The Narcissist Who Chased Me

I have had a particular search term show up a lot lately: narcissists who chase women (or words to the same effect). Narcissists do chase women, but those who chase women aren’t really chasing women. Sound confusing? Read on.

Unlike this lake, a narcissist can be good at hiding a ruffled surface.

First of all, my apologies to those who have suffered through a female narcissist. However, the fact is that most narcissists are male, hence the search for information on narcissists who chase women. I admit to having something of a bias in this area because I had a relationship with a male narcissist and I often write about my experiences with him and about what I learned. However, I was raised by a narcissist – my mother. It’s taken me a long time to see that and to even admit it or say it out loud or write it here. (It took a lot of reading and thinking and chatting with my blog friend Ursula at Thank you, Ursula.) So, to those who have experienced female narcissists and who may also feel a bit like they’re stepping on female territory, or who feel left out, don’t. A narcissist is a narcissist and that’s that. They may take different approaches, but the damage they cause is profound, no matter what sex you or they are.

Narcissists do chase, mostly because you have something they want or they think you have something they want.

They like to hang on to people whom they have for the most part discarded when they’re in the process of collecting someone else, just in case the new subject gets away.

They like to return to someone they have discarded when they are in between “relationships.”

The point is that they are never without someone. (Please see the piece I published about that particular situation.)

The first example – that narcissists chase when you have something they want or think you have something they want – is probably the trap that catches the most targets. Narcissists are usually determined, highly motivated and extremely single-minded when they have zeroed in on a target that they see as very suitable – in other words, when they have zeroed in on someone who fits a set of characteristics that they believe can be easily exploited.

Narcissists are never direct or straight.

There are degrees to which they will pursue, however. The less important you are to their wellbeing or sense of self and/or success, the less seriously they will invest energy in you.

The more desirable you are to whatever it is they need, the more ardent they will be.

So, if they really want something, and they believe that you have whatever it is they want and you possess the right characteristics, they will chase you. They will study you to find out the information they need in order to get you to trust them, and then they will put a lot of energy into proving that your trust is warranted. During this phase, you will feel like you have landed in the nirvana of relationships. It will feel absolutely wonderful.

What comes next, though, is devastating, because once they have secured you, once you are no longer a challenge, once they have achieved what they wanted from you, you will become, at best, unimportant. At worst, well, that could be anything that another human can do to you to hurt you.

A narcissist can clean you out.

Do narcissists chase? Yes. They do. It is what they do. It is their defining characteristic. It is how they survive, emotionally and financially. They chase women, men, colleagues, neighbours and children. They will chase anyone who fits the “profile” and from whom they can get whatever it is that they determine they need.

The important thing to remember though is that they aren’t really chasing people. They’re really chasing stuff.

So, now it’s your turn. What do you think?

40 thoughts on “The Narcissist Who Chased Me”

  1. Well, I shouldn’t admit this, but a character in my novel is based on a narcissist in my life. This was a very sneaky narcissist. She disguised herself as a sweet, kind, caring woman who would do anything for those she loved. When in reality, she was manipulating to get those she loved to do anything for her.

    Both of my parents are also narcissists. A troubled marriage, to say the least, but they didn’t divorce until I was grown and married. You are right though, because neither of them could be alone. My dad found someone right away. My mom went from guy to guy trying to mold them into what she wanted. She finally accepted that she couldn’t make a relationship work. She has no one now, but she surrounds herself with friends. They are all superficial friends, but she is never alone.

    As you and I have discussed before, my parents have actually softened in their senior years. I’m grateful for that.

    1. I haven’t finished reading your novel (work has gotten in the way) but I know who you’re talking about. She certainly leveraged herself into a powerful matriarchal position. Very, very difficult to deal with (well characterised, btw – you did a really excellent job of communicating her ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
      I think your parents’ softening is somewhat unusual in that I believe many narcissists become more hardened as they age. Yes, that softening must have eased your relationship with them a lot – I’m glad that’s happened for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ns have such a huge emptiness inside that they have to fill it with someone or a group of someones as your mother has done. Otherwise, they might have to actually think about why the emptiness is there. The more superficial they can be, the better it is for them; less work that way.

      1. As you can imagine, I needed therapy for all of the narcissists in my life (3 in total. 4 if you count my brother who I don’t have a lot of contact with anyway). I think that also helped with my relationships, to figure out how to change my role in their lives so I’m not used in their “plots.”

        What you said about that huge emptiness inside for them is so very true. It’s actually quite sad, but also way too difficult to be around because it’s a bottomless pit that others are expected to fill.

        Since I don’t discuss this topic on my blog, I seem to be going on about it here. ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks so much for the discussion.

        1. The impact is often profound, and in ways most wouldn’t expect. There is all the pain (my blog friend Ursula became very seriously depressed because of her N parents), both internal and external, but I also learned so much about being a person because of it. I had a counsellor who helped me a great deal as well; my thinking was quite screwed up and confused.

          You are welcome to go on about it whenever you need to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I am sorry that you went through this. They are indeed cunning deceivers. To deceive, to come out on top, is an important part of the their ego trip. To take happiness from others is another part. In the end, they are only neurotic machines, deficient of humanity and entirely false in all things. Practiced since child hood, they are impossible for any normal person to detect.

    Surviving, with your own humanity intact, is something to be proud of.

    Have a good day and then another and then ~ ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      They are just as you say. I feel sorry for them because they live such empty lives, but interaction with them has to be as minimal as possible. Otherwise they will take advantage if they detect that you might feel sorry for them … it’s such a vicious circle.

      I am proud to come out of it with my humanity intact, as you say. I had help from a couple of good friends and a counsellor (and then I had to do a lot of interior work).

      You have a good day as well (and then another and another … ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

  3. Another great piece, Lynette. I know this pattern all too well, having been raised by one and pursued by others. I don’t really talk about it all that much on my own blog (there are occasional references to my dad) but you are edging me toward doing so…

    1. Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve thought that if you’ve been raised by one, it’s like you wear a sign that screams “target here!” Growing up I was quite confused and messed up – I alternated between trying to please my mother and being wildly rebellious. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. One thing I did know, however, was that I needed to get away from my dysfunctional family and particularly my mother – that was the first waypoint on figuring this out. Took me a lot longer to realise I was wearing a sign though.

      I would be very interested in reading about your experiences. Have a good weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. We’re human and sometimes we tell ourselves to endure or society or extended family can push us. I wasn’t married to my ex-N for very long – only 20 months. But what I didn’t get was that I was raised by one. That realisation took a long time. Sometimes it’s just the process we have to undergo – we’re not ready to see or know or we have other things to deal with first.

    1. Yes – they are. Good comparison. It’s very unfortunately in their nature and one of the sad parts is that they often know that something is wrong but they don’t know what and don’t care to investigate either – they just won’t go there even though that’s what they need to do.

      I do stay away! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Iโ€™ve had experiences with at least two female narcs and I think they are more vicious than some males tend to be, or maybe I just havenโ€™t run into a male that was malignant enough.

    Both women have continued to try to engage me for years after I went no contact with them. One woman continues to smear me and itโ€™s been twelve years since my last direct encounter with her.

    The other woman was smearing me long before I ever met her, or I ever knew she was attacking me, so that attack has been in play for about fifteen years! She finally befriended me, cleaned me out, as you say, and when I found out the horrible rumors she had already been spreading before she even knew me, I walked away from her abuse. Then, of course, she felt justified in defaming me all over again.
    Female narcs are definitely worse in my book. They never let you go.

    1. Another thought occurred to me after i left my comment. Whenever I talk about these kinds of attacks people often ask me what I do about it. My answer, which is probably disappointing, is that I do nothing. I don’t respond, I don’t react and I do not ever discuss their behavior with any mutual friends. I let the chips fall where they fall and if someone I thought was a friend falls for their rhetoric then the narc did me the favor of exposing someone who was not my friend at all. I figure my real friends will know who I am and see the drama and negativity of the narc for what it truly is.

      It may seem difficult to just ignore the ramblings of a disturbed individual that’s set on hurting you, but doing nothing is the healthiest thing you can ever do for yourself.

    2. My mother was very difficult. She was fairly typical though – threw tantrums, was a control freak, and also an unbelievable nagger with a huge streak of arrogance. All of this covered a giant self-esteem hole. She could also smear as well, with a ferocity bordering on hatred. My ex-N was good at these things too, and he even went so far as to send me death wishes (I had to get the police involved). His desire for vengeance was really out there because he could no longer suck up all my resources. It could be more about how far they stand on the narcissistic spectrum; some may just be worse than others, although I have heard that women can be fiends when it comes to a defamation campaign.

      So sorry to hear that you had these terrible experiences. How awful. At least you found about them and went no contact.

      1. I was fortunate to start looking for answers early. Iโ€™ve also never had an issue with no contact. Some folks always want to add โ€œbut what if…โ€ and you canโ€™t do that and recover. What do you tell people that say this about no contact?

        1. I’ve never experienced that actually. My mother passed away many years ago when I was young and I didn’t realise until after my ex-N what her issue was. But, I would probably say something about assessing an unusual situation at the time, if it came up. I find that people who like to throw out those sorts of odd examples are more about proving that you could be wrong than anything else. When it comes to this they probably don’t know what they’re talking about because more than likely they don’t know narcissism. It’s best to just mollify them and move on. They’ll never get it and will just keep coming up with outlier situations where you “should” break your no contact.

  5. I must admit I liked to fix things and just didn’t realise the deliberate destructiveness of some people, so I may have been a pain too, when others tried to explain these things to me.
    I had to eventually learn things the hard way.

    1. We often do have to learn things the hard way. And, we can be very reinforced to fix things and move on or to believe our way is the best way. It’s a pretty common feature of human existence – that’s why self-examination and taking responsibility for our part in it can be so hard. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I feel it has always been part of my nature to want to heal things and I embrace that. Your response has made me think however. I have never believed my way is the best way. In fact I usually discourage people from taking the often tortuous path I have taken. through life. Even more so now. I just feel relationships are complicated. However after everything I have been through, I think if I believe that if somebody asks me, I am now much more inclined to tell them I believe they are dealing with an a##**hole.

        1. Sorry last part should read:

          However after everything I have been through, I think if I believe that if somebody asks me, I am now much more inclined to tell them I believe they are dealing with an a##**hole.


  6. You are right. I am direct. I mistook his manner for being direct too. Circumstances kept me trapped in the situation as I am sure it does many others. He didn’t get it all his own way. He really can’t believe I am not interested in going back for another round now..

  7. Oh yes, they chase us because they see us as their food, their supply. I am a survivor of narcissistic abuse but also met many more narcissist outside of romantic relationships, itโ€™s scary. I feel it is so important we educate ourselves on the different shades of Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Sharing my stories here in hopes to help others in similar situations:
    Much love to those on the road to recovery from narcissistic abuse. โค

  8. Hi, I stumbled across your blog post. My father was a narcissist. He would threaten to kill himself as a form of control over my mother. One day he actually succeeded and my mother found him hanging from a beam in the garage. My husband is a narcissist, although we live in the same house we very rarely communicate. I also have a good friend who’s a narcissist and continually chased (and still does to a lesser extent) me. After getting to know him for many years I had learnt the traits and the beguiling charms of a narcissist so when he would woo me with his words and actions I knew what it was all about and was able to resist.This is a person who knows how to charm both men and women (particularly women) to get what he wants or to simply show that he can use his super powers on them. My husband is not a charmer or smooth talker but is nevertheless a controlling narcissist who would use the silent treatment to control me, leaving me to think what have I done wrong, am I pretty enough, am I slim enough etc. I eventually came to realise that he was the one with the controlling issues and problem not me. Back to my friend though, he is married and has been married for 15 years and as it appears happily. I know he has several girlfriends on the side and thinks nothing of it, as if this is just what men do. I know that he will never leave his wife because she supports him with her high paying job and through her relatives he also has an instant family and lots of support around him. My point to this comment is, “how could his wife not know of his philandering ways and why would these young women, who are now damaged goods and will never have a partner of their own, still be around him knowing that he will never leave his wife and they are left with the crumbs of what he has to offer”?. Life is very curious indeed!

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