When you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, it can feel like you’re being held hostage. You might have planned on leaving, but something always comes up that keeps you tethered to the person who was once your partner or spouse.
Maybe it’s because they’re great at manipulating and making you feel guilty for breaking up with them, or maybe it’s because there’s some other reason that makes it difficult to leave.
In any case, if you want to get out of this situation, then knowing what happens when chasing stops will help prepare you for what comes next.
Introduction to Narcissism and Chasing
You may have heard the term “narcissist” thrown around, but what exactly does it mean and how does it affect your relationship? In this article, we’ll break down some of the basics of narcissism — what it is and how it affects relationships.
Narcissists are people with an inflated sense of self-importance; they see themselves as better than other people and expect others to provide them with attention, admiration, or adulation.
They also tend to be very selfish in relationships because they don’t care about anyone else’s feelings except their own. This means that if you’re dating a narcissist (or just know one), chances are good that your needs will always come last on their list of priorities — and sometimes even not at all!
1. Self-Isolation and Victimizing Themselves
If you stop chasing the narcissist, they will begin to isolate themselves. It’s not uncommon for them to claim that you have abandoned them and that they are the victims here. They may even go so far as to say that if you hadn’t pursued them, everything would be fine (which is not true).
“Kindness from a narcissist is called an illusion.”
― Alice Little
A narcissist’s self-isolation is often used as an excuse for their bad behavior; however, it can also be used as a manipulation tactic so that you feel guilty about leaving them alone in their misery.
The fact that a narcissist chooses this route indicates how much of an introvert they really are — they don’t want any sort of social interaction except with people who worship them like gods!
2. The Narcissist’s Initial Response to Reduced Attention
When a narcissist feels that they are no longer receiving the attention they crave from you, their initial response is anger and defensiveness.
They may try to manipulate you into believing it’s your fault for not giving them what they want; for example, “I don’t know why I bother trying with you anymore,” or “You’re always too busy for me.” Another common tactic is to make themselves out as victims: “Why do I always get treated like this?”
The narcissist also knows how to appeal directly to your sympathy by playing up their own self-pity or making dramatic gestures of despair (like breaking down in tears).
This will make it harder for any rational thought process in your brain that might otherwise question why someone would act so needy if they were truly happy with themselves and confident enough in their own abilities.
3. Anger and Defensiveness: Narcissist’s First Reaction
When the narcissist realizes you are no longer chasing them, their first reaction will be anger and defensiveness. They will try to make you feel bad for leaving them, guilty for leaving them, and stupid for leaving them.
They may even try to make it seem like it’s your fault that the relationship isn’t working out instead of theirs (which would be difficult considering how self-centered they are).
If this happens to you then don’t worry! Just remember, if someone is trying this hard not only because they want a relationship but also because they want control over someone else then it’s time for both parties involved in this situation to move on with their lives separately without each other ever again.
4. Moving On and Healing: Your Path Forward
When you decide to detach from a narcissist, it’s important to take time to heal. You may feel like you’re grieving the loss of your relationship and all its potential.
This is normal, but it can also be painful. It’s helpful to process the experience in a healthy way so that you don’t become stuck in the past or let toxic behaviors infiltrate your future relationships with other people.
“Speaking to narcissists and imagining having a normal human interaction is called delusion.”
When we talk about healing after detachment from a narcissist, we mean recovering physically (from any injuries), mentally (from any emotional trauma), spiritually (from feeling disconnected from God), and emotionally (from any self-doubt).
We encourage our clients at Break Free Together Retreat Center who have been involved romantically with narcissists not only to learn how to move on but also to grow stronger than ever before!
It will require effort on their part but those who are willing to do so find themselves happier than ever before because now they know what works best for them instead of blindly following someone else’s lead without questioning the motives behind actions taken by others around them.
5. Triangulation: Using Others to Regain Attention
When a narcissist feels that you are pulling away, they may try to regain your attention by using others as pawns. This is called triangulation and is often done in an effort to make themselves look better than the other person involved in the triangle — you.
The narcissist will convince someone else (usually someone who has been close to them) that they are being wronged or hurt by you. They do this by telling lies about you and then making sure that person hears those lies from them firsthand.
“Maybe, the lesson we can all learn from the inner sadness of a Narcissist is to see through our own fabrications, our own illusions so that we can be set free to be real once more.”
― Shannon L. Alder
For example: If your husband were a narcissist, he might tell his friend how hurtful it was when he discovered that his wife had been cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend for years behind his back — and then ask if he thinks she deserves another chance.
This would make him appear innocent while making sure his friend knows exactly what kind of person she really is!
6. Hoovering: Attempting to Suck You Back In
Hoovering is a behavior in which the narcissist tries to regain your attention and pull you back into the relationship. The narcissist may try to convince you that they have changed, or that they are going to change.
They might put on an act of being more caring, understanding, and sensitive than usual. You might even see glimpses of this new person — but be careful! It could just be another tactic designed to lure you back into their trap!
7. Playing the Victim Card
When a narcissist realizes that you’re not going to chase after him anymore, he may try to play the victim card in order to get sympathy from you and others around him.
He may also use this tactic as an attempt at manipulation so that he can get out of trouble or avoid responsibility for his actions.
In some cases, playing the victim card might also be used by narcissists as a way of gaining attention or getting pity parties thrown for them when they feel like they need one (that’s right — there are people who enjoy being pitied).
8. How Narcissists May Use Social Media
Narcissists are notorious for using social media to their advantage. They can be very manipulative and will use the platform in order to get attention, make themselves look good, and make you look bad.
They might also use it as a way of making you jealous by posting pictures with other people or even just tagging them in photos where they are having fun without you.
“Narcissists often feign oppression because narcissists always feel entitled.”
― Criss Jami
This will make you feel like they have moved on from the relationship but in reality, they are still trying to control your emotions so that they can keep the cycle going!
9. Silent Treatment: A Common Narcissistic Reaction
Narcissists are masters of manipulation, and one of their most common tools for controlling you is the silent treatment. In fact, it’s very likely that you’ve already experienced this type of emotional abuse at some point in your life — whether with a narcissist or not!
The silent treatment is essentially an attempt to make you feel guilty by withholding attention from someone who has upset or angered them in some way.
This can be done through a variety of different methods: from refusing to speak or communicate with another person (even if they are right in front of them), to ignoring phone calls or texts until they go away altogether.
10. Narcissistic Rage: Explosive Outbursts
Narcissistic rage is an extreme reaction to narcissistic injury, which is a perceived threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. They can be triggered by something seemingly minor, such as your wanting to leave them or your rejection of their sexual advances.
“Most of the narcissists are geniuses and masters of Psychology. But they are using their knowledge to eradicate, rather than to help humanity.”
― Mwanandeke Kindembo
Narcissistic rages are not normal reactions; they are completely out of control and often violent. Narcissists often feel that they have the right to do whatever they want with no regard for anyone else’s feelings or well-being — and this includes their own wives/husbands/partners/girlfriends/boyfriends whom they abuse verbally and physically when they get angry at them (which happens more frequently than you might think).
11. Emotional Blackmail and Guilt-Tripping
Narcissists use emotional blackmail to get what they want, but they don’t just stop there. They’ll make you feel guilty if you don’t give them what they want, too.
This is their way of making you feel bad about yourself and your behavior, so that eventually (and often), you will give in, even though this may not be in your best interest as an individual or a partner with the narcissist.
They will threaten to leave if you don’t give in — or even worse: threaten suicide!
12. Gaslighting: Making You Doubt Your Decision
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can be used by narcissists to make you doubt your own decisions. By gaslighting, the narcissist makes you feel crazy and like you are overreacting or imagining things.
The victim questions their decision to break up with them, which prevents them from moving on with their life and finding happiness with someone else.
13. Smear Campaigns: Tarnishing Your Reputation
The narcissist has a very long memory and will remember every insult and injury you have done to them. They will use this as ammunition against you in the future, especially if they feel like they are losing power over you or control of your relationship.
Narcissists often use smear campaigns as a way of bringing down their rivals or enemies — and sometimes even friends who threaten them in some way (for example, by leaving an abusive relationship).
“It is no accident that narcissists and altruists often have a magnetic attraction to one another. Can you see how perfect the fit is? The altruistic feels the need to selflessly serve others and this is just what the narcissist wants. Narcissists want to be worshipped and gratified in every way possible, and this is just what altruists offer, thinking it demonstrates their moral virtue.”
― Ellen Kenner
A smear campaign may include spreading lies about someone online or offline; telling other people that someone is dangerous or unstable; starting rumors about them being unfaithful/cheating on their partner etc.
14. Attempts to Make You Jealous
If you decide to stop chasing a narcissist, they will likely react by trying to make you jealous. They will be very affectionate and loving towards their new partner, but this is an attempt at making you feel guilty for not being able to be faithful.
The narcissist will also try to make you jealous by flirting with other people in front of you or telling stories about their past partners and all the amazing things they did together (which may or may not be true).
15. Fake Apologies and False Promises
Narcissists are incapable of true remorse. They can only fake it in order to get what they want or make you feel better about them. Narcissists are masters of manipulation and will use their apology as a way to get back into your good graces so that you’ll continue chasing them, even though nothing has changed in their behavior at all!
When a narcissist apologizes, they’re not actually apologizing — they’re just trying to convince the other person that everything is okay between them again so they can continue using them for their own benefit. For example:
- “I’m sorry I was late.” Then 10 minutes later: “Can I borrow $20?”
- “I’ll never do it again.” Then two weeks later: “You need help organizing this event because no one else will volunteer and we need someone who knows how things work around here.”
16. Appearing Fine on the Surface
A narcissist can appear to be fine, even when they are not. They may use words like “I’m fine” or “I don’t care,” but this is just a mask to hide their true feelings of hurt and anger at you for no longer chasing them.
If you see this behavior in your partner, it’s important to remember that they are not themselves right now — they’re being controlled by their ego. So how do we know when our partner is acting out of character? There are some signs:
- They might tell us that we’ve hurt them in some way (even if we haven’t). This could include saying something like “You never listen.” Or maybe they’ll accuse us of cheating on them when there was no evidence whatsoever because deep down inside of themselves they know what’s really going on: YOU’RE NOT WANTING TO BE WITH THEM ANYMORE!
17. Discarding You: The Ultimate Narcissistic Act
Discarding is the ultimate act of narcissism. It’s a form of punishment for not giving the narcissist what they want, but it also serves another purpose: to avoid feeling guilty about their actions.
Narcissists will discard you in any way possible, whether that means breaking up with you or completely ignoring your calls and texts.
They can even go so far as to pretend like nothing ever happened between the two of you if they think it’ll get them out of an awkward situation or make themselves look better in front of other people (in other words, if there’s someone else around).
18. Narcissistic Injury: Fragile Self-Esteem
The narcissist’s fragile self-esteem is a result of not having realistic self-esteem, self-worth, and/or self-confidence.
Why do you think this is?
Because narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance and abilities. In other words, they have an exaggerated opinion of themselves.
This means that when someone criticizes them or fails to meet their expectations (even if it’s unintentional), it feels like an attack on who they are as a person — and it triggers an emotional reaction similar to being rejected by your family or friends if you were rejected by them over something important like your career choice or political views.
19. Seeking New Sources of Narcissistic Supply
As a narcissist, you’ll need to find new sources of supply. In order to do that, you need to be able to separate yourself from the person who has just rejected or abandoned you. In other words, it’s time for some self-care!
Here are some ways that will help:
- Find someone who can listen and offer support when things get difficult (a friend or family member).
- Spend time working out or doing something else physically active (walking is always good). This will help release endorphins and make us feel better about ourselves! You could also try yoga or tai chi if those things sound appealing.
- Do something creative — art therapy is great because there are no rules and all art forms are welcome! Painting/drawing/photography are especially fun because they allow people an outlet for their emotions without having much pressure on them compared with other mediums such as writing poetry where there may be expectations about what type of poem should look like based off previous poems written by others before them…which leads me back around again…
In conclusion, when you stop chasing a narcissist, their reaction can be intense and manipulative. Narcissists rely on the admiration and validation they receive from others to fuel their ego and sense of self-worth.
When you remove yourself from the dynamic and no longer provide the attention they crave, narcissists become confused, angry, and resentful.
The narcissist’s reaction to the end of the chase is often characterized by disbelief and a wounded ego. Their narcissistic injury threatens their grandiose self-image, leading to desperate attempts to regain control and restore the chase.
They may employ tactics such as hoovering, gaslighting, and smear campaigns to draw you back in or to maintain their control over the narrative.
However, it is essential to understand that ending the chase is a necessary step towards healing and reclaiming your own happiness.
Establishing strong boundaries, maintaining no contact, seeking support from trusted friends and professionals, and focusing on self-care and personal growth are crucial coping strategies when dealing with a narcissist’s reaction.
By prioritizing your own well-being and refusing to engage in their manipulative tactics, you can break free from the cycle of chasing and regain your independence. It is important to recognize that their reaction is not a reflection of your worth or value. Instead, it is a manifestation of their own insecurities and inability to handle rejection.
Remember, your journey toward healing involves self-reflection, growth, and self-empowerment. By understanding the dynamics of narcissistic behavior, setting boundaries, and seeking support, you can move forward with confidence and create a life free from the toxic influence of a narcissist.
In the end, stopping the chase with a narcissist is not only an act of self-preservation but also a courageous step towards finding personal happiness and living an authentic life.