Have you ever been discarded by someone with a narcissistic personality before you knew their behavior was abusive and had to watch them start this new glamorous relationship with their new source of narcissistic supply? It probably left you feeling like you weren’t good enough, but at the same time it can leave you wondering why the narcissist in your life looks so happy with the new supply, so let me tell you why.

Narcissists look so happy with their new supply because they’re in the love bombing and idealization phase of the narcissistic abuse cycle, their theatrical approach to seducing others makes them feel happy and inflates their ego, and because narcissists need to make others feel inadequate.

The discard phase can be a very hurtful aspect of narcissistic abuse because you’ve likely spent months, years or even decades trying to heal the relationship because the narcissist in your life has manipulated you into believing that there’s still hope and convinced you that the downfall of your relationship was entirely your fault.

A narcissistic man gaslighting his wife into believing that she is to blame for the failure of their marriage

It’s really important to remember that people with narcissistic personalities feel entitled to your attention. Meaning that even after they’ve discarded you they feel as if all the attention should still be on them. Therefore, it’s really important that you have a comprehensive grasp of why a narcissist looks like they’re happy with their new source of narcissistic supply so you’re much less likely to fall back into the narcissistic abuse cycle if the hoovering phase comes around.

The Beginning Stages of Narcissistic Relationship Are Often Designed to Look Happy

When someone with a narcissistic personality finds a new source of supply they have a lot of work to do but the part you should be aware of is how they disguise their true identity through a process called mirroring. 

In a healthy relationship, mirroring is simply when we unconsciously imitate the behaviors, characteristics, or attitudes of those close to us. It is a healthy behavior and often strengthens the bond between the two people. 

In a narcissistic relationship mirroring also strengthens the bond, except this time it is a trauma bond. Mirroring in a narcissistic relationship is a very predatory behavior that narcissists use to learn the ins and outs of their victims’ identity very quickly. 

A narcissistic woman in a blue coat mirroring her new source of supply

What this does is that it makes the victim of narcissistic abuse feel as if the narcissist knows them better than anyone else in their life because the narcissist’s intelligence allows them to analyze the victim’s identity and use the information they gather to manipulate the victim into letting their guard down.

It’s very easy to acknowledge how malicious this behavior is while reading about it but when you’re experiencing it it actually mimics the dynamics of a healthy, deep and prolific relationship which is one reason why narcissists look so happy with their new supply. 

A narcissist’s ability to essentially check off the boxes of their victim’s ideal partner checklist is something that shouldn’t be underestimated and it also leads us into the next explanation as to why narcissists look so happy with their new source of narcissistic supply.

Narcissists Love Being Able to Seduce Their Narcissistic Supply Into the Abuse Cycle

One of the biggest sources of validation and admiration a person with a narcissistic personality can get their hands on is the feeling they get when they’re able to seduce their victim into the narcissistic abuse cycle.

The feeling they get from their theatrical approach to seducing others is a manifestation of the grandiosity, superficiality, and sense of specialness/uniqueness.

What do I mean when I talk about their theatrical approach? 

When a narcissist uses a manipulative technique like mirroring, the love bombing phase, intermittent reinforcement for hoovering, they do so because they want to put on a “show.” They want to confirm that the falsified identity they’ve constructed for themselves is as special/unique as they’d like it to be. 

Their theatrics also serve another purpose. Narcissists are often obsessed with their appearance. As some of the most insecure and vulnerable individuals on the planet, they’re constantly scanning the environment for threats. 

A narcissistic woman being afraid of things that could damage her fragile ego.

One threat that may arise out of any scenario that involves a narcissist “trading up” for a new source of narcissistic supply is their belief that others think that something must be wrong with them because their previous relationship didn’t work. To suppress this immature fear of theirs, they’ll show off their new supply in a childish attempt to show everyone who’s looking that they’re still on top of the world.

So, it is very, very likely that the narcissist in your life looks so happy with their new supply because they want it to look that way. They want to be the one who appears to come out of the relationship unscathed. 

One of the most lucid manifestations of this behavior can be found in co-parenting/parallel parenting situations. More often than not, the narcissist will quickly find a new source of narcissistic supply and will immediately try to build the perfect family with this new partner. They’ll introduce their children to the new partner far too quickly, they’ll inappropriately bring their new source of supply to events like birthday parties, holiday parties and so on.

Again, it’s truly one of the most lucid manifestations of a narcissist’s insecure need to use theatrics to portray themselves as unscathed, inflate their own ego and soothe their emotional instability by reassuring themselves and their falsified identity is as special/unique as they so desperately need it to be. 

The Narcissist May Look So Happy With Their New Source of Narcissistic Supply to Hurt You

As I’m sure many of you know, narcissists love to put other people down. But the reasoning behind this insecure need to assert their dominance is far more complex than just a desire to make your life hard.

The first reason that narcissists enjoy putting others down and making them feel inadequate is because in a twisted way it helps to maintain their falsified identity. Narcissists are so emotionally immature, unstable and fragile that they feel threatened by the well-being of others.

In our article How to Have a Healthy Relationship After Narcissistic Abuse, we interviewed 431 survivors to find the biggest differences between healthy relationships and narcissistic relationships. One of the biggest differences that was brought to our attention was the lack of minimization in healthy relationships. 

What does this mean?

Narcissists are notorious for minimizing the existence of their victims. What I mean by this is minimizing their victim’s emotions, feelings, needs, thoughts, achievements and anything else of importance. This behavior is a manifestation of their need to feel superior. They need a tangible representation of the destruction in order to reassure themselves and their own falsified identity.

It’s truly one of the most fascinatingly twisted manifestations of their emotional immaturity.

A narcissistic man making his narcissistic supply feel poorly so he can feel better about himself.

So, it’s very common for a narcissist to look so happy with their new source of narcissistic supply because they’re trying to minimize your existence. 

The second reason that narcissists like to put others down and make them feel inadequate reminds us of a very important truth that we must accept if we are to learn how to manage narcissistic abuse.

Narcissism is on a spectrum. Meaning that there are many overlaps, anomalies and outliers in the narcissistic realm. If we only focus on the rigid definitions of the different types of narcissistic personalities it’s very likely that we will miss very important aspects of narcissism, narcissistic personalities and narcissistic abuse.

Let me elaborate… 

The traditional definition of narcissism circulates around the behavior patterns in characteristics of grandiose narcissists. Grandiose narcissists are your flashy, arrogant, entitled, well put together, attractive, often successful, obsessed with social media and appearances and articulate types of narcissists.

There’s another type of narcissistic personality called malignant narcissism.

Malignant narcissists have all of the characteristics that the other types of narcissist have but one thing that they have that is not associated with the other types of narcissistic personalities is ego syntonic sadism/aggression.

An explanation of ego syntonic sadism and aggression.

Some researchers believe that malignant narcissism is on a continuum between narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) with a strong presence of paranoia and ego-syntonic sadism/aggression. This belief suggests that malignant narcissist have a wicked moral compass which causes them to view their sadistic, aggressive and paranoid behavior as morally correct.

Why does this matter?

It matters because there are too many overlaps, anonymous and outliers in the narcissistic realm to not entertain the possibility that every single type of narcissistic personality has the same underlying characteristics and behavior patterns.

For example, many researchers believe that grandiose narcissism and covert narcissism are interchangeable. They believe that if a grandiose narcissist were to experience misfortune for an extended period of time they would begin to show the characteristics of a covert narcissist. Meaning that if a covert narcissist were to experience good fortune for long enough, they’d show the characteristics of a grandiose narcissist.

What does all of this mean for why narcissists look so happy with their new supply? 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the narcissist in question, it’s quite possible that they look so happy with their new supply because the sadistic component of their behavior patterns means they enjoy hurting others.

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

Just because the relationship you had with a narcissist in your life ended, does not mean that the abuse they spew out with every breath has ended. The importance of educating yourself on narcissism, narcissistic personalities and narcissistic abuse is immeasurable. 

Unfortunately, the likelihood of the narcissist in your life living happily ever after with their new source of supply is very, very low. If I were a betting man, I would bet that at one point or another the narcissist will either attempt to hoover their way back into your life or send flying monkeys to terrorize you.

Knowledge is going to be your best defense against the forthcoming narcissistic abuse

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References:

Fluctuation between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism