How The Narcissist Works In Cycles, Breaking You More With Each Round

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By now you’ve probably heard of the term “Narcissist” being thrown around whenever someone is describing their ex. Yet the term is serious and dealing with a Narcissist can actually have lasting harmful effects.

Narcissism is routed in Narcissistic personality disorder which is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists come off as charming and loving, making their partners easily fall into their trap. it’s not until they know you care about them that they show their true colors, getting you in six stages of a cycle that causes you more harm each time you go through it.

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Tale As Old As Time

It’s a tale as old as time. A narcissist’s cycle can be broken down into six stages that have become all too predictable. The sad reality is that we often don’t realize we’re going through them until we’re removed from the situation and have already been hurt. However, understanding these steps is not only healing, because it reminds you that none of it is your fault, but it protects you and your loved ones from ever experiencing it again.

woman holding flower bouquet at the park facing back
Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

The pre-first step is simple. Think of this process like a hunt with the Narcissist first needing to find their prey. Today thanks to dating apps, this has become an easier process for them.

Stage 1: Love Overdose

Narcissists know exactly what you want to hear. They will make you feel special and make your connection feel rare. They make your chemistry feel intense by jumping in quickly ad deeply. They want you to feel like you should hold on because you might never have an experience like this again.

man and woman kiss over a table both in black jackets
Shvets Anna / Pexels
Shvets Anna / Pexels

They will shower you with love and affection, and promises to always choose you. However narcissists can be opportunistic, and whether they’re doing it consciously or not, they’re manipulating you into falling for them.

Stage 2: Accessing Vulnerability

A narcissist will make it seem like they trust you enough to share their deepest, darkest secrets with you from the get-go, They do so for three reasons. First, they want you to feel special, like you’re the only one they can open up to like this. Second, they want to share a sob story so that you feel bad for them, and justify their coming toxic behavior.They want you to take a caregiver role, which is they often gravitate towards empathy.

couple-lying-on-bed-while-looking-face-to-face holding hads
SHVETS production / Pexels
SHVETS production / Pexels

Lastly, they want to create enough vulnerability that you also start sharing your darkest and deepest secrets with them. This is their ammo that they will use against you when things don’t go their way to tear you from the inside out.

Stage 3: Showing Their True Colors

One you’ve started to trust and fall for them, drama will seemingly come out of nowhere. You may have thought that everything was going well but they can only keep up their act for so long. One day, they will flip on you. For example, they’ll get angry at you for being out too late and not texting them back. They’ll make you feel guilty, like you’ve wronged them simply because you didn’ do things exactly their way.

man-wearing-white-dress-shirt-with-black-necktie points his finger in ager
Craig Adderley / Pexels
Craig Adderley / Pexels

They’ll punish you by withholding affection and they’ll condition you with their criticism. The more you ask for or confront them about, the more they gaslight you, give you the silent treatment, and turn the tables back on you until you give up or automatically start assuming the blame.

Stage 4: Discarding

At one point or another, this brings them to one of the final stage of the cycle, the discard stage. Eventually, they’ll get bored of you. Their need for external validation will be bigger than the one you can supply so they’ll look to see if the grass is greener on the other side.

couple-having-a-misunderstanding by balcony while man smokes
Cottonbro / Pexels
Cottonbro / Pexels

All a sudden all the promises of loving you forever and you being the only one seem empty. You’ll feel heartbroken and confused, wondering when and how exactly it all went wrong.

Stage 5: Back And Forth

Sometimes when a Narcissist first discards you, it’s just to teach you a lesson. They want you to know how easily they can get rid of you, diminishing your worth. But almost every time after, they come back, now banking on your diminished sense of self-worth and increased attachment to them.

hoto-of-couple-standing-on-road by lights in silhouette
Jonathan Borba / Pexels
Jonathan Borba / Pexels

They condition you into staying out of fear of them abandoning you if you don’t do and say exactly what they want. However, try to leave them yourself and watch how tightly they hold on, afraid to actually lose you as their supply. They’ll promise to change and resort back to stage 1 tactics until they trick you into coming back.

Final Stage: Starting Over

Once you finally put your foot down and refuse to go back, they move on to their next victim. They’ll try to get you back for a while, even if they found someone new, simply because their ego can’t stand rejection. They rely so heavily on validation from external sources that they simply can’t be alone.

man-and-woman-sitting-on-chair-in-front-of-table
Cottonbro / Pexels
Cottonbro / Pexels

That’s why their relationship always ends up being codependent. The moment they’re truly alone again, they’re back on the hunt, showering someone else with love and making them believe they’re soulmates, just like they once did with you.

And so, the cycle starts all over again.

It’s Not Love

The stages of a relationship with a Narcissist may mimic some sort of love, but it’s not real love. At least not the kind that you deserve. It’s not for the right reasons and it doesn’t serve your needs.

couple-sitting-at-the- dining table looking at each other with smiles
Cottonbro / Pexels
Cottonbro / Pexels

In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?

Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it’s much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.

Aria Misty

Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.

Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]