narcissistic supply

The 5 Laws of Narcissistic Supply (and How to Break Them)

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~ by Ven Baxter

What is a narcissist?  First, here’s my own definition:

Narcissist (n.) a person who deceives others in order to take, deplete, and consume their life energy (“soul”) because the narcissist lacks it.

Next, let’s break this down and look at the Narcissist and the 5 Laws of Narcissistic Supply a bit more closely.


1.  The Narcissist lacks life energy

It’s well-known in the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery community that a narcissist requires continual “Narcissistic Supply” from other people.  This energy comes in visible forms, such as time, attention, effort, sex, and filling in as their emotional punching bag.

(Money is a tangible thing that we usually acquire by exchanging our energy for it.  It serves several roles in narcissistic abuse and merits its own discussion elsewhere.)

In other words, a narcissist is dependent on other people for a form of energy that they have (and can give), but the narcissist lacks.  Thus, the narcissist needs one or more human targets as sources of supply.

Without this energetic “supply,” the narcissist experiences such emotions as boredom, irritability, panic, or rage.  These resemble withdrawal symptoms, so it seems that narcissism can be compared to an addiction–a dependency on energy received from other people.

What is this energy?

It isn’t electricity.  It isn’t food or nutrition.  It isn’t sunlight or microwaves or gravitation.  “Narcissistic Supply” is another form of energy, one which can be exchanged between people and used in the process of human living.  It can also be used up, hence the narcissist’s continual demands for it.

I call it “life energy”.

2.  Life energy is “soul”

Non-narcissists don’t require this energy from others because we produce it within ourselves and use it for ourselves, sort of like having rechargeable batteries.  We use this “life energy” to live and thrive as human beings.  We also use the excess of it, beyond what we need for ourselves, as a sort of fuel to sustain our relationships.

If we run low on life energy, we have to replenish it by resting or “recharging” in some way.  This is called “taking care of you.”  We all need life energy just as we need food, and–also like food–we don’t have an unlimited supply of it.  (Just ask anyone who has raised children.)

If we don’t have enough of this energy to give, our relationships suffer.  When we continually give life energy to a narcissist (or anyone else) who continually demands it, the giving of it drains us.  Our supply becomes the narcissist’s supply.  Eventually, our relationships and even our health can fail because our life energy, our vitality, is drained.

This is how narcissistic abuse weakens the target, invisibly, from the inside out.

What is this “life energy” that is not electricity or food; can take the form of time, attention, effort, or sex; can be depleted in the process of sustaining human life, health, and relationships; and can be shared or exchanged with others?

Basically, it’s emotional energy.

Emotion or feeling is a function of the heart–not the physical muscle, but the non-physical inner “feeling part” of a human being’s psyche.  The heart, on a deeper level, is connected to the soul.  (Another subject that merits its own discussion elsewhere.)

Many people who have been targets of narcissistic abuse describe the experience as “soul-crushing” or “soul-destroying.”  Some have said that the narcissist “has no soul.”  This is because of the narcissist’s continual demands for emotional energy from others, depleting their life energy, their vitality, their “soul”…as if the narcissist lacks his or her own “soul.”

On the other hand, recharging our life energy–our emotions, our heart, our vitality–makes us FEEL good and strong on the inside; it’s “good for the soul.”

Narcissistic abuse is an assault on the heart and soul of a target.  Ultimately, it’s an inner struggle between the target and the narcissist, which is why other people do not recognize or understand it.

3.  A Narcissist takes, depletes, and consumes other people’s life energy (“soul”)

Let’s look at narcissistic abuse from the other side, from the point of view of the narcissist’s target of abuse (his or her source of supply).

In “normal” or healthy human relationships, people give of themselves to each other with some form of mutual understanding or reciprocity.  What we give can be in the form of time, attention, effort, or sex–and we tend to receive these forms of energy from others in return.

In other words, “normal” or psychologically healthy people respect each other and reciprocate.

When we freely give other people our energy and expect no gift in return, we call this “love”.  Love is how we share our life energy with our children.  It’s also how a (grownup) narcissist expects and demands to receive it from others.

A narcissist wants to receive other people’s life energy freely, without having to give anything in return.  But the never-ending narcissistic demand for supply is not love.  It’s the opposite of love.

Love gives freely.  narcissism demands…for free.  However, unbeknownst to the target who is willing to give freely to the narcissist, there will be no end to the giving, nor to the demands for it.

Children will eventually grow out of their normal “narcissistic” developmental stage and stop demanding supply, becoming adults who can produce their own supply.  Adult narcissists will not, because they are apparently stuck in the “narcissistic” stage of childhood growth forever

However, either alternatively or simultaneously, they innately feel entitled to this supply.  They believe they deserve it without having to work for it or reciprocate.  

A narcissist does not (and cannot) respect his or her target–because the narcissist is not psychologically healthy.  For whatever reason, the narcissist doesn’t have enough life energy to give to others, or the ability to produce or even sustain it.  But the narcissist can be quite good at faking it.

Indeed, pretending may be the narcissist’s only strategy for survival.

4.  The narcissist deceives others

Ideally, a person has enough life energy to fulfill his or her own needs and share some with others in respectful, loving relationships.  I like to think of this as a cup being filled to overflowing and spilling over to others.

A narcissist, lacking this life energy in his or her own cup, seeks it from others–but, having none to give in return, the narcissist (like a child) can only take it.  But the narcissist’s “cup” never seems to stay filled and always demands more, more, endlessly MORE.

No amount of giving to a narcissist ever seems to be enough.

A human being’s life energy is not unlimited.  Most people do not wish to endlessly pour their own life energy into another person’s “cup” on demand and deplete their own until (and beyond) the point of self-harm.  Psychologically healthy people may be willing to sacrifice their soul for love, but they don’t wish to sacrifice it for nothing.

However, since this is exactly what a narcissist requires, he or she must, therefore, deceive other people into giving their life energy freely to the narcissist.

Deception is the narcissist’s primary (and also the easiest) way to get his or her “fix” of supply.  The ways in which this plays out in a close relationship is all-too-familiar to the target of narcissistic abuse.

The Narcissist lies.  The Narcissist cheats.  The Narcissist makes “future” promises.  The Narcissist swears to God, on the children’s lives, and on his or her own life.  The Narcissist betrays.  The Narcissist leaves…and then comes back.

No one likes to be lied to.  When the target has had (given) enough, and the “fix” of supply is threatened, the narcissist lashes out at the target.  The Narcissist belittles.  The Narcissist blames.  The Narcissist threatens.  The Narcissist attacks, goes for the throat, and desecrates the soul.

The narcissist abuses.  Why?

It’s simple.  The target of abuse is the source of supply.  Abuse is how the narcissist keeps the supply flowing.

This doesn’t make sense, though.  How does it work?

For a young child who demands attention (“supply” or emotional energy) from the parent, even negative attention is better than none at all.  Likewise, a narcissist thrives on other people’s emotional responses to the narcissist, whether positive or negative.

Sometimes this requires that the narcissist provoke a negative emotional response.  If this is successful (the narcissist gets supply), and the target stays in the relationship (the narcissist gets supply), the narcissist has“won” (the narcissist gets supply)–and is assured that the supply will continue (the narcissist gets supply).

And so deception leads to quite the powerful source of supply…if the narcissist has chosen well…and the target proves his or her willingness to stay with the narcissist…by enduring the narcissist’s disrespect, lies, and abuse…which transfer the target’s vitality to the narcissist…as merely a temporary “fix” of supply…and ruins the target’s relationships and health…and perhaps even damages his or her soul…all so that the narcissist can continueto be a narcissist.

5.  The narcissist is a person

Maybe a narcissist is a broken person.  Maybe a narcissist is a hurt child, forever trapped in an adult’s body.  Maybe a narcissist is an extremely spoiled and abusive grownup.  Maybe a narcissist is an unfortunate soul, possessed by a demon.  Maybe a narcissist is a human being who has no soul.  Maybe a narcissist is a real-life vampire who feeds on other people’s life energy instead of blood.  Or a human robot, or an alien pretending to be human in a “snatched” human body.

I don’t know.  What I do know is that, for the purpose of dealing with a narcissist, it doesn’t matter who or what the narcissist is–or how he or she got that way.

Whatever we may think and feel about the narcissist(s) in our lives, under every law of human society, narcissists are people, and we must treat and regard them as people.  This attitude towards them is absolutely necessary, for the protection of both ourselves and our children.

However, it does not mean that we have to pretend to ourselves that the narcissist is (or behaves or thinks) like the rest of us.

After enduring the torture of narcissistic abuse, it can be easy to see the narcissist as a non-person: an evil, self-serving, all-consuming, slippery, sneaky, lying, sadistic shell of a creature that only looks like a human being…but has no real person inside.

This perception may be true.

Nevertheless, we must remember that narcissists have the same rights under the law that we do, as human beings, as adults, and as parents.  We may be all too familiar with his or her ability to make up lies–and believe them wholeheartedly, with a convincing emotional display–but in a court of law, the narcissist’s word is as good as ours, unless we have collected very compelling evidence otherwise.

Therefore, we must remember (and be able) to back up our words with facts.  We must be able and prepared to have documentation and even witnesses whenever we know we’re dealing with a narcissist, especially when we have children with one.

We may not like it, and may not even know it, but to a narcissist, we are the enemy.

Not only the enemy but also food.  A potential source of energetic supply.  A narcissist is a predator, like a lion or a crocodile–not someone to “heal”, or help, or be more patient with, or give the benefit of a doubt “this time” or (yet) “another chance” (to consume you).

What does this mean, and how to violate the laws of narcissistic supply?

Never forget that for all practical purposes, and in the eyes of everyone else, you are dealing with a person as decent and rational as yourself (and often, based on appearances, even more so) when you are dealing with a narcissist.

Therefore, your best bet is to just stop dealing with the narcissist as much as you possibly can, right now.  You cannot win a battle for your soul when the battle itself destroys your soul.  So fight as little as possible, get as far away as you can, and stay there.

This is the only way to win.

Once you are away from the narcissist, your life energy can begin to recharge, your vitality can start to return, your cup can start to fill again, and your soul can begin to heal.  Only then can you be any good to anyone else, because only then will you have enough energy to take care of yourself AND share with those who both need and deserve it.

Fighting with a narcissist will only empower the narcissist and weaken you–and the people you care about, too.  If you continue to fight with a narcissist, you will not be able to help others, or even yourself, as you will be feeding them narcissistic supply, while remaining dead-center in the narcissistic vortex.

How To Stop Feeding Your Energy to the Narcissist and Begin Healing:

Everyone has the innate capacity to heal themselves. But it’s likely you will need external support to heal the traumas that get in the way of your ability to tune into this gift. Our beautiful community includes people in varying stages of their healing, and several who are celebrating their anniversaries of no contact!

I cover the applications and theories in all of these areas in my narcissistic abuse recovery program, which has been voted a favorite by professionals in the psychological community.  Therapists refer their own clients to this program.

Discover the strength inside you to overcome crippling emotional pain, defeat helplessness, and create a meaningful, fulfilling life.  The Break Free Program will give you the exact strategies to help you discover the key to transformational healing and overcoming the addiction to drama and trauma.

See what students and mental health professionals have to say.  

Author Bio – Ven Baxter lives in Florida, where he works as a canoe outfitter, teaches, writes, and enjoys being father to his three children. 

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Leave a Comment:

Gabriella Mashiah says March 16, 2024


Patricia says September 30, 2022

This is something that I have learned through this relationship of mine over the last 6 years, being an older adult had just left an abusive relationship, jumped into this one thinking he was wonderful and only learning what I have gotten myself into by living it. My soul, body and mind are so tired but I feel so stuck.. this article at least gives me somewhat of a better feeling knowing that someone out there knows what is going on. I have no one anymore because of this man I am with, he has made people hate me in my life, and robbed me of everything he can. Most days I just have no hope and no direction to go. Thank you for sharing this, at least I know that he isn’t the only man who is capable of such distruction of someone elses life.

Dee says September 30, 2022

I am still in emotional pain from years of Narcissistic abuse, unfortunately we share a child together so I still have to see him from time to time, he makes me feel physically sick, he us a very sick and twisted individual who thrives on belittling me and calling me names, he talks down to me in front of our child and disrespects me on every level, he is vile and mentally unstable, he gives me palpitations and anxiety when he’s around, we are not together anymore he just comes to see his child when it suits him.

    Kim Saeed says July 3, 2023

    Hi Dee,

    I don’t know your legal history with this person, but he shouldn’t be able to come to see your child when it suits him. Ideally, there should be a custody order in place, and he can only see your child according to the order. Also, I hope you’re not letting him in your home. This decrees that your home cannot be your safe haven, and he could be doing things behind your back when you’re not looking.

    At the very least, visit your local domestic violence center and let them help you with a plan. Leaving this man with so much free access makes it unlikely, almost impossible, that you will ever truly heal.

Jonna Christensen says September 30, 2022

I need repeating and acting on this….. to rewire my brain to be free from being a supply for my narcissist…and any other toxic relationship. THANK you❤️
Jonna (Denmark)

Madeline says September 30, 2022

I am 62 year old female. I was with a narcissist for 29 years. I left him 1 1/2 years ago and have had no contact only through a solicitor. He is still calling the shots. The solicitor thinks she can reason with him. I have tried to explain ‘ you can not REASON with CRAZY but she carries on, giving him deadlines he does not respect, and she doesn’t work for him , she is supposed to be working for me!
The above description explained perfectly and clearly this narcissistic abuse I have suffered the last 29 years. I hated him but I still looked for crumbs of loyalty, respect, companionship, love, when there was none but always hoping one day , but it never did come 29 years of waiting and hoping for change. I loved him once upon a time although that is hard to believe. All I feel now is exhaustion and self loathing.

Becky says September 29, 2022

Brilliant Ven Baxter article.

I was with a narcissist for 3 years in younger years age 19. I got far away took me a long time to plan relocation in order not to be followed, harrassed and stalked i did not know narcissism then yet. I would not wish such suffering and discomfort for my worst enemy.

My life turned great awesone amazing except second was another repeat performance i call mistake again reprise i was age 24. I declined matrimony to be one parent son is lovely grew up ok now age 48 lives in Stockholm Sweden in defacto relationship has 2 children age 12 and 8 are a happy family not married together now 18 years.

I had relationships but all doomed though not all narcissist.

Sologamy is my choice. I am myself best friend with no financial nor housing problem i own a villa in Sun Sea Sangria Mediterranean Spain my winter home & summer home 1st frontline riverfront London Suburbia UK too much ado just to sign off assets by signing marriage paper I bequeth to my son, his partner and my grandkids. No emotional baggage No housekeeping chores cooking cleaning grocery mandatory to me only me to please. I have friends both male & female also sologamist or widow because married friends are just fair weather friends nit good company.

My soul energy is recharged for myself. I can spot narcissist immediately still exist plenty about. Men still courting me. Becky LAW i do NOT entertain at home i just go out for a meal or drink i feel i turn up free coach my pearlies liked OH WELL they might as well look after the check but i’m prepared to pay what i eat or drink but not his bill.

Vanessa says July 11, 2022

This was by far the most well written article I have ever read about a narcissist as a PERSON, that provided a fundamental understanding of the the cause effect for one that has never endured the abuse,

Thank you so much for writing this.

Sandee Snyder says January 25, 2022

Dear Kim,

I just want to thank you for all your information you email me. I learned a few months ago that I was in fact dealing with a narcissist. I’ve been with him off and on since 2010 and the past 2yrs have been the worst. He openly cheated and things got physical this time. I told myself I’d never let a man put hands on me but I stayed and put up with it and started fighting back. I actually hit him back in his mouth after he hit me in mine. Thats the 1st time in my entire life I’ve ever been punched in the face. He got me a puppy so I’d have to stay at home more and he’d be free to go places by himself. I finally kicked him out but he came back daily to harass me in some way and actually got me evicted from our apartment. He kicked in my door quite often and tore the apartment up and even started a fight with my cousin and his friend while they were checking on me one night. He kicked in the door and got in my cousins face and it was on. I was a wreck, I called my BFF after it was over and was hyperventilating and didn’t know what to do. I’ve ended up on the side of the interstate bc he got mad at something I said or he’d leave me at a convenience store and my BFF would have to come get me. But it was always my fault. Everything that he felt was wrong with his life was somehow my fault even if I was nowhere around. It still baffles me how he went from the person he was about 10yrs ago to what he is now, bc he’s never been like this and it’s gotten worse after he went to prison for 7yrs and he spent 4yrs of that in segregation. I know that had to do something to his psyche. But has he always been a narcissist and it just progressed or can it get worse if they’re put in a situation like being in segregation for yrs? Thats the only thing that makes sense to me and it’s actually been driving me nuts trying to figure out what happened bc this is not who I met in 2010, but I know that’s part of narcissism bc they pretend to be who they need to for the time being. But 12yrs of pretending? And I wasn’t there for the whole 7yrs, I had gotten in trouble with him and went to prison myself for 2yrs. It just eats at me and I think that’s why I have such a hard time letting go bc I love him even though all the bs we’ve gone through bc I really want to believe that wasn’t him treating me that way and that he really loves me. Am I just kidding myself? I try to tell myself that I need to just stop communicating with him bc he’s going back to prison. I just can’t seem to let go. ??

malinda danner says January 24, 2022

I have a soul sucking sister who is working to spend or hide all the inheritance and she is getting away with it. I find it hard to stay away or not communicate since that gives her the opportunity to hide money. She is a great actress and believes her own lies more than anything. I am not financially able to fight my narcissist and the amount of damage she has done to the family is unreal. Word of warning I believe that when someone is getting close to death they can smell it. She has done every trick in the book by making me look bad and telling lies so that I have family members who do not speak to me anymore and I still have no idea what she said I did but it is bad enough for people to quit talking to me. I am on disability so I can not afford a lawyer so she has taken over all the financial, changed addresses so I can not get the mail and convinced the caregivers not to trust me and sent me a text to tell me my mom passed away after she called everyone else. They can hurt you to where you actually hate them. I can not find anyway to deal with her or like her, too much damage done.

Nikki says January 22, 2022

Very well written and oh so true. Articles like this helped me through 3 out of 7 years of marriage to a nightmare. There were days I just wanted to leave everything in order to get peace. I even thought about leaving my child too. That’s how tortured my soul was. It’s like my ex hated peace. At least he hated me having it. The more peaceful I was, the angrier he got. Then, when I got flustered, he celebrated. I was on a non stop roller-coaster. Every two to three days the cycle of accusations of betrayal and emotional abuse would start. It was predictable. I was afraid, always confused, sad. Lonely, and always praying for an escape route. The sad part is, when I did get a chance to run, I couldn’t leave him. Trauma kept me bonded. Although we’ve been separated 2 years and divorced 4 months, sometime I have to stop myself from still loving him. I ask myself how can a sane person love someone who treated them like dog doo. Then, I realize that I’m not sane. How could I be sane after the hell he put me through for 8 years? True, I can function but I’m not sane. Nevertheless, each day brings me closer to what sanity looks like/feels like. These days are calmer thank God. The storm has slowly become scattered showers. Thank God! One thing I have learned through it all is to treat people how I want to be treated and to always sow good seeds in word and deed because what one plants, one will definitely reap. And, there is no way I ever want to go back down nightmare street.

Thank you so very much

edna durham says January 3, 2022

he has convinced me that i am the narcissist. making me doubt that he is actually the one

Sans says July 15, 2021


Carol M. says June 9, 2021

What if it is your adult daughter and she if destitute. I can not make it if she would move in with me again. We fuss and she throws fits to get her way.

    Nikki says January 22, 2022

    Hi. Im a mom of adult kids too. I really would be heart broken knowing they are suffering and need me. However, I would have to keep myself safe too. So, maybe you can help her from a distance even if it means tapping into your savings or getting a side gig. In my opinion, your peace of mind will remain if you go this route rather than her moving back in.

Jennifer says May 22, 2021

I like to equate a narcissist with another predator, the shark!
They swim, they prey, they devour….repeat

Lauran Warren says May 19, 2021

How can I stay away from him when I live right next door? It’s so easy for him to suck me right back in. I don’t feel I can cut contact because how do I explain to my children that he will no longer speak to them? They love him. How can I deal with having to ignore his son, whom I love, when I see him every day?

    Jo says September 30, 2022


Olivera says May 18, 2021

Can someone help me .
My daughter in-law is narcissistic person,and my son
Thinks that she is the best person.
For me is unbelievable how she is bad mom.
That is something what make me crazy.
What is the best to do.

Janis Payton says November 10, 2020

Can you not collect some kind of welfare. This is what welfare was meant for to help a person out of predicaments such as yours you can file online I think you need to get creative I’m not saying lie but you need to ben d things your way. Get some ammo you already have the kids now start gai g ground on the down low sooner or later u will have enough to leave. Do what you have to do put yourself in survival mode. This is where your mind needs to be . survive al is key to your family right now

Beate says November 6, 2020

Scapegoat,;that is it, what I know about my family life
So I don’t want waste energy more in dysfunctial behaviour any more rhank you so much

JENNIFER JACKSON says November 4, 2020

How do I get out without a place to stay being secured for me and my daughter. I am receiving disability, just need help.

Jose Ramirez says November 3, 2020

Good article, very informative. I am certain that I was in a relationship with a narcissist. There isn’t any other excuse for the way I was treated, the way I feel, and the way it ended. She appears to have moved on very easily,doing fine,and quite happy with her new fiancee, while I continue to twist about the betrayal and loss.

Gareth says October 31, 2020

This is so true I’m just now getting ready to turn 36 and I’ve struggled my whole life being the scapegoat and not fully understanding which let me deep interest in sociology and psychology by age eight. I did not realize as a single child growing up with only my mother because I trusted in her and I thought she was this hero that did all these things she said and it’s taken years of counseling and therapy, PTSD diagnosis MDD diagnosis, and 20 years of Klonopin on top of going through a deep religious ceremony with my relatives in Texas from the Choctaw Nation that gave me a sacred medicine in the form of a cactus that made me experience a total and complete ego death which did not scare me however allowed me to view everything completely differently and from a third person’s viewpoint it made me think differently. After the initial 12-hour experience and the lingering effects 24 to 36 hours later that was just the purge getting the negative out of the brain and unlocking parts of the brain that had been locked and sealed for years. I now see things from what they truly are whether I want to believe or not no matter how hard I’ve grown and has covert NPD compact what’s my other psychiatric issues that has profoundly affected my entire life but at the same time has made me a better parent than either one of mine could have ever been or would have ever taken time to have been. But I feel trapped in this cycle of abuse because I’m a widowed single father with a 12-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl I have nowhere I can go from my abusive situation. Nowhere in the state of Virginia has a shelter for men or can help single men with children bounce back on their feet. I have not gotten into new relationships or remarried since my life passed away 5 years ago this month I’m now stuck under my mother/narcissists spell because I’m stuck in her house she called me at my most vulnerable appointment my wife died talk to me into closing myself employed business down and letting her fall taxes from me or children but we don’t get a single penny of it my children don’t get the clothing they need she has a three bedroom house but we all have to share a living room in the dining room and she refuses to move all of the things she’s hoarding. I gave up my life at age 24 to gain full soul custody in a courtroom of both of my children and I take it very seriously! I made a valve both to my God and to my wife that these children would be raised properly and they would have everything my wife and I never had, while at the same time never having anything we did have to put up with now I’m very concerned about much of her as development because I’ve been blessed with two wonderful kids that even after losing a mother are so well behaved for me but the narcissist and the evil that admits from them is eventually overpowering for the strongest of mind and body this negativity spreads itself within seconds through me and my two children. We have no privacy or sense of privacy or things are constant money ran through one or not here we’re constantly being snuck up on and eavesdropped on even when I’m trying to speak to one of my children in private. I dealt with this abuse up until age 10 when she finally gave up on me because I was smart enough to know that I wasn’t the one that’s psychiatric help on the way to the psychologist, it was actually her. As soon as I was strong enough physically that she couldn’t man hand on me and as soon as I was smart enough to call out her lies or question anything I was literally discarded and literally thrown away by a woman making over $100,000 a year with a home and no other children or family to support or take care of. I was thrown into an abusive foster home which led me to act out because I felt safer locked up and juvenile detention than I did at the foster home I never knew what might happen next? I spent my entire teenage and juvenile life growing up in detention centers and group homes I have a very serious case of cptsd and also MDD. I’m now a slave to klonopin for the last 20 years starting off to control my severe panic attacks and anxiety at age 17 I now must have me three times daily or I go into seizures that could possibly kill me such as staticus epilepticus. I’ve had the knowledge and the tools given to me I’ve had all the counseling and help I can possibly get. I have no other family that’s alive or present. I just wish I could get the same help every other single mother and my position was able to get in the state. I’m drug and alcohol free, I’m still in counseling, I’m always clean and taking care of my two children being daddy, taking my best shot at being mommy, person counselor, full time housemaid while now also being third grade teacher to my daughter and seventh grade teacher to my son. I literally do it all and also have to clean up after the narcassist and deal with all these stresses and migraines I get anytime there’s contact or conversation. If anybody out there is reading this has the heart and the means or information that could help me in my two children I would greatly appreciate it!? Over the 5 years that my wife has been passed away this month, my mother AKA enemy/narc how slowly and methodically taking every single from me to be self-sufficient again with my children. First talking man to closing myself into a business talking me into letting her file taxes was the agreement I would get my children’s portion in order to get their school clothing haven’t seen a single penny 5 years later though… Making sure all of my passports are captain and lockbox at her bank so I cannot gain possession, photo ID from DMV I’ve had mail has been intercepted so I can’t even see a doctor for two of my prescription medications at this point. my children received survival benefits from their mother’s death to try to replace a very small portion of what she brought to the table when she was alive giving the children $$220 each per month but haven’t seen your check since September of last year! I know this all has to do with the way my mother has found taxes and intercepted my personal and government mail. I’m truly not being biased or sexist but it does bother me that almost any woman that’s not even come close to the accomplishments and actually been validated both by CPS and a complete parental assessment and psych eval from the doctor of psychology that I am a fit parent and a good father. But I see girls that are shooting drugs in their names or smoking crack rubbing the streets and are allowed to stay in the shelters and if they were to do what they were supposed to which many of them do, they get more help into either permanent housing or disability which in my case disability. And there’s nothing just to do with females every body of every race color cream ethnicity or sex it doesn’t matter there’s always going to be that one or those few that mess things up for the ones that are sincere in their attempts to have a better life for their children. I’ve actually been asked by the juvenile court if I had anywhere else I could go? I have no siblings, my father, no family whatsoever and no friends that I could truly call friends since I’m matured and gotten my life together. So why do my children have to have the very thing that causes MPD being forced upon them when they have a father that’s willing to put himself in front of anything and do whatever it takes for the better one for them and for us to be self-sufficient living in our own place again. Just for an example, my mother has a credit score above 850 beyond perfect and even when we were receiving the kids survivor benefits and we could have afforded a place up to $600 a month and still been able to have everything we needed, I can’t even get to her to co-sign and help us into a place instead I get my passports and IDs stolen and all of my federal and government mail and tax information intercepted and taken before I can get it. I’m not just talking. I have video, audio, I also have a book bag full of the last eight years of urine and toxicology screens that backs up everything I’m saying I just don’t know which way to turn? The very thing that causes MPD is having to deal with crap like this in such a dysfunctional home setting right at these stages of development almost as if she is intentionally feels to me as if she’s trying to pass her demons on to my children because I turned out to be an empath the complete opposite. I pray God has Mercy and forgives me for any and every wrongdoing I may have done I hope that all of my negative karma is finished being dealt soon. And I really pray that there is someone or a group of people that hear this message and take me sincerely from the heart and have some understanding of how hard it was situation this is…? Hoping and praying someone would consider hoping my children and I. I don’t want any handouts. I wouldn’t mind working full-time in a hotel simply to have a room if it were big enough for me and the two kids I just need to get much better out of this house in the way from this constant degradation and lying manipulation and absolute real sabotage!

Rakki Bass says October 26, 2020

What to do? Or how to do?

If we have children who also has narcissistic traits?

Debra Lowen says October 26, 2020

Awesome blog.i have seriously been trying for over a year to get completely out.i live in separate place now but I’m struggling so hard to break free.he has been escalating for weeks now and I’m nervous.these blogs are has been sending me things for over a year now and I find strength when I read them.please keep them truly helps.thank you.

    Susan says July 11, 2022

    I’m the same I left,but still can’t break away

Molly says October 25, 2020

I really appreciate everything this article says but I really have to say how incredibly distracting it is to read every other word in bold, CAPITALIZED, or italicized. I want to continue reading this author as I feel the sentiment is important but that is so seriously distracting, I can’t focus.

    Molly says October 25, 2020

    I didn’t mean to duplicate my message. Sorry.

Molly says October 25, 2020

I really appreciate everything this article says but I really have to say how incredibly distracting it is to read every other word in bold, CAPITALIZED, or italicized. I want to continue reading this author as I feel the sentiment is important but that is so seriously distracting, I can’t focus.

Cheri says October 25, 2020

Wow!! Just crazy wow. You just explained my last 6 years of marriage. Now. I understand the failed dynamics. Thank you!!

Jennifer Lou Jones says October 25, 2020

I had never heard the word narcissist until my husband of 41 years spent 2 years secretly talking to friends and family trying to prove that I was mentally unstable and get me to a facility. Finally, a friend told me and so he abandoned me and ghosted me and started divorce proceedings. In SC, we have to wait a year to proceed. My counselor told me that he was a covert narcissist and I had a hard time with accepting it because he was Mr. Nice Guy to everyone. But once the divorce started I was able to see it plainly. I didn’t know it but he had quit working so he had no earning potential so I was only able to receive $2,000 dollars for 2 years after being married for 41 years. We had several businesses for 30 years in our town. When I went to mediation, he claimed that all of the businesses were started with inheritance money from his dad so I was not entitled to any money from anything we worked on for 30 yrs. I had no idea about these laws. I’d like my 30 yrs. back, please. I found out he had sold his life insurance policy also. I decided to settle for a lot less at mediation instead of going to trial. His brother is a lawyer in our town and knows all the judges. I didn’t feel like I would have a chance to further any more money. After two weeks, I have not gotten the money yet because my x says I have to set up a rollover IRA to get it. A friend told me that it was so he wouldn’t have to pay penalties. So now I have to follow up with my lawyer to get a QUATRO whatever that is so I won’t have to pay penalties. My husband is a double millionaire after the divorce and I get $2,000 a month for two years. I don’t even get social security yet. I didn’t realize the full extent of what a narcissist was about until now. I was just a nice, trusting person, the kind of supply they like. Sure, wish I’d known about this earlier in my marriage. Whew!

Kathy Jape says September 30, 2020

I find this very helpful. I’m going to save it so I can go back to it as reminding myself. Helpful

Brenda Bloom says May 5, 2020

We have to treat them as people when they don’t treat us with anything but ugly cruel hurt. I enforce a restraining g order. But one was a woman who stole my cat and tormented her because I wouldn’t be bullied. My cat is broken inside. with PTSD. That malignant creature is not a human being. I carry my knitting with me now evrywhere.

Mary Raymond says May 4, 2020

OMG this so new and informative. I feels so good to have my ideas validated. It has been such a crazy puzzle to understand. Where do these creatures come from? He is demonic. Thank you Ven for validating my reality.

Steve says April 23, 2020

Yeah very true indeed. A soleless life sucking vampire

Imadragonfly says April 22, 2020

I have never read a more perfect and moving description of a narcissist than the one Ven shared with us. This Narc of mine sucked the very soul, the very essence, the very joy and spark of life out of me. And even more disturbing, I came willingly and laid myself openly upon his sacrificial table and offered myself up to him to be bled dry time after time, after time again. And it was never enough. No matter what nastiness I endured at his hands – no silent treatment, no betrayal, no abandonment was enough to make me leave him. I called him the love of my life. After 35 years of tormented marriage, he died as a result of his own personal self-destruction. It was only then that I discovered the full depth of his secrecy and the final depth of his hatred. He left me a withered husk with no identity. Without him I was nothing. I existed only as a pawn of his, as a reflection of his own self-destruction in the mirror. He had taken all of my love, my humor, my health, and slowly but surely crushed my identity under his grinding arrogance and constant sadistic manipulation. It was after his death that I realized that he had operated under a slimy web of lies and deceit. He had spent all of our savings, he lost all of our stocks in the market, he stopped paying for life insurance and mortgaged the family farm so heavily that I was forced to sell my home. He left me so broke that I had to borrow the money to cremate him. He left me broke, lost with no identity, no self-esteem, alone, and unable to support myself. And all of this I brought upon myself due to ONE
conceit. I believed that he loved me, that I was special, and despite all the atrocities he committed against me, I truly felt he really loved me despite his actions. So please, if you find yourself thinking these thoughts, read Ven’s description of the narcissist and then read my post. And then when you are done RUN!

    Jen says October 26, 2020


Rugia says April 22, 2020

I couldn’t stop nodding my head after every sentence.
This is exactly what happens and usually very difficult to explain.
Thank you both.

Anonymous says April 22, 2020

25 years with him – trying to get away without him knowing my plans. I am terrified that he will find out – and then all h*** will break loose.:( The hardest part is knowing that his family will hate me.:(

    WhoKnew? says May 7, 2020

    Dear Anonymous, If his family
    “Hates You” after you’ve been with him for 25 years…. They don’t deserve you either!

Gabi says April 22, 2020

What a great article you explained it well I could actually grasp the concepts it is so hard to fathom that someone would act and think like this. Our suspect my mom has high tendencies. That’s why it’s even harder to except when it’s a family relation compared to a significant other in a marriage or relationship.

Jessica says April 22, 2020

There is always talk of “the future”. I ended up relapsing on prescription pills to numb the
pain of when I’m with him and when I’m not. I am in late 40’s, kind, fun, attractive and financially independent. He’s 40, broken, hilarious, has major physical intimacy issues, manipulated with sex, became my soul mate & then showed his masks, criticism, hatred of women but needing their attention at the same time. I began slipping and sliding as my soul began to become extracted combined with other losses and personal challenges over the last year. Now I feel broken, I lent him $30k and not surprisingly the positive attention turned to negative but as soon as I distance he calls daily, though he’s given me hardly anything that even resembles a relationship. He’s not available for a relationship band now we’re “friends” but maybe we have a potential future once I “get myself right” I was “right” before I met him. I feel like I can’t live without him, but gain confidence when I do not make initial contact. I could get strung along for years trying to get my money back. At this point I really don’t know what to do. My friends encourage me to date and flirt with other guys. I am the complete empath. I don’t care about the $$$, I can live without it. Any suggestions when it comes to them owing you money. I think I need to protect myself it almost killed me. He claims he’s going to pay me back oh yeah he’s talked about at least 4 diff businesses we could start together with my financial backing of course. ?

    SANS says July 15, 2021

    Its almost like they follow a textbook, this sounds almost precisely what I experienced

Kathy says April 22, 2020

This is brilliant. It gives strength and clarity to the victims of narcisstic abuse. Very empowering. Thank you.

Diane says April 22, 2020

Wow. What a great article. So much to the point. I was with a narcissist for 28 years and for a long time didnt understand what was going on until i started educating myself on narcissism.I totally understand the life force and soul loss. I have several chronic illnesses now and i know why. Being hyper vigilant all my life due to narcissistic foster parents and an abusive foster family,then i married one. Looking back on that family i clearly see to this day that they have clearly followed in their parents footsteps. Talk about genetics and being biological. i am so pleased that i do not have contact with most of them anymore.Four years free now and i am just starting to see progress in my recovery.Love your work Kim and you are helping so many people.Thank you to Ven Bater for your staight forward and easy to understand article. Take care everyone.

Barbara says April 21, 2020

I’ve gone no contact for 6 mths now. I moved 4 hrs away and am finally starting to feel like my old self. I still have my bad days but they are getting fewer.

Tony D. says April 21, 2020

Very accurate article.
We fall victim to the Narc because we impute to them the same standards of human decency that we strive for. We suffer deep Betrayal Trauma when we discover what amoral LIARS they are!…and secondary abuse when we seek comfort and validation from those who are fooled by his/her false mask. Thank God for the light that now shines on these disgusting creatures and the growing support for their shattered victims. Thank you Kim.

ALEXA says April 21, 2020


ALEXA says April 21, 2020


How to Deal with Adult Narcissistic Children - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says May 27, 2019

[…] no definitive science which points to you as the cause of your child’s narcissistic tendencies or Narcissistic Personality Disorder […]

8 Ways Narcissists Can Alter Your Perception of Reality - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery & Personal Growth says January 17, 2019

[…] in a relationship with a narcissist, watch to see if your partner exhibits certain traits. A  narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of self, a deep desire for admiration, and a total lack of […]

TM says July 6, 2018

What a brilliant article and so true! My toxic ex actually said, not long before I kicked him out, that he ”had no soul”. I thought he was being daft and his ‘minion’ then carried the conversation away from the topic, but thinking about it now having been away from ‘them’ for 3.5 years, what he said was true, he has no soul (I initially thought it was corrupt). I remember times when he came home and sitting outside, he literally sucked the air out of me; I was breathless. A very good friend of mine (and my hairdresser) said to me, ”Your light is being dimmed.” I didn’t understand initially but I burst into tears when she said that.

Thank you Ven for writing this accurate and informative article. I hope many people get to read it in order to understand how insidious these disordered ‘people’ are.

All the best!

Melanie says June 1, 2018

This is the most outstanding, comprehensive and accurate article I’ve read on narcissists. It describes everything about them perfectly and is a brilliant resource for anyone wanting to learn about narcissistic abuse. Thank you!

    Kim Saeed says June 28, 2018

    Thank you, Melanie! I love Ven’s writing, too. He’s very talented 🙂

Colleen says May 22, 2018

Both my parents are Narcissistic. My mother is a 10 on the scale of 1-10. I am the scapegoat. I see it running through the whole family. She gaslights and twists the truth of my growing up. She was always gone even when she was there. I was nothing but a drain on her money. All she talks about is her credit cards and money and her gravesite. Like living death. She kicked me out with nothing at 18 years old, while she lived in her nice house. I was treated like a piece of trash by both parents. They were divorced before I was born. It is a struggle to go on still to this day. One parent has passed on. I barely think of my Dad, it was overt trauma many times. She is still here to tell her lies. She was the ignoring kind. Dear God when does it end?

    Kim Saeed says May 23, 2018

    Hi Colleen,

    I know it’s a terrible situation to be in…some people have found that going No Contact with their parents is necessary in order to save their emotional sanity. Wishing you all the best.

    Kim XoXo

    Jen says October 26, 2020


How to Deal with Adult Narcissistic Children - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says April 3, 2018

[…] no definitive science which points to you as the cause of your child’s narcissistic tendencies or Narcissistic Personality Disorder […]

Linda says February 22, 2018

My only child.a 29 yr old daughter has been one since 3 or 4. Im crushed.

Anonymous says November 28, 2017

Brilliant info so true

8 Ways Narcissists Can Alter Your Perception of Reality - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says July 7, 2017

[…] in a relationship with a narcissist, watch to see if your partner exhibits certain traits. A  narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of self, a deep desire for admiration, and a total lack of […]

Anonymous says December 14, 2016

This brought tears to my eyes, I was married for 32 yrs to a Narcissist at the end I was sleeping alot I had no energy left. . I didn’t even know what was going on til I was out of it. I didn’t know how to tell people what I went through but this says it so well. Thank You.

Janice Yakielashek says October 10, 2016

Hi Kim – I have been trying to subscribe to your ‘healing toolbox’ but I don’t think the button is working as I never seem to receive any notice of confirmation in my inbox – is there some way I can still get this – your website has been a lifeline and I know that this resource will be invaluable as I continue to rebuild – thank you so much ?

Amber says September 11, 2016

This is the best explanation of what a narcissist is and does that I’ve come across. Thanks!

Gwen says September 10, 2016

I wrote this in 2007 when I left him…. I had no awareness of narcissism until a month ago, now I understand. 9 years later I’m still battling to heal from the trauma.


Brazilian agate slice reflected
glistening aquamarine up
out from under the base of my glass
and I knew then that my waters have forever in them

still you wished to nourish yourself
still you sought the moisture of me
you adored my juice
drop by drop you drank me up

you sucked away at my rivers’ blood
took all of the deep sea of me, left me thin
oh you sad sun
still un-full

I gulp the water
the liquid light
sparkle and shine reflect life in me as me
seasons’ source will plump bank and fill

good sweet I am invisible now
a textured threadbare weave of nothing
mended with pen thread
long lasting

    Shaw says September 17, 2016

    So beautiful !

    Gigi says April 23, 2020

    That was absolutely beautiful thanks for sharing

Dear says September 7, 2016

I remember that “energy “. I used to be full of it! 1 year into relationship with a Narc, and I’m a shell of my former self. Trapped by lies, betrayal, self doubt and fear. Hoping to gain the strength to get back to me one day.

    ether says September 9, 2016

    It takes time, lots of inner work and self care but it is possible to get the life energy back.

GayeLynn says September 7, 2016

“Your cup can start to fill again” and I’m looking forward to having my cup runneth over!!
Thank you for all the valuable information you provide.
Wish it could be under different circumstances but nice to meet you!

    GayeLynn says September 7, 2016

    I also want to add, as I don’t come across this matter often, if at all, they suck EVERYthing out of a person and that includes physically, not just emotionally!
    I am 5’4″ and weigh in at about 100-105.
    Within 5 weeks of his last run, I went down to 90.
    I had a few health issues I wanted to go to the Dr. to have checked out but I was too embarrassed.
    Thankfully,I finally came to my AHA! moment that there really IS a GOD!
    Had he not ran, I would have been STUCK with him as I would have never been able to throw a homeless man out.
    I have since put on couple pounds.

      Gwen says September 10, 2016

      Totally relate, reading your story helps me thank you.

Daisy says September 6, 2016

Hi Kim,

Very informative and helpful article! The “energy” that you spoke of can also come in the form of “goods & services.” Narcissists look for ways to get tangible things from their victims. They expect you to throw parties for them (or their children); they expect you to DROP all your plans (no matter when they call) to cater to their schedule/their plans. YET, if asked for return favors, they always make excuses, NO MATTER how lame they sound! In their mind(s), they are more important; more beautiful; more worthy than others (YOU)! If you are a good listener, you will hear their put-downs; criticisms; mocking words, about others. They are equal-opportunity offenders!!!

I heard something recently about criticism. When people criticize others, they are really making a statement about their own superiority! Now, healthy criticism is necessary. I am not writing about that. I am describing narcissist abuse (using critical words) to DEMEAN or Shame someone who said “NO” to the narcissist. Or someone who disappointed their narcissist, because their offering/outcome didn’t MEASURE UP to their lofty expectations/demands!

Keep up the good work Kim!!! You truly are a lifesaver to victims who are drowning in Narcissistic quick sand!!!!

Renee says September 6, 2016

Amazing timing! I have been inundated with info on the definitions of a narcissist that I’ve lost sight of the definitions of normal healthy people. I’m dating again and the fear of letting in another N is real. I am struggling with finding the truth in my new guy, because we all have some of these traits that make up a narc. This article has helped me wade thru the deception from my past and the embrace my new truth. Thank you.

    Kim Saeed says September 6, 2016

    So glad to know Ven’s article resonated with you, Renee! I hope he sees your comment 🙂

      venbaxter says September 10, 2016

      I did. Thank you, Renee! And thank you, Kim. <3

Sandy says September 6, 2016

Wow! Words to the wise, without a doubt. Best to handle problems today, cuz the tomorrows with a narcissist really do turn out just as described above. Ending my 8 year relationship was the hardest, most painful and sad time of my life, but today I can attest being free from those who continually cause you pain is a huge relief in life—-one that’s worth fighting for. YOU are worth fighting for!

    Kim Saeed says September 6, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your story of healing and moving forward, Sandy! Wishing you continued success and happiness in your healing journey 🙂


      Sandy says September 7, 2016

      Awww—thank YOU, Kim. You’ve taught me everything I needed to know to break free and begin to heal, you surely have. Thank you so much!

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