What Is The Narcissist Discard Phase? - The Ultimate Coping Guide

Last updated by Katie M.

The most important thing to understand when dealing with a narcissist is that their reign of terror won't last forever. Now, whilst their torment underway, it will no doubt be one of the most harrowing things you can mentally go through. However, when the abuser decides they've had enough of you, they'll halt their horrific abuse and look for someone else. People with narcissistic personality disorders are constantly on the lookout for new prey and when they find someone who fills their criteria, they'll move into the discarding phase of their plan. After all, they aren't very eco-friendly, their motto is out with the old, in with the new! Here's your guide to this coping through this stage; what to expect, and how to deal with it.

What Is The Narcissist Discard Phase? - The Ultimate Coping Guide

For this kind of abuser, once they have totally broken your confidence, wrecked your mental health, and isolated you from your entourage, they'll get bored by you and decide that they need to move on to fresher pastures. Essentially, a narcissist discards you when you no longer represent a challenge for them. When they have total control over you, they'll find you boring, and they'll subsequently look for someone else to metaphorically crush, in order to fulfill their sick tendencies.

What does an abuser do during the narcissist discard phase? - 10 Things I've also been through 😨

1) My abuser became even meaner

In any typical cycle of abuse, things get a lot worse before they ever get better. Now, when a male narcissist finally decides that he is done with his victim and wants to move on and start afresh, they'll become ever viler than beforehand. Here, the insults will increase tenfold, as well as the shaming, criticism, and gaslightingAfter all, it might be the end might be near, but that's not to say that these devious manipulators will want you to be able to move on with your life confidently. Instead, they'll want to completely destroy any shred of confidence you have left, to ensure you'll never be able to truly move on from your ordeal. In short, they will no longer want you, but that doesn't mean they'll want anyone else to have you either...

2) He threw threats around

Despite them already moving on, these abusers just won't be content in letting you leave amicably, and instead of apologizing for all the pain they've put you through, they'll threaten you in order to obtain your silence. Whilst these dangerous characters are totally at ease with their toxic personalities in a private setting, in public, they have a reputation to protect, and can't afford to be exposed. In reality, they'll do whatever it takes to keep you quiet and therefore continue their reign of evil. Ultimately, if other people knew how sadistic they really were, they'd never be able to trap new victims.

3) He deleted me from social media

In their insular worlds, deleting you from social media is one of the biggest punishments that exists. For folks with narcissistic tendencies, social media is key to feeding their egos. They love showing off to their followers and making them believe that their lives are fantastic, whereas, in reality, it is just a simple act of smoke and mirrors. Whenever they delete anyone, it's a sign that they no longer consider them to be important or worthy enough to see what they perceive as great content.

4) The love bombing wore off

Whereas before, they'd shower you with compliments and gifts, during the narcissist discard phase, you'll be lucky if they even bother to acknowledge you. Here, you'll definitely feel a real difference in their communication, and they'll certainly appear colder, even to the point of seeming uninterested and indifferent.

>>> Read up on love bombing here.

5) I hardly ever saw or heard from him

Once they have decided they are done with their victims, they'll move into ghosting mode, meaning you won't hear from them for excessive periods of time. Plus, they'll no longer harass you to find out who you are with and what time you'll be back. Furthermore, your weekly date nights and special routines will become a thing of the distant past.

6) He let me see me friends and family

When their abusive tendencies are in full swing, they typically forbid their victims from seeing their loved ones, in order to remain in full control over them. Here, their aim is to limit all outsider's points of view and opinions on your relationship. They like to keep contact with the outside world to a strict minimum so that no one will pick up on what's really going on. However, when they have decided to move on, they'll no longer pay attention to who chat to and will even stop reading your text messages.

7) Jealousy becomes a non-issue

When a narcissist abuser only has eyes for you, you can expect them to get jealous over anything and everything, trust me, even a smile from your local barista will set them off. However, when they decide that they are finished with you, they’ll become totally laid-back when other guys attempt to flirt with you.

8) He openly complimented and flirted with other girls

Now, these cunning folks don’t do anything by halves, and they certainly won’t hold back in getting the message across when they no longer want you. You can therefore expect them to flirt with other girls at every opportunity. After all, they never pass up on an occasion to make you feel bad about yourself, so why would they start just as your relationship is breaking down?

9) He started up a smear campaign

Here, they won’t hold back, and because they are such master manipulators and expert gaslighters, they’ll lie and fabricate horrible rumors about how toxic and dangerous YOU are. In fact, the victims of narcissistic abuse are typically made out to be the perpetrators of it.

10) He blamed me for everything

Everything will be your fault and try as you might to make them understand their shortcomings, they’ll never be willing to reconsider their behavior, or apologize for it. The truth is, for these folks, they are never in the wrong, which explains why they typically place their own feelings above everyone else’s. Attempting to reason with them is therefore useless because they, unfortunately, don’t want to change.

💡FAQ 💡 What triggers a narcissist to discard?

Some common reasons might include the victim finally finding the strength to detach from the abusive relationship, which may threaten the narcissist's control. In addition, if the victim begins to set limits or hold them to account for his or her toxic behavior, this can create an unbearable sense of constraint for the narcissist. In other cases, the toxic abuser may decide to leave the victim if a new source of narcissistic gratification (such as a new relationship or opportunity) becomes more attractive. It's important to note that their departure may also be a manipulative tactic to elicit a reaction from his or her victim, in the hope of maintaining control over the relationship.

What does a narcissist discard feel like? - The most common emotions involved and their impacts 🌪️

When you're pushed aside by a narcissist, you can experience a wide range of complex and disturbing emotions. Here are some of the common emotions associated with this situation:

  • Rejection: Being rejected by a narcissist can leave you feeling deeply rejected. You may feel devalued, unwanted and unappreciated. The abuser may choose to deliberately exclude you or relegate you to the background, which can lead to painful feelings of abandonment.
  • Confusion: The unpredictable actions and behaviors of a narcissist can be confusing. You may wonder why you've been dismissed, without understanding the reasons behind the decision. These devious personalities can manipulate and play with emotions, leading to confusion and uncertainty about his or her position in the relationship.
  • Sadness: Being pushed aside by a narcissist can provoke deep sadness and a sense of loss. You may feel the loss of the relationship and the initial idealization you had of this person. The realization that the relationship was unbalanced and based on the narcissist's selfish needs can lead to great sadness.
  • Anger: You may feel used, manipulated and betrayed. Recognition of the narcissist's toxic, egocentric behavior can lead to frustration and indignation. Here's how you can control your fits of anger.
  • Lowered self-esteem: When go through narcissist discard, your self-esteem can be negatively affected. Constant criticism, denigration and rejection can undermine self-confidence and reinforce feelings of inadequacy.

It's important to stress that these emotions can vary from person to person, and depend on the intensity of the relationship and the duration of the interaction with the abuser. It's essential to remember that the narcissist's behavior is a reflection of his or her own problems and does not define our value as individuals.

>>> Discover the signs you are actually texting a narcissist

📍 Coping strategies: 📍

Katie's tip on how to respond to a narcissist discard? 

When it comes to your narcissistic abuser, discarding you, it may be a tough pill to swallow at the start, however, as time goes on, it will become easier to deal with. Being cast aside is never truly easy to accept, however, in this scenario, it will eventually lead to positive things. Being discarded by such a toxic personality will give you the motivation you need to turn your life around and will certainly help you to rediscover yourself. Abusive relationships often result in victims losing huge parts of themselves and their personalities. However, when they embrace their freedom, they often manage to regain a certain amount of control over their affairs. In short, if this happens to you, you shouldn’t fight it, instead, you must trust the process and believe that better things are possible in time.

>>> Dr Daramus delves into some powerful coping techniques here too, if ever you need more advice.

Do narcissists forget you after discard? - Here's what happened to me 😱

Narcissistic people can have behaviors and attitudes that differ considerably from person to person, so it's not possible to completely generalize their behavior regarding an ex-partner. However, there are certain aspects to consider, especially when the discard phase has been activated. In my case, I soon found out that my narcissist ex tended to focus more on himself and their needs than on anything else. In fact, my relationship with my ex-partner no longer served a purpose for him or no longer brought him the emotional or narcissistic gratification he needed, which explains why he moved on pretty rapidly. As soon as he started to feel his influence fading, he moved on to his next victim and started to cycle of torture over again. Following our breakup, we actually randomly bumped into each other whilst in town and he came over to say hello, whilst I was with my friends. Here, he basically acted like everything was normal and fine between us, which seemed odd at the time, but now looking back, I'm very grateful that he acted that way.

In some cases, these abusers might forget about victims quite easily or show little interest in them after the discard. ⚠️ Every abuser is different after all! ⚠️ On the other hand, some narcissists may find it hard to let their ex go completely, especially if they feel their ego or reputation is threatened by the breakup. They may try to maintain control over their ex-partner, seek to manipulate them, or even win them back to bolster their own self-esteem.

Editor's opinion - The narcissist discard phase is a blessing

Although the discard phase may seem cruel, it is in fact a blessing in disguise in the long run. It gives you the opportunity to move on serenely and to definitively break off all contact with your abuser. It will be a period in which you'll rediscover yourself and what you are capable of.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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How to detect a narcissist?

How to detect a narcissist?

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde