Intermittent reinforcement dating
This self-doubt enables them to stay within abusive relationships even when it’s clear that the relationship is a toxic one, because they are led to mistrust their own instincts and interpretations of events.Narcissists keep harems because they love to have their egos stroked and they need constant validation from the outside world to feed their need for excessive admiration and confirm their grandiose sense of self-importance.This reduces narcissism to a common quality that everyone possesses and downplays the symptoms demonstrated by people with the actual disorder.While narcissism does exist on a spectrum, narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder is quite different.The narcissist will suddenly start to blow hot and cold, criticizing you, covertly and overtly putting you down, comparing you to others, emotionally withdrawing from you and giving you the silent treatment when you’ve failed to meet their “standards.” Since the “hot” aspect of this phase relies on intermittent reinforcement in which the narcissist gives you inconsistent spurts of the idealization phase throughout, you become convinced that perhaps you are at fault and you can “control” the narcissist’s reactions.Even though the narcissist can be quite possessive and jealous over you, since he or she views you as an object and a source of narcissistic supply, the narcissist is prone to projecting this same behavior onto you.The narcissist makes you seem like the needy one as you react to his or her withdrawal and withholding patterns even though the expectations of frequent contact were established early on in the relationship by the narcissist himself.You are mislead into thinking that if you just learn not to be so “needy,” “clingy,” or “jealous,” the narcissist will reward you with the loving behavior he or she demonstrated in the beginning.
During the discard phase, the narcissist abandons his or her victim in the most horrific, demeaning way possible to convince the victim that he or she is worthless.
Watch out for the following covert manipulation tactics when you’re dating someone or in a relationship.
Narcissists and those with antisocial traits tend to subject romantic partners through three phases within a relationship.
They are clever chameleons who are also people-pleasers, morphing into whatever personality suits them in situations with different types of people.
It is no surprise, then, that the narcissist begins a smear campaign against you not too long after the discard phase, in order to paint you as the unstable one, and that this is usually successful with the narcissist’s support network which also tends to consist of other narcissists, people-pleasers, empaths, as well as people who are easily charmed.