The combination of a narcissist’s fragile sense of self and novelty seeking personality traits play a big part in a narcissist’s infamous ability to effortlessly jump from supply to supply without getting emotionally attached. It is a destabilizing experience for victims of narcissistic abuse and leaves many wondering how long it takes for a narcissist to get bored with their new supply. 

In a survey we conducted among 400 survivors of narcissistic abuse, we found that the average amount of time it took for narcissistic men to get bored with their new supply was five months and the average amount of time it took for narcissistic women to get bored with their new supply was two-and-a-half months. 

This article is going to guide you though the reason that narcissists get bored with their new supply. To give you the best understanding of the relationship that a narcissist has with their new supply, we’ve outlined our article Do Narcissists Care About the New Supply in a short video (see below). The information in the video is going to help you better understand why narcissists get bored with their new supply.

A Short Video That Explains Why Narcissists Don’t Care About Their New Supply

Narcissists Get Bored When Their New Supply Isn’t Providing Enough Narcissistic Supply

Narcissistic supply, also known as the validation, admiration, and reassurance that narcissists get from their external environment, plays a crucial role in the emotional stability of a narcissist. They use it to construct a false sense of self that is designed to help them regulate the negative emotions that they have about themselves. 

These negative emotions are powerful ones such as feelings of being unlovable, inadequate, unwanted, vulnerable, self-loathing, worthless, and weak. Then of course they have a fear of abandonment and their own insecurities. There’s a lot of information about this in our article How Are Narcissists Made but narcissists don’t have the emotional intelligence that is required to use healthy forms of emotional regulation to manage their negative emotions.  

It is for this reason that narcissists rely on narcissistic behavior patterns (e.g. projection, narcissistic rage, scapegoating, stonewalling) and narcissistic supply to regulate their suppressed negative emotions. When narcissists don’t have enough narcissistic supply, it triggers their suppressed negative emotions and compromises their emotional stability. That said, let’s take a look at different reasons that narcissist’s get bored of their new supply.

Narcissists Get Bored When the Love Bombing Phase Ends

The love bombing phase is a period in the beginning stages of narcissistic relationships where the narcissist will dedicate an extraordinary amount of time to becoming the “perfect” person for their victim.

To do this a narcissist uses a manipulative technique called mirroring. This occurs when a narcissist absorbs a ton of information about their victim’s identity and uses that information to create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in the victim’s life.

In a romantic relationship, the void that the narcissist is trying to fill is the victim’s definition of the ideal love. In a family setting the void is going to be centered around an emotionally available, responsive, and consistent family member. In a work setting, the void is going to have to do with something related to bettering the victim’s career.

Mirroring is all about the narcissist being exactly who the victim needs them to be and love bombing is an elite form of narcissistic mirroing. The reason that it is such a big source of narcissistic supply is because love bombing allows a narcissist to put on a show. 

The feeling that they get from being able to seduce others into feeling comfortable being in their power and control is exhilarating for them. It provides them with an unfathomable amount of narcissistic supply and this is true for all types of narcissistic relationships.

The constant communication and time spent together that is common to see in the love bombing phase is feeding the narcissist’s grandiose sense of self importance. The over the top and grandiose gestures that narcissists use to seduce their victim are fulfilling their need for excessive admiration. 

The future faking that keeps the love bombing phase intact is supporting the narcissist’s preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. Their ability to manipulate their victim into envisioning a happy, healthy, and secure future together solidifies the narcissist’s belief that they are special/unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions. 

nine personality traits of NPD

The list can go on and on but point is that the love bombing phase supports many of the core personality traits of a narcissist which is why it gives them so much narcissistic supply. It is important to note that the love bombing phase is often used to describe romantic narcissistic relationship but it happens in family and workplace narcissistic relationships as well. 

The love bombing phase is based on your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs. We highly recommend that you read our article What Do Narcissists Do During the Love Bombing Phase for a better understanding of just how versatile it is.

As wonderful as the love bombing phase can feel, it doesn’t last forever. In fact, in our article How Long Does the Love Bombing Phase Last we conducted a survey among 220 survivors of narcissistic abuse and found that the average duration of the love bombing phase with narcissistic men is five-and-a-half months and with narcissistic women it is three-and-a-half months.

When this phase ends, usually when the narcissist realizes that they have power and control over you, they will begin their abusive pursuit of validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control. This is known as the devaluation phase and it is home to the most abusive narcissistic behavior patterns imaginable.   

Narcissists still have many techniques that are designed to get narcissistic supply out of their victim during the devaluation phase, but they aren’t nearly as prolific as the love bombing phase. This is what triggers a narcissist’s boredom with the new supply. 

Narcissists Get Bored With the New Supply Because They Have High Reward Sensitivity

The terms reward sensitivity and novelty seeking is often mentioned when speaking about narcissism and narcissistic abuse. Reward sensitivity refers to the degree to which an individual’s behavior is motivated by reward-relevant stimuli.1 Novelty seeking is a personality trait that is defined as a tendency to pursue new experiences with intense emotional sensations.2

What this means is that narcissists live for the dopamine that they receive when they get narcissistic supply. The validation, admiration, and reassurance of others is deeply rewarding for them. This is the reward sensitivity aspect of a narcissistic personality. 

The novelty seeking personality trait manifests in the form of a narcissist’s infamous ability to get bored with new things and people quickly. Narcissists view the people that they abuse as objects that they can use to fulfill their need for narcissistic supply. They take and take and take until their victim has nothing left and then they simply discard them for a new source of supply. 

This can happen on a smaller scale (e.g. a narcissist is on a date that is giving him/her a lot of narcissistic supply but once they max out on the supply the narcissist gets bored and slowly disengages with the person they are out with) and it can be on a much larger scale (e.g. a narcissistic boss manipulates a few of his/her employees into working overtime without compensation, which makes them a lot of extra money, but once the employees have served their purpose the narcissist fires and replaces them to get new sources of supply).

Regardless of the circumstances, reward sensitivity and novelty seeking personality traits have a massive part in a narcissist’s tendency to get bored with their new supply quickly. 

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

Narcissists do get bored with their new supply. They view other people as objects that they either need to get narcissistic supply or are in the way of them getting narcissistic supply. The moment their new supply begins to fade, they will get bored and search for a new source.


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References:

[1] Kim, Sang Hee et al. “Individual differences in sensitivity to reward and punishment and neural activity during reward and avoidance learning.” Social cognitive and affective neuroscience vol. 10,9 (2015): 1219-27.

[2] Dellu F, Piazza P, V, Mayo W, Le Moal M, Simon H: Novelty-Seeking in Rats-Biobehavioral Characteristics and Possible Relationship with the Sensation-Seeking Trait in Man. Neuropsychobiology 1996;34:136-145.