how to know if a narcissist is finished with you

How Do You Actually Know If a Narcissist Is Finished With You?

Sharing is caring
  •  
  • 57
  •  
  •  
  •  

Have things seemingly settled down in your tumultuous relationship? Is the narcissist done with their awful, obnoxious tricks? Can you finally move on and heal? How do you know when the narcissist is finished with you?

If you feel stuck in a vicious cycle of narcissistic abuse, it’s challenging to distinguish when a narcissist has really moved on for good. It may seem like they are done, only for them to continue reemerging when you least expect it. You may feel like you’re dragged around, at the mercy of whatever they want to do. 

So, how do you know when it’s over? And is it something that you can even control?

When Is A Narcissist Finished With Someone? 

Narcissists need excess attention and validation. When people no longer meet these needs, the narcissist often reacts by:

  • Becoming extremely demanding, hostile, or even violent.
  • Throwing emotional temper tantrums.
  • Faking or exaggerating emotional or physical ailments to try to reel you back in.
  • Gaslighting you into believing their truth.
  • Love bombing (trying to win you over with affection and love).
  • Pretending to ignore you altogether.
  • Smearing you by rallying other people against you.
  • Discarding you (trying to convince you of how wrong and flawed you are).

Narcissists don’t play by normal relationship rules. They play by whatever rules make the most sense to them, and these rules can change at any moment’s notice.

Furthermore, most narcissists will have you believe wholeheartedly that they’re finished with you during their devastating discard performance. Yet, you can never seem to get closure because they always find a reason to come stomping back into your life.

Do Narcissists Come Back To Relationships?

In a short answer, yes. Most of the time.

And if you’re with a narcissist, you may already know this answer. You may know it all too well. You’ve probably experienced the chaotic whirlwind of the stop-and-go relationship. You also know what it’s like to feel confused about their intentions and motives. 

Let’s be real. They come back because they’re restless or because they feel lonely or because it’s Tuesday. They come back because someone else isn’t giving them the attention they believe they deserve. Or, when they need to give the new supply a ‘good ole’ silent treatment.  They come back using whatever reason best suits them.

And usually, they spin their reasoning into a way that tries to flatter and appeal to you. 

Related:  10 Types of Hoovers and How to Powerfully Respond

Narcissists come back to relationships because they need people to feel validated. The moment they feel a lack of validation, they turn to extreme measures to restore that need. They also need people to fill in as emotional punching bags.

Therefore, if you keep giving them attention, they will keep coming back. It doesn’t matter if the attention is negative. In some ways, even negative attention can be flattering. It gives them more of an excuse to hang on to you.

Narcissists don’t perceive negative attention as a bad thing. Instead, it gives them ammo. They know how to spin it, exploit it, and ultimately use it against you. It may happen so quickly you don’t even realize it’s happening. 

What Are The Signs a Narcissist Is Done With You?

If you type this question into a search engine, you will stumble upon many thoughtful responses. You’ll read about how they will stop talking to you or ghost you altogether. You may come across some stories of narcissists replacing you with someone else.

At first glance, these answers may seem promising. But here’s the problem with these antidotes: most of them just aren’t helpful. Because most of them aren’t really addressing the truly dark nature of narcissistic behavior. 

The only real indication that a narcissist is finished is when you no longer leave a crack open for them to weasel their way in. Narcissists rarely let people go- at least not in the conventional sense. 

Even if they seemingly move onto someone or something else, they still want power and control over you. They still want to know that you’ll come running back at a moment’s notice.

How Many Times Will A Narcissist Come Back?

They will come back to you as many times as they want, if you allow it.

Even after months (or sometimes years) of no contact, many narcissists will test their supply’s loyalty time and time again. In other words, they want to lure you back into the drama. They need to restore their powerful, superior identity, and that need keeps them coming back for more and more.

Narcissists don’t have their own identity. They create fantasies of who they are, and they depend on other people to enable that fantasy. When that fantasy feels threatened, they do whatever they can to restore their homeostasis.

Of course, this pattern can be incredibly confusing. Narcissists might make a dramatic scene about how they’re done with you forever- only to come pathetically crawling back at a moment’s notice. 

You may find yourself feeling flattered or special with this kind of treatment. The narcissist knows this because they understand the concept of cognitive empathy. And so, they’ll know how to lure you back into the dangerous cycle by:

  • Bombarding you with fake apologies about their behavior.
  • Making empty promises to change.
  • Declaring their willingness to give you something you really want (marriage, a baby, a new house, etc.)
  • Trying to convince you that nobody else would want you.
  • Pretending as if the breakup never actually happened.
  • Rallying other people to convince you why you should give them another chance.


What Happens When The Narcissist Can’t Control You?

Once the narcissist can no longer control you, they lose almost all of their power. Suddenly, they don’t appear any different than the rambunctious toddler throwing a temper tantrum at the playground. Their extreme displays of behavior may even seem funny, although they also feel frustrating, confusing, and embarrassing. 

Keep in mind that you need to change if you want the narcissist to stop controlling you. They will make plenty of promises and halfhearted attempts to change. 

None of these efforts are sustainable in the long-term. Narcissists aren’t interested in making you happy. They’re interested in keeping themselves happy. If you briefly bring them happiness, they may shower you with the illusion of affection, love, and kindness. But the moment their feelings change, it feels like an unexpected war. 

What Narcissists Don’t Want You To Know 

First and foremost, narcissists don’t want you to know exactly how much they depend on you for survival. It’s why they often act aloof, disinterested, or even angry most of the time. It’s all a cover-up to hide their blatant insecurities. But don’t start believing you can be a hero and show them the reasons why they don’t need to be insecure.  No one has ever successfully converted a narcissist after trying to be their hero.  Just ask anyone who’s ever tried.

Narcissists engage in all sorts of manipulative tactics to keep you engaged and desperate. They lean on betrayal trauma to keep you chained. Just like they know how to make you feel guilty and ashamed, they also know how to make you feel flattered and loved. During these times, it’s important to remember that because someone is acting nice doesn’t mean it’s genuine, especially if there’s a history of emotional abuse and manipulation.

They Don’t Want You To Know Your Self-Worth

Narcissists don’t want you to know your own self-worth. They don’t want you to realize that you can do better than them. 

That’s why they often put you down, make fun of your victories, or even sabotage your success. They can’t tolerate you considering a life without them.

Narcissists don’t see people as real people with emotions and thoughts. They see them as objects designed to satisfy their needs. They want you to see yourself that way, too. 

They Don’t Want You To Know They Constantly Need Their Supply

Narcissists are never truly satisfied. Their souls often feel profoundly empty, and that’s why they abuse people to fill that bottomless void.

Narcissistic supply comes in many forms, including:

  • Accomplishments and winning.
  • Attention (the most common form of narcissistic supply)
  • Feeling powerful and superior over others
  • Having a sense of authority
  • Emotional energy
  • Sex 
  • Compliments, praise, and flattery
  • Opportunities to tear people down emotionally

The more you fill this supply, the more they will rely on you for their fix. Most narcissistic relationships rotate through a pattern of love bombing, devaluation, perceived discard, and hoovering. This pattern tends to persist for as long as people remain in a relationship with them.

They Don’t Want You To Know They Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye

Narcissists don’t know how to be finished with you. Of course, they won’t ever let you in on this secret. Instead, they’ll convince you that they never needed you in the first place. They’ll seemingly move onto the next relationship with ease. They’ll act as if you never existed, or they’ll smear you to your family and friends.

But make no mistake: they need you far more than you ever needed them. Their inability to give or accept closure solidifies that reality.  However, it’s important to understand that a narcissist “needing you” doesn’t imply any feelings of love and devotion on their part.  They need you so they can unleash their deepest abuse on you.  They can’t do that with many of the other people they know.

Think of it like a criminal giving a lollipop to a child before committing an unspeakable act.

Even If The Narcissist Is Finished, Here’s The Real Question You Should Be Asking

Even if the narcissist is finished with you, are you finished with them? 

It’s important to reflect on your answer to this question. Many times, people find themselves immersed in narcissistic abuse. They hold onto hope that things will change. They convince themselves that they just need to be more patient and tolerant.

What will it take for you to draw the conclusion that enough is enough? How many more months or years will you waste by continuing this awful game? Narcissism is a persistent and clinical mental illness. Most narcissists have little to absolutely no interest in changing their tactics.  And if they do, you can bet they’re up to something, and it’s not anything that’s in your favor.

How to Get Help

If you believe you’re experiencing narcissistic abuse, you don’t have to tolerate it. Consider whether or not the relationship is doing you more harm than good.

Don’t blame yourself. A person’s choice to be abusive isn’t because of anything you’re doing or not doing. You’re not the cause for their behavior, no matter what they say.

Taking care of yourself is the biggest priority, which may include breaking off the relationship. 

Here are some helpful tips and resources:  

1 – The Beginner’s Healing Toolkit is a free resource that includes everything you need to get started on healing your life after narcissistic abuse.

2 – The Essential Break Free Bootcamp – Explore techniques derived from behavioral therapy (vetted by the psychological and neuro-psychological communities) to finally heal your life.

3 – The THRIVE program – Rediscover your lost self after narcissistic abuse (and prepare yourself for true love).

4 – Personalized guidance – I will answer your request via a short, raw, offline video.

The Bottom Line

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.⠀Helpful tools and resources can assist you in developing effective ways to break free from narcissistic abuse. 


Sharing is caring
  •  
  • 57
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Comment:

3 comments
nikki says November 10, 2020

im in therapy i was at a good place befre being sucked back in anywho i guess the narc has a new supply and discarded me but he always resurfaces unfortunately we have four kids together weve been on n off for thirteen yrs i know he is no good but i cant move past the pain i blocked him and went no contact and changed my number but its still painful any advice should i allow him to still see the kids but at what expense or cut him out even they want a relationship because i feel the hurt is unavoidable either way

Reply
Peacebrother says November 2, 2020

I have been discarded by the narcissistic former wife for over five years now and would desperately like to get divorced from her. However I am extremely anxious that if I initiate a divorce by serving divorce papers on her that she is going to revert to type and seek revenge. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am stuck!

Reply
    Kim Saeed says November 2, 2020

    Hi Peter, generally all narcissists will seek revenge and/or become hostile when served with divorce papers. However, if you want to be free, it’s a necessary step on your path to freedom. I don’t think it’s ever been peaceful for anyone, but it can be done. Contact an attorney and seek guidance according to the laws of your state. Document any and all revenge-type behaviors she might engage in. Wait for your divorce to become final and then celebrate your freedom and new life.

    Kim

    Reply
Add Your Reply