(Hub Pages) Narcissists and their Narcissistic supply –
For the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, other people around them are all classed as Narcissistic Supply. That is they need other people to worship them and keep their ego intact. If the Narcissist homes in on you as a source of Narcissistic supply to add to their collection then be warned they will go to great lengths to reel you in.
Reeling in Narcissistic Supply
At first, most people are charmed by this smiling, fascinating seemingly perfect individual who seems to want to give so much to you and wants nothing in return? If you are lucky enough to be someone the Narcissist sees as at their level of superiority e.g. a politician, an actor, or a person of substantial influence then maybe you will never see the other side of the Narcissist.
On the other hand, if the Narcissist sees you as actually being inferior to them then they will begin to spin their web of manipulation. Then before you realize what is happening you will be belittled, condescended to, used and you are undoubtedly in for a torturous time of psychological warfare like nothing you will have ever experienced before.
Narcissism in the longer term
Many Narcissists do eventually end up living alone and at odds with the image, they still have of themselves and the one that the world actually sees. At this stage, the Narcissist is apt to tell anyone who will listen that they have no idea why their family has turned on them. Or they have absolutely no clue why friends have deserted them. They have just been unlucky they will tell you. They will probably also tell you that their family is just a bad lot who have abandoned them in their hour of need and their friends were always just fickle anyway and they just made some really bad choices in who they decided to be friends with.
Narcissists never blame themselves for anything
New potential sources of Narcissistic supply will be baffled as to how a person could be that unlucky. Isn’t it terrible that such a nice, charming person is living alone in their twilight years, in time though when if they decide to get closely entangled in the Narcissists web they too will learn the real reasons for the Narcissists isolated life.
Do narcissists never understand why you might need attention too?
Therefore the Narcissist wants your love, attention, and admiration but sees no reason why they need to reciprocate any. Their supreme company and the fact that they are condescending to allow you to be in their life at all is enough reward as far as the Narcissist is concerned.
As the Narcissist sees it you are already just so lucky to have them in your life and why would there be any need for them to offer you anything else? That is what common people do but they have too many special, unique qualities to be bothered with the trivialities of normal people.
Superior Narcissistic Supply
If you however are somebody they consider to be at their level they will pander to you within an inch of their life. If you are materially well off or a celebrity in some way or just a very upstanding member of society as they see it then you may already know many Narcissists who you meet regularly and have never guessed what is really going on behind the smiling, courteous acquaintance that you have. Chances are you will never know because the Narcissist will not try to manipulate you because they admire you, emulate you and basically want to be you.
Narcissists and Family
If you however encounter a family member you haven’t had any dealings with for years and suddenly they want to be your new best friend then beware. If they tell you they have fallen out with so and so in the family because they are totally unreasonable and selfish and this comes as a big surprise to you then there is quite possibly a Narcissist in the wings. Narcissists usually search for new sources of supply within the family when one has cracked up and moved on.
A family member is preferred by the Narcissist because they have an immediate audience to further berate and annihilate their last victim’s character too and they tend to stick to the familiar and are more likely to emotionally snare a family member due to the shared past experiences and relations that they have. Narcissists rarely confide in someone outside the family perhaps this is too risky for them as it may cause their public face to slip somewhat and they are not comfortable with this concept.
Narcissism and the Career ladder
Many Narcissists spend their twenties seeking the Holy Grail in terms of material success and corporate recognition. When they decide to put their mind to it they can achieve very substantial success in their chosen profession. They are used to playing a role and can adapt their behaviors to fit in with a new one. They have acted at liking their inferiors all their life so putting on a professional face for co-workers and customers poses little difficulty for them. They can easily perform for their boss and pander to his ego to get that promotion and thus be well on their way up the corporate ladder within a few years.
However, sustaining this type of performance for the long term seems difficult for the Narcissist to do. Because everything they do in life is an act and they feel they must mask their true persona eventually this can take a toll on their physical health.
Physical pitfalls of being a Narcissist
Many Narcissists tend to turn into hypochondriacs or even more do really become physically sick as the toll of the act becomes too much for them to sustain over the long term. Some research indicates that the suppression of all their emotions and negative feelings makes them more susceptible to illnesses like cancer because of everything they feel they have to repress within.
Narcissism in the longer term
The Narcissist believes that they just cannot give up a good career without a just cause it would simply not portray the proper image to the world but if they had a good reason such as illness, the birth of a child, or other circumstances beyond their control then they can save face which is of paramount importance to them always. It is a strain to never be able to let your guard down and many Narcissists become physically and mentally exhausted from keeping up the act day in day out all their lives. This is when being a Narcissist becomes hard work for them. Unfortunately, even if they wanted to change it is probably too late for them to do so by now.