Narc Realities - Supply Economics by Baddream

More great member advice! This one is from Baddream:

I have spent hours and days reading some of the posts on the Psych forum, especially some of the very frank replies by the narcissists. It has taken me all these hours and all these years to really, truly fully understand what motivates them, every day, every hour, every second of their life.

With this understanding also comes the realization that there is absolutely nothing that I could ever do to make him change. Many of us continue to hope perhaps he will someday realize what he has lost, get help, change his ways, and come back to us as the man we first met once upon a time.

After spending some time in their heads, I can say there is absolutely no chance that will ever happen. If you are with someone who you know is an actual narcissist, you must stop this way of thinking and move on.

Many of us have been cheated on by the narcissist and hurt. This is not the same as being abused and cheated on by someone who is not a narcissist. The reason a narcissist cheats is not the same as another cheating partner. Sometimes someone who is unfaithful might feel bad about it afterward, sometimes there is remorse, there may even be a reason for the cheating. I am not condoning this behavior, only pointing out that a narcissist has one reason and only one to cheat, and that is SUPPLY. There is no such thing as remorse for a narc.

Everything a narcissist does, from the moment he awakens is measured in terms of supply and RELATIVE supply. To fully understand this concept I needed to take a step back and really comprehend what this is for a narc. Once I did, all the "whys" were answered.

What is Narcissistic Supply?

A narc is an addict, and EVERYTHING HE DOES is to obtain supply. Supply is approval and admiration from others. Supply is attention that the narc tries to get that reaffirms to him that he is a special and entitled person. He relies on this for his self esteem. Without it he ceases to exist in his own mind.

Where does he get Supply?

It can come from anyone---- his family, friends, business associates, girlfriend, one night stand, wife etc. OR it can come from exploits---- a project, a job, public attention, compliments, money, a car, an airplane, etc...

The point/connection I was missing for the longest time is that in the narcs mind, supply is all the same, regardless of where is comes from. The only difference is the relative AMOUNT of supply the narc gets from different people, and different things in his life. Everything is measured in terms of how much he can get, and THAT IS HOW THE NARC DECIDES who goes, who stays, what he is going to do today. That is all there is to it. Inside of every narcissist is a system or SUPPLY ECONOMICS.

When I thought about my relationship with the narc, it suddenly came together. For the longest time, I didn't get it, having spent hundreds of hours trying to figure it out. All those d&d's always came right after we had spent wonderful times together. Since we had a long distance relationship, we separated and went our separate ways. Shortly after, he completely dropped out of my life. Didn't hear from him for months. Well, now it so easy to understand.

Even though he told me how much he loved me, since I was not there I could not give supply, or as much supply as someone else. Since the other person was worth "more supply", I did not exist at all.

So often he would tell me he was putting me "on the shelf". The other narcs on that forum called that "the back burner". When I was on the shelf, my narc had lots of other supply. When that was running low, he would start calling, sending texts, gifts, etc. and sweet talk me and take me off the shelf again.

This is a very weird concept. Picture a scale on which the N measures supply. He really does weigh it in his mind. Everything he does is like that.

Here is another example of narc thinking. One time my narc. got an invitation to a party. A normal person would decide to go or not to go based on if he liked the other people and thought he would have a good time. How does a narc decide? My narc actually said that if he didn't go everyone would wonder where he was and be talking about him, and how much he would be missed. So he decided not to attend. Now, what kind of twisted thinking is that?

That is how narc. makes every decision including relationships.

If you are going to stay with your narc. you will need to be an object that dispenses supply. You are going to need to give him more and better supply than anyone or anything else. In order to do that you are going to need to give up who you once were. He does not care about you at all. Remember that. You were the supply, that's ALL it ever was.

If you are NC, stay that way. Even in your weakest moments, even during the holidays, if you were ever supply for the narc., you will always be potential future supply-- especially if the current supply dries up. If you were supply once, you will never really be safe, because in his mind, you were just a commodity, and always will be.

Be Careful! Use this knowledge!! NC!!!! Stay away!!!!!!!!

Jul 10 - 5PM
ewa's picture

About cheating: mine cheated

About cheating: mine cheated on me i have forgiven him,took him back and then he kept blaming me that i can not forget about what he did. Of course he kept his flirts on.This is how they are.
Jul 4 - 7AM
aceonelady's picture

good supply...i thought i was...

This is what i don't get it:Ex N is financially broke ,is separeted with 3 kids,has a very underpaid job,is living in a one bedroom apartment with no furniture,only 1 bed,PC ,2 chairs (ibought when visiting)never goes out ,only for groceries,and maybe once ayear golfing...he works on the housing projects.Every time he applies for a better job opening he never gets it,while he has skills and is a very hard worker not a sick day in 5 like people see the red flags..he told me well i think they are not happy with the way i am...i always did praise him(sincerely)about his skills,i told him i was always be there for him under any circunstance,never asked him to do anything (like stop smoking,or porn viewing)i told him i would support him with that if he asked me...i did accept him for what he is because i really love him ....the reality is he is afro american,underpaid ,grumpy and overweight....but he looks good for me,is intelligent a good cook and worker...always pays child support ,but NEVER takes his kids to his home or is with them...something happenned with his 15 year old daughter,he left home and is living under the circumstances i did,i am well educated,independent a good talk partner for him,always listened never judged bu always said what i think is right or wrong...i am sexy,cuddly not beautiful but look good,funny can be quiet and him interested in computers languages art ,movies and i am very open minded...i would had done anything forthat man,but he just dumped me 24 hours after i got from Europe to Tulsa....(please read my story)i cannot understand why i wasn't good enough not even to keep as an acquaintace....he has nothing,no friends,his kids don''t care about him anymore because the way he is...they love him but are also very glad he is gone,they can now be free of walking on egg shells around him....he said himself that the house he used to live with them is clean and sparkling like he never saw before...he said i think my ex is glad i am gone...and me i am nothing to him,i supported hiim trough the whole ordeal but i did speak my mind about what happenned...he wants nothing to do with me anymore or his ex...i spoke with her and is true,he doesn't even speaks with her,nor with me....i thought i was good for him....


Jul 1 - 6PM
Susan32's picture

When students are supply

My ex-P was a professor, I was his student. Now, at my college, a few of the professors were married to their former students... so I did see my ex-P as a potential boyfriend/husband. And he saw me only as supply. I wasn't even the Other Woman/The Woman Scorned... I was WORTHLESS. It's shocking to come to the realization that one's own teacher considers them worthless. We EXPECT validation from teachers. We ASSUME they respect us. When it turned out that I was only supply for his ego, I was shocked and hurt. I didn't mean anything to him, except to massage his ego. Normally, the teacher encourages the student and wants to see them succeed. I was the one who was ALWAYS encouraging him--and me, well I never measured up. I remember when of his male students (from his circle of other supply) told me that he had told them (and this was when I was enrolled in his science class) that he didn't like me at all, that he HATED me. What had I done to him? I liked him, I admired him. I even told him myself. I've had lousy teachers;I've had bullying teachers;I've had flaky teachers... but to have a psychopath for a teacher, that experience will never be forgotten for the rest of my life.
Jun 30 - 9AM
M's picture

yes.. in waves

My xN has these cycles.... I'll hear nothing for a week or 2, then I'm bombarded with emails. Now he has my 7yr old asking me to "please talk to Daddy". We are divorced & I keep things to email only. I keep my distance at school functions. He must not be getting any supply to want it so bad from me.
Jul 14 - 6AM (Reply to #1)
livestrong4's picture


The thing that turns my stomach is the fact that when we go out or to friends houses, he is so obvious and sickening, with his need for Supply, asking everyone for everything and them being the hostest with the mostest they tend to his every need, while that is being done, I am invisible to him!! My feelings used to get hurt and then when I would tell him about it he would say you are crazy, ( they love that word ) but now I sit back and laugh at how truly pathetic and childish he is. HAHAHAHAHAH I love how much my eyes are wide open. Joke is on him.