Destructive Cycling from One Narcissist to the Next

It is not unusual in this time of epidemic narcissism for men and women to find themselves jumping from one narcissistic individual to the next. Being narcissistic has been normalized in many social circles. Materialism and narcissism are easy companions. Greed, rampant and unabashed, grows exponentially these days. There is never enough “stuff.”

Narcissists have always been a huge draw. Often very good looking, beautiful, athletic, bright, highly confident—they have turned heads all of their lives. They expect nothing less. And their magnetism shines in the largest room you can imagine. Everyone is tempted by the highly polished narcissist, especially when they have given you the high beam, that knowing look that says they have to have you and will give you everything you desire in exchange. You are transfixed, in trance mode—You believe that this gossamer flight is real—that you are so extraordinary that this man or woman has picked you. What a powerful dynamic—one that most people cannot resist. So you become involved quickly and “fall in love.” You are treated with such deference beyond your wildest imagination. This man has anticipated exactly what you want, what turns you on. The narcissistic promise is that if you go with him you will forever escape the harsh, cruel, painful realities of life. In its place the vision he/she offers is a paradise of delusion.So many choose this direction and for a while this can feel like the best thing that ever happened to you.

The true nature of the narcissist, Mr. Hyde emerges, shows his hideous face and the forceful menace of his presence. This is particularly evident in the narcissist’s insistent control of every aspect of your life, including your most private thoughts and feelings. The narcissist’s demands and criticisms become more forceful. You feel cornered. There is no way of compromising with this person. Eventually, the narcissist either discards you without a backward glance or you decide you cannot take it any more and leave. You start to move forward with your own life but the “good memories” linger. For many individuals it doesn’t take long to find another special person—someone they believe is different–not grandiose and demanding. You are so vulnerable that you can easily fall into the narcissistic trap again. One of the cleverest guises of these personality disorders is that of the covert narcissist. He or she appears to be genuine and caring. There is no fanfare or special entrance or pretense. This is what you believe. The focus is on you. The covert narcissist’s manner is smooth and subtle. It may take you some time to experience the manipulation and duplicitous nature of his brilliant act. You make excuses for his lack of empathy, your discovery of his easy lies, the cauldron of rage that brims over on to you. Again, you are in a relationship with another narcissist. Beneath the pseudo humility and pretend empathy lies the core narcissistic personality constellation. Many victims repeat this pattern of partnering with narcissists innumerable times. Each time they lose a little more of themselves.

Those who awaken to the reality that this severe personality disorder is not going to change and that he/she is eclipsing their lives, find a way out of this destructive pattern. They research, study and understand what has happened to them. They recognize that they are entitled to make their own decisions, to be treated with respect as a separate person, to have full use of their creative gifts, to pursue their life goals using their many talents. You have broken this destructive cycle and are now moving forward with your life. You deserve the very best. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life