What happens when an individual you suspect may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder is having a genuinely difficult week?
First, understand that these individuals need narcissistic supply and huge, massive amounts of it.
Second, understand that the supply can be positive or negative. They prefer positive, but when enough of it can’t be found; example: shallow narcissistic supply. Receiving fleeting comments—especially words that are perhaps written and not in person, or from people they don’t deem special, wealthy, influential, or popular. Then…they will turn to extracting concern or compassion out of people to obtain their positive narcissistic supply. Examples: feigning amnesia, inventing health problems, faking a suicide and often with a grand suicide note, avoiding their usual social activities, not keeping up with normal commitments, avoiding social media. Yes, these are prime ways to extract the supply they need, and for the people who don’t understand this aspect of narcissistic personality disorder, or don’t realize the person in question suffers from it—they become unaware suppliers by showing concern,compassion, and/or asking if everything is all right. If the NPDer hears that people have been asking about them, even through the grapevine, they score a personal goal…narcissistic supply.
For those of us who truly do notice when someone is missing, not interacting, or not communicating we have to muster up the strength to practice tough love. This is one instance when caring hurts the individual more than helps them. And they do need help…professional help. Not the type of help any friend, Christian, pastor, or family member can give. The recovery rate for these individuals is low; most professionals believe 1%-2% recovery is the most; if at all possible.
Also, when becoming aware that you may be interacting with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder; take note that this is the first step to diagnosing if the person is a full-blown sociopath.
The narcissist who introduced me to this disorder now sits in prison. He never tired in attempts to extract narcissistic supply. Even after being fired from a ministry, when they told him he needed professional psychological help. His mentor from that ministry told him he met the criteria for having narcissistic personality disorder. These former church leaders and mentor most likely saved my daughter and me from being killed by this man; which led to my divorce of him, yet still… When my former husband would get a new ministry where he didn’t know people well enough to extract supply from them he would call and email his old supply. The people who fired him, outed him, and wanted nothing to do with him. Why? A narcissistic will return again and again to ensure you never move on from the pain they caused you. They know you don’t like them, but they also know you’re most likely too kind to be rude so they feed off of you; positive or negative…they don’t care. You’re just supply.
If you were literally starving, famished, and in need of nourishment you would eat what ever was set in front of you to supply your body with energy and nourishment. Think of it the same way with narcissistic personality disorder. Their ego is literally starving and they will take psychological nourishment any way they can get it; positive or negative.
Remember the signs in forests that say, “Don’t feed the bears.” Feeding bears encourages them to come around the campsites where civilized people are camping. It discourages them from hunting for their own food and makes them dependent on humans.
“DON’T FEED THE NARCISSIST!” Don’t encourage them to come near you. They need to learn to care for their own needs; in a healthy way, and only a professional has a slight chance of being able to help them with that.
Criteria for…narcissistic personality disorder
For more on this disorder read…Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Narcissistic Sociopath?
You can also look up the criteria for a sociopath/antisocial personality disorder here…
Excellent book for educating yourself…The Sociopath Next Door : 1 in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. Who is the devil you know?