The Expert’s Guide To The Narcissist’s Abuse Cycle

You’ve identified him/her as a Narcissist. If you’re in a romantic relationship with said narcissist, you’ll probably also relate to the Narcissist’s Abuse Cycle because while the details may vary, usually the main components of the cycle stay the same.

Pre-Cycle – Grooming. During this period of time, the narcissist begins choosing and preparing their person. Often, they choose their subject by finding someone who will:
– have big hearts. These people are known as the “givers,” the “caretakers.” They tend to give others the benefit of the doubt and second chances.
– be naturally forgiving.
– be talented or of good social standing. In simple terms, a narcissist will only want someone who makes them look good. Somatic narcissists are obsessed with their physical appearances. Cerebral narcissists are the know-it-alls and most obsessed with their own (or the illusion of) positions and power. Often, naricissists align themselves with people who benefit their goals or appearances they are trying to keep up.
-be easygoing. Narcissists want to be able to push boundaries and not have someone stand up to them.

  1. Idealization – (aka Love-Bombing). This is where the flattery, seeming acts of kindness, praise, gifts, approval, gushing begin. Sometimes they will mirror everything you supposedly love. Often, they will seem wonderful and sweet and so great!
  2. Pruning – Slowly, the narcissist will begin trying to prune and further groom their subject. They will begin to covertly push and pull, seeing where there are boundaries and if they can push them. They will often try to alienate their subjects so that they will have better control.
  3. Transition – You set a boundary or call them out. Either the narcissist talks their subject out of it and gains their new supply OR you (subject) doesn’t give them what they want.
  4. Devaluation – A narcissist will use devaluation when met with boundaries. Criticism, cruelty, disapproval, degradation, rejection, rage, triangulation, silent treatment. They will talk in circles, making arguments hard to follow because the narcissist is trying to confuse, distract, and blame-shift. Narcissists will gaslight, making their subject feel crazy for believing what they do or for setting boundaries.
  5. Transition – They Discard you /You go no-contact OR they suck you back in (in which case, the cycle begins again).
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