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There are different types of narcissists and each individual can exhibit many different characteristics.

But most narcissists will share these same common traits.

1. A constant need for narcissistic supply

What is narcissistic supply?

The constant need for validation, attention and admiration narcissists seek from other people is also known as narcissistic supply.

Narcissists are individuals that are deeply insecure who feel completely empty on the inside.

And that is the reason they look to the outside world for validation.

But the supply that they get from others is never enough to fill that empty void.

Narcissistic supply is their number one need.

As important as humans need air to breathe, a narcissist needs constant attention to survive.

Too much is never enough…

The narcissist will never have enough supply in any relationship.

And most will often have other secret relationships and or addictions.

They can also use drugs, alcohol, sex or material things as supply in an attempt to fill the emptiness they feel.

It can seem that no amount of supply will ever be enough for the narcissist.

Narcissists believe that you should know when they want attention, the type of attention they seek and they expect it in the way they want it.

Image by Jill Wellington

Unless you are a mind reader, you will never be able to give a narcissist the type of supply that is expected of you from the narcissist at any given time.

It is emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausting to engage in these one-sided relationships.

Narcissists have such high demands, unrealistic expectations and take without giving.

Different sources of supply…

Material things, objects and experiences can also be sources of narcissistic supply.

They are often things that communicate how the narcissists wishes to be perceived by the outside world.

Narcissists are very superficial and most will also use things such as expensive cars, houses, brand names, luxury holidays, their physical appearance, sexuality…

and anything else that communicates success and idealization as a source of narcissistic supply.

Conflict can also be another source of supply.

The narcissist will bait their victims into conflict just to gain this form of attention.

It gives them a sense superiority by bullying and being able to affect another person’s emotions..

Or it allows them to continue playing the victim where they can gain sympathy as supply.

Why they need supply…

The reason the narcissist needs constant supply is because they cannot regulate themselves and they’re emotions.

So they use people and things in the outside world to help prop them up.

If others validate them, then they can feel validated.

Relationships with the narcissist is a lot of work, it’s one sided and purely transactional.

They are only willing to be your friend, or may appear to care about you only because they want supply.

We are all just supply to the narcissist…

If they cannot get supply from you, they will quickly move onto someone else who will give them what they want.

They seek any form of attention and especially love anything that gives them a sense of superiority over others.

It is not only those of us who lack confidence in who we are or do not have an understanding of our own self-worth who attract narcissistic relationships.

Those who are confident and successful whom are not aware that narcissists exist and what they’re about can also be targets.

The narc can tend to see strong willed people as a challenge.

They want to exploit their success and boost their ego by taking down someone who they perceive as confident, powerful and winning in life.

But it is most often the empaths who put other people’s needs before their own that makes for easy prey.

Empaths are always giving narcissists the benefit of the doubt, making excuses for their poor behaviors, giving sympathy to their victimhood stories, and always trying to be the bigger person in conflicts.

They also have a high sense of guilt which the narc uses against the empath to get what they want.

The narc sees the empath’s honesty and kindness as a weakness, and their gullible and naïve ways as a great source of supply.

The empath’s natural personality allows the narcissist to exploit and continue the psychological and emotional abuse without being detected.

We deserve more from relationships…

As the narcissist seeks attention and admiration from others for validation, we too can have a tendency to seek validation from the narcissist.

We must love ourselves enough to feel better on our own, rather than accepting to engage in narcissistic relationships.

We also need to accept that we are just supply to the narcissist.

And when we stay engaged in these relationships we are only enabling and validating the narc’s false image, whilst getting ourselves used and abused at the same time.

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Awareness is power.