The Narcissistic Seduction In Three Terrifying Parts

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man flirting with woman
Self

There’s a love-bombing/devalue/discard cycle that a person who has Narcissistic Personality adaptations always moves through, and that cycle is inevitable. Sometimes we‘re not even present to the love-bombing phase, but we’re sure as hell around for the takedown, discard and devalue phase. 

What most people don’t get or understand is that each part of the cycle is a seduction.

Let me explain.

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Everyone understands that the love-bombing phase is a seduction. And for most of us, this phase feels amazing.

But here’s an important note: the first part of this seduction is the one where we agree to become their possession. It’s the phase where they begin to own us and where we begin to agree to that. Because that’s what they’re doing; they’re seducing us into being an object, a thing.

In the love-bombing phase, we’re perfect! There’s nothing bad or wrong about us. We’re superhuman. We feel seen (we’re not). We feel superior and exceptional. They tell us how amazing we are. They pursue us. They want us. They can’t live without us. We’re the perfect one, the special one, the cherished one, the one with magical powers.

None of this is real, but this part of the seduction feels so good that we don’t care that we’re being seduced into ownership. Because after all, who wants to be just plain old human? Being a cherished and prized possession is awesome comparatively. And the truth is, we want epic! We’ve been conditioned towards it. 

We want romance, gurus, shamans, and cults of personality to help us feel special, to bring us into the IN group, and to have us feel like we belong. In exchange for all that, we let them turn us into their prized possession.

But all objects lose value, and so what comes next is a foregone conclusion.

The secondary devalue phase is when it all starts to go pear-shaped. The gas-lighting and crazy-making begin in earnest in this phase.

We think it’s different from the love-bombing phase  —  meaning that the seduction is over  —  but the manipulation for us to continue being their object is still playing out. In fact, they’re doubling down. And since an object’s importance and value is dependent on the person who owns the thing, this devalueing phase is critical. 

The seduction in this phase looks like them beginning to convince us of how worthless we are now. How much of a disappointment we’ve become to them. 

The person who once ‘loved’ us suddenly starts to treat us with contempt and disdain; they begin to humiliate us. All the specialness they bestowed on us before is now withheld and used to punish us for being defective. And since objects aren’t supposed to have emotions, they become agitated when we have feelings about their behavior. 

In truth, they were never interested in knowing who we were. They were only interested in the part of us that served them and their egos.

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The third predictable stage of the cycle — the final part of this three-part story — is the discard phase. 

Toys get thrown away when children are done playing with them.

In the discard phase, they are seducing us into going away on their terms. They don’t want us hanging around convincing others that something might be rotten in Denmark. They also, most probably, want to start the cycle with someone else and you being around is an inconvenience to them.

The truly messed up and most painful thing about this particular phase is that they want our focus to continue on them while devaluing and discarding us. They want us neurotic and wondering, “why did they say x?” “What did they mean?” “Could I have said something different?” “Was it something I did?”, etc. 

They want us obsessed and made crazy about them. Because with that, the seduction is complete.

To reiterate, every part of this arc — this dance — is their attempt at turning us into their object. Every piece is intended to drag us into their black & white, profoundly broken reality. Every act in this drama is an invitation to play out and punish us for the sins that someone else inflicted on them. 

No part of this is love. Every aspect of it is aggression. Even during the delicious-feeling, love-bombing phase. Because the very act of treating anyone as less than human is, in itself, an act of aggression. 

The seduction was never about love. The lure was never about sex. The manipulation was never about being in a relationship. The whole seduction was always about turning us into a thing

The issue is, and always will be, that we agree, at each phase, to dance and to engage. The problem is we are too willing, over and over and over again, to be turned into an object for them to play with.

The trick — and I mean the true path to freedom — is to walk away at any stage of the seduction.

Just stop dancing with them. Stop thinking of them.

Stop agreeing with them.

Stop disagreeing with them.

Stop interacting with them.

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Stop talking to them.

Stop trying to get them to understand you.

Stop trying to figure out and understand them.

Stop trying to get them to be like they used to be.

Stop trying to get them to treat you better. 

Just stop. 

As in right now, STOP and walk away.

And then start the challenging work of addressing, one day at a time, the part of you that is hard-core addicted to their dance. Start getting into an intimate relationship with the aspect inside you that became a user of the drug they provided.

By the way, I’m not saying any of this is easy. What I am saying is that walking away and no longer agreeing, on any level, to be their object to use and discard is the start to authentic freedom.

Carl Jung once said, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”

Don't let the narcissist in your life turn you into a neurotic thing. 

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Ana Del Castillo is a Rightness Expert and Certified Coach with over 20 years of experience Follow her on her website.