when the narcissist downgrades after you

What to Do When the Narcissist Downgrades After You

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If you’ve left an abusive relationship and gotten rid of the narcissist in your life—first of all, congratulations! You are no longer the narcissist’s supply and can begin living a full and free life.

But sometimes people get out of a relationship and start seeing the narcissist with someone else, either online or in person. And maybe you perceive them to be a downgrade. These thoughts and opinions can make you feel self-doubt and confusion—what’s wrong with me? What does this new supply say about me?

This kind of talk is common on discussion forums online, with people expressing confusion about when the narcissist downgrades in their next relationship. Since it’s a common discussion, I explored it in-depth in a recent YouTube video. Check it out or read on here to look further at this idea and how you can respond.


Why Are They a Downgrade?

When we look at someone, we automatically make judgements based on things like their appearance, how they dress, their career, or their possessions. This is part of human nature and natural observation.

The problem is when we assign value to someone because of those things. At the end of the day, those external things do not determine a person’s worth.

So, when people talk about someone else as a “downgrade,” it is making a quick, unfair judgement about a person without really knowing very much about them. When you see the narcissist with someone else you consider a downgrade, you don’t know their full situation or story. Automatically looking at someone as a downgrade is a judgmental place to be in, rather than an open and compassionate place.

The Narcissist and Their New Supply

Instead of looking at someone as a downgrade who’s with a narcissist, we should consider that they are actually just the next source of supply for a narcissist.

For a narcissist, there is no “downgrade” or “upgrade”—just supply. Because they don’t care about what someone looks like, much less who they are as an individual. Instead, they are looking for something else, like:

  • Money, property, and other possessions
  • Sex
  • Power and control
  • Connections and networking

And these things don’t have to be correlated to looks or something else. In fact, many narcissists will date models and celebrities, parading them around like arm candy at a party. But after the party’s over, there’s no special treatment towards them.

There’s nothing that will “keep” a narcissist except for the supply they’re after. It’s just about the supply.

A Cautionary Tale: You Could be the Downgrade

Looking at someone as a downgrade comes from a place of judgement—you don’t know their story. The reality is that many people have lost everything from a previous toxic relationship with a narcissist. Because of toxic relationships, people often lose their jobs, turn to drugs or alcohol, or lose custody of their children. These things might be considered “downgrade” qualities.

But here’s the thing: that could be you.

If you stay in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you could also lose your job, family, looks, or anything else. And perhaps the next person the narcissist ends up with will look at you as the downgrade.

So, let’s have compassion and empathy—we don’t know people’s stories and what brought them to the current place they’re in. And if they’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they’ve likely experienced trauma and toxicity that led them to a negative place in their life.

You can’t know the person’s full story, but you do know that a narcissist will do anything for a fix, for their supply. Upgrading or downgrading is not an important concept to them as long as they are getting what they want from a relationship.


If you are looking at the narcissist’s new supply and considering them a downgrade, first ask why? What are you perceiving that makes you think this way?

Then come to a place of compassion and understanding—you don’t know anything about them and their story, and it’s judgmental to make quick assumptions about their value because of their appearance of other external factors.

More than this, it has no reflection on you—you’ve escaped the narcissist and are no longer their supply. So, they’re going elsewhere to find it. But if you continue down the same road with a narcissist and keep them in your life, you could be the “downgrade” and you could be the one struggling.

Instead of spending too much time thinking about the new person, focus on avoiding narcissists and building back your own life.

To dive deeper into this topic, check out the full YouTube video dedicated to it. You can also see my full selection of videos related to narcissistic abuse, breaking free from toxic relationships, and ways to heal.

Personally, when I left my last toxic relationship several years ago, I forced myself to be alone for a long time.  During this period, I did lots of healing work that I outline in The Break Free Program.  I surrendered and accepted that I hadn’t been willing to walk away when red flags began popping up.  I learned my coping schemas and discovered how to overcome my triggers.  I did energy healing, both alone at home and also through energy healing practitioners.  I overcame the financial PTSD that I’d developed from losing my finances and being forced to start over.

These are the same steps you can take.

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Leave a Comment:

Olivia says September 5, 2022

Or you could just say, ‘oh well, I was obviously too good for them’ 😉

Olivia says September 5, 2022

Or you could just say, ‘oh well, I was obviously too good for them’ 😉

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