If a Narcissist Blocks You, Will They Come Back? 6 Signs They Will
Narcissism, a personality trait marked by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others, often manifests in complex and challenging ways in personal relationships. One of these manifestations might be the act of abruptly cutting off communication or ‘blocking’ you, only to reappear later potentially.
If you’ve found yourself asking, “If a narcissist blocks me, will they come back?” you’re not alone. It’s a common question among those who have had relationships with individuals showing narcissistic tendencies. This blog post will explore understanding narcissistic behaviors, the cycle of narcissistic relationships, and identifying signs that a narcissist might return after blocking you. It’s important to note that while these patterns can offer some insight, each situation is unique and can vary greatly.
Understanding Narcissistic Behaviors
Before we delve into the core question, we must grasp the fundamental behaviors narcissists exhibit. Narcissists possess an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep craving for constant attention and admiration. Simultaneously, they lack empathy for others and often have troubled relationships. These behaviors stem from an unstable self-image and feelings of deep-seated insecurity, despite the outward portrayal of confidence.
Here are some typical narcissistic behaviors:
- Manipulation: Narcissists are often masters of manipulation, using others to serve their needs and desires. That might involve guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and other psychological tactics to control those around them.
- Self-centeredness: Narcissists are primarily focused on their own needs and desires, often at the expense of others. They may disregard others’ feelings or needs and become angry or dismissive when they feel their needs are not met.
- Lack of Empathy: Narcissists often struggle to recognize or understand the feelings and needs of others, making it difficult for them to form genuine, mutually satisfying relationships.
- Need for Admiration: Narcissists need constant validation and admiration from others to bolster their self-image. They may react with anger or contempt if they feel this admiration is lacking.
- Arrogance: Narcissists often display an exaggerated sense of superiority and may belittle or look down on others they perceive as inferior.
- Reaction to Criticism: Narcissists are extremely sensitive to constructive or minor criticism. They may respond with rage or take it as a personal attack.
The Cycle of Narcissistic Relationships
Narcissistic relationships often follow a predictable pattern, commonly known as the cycle of abuse or the idealization-devaluation-discard (IDD) cycle. Understanding this pattern can explain why a narcissist might block and unblock you. The cycle typically includes the following:
- Idealization: During the initial stages of the relationship, the narcissist may shower you with attention and admiration. They may seem incredibly charming, caring, and attentive, often going above and beyond to win you. This stage is sometimes referred to as ‘love bombing,’ and it serves to pull you into the relationship and gain your trust.
- Devaluation: Once the narcissist feels secure in the relationship, the devaluation phase begins. They might criticize you, belittle your achievements, and make you feel unworthy or inferior. The shift from idealization to devaluation can be jarring and confusing, leading to self-doubt and a desire to regain the narcissist’s approval.
- Discard: After the devaluation phase. The narcissist might end the relationship abruptly or distance themselves without explanation. That is where blocking could occur. The discard phase exerts control and evokes feelings of confusion, rejection, and loss in you.
- Hoovering: After the discard phase, the narcissist might attempt to suck you back into the relationship (like a Hoover vacuum), especially if they feel they can still gain something from you. They might unblock you, reinitiate contact, and even replicate the idealization phase to win you back.
6 Signs a Narcissist Might Come Back After Blocking You
Understanding that narcissists can be unpredictable, here are six signs that might suggest a narcissist may return after blocking you:
- Cyclic Pattern: If the narcissist has a history of blocking and unblocking you or others, this could indicate a cycle they’re likely to repeat. If they’ve come back before, they may well do so again.
- Lack of New Supply: Narcissists need attention and validation – their ‘narcissistic supply.’ Suppose their new relationships or sources of attention aren’t meeting their needs. In that case, they might return to previous sources (like you) for that supply.
- Hoovering Attempts: If the narcissist starts reaching out through different channels or mutual friends or suddenly unblocks you, it could be an attempt to ‘hoover’ you back into their life.
- Anniversaries or Significant Dates: Narcissists may use significant dates, such as anniversaries, birthdays, or other special occasions, as an excuse to reinitiate contact, especially if they know these dates are significant or sentimental to you.
- Playing the Victim: If the narcissist starts sharing stories about how they’ve been wronged or hurt since your separation, especially if these stories seem designed to elicit your sympathy, they may be trying to draw you back in.
- Subtle Manipulations: Narcissists might try to get your attention indirectly, for example, by liking or commenting on your social media posts or showing up at places where you’re likely to be. They might even use mutual friends or acquaintances as pawns in their game.
Remember, these are just possible signs, and they don’t guarantee that the narcissist will return. Also, even if they do come back, it’s crucial to remember the cycle of narcissistic relationships and consider whether you want to reengage. Protecting your own mental and emotional health is paramount.
How Long Does it Take for a Narcissist to Come Back?
The timeframe for a narcissist’s return after discarding or blocking you is highly variable and depends on numerous factors. It’s important to note that while some narcissists return, others don’t.
Here are a few factors that can influence the timing:
- Availability of Narcissistic Supply: If the narcissist quickly finds another source of narcissistic supply – another person to provide the attention and validation they crave – they may not feel the need to return. However, if they struggle to find a satisfactory new supply, they might return more quickly to previous sources.
- Reaction to the Separation: If the narcissist feels that the separation has damaged their pride or public image, they might return quickly to control the narrative and salvage their image.
- Pattern of Past Behavior: If the narcissist has a history of discarding and returning after a specific period, they might follow a similar pattern.
- Specific Triggers: Certain events or triggers might prompt a return. For example, feeling lonely during holidays, hearing news about you (especially if it involves success or a new relationship), or experiencing a blow to their ego elsewhere could spur a narcissist to reach out.
While understanding these potential timeframes and triggers can be helpful, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being. Suppose a narcissist has previously caused you emotional distress or harm. In that case, it’s generally best to focus on healing and personal growth rather than wondering when or if they’ll return.
Managing the Return of a Narcissist
If a narcissist does return, managing the situation can be difficult, especially if you’re still healing from previous interactions. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Maintain Boundaries: This is key in dealing with narcissists. If they return, clearly communicate your boundaries and stick to them. That includes limiting the topics you’re willing to discuss, the time you spend talking to them, or even deciding not to engage with them.
- Avoid Getting Drawn Into Drama: Narcissists often create drama to manipulate others and get the attention they crave. Stay calm and composed, and don’t let them provoke you into emotional responses.
- Seek Support: A support network is significant when dealing with narcissists. That includes friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide guidance and reassurance.
- Practice Self-Care: Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining. Take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and taking time for relaxation and leisure activities.
- Consider Professional Help: If the narcissist’s return is causing significant distress, you might want to seek help from a therapist or counselor experienced in dealing with narcissistic behaviors.
Dealing with a narcissist can be a challenging and draining experience, particularly when they block you and then possibly return. Their unpredictable behavior and need for constant attention can create a turbulent relationship dynamic. However, understanding their patterns can provide insight into their actions and help you effectively manage your interactions with them.
The key takeaway here is to prioritize your own mental and emotional well-being. Establishing firm boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking professional help, and having a solid support network are all essential strategies when dealing with a narcissist. Remember, you are not obligated to reengage with a narcissist who has blocked you – it’s your life, and you get to decide who is a part of it.
Recognize the signs, understand the cycle, and respect and protect your well-being and peace of mind. You deserve relationships that are healthy, respectful, and mutually beneficial.