One of the most glorious experiences, after being entangled and abused by a narcissist, is the absolute freedom that you feel on the other side of it all!
Healing and being free to live the kind of life you never even knew was possible when you were with them is your prize for liberating yourself from the narcissist.
Moving on doesn’t necessarily mean moving on with someone else. It means putting yourself first, focusing on yourself and naturally allowing the narcissist to become irrelevant.
But what happens when a narcissist sees you have moved on and that they are no longer important to you at all? They will try all sorts of tactics to lure you back into their warped world because they need you to feed their ego and false reality.
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Why Does the Narcissist Need You?
Somewhere in the narcissist’s past, they experienced trauma which caused them to feel intense shame, unworthiness and hatred towards themselves.
To combat those feelings of vulnerability and (in their eyes) weakness, they rejected their True Self, which was the part responsible for such emotions. Their subconscious cannot accept that they are a flawed being, even though it’s a normal aspect for every human.
In order to protect themselves from this truth, a False Self was created, which is solely run by the ego.
Interestingly, the narcissist doesn’t have the capacity to view themselves as both good and bad, therefore the False Self chooses superiority as its reality. In doing so, they are left without a conscience and unable to experience love, compassion, kindness and empathy.
The problem with the ego’s false reality lies within its very upkeep of it. You see, for the narcissist to survive on a psychological level, they need to be continuously gaining outside evidence that their false reality is in fact ‘real.’
This is why they need the people around them to always be going along with their disordered version of events, without question. You’ll notice that if you defy their storyline, their ego will line you up and attack you, rather than self-reflect and consider their own behaviour.
In the narcissist’s false reality, they are perfect and any defiance of that false truth simply cannot be accepted by them. Therefore, if the problem is never them, then it must be you for challenging their ‘perfection.’
One of the biggest ways the narcissist’s ego can confirm that their reality is ‘real’ is via attention. Both positive and negative attention are good because it all serves to verify for them that they truly do exist.
You’ll notice throughout this article that everything the narcissist does is to provoke you and hook you back into their false world, where they are the central focus.
The narcissist needs your reaction and attention.
Any reaction at all will do, whether it be laughing, yelling, crying or scoffing. Whatever reaction they can raise in you will validate for them that they must be incredibly powerful to be able to provoke you so much.
What the narcissist aims to achieve by sucking you into conversation, argument or making you feel compelled to defend yourself, is really simple. Your highly-charged emotions serve to feed them narcissistic supply. This is the life force energy, which they so desperately crave in order to feel relief from their empty inner void.
The narcissist does not have access to life force energy, since they discarded their True Self years ago. It’s through our connection with our True Selves that we can tap into the unlimited abundance of all creation (god or the divine, whatever resonates for you).
The narcissist has left themselves to be a dark human without a conscience, walking the Earth with the sole purpose of pillaging other people’s life force energy.
Narcissists are the ultimate devil in disguise.
Narcissists only care about getting their own needs met and couldn’t care less about what the cost of that is to you or anybody else. In fact, the ramifications of their demanding energy on your emotional state just work to further feed their ego, making them feel even more important.
When a narcissist sees you have moved on, this instigates a massive narcissistic injury (emotional trigger) within them. Their False Self cannot accept that they are now irrelevant in your world, so they will do whatever they can to remain relevant.
They don’t care whether you see them in a positive light or a negative light. As long as they are monopolising your headspace, you’ll be sending them an energetic supply, which is exactly what they need and want.
I’m sure you can now see just why it’s so important for the narcissist to still stake a claim on you, whether they have moved on or not. The more people who feed them energy and who can be manipulated into believing their reality, the more their False Self gets fed.
REACTIONS When a Narcissist Sees You Have Moved On
Here are some reactions you can totally expect when a narcissist sees you have moved on, whether that be loving the single life or finding a new partner.
The narcissist genuinely thinks that they are the most superior and important person getting around. So, the idea that you could possibly move on and be gloriously happy and successful without them absolutely does not exist in their world.
They are the God, therefore they must be the centre of attention at all times.
When you withdraw your attention from them by moving on with your life, the narcissist starts to become insignificant to you. The narcissist will energetically feel you slipping away, which will trigger them into action.
For their false reality to continue to exist, they need to keep themselves right at the centre of your universe. This is where the narcissist will throw anything they can think of to bait you back into their dysfunctional realm.
Narcissist Baiting Tactics:
- False accusations
- Playing the poor wounded soul
- Using your empathy and compassion against you
- Creating intrigue with snippets of information
- Threatening to use your fears against you
- Making false promises
- Restarting the love bombing cycle
- Disrespecting boundaries by infiltrating your life
The whole idea of baiting you is to manipulate themselves back into your world. They intentionally play on your compassion, knowing that you’ll feel like a monster for saying ‘no’ to them or refusing them help if they’re in need (which they more than likely lied about).
They want to get as much information as they can about you and your new life because they feel entitled to know the workings of your world.
Collecting information about other people is a common narcissist tactic because it gives them ammunition to use against you at a later date.
You should protect your personal information from the narcissist as though it were your bank account PIN!
If you share children with the narcissist and don’t have the option of going completely no contact, the narcissist will just pick up the conversation as though nothing ever went down. Then if you don’t respond to their attempts and hold firm to your boundaries, they’ll accuse you of being cold-hearted and difficult, while painting themselves as the ‘reasonable’ one.
Whatever the narcissist tries to bait you with, hold onto your truth and do not respond.
|READ: Ignoring a Narcissist →
One of the most insidious tactics in the narcissist’s arsenal is the guilt trip.
Narcissists learn during the love bombing phase (where they are studying you hard), whether you’re an empathetic person or not. Even though they are a conscienceless being, who has zero capacity to truly feel empathy or compassion towards another living soul, they know that you do.
They also know that empathetic people struggle to not give to others and to not help people who are in need. So, they also learnt, very early on in life, exactly how to use people’s empathy and compassion against them as a weapon.
The narcissist will use anything they can think of to make you feel guilty and allow them back into your world.
They might ring or send a message asking for urgent help, which only you can give them. Or, they’ll use the death of a friend of family member to pull on your heartstrings.
If you have kids with them, they’ll use the kids to make you feel guilty for cutting them out or not giving them what they want.
Covert narcissists are extremely adept at crying real tears to make you think that they are actually feeling devastated or sad without you.
|READ: Does the Narc Miss You? →
Regardless of whether the narcissist has a new supply or not, they’ll quite often want to hoover you back into their tangled web. You know, just to keep you on the shelf in case the new supply doesn’t work out. Or, if they’re ever short on supply in the future.
I mean, they think you’re easy fodder as they’ve already manipulated you once, therefore, their ego tells them that they could easily do it again if need be.
Examples of Narcissist Hoovering:
- Casually message or call you
- Pretend to be repentant
- Offer fake promises
- Pretend like nothing ever happened
- Contact you on special dates and occasions
- Disrespect your boundaries and give you gifts/ money
- Profess their undying love to you
- Portray themselves as the victim
- Use flying monkeys to gather info on you and intentionally trigger you
- Restart the love bombing phase
The main reason the narcissist aims to hoover you back in is basically to conquer you and win. They have no intention of making good on any of their lies or false promises. They just want to know that they can have you if they want you and that they can still control you.
The most potent thing that you can do to demonstrate to the narcissist that they no longer have any power over you, is to ignore all hoover attempts, no matter how compelling they may appear.
|READ: 12 Narc Hoovering Tactics →
Rage at You
When a narcissist sees you have moved on they will be mad. They know they’ve lost control of you and more than anything, you’re now a threat to them because you’ve seen who they are underneath their mask.
What’s really beneath their anger is the shame, unworthiness and rejection, which they buried a long time ago. In the split second that they feel any of those negative thoughts, they will immediately project them outwards onto you.
The narcissist’s ego demands, “YOU must be accountable for my problems and fix them for me.”
Instead of being responsible for and processing their own feelings (which they absolutely refuse to do), they’ll target you.
All their ego can see is that its very existence is at risk and you are the cause of that threat. Therefore, the ego lines you up in its crosshairs and aims to annihilate you because you are the one threatening to unravel its whole false reality.
Even if you’ve moved on to the point where you couldn’t be any less interested in avenging the narcissist, in their dog-eat-dog world, they think that everyone behaves as they do. To them, if they don’t take you down, they truly believe that you will destroy them.
Attempt to Ruin Your New Relationship
Having you replace the narcissist with someone else is going to trigger a deep narcissistic injury within them.
It’s a painful reminder (for a millisecond) that they are a flawed human being, just like everybody else. Then just as quickly, their False Self will protect them from that truth and replace it with thoughts of punishing you.
In the narcissist’s false world, they believe that they are the most outstanding of all beings. There is no one as special, impressive and superior as them, so your new partner could not possibly stack up to them.
For their ego to confirm this false truth in their false reality, they will actively set out to prove themselves right. Because at the end of the day, the narcissist must always be right.
So, to do that, they’ll embark on a mission to ruin your new relationship by smearing you and/ or your new partner to anyone and everyone. They’ll create false rumours and spread gossip through their flying monkeys, which all serve to confirm what they see as the truth in their warped world.
The only truth that the narcissist can accept is that your new person is completely inferior to them and the fact that you’ve replaced them with someone ‘less than’ is absolute treachery to the narcissist.
Another thing to expect when a narcissist sees you have moved on is that they will go into overdrive trying to protect their public image, while systematically destroying yours.
In order to protect their house of cards, the narcissist absolutely cannot risk you sharing any information with anyone, which would reveal who they really are behind closed doors.
They know that you’ve seen them at their worst and they’re fully conscious of the manipulation, lies and abuse they’ve dumped onto you. Heck, that’s why they were so keen to keep you around. Your ability to continuously give them the benefit of the doubt and trust them (when they never deserved it) made you an extremely valuable resource.
Now, you know too much. They can’t risk you “running your mouth” to anybody and disclosing the truth.
So, they will be sure to get in before you and set the storyline, which best suits their agenda, to everyone who will hear them. Throughout the telling of their story, they’ll paint themselves as the innocent victim, while you are the perpetrator, who deserves to be discarded and punished.
The important thing to remember here is that those who truly know you and who are worthy people in your world, will not buy into the narcissist’s lies. For those who do, well it’s time to let them go as you declutter your relationships and pair them down to those who are in line with your own values.
As we’ve already delved into, the narcissist has absolutely no capacity or inclination to accept any accountability for their role in the collapse of the relationship.
When a narcissist sees you have moved on, they’ll be even more steadfast in their storyline that everything was your fault and that they were the perfect one.
In fact, they’ll even still be deluding themselves into thinking that you’ll want to come crawling back to them at some point and that you will have to change for them to even consider taking you back.
After I left my narcissistic ex, he saw how happy I was without him and proclaimed, “If you want to come back to me, you’ll have some serious work to do.” It was all I could do to not laugh in his face as I replied, “That’s never going to happen.”
Even if you’re not aware of it, when the narcissist sees you have moved on, they will continue to stalk you.
They feel entitled to you and all of your information, even if you’re not together any more. The thought of you being with someone else or doing things that they’re not aware of will drive them crazy.
To a narcissist, information is power because that is precisely what they use against you to control you.
Even if they have moved on with a new supply, they will still think that they own you. They do not want you moving on with someone else, because that is an even greater betrayal to their all-important God-like status.
You are their item, how dare you go and live a life without them!
My narcissistic ex would grill me for all sorts of intimate details about my life when he came to collect the kids, all in the guise of, “I’m just a kind, caring ex-partner who wants the best for you.” What a crock!
What he really wanted was to still have the ability to access my innermost recesses so that he could continue to possess me and control me.
Narcissists will stalk their exes through social media and in person. They can be extremely stealthy if need be, so don’t be surprised if they’re driving by your house or workplace without you even being aware of it.
Compete With You
When a narcissist sees you have moved on, they will actually think it’s just to compete with them.
They can’t imagine that it’s because you’re doing what you truly want to do. They don’t put any of your successes down to actual skill, hard work, perseverance and good karma.
Everything in their world is merely a reflection of them.
Therefore, they’ll surmise that you moving on must be as a result of who they’ve made you. After all, you wouldn’t have been able to succeed or become a better person if it wasn’t for them, right?
Yep, that’s the level of self-absorption we’re talking about. Everything always was and always will be about the narcissist.
In fact, they’ll think that you’re actually jealous of them and what they’re doing. Therefore you’re the deranged one who’s stalking and competing and doing everything you can to be as good as the narcissist.
Again, in their mind, they’ll think that the very things they’re doing are what you’re actually doing.
The reality is, you’re not even thinking about the narcissist and you’re certainly not trying to be anything like them. You’re probably actively trying to be everything the narcissist is not!
How Do Narcissists Feel When You Move On?
The narcissist truly believes that they are the only ones who have the power to make you happy (or miserable).
In their hierarchical world, they see themselves as the God-like being at the pinnacle of their delusional temple. No one sits above them or can bring such joy or misery to your life. That role is filled by themselves alone.
They genuinely believe that without them, you are nothing. You won’t be able to move on, you won’t be happy, you won’t be successful in your career or finances and your life will become a shambles.
If only they knew that the complete opposite has always been true!
Time and time again, we hear stories of just how much people’s lives open up once they’ve managed to erase the narcissist from it.
Examples of the amazing successes post narcissist:
- Experience beautiful new relationships and friendships
- Start a business or grow an existing one with great success
- Take courses to expand and upskill
- Increase financial stability
- Get their own home
- Take up new hobbies
- Explore and travel
The reason for all of these successes, no matter how large or small is quite simple. The narcissist spent the entirety of the relationship breaking you down to be so insecure and selfless that you were a mere shell of yourself by the end.
Heck, you probably weren’t even able to enjoy getting your hair cut without being guilted by the narc, let alone take classes or travel!
You see, for their whole false reality to work where they are the ‘best,’ they need to control and manipulate their partner to always be ‘less’ than them. There can’t be a winner without a loser.
However, the truth is much more sinister. Somewhere deep inside, the narcissist knows that they actually need you. Yep, they need you to provide them with the energy and resources they require to feed their False Self in order to keep it alive.
But you would never stick around if you knew that truth.
So, the only way that they know how to secure their supply is to invert the truth. In other words, they slowly break you down over time and mess with your reality through gaslighting and other insidious manipulations.
In addition to that, they’ll program you through the trauma bonding process to become addicted to them in such a way that you feel as though you cannot function in the world without them.
When a narcissist sees you have moved on, they will feel completely powerless. However, powerlessness is a flaw within themselves, which they absolutely refuse to acknowledge.
If a narcissist feels powerless, they will pull every trick out of their hat to manipulate you back into their web of deceit. Not because they miss you, but because they need to conquer you and win.
|READ: Trauma Bonding Explained →
The strangest and most infuriating thing about narcissists is their ability to forever be the victim. They can do the most despicable, unreasonable and absurd things, yet they somehow always manage to come out as the poor and unfortunate sufferers.
What’s really warped is the fact that narcissists, in their delusional world, truly believe that you are the abusive one. Crazy, right?!
“How dare you abuse me by withholding your energetic supply. That is rightfully mine for the taking!”
You see, for the narcissist to function in this world and remain psychologically intact, their ego automatically inverts everything. That’s why they blame you for the very things that they’re doing and you simply cannot reason with them, even with cold, hard evidence to suggest otherwise.
When a narcissist sees you have moved on, they will feel short-changed by the fact that you are no longer available for them to use and dump on as they see fit.
Remember, people are merely tools in the narcissist’s world for them to get the resources and energy fix that they need. They don’t view other humans as being fully autonomous individuals with their own dreams, desires and freedoms.
|READ: Why Narcissists Cry →
Empty if They Haven’t Replaced You
The fact is, the narcissist always needed you more than you needed them. When the narcissist sees you have moved on and they haven’t yet been able to replace you, they’ll feel the weight of their emptiness inside.
Grandiose narcissists have a much greater ability to switch on their charm, success, good looks and gift of the gab to easily get new supply. Covert narcissists, on the other hand, are much less confident, charming and extroverted. They can struggle a lot more to hook in supply, which is why when they do get someone, they’ll want to ensnare them for the long term.
I remember, after breaking up with my covert narc ex, that he asked to just touch me because my energy felt so good to him. That was when a lightbulb went off for me and I realised that he was consciously aware all along of my energy and how much it fed him and lifted him.
Until he replaced me, he was relentless with the hoovering tactics because his drug had been taken away from him without warning.
When a narcissist is left by themselves without being able to get the necessary hits of supply, they’re unable to relieve themselves of their inner pain. That’s when they’ll slip further down into who they truly are and they’ll find it harder to pretend and hold their mask in place.
Ultimately, the narcissist feels completely empty when they’re not getting supply to feed their ego.
On top of that, they resent that you have the ability to experience joy, contentment and happiness because they are all things that they’ll never have, no matter how much supply they get.
They want to be around you not only to feel good in your energetic presence but to extract that very light from you and attempt to claim it as their own (which we know will never work).
Finally Heal From the Narcissist
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