Discard means to get rid of someone or something. When a narcissist discards you, it is abusive because they are trying to hurt you. When you discard a narcissist, it is an act of self-love because you are trying to protect yourself from them.
As a general rule, if the narcissist is the one who discarded you, they will feel powerful, superior, and dominant. If you are the one who discarded the narcissist, they will experience a narcissistic injury and feel rejected, humiliated, and abandoned.
This article is going to help you grasp a comprehensive understanding of the feelings that narcissists experience after they discard you and after you discard them.
What to Expect If You End a Relationship With a Narcissist by Nick Kerry, a Psychotherapist and Narcissistic Abuse Specialist
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Narcissists Feel Powerful, Superior, and Dominant After Discarding You
Narcissists feel powerful, superior, and dominant after discarding you because they have low emotional intelligence.
This is the inability to accurately perceive emotions (in both yourself and others) and to use that information to guide your thinking and actions.
This is a serious problem for narcissists because it prevents them from being able to manage their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
You see, deep down narcissists feel weak, undesirable, worthless, inadequate, and unlovable.
If they had an adequate amount of emotional intelligence, they would be able to use healthy tactics to address their thoughts, feelings, and emotions such as therapy or journaling.
But because they don’t, they often rely on projection to manage their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Projection is a defense mechanism that occurs when someone takes a part of their identity that they find unacceptable and places it onto someone else.
A simple example of this could be a cheating husband accusing his wife of cheating instead of taking responsibility for his own actions.
Now, as you might have already guessed, a narcissist’s painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions are the parts of their identity that they find unacceptable.
One of the ways that they project them onto others is through abuse.
You see, by abusing you, narcissists are able to figuratively point their finger at you and think to themselves, “They are the one who is weak, undesirable, worthless, inadequate, and unlovable. Not me!”
This is projection.
As we hinted at in the beginning of this article, an abusive tactic that narcissists frequently use on the people that they abuse is discarding.
When a narcissist discards you, they are essentially validating their grandiose sense of self-importance by pointing their finger at you and thinking to themselves, “They are the one who is weak, undesirable, worthless, inadequate, and unlovable. Not me!”
A grandiose sense of self-importance is a defining characteristic of narcissism and it refers to an unrealistic sense of specialness and superiority that causes an individual to truly believe that they are unique and better than others.
This validation that narcissists get by discarding you is one of the biggest reasons that makes a narcissist feel powerful, superior, and dominant.
Now, another reason that discarding you makes narcissists feel powerful, superior, and dominant that is important for you to know is the fact that seeing you in pain validates their grandiose sense of self-importance.
Again, this is because it allows them to figuratively point their finger at you and think to themselves, “They are the one who is weak, undesirable, worthless, inadequate, and unlovable. Not me!”
The reason that it is important for you to be aware of this is because it just goes to show how abusive narcissists really are.
Being discarded by a narcissist is going to be painful, but is also a fantastic opportunity to escape the narcissistic abuse cycle if you respond to it the right way.
Understanding the psychological dynamics behind a narcissist’s feelings of power and superiority after discarding you is crucial for your healing process.
Our healing platform offers video lessons, masterclasses led by experienced therapists, and a supportive community that delves into this topic.
These resources empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to move forward towards a healthier future.
Narcissists Feel Rejected, Humiliated, and Abandoned After Being Discarded By You
As we’ve already mentioned in the previous section, narcissists have many painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions suppressed within themselves.
When a narcissist gets discarded, all of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions get activated, and as a result, they feel rejected, humiliated, and abandoned.
In order to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the reason that this happens, we have to take a closer look at the origin of a narcissist’s painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Now, it’s believed that narcissism originates from an abusive/unhealthy childhood upbringing with emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent primary caregivers.
It is important to note that this belief has a very broad spectrum of possibilities.
It could mean primary caregivers who are physically abusive (e.g. slapping, punching, spanking, etc.) to those whose emotional availability, responsiveness, and consistency is unhealthy (e.g. too much pampering, being overprotective, lack of boundaries).
Either way, this childhood upbringing prevented the narcissist from getting the validation, admiration, and reassurance that they needed to develop a realistic sense of self and have a healthy cognitive development.
Because emotionally unavailable, unresponsive, and inconsistent primary caregivers are incapable of mirroring the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs of their children.
Without healthy parental mirroring (a primary caregiver’s accurate reflection of a child’s expressed thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs) children are left to figure out both their internal and external environment on their own.
As you can imagine, this caused the narcissist to develop many painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions about themselves.
They begin to believe that they were worthless, inadequate, weak, unwanted, and unlovable and their primary caregivers’ neglect reassured them of this.
As a result, the narcissist began to hate themselves but had no way of managing their self-loathing because their unhealthy cognitive development left them without the emotional skills needed to do so.
To protect themselves, narcissists began to mirror society to get the validation, admiration, and reassurance that their primary caregivers could not, or would not, give them.
This allowed them to create a charming, charismatic, confident, and articulate falsified identity that they could use to get more validation, admiration, and reassurance.
On paper, this approach to getting validation, admiration, and reassurance seems like it would work.
However, for narcissists, all it did was make them more emotionally unstable as they are not able to be their true authentic selves; only a version of themselves that they believe others would admire.
This happened because they are so emotionally stunted and immature that they couldn’t look past society’s superficial, materialistic, and trivial exterior during the mirroring phase.
As a result, they constructed their falsified identity out of the most superficial, materialistic, and trivial aspects of their life.
A simple example of this would be a narcissist using the validation, admiration, and reassurance they get from their external environment for being the most popular boy/girl in their school to construct a sense of self and build up their self-esteem.
Now, this caused the narcissist to develop something called a fragile high self-esteem.
What this means is that their feelings of self-worth are unstable, uncertain, and based on unrealistically positive self-views, while simultaneously being entirely dependent on external validation and self-deception.
What this means is that narcissists are condemned to a lifetime of chasing narcissistic supply so that they can maintain their falsified identity and keep their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions suppressed.
So, what does this have to do with a narcissist feeling rejected, humiliated, and abandoned when you discard them?
Well, the biggest sources of narcissistic supply that narcissists have access to are the people that they abuse.
When you end the relationship that you have with them, you are also ending the narcissistic supply that they get from you.
Without a consistent flow of narcissistic supply, narcissists are unable to keep their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions suppressed.
As a result, their charming, charismatic, confident, and articulate personality begins to disintegrate and they are left feeling unlovable, undesirable, inadequate, worthless, and weak.
This is why discarding a narcissist makes them feel rejected, humiliated, and abandoned.
It’s essential to protect yourself and maintain boundaries after discarding a narcissist.
Our healing platform provides resources, expert guidance, and strategies to help you establish boundaries and maintain your privacy.
By joining our platform, you’ll have access to the support you need to break free from the cycle of abuse.
What Should You Take Away From This Article?
Healing from narcissistic abuse is a journey that requires support, understanding, and practical tools.
Our healing platform is designed to help you navigate these challenges with features such as therapist-led lessons, a supportive community, and resources on self-care, self-compassion, and self-empowerment.
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About the Author
Hey, I’m Elijah.
I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years.
I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.
Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.
Seidman, Gwendolyn, and Brooke Schlott. “Narcissistic admiration and rivalry and reactions to romantic breakup.” Personality and Individual Differences 186 (2022): 111342.
Kalogjera, Ikar J., et al. “The narcissistic couple.” The disordered couple (1998): 207-238.