loneliness she respects that. But she eventually turned on me and I had to go no contact (through years long processes of weaning and pruning and fading away).

mickyblueyes Thu 09-Jun-16 13:01:58

In summary...stay away from these people if you can, they'll drain the life out of you like an emotional vampire! The have no 'soul'! Just an arsehole!

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