Following the live show we talked about the failed sources of supply. But to greater understand what a supply source is we have reach to theory to explain why this happens. What are the processes behind this concept. What does it give the narcissist? And why they are like this?
Narcissistic supply is a concept introduced into psychoanalytic theory by Otto Fenichel in 1938, to describe a type of admiration, interpersonal support or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment and essential to their self-esteem.
The term is typically used in a negative sense, describing a pathological or excessive need for attention or admiration from codependents, or such a need in the orally fixated, that does not take into account the feelings, opinions or preferences of other people.
The short answer that sums up this entanglement, I use the word entanglement because this wasn't an ordinary relationship, this was an interaction between two beings (objects). The narcissist is unable to connect or bond with you in a healthy way, therefore there will NEVER be a relationship or any emotion exchange. But they were so lovely at the beginning and then they weren't and now they are... you ask. This blog post will discuss this interaction and the peculiarities which come about by being placed in this role.
Primary Supply OK, so brief recap; primary supply is someone who maybe a intimate partner. The vast majority are spouses, partners or fiancee. You spend most of your time together and this arrangement occurs so that they are able to draw fuel from you each and every day, that fuel is of a high calibre (because of the greater emotional connection you have to them by reason of being a primary source and also because of your empathic traits). Occasionally the primary source is not an intimate partner and is usually then a family member. But that is quite rare.
A secondary source is a colleague, a friend or a family member. The secondary source will be seduced so that their loyalty and fuel is secured. Of course this is not done in a romantic fashion but through charm, pleasantry, doing favours and handing out benefits so that the appliance is drawn to the narcissist and is then installed in the position of secondary source.
It is important to distinguish between the various components of the process of narcissistic supply:
1. The trigger of supply is the person or object that provokes the source into yielding narcissistic supply by confronting the source with information about the narcissist's False Self (a grandiose statement of any kind or information which aggrandises the narcissist).
2. The source of narcissistic supply is the person that provides the narcissistic supply.
3. Narcissistic supply is the reaction of the source to the trigger.
Publicity (celebrity or notoriety, being famous or being infamous) is a trigger of narcissistic supply because it provokes people to pay attention to the narcissist (in other words, it moves sources to provide the narcissist with narcissistic supply). Publicity can be obtained by exposing oneself, by creating something, or by provoking attention. The narcissist resorts to all three repeatedly (as drug addicts do to secure their daily dose).
A secondary source will enjoy a lengthy honeymoon period. They may not be ever be devalued. If they fail to provide fuel, become disloyal and fail to do what the narcissist wants, they may be devalued but usually they will be immediately discarded. This is because it serves the narcissist better to remove the ‘rotten apple’ from hanging around and polluting the minds of other members of the cult. It is also easy enough to seduce a new secondary source or turn to other existing ones. Thus, where a secondary source becomes unreliable they are usually discarded. Devaluation may only happen where an example needs to be made of the secondary source (this is usually more of the case for colleagues and family members as there is a connection beyond friendship) or the narcissist feels a need for the negative fuel and does not regard the devaluation as likely to damage the façade.
The narcissist has an external locus of control, which means the extent to which people believe they have power over events in their lives. A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything. Within psychology, Locus of Control is considered to be an important aspect of personality. The concept was developed originally Julian Rotter in the 1950s (Rotter, 1966). In simplistic terms, a more internal locus of control is generally seen as desirable. Having an Internal locus of control can also be referred to as "self-agency", "personal control", "self-determination", etc. The narcissist has no internal agency it only exists as external, whereas empaths have an internal agency control.
Given their constant need be lavished with praise, grandiose narcissists, unsurprisingly, get the share of attention — they wouldn’t have it any other way. But that disordered personality has a close cousin: vulnerable narcissism (VN). Where the grandiose narcissist is externalising their feelings all the time — shouting people down, sending out all-caps tweets, and the like — the vulnerable narcissist internalises, withdrawing into the ruminative of their internal world. Narcissists are people collectors, they need people to soothe themselves, to validate them because they do not have this innate ability to do this for themselves.
Self soothing is the ability to calm yourself down in moments of stress or intense emotions. It is your emotional barometer, your internal regulator that keeps you emotionally stable, balanced and effective in personal mood control and relationships. Without the ability to soothe yourself, you cannot tolerate much. If you don't have enough self soothing tools in your toolbox, your relationship with yourself and others will suffer. If you don't have adequate self soothing skills that are learned naturally through parenting in childhood, then you're going to have a difficult time in life. Symptoms of lacking this skill include cutting, addiction and even suicide. People who are severely depressed are likely missing this important self-nurturing capability. Thankfully, the process of self soothing can be learned and practiced.
So, when you are or become a failed source of supply it means that you have escaped the clutch of a narcissist. Who wants to be put into a box! My ex-narcissist would always, at the beginning of the relationship say to me that I "tick all the boxes!" I mean what the hell is that about? But I realise now what he was saying was that I fit into 'his' box of a primary source. And thats the key, listen intently to what they say because they do disclose what they are doing, but at the time we do not understand what is going on.
I hope that this blog is able to highlight a bit more of whats is going on in the narcissist head and theory behind these internal processes.