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Narcissistic Supply: How to Stop Giving the Attention They Crave

A narcissist thrives on attention, lapping it up and twisting their behavior. It’s time to turn the tables and cut off that needy narcissistic supply.

Narcissism seems to be a buzz term these days. The problem is, dealing with a narcissist in real life is nothing to joke about. A narcissist can turn your world upside down, leaving you wondering what side is up. Put simply, you’ll be dizzy. If you understand your own mind at the end of it, you’ll be lucky, which is why you should learn how to cut off the narcissistic supply ASAP.

I can say all of this with confidence because I was in a relationship with a narcissist. Thankfully I got out of it before I lost myself in it. Many others are not so lucky.

Understanding why a narcissist is so dangerous, we must understand what a narcissist is.

[Read: How to spot a narcissist instantly and save yourself a world of pain]

What is a narcissist?

Now, a real narcissist is someone diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder *NPD*. This is not a choice and not something a human actually wants to be, but a narcissist doesn’t know any different way to live. So, their bad behavior continues throughout their life.

They must be the center of attention at all times and have praise thrown at them on a regular basis. They need you to do exactly what they want, whenever they click their fingers. Any rebellion against any of their needs will result in manipulation tactics and can leave a person emotionally scarred for a long time. One of those techniques is gas-lighting, something you’ve surely heard a lot about.

[Read: Been gaslighted? The signs a narcissist is playing mind games with you]

When you first delve into the world of narcissism, learning about it, and understanding it, you’ll probably end up confused. Is this person actually an unlikable and nasty type of person? It’s understandable to think that way, but it’s also important to remember that a narcissist has a personality disorder which dictates their actions to a certain degree.

Is it any excuse for hurting others? Not at all. That is why if you are in contact with one and you’re suffering, you need to get out of it NOW. [Read: 23 signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

The narcissistic supply is a term you’ll learn about in the twisted world of narcissists. This concept is key. It helps you understand not only how a narcissist works, but you are given the power to actually cut yourself free. You simply turn off the narcissistic supply you’re giving and walk the hell away.

[Read: The games narcissists play to suck you back in]

What on earth is narcissistic supply?

I’m aware it all sounds a little scientific, so let me break it down.

We know that narcissists love praise and attention. They don’t just love it, they need it. Without it, they don’t thrive, they rebel and act in rather unpleasant ways. So, you could say that the praise, adulation and attention is the supply. By giving a narcissist your undivided attention, you’re supplying them with what they need.

That’s the simple version, but as you can probably guess, it doesn’t end there.

There are different elements to narcissistic supply. As you can see, nothing is ever simple in this NPD world!

The source of the narcissistic supply is the person who gives the attention to the narcissist, so in this situation it is probably you. The actual narcissistic supply *bear with me* is the praise and attention you give. This sends the narcissist off on their usual tricks of grandeur, giving them the feel-good factor they desire.

[Read: Emotional manipulation – 14 ways people mess with your mind]

If a celebrity is a narcissist *and you’d be surprised how many actually are* then the celebrity status itself is the narcissistic supply. This attention *the fame* gives the narcissist the attention they need, the praise, the adulation and everything else that comes along with being a household name. Of course, celebrities also get ridiculed and insulted. As you can imagine, the narcissist does not like that one little bit.

Narcissistic supply doesn’t have to be fame. It normally comes down to power in many ways. When someone is constantly telling another person how amazing they are, the praised person is in a position of power. They’re adored and put on a pedestal and to them it feels great, but it also feels right. Why? Because in the mind of a narcissist, they deserve this praise, and they deserve nothing less because they are wonderful!

Are they wonderful? Nobody is really, but try telling that to a narcissist!

How to cut off the narcissistic supply and break free

It’s important to realize that your relationship which needs attention doesn’t have to be romantic. It could be a friendship, a working relationship, a roommate, anything. Despite that, the same kind of advice applies.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you have my sympathy. It’s not a nice place to be, and you’re constantly confused as to how the person you’re dating really is. You’re never really sure which way is up or down, your life isn’t particularly rosy. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore texts and do the shitty things they do?]

So, when you finally come to the conclusion that you need to get away for your own sanity and happiness, I commend you and pat you on the back. You’re brave. You’re doing the right thing.

Pep talk aside, how can you cut off the narcissistic supply?

This is the first step towards breaking free, but it will have the rather annoying side effect of pushing the narcissist into using manipulation techniques. Why? Because they sense that you’re about to leave, and they don’t like that. As a result, they’ll try to get you to question your own opinion and sanity, to keep you around and bring the narcissistic supply back their way.

Crafty? Very.

Understanding this will give you power. Next, stop with the adulation, stop with the attention and do something for yourself.

If the narcissistic supply you’re giving is that you’re always around for your partner and you’re always telling them how amazing they are, stop doing it. Don’t be there all the time, don’t do the things you normally do. Instead, go out and do something for yourself.

Yes, your partner will flounder, and they will turn on the charm to make you feel bad. Remember why you’re doing this. You’re cutting off the supply and you’re taking the first brave step towards ridding your life of narcissistic abuse. Because that’s what it is deep down. [Read: 16 subtle signs a narcissist is abusing you]

What you deserve in a relationship isn’t this

When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist you’re probably being abused on some level. Constant jibes, dragging you down, forcing you to see things the way they want you to see them and not your own, isolation from your friends and family. It’s emotional abuse. [Read: How to use the grey rock method to get a narcissist to walk away from you]

No matter how you dress it up. It’s certainly not love. How do I know that? Because narcissists aren’t capable of empathy, so how can they be capable of love in the same way as everyone else? They can’t.

This is the key to helping you see that you should leave. You deserve to be loved in the right way, and you deserve better.

[Read: A relationship with a narcissist and what it means to love one]

Cutting off the narcissistic supply can feel like cutting out your own heart at first. No matter how much you want to leave someone and feel better, you still love them deep down.

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