Published in Sep 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
What does the term narcissistic supply actually mean? Some people have a general idea, but others are quite clueless. Today, we’ll fix this by explaining exactly what the phrase narcissistic supply means.
People who have narcissistic personality disorder usually need someone who can reinforce their delusional feelings of grandeur.
According to experts, narcissistic supply is the unusually high demand for attention narcissists have. They don’t usually care where they get this attention, even if it comes from codependent people.
In many cases, a lack of narcissistic supply is what drives a narcissist insane. Without attention, a narcissist can get desperate and try anything. Under these circumstances, they turn to measures like gaslighting and love bombing or whatever it takes to keep attention on themselves.
But you can also become a source of narcissistic supply. But how do you know you are narcissistic supply?
If you find yourself dancing to a narcissist’s tune and fulfilling their need for attention, then you are acting like a narcissistic supply. It might be great for the narcissist, but it will never end well for you.
Being a source of supply will drain you and make you miserable. That’s just the way narcissism works, and there is no way around it.
Narcissists suffer from an addiction to narcissistic supply. In other words, they might not have the self-control required to lay off their unending desire for attention.
Although a single source of supply is usually adequate, they sometimes need many sources of supply.
The More The Narcissistic Supply, The Better
The more attention this person gets, the better off for them. In other words, endless attention is what makes narcissists tick. Regular folk might survive without attention, but narcissists can’t.
That explains why they do away with people who are no longer sources of narcissistic supply. All narcissists care about is themselves.
As a matter of fact, narcissists can go to any lengths to reward good sources of supply. But the thing is, they can never find adequate sources of supply.
A narcissist's desire for a source of supply is insatiable. That is why it is considered an addiction.
That, however, does not mean anything good can come from being involved with a narcissist.
They have an overwhelming desire to be better than everyone else. Generally, that means breaking down their victims is something they also like to do since that ensures they always get attention.
One of the things narcissists fear is narcissistic supply withdrawal. Without someone giving them attention, these people find life unbearable.
How Narcissists Treat Old Supply
Even though narcissists can be terrible and ruthless, they cannot handle the same treatment from others. When someone proves to them that they can’t stand their abuse anymore, they get pretty mean.
That is why a breakup with a narcissist is never amicable. When you decide to end things with them, you will usually get lots of badmouthing and ill-treatment.
At the very least, there will be many attempts to win you back and make you a source of narcissistic supply once more.
You are only valuable to a narcissist when you can feed their endless need for attention and make them feel superior to you. Anyone who cannot act as a source of narcissistic supply in one way or another is completely useless to a narcissist.
When a narcissist loses supply, the priority becomes finding another source. At this point, trying to bring back old sources of supply is usually an option for them.
Whatever the case, you should always avoid being a source of narcissistic supply. That exposes you to the cycle of abuse narcissists have to use on anyone close to them, and no one deserves that.
Women are especially prone to becoming unwitting sources of narcissistic supply.
One of the things that attract narcissists is the ability to attract. That makes attractive women obvious choices for narcissists because putting such a person under their thumbs better proves their superiority.
A powerful sign that you might be a source of narcissistic supply is your inability to find fault in anyone. Narcissists love admiration, and people who are always happy and cheerful and willing to overlook the bad are generally irresistible to narcissists. Narcissists know they can always get attention from such a company, even when they treat them like crap.
Also, if you regularly go out of your way for others' sake, there is a good chance you are unknowingly a source of narcissistic supply. When you are such a person, you will easily compromise your own needs to address the narcissist's needs.
There are few things more important to a narcissist than knowing they have someone who can take whatever they can dish and do whatever it takes to make them happy.
Empaths are also amazing and unwitting sources of narcissistic supply. Narcissists love people who can listen to them all day and pass on their horrible behavior based on some sob stories they told about their past.
See? Narcissists are nothing without their sources of supply. The problem is that you can be a source of supply without even knowing it. That is why it’s important if you are an unsuspecting source of narcissistic supply to avoid being a victim of narcissistic abuse.