So, you’ve finally escaped the narcissistic abuse cycle. You started with setting boundaries, then moved into the gray rock method, and finished it off with no contact. You’ve become resistant to your abuser’s manipulative behavior, you’ve even begun to heal from the narcissistic abuse. But one day, you find out that your narcissistic ex has a new source of narcissistic supply, and it happens to be someone you know from work. Your co-worker is so innocent and empathic, she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Should you warn the narcissist’s new supply or remain silent?
The narcissistic realm rarely has absolutes because everyone’s experience will be different in some way, shape, or form. With that being said, you should never warn the narcissist’s new supply about what they’ve gotten themselves into.
This is easier said than done though. There are many different circumstances after the breakup that could have an influence on your approach to the situation.
What to Expect After a Break up With a Narcissist
Just because you’re out of the relationship with a narcissist, doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the abusive cycle. Leaving a narcissist triggers a narcissist’s fear of abandonment, rejection, shame, and unworthiness, which almost guarantees some sort of narcissistic rage and/or passive aggressive behavior directed at you.
So, let’s take a look at the different circumstances that could affect the way you approach the situation.
The Narcissist Moving on Too Quickly
The combination of a narcissist’s fear of abandonment, insecure need to follow societal norms, desperate need of narcissistic supply, and a need for a scapegoat, pushes a narcissist to move on far too quickly.
Relationships, especially marriages, symbolize commitment. But for a narcissist, it symbolizes a potentially infinite source of narcissistic supply. Narcissistic supply is the validation and admiration narcissists accumulate from others.
It’s essentially a way for a narcissist to neglect their own self-loathing personalities, and crippling emotional instability, by manipulating others into seeing the superficial aura they create for themselves.
By being in a relationship, narcissists have their two needs met, their need of narcissistic supply and a need for a scapegoat, and it also minimizes their fears of abandonment because of what relationships symbolize.
Scapegoats are people narcissist’s use to regulate their hatred for themselves. They project all of the attributes they don’t like about themselves onto other people to escape having to acknowledge their own shortcomings.
In the current era that we live in, being in a relationship, especially marriage, is expected of us. Therefore, narcissists get into relationships to not only minimize their fears, but fit in and look good to society. Which is why they are able to jump into the next relationship so quickly.
While researching for our article How Can a Narcissist Move On So Quickly?, I came across the work of Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D., and she believes that narcissists are chronic cheaters. So I decided to conduct a study of my own among the 67 survivors of narcissistic abuse that we work with to find out for myself.
This is what I found.
Social Media Posts
If there was a bank for narcissistic supply, social media would have a monopoly on its ATMs. Social media is a platform where a narcissist can accumulate narcissistic supply by simply clicking a button.
They could use passive aggressive posts designed to shame, guilt and devalue others. Post design to bait people into an argument, or even victimized posts to evoke guilt within others, in a pathetic attempt to accumulate narcissistic supply.
For victims of narcissistic abuse and those who follow narcissists on social media, you’re guaranteed to experience the posts listed above. But when it comes to breaking up with a narcissist, grandiose posts with their new partner are very likely to happen.
One woman we’ve come across, who isn’t one of our participants but survived a narcissistic relationship, showed us a dating profile bio that her narcissistic ex had, and it’s a perfect example of a passive aggressive post.
She had been married to him for quite some time and during that time he had gaslighted her into believing she was the problem, as narcissists tend to do.
In his bio he had, “… looking for an interesting and intelligent woman with a healthy mental health…”
Sadly, this woman hadn’t been able to get a comprehensive grasp on narcissistic behavior at that point, so for him to publicly make these comments only a few weeks after their divorce, was very hard on her.
Flying Monkeys & Narcissist Enablers
There’s a fine line between flying monkeys and narcissist enablers. They’re both under the labels that they are because of a significant lack of knowledge regarding narcissism, but flying monkeys are much more malicious in their behavior.
Enablers are simply people who don’t understand narcissism so they approach the situation as they would a healthy relationship. This usually manifests in horrible comments and/or advice like the following:
- “Give them another chance. I’m sure he’s just stressed out from work.”
- “I’ll talk to them for you.”
- “Are you sure it happened that way?”
- “Maybe you just need to work on your communication issues.”
- “I’ve known them for a long time, they never mean to actually hurt you.”
Enablers are detrimental to the mental health of victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse because more often than not, the victim and/or survivor is struggling with a significant amount of self-doubt and self-blame.
Therefore, comments along the lines of the ones I listed above are likely to amplify the victims self-doubt and self-blame, which will likely push them back into the abusive cycle.
Flying monkeys are people that narcissists enlists to help them manipulate the victim even further. They’ll make the same type of comments that an enabler will, but the reasoning for the comments originate from a much more protective position.
The way narcissists enlists flying monkeys is by spreading gossip and lies about the victim in an attempt to devalue and discredit them.
By successfully enlisting a flying monkey, they’ve turned the individual against the victim, and subsequently, creates a narrative where the narcissist is the victim instead of the perpetrator.
Where flying monkeys become malicious is when they pretend to be a friend of the victim and report what they learned back to the narcissist. This happens a lot in work environments, but it’s also very common in family settings and intimate relationships.
What makes flying monkeys so damaging, is that they often turn out to be close family members, friends, and even authoritative figures like therapists, doctors, and law-enforcement.
Why Shouldn’t You Warn the Narcissist’s New Supply?
If I’m being honest, a survivor of narcissistic abuse warning their abuser’s new supply will never work. There are many different reasons that this is true, but it can all be categorized in two sections.
When someone ruminates, it means that they obsessively overthink the same thoughts. Due to the complexity of narcissism, rumination is very common among victims of narcissistic abuse.
There are two commonly seen types of rumination among survivors of narcissistic abuse, vengeful rumination and self-doubting rumination.
After escaping a narcissistic abuse cycle, coming to terms with the abuse can be quite difficult for some. It’s very common for survivors of narcissistic abuse to want justice.
We’ve touched on the importance of one not losing themselves in the pursuit of justice in Can You Get Closure From a Narcissist, as it plays a major role in rumination.
Sadly, we live in a world where narcissistic behavior is enabled. Therefore, more often than not, narcissists are able to evade justice.
The victim having a desire to make their abuser feel as badly as they felt throughout the entire abusive cycle is understandable.
Remember, narcissists are the most self-loathing, miserable, and lonely individuals on the planet. As much as they may deserve justice, the survivors’ mental stability and healing process is far more important.
Self-doubting rumination is also very common among victims of narcissistic abuse. The manipulative tactics narcissists use are designed to neglect their own emotional instability by projecting it onto their victim.
Through manipulative tactics like scapegoating, gaslighting, and flying monkeys narcissists are able to cause their victim to become consumed with self-doubt and self-blame.
Escaping a narcissistic relationship is incredibly difficult. For survivors of narcissistic abuse with even the slightest amount of self-doubt and self-blame, it could be very confusing for them to acknowledge that what they experienced was abuse.
Having a desire to warn the narcissist’s new supply is a form of rumination. It will keep the survivor of narcissistic abuse hooked in the relationship indefinitely.
Now let’s say this isn’t the case, and the victim of narcissistic abuse has completely healed from the relationship, is indifferent to narcissistic abuse, and genuinely wants to make sure nobody goes through what he/she went through.
It still won’t work, and here’s why…
If you were ever to make a bet with your life savings, betting on a narcissist creating a smear campaign directed at you after a break up is guaranteed to win.
A smear campaign in the narcissistic realm is when a narcissist will spread lies and gossip about the victim to devalue their credibility.
They will surely do this with their new supply as well. They’ll create a narrative where their victim was the crazy ex that they barely escaped. If the survivor was to approach the new supply with the abuse they endured, they’d sound insane.
Not only because the narcissist has created a narrative to ensure this, but also because narcissistic abuse is unbelievable sometimes. When Brie Robertson told me her story, I honestly thought she was lying or exaggerating. I couldn’t believe the abuse she endured.
As I gathered more and more knowledge about narcissistic behavior, her story became more and more legit in my head. The only reason I was able to see the truth is because of the research we do here at Unfilteredd.
It’s not very likely that the narcissist’s new supply would be willing to do the same amount of research in order to see the truth.
What Should You Take Away From This Article?
Do not waste your time by trying to warn the new source of narcissistic supply about the narcissist. Narcissists are incredibly charming, charismatic, and intelligent. The new supply is likely to be as hooked on them as you once were.
All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.