Heartbreak

What A Narcissist Always Does At The End Of A Relationship

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Pensive woman looking out

Being in a relationship with someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) puts you in the line of fire of harmful mental and emotional effects. When you gain the courage to break up, it's important to know what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship so you can navigate the breakup safely.

NPD involves self-centered behavior. Narcissists expect constant admiration and attention and lack empathy for other people. 

If this sounds like someone you know and love, you already know their behavior can be extremely difficult to handle. 

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When you’re in this type of abusive relationship, it’s easy to get trapped in manipulation, confusion, rage, and shame. 

As a result, it takes a lot of strength to leave. 

However, when the time comes for you to put your foot down and get out of the relationship, it might feel like the world is caving in. 

Nonetheless, your decision to leave a narcissist behind is valid. 

In an effort to prepare you for what their reaction might look like, here’s what to expect when you break up with a narcissist.

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship:

1. They'll be mad

First and foremost, the narcissist is looking to blame you for everything that went wrong. They refuse to see their part in anything. 

A common toxic trait of narcissists is their high sensitivity and inability to accept criticism. Quickly seen as a personal attack or threat against them, anyone who points out their flaws will receive rage. 

He will be very mad at your choice to end the relationship. It’s safe to assume that he will use foul language and belittle your efforts to break up with him. 

2. They will try to make you feel guilty

These master manipulators will stop at nothing to get their way. Since they can’t admit when they’re wrong, they will make sure to tell you that you are. 

He will try to make you feel guilty for breaking up with him. There’s a chance he cries as a way to evoke emotion out of you and get you to change your mind. 

The narcissist might bring up the nice things they have done for you, express their feelings for you, and tell you how much they care about you.

It's all a tactic to sway you in a different direction than the one you were going. 

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3. They will make empty promises

At this point, the belittling and guilt trip hasn’t worked so he will likely move on promising to change. However, it’s an impulsive reaction to what’s going on in the moment. 

He is only focused on getting out of the current situation and won’t live up to his promises. He will quickly charm you with promises to do what you ask and change his behavior. 

   

   

Even if you decide to take him back, the things he promised won’t play out in the end. It’s his way of telling you what you want to hear while still maintaining his control. 

4. They will demand your attention

A narcissist's main concern is themselves. They want you to give them all of your attention to keep you close. 

Since they ultimately feel rejected at the end of a relationship, they see the only way to get you back is to re-demand your attention. 

Some attention-getting behaviors could be multiple texts in one day, constant pleas to explain why you want to leave, and phone calls in the middle of the night.

5. They will try to convince you that you made a mistake

Similar to how he acted when he tried to guilt-trip you into staying, he will make it known that he disagrees with your decision and tell you it’s wrong. 

His words are likely to be very cruel and confusion may settle in as you begin to believe what he’s saying. A narcissist is good at convincing you that he’s right. 

If you’ve spent a lot of time with this person, it can be difficult to rid yourself of all you’ve been told. He knows that and can manipulate you into accepting that you are to blame. 

When ending a relationship with a narcissist, don't trust the things they say and do. 

Narcissists, of all people, are incredibly hard to talk to about their behavior. Any negative pass at their character is sure to send them into an uproar.  

If you begin to listen to their reaction and let it alter your decision, they will be back in total control. 

Breaking up with a narcissist should be done gently and with clarity.

Know that you have the strength needed to end things and get back up on your feet. They are not as necessary in your life as they have forced you to believe. 

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Tips for ending a relationship with a narcissist:

1. Find support from friends and family

After being in a long relationship with a narcissist, you may have pushed out friends and family. Nonetheless, you will need them now more than ever. 

It will be helpful to have people around you who know the situation and can see it more clearly than you can. They will also hold you accountable for ending the relationship. 

   

   

2. Break off all contact

The easiest way for a narcissist to lure you back in is to have easy access to you.

It's best to go no-contact by blocking their calls, texts, and emails, and removing them from social media — the harder it is for them to contact you, the easier it will be to move on. 

You must take back the power and have the will to shut them out of your life. Unfortunately, this might be the only way to get them to understand that you’re done. 

3. Seek help if you feel in danger

It’s essential to be careful when ending a relationship with a narcissist. If they threaten to hurt you in any way, seek help immediately. 

Call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There are also support groups and domestic violence shelters with people who can help. 

4. Allow yourself to grieve

Getting out of any relationship is never easy. However, leaving a relationship that was full of manipulation, lies, and confusion can lead to some heavy grief. 

Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel broken. You are never alone. And you should be proud of yourself for finding the courage to take back your life. 

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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Isabella Pacinelli is a freelance writer and marketing manager who covers astrology, spirituality, love, and relationships.