The pain of the narcissistic "discard" can at times feel unbearable. And for many, it seems that the harder you work to try and make sense of the discard, the more it hurts. But getting to a genuine acceptance doesn't even feel like it is on the radar. Tony digs deeper into how we show up in relationships as emotionally immature, both parties, with an almost unspoken agreement that we will mature together. But what happens when one person isn't aware that the goal is to become more emotionally secure, stable, and less controlling? The harder the partner tries to find themselves, the more complex the relationship becomes until, ultimately, the narcissist appears to move on at an incredibly rapid pace, leaving you feeling like your relationship and your life up to that point didn't matter. Tony refers to the article "What is Narcissistic Discard" by Sanjana Gupta https://www.verywellmind.com/narcissistic-discard-causes-impact-and-coping-strategies-5218979
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[00:00:10] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode. I'm going to say 34 if there's a pause right here and you hear a robotic voice that says a different number, then, then I got that one wrong. But we're going to go with episode 34 of waking up to Narcissism. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist and also host of the Virtual Couch podcast. And I am I am I am so grateful to be here today. We're going to talk about a topic that we've talked about a couple of times already, but it is something that just comes up over and over again, whether it's in the private women's Facebook group that that I that is just becoming such a powerful force for good. So if you're interested in that, you can reach out through the emails or people that I'm working with in my office. And again, just because I talk about that private women's Facebook group that I work with, men who the woman is, the emotionally immature, narcissistic person in the relationship, I want to be very clear about that. So what I'm going to talk about today is the narcissistic discard, and the discard happens to whoever that is that is discarded when a relationship with a narcissist or an emotionally immature person ends and that discard hurts. It is a deep, deep wounding that we've talked about leads to this concept of pathological loneliness. And if you haven't listened to that episode, it's a couple episodes back.
[00:01:20] Please go find that one. I talk a lot about the work of Ross Rosenberg and his self love deficit disorder, which is a redefining of the concept of codependency. He talks about how codependency is just one of the one of the symptoms that is part of self love deficit disorder. And the cure is self love abundance and it is actually absolutely working on your self, self care and man quick tangent, but I think applicable over on the virtual couch. I think a week or two ago I talked about shame and where shame comes from that your very core, that shame itself. I talk about how gaslighting is a childhood defense mechanism. Shame is a childhood defense mechanism. The more you dig into what the concept of shame is. Let me explain this one. I just I dig this stuff. The more that the more we understand how this stuff works. Again, every little kid, we lack a sense of self as a little kid. So you are absolutely basing your sense of self or who you are off of external validation. So if your parents say, great job champ, you feel like I'm a pretty good person. If your parents are not there for you emotionally, if they physically sexually abuse you, if there's abandonment issues, then instead of thinking, okay, I'm doing okay, we think, oh my gosh, I'm not okay because I don't feel safe.
[00:02:30] And then the thing that will break your heart when you think about what that looks like to a child is we talk about abandonment. So abandonment is that if someone isn't meeting my needs, that if I am young and I have no sense of self, then it has to be me because I can't make any other sense of that. So where shame comes into play is that if a parent isn't there for the kid emotionally, or then the kid is going to feel like it is me. And that is where the core of shame comes in. And then unfortunately, most of us carry that into our adolescent and adulthood so that then whenever we feel like someone is not meeting our needs, then we go immediately to shame. And if you look at the concept of narcissism or emotionally immature people, that's why when they are criticized, they go so fast to shame. Because shame says that not how we say guilt. Guilt says, I feel bad. Shame says I am bad, I am a bad person. So if you have this core belief of shame, then if somebody else even criticizes you, you will immediately. It's your brain is wired to go right to shame. So then you will do anything to defend your fragile ego. That's the definition of narcissism or emotional immaturity. So here's the sad part or the difficult part is that if you look at it from that angle, everyone is going to feel abandoned from their childhood because even the perfect parent and there isn't such a thing, but the best parent in the world that would win the best parent contest still did not meet all of the kids needs because they're a kid.
[00:03:57] So their need is or what they may be expressing is. I would honestly like to eat licorice every single night as my only meal and I'll be fine. So if a parent says No, you need to eat something else, then to the kid they're saying, What the heck? I expressed a need and you didn't meet it. So therefore it must be me because they don't they don't want to hear about the science of sugar and tooth decay. They wanted licorice for dinner every night, old man. And why are you not why are you not letting me have that? You must hate me like something must be wrong with me. So when you look at it from that angle, the concepts of shame, abandonment that you can see where if that was an over abundance in your childhood, then you are going to do anything to protect that ego to the point of gaslighting. Last week we talked about confabulation, but so that narcissistic discard kicks in when somebody just truly feels that they were just, how can I quickly just be so dismissed in a relationship when that relationship may have gone on for 20, 30, 40 years, and now all of a sudden I start expressing myself, maybe I want to go to counseling.
[00:04:59] I start saying, Hey, this isn't okay. I don't appreciate this abuse or I want to do something different in the relationship, which again, I'm going to say it every single time. That is a good. Because you are an individual, the relationships and I will say from a marriage therapist lens, relationships are absolutely supposed to be about emotional maturity. Sure, you show up in your relationship emotionally immature, but it's so that you can learn to process emotion in concert with another human being. Yeah, we start out together, enmeshed and codependent, but then we become interdependent. We become differentiated. We start to to find our sense of self thanks to the relationship. Because in a healthy relationship, if I come into that relationship and then I'm always feeling anxious and I present that to my spouse and they care about me because they're emotionally mature, then they're going to say, Oh man, tell me about that, and what can I do to help? I'm here. Then now I have someone else that I trust now in the relationship that I can express my hopes and wants and dreams and pains and fears to. And now we can work in concert with another person to grow. So then that person can say, Hey, I noticed that you seemed a little bit more stressed in this situation, and if it's a safe person, a safe partner, then we can say, okay, I was even aware of that.
[00:06:09] So we can break down the game film. What are the triggers? What maybe led to that? So that's an emotionally mature relationship. So the problem is when you're working with an emotionally immature person or narcissistic person, that as you start to go through life, as we all do, then that's where the difference happens. So we come into a relationship, we're enmeshed, we're codependent because we just are, because we're emotionally mature. Then you start to you graduate college or maybe you get your big job or you start having kids, or maybe somebody in your family gets a terminal illness or whatever it is that happens. Now you start to go through life and each one of you are going to have your own opinions because you're two different people. And instead of somebody saying, Hey, you can't think that because that doesn't work for me, or why do you think that? Because I think something different now you can start to see there's our emotional immaturity. The normal part of growing together in a relationship is as you start to have experiences looking at those from two different lenses, because that's where one plus one can equal three, you can edify each other if you are in an emotionally unhealthy, emotionally abusive, narcissistic relationship. As you start to do those things in life, then the other person will change the narrative in a in an instant or in a heartbeat, because they don't want this to be a negative impact on them.
[00:07:21] It's about them. It's about selfishness and control. You will retreat, withdraw, figure. Okay. It must be me. Here comes our abandonment issue. It must be me. It must be the way I'm saying this. Or I must just be unlovable. Something must be wrong with me. The more that you go to that place, then the more that you are having a hard time showing up and expressing your needs in a relationship or your hopes. Your dreams, because it hasn't worked so far, works every now and again. And so you're trying to get back to that. What was it that I did or said that made it work? And the unfortunate part is your you're constantly reviewing that data from a curious place, from a pathologically kind place, from hopefully wanting to become more emotionally mature place. But then you're trying to figure out something that is going to make up a word here, unforgivable because to the narcissist are emotionally mature. It depends on that very moment. It depends on what will work best for them in that moment. And then if they have grown up as incredibly, incredibly emotionally immature or they such insecurities, then they really can just in the moment determine what is right for me. And we talked about confabulation last week. Man Confabulation is such an interesting concept.
[00:08:30] Let me just talk about that real quick. We'll get on to the narcissistic discard, but back to that confabulation narcissist are emotionally immature. Individuals often disassociate or race memories because their contact with the world is through a fictitious construct. The false self. This is from the work of Sam Vatanen and then I've added the emotional, immature piece myself so that this this false self or this distorted lens, that narcissistic lens initially did develop in childhood because narcissism or extreme emotional immaturity developed in childhood as a series of coping strategies that began as an adaptation to a childhood family situation that left the person with unstable self esteem and the inability to regulate that self esteem without external validation. I need someone else to make me feel good. And that also includes to the narcissist lower empathy. And then this lens requires them to get rid of any information that challenges that grandiose self perception and that narrative that they've constructed about themselves. And that narrative is necessary for them to be able to explicate, excuse, legitimize their anti social, their self centered or any of that exploitive or controlling behavior choices, idiosyncrasies, and then an attempt to to compensate for these gaps in memory. As Sam says, then narcissists and emotionally immature people can fabricate meaning. They invent plausible plug ins and scenarios of how things might, could or should have plausibly occurred. And then to the person that is trying to interact or engage with the narcissist, they appear as lies.
[00:09:53] But to the narcissist or the emotionally immature person, they fervently believe in that reality. They may not actually remember what happened, but it couldn't have happened in any other way than this narrative that they need it to have happened because that narrative needs to fit. Who they think that they are. Because if all of a sudden you're telling them that they did something that hurt you. Now here comes the gaslighting, thanks to this concept of confabulation, because they certainly couldn't have been the one that hurt you, because that's that's not who they are at their core. So you it must have been you. You must have made me do it. You must have provoked me. Or don't you understand what I'm going through? But it can't be me. It has to be you. And then these these tenuous concocted fillers are then subject to frequent revision as the narcissist or the emotionally immature individuals. Inner world and external circumstances are constantly evolving. But unlike somebody with self awareness, they are constantly working from a place of deep insecurity and they cannot be at fault because that would disrupt their internal narrative. If they're wrong, then you may not love them. They have to control that narrative in order to control the relationship. Now think about that. That's we're going to get more to the concept of this narcissistic discard. They have to control the narrative of what this relationship looks like and who they are and who they need you to be.
[00:11:06] They have to be the victim. You don't understand what things are like for them or you made them do whatever they did. That's the narrative that they have to work into their life. They have to be better than or they have to have been done wrong. But it isn't anything that they can take ownership or accountability to. And that confabulation piece, a lot of the emails that I got after that episode talked about situations where you can then calling someone out or saying, Wait, I've got proof of this thing that that's where you almost just watch the pause and you can literally just feel like you can hear the gears grinding in the brain of the emotionally immature, narcissistic person of what do I have to say here? And I've talked in the past about what I call the narcissistic exit or the narcissistic out, where then all of a sudden, oh, my gosh, I got some chest pains or I'm just not feeling up for this right now, or I'm going to get really angry. I cannot even believe we're having this conversation. And it's hard because in that moment, the more that you become aware of what's going on, it's almost as if you had people talk about this, and I felt this in some of my own relationships as well, where you almost feel like, okay, that's all I could do, almost well, well done.
[00:12:11] Me I was able to stand in my, my healthy boundary and say, No, this is what happened, this is what I remember. And then you deal with all the confabulation and gaslighting, really. You remember that that's exactly wrong. And then at that point, if you stand your ground, hold your boundary, the narcissist is not going to say you're right. No, it's going to it's going to say, okay, okay, great. You're right. I'm a horrible person. They're you're happy, you're good, or they're just going to leave the situation. I was on my I have a men's group for people that are struggling with compulsive behaviors or turn it away from unhealthy coping mechanisms. And we were talking last night and I was going through this concept of confabulation and I admitted my little bit of a love for interrogation videos. I watch them on YouTube a lot, a whole lot, because I am so fascinated by the psychology of not the people that are doing the interrogations, but the people that are being interrogated. And I watched one and I thought of confabulation so much because they had a guy that unfortunately, I'm going to sound like I'm making fun of this. But he had killed his wife and he was had been a championship boxer, 25 and zero was his record. And I even thought, okay, that's not going to end up being true.
[00:13:27] But it was. So when the investigators were saying what happened, he had said that she was hitting me, she had hit me in my arm. And so I shot her. And he was saying it to the investigators as if they were going to go, Oh, okay. Now that makes sense. If she was doing that and they had said, hey, so real quick, I heard you were a boxer and you were 25 and. Oh, yep, I am. And they got him talking about his boxing career and how he was much bigger than his wife. He was a professional fighter. He was undefeated or might have been an amateur fighter. And so then they said, okay, so let's go back to that. So was she armed? No. What did she do again? She hit me in the arm. So they said, okay, so you as a boxer, she hit you in the arm, she's smaller, your larger. But then you had to shoot her and you could again, the confabulation, what they talk about there is they're working from a place of deep insecurity and they can't be at fault because it would disrupt their internal narrative. If they're wrong, you might not ever love them, so they contradict themselves. And the concept here is that tomorrow's confabulation often negates yesterday's, or they can confabulation in the very moment the nurses and emotionally immature don't remember the previous tale because they are not invested with the emotions and cognitions that are integral parts of real memory.
[00:14:32] So as soon as this person started talking about his boxing career and that he had to shoot her, then he shut down. He went. He went blank. And then when they wanted to dig into that more, it was interesting. He just said sorry. And it was as if he reverted back to childhood there, where it was almost as if sorry I got caught. He didn't say that. And then? And then they eventually moved on to asking more questions because that was one of this guy is a narcissist or an emotionally immature person that he is able to just shut down. Because if I shut down, that's worked in the past. Because if I shut down, eventually they'll ask another question. Now I'm back. Now I can gaslight again. Now I've got a new narrative to work with. But if I have been caught, so to speak, and I have no more way to get out of that, I'm either going to get out of it. I'm going to pass out. I'm going to yell and scream. I'm going to cry. I'm going to do whatever I can. And if that person holds their ground, then something has to change. And if I just don't say a word, then that is uncomfortable for others, so that eventually they'll start going down a different path and asking different questions. So I want to now spend a little bit of time on an article.
[00:15:35] It's on Very Well Mind and it is by Sanjana Gupta and it is called What is Narcissistic Discard. So the beginning of the article she talks about what is narcissism and gives a little bit of an overview of more of that grandiose type of narcissism. But what I really wanted to to dove into and why I like this article is when she talks about what is narcissistic discard, she says that narcissistic discard is when a person with narcissistic tendencies ends their relationship with you. It can often feel like you have been used and discarded. So simply put, I think that kind of gets right to the heart of the matter. But she also goes into these four things that are the stages, she says, according to the stages. So then she also then quotes Dr. Amy Doremus, who is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of the book Understanding Bipolar Disorder. But Amy lays out I think so well, these stages of narcissistic relationships. Sanjana says it can be helpful to understand narcissistic discord in the context of a narcissistic relationship. Here are the stages of narcissistic relationships. The first is appreciation. Simply titled narcissistic. The first is appreciation. So simply put, narcissistic relationships often start off at a fervent pitch. The person will seem like someone special, and they'll make you feel unique. Whether romantic, professional or otherwise. The relationship will move fast.
[00:16:55] We know that we have talked about this on many episodes. That is the concept of love bombing. And again, I want you just to step back and look in terms of we've got narcissism, we've got emotional immaturity. So if you were a kid and you wanted to make friends with someone, I don't know if you remember that feeling and maybe this wasn't everybody, but you did have more of a tendency to say that you get along with people better, that you enjoy many of the same things, even if they aren't exactly things that you enjoy. And when I talk about this of what that looks like in relationships, this is where let's say that you are someone who does not really enjoy. And I gave this example when I was speaking recently, Jane Austen movies. If you weren't really a big fan of Jane Austen, but you were a big fan of this person that you were on a date with because they were attractive or they were just things that you really just love their energy or they they were successful. And so they say, Man, I love Jane Austen. What about you? And what here's what emotional immaturity can look like is in that moment. The thought is, you know what? I like this person so much that if they like Jane Austen, I would imagine I would like Jane Austen, too. So I'm going to say, man, yeah, Jane Austen, love them.
[00:17:58] Love them. And that's is where every I feel like every TV sitcom has an episode where they say, Oh, what's your favorite Jane Austen movie? And then the person just insert laugh track here, and the person says, Oh, man, if I had to choose, I don't know, what do you think? And then they mention something and they say, Yeah, no, I love that one too. So if you don't know about something that the person sitting across from you and I'm talking about in the role of the the narcissist or the emotionally immature, then you really are confident that I'm sure I would love that stuff and I just need to go look it up. But I'm sure I can, in essence pull this off and make them believe that I really do like those same things too. And so then when you are expressing other things that you like you admire, then the narcissist, the emotionally mature person that you're interacting with is going to, Oh my gosh, I love those things too. And so it is just going to feel like this is so easy, this relationship is so easy, and that is that concept of a love bomb. And they start off at a fervent pitch because if you feel that connected to somebody, then all of a sudden you feel like we could spend hours together. Everything we talk about, we're just on the same page. We're just vibing and we want we like to do all the same things.
[00:19:03] And so that is that appreciation, that euphoria, that fervent pitch, that love bombing. And this is why I really like framing things around the emotional immaturity part, because that isn't that doesn't mean that immediately that oh my gosh, I'm a narcissist because I really was I was thinking, well, they talked about liking race go karts at the water park. And I don't know, I don't really enjoy it that much, but I can see myself liking that because I like this person. So we all may do that to a point if we're talking about just pure emotional image. But then the part that I think gets interesting, the older that people get or the more that they when they're dating, people get into new relationships. When they come out of narcissistic relationships is they almost find themselves back in that same situation. And I'll give you an example. I've been talking about this concept of introducing some positive tension when people go back out in the dating world. Here was the example a woman that I was working with, someone went on a she went on a date and the on the date, the person that she met, the first thing he talked about was how, oh, my gosh, he just loves his adult kids. They've got. Such an amazing relationship. It is just fantastic. And so this lady thought, okay, that's good because she's coming out of a relationship where her adult kids don't have a great relationship because the father is extremely emotionally immature or narcissistic traits, tendencies, that sort of thing.
[00:20:21] So then later on we'll say half an hour later in the conversation on the date. Then he mentions how they don't call, they don't write, how he just he tries so hard and and oh, my gosh, it's just so difficult because they just don't they don't reach out to him. They don't treat him well. And so she said that was this moment of truth we've been talking about introducing positive tension. And she said that in the past she knows that she would have thought, oh, I must have misunderstood him early on when he said that he had this great relationship and now he's saying he doesn't, that I must have made a mistake there. Or the person might have said the nice person on the date might have said, you know what, I'm sure, I'm sure there's a reason why it would make more sense as to why he's saying the things he's saying. And I don't know, I'll ask him later. But in introducing positive tension or emotional maturity into the conversation would look something like, Hey, okay, hang on a second. So earlier you had mentioned that you have this amazing relationship with your adult kids and now you're saying that you don't. And so I know I might have missed that. But help me understand, because when she did that, in this situation, in this example, the person paused and she said that it was as if you could watch him dig into a metaphorical backpack and try to find the right mask that would work in that situation.
[00:21:30] The one he chose was gaslighting and that. Oh, wow. Oh, I thought you knew I was kidding earlier. Oh, no, no, I didn't. Yeah, no, that makes sense. I didn't know that you really thought that. I meant that we had this great relationship. I thought you heard me say, like, oh, jeez, we've got a great relationship. Very sarcastic. And that was where she said, If I could have just said check, that would have been amazing. And she said in hindsight, she probably wishes she would have. But so introducing that positive tension because that love bombing, we could probably fit that one into emotional maturity, narcissistic traits and tendencies, part of it just being human. But that is where those relationships start off at a fervent pitch. Then, after appreciation, Dr. Drama says depreciation. So eventually the person with narcissistic tendencies will start picking you apart and finding faults with you. They'll they'll set you against others by telling you why another person is better than you. Meanwhile, they'll be praising you to someone. Meanwhile, they'll be praising you to make someone else feel. They'll gaslight you by distorting your sense of reality and blaming you for the distress that causes you.
[00:22:26] So with that second part, with depreciation incomes, gaslighting incomes and validation, and this is the part where the more it says they'll start picking you apart and finding faults with you, which I believe there's multiple reasons why that can happen. One is because that's just the sport of the narcissist that, yeah, you are amazing when they want you to be amazing when they need you to be amazing because they're amazing. So they are thinking, well, in their world they will enter into this relationship with you because you are special. Because they are special. So then when you aren't, when you are no longer as special, when you are starting to be viewed more as human. Now here comes the depreciation are picking apart. And what will also happen to is when people get more comfortable in a relationship. And this is why I started that concept of with during that appreciation phase where it is we'll call it a slightly normal for people to all show up with their best selves. And so then when people get into the relationship, they may start to relax a bit. Now that does not mean that they stop doing things for each other, being nice to each other, leaving notes for each other, any of the things that they were doing. But when we feel more secure in a healthy relationship, then when we start to step back a bit, then it is because now we are feeling comfortable enough to really step into our own sense of self.
[00:23:40] And this is part of that becoming an emotionally mature relationship. We enter relationships emotionally immature so that we can then find the secure attachment and then all of a sudden I can start expressing more of the things that I feel, or the more that I feel safe with this person. Then we're going to have more conversations about all the high charge topics of sex, politics, religion, parenting, jobs, all of those things. And as you start to express your opinions and your views, the more that you dig in and get to know each other better, that then in an emotionally mature relationship, then the next question out of someone's mouth should be, tell me more about that. Tell me more about your beliefs, your views, but to when you are involved with a narcissist, here comes the depreciation of well, I think that's dumb. I don't think you should think that. Let me tell you what the truth is. And here are the things that you don't know. And so when you go down to that depreciation piece, it is often because, again, the narcissist either no longer finds you to be the shiny new toy, or as you start to state your opinion now, they cannot go to an emotionally mature place of you may have a different opinion because they're viewing it from this all or nothing lens.
[00:24:48] Well, if you have an opinion and it's different than mine, then you are challenging my opinion. So now I must depreciate or pick your opinion, she says. The next part of the narcissistic relationship is repetition, she said. You'll find yourself feeling confused, anxious, depressed and scrambling to be good enough. And if you try to pull away, they'll react with hurt and rage. But then the cycle of. Initiation and depreciation will start again. And that's what I thought was interesting. I had never heard it put that way. The cycle of appreciation and depreciation. So then that cycle, when you then feel like you are confused or anxious or depressed. And I like how she says, you're scrambling to be good enough. That's where we all of a sudden think, Wait, I can make sense of this. I can fix this because I'm an emotionally intelligent person. But what we don't realize is that you're an emotionally intelligent person playing this relationship game, so to speak, with somebody who is extremely emotionally immature and who their emotional IQ is extremely low. So then when you're trying to put pieces together, look for patterns and things that you can then follow up on now is when if you make the I was going to say, make the mistake of now saying, wait, last time you said this, this time you're saying something else, then they don't view that as, oh, my gosh, you're right. I did.
[00:25:56] I didn't realize I had contradicted myself. Now it's a oh, you just challenged me. You told me I'm wrong. And here comes that confabulation again is I they will rewrite the narrative in the moment because I know I can't be wrong. It's that you you misunderstood or you made me say the things that now you view as wrong. So that part again, these clear signs of this emotional immaturity. So when you find yourself in this concept of repetition and now we're in the cycle of appreciation and depreciation, I feel like that is where the trauma bond just really, really sinks in and people will go into that cycle for years, decades, absolutely decades. And then that just becomes the pattern. This is how we communicate. And then at some point then there will be the discard. And she said they will use you for personal gain and when you're no longer of use to them, they will discard you. And I really feel like a big part of that is when you're no longer of use to them, meaning that they cannot control you anymore are so many other things. So let's get into the reasons for the narcissistic discard. According to a 2017 study, people with narcissistic personality disorder often have trouble maintaining long term relationships. They tend to use people to prop up their sense of self, often due to a deficiency in parental affection in childhood. And they think of others as objects to discard when they're no longer useful.
[00:27:11] And I realize now we're 34 episodes into waking up the narcissism and I feel I'm recognizing almost have this assumption that everyone has been along for the entire journey. So if you are joining me literally for this episode from the narcissistic discard, we have covered so many of these topics in detail in previous episodes. So that's why I feel like this is almost putting all these pieces together. And so you can go back and look at how often on the show I talk about childhood abandonment or go find the episode where it's titled I think, Am I the narcissist? And that's where we talk about this real shift in talking about narcissistic traits, tendencies, and full blown narcissistic personality disorder to the concept of emotional, immature immaturity. And I think that that can really start to fill in a lot of the gaps as well. But Dr. Drama's list some reasons why a person with narcissistic tendencies might discard you, and we've covered a few of these already. Earlier in the show, you were too difficult for them to control. You were easily manipulated by them, causing them to look down upon you. And if you look at the irony of that, you often we've talked about again in previous episodes that it's often the pathologically kind person, a term by Ross Rosenberg, the author of The Human Magnus Syndrome. But the pathologically kind person often ends up with the pathological narcissist, and so you were easily manipulated by them, causing them to look down upon you.
[00:28:32] And the fact that you were often easily manipulated is because of that kindness, because of your desire to try to again find consistency in the relationship so that you can show up in ways that have worked in the past. But the irony here is that the more that you do that and the more that the narcissist not showing any consistency or not taking accountability, then the more it will feel like they may look down upon you for you simply trying to do what would be the right thing in any other healthy relationship of trying to figure out some consistency or patterns in the relationship so you can address them so you can talk about them in an emotionally mature way. You'll the next one, she says, is you no longer feel their ego, so they're moved on to someone else who can supply what they need. And when you look at emotional immaturity, you can almost look at this concept of similar to things like ADHD, where you the dopamine dump, the the excitement comes in novelty. And so that's where that person, this new shiny toy is better than the old one. And even if you look at it in terms oftentimes they're almost personality types of where someone feels comfortable with the familiar toy, the familiar the patterns, the consistency, and then where someone might also be a different personality type, might say, okay, shiny new novelty, new toy.
[00:29:47] And so that might be the thing that attracts that person. You may not be able to help them any further with their goals. So they found someone who can or they feel that they can. She put the air quotes, level up and move on to someone better, and that also in quotations in some dysfunctional way. And again, I think that so much of that is that when. You have been too difficult for them to control, meaning that you have started to find your own sense of self. And I can't state that enough that when they say that they when she says you move on to someone better than Narcisse, moves on to someone better. The reason I feel like better is in quotation marks is because it is someone who is who currently is not trying to find themselves or is fine without a sense of self, or maybe not fine without a sense of self. But the narcissist can almost define that sense of self for that person, for that person, not encouraging that person to find their own sense of self again, which is what is part of a healthy relationship. Dr. Doremus goes on to talk about the mental health impact of narcissistic discard. And here's another thing that I think she states so well. Below, Dr. Doremus unpacks the impact of being discarded on your mental health, as well as your as on your partner who has the narcissistic tendencies.
[00:30:53] People with narcissistic tendencies make you emotionally dependent upon them. They try to define you rather than letting you define yourself. She says that being discarded by a narcissistic personality is traumatic. Your brain's trauma response is activated because you've lost the person defining your identity and your worth. So your trauma response. I think this is one of those key components of why the narcissistic discard can be so difficult because your trauma response is activated, because this is the person that your brain has tried to say is my person. And therefore, as I am seeking external validation, which we all do until we don't, as simple as that may sound, the person that you are saying, am I okay? Is in essence saying. It depends. It depends on how I'm feeling. Now, they're not literally saying that or they might be. But in a healthy relationship, you move from, am I okay to, hey, I'm okay, and let's have a conversation and let's look at things as an opportunity to connect. Not I continually need external validation and I hope that part can resonate because if you are looking for your spouse to tell you if you're okay and that is something that is still happening well into your relationship, then that's something I would want to take a look at. If we are coming into relationship and doing a lot of what do you think or what would you do or do you think this is? It's pretty normal of a process, but as we emotionally mature, hopefully together, then it's starting to resemble a relationship where we say, Well, what do you think? Tell me why that's important to you.
[00:32:21] Tell me. Take me on your train of thought. Why are you thinking these things? And then your emotionally healthy, safe partner will say, Man, that sounds hard or That sounds exciting, or tell me more my experiences, but tell me more about yours and then I'll share my experience again. It's a connection. It's not about control, she said. Additionally, people with narcissistic tendencies try to make others financially or professionally dependent on them as well. So you may experience financial losses or professional setbacks, and that is one of those things that I feel like again, when people read about their they may be in a relationship with someone with narcissistic tendencies and all the things you read, say immediately leave. But there are often professional tie ins, financial tie ins, familial tie ins, and those that can be really hard to uncouple and that can be a really difficult thing. So she says while the entire process can be traumatic, you may be better off in the long run. You may be. It's interesting the way she says that. And again, that's because everyone's journey is different. And I understand that remaining in the relationship can cost you your identity and your self worth, and you'll have to focus your life around satisfying them.
[00:33:23] And it is the reason again, I know I'm probably going to go through and edit out how many times I say again and again because the this is where we talk about this so often on the show or in the private women's Facebook group or the emails that I get are that sometimes people say, okay, with these new skills that I have, if they look at the five things I talk about with narcissism of raising your emotional baseline, which is self care, of getting your PhD and gaslighting of getting out of unproductive conversations, of setting healthy boundaries and realizing there's no nothing I can do that will cause the other person to have the aha moment or the epiphany. I mean, that's something that they have to come to. Then people will often say, okay, I've got all this, I get all those things down, then maybe I can stay in this relationship. But that's why I appreciate what Dr. Drama says so. Well, is that you? It will most likely cost your identity in self worth. Now you may be able to recapture some of that, but I guarantee I feel strongly that as you do, that the narcissist is going to continue to push back because they are losing that control. And so then the acceptance often becomes around.
[00:34:24] I am accepting the fact that I will not have my own sense of self or self worth, or I will take little bits and pieces of it. But primarily with this acceptance, people realize that there's not a lot I can do, and so I need to just acquiesce or go along and satisfy my partner, impact on the person with narcissistic tendencies. I think this is interesting, she says. People with narcissistic tendencies typically don't let go of their source of attention and admiration unless they've secured a new one. But that's the part I appreciate about this, because that discard happens quickly. When people do get out of a narcissistic relationship, they often feel like, you know what? I don't even know if I ever want to date again or I don't. I just want to recover and recoup. And the assumption is made that my. Spouse most likely will as well because this is hard on them too, but that is looking through your own lens. And so when she says that, typically don't let go of their source of attention and admiration unless they've secured a new one, she says if they lose something important to their self image by discarding you, then they'll feel the loss and come back. And what I believe she means there, because that can be I think that can be interpreted in a couple of ways. But in one sense, they will go away and then they will come back.
[00:35:34] They will go away and they will come back, which is what furthers the trauma bond. And unfortunately, when they go away and if they don't find that new source of supply, then often they will recognize that, okay, I need to go back and control my spouse and now I know the right buttons to push. I will say I'm sorry. I will say, okay, I get it this time. I'll go to counseling, I'll do whatever it takes. And then you will feel that euphoria, that dopamine yourself of novelty. If this is this is new, maybe this time it'll work. And that's where I say the concept of a rule out is very real. And I've worked with many people in relationships with narcissists that the nurses leaves and then they come back and the person says, No, I think it's different this time. And as the therapist, you have to meet the person where they're at, and I understand that. So it might take many rolling this out many times, or the person leaves and comes back or you leave and come back. And I'm just feeling I'm about to talk to the teens these days. Just be real guys. But I know that this is, again, what I'm hoping to bring to this podcast is that do I feel like it would be great for my clients to just say I'm done and move on? Most likely, yeah, that would be really more helpful because of the struggle that they may go through over the coming months or years.
[00:36:47] But I understand and I can't imagine because that is not the relationship that I'm in. So I can't imagine how hard that would be. But I see that on most every occasion when I'm working with somebody, that it does take a lot of, I think I can do this now, I have new information or this time I really feel like they've said the right thing and then I call those rule outs. Until then, finally, you really feel like, okay, I really do understand what's going on here and I need my sense of self and this is what's going to be best in the long run for me, for my kids, that sort of thing, she said. However, even if they move on to a new source of attention, they may not want to lose control of you. They may not want to see you move on and become unavailable, or they may still want to use you to manipulate other people. And that's where I have seen on far too many occasions the narcissist even get in new relationships and then still try to keep control over the person their ex. And that can be done through and co-parenting or that sort of thing as well, she said. Coping with Narcissistic Discord. Dr. Drama suggests some strategies that can help you cope with being discarded by the narcissist, says try to remember who you were and what you wanted before this relationship.
[00:37:50] Instead of subverting your needs, start paying attention to them and expressing them, she said. Learn or relearn how healthy relationships develop, which is often more slowly and with less fire and drama than narcissistic relationships, she said. Surround yourself with genuinely supportive people. Relationships with people who have narcissistic tendencies can leave you feeling isolated and questioning your reality. Spending time with people who genuinely care about your well-being can help you incorporate healthier perspectives and regain your sense of equilibrium. And we talk often about this isn't the time for you're the Switzerland friends, which bless their hearts, but when they're trying to see both sides of the situation. But it's something that you've been dealing with for decades, years, decades, that this is where it is time for you to be heard and to be understood, she said. Consider learning emotional regulation techniques to help you manage the pain of the separation. And over on my Virtual Couch podcast, I would highly recommend listening to one I did a couple of weeks ago about shame. And in shame I talk about a technique called compassion focus therapy, and there's a there's a really interesting concept where they talk about these three types of these three emotional regulation systems, where you've got a threat system, you've got this achievement system and then a soothing or self care system. And too often people get the achievement I must do and the threat I must protect systems on high alert.
[00:39:05] And that comes at the risk or the detriment of the self soothing or compassion system. And so that's the part where we we need to start, even though it may feel like I have to do when I have to protect that we really need to take care of self first so that we can show up even better to know, in essence, what to do and how to protect. And then, she says, reflect on the factors that attracted you to a relationship with this person in the first place. And when I read that first sentence, when I was going through the material, I thought, Oh, where's she going with this? But I like this part. She said, You may be surprised to find that they resemble a figure in your childhood, such as a parent who is unavailable to you. Here's where we get the classic mom and dad issues. So if you were if you had, let's say, a father figure that was unavailable or one that you didn't get your emotional needs met or they did not give you any external validation as a kid, then you may have looked for that in a person. So sometimes people are drawn to this narcissistic person and male or female because that that that parent. That opposite sex parent in their childhood. Was unavailable to them. So it's almost a subconscious view of if I can win over this, this guy or this girl in adulthood, then that means I'm okay.
[00:40:15] If again, taps into some of those abandonment issues. Hey, I really appreciate your time and I hope that this made some sense. I know I went a lot of different directions on this episode, but that's the directions that we went. So if you have questions, if you have comments, if you have examples of how you have felt in the narcissistic discard or ways that you have overcome the narcissistic discard, please reach out to me through Toni, over Macomb. And if you're interested in joining the Women's Facebook group, then please let me know that as well. And I'm going to continue to put a call out there for if there are men that are waking up to their own narcissistic traits or tendencies. I would love to put together some men's groups as well. So I do get those emails and I want you to know I see you. And then last but not least, therapist, I'll get I put this call out to other therapists that are working with this population. And if you are interested in collaborating or getting together on some content, then please reach out to me as well. I hear far more examples of people who say, My therapist sent me your podcast than I do therapist saying Let's collaborate or I work with this population or I need more information on this population as well. Looking for all, all of the above. So have an amazing, amazing week and I will see you next time on waking up the nurses.