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A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

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A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby Esquire » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:26 pm

How does a supply crash impact a person with NPD?

My view is that a supply crash causes the Narcissist's sense of self to shake and quake.

To be sure, when I speak of a supply crash, I am referring to a Narcissist losing a significant source of Narcissistic supply. For example, a Narcissist might lose a significant other who provides them with lots of supply, or a pathological space, like a group of friends or a job, in which he garners a steady stream of supply based on the way the dynamics of the pathological space are set up.

Normally, when a Narcissist is simply low on supply, he becomes deflated. Depressed. The solution is to acquire more supply to become inflated, like Popeye eating spinach. But a supply crash will do more than this. It will cause the Narcissist's sense of self to tremble. The Narcissist will start to question his sense of self in the aftermath of a supply crash.

Remember, Narcissistic supply is simply external confirmation that the sense of self that the Narcissist has constructed is real. Narcissists, like Borderlines, lack a true, authentic sense of self. The difference between Narcissists and Borderlines is how they react to that lack of self. The Borderline looks to others to provide her a sense of self. The Narcissist constructs his own sense of self on purpose and then looks to others to supply confirmation that the sense of self is real. The Borderline seeks to engulf another and latch onto his already existing sense of self. The Narcissist seeks to consume another and use them as energy to fuel the Narcissist's artificial sense of self.

After a supply crash, the Narcissist may experience what can often feel like an "identity crisis." The Narcissist seems less confident and off his game, because he is questioning internally whether his current sense of self is real. He is tempted to fall back on previous false senses of self. Another way to look at it is that the Narcissist, absent supply for his current false self, will find himself drawn to revert to previous false selves that were confirmed externally, such as the false self his parents confirmed for him, or his false self high high school buddies confirmed for him. Because the Narcissist's true self never developed, he has no true self to fall back on when one false self is in danger of being eviscerated.

An especially hard supply crash will send the Narcissist, especially an impulsive Narcissist, into a complete lifestyle change. A Cerebral Narcissist may all of the sudden become Somatic and start to put all his effort into chasing women instead of his career. Or the Narcissist may uproot and move halfway around the world in order to try his hand at a totally different line of work, giving up his former interests, abandoning his family and friends, and showing no regard for any goodwill built up in his community.
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby xdude » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:53 pm

Just wanted to write I think this is an EXCELLENT post VE ;)

I also think you are correct that it could go either way if there is a supply crash. It depends on the individual of course, but yes, if the external validation disappears, a person with a NPD coping mechanism could go into a deep depression and revert to those old (and painful) feelings they learned in childhood.
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby MirageInTheMirror » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:56 pm

A "crash" suggests a sudden and extreme drop in supply. What if it's more like a drought, where the supply slowly diminishes until it's at critically low levels? Would the pwNPD have the same reactions you described?
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby blank identity » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:02 pm

Officially, I am a borderline. Unofficially, I don't know, that's still to be determined. But I can say, that I have become very suicidal and severely depressed when losing a major source of supply. This has happened to me on more than one occasion.

I'm not saying that others would experience that, just that I have in the past.
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby Pink01 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:57 pm

blank identity wrote:Officially, I am a borderline. Unofficially, I don't know, that's still to be determined. But I can say, that I have become very suicidal and severely depressed when losing a major source of supply. This has happened to me on more than one occasion.

I'm not saying that others would experience that, just that I have in the past.


And what exactly is that NPD diagnosis going to do for you? (if you ever get it - seems like you're insistent though so maybe someone might throw you a bone and just label you for your own ease :?)

Here. let me tell you: nothing
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby blank identity » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:02 pm

^ ^ Someone is observant. ;) Kudos for paying attention.

Try as I might, I cannot give myself labels. I've been chasing my own tail for months trying to figure myself out, to no avail. Shrinks are worthless, as they have either refused, or are unable, to help me piece together everything.

In the end, a label is a label and probably doesn't matter, but it would be nice to figure things out and have a clear picture of what's going on with me.

But I will say, it has been an obsession that has consumed me. I cannot help it. So until I figure everything out and get my answers, it will continue to be an obsession of mine.
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby Pink01 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:08 pm

But you have nothing to figure out
people have already done it for you :?

your figuring out part is coping mechanisms or whatever you want help with....not the labels
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby blank identity » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:28 pm

People have NOT done it for me, or I wouldn't be in this position. You are wrong in that regard. I have a *partial* picture of myself. Even shrinks make mistakes.

My figuring myself out is not a coping mechanism, it is an attempt to find identity. To find myself. I have no identity, no sense of my Self at all. I never have.

By having labels, it explains my behaviors, thoughts, compulsions, and the reasons behind it, and thusly, helps me to find myself in them. I have extreme black and white thinking. I have terrible trouble with grey areas. My mind needs something tangible to hold on to. To say yes, this is me. It's how my obsessive mind works.

The last psychiatrist I saw said in her evaluation that I have "obsessions and ruminations over his identity", and I'm "trying to find himself in the truth", and that's exactly it.

Either way, I am incredibly self-absorbed in that respect, and it makes no difference to me either way. My mind hungers for answers, and I hunger for identity, and that's that.
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby Pink01 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:34 pm

so you are basically going to shrink hop until you find someone to agree with you?
sure everyone makes mistakes....but I think they got you right

not trying to bully you
trying to help you see... :?
and maybe elevate some of the personal stress this is perhaps causing?
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Re: A Supply Crash and a Narcissist's Sense of Self

Postby MirageInTheMirror » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:54 pm

blank identity wrote:People have NOT done it for me, or I wouldn't be in this position. You are wrong in that regard. I have a *partial* picture of myself. Even shrinks make mistakes.

My figuring myself out is not a coping mechanism, it is an attempt to find identity. To find myself. I have no identity, no sense of my Self at all. I never have.

By having labels, it explains my behaviors, thoughts, compulsions, and the reasons behind it, and thusly, helps me to find myself in them. I have extreme black and white thinking. I have terrible trouble with grey areas. My mind needs something tangible to hold on to. To say yes, this is me. It's how my obsessive mind works.

The last psychiatrist I saw said in her evaluation that I have "obsessions and ruminations over his identity", and I'm "trying to find himself in the truth", and that's exactly it.

Either way, I am incredibly self-absorbed in that respect, and it makes no difference to me either way. My mind hungers for answers, and I hunger for identity, and that's that.

You're hungering for an identity that's not your own. Pink01 is right. You're looking at labels and shopping around until you find the "right" one. That will never happen.
You need to stop obsessing about the "what" and start focusing on how to make it better. You and your therapist have already identified things you want to improve about yourself, so now it's time to try to work on actually improving. Learn new skills and new ways of looking at the world. The identity gaps will fill themselves in the process. You're not going to figure out your own life if you refuse to live it in the meantime.
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