Do you know why narcissists show off their new supply?

If not, I’ve got you covered. One of our community members asked about this, so I did some research, and here’s everything I found.

As a general rule, narcissists show off their new supply to:

  • Boost their ego and self-esteem.
  • Control the narrative.
  • Regulate their emotions.
  • Maintain power and control over the old supply.
  • Love bomb their new supply.

In this post, I’ll explain these reasons further to help you understand the reason narcissists love to show off their new supply.

If you have or currently are experiencing narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse for help.

1) To Boost Their Ego and Self-Esteem

Narcissists often show off their new supply to boost their ego and self-esteem. 

Think of it like someone who always needs to have the latest smartphone or fashion trend to feel good about themselves. 

For narcissists, having a new person in their life to show off is similar. 

It’s not just about being in a relationship; it’s about what the relationship says about them. 

By displaying their new supply, especially if that person is considered attractive, successful, or desirable by others, the narcissist feels validated. 

A narcissistic man feeling validated with the new supply.

This validation is like a mirror reflecting back the image they want to see of themselves: someone who is irresistible, admired, and worthy of envy. 

It reassures them of their value and helps maintain the image of superiority they present to the world.1

2) To Control the Narrative

Sometimes, narcissists show off their new supply to control the narrative around their personal life, especially after the end of a relationship. 

It’s like being the author of a story: They get to write the plot, and they want the story to portray them in the best light possible. 

By publicly displaying their new relationship, they set the tone for how others view the end of their previous relationship and their recovery. 

This strategy is a way for the narcissist to preempt any rumors, sympathy for the ex, or speculation about their role in the relationship’s end. 

Essentially, by showcasing the new supply, they get ahead of the gossip, painting themselves as the coveted, resilient figure who’s never alone or lacking admiration. 

People viewing the narcissist positively after the breakup.

This calculated move ensures that they remain the sought-after prize in the court of public opinion, unfazed by the end of the relationships.2

Suggested Reading: 3 Reasons Narcissists Are So Controlling

3) To Regulate Their Negative Emotions

A common reason narcissists show off their new supply is to regulate the painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions they’re experiencing.

When a relationship ends, regardless of who initiated it, it can and often does leave the narcissist feeling vulnerable, rejected, or diminished.

These are intensely uncomfortable feelings they’re not equipped to handle healthily.3

So, by quickly finding and flaunting a new partner, they are trying to mitigate these negative emotions through external validation. 

In their eyes, this public display serves as evidence, both to themselves and to the world, that they are still valuable, lovable, and in control. 

Related Article: Why Do Narcissists Go Into a Rage

If you need help with anything related to narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.

4) To Maintain Power and Control

Narcissists may also show off their new supply to maintain power and control over their new supply.4

It’s a calculated move designed to keep the old supply emotionally invested and potentially available for future manipulation.

By parading their new relationship, the narcissist sends a clear message to their old supply: “You’re missing out.” 

This can trigger a range of emotions in the old supply, from questioning their own worth to wondering what they could have done differently. 

An old narcissistic supply questioning their worth.

For the narcissist, this manipulative behavior serves multiple purposes. 

It not only reaffirms their power and influence over the old supply’s emotions but also keeps the door open for them to return if they decide the new supply isn’t as compliant or adoring as they’d hoped. 

In essence, showing off the new supply is a way to keep their old supply on the hook, ensuring they remain an option for the narcissist’s attention, validation, or even just as a backup plan.

Suggested Reading: How Do Narcissists Keep You Hooked? (7 Tactics)

5) To Love Bomb the New Supply

Narcissists often show off their new supply as part of the love bombing phase, where they overwhelm them with affection, praise, and attention to quickly gain power and control in the relationship. 

By publicly displaying this over-the-top affection, the narcissist not only ensures that the new supply feels special and unique but also broadcasts their own desirability and charm to a wider audience.5 

This dual-purpose strategy reinforces the new supply’s belief in the narcissist’s falsified persona, making it harder for them to recognize the manipulative undercurrents of this behavior. 

The public nature of the love bombing creates a narrative of a perfect relationship, further entangling the new supply in the narcissist’s web by making them feel valued and admired in the glow of this attention. 

Suggested Reading: 11 Things Narcissists Do During the Love Bombing Phase

If you are ready to be more than a victim of narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.


Thank you so much for reading; I hope you found this article helpful.

Now, I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have a narcissist in your life who is showing off their new supply?

Or perhaps you have questions about recognizing and handling interactions with narcissistic individuals. 

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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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.

Unfilteredd has strict sourcing guidelines and only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our content. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, actionable, inclusive, and trustworthy by reading our editorial process.

  1. Nakpangi Thomas. (2023. May, 24). What Is Narcissistic Supply? Choosing Therapy. ↩︎
  2. Grapsas, S., Brummelman, E., Back, M. D., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2020). “The “Why” and “How” of Narcissism: A Process Model of Narcissistic Status Pursuit.” Perspectives on Psychological Science15(1), 150-172. ↩︎
  3. Andrea Cheshure, Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Destaney Sauls, Jennifer K. Vrabel, Mark J. Lehtman, “Narcissism and emotion dysregulation: Narcissistic admiration and narcissistic rivalry have divergent associations with emotion regulation difficulties,” Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 154, 2020, 109679. ↩︎
  4. Kaytee Gillis. (2022. November, 10). 9 Narcissistic Manipulation Tactics & How to Deal. Choosing Therapy. ↩︎
  5. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Signs of Love Bombing. National Domestic Violence Hotline. ↩︎

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