Requires excessive admiration – DSM IV
The need for attention and admiration is really at the crux of Narcissism. A Narcissist’s low self-esteem, insecurity and a fear of abandonment mean that they are always seeking validation from outside sources.
The term “supply” has become synonymous with those aspects that a Narcissist is after, namely, attention, affection, admiration, praise, compliments, sex, money, or any other desirable resources.
The term, “emotional vampire,” has often been used to illustrate the Narcissist’s style of taking and using others for their own advantage.
Not all supply is created equal, however. They are always seeking supply through proxy. If their partner is attractive, possesses a skill, is famous or wealthy, the Narcissist will easily glean supply from the achievements or accolades of others and will even try to take credit for it. If a Narcissist can make you cry or hurt you this too is a potential source of supply.
The more supply you give the greater the Narcissist’s need of you, but don’t get too comfortable. Once a Narcissist has grown a tolerance to your supply, your usefulness is on the decline and you run the risk of being discarded and eventually replaced.
Like a drug addict they are high off the initial hit of a new target’s supply, but after repeated doses of the same supply they become accustomed to it and are no longer getting the same satisfaction that they once did.
It’s as if the void inside of them is filled momentarily by their obsession with someone new. But as always, the void, an internal construct, returns and the Narcissist, lacking insight into their own thoughts and behaviors, realizes that you must not be so special after all. For if you were, the void would be gone and they would be happy.
Filling this void by obtaining supply is all consuming. Day and night, night and day they are always looking for a new source. This takes precedence over all things. Your needs, thoughts and hurt feelings are all just collateral damage on their quest to find something, anything, that would make them feel special and important.
This is, in tandem with a narcissist’s inability to form attachment bonds, why they view others as objects, or chess pieces, to be moved around at their will and to suit their needs. Their needs are all-important – yours don’t compute. They don’t care if the supply you give them is sincere. All they concern themselves with is whether or not it’s consistent and valuable. They will lie, cheat, steal, use, punish and manipulate to get their needs met. For without their supply, it’s as if they go into a type of substance withdrawal. They get angry, depressed, withdrawn and contemptuous. If a narcissist doesn’t feel special and important, they will take it out on those closest to them. It will be your fault for them feeling this way and they will make sure you suffer for it.
They have learned how to play the supply game very well. They better know, if their entire sense of well-being is linked to it. To victims and outsiders, it seems unfathomable that anyone could be so detached and so cruel. From a self-preservation aspect, it’s perfectly logical. You have what I need and I am going to do whatever I must to get it and I lack the characteristics that would me to make feel bad about it, so I won’t.
Oh what’s that over there? Does it like me?
Do you need to talk? Click here to find out how you can Skype with Savannah.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net