This is a question that many people are left asking themselves after being in a relationship with a narcissist; this is not exclusive to romantic relationships, the same feeling can occur in friendships or with family members. It can be particularly interesting when you want to end the relationship and agonise for months over how to end things in an amicable way. But then you have a disagreement with the narcissist or do something that they do not like and they cut you off immediately.
Examples can be a parent who is enmeshed with an adult child and tells them that they could not live without them and they hope that they never move away; only to then cut the child off if they do something that the parent does not like.
Similarly in friendships, particularly with a narcissist and codependent dynamic, the narcissist may choose the codependent as a friend. Once the codependent notices that they put more effort into the friendship than the narcissist they may want to end things but not know how. The narcissist may sense that their friend is not as invested in the friendship, or failing to give them as much attention and abruptly end the friendship.
Its so nice when toxic people stop talking to you, its like the trash took itself out.Unknown
I believe that this occurs a lot of the time because narcissists do not connect with others in a heartfelt genuine way from the beginning. If they connect on a superficial level and their main aim is to see what they can gain from the relationship, when things end it is much easier to cut their losses. Of course this is not always the case and there are always variations. However the calculating way that narcissists ingratiate themselves with others cannot be ignored. It can be very hurtful to realise that a narcissist may not have loved you and for some they would rather deny this.
A relationship with a narcissist can feel exhilarating, intoxicating, and addictive in the the early stages, when you are in what is described as the honeymoon phase (also known as the idealisation phase because the narcissist idealises you). During the idealisation phase you will be placed on a pedestal, everything that you say will be amusing and interesting, you will notice that the narcissist is charming and has stories that are endearing and make you empathise with them also. So often we hear about love at first sight, which is why I believe that many do not feel uncomfortable with the speed that the relationship moves forward with a narcissist.
Narcissists do not change because they do not want to change. They want to keep using and abusing because it gets them the attention that they so desperately crave.
Narcissists are master manipulators, they will make things up in order to sound like a suitable partner for you and mirror what you are saying to them. It could be that you are passionate about saving the environment, or helping children who have been abused; if the narcissist believes that it will get them further into your good books then they will say that they are passionate about these things also. They may even go as far as to give you examples of times that they have helped in both causes and this may be completely untrue. We all enjoy connecting with like minded individuals so it is quite likely that you will not be thrown by how much the narcissist has in common with you, but you may have a gut feeling that something is a bit off.
Some people are truly great manipulators. They can lie, cheat, treat you badly and somehow manage to make it seem like its all your fault. Don’t fall for it, that is just what they do.
This is where trusting your gut feelings is of great importance because your gut is always right, but this is not easy, especially if you have been taught to doubt yourself from childhood, or if you have grown up in an abusive or narcissistic home. You may have been hoping to find someone to share your life with and even had a mental checklist of requirements, and then the narcissist comes a long and ticks all of the boxes. You have a great time with them, you enjoy their company and they make you feel like a whole new amazing person, but there is a niggling feeling deep down that there is something not right.
We all know that feeling of our gut screaming at us that something is wrong, but the way that our gut screams is just by thoughts popping into our minds seemingly out of nowhere. If you are not used to trusting yourself then these signs are very easy to dismiss. Even when you do acknowledge the feelings of being unsettled, you excuse it thinking that it may just be because you are having to get used to someone new, or you push the feeling away because you do not want to mess up the new connection you have built.
Believe in yourself and your feelings. Trust yourself to do what your heart is guiding you to do. Your intuition is powerful. Trust it.
We are energetic beings and our bodies constantly communicate to us through sounds and symbols. You may feel as thought you have made a great connection with someone, but that niggling feeling is your body telling you that the connection is not genuine on both parties. Cultivating the intuition so that you are prepared to listen to it even when there are no apparent logical reasons is something that takes time, but it will never lead you astray.
The narcissist is able to dispose of people and move on seemingly unscathed because they never let their walls and guards down on a genuine level to connect in the first place. Understanding this helps to avoid more heartbreak in the future. Of course there are variations in every situation and not everyone is the same but if you have been cut off or left devastated by a narcissist you may want to ask yourself the following:
- Did you ignore red flags?
- Did you allow the relationship to move forward at a fast pace that you were not comfortable with?
- Did you go against your moral code or what you stand for?
- Did you allow yourself to be chosen in the relationship? Or do you feel that you entered the relationship willingly because you felt comfortable with this person?
- Did you listen to your gut instincts? Or did you try to push feelings of discomfort to the back of your mind?
- Going forward what would you do differently? Did you accept disrespect during the relationship that you never would have tolerated in the early stages?
Answering these questions allows you to reclaim your power, and make a note of the things that have taken place so that you can do things differently in the future.