How A Narcissist Deals With A Break-up: The 6 Stages and After Effects

Breaking up is hard for everyone, but when it involves a narcissist, it gets even more complicated. Narcissists, who have a big ego and don’t show much empathy, handle breakups in their own special ways. Figuring out the stages they go through and what happens afterward helps us understand how they cope.

1. Denial

After a breakup, the first thing a narcissist might go through is denial. They can’t face the fact that the relationship is over, so they might trick themselves into thinking it’s just a temporary problem. This self-deception helps them avoid the emotional pain, at least for a while, as they try to deal with the loss.

2. Anger

Once the denial starts to fade, narcissists often enter a stage of intense anger. Feeling upset about what they see as rejection, they may attack their ex-partner, blaming them for all the problems. This anger is a way for the narcissist to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable and having to admit their own faults or insecurities.

3. Bargaining

In an attempt to regain control, narcissists may enter the bargaining stage. They might make promises to change, showering their ex-partner with grand gestures and elaborate plans for the future. This phase is not driven by genuine remorse or a desire for personal growth; instead, it serves as a tool to manipulate emotions and maintain a sense of dominance.

4. Depression

Once the bargaining fails, a narcissist may sink into a depressive state. The facade of invincibility crumbles, exposing a fragile self-esteem beneath. The realization that the breakup is irreversible and that they cannot control the situation leads to a deep sense of emptiness. This depression, however, is often short-lived, as narcissists are eager to escape the discomfort associated with self-reflection.

5. Acceptance (Surface Level)

Narcissists, who are good at adjusting and moving on fast, might seem like they’ve accepted the breakup. However, this acceptance is often just on the surface. They might start new relationships or do different things to keep themselves from thinking about the emotional pain, avoiding looking at themselves too closely. Real acceptance, with true personal growth, is not very common for a narcissist.

6. Reinvention

Rather than learning from the past, narcissists often opt for reinvention. They construct a new persona, discarding any remnants of the old relationship. This can involve seeking validation from external sources, such as new partners or achievements, to fuel their grandiose self-image. The cycle repeats as they embark on a quest to prove their worthiness.


Learning about how a narcissist handles a breakup gives us a glimpse into their complicated emotions. Even though it might seem confusing, understanding the stages and what happens afterward can give strength to those impacted by such relationships. Dealing with the complications of breaking up with a narcissist takes time, looking within oneself, and a dedication to healing for everyone involved.

Share Your Thoughts:

What behaviors have you observed in narcissists that make them the center of attention? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.