How to know if a narcissist is finished with you

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, it can be difficult to gauge their potentially volatile emotions. You may also question whether they have finished a relationship with you on a permanent basis or if this is merely temporary. You must also ask yourself the question, whether you wish to maintain some form of a relationship with them or wish to completely cut off ties.

Is this permanent?

Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) rarely discard other people on a permanent basis unless there are specific reasons for this. Until you reach the point where you are adamant about finishing your relationship with them, the narcissist will always see an open door and away in or back into your life. You may have to accept that they will always believe this even if you are confident you no longer wish to have them as a part of your life.

The narcissist undergoes treatment

Treatment is possible for someone with NPD through regular psychotherapy sessions and other talk therapy. Through this process, they may acknowledge the hurt or suffering they have caused you and endeavor to give you the space you need to develop without them. However, it should be said that although not impossible, NPD is a notoriously difficult condition to treat and these kinds of sustained positive changes can be challenging for many people to achieve.

You no longer supply what the narcissist wants

Once a narcissist realizes that their supply (i.e. you)  isn’t providing what the narcissist wants, they’ll begin to devalue and mistreat you.  This is when silent treatment might set in and where the narcissist acts disinterested in his or her supply. They will try to find alternative sources for their supply and this is where they will withdraw from you and seek out other company.

Devaluing you

A relationship with a narcissist tends to follow distinct stages. Perhaps in the initial honeymoon stages of the relationship (the idealizing stage), your narcissist partner was full of praise for everything you did and saw all your qualities as highly attractive. The relationship takes the narcissist to euphoric highs and becomes infatuated. Of course, at this point, you might feel like you’ve hit the jackpot with such an attentive and loving partner who you love to be around. Sadly, this doesn’t always last and further down the line, they may see the exact same qualities they loved previously in a completely different light now (the devaluing stage). For example, maybe once they saw you as witty and funny but now see your jokes as vulgar or crude. They may have seen you as someone who had a great fashion sense but now see you as vain.

In a different sense, there would also have been a time where your compliments and praise meant a great deal to your narcissist partner but now they see these comments as desperate and needy. They may no longer see you as someone they admire and will seek praise and validation from other sources that they admire at that time and will continually shift their attention in this way.

The narcissist may be hostile towards you if you have started to ‘see through them’ and recognize some of their less favorable qualities that they do not want to admit to. Thus, making them seek out other suppliers who have not reached this stage with them and where they can use their charms to greater effect.

Other behaviors to look out for include:

Coldness and aloofness

When attempting to discuss the future of your relationship, you might be met with a change of subject, blank stare or a non-committal response. The narcissist will know what will ‘push your buttons’ per se and will use this tactic with you.

A disappearing act

Your partner may disappear for hours, days or weeks without contact but come back and not acknowledge this behavior as something that may have distressed you. Especially if in an earlier stage of the relationship, your narcissistic partner may have been in intense regular contact with you.  


You may find yourself wanting to confront your narcissistic partner for behavior you are unhappy with. They may find ways of manipulating the conversation to make you doubt yourself and your intentions. Narcissists are particularly adept at playing on your potential fears and insecurities and will often use this as a tactic to deflect any acknowledgment of the issues at hand.

Changing attitudes towards you in social situations

The Narcissist could change their behavior towards you in different ways in different social situations. They may actually see you as a threat and might cut you off in conversation with others or diminish or patronize you. They may rile you to the point where you wish to leave a conversation or social setting but will not chase after you or acknowledge your hurt feelings at the time. When you are not present, they may speak critically of you to others and manipulate other people into minimizing their time and efforts with you.

They may present a completely different character at home compared to their work and social persona with friends. People may comment on how wonderful your partner is but will not recognize the abusive or manipulative behavior that may be demonstrated at home and understandably this is a huge source of upset and frustration.

How to recover from a breakup with a narcissist

This further article talks about methods such as Gray Rock which offers a strategy to overcome some of the suffering and distress caused by abusive relationships.


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