In my previous blog, I spoke about the Love Bombing stage and how a Narc uses this technique to attract his/her prey and draw them in. This phase lasts as long as the Narc needs it to in order to bring down your barriers, to make you believe that they are the one for you and that you cannot live without them. Only after the Narc feels that you have truly fallen for them do they embark onto the next stage.
But what happens after the Love Bombing stage?
Then comes the devaluation stage. It's a very confusing time. You are desperately trying to figure out where this wonderful prince/princess that adored you and worshipped you has suddenly disappeared to. This is the stage where the Narc moves in and out from being interested in you to ignoring you. As the Narc uses different strategies in this phase such as push and pull, gaslighting, manipulation, you are in denial thinking that this is just a small bump in the road and that the Narc will be back to his/her usual self in no time.
So what does devaluation look like?
It comes out of nowhere. You are still on cloud nine and then you notice ever so gently that the Narc is withdrawn, not as attentive. You can't quite put your finger on it, but there is a change in the air. Then out it comes from them, they feel unsure about you, about your relationship. It hits you, What's changed? What have I done? What is going on ?
The reason the Narc starts to devalue you, is because of their inner trauma. It has nothing to do with anything that you done or not done. The Narc is an empty vessel that needs total control, worship and admiration in order to survive. Devaluation is a sign that the Narc is bored and is potentially seeking other supply but also that they are confirming that they have you within their grasp and that they can now control you. Devaluation starts because their perfect imaginary vision of you is no longer perfect. However, the reality is no one is perfect. We are all humans and we have imperfections but the Narc is not reasonable.
Devaluation occurs if for instance you start to make some comments to the Narc about something that they do that you do not like, or you do not agree with their point of view or opinion. In a healthy relationship, both parties can accept that individuals have the right to speak their opinion and ask for what they need or want. The Narc sees things differently. Any comment about them or how they are or they have acted is a seen as an injury to them and they will act out. They will become angry, this is their rage. You are breaking through their mask and they do not like it. They will use all manner of techniques to make you see that you are the problem, not them.
As you continue to try and be yourself, the Narc will show more signs of devaluing you and rage. They are angry as you are not fitting in with their perfect love story. You are not fulfilling their needs and therefore they need to use tactics to get you back in order, i.e. under control. You are the issue because you are not fulfilling your purpose which is to make them feel better by themselves as you once did in the Love bombing phase.
How does the Narc devalue you ?
This may happen via putdowns, gaslighting, intermittently lacking emotional or physical intimacy, withdrawing affection, seductive withholding, inexplicably disappearing from contact, or blaming you for the narcissistic person’s issues (projection).
The Narc will confuse you even more by moving from the love bombing to the devaluation stage, in and out to make you feel unstable. You are unsure of yourself and you are increasingly questioning yourself. You have increased low self esteem and buckets of self doubt.
Now the reason the devaluation stage works effectively here is because most Narcs are successful in targeting their victims. They choose empaths and co dependents. These types of personalities always seek to make things better, to understand and are craving the love of the other in order to make themselves feel better, to validate themselves. Therefore, when the Narc retracts their love in a number of ways, instead of being able to see that the Narc is manipulating you to do what they want, you feel you are the problem and that perhaps you have done something wrong. This is exactly what the Narc wants. So there you go, right in the middle of devaluation. This stage can last quite a while. The Narc is increasing their power of you and you feeling weak, unsure and confused..
The next stage is discarding you.
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