We have seen that narcissists don't respond very well to heart-felt apologies. How about narcissists and compliments? I know, I know... you're almost afraid to ask! Not to worry though because narcissists love compliments. It helps validate their grandiose and entitled sense of self.
Like with almost every other aspect of a relationship with a narcissist, there is a stark difference between how the N reacts or responds during the idealization phase and during the devalue and discard phases typical of narcissistic relationships.
The grandiose narcissist with the ridiculously inflated sense of self will show itself clearly only during the latter two stages of the relationship. That is where the full force of sheer narcissistic entitlement will come into plain view.
Let's look at how narcissists and compliments interact in the different phases...
The narcissist in this stage compliments you often, in both subtle and more obvious ways. Through the use of body language, quick wit and innuendo she compliments you from every angle. She puts you on a pedestal - flattering and acknowledging you as better than everyone else she has ever dated or had in her life before you.
The point is made especially clear when comparing you to her ex.
The unmistakable message is clear - you are special and she is made special by virtue of association with you. Narcissists sure know how to make you feel good about yourself. But only at first.
At the idealization stage the narcissist is not only generous in extending a compliment, she's also gracious about accepting yours. You are special and therefore she is flattered by your expressions of high regard for her. The wonderful give and take nourishes you both.
Is this too good to be true? Well, yes. With a narcissist it always is.
Compliments flowing towards you during the idealization phase completely dry up at the devalue and discard stages. With the same means of body language, quick mind and innuendo everything the narcissist does now broadcasts 'you're no good!'.
All the great things she initially saw in you have been quickly forgotten and a ridiculous carbon copy of negativity has taken your place. But what is a narcissist to do? They can't just continue giving you everything all the time now can they?! The generosity of a narcissist comes to a screeching halt at this point.
And then it starts backing up in reverse! The initial giving has turned into active taking.
Mind you, it's not that the narcissist is just going through a phase. It isn't that they're incapable of complimenting for a while. It's just that they're done complimenting you. You have turned an invisible corner in their mind beyond which there are no more goodies for you!
Compliments are a way of dispensing positive regard. Once you pass that point of no return in the narcissist's way of thinking all positive regard must be redirected elsewhere! Luckily, there are plenty of others available and ready to receive it...
As you watch the positive regard from your narcissistic lover dry up faster than a snow flake on a hot stove you'll notice a peculiar thing. Your N suddenly becomes lavishly generous in complimenting others!
Large doses of positive regard are especially showered upon people she knows you dislike (for whatever reasons). Although she may very well have sided with you in your dislike of them, now suddenly they can do no wrong and you are the one being left out in the cold.
This is one example of an insidious narcissistic manipulation tactic known as triangulation. They use reference to a third party but are actually targeting you. You're supposed to be in love for heaven's sake, but instead of trying to make things right she'd rather torment you by 'snuggling up' to those less intimate or close.
You tell yourself to cut her some slack. After all, it's still your arm she is holding on to. Ahem, on second thought I stand corrected. It isn't actually the arm she's clinging to - it's your neck. And she isn't holding, she's biting.
Yes, narcissists are a real pain in the neck!
Before you realize what's going on the narcissist is busy sucking the life right out of you; and the only way you can get her to stop is by yanking her out of your vein. Ouch!
Narcissistic entitlement is such that it all but eliminates any need to reciprocate. You have the privilege of complimenting the narcissist until the cows come home, but don't expect the narcissist to reciprocate on kindnesses extended. Narcissists feel 110% entitled to the compliments they get.
By complimenting a narcissist you are merely acknowledging their greatness you see. So what of it?! We should all be so blessed with such opportunity! This is the twisted thinking spawned by pathological narcissistic entitlement. Roll out the red carpet, the queen has entered the room!
All of the underlings (which is pretty much everyone else in the narcissist's life) are expected to hustle. If you aren't willing to then the narcissist starts to wonder why they should even bother with you.
Feel free to share and enlighten by commenting below.
Narcissists and Compliments