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The Narcissist and Narcissistic Supply

Updated on September 11, 2012

Did Katie not understand Tom's superiority?

Could Narcissism have been at the heart of the Tomkat split?
Could Narcissism have been at the heart of the Tomkat split?
Heather Mills has also often been labelled a Narcissist.
Heather Mills has also often been labelled a Narcissist.
Biographers have claimed Marilyn Monroe displayed some Narcissistic behaviors
Biographers have claimed Marilyn Monroe displayed some Narcissistic behaviors
Joe Jackson a classic Narcissist?
Joe Jackson a classic Narcissist?
Ireland has been governed by many Narcissists over the decades.
Ireland has been governed by many Narcissists over the decades.
Problem with having a Narcissists anonymous meeting
Problem with having a Narcissists anonymous meeting
You are so lucky to love me.
You are so lucky to love me.
I am charming, lovable and I know best.
I am charming, lovable and I know best.
Who couldn't love me gorgeous face?
Who couldn't love me gorgeous face?
What nonsense I am too perfect to be a Narcissist
What nonsense I am too perfect to be a Narcissist
It is all about me just remember that and it'll all be fine
It is all about me just remember that and it'll all be fine

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 in tact. 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 tortuous 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.

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 sooo 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 someway 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 to 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.

Tom Cruise a Narcissist?

Celebrity Narcissists


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    • thewritingowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Kelly Godley 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Yes exactly. Thanks for your reply and I respect your right to keep it to yourself its a totally individual choice whatever works best for you. Take care.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for you feedback. I'm a female with diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. I don't tell a lot of people that I'm an aspie because some people are prejudice or they think the disorder doesn't even exist and that the aspie is just a 'weird' person looking for attention.

      I can see people with Asperger's Syndrome developing other disorders because often NT people treat them so badly. The aspie might become paranoid and depressed and there are anger issues too.

    • thewritingowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Kelly Godley 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      I agree with you absolutely Sandcastles people with Asperger's Syndrome are not the same as Narcissists. Many, many people with AS feel things very deeply and as you say are very compassionate and often feel things too deeply (I know I am one and this can be tough to contend with at times and the reason I suffer from recurring depression.).

      Tony Attwood does write extensively too about the fact that girls with Aspergers develop all kinds of psychological issues because from a very young age they instinctively know that they are different to other girls but they have no idea why they feel so different. So often they n push these feelings inwards and try to ignore them. This hit home with me and was one of the first times I began to realize I myself could have AS. Tony Attwood also says that you can't live your whole life like this without the psychological toll manifesting itself in some way at some time, it is just too much to be pushing inwards.

      Narcissistic Personality Disorder often (but not always) develops in the young girl as defense mechanism to cope with this kind of inner trauma. I have read on a few occasions (not one of Tony Attwoods books) that up to 40% to 50% of cases of people who go through life with 'undiagnosed Aspergers Syndrome or High Functioning Autism,' will by adulthood have developed a personality disorder as a coping mechanism to deal with the world that they were not born with the skills to cope with. The most usual ones are Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder but there are many others too I just haven't read up on them.

      Tony Attwood has also written a lot about other pitfalls of being an undiagnosed Aspergers female many unfortunately also develop Anorexia Nervosa or other eating disorders, many will also suffer from on-going depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Drug Addiction, Alcoholism, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. That's why I feel if you have AS the sooner it is diagnosed and you can be allowed to understand who you really are then if a person has problems in any of these areas they can be quickly picked up before they manifest themselves into a personality disorder or other psychological issue. Before the personality disorder becomes who you are and it just makes life an awful lot harder for your family and friends but most especially yourself much more than anyone else.

      Thanks for your comment and I hope I have explained how I agree that there is a massive difference between people with Aspergers Syndrome and those who have both Aspergers Syndrome and a Personality Disorder.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      People with Asperger's Syndrome are not the same as Narcissists. Tony Atwood writes a lot on Asperger's Syndrome. While everyone is an individual, most people with Asperger Syndrome are very compassionate.

    • thewritingowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Kelly Godley 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for comment SandCastles.

      Thanks you too Gail yes as I say many Narcissists do suffer from physical illnesses it's a psychological strain having NPD and not really being happy underneath the act i.e. there's too much envy, greed and hate to be contending with. Another fact is about 40% to 50% of people with undiagnosed Aspergers or High Functioning autism can develop a personality disorder and they too are very prone to autoimmune disorders and allergies.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      8 years ago from Johnson County, Kansas

      I think it is compelling that you bring up the physical pitfalls of being a narcissist. One of the narcissists I have endured was indeed a full blown hypochondriac and another died from cancer. So that is spot on in my experience. Voted up!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Article! Thank you, the more we know about N the better.

    • thewritingowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Kelly Godley 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for your comment. I have met quite a few Narcissists in my time but I suppose most people have just a lot of us don't realize it until... aaggh what was that?

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 

      9 years ago from North Dakota

      You nailed all of the highlights of these "great" people!

    • thewritingowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Kelly Godley 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Hi thank you all for your commnets. There are certainly lots of Narcissists out there and I think everyone must know at least a few. No I am sure working for a Narcissist is a total nightmare and best avoided where at all possible!

    • Davesworld profile image


      9 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      I had the misfortune to work for a narcissist. I do not recommend this.

    • T4an profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Wow, this hub describes someone perfectly that I know. I have called her Narcy. :) it is all about her and her problems. Could careless about anyone else and wants constant praise for everything she does. Not to mention is always sick and in pain. Voted up!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Great explanation of this type of person. I know at least two people that easily fit your description. Interesting and very exasperating for the victims and those that catch on. Thank you for sharing your insight on this.


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