If a narcissist can ultimately only love themselves, then why are so many of them in relationships?
By AC Brown
Because they need constant validation. Constant. They don’t like to be alone because they require other people to reflect back ‘who they are’ to them. And the sad truth is, they aren’t actually anyone. They’ve spent their whole life copying empathic behavior & manipulating others with whatever mask works at the time so there’s no actual self underneath. They themselves don’t even know who they are and being alone reminds them of this.
When they are around people too, they can feel powerful and in control which is what they need to feel to be “okay” in life. Inside, they’re emotionally out of control with their rage, feelings of worthlessness, etc. But when they can get other people to emotionally respond to them - positive or negative - it means they have power and that inner weakness feeling that they always carry around with them subsides for a bit.
And, of course, relationships with people help you get stuff. As life’s ‘takers,’ getting stuff is a narcissist’s middle name. Things like sex, shelter, money, influence, status, the right citizenship etc can come into your life if you play your cards right with another person. Or more like, play their cards right. Manipulate them into a relationship with you and you get what you want out of them. Sap them dry of the goods.
Narcissists would die without people. Though they do their very best to ‘play independent’ and act like they don’t care, they are the neediest people you’ll ever meet.