How do narcissists feel when you move on?

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know the pain and confusion they can cause. 

Even if they’re not actively trying to hurt us, we often wonder how they feel when we move on

It’s so complicated; it depends on how the narcissist feels about themselves as well as how much control over your cognition or emotions he or she has.

Here’s how do narcissists feel when you move on

1) They feel challenged by your move on

As we all know, narcissists thrive on the feeling of superiority and their self-esteem depends on how attractive they are or how much money or power they have. 

When they lose their partners, they are not only losing a person they love, but also an opportunity to feel superior. 

Narcissists love to be the center of attention and to have others defer to them. 

When their partner moves on, the narcissist gets their authority challenged. 

Their ability to control their partner’s behavior is compromised when they move on and this can make them feel humiliated. 

Narcissistic partners usually have trouble controlling their emotions, or controlling how the other person feels. 

They can’t stand the thought when you have no control over them or your relationship with them.

So instead of feeling sad or angry, they go into defensive mode to keep you on their hook. 

If they can’t break up with you, they’ll try to get you back. 

So why?

This is because they’re afraid of being controlled by your decision to take care of yourself and stop suffering at their hands.

2) They feel rejected

They feel the pain of rejection and abandonment. 

If you’ve left them, they might not understand how this could have happened. 

The narcissist is certain you want them. 

They’re certain that when they’re with you. Everything is great.

And that when you’re not with them it’s because of external events: an emergency at work or your family preventing you from seeing each other, for example.

This is not the same thing as feeling bad about themselves. 

It’s more like an emotional glitch. 

The only way they know to deal with it is to act out in some way that shows us we’re no longer important to them and that everyone will be better off without us in their lives.

3) They feel deeply hurt

The most painful feeling for narcissists is perhaps when you decide to move on and don’t need them anymore. 

That is the big problem with narcissists. 

They can’t face the pain of loss. 

The reason that they cannot face it is because they suck at face-to-face communication. 

So what do they need?

They have a need to have control.

And their lives are so empty without us in them they can’t even see it or accept it.

Honestly, you never know what narcissists think when you are in a relationship.

You can be hurt by these people.

But when it comes to your relationship, there is something you can do to feel better. 

And it’s as simple as taking a breath. 

When I was struggling the most in life, I was introduced to an incredible free breathwork video created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê. 

With a focus on dissolving stress and boosting inner peace, it was hard to resist giving it a go.

What made this breathwork video so effective?

Well, it comes down to the man behind it all. Rudá created these unique flows using a combination of ancient shamanic techniques and healing breathwork sequences. 

He’s spent years developing them to help people find their inner peace.  

So, if you feel a disconnect with yourself due to your (insert relevant problem here), I’d recommend checking out Rudá’s free breathwork video.

He’ll give you the tools to start injecting peace and confidence back into your life, from the very first breathwork exercise. 

Here’s a link to the free video again.

4) They feel abandoned by their source of narcissistic supply

This may be the key to understanding why they act the way that they do. 

If the narcissist has been able to extract all of their narcissistic supply from us, then our departure is a clear signal that there are no more goodies to be had from our relationship with them. 

They have nothing left, and it’s either face that fact or lash out in anger and fear.

They feel abandoned, and they don’t know what to do. 

They feel like they no longer have a life of their own to live; all of their self-worth depends on us and now we’ve failed them.

5) They feel powerful and victorious

The narcissist identifies himself as having a special relationship with us. 

How does he feel now? 

He feels powerful for having survived the breakup. 

He feels mighty because he has been proved right about his ability to manipulate people and his choice to be with us rather than to himself. 

He knows that he could have done far better on his own and can now bask in the knowledge that he is better than anyone else.

6) They feel intense fear, rage, and aggression

The narcissist is filled with intense fear, rage and aggression because they have no means to express these feelings.

They don’t know how to give or receive love or joy so they are filled with intense anger that can take many forms. 

They feel rage about not having any control over another human being. 

Be honest!

Rage is a normal response to feeling powerless in the face of conflict, loss, vulnerability and dependency.

The narcissist may feel a lot of anger because deep in his heart, he doesn’t want to be alone so the impulse is to lash out at everyone else.

7) They feel panic, anxiety, paranoia, and despair

Their life is so bad that they don’t know how to fix it.

Because narcissists are so used to having a source of supply, they don’t know how to handle themselves when that supply is taken away. 

They don’t have the ability to function alone because they have never learned this skill. 

They are completely dependent on their source of supply and if their source leaves them, they feel like prey being left behind by the pack.

When a narcissist is pushed out of their comfort zone, they feel anything but safe, secure, and calm. 

With all the previously listed feelings, you can be sure that there will be a few different ones that come into play. 

The narcissist will be feeling great pain; they’ll feel exposed and vulnerable. 

And most likely, the narcissist will be in a state of panic that their supply is gone and they are powerless to defend themselves from predators.

8) They feel sad

The narcissist feels sad, lonely, and depressed because they have no one to blame but themselves. 

They’ve learned how to take care of themselves the only way they know-how. 

They jump around from relationship to relationship looking for love. 

Now that their source of supply has left them, they feel hopeless and depressed.

And that is a highly dangerous state to be in because they will likely make poor decisions. 

9) They feel anxious and depressed

I wonder if you’ve ever looked at a narcissist who’s left your life and felt anxious or depressed? 

This is the result of the intense panic, fear, and desperation that I just mentioned. 

If you’re feeling anxious and depressed, it’s because you feel like your life is on the line. 

And the narcissist also feels that.

When a narcissist looks into the future, they are filled with anxiety and fear. 

They are afraid that they will have no one to take care of them, no one to whom they can manipulate and control. 

10) They feel deceived and cheated

I wonder if you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of a narcissist? 

If you’re in a relationship with them and they leave, I can guarantee that they will have a hard time seeing how they are truly being deceived. 

They have convinced themselves that they can get everyone to be as emotionally dependent on them as we were when we were in their life. 

They are convinced that we would never leave them and the pain of being left will be too much for them to handle. 

11) They feel confused, hurt, and disappointed

The narcissist can’t understand why we would ever leave them and move on.

They are hurt and confused about why we didn’t give them a chance to make it right. 

At the same time, they are hurt that we would leave and abandon them. 

It’s very true. 

They’ll be disappointed and sad because they can never get over being abandoned.

12) They feel ignorant, defeated, and hopeless

No matter what they do or say, they will always be defeated by their deep, dark secrets that they now hold inside of themselves. 

They know that they will never be good enough for anyone. 

And they feel hopeless about ever having a healthy, functional relationship. 

13) They want you back because they don’t like being alone

When a narcissist leaves your life, they don’t just leave you mentally, they leave you physically as well.

They abandon you because they are afraid of being alone. 

But they also abandon you because they are afraid of not having the ability to control and manipulate someone else if their source of supply leaves them. 

Even though narcissists always have a backup plan in place in case someone abandons them, this doesn’t mean that it will work and help them feel safe again.

What narcissists do not feel and can’t do (don’t expect these when you leave the narcissist and move on):

They can’t love you anymore.

They can’t miss you.

They can’t hate that you left them.

Most importantly, they can’t go back and change anything about the way they treated you when they were in your life. 

If they could, narcissists would have no choice but to change who they are and how they live their lives forever. 

The narcissist feels like nothing is going right in their life anymore and they will use this to manipulate you into a relationship with them as soon as they can.

You do not have to be afraid of the narcissist turning their back on you.

The narcissist doesn’t care about you because they only cared about what it meant for them. 

If everyone in their life leaves as quickly as yours has, it means nothing to them. 

They will use it to their advantage and manipulate you into coming back to them. 

I’m just telling you that expecting the narcissist to act in a certain way or feel a certain way is not healthy for you nor will it motivate them to do anything about the way they treat others.

Do narcissists come back to you even if you move on? 

The answer is yes, narcissists will come back to you

But what they will do to you depends on how much damage they did to you before they left. 

If the thing that caused them to leave is gone or been changed, narcissists don’t see a need for revenge or retaliation. 

Ironically enough, this makes them even more unpredictable and dangerous than they were when they were in your life. 

Once you’ve become the type of person that narcissists would never want to be with even if they did have the opportunity to, you have nothing to worry about. 

But if you do happen to get back together with the narcissist, then it’s just a matter of time before they decide to leave again. 

So what makes a narcissist come back? Well, first and foremost, it’s something that benefits them in some way. 

These are the things that they will use to manipulate you into getting back together with them. 

Here are some common motivations that narcissists use: 

They want you back because they feel like their time has been wasted. 

They feel like you wasted their time and now they want to get some of it back. 

If the narcissist left your life because of something you did, this is a primary motivator for them coming back. 

What do you need to do if narcissists want to come back to you? 

Don’t get back with the narcissist because it will only end up hurting you in the end. 

If they keep coming back to you, then what they really want is someone who will take care of them, love them and be there for them even if that person isn’t you. 

If that’s what they want, they’re not coming back to your life. 

They’re going after someone else and breaking their heart over and over again. 

If they want the opportunity to continue the relationship or close it where you feel like you have no other option available to you.

Then they want someone who will take care of them and love them…not you. 

However, as long as you know that and realize that you can continue on your way and not get back with the narcissist. 

If a narcissist continues to come after you after they’ve left, then it means that they want something from you. 

What is the most likely thing a narcissist will want? Why? 

I believe that the most common thing a narcissist wants is for you to accept them back into your life.

Remember, if they have some trigger that will cause them to end the relationship, it’s probably because they think that person is better than they are in some way or tries to control them in a way that they don’t see as acceptable.

Regardless of what you may think about a narcissist leaving you, the truth is that it hurts them just as much as it hurts you. 

Final thoughts

If you’re thinking about getting back into the narcissistic relationship or if the narcissist is trying to come back to you, please take a step back and think about what has happened in the past and look at everything in a new light. 

Remember that you deserve love and attention, but not from a narcissist. 

Lastly, remember that a narcissist coming back to your life isn’t because they miss you or are sorry for how they treated you.

I hope this article is helpful with you.