Why Do Narcissists Want to Keep You Around: Understanding Their Motives

Have you ever wondered why narcissists want to keep you around?

It’s a question that many people who have been in relationships with narcissists often ask themselves.

Narcissists are known for their manipulative and controlling behavior, and it can be difficult to understand why they would want to keep someone in their life who they often mistreat.

However, there are several reasons why narcissists want to keep you around, and understanding these reasons can help you break free from their grasp.

One reason why narcissists want to keep you around is because they need a constant source of narcissistic supply.

Narcissistic supply is the attention, admiration, and validation that narcissists crave.

They often seek out people who they believe will provide them with this supply, and once they have found someone who meets their needs, they will do everything they can to keep that person around.

This is why narcissists often idealize their partners in the beginning of a relationship, showering them with attention and affection, only to devalue later and discard them when they no longer serve their needs.

Another reason why narcissists want to keep you around is because they want to maintain control over you.

Narcissists thrive on power dynamics, and they will do whatever it takes to maintain their position of power in a relationship.

This can include manipulating and emotionally exploiting their partners, isolating them from friends and family, and creating a sense of dependency.

By keeping you around, narcissists can ensure that they continue to have control over your life.

Key Takeaways

  • Narcissists want to keep you around to maintain a constant source of narcissistic supply.
  • They also want to maintain control over you and your life.
  • Understanding these reasons can help you break free from their grasp and move on with your life.

Understanding Narcissism and Its Behavioral Traits

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration. Narcissists are known for their inflated ego, sense of entitlement, and inability to handle criticism.

Narcissists often have a paradoxical relationship with those around them. They want to keep you around because they need a constant source of validation for their ego, but they also lack empathy and cannot truly connect with others on an emotional level.

The Paradox of Narcissists’ Relationships

Narcissists crave attention and admiration, but they also struggle to form deep and meaningful relationships. They may appear charming and charismatic at first, but their lack of empathy and emotional connection can make it difficult for them to maintain long-term relationships.

Despite this, narcissists often want to keep you around for their own benefit. They may see you as a source of validation and admiration, or they may want to keep you around as a backup option in case their other sources of attention dry up.

It’s important to recognize the signs of narcissistic behavior and understand that their desire to keep you around is not based on genuine feelings or emotions. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being.

In conclusion, understanding narcissism and its behavioral traits is crucial in recognizing and dealing with narcissistic individuals. While narcissists may want to keep you around for their own benefit, it’s important to prioritize your own emotional health and well-being.

The Concept of Narcissistic Supply

Narcissistic supply is a term used to describe the emotional sustenance that narcissists seek to maintain their self-esteem and self-worth. It is a critical concept in understanding why narcissists want to keep you around. Narcissistic supply refers to the attention, admiration, and validation that narcissists crave from others. They need this supply to maintain their fragile sense of self-worth and to feel good about themselves.

How Individuals Provide Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists rely on others to provide them with the attention and validation they need. They often engage in manipulative and controlling behaviors to secure this supply, using others as a means to boost their own ego and maintain their self-esteem. Their whole life revolves around feeding this supply because it’s the only way to maintain their fragile self-esteem.

Narcissists are often charming, charismatic, and skilled at drawing attention to themselves. They are experts at manipulating others into giving them the attention and admiration they crave. They may use flattery, compliments, and gifts to win people over and make them feel special.

Once they have secured a source of narcissistic supply, narcissists will do whatever it takes to keep that person around. They may use emotional blackmail, guilt-tripping, or threats to keep you from leaving. They may also try to isolate you from others to ensure that you are dependent on them for attention and validation.

In conclusion, understanding the concept of narcissistic supply is crucial to understanding why narcissists want to keep you around. They need your attention, admiration, and validation to maintain their fragile sense of self-worth and to feel good about themselves. They will do whatever it takes to keep you around and ensure that they have a steady source of narcissistic supply.

Control and Power Dynamics

Narcissists crave control and power in all aspects of their lives, including their relationships. They use a variety of tactics to manipulate and control those around them, often to boost their own self-esteem and sense of superiority.

Using Relationships to Exert Power

One way that narcissists exert power is by using their relationships as a means of control. They may use emotional manipulation, gaslighting, and other tactics to make you doubt yourself and your own judgment. By eroding your self-confidence and sense of self-worth, they can maintain their power and control over you.

Narcissists may also use relationships to maintain their status and social standing. They may see you as an extension of themselves, and therefore feel entitled to control your behavior and actions. They may set strict boundaries and expect you to adhere to them, while refusing to take responsibility for their own actions.

It’s important to recognize these power dynamics and set healthy boundaries in your relationships with narcissists. This can include limiting contact, seeking support from friends and loved ones, and practicing self-care to maintain your own sense of well-being. Remember that you are not responsible for the narcissist’s behavior or emotional state, and prioritize your own well-being above all else.

Fear of Abandonment and Vulnerability

As a narcissist, you have a deep-seated fear of abandonment and vulnerability. This fear stems from a sense of shame and inadequacy that you feel at your core. You are constantly worried that others will discover your weaknesses and flaws, which would expose you as a fraud. This fear of being exposed and rejected is what drives you to keep others close.

Keeping Others Close as a Defense Mechanism

To protect yourself from the fear of abandonment and vulnerability, you employ a variety of defense mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is to keep others close to you. By doing so, you can control the relationship and ensure that you are never left alone or rejected.

You may use lies and manipulation to keep others close. For example, you may tell someone that you need them in your life because you cannot live without them. Or you may make them feel guilty for wanting to leave you by telling them that they are abandoning you when you need them the most.

However, this behavior is not sustainable in the long run. Eventually, your lies and manipulation will catch up with you, and the people you are trying to keep close will start to see through your façade. This can lead to feelings of weakness and shame, which only reinforce your fear of abandonment and vulnerability.

To break this cycle, it is important to acknowledge your fear of abandonment and vulnerability and work through it in a healthy way. This may involve seeking therapy or counseling to address the underlying issues that are driving your behavior. By doing so, you can learn to build more authentic and meaningful relationships that are based on trust and mutual respect, rather than fear and manipulation.

The Ego Boost and Self-Esteem

Narcissists thrive on attention and admiration. They want to keep you around because they need a constant supply of validation to boost their ego and self-esteem. You may have noticed that they always want to be the center of attention and that they constantly seek praise and compliments from others.

The Role of Compliments and Praise

Compliments and praise are powerful tools for the narcissist. They use them to manipulate and control you, making you feel special and important to them. They will often shower you with compliments and praise when they want something from you, or when they feel that you are pulling away from them.

Narcissists also use compliments and praise to elevate their own self-esteem. By making you feel good about yourself, they feel good about themselves. They see themselves as superior to others, and by associating themselves with you, they feel even more superior.

It’s important to note that narcissists are not capable of genuine compassion or empathy. They may appear to be caring and compassionate, but it’s always a means to an end. They only care about themselves and their own needs.

In conclusion, narcissists want to keep you around because you provide them with the attention and admiration they need to boost their ego and self-esteem. They use compliments and praise as a tool to manipulate and control you, and they are not capable of genuine compassion or empathy.

Manipulation and Emotional Exploitation

Narcissists have a tendency to manipulate and emotionally exploit those around them. They use tactics to control their victims and deny their boundaries. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem in their victims.

Emotional Manipulation Tactics Used by Narcissists

Narcissists use a variety of emotional manipulation tactics to control their victims. Here are some of the most common tactics:

  • Gaslighting: This is a tactic used by narcissists to make their victims doubt their own reality. They may deny things that have happened or make their victims feel crazy for thinking that something is wrong.
  • Invalidation: Narcissists often invalidate their victims’ feelings and emotions. They may tell their victims that they are overreacting or that their feelings are not valid.
  • Triangulation: This is a tactic used by narcissists to create drama and tension between their victims and others. They may talk about their victims behind their backs or try to turn their victims against their friends and family.
  • Projection: Narcissists often project their own negative traits onto their victims. They may accuse their victims of being selfish or manipulative when in reality, it is the narcissist who is behaving this way.
  • Devaluation: Narcissists may devalue their victims to make them feel worthless and powerless. They may criticize their victims’ appearance, intelligence, or abilities.

It is important to recognize these emotional manipulation tactics and set boundaries with narcissists. Remember that you are not responsible for their behavior and that it is okay to prioritize your own mental health and well-being.

Projecting an Image of Success and Normalcy

Narcissists are often obsessed with projecting an image of success and normalcy to the outside world. They want to be seen as superior, successful, and flawless, and they will go to great lengths to maintain this image. One way that they do this is by using their relationships with others to portray the desired image.

The Use of Relationships to Portray a Desired Image

Narcissists often use their relationships with others as a way to portray a desired image. They will carefully select people who they believe will enhance their image and make them look good. They will also use these relationships to show that they are normal, well-adjusted individuals who are capable of maintaining healthy relationships.

For example, a narcissist may choose to have a partner who is successful and attractive, as this will reflect positively on them. They may also choose to have friends who are well-respected in their community, as this will make them look good by association.

However, narcissists are often unable to maintain healthy relationships, and their true nature will eventually be revealed. They may become abusive, controlling, or manipulative, which will ultimately damage their image of success and normalcy.

In conclusion, narcissists use their relationships to project an image of success and normalcy to the outside world. However, their inability to maintain healthy relationships will eventually reveal their true nature and damage their desired image.

Boredom and the Need for Entertainment

Narcissists are known for their excessive need for attention and admiration. They crave constant stimulation and excitement, and they often become bored easily. This boredom can lead to a need for entertainment, which is often satisfied by playing emotional games with others.

Playing Emotional Games for Amusement

Narcissists enjoy manipulating others for their own amusement. They may play emotional games with you to keep you around, even if they have no real interest in you. These games can include:

  • Gaslighting: making you doubt your own reality by denying things they said or did.
  • Triangulation: pitting you against other people to create drama and competition.
  • Silent treatment: ignoring you for extended periods of time to make you feel anxious and uncertain.

By playing these games, narcissists feel powerful and in control. They enjoy seeing how far they can push you and how much they can get away with. It’s important to recognize these games for what they are and to set boundaries to protect yourself from being manipulated.

The Need for Constant Stimulation

Narcissists become bored easily and crave constant stimulation. They may keep you around simply because you provide them with entertainment. They may enjoy watching you struggle to please them or watching you react to their emotional games.

It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for entertaining a narcissist. You do not exist solely for their amusement. If you find yourself constantly trying to entertain a narcissist, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship and set boundaries to protect yourself from being used for their entertainment.

The Failure to Form Real Connections

Narcissists often struggle to form real connections with others. They may use emotional games and manipulation to keep people around, but they may never truly care about them. This failure to form real connections can lead to a constant need for entertainment and stimulation.

It’s important to recognize that a relationship with a narcissist may never be a real connection. They may never truly care about you or your feelings. Setting boundaries and protecting yourself from their emotional games is essential for your own well-being.

Isolation and Dependency Creation

One of the main reasons narcissists want to keep you around is to maintain control over you. They do this by creating a sense of dependency on them and isolating you from your support system.

Fostering Dependency to Maintain Control

Narcissists will often create anxiety in their victims to keep them compliant and prevent them from leaving. They do this by manipulating their emotions and making them feel like they need the narcissist to feel secure. They may also use tactics such as gaslighting and emotional abuse to break down their victim’s self-esteem and make them more susceptible to their control.

One way narcissists create dependency is by making their victim feel like they are the only one who truly understands them. They may isolate their victim from their friends and family, making them feel like they have no one else to turn to. This creates a situation where the victim feels like they need the narcissist to survive, and the narcissist gains more control over them.

Another way narcissists create dependency is by making their victim feel like they are responsible for the narcissist’s emotions. They may threaten to harm themselves if the victim tries to leave or make them feel guilty for not meeting their needs. This creates a situation where the victim feels like they are responsible for the narcissist’s well-being, and the narcissist gains more control over them.

Overall, the isolation and dependency creation tactics used by narcissists are manipulative, toxic, and abusive. It’s important to recognize these behaviors and seek help if you are in a relationship with a narcissist. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and there is help available if you need it.

Alternating Between Devaluation and Idealization

Narcissists often alternate between idealizing and devaluing their partners. During the idealization phase, they shower their partner with attention, affection, and flattery, making them feel like the most important person in the world. However, this stage is often short-lived, and the narcissist will soon begin to devalue their partner.

The devaluation stage is characterized by the narcissist belittling, criticizing, and insulting their partner. They may also withdraw affection and attention, leaving their partner feeling confused, hurt, and rejected. This cycle can repeat itself over and over again, leaving the partner feeling trapped and unsure of where they stand.

The Confusion Created by These Dynamics

The alternating between idealization and devaluation can be extremely confusing for the partner of a narcissist. One moment, they feel loved and adored, and the next, they are being treated with contempt and disdain. This can create a sense of emotional whiplash, leaving the partner feeling disoriented and unsure of what to do.

The narcissist may use this confusion to their advantage, manipulating their partner into staying with them. They may make the partner feel like they are the only person who can understand them, or that they are the only person who truly cares about them. This can create a sense of dependency in the partner, making it difficult for them to leave the toxic and abusive relationship.

In conclusion, the alternating between idealization and devaluation is a common tactic used by narcissists to keep their partners around. It can create a sense of confusion and dependency in the partner, making it difficult for them to leave the toxic and abusive relationship.

The Role of History and Familiarity

When it comes to why narcissists want to keep you around, one major factor is the role of history and familiarity. Narcissists often use shared history and familiarity as leverage to manipulate and control you.

Using Shared History as Leverage

Narcissists may use your shared history to make you feel guilty or obligated to stay in the relationship. They may bring up past memories or experiences to make you feel like you have a special connection that you can’t just walk away from. This can be especially effective if you have been in a long-term relationship with the narcissist, as they may use your shared history to make you feel like you owe them something.

However, it’s important to remember that just because you have a shared history with someone doesn’t mean that you have to stay in an unhealthy or toxic relationship. It’s okay to prioritize your own well-being and to walk away from a relationship that is no longer serving you.

In conclusion, while shared history and familiarity can be used by narcissists as a way to manipulate and control you, it’s important to remember that you always have the power to make your own choices and prioritize your own well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do narcissists benefit from keeping someone around?

Narcissists benefit from keeping someone around in several ways. Firstly, they enjoy having a constant source of admiration and attention. They also use people as a means to feel powerful and in control. Narcissists may also keep someone around to fulfill their own needs, such as financial support or emotional validation.

What motivates a narcissist to want someone in their life?

Narcissists want someone in their life to serve their own needs. They view people as objects to be used for their own benefit, rather than as individuals with their own thoughts and feelings. Narcissists may also want someone in their life to maintain their own self-image and to reinforce their belief that they are superior to others.

Can a narcissist ever truly love someone?

Narcissists are not capable of genuine love because they are unable to empathize with others. They view people as objects to be used for their own benefit, rather than as individuals with their own thoughts and feelings. Narcissists may use the language of love to manipulate others, but their actions ultimately reveal their lack of genuine emotional connection.

What are the signs that a narcissist is using someone?

Signs that a narcissist is using someone include constantly seeking attention and admiration, disregarding the other person’s needs and feelings, manipulating the other person’s emotions, and using the other person for their own benefit. Narcissists may also engage in gaslighting, which involves manipulating someone into questioning their own reality.

How do narcissists manipulate their partners?

Narcissists manipulate their partners in several ways, including gaslighting, love bombing, and triangulation. Gaslighting involves manipulating someone into questioning their own reality. Love bombing involves showering someone with attention and affection to gain their trust and admiration. Triangulation involves creating drama and conflict between multiple people to maintain power and control.

Why do some people stay with narcissists despite the abuse?

Some people stay with narcissists despite the abuse because they may feel trapped or dependent on the narcissist. They may also believe that the narcissist will change or that they can fix the relationship. Additionally, narcissists may use manipulation tactics to keep their partners around, such as love bombing and gaslighting.

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