What Is Narcissist Discard?

It describes how a narcissist ends a relationship. It’s called ‘discard’ because it makes you feel like they have thrown you out like trash.

Narcissists have no empathy, nor do they consider other people’s feelings. You are an object to them, not a person. For a narcissist, when the object is no longer useful, they discard it.

The three stages in a narcissistic abuse cycle are love bombing, devaluing, and discarding. Narcissistic discard is the last phase of a relationship with a narcissist. The discarding process can be gradual or abrupt.

So, what are the signs narcissistic discard is happening to you?

6 Signs of Narcissist Discard

1. You’ve gone from hero to zero

When you first encountered the narcissist, they showered you with flattery and attention. They idealized you; put you on a pedestal, bought you gifts, and you thought you’d met your prince or princess.

It was intense, and the relationship moved quickly; perhaps a little too quickly for your liking, but you got swept along anyway. This is love-bombing, and narcissists use strategies like this to hook their victims.

When a narcissist discards you, their attitude towards you changes, but it’s the speed of this change that makes this behavior so baffling and traumatic. You’ll go from “You’re the love of my life” to “I hate you and wish I’d never met you” within a day.

What did you do wrong? How can someone say they love you one minute and then despise you the next? This is a sign of narcissistic discard.

2. You get the silent treatment

One effective stage of a narcissistic discard is using silent treatment. When narcissists use up your resources, such as attention, money, or ego-boosting, they’ll find someone else to exploit. You’re irrelevant to them now. Narcissists only care about themselves. They don’t owe you an explanation, closure, or understanding.

Narcissists won’t waste time explaining to you what went wrong; it was never about you. You only mattered to them when they could get something from you.

Now you are worthless, and your feelings are immaterial to them. They don’t spare you a second thought. They’re certainly not going to call you for a deep and meaningful explanation.

3. They’re act like a completely different person

In the beginning, the relationship was hot and heavy. You were inseparable. The narcissist bombarded you with texts and calls. They always wanted to see you. All the attention overwhelmed you.

During the narcissist discard phase, the narcissist becomes cold and emotionally withdrawn. Any normal person would find this U-turn from hot to cold bewildering.

How can you turn off your emotions like a light switch? It’s baffling to us. Narcissists discard easily, as they never loved or cared for you.

Once this loving person shared your dreams, wanted your babies, pleaded to marry you. Now they are acting completely out of character. You want answers, they get more aggressive.

4. They are paying attention to someone else

A reliable sign of narcissist discard is when you see them begin the cycle of narcissistic abuse with someone else.

A narcissist’s greatest fear is being alone. They monkey branch from relationship to relationship, only letting go of one branch when they’re sure the other one is strong enough to support them. Sometimes, people only realize they’ve hooked up with a narcissist during this final discard phase.

The narcissist has exhausted your resources and wants a new supply. You watch them use the same love bombing tactics on their new victim as they did with you.

It is easy to spot their manipulation tactics when you witness someone else falling for them. However, when you are in the middle of their whirlwind of love bombardment, it’s much more difficult.

5. They make out they are the victim

Narcissists don’t discard their partner until they have a ready supply in place. There’s a changeover period during this twisted triangle.

During this period, they will blame you for rushing into the relationship, for being too needy, for pressuring them, for being insecure. You’re the villain and they are the victim. What’s happening is that you are being pushed out while the new supply is being ushered in.

However, the narcissist must explain to their new partner why they’re still in a relationship with you (narcissists can’t handle being on their own). So, they paint themselves as the victim.

You are the abusive/toxic villain, and their new partner is the savior who can ‘rescue’ them from their terrible ex. With narcissists, it’s all about what they can use from you.

At the start of a relationship, you are a positive supply. You give them attention, boost their ego, make them feel special. Eventually, they exhaust your usefulness as a reliable, positive supply.

Make no mistake however, you are still useful to them as a ‘negative supply’ during the narcissist discard phase. They use you as a tool to bind themselves to a new partner. Once the potential savior has shown their commitment, they’re upgraded to partner and the narcissistic discard of you is complete.

6. You’re ghosted

The final narcissist discard phase is ghosting. Once the narcissist is confident of their new supply, they’ll dump you with all the emotion of a robot.

Ghosting is another form of control and manipulation. All dialogue is under their control. Ghosting is a cowardly way of exiting a relationship. It’s, therefore, perfect for a narcissist when they want to end things.

Ghosting is usually the end of the story, but some narcissists will come back to you. This is narcissistic hoovering. It happens when their current supply isn’t working out, so they return to you. This is why the narcissist worries after discarding you. They won’t end the relationship until they’re sure about their new supply.

Final Thoughts

When it happens to you, narcissist discard can feel brutal and traumatizing. You wonder if the relationship was a fraud from the start, and if so, how did you get sucked in?

It’s important to remember that when a narcissist discards you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s always all about their needs. You, however, can use the relationship to recognize red flags in the future. If someone seems too good to be true, there might be issues.


  1. goodtherapy.org
  2. psychologytoday.com

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