Why You Feel Empty After Breaking Up With a Narcissist/Psychopath | psychopaths of life (2023)

This is a very common problem in people who have recently broken up with a person with a toxic disorder such as a psychopath/sociopath or narcissist. They often feel that awful emptiness that they didn't feel, or at least didn't feel as much, before meeting that person. Where does this come from and what can we do about it?

The main reason victims often tend to feel empty after a breakup with a narcissist or psychopath is that the entire process of interaction is designed to fuse and unify their identities over time, to the point , where it often feels like they've been taken away. too much of his own identity and sense of self with them.

In other words, these people are skilled manipulators and know how to hold onto, rely on, and psychologically entangle a person to the point that when they (often abruptly and without explanation) leave, they leave a trail of damage left with the other. Person who cannot be easily singled out and recovered. It feels like a big part of you went with them.

While this isn't uncommon when it comes to breakups in general (don't many people feel sad or empty after breakups?), the way messy people like narcissists and sociopaths deftly adapt to the lives and thoughts of the people they're with which they are involved together. plus the often pre-existing co-dependent tendencies of the victims, means that this dynamic really does escalate to an 11, leaving the affected person in great pain after the toxic person is gone.

But luckily there are ways to deal with it and people recover after being in a relationship with them. Let's take a closer look at some of the reasons for this dynamic.

Explanation of interpersonal interactions and identity

To better understand this question, we need to build up some psychological theory about how our identity is formed. In short, it's not really something that's just "there"; is something that is activeFormatthrough our interactions with others.

As mindfulness speaker Mark Williams puts it here:

(Video) The BEST REVENGE Is Walking Away & LETTING GO! (Heal From Toxic Breakups) | Dr. Ramani

“Our experience comes from our body interacting with the world, from ourselves interacting with other selves. And our whole sense of identity, contrary to what Descartes said (Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am) – identity is the part you can be sure of – (actually), as philosophers have since said, the only reason I have, I have any sense of "I" at allit's because of your interactions with other people.

Therefore, it is interaction with other people, other bodies, other thoughts, other objects in the world that explains our self-fulfilling nature.

marca williams -Look here.

So it is who we interact with and how we interact with them that determines the path our “self” and identity take, and what gives us our sense of self in the first place.

Why the narcissist/psychopath makes you feel miserable and empty

Now that we've covered that simple bit of theory, I think some readers have already clicked on why we often feel empty after a relationship with a narcissist/psychopath.

It often happens that the messy person intentionally becomes the focus of your life, to the point where you are dependent on them for most or all of your interactions and therefore your sense of identity in the world. Once that wears off, as the relationship ends, their confidence seems to go with them.

To some extent, this can happen in many relationships, even non-narcissistic ones. However, the narcissist/sociopath marks this with “Seeksmany more steps for them than a normal relationship, to the point that after they leave, the effect can be much more negative for the other person.

(Video) The 5 Signs Someone Has Suffered Narcissistic Abuse

Here are some ways they do this:

  • Relationships with messy people often begin with intense mutual attention and a back-and-forth dynamic that often connects you with them.
  • Constant love bombardment in the first few bars, making the perfect couple, being and giving anything you want, intense thinking, etc.
  • A good way to sum this up is that narcissists/sociopaths are always trying to give you "that little bit extra" in terms of attention, attunement, mirroring, etc. that you don't get in other relationships.
  • they are tooextremely chameleonin terms of how they "stick" to the last person they were with, copying their traits, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. They usually become a clone or you and/or vice versa.
  • Narcissists/Psychopaths will also often attempt to create barriers and separate you from other friends and family, further isolating you so that more of your interactions will be with them.

"When you first meet a psychopath, things happen extremely quickly. They tell you how much they have in common with you, how perfect you are for them. Like a chameleon, they mirror your hopes, dreams, and insecurities to form an immediate bond of confidence and enthusiasm. You are constantly initiating communication and seem fascinated by you on all levels. If you have a Facebook page, you can fill it with songs, praise, poetry, and inside jokes."

Jackson Mackenzie-look here

In short, narcissists/psychopaths will make every effort to ensure that their sense of identity and sense of self (and self-esteem) are owned and controlled by them as much as possible.

The logical conclusion that can be drawn from this is that as this process develops, the more tied your sense of identity will become to the narcissist.Once they're gone, they'll feel like a large part of their identity has gone with them.

This becomes more pronounced the longer the relationship lasts and the more the toxic person has "addicted" you by establishing your identity and isolating you from others who may have compounded this effect.

There are many ways to say it, but here's a great quote that's the best way I've seen to describe it:

(Video) A break up with a narcissist: what to expect

“(Narcissists and psychopaths) just chew through one person at a time, always trying to fill themselves up with other people's happiness and lives. And it's a bottomless pit: you can never fill yourself.

And finally, if you keep going, the devastation they can wreak in your life is horrifying. It'll make you question your dates at times, folks, your own sanity...

When you are a lonely (person) in a (relationship with a drug dealer/psychopath) can be very exciting because you think you have finally found someone who can be a part of your life and fill the void that you believe in that you could have them. missing state

The problem is that they will fill it,But when they get out of there, they take three quarters of you with them and it's going to be a very sick chase to put it all back together and put it back in and feel whole again and you can't, them. gone again.

And these people come in, they revel in the attention, and that's the dangerous thing, they also revel in the destruction. They love to know that they did this to you and that they ruined your world. And often they find it challenging or fun to be able to do this with other people.”

Best Graduation -look here

I love this quote because first of all it's a great way to show how dangerous and toxic narcissists and psychopaths are to normal people because not only do they NEVER fill the emptiness inside themselves with all their bullshit, they fill itbut they also leave other people empty and devastated while trying.

(Video) The Hardest Person in the World To Break up With

It's like her emptiness is contagious🇧🇷 They pass it on to other people through their long-standing contact, so these people should definitely be avoided. When writers on the subject say that these people leave a trail of rubble and destruction, it is no exaggeration. Avoid serious engagements with these people like the plague.

And the quote also sums up how and why the process of symbiosis these messy people are involved in, where they mix up their identities and imprison you, is so toxic.because it makes you feel the same emptiness they feel when they leave because their identities were so close🇧🇷 And unfortunately, this isn't something that can be easily fixed with a click of a finger, as they usually strive to bring their personality in as much as possible over time.

So when they're gone, it feels like a big part of you is gone too.

To learn more about the psychoanalytic theory of symbiosis and the regression that narcissists effectively induce in the people they surround themselves with, see the following interview with Sam Vaknin.

Sam Vaknin - How the Narcissist/Psychopath Colonizes Your Mind (Cutting Edge Theory)


(Video) Feeling LONELY AND SUICIDAL After The Narcissist Discarded You? Try Doing This.

Other ways to explain this gap

I think the explanation above is the main reason why we often feel empty after relationships with upset people, but there are other ways to describe and explain this phenomenon. I think most of them are really derivatives of the previous point, but here are other ways to understand the void:

  • Realizing that the last X months/years with this person have been a complete scam, an illusion and a waste of time, that they never really loved you and only faked it for their own amusement. A feeling that you have wasted your life and energy on this person.
  • A feeling of "what the hell am I supposed to do with my life now that that person is gone." Their identities were so confused that they forgot who they were or what they were doing before they emerged. Maybe you're groaning and don't know what to do with your time.
  • Realizing that you have essentially been with a "ghost" all along, someone who doesn't even really exist, who has no real identity or sense of self (Chameleon Personality Type)
  • A perception that the person has never really valued you for themselves, only for the feelings they have around you that "Providethey got from you. a sense of beingobjectifiedmidressedinstead of being valued as a person.
  • A feeling of confusion and difficulty finding a reason for leaving when they left suddenly and without explanation (psychopaths/narcotics often do). You will turn your life upside down and brood endlessly trying to figure out why they did it.
  • The vicious abuse these people commit can often reopen old wounds from the past and magnify what makes you feelfall asleepand blank (you should seek help from atherapistwork with it)

Tips to bridge the gap after toxic relationships

This list is not exhaustive and many people find many different ways to heal and recover, but here are some suggestions on what to try when you're feeling that emptiness after a toxic relationship:

  • If possible, reconnect with friends and family that the narcissist/psychopath has isolated you from, draining your sense of identity.
  • If you are struggling with emptiness, numbness, depression or other issues after a toxic relationship,seek help from a good therapistto work with these problems.codependencymilimitsthey are also crucial issues to resolve after Group B abuse.
  • If brooding and overthinking have become a particular problem, keep workingfull attentionas a way to slow down and let go of the intellectual/analytical mind and reconnect with your body/emotions.
  • Learn to recognize signs of narcissism and other personality disorders and distance yourself from these people more quickly, especially if you see them playing the same game and trying to isolate you from others. see oursresource pagefor some good books on understanding personality disorders to better understand what happened.
  • Build your identity through interactions with healthy, safe andrespect borderPeople. Use this transitional period in your life as a chance to let go.Alltoxic people in your life, not just that person.
  • see oursneuHobbies, interests, activities, projects that weren't even on your radar during the toxic relationship. Try to reconstruct your identity in terms of what you do with your time.
  • From hereWhen it comes to socialization and interactions, never put all your eggs in one basket🇧🇷 Aim for a mixed and varied social life and never again rely on just one person to provide the majority of your interactions and socializing. And never let anyone isolate you from support systems ever again.
  • Accept that the process of re-establishing your own identity will likely take a long time, and progress will be measured in months and years, not weeks. However, with the right steps, your original self will slowly prevail.
  • Psychologically, you have to go through the processindividualization again after a toxic relationship with a narcissist/psychopath. Watch the video embedded above to learn more about the theory behind it.
  • Complete honesty and personal responsibility are also important in recovery. In many cases (maybe not all), if the person is honest, they already had some kind of emptiness or lack in their life prior to the relationship, and this is what caused them to be attracted to the narcissist/psychopath they seemed. offer something they lacked. This needs to be acknowledged and addressed if it's true: what was missing in your life that caused you to allow this person to "complete it"?


What happens when you break up with a psychopath? ›

Perhaps you've realized the relationship is toxic and has no chance of improving, but breaking up with a psychopath can create serious drama. A psychopath might act out and not let you leave. They may even resort to emotional manipulation to ensure that you stay.

Why do I feel so lost after narcissistic abuse? ›

Loss of Sense of Self and Self-Worth

You may feel as if you have completely lost yourself. Narcissistic abuse is a form of brainwashing, and as such, it can destroy your sense of self-worth. You may no longer feel like the person you were before all this began.

How do sociopaths handle breakups? ›

03/7Sociopaths will never feel your pain

After you are left heartbroken because of your breakup with them, they can still not feel your pain. Sociopaths can never relate to your pain because they are incapable of love and cannot understand what you went through after having your heart broken by someone you love.

Do psychopaths regret their actions? ›

Psychopaths do experience regret, particularly when their bad decisions affect them directly — yet they don't use that experience to inform their future choices, according to a new study published the week of Nov. 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Can a psychopath have feelings for someone? ›

The lower on the scale a psychopath is, the more likely they are to develop some sort of love for people such as family members. Psychopaths are much less likely to develop deep bonds with others, however. Interestingly, psychopaths may still want to be loved even if they are almost incapable of truly loving another.

How does a narcissist traumatize you? ›

Through ongoing gaslighting and demeaning of the partner, the narcissist undermines the individual's self-worth and self-confidence, creating extreme emotional abuse that is constant and devastating.

How do I stop hurting after narcissistic abuse? ›

How to Heal From Narcissistic Abuse
  1. Acknowledgement. Keep in mind that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) doesn't only affect romantic relationships. ...
  2. Practice Self-Compassion. ...
  3. Be Patient. ...
  4. Exercise Self-Care. ...
  5. Lean on Support from Loved Ones.
3 Feb 2022

Why it hurts to leave a narcissist? ›

The prospect of leaving may equate to a feeling of being truly alone; Fear of reprisals – The narcissist may have created a culture of fear and anxiety in their partner's life. Emotional, physical or sexual abuse may be present.

How a narcissist feels when you break up with them? ›

Narcissists hate losing their supply, so they won't let you go easily. Prepare for them to promise "to change." They might suddenly start doing things for you that you'd been complaining about. They may say "you'll be lost without me," or "you'll never find someone like me." Don't listen, Orloff advises.

How do you mentally escape a narcissist? ›

If you're in this type of situation, it is crucial to have a planned exit strategy.
  1. Realise this is abuse. This is abuse. ...
  2. Gather information. ...
  3. Get support. ...
  4. Don't announce you're leaving. ...
  5. Remind yourself why you left.
28 May 2020

How do you mentally detach from a narcissist? ›

How to Disengage
  1. Stop all communication – take a break from social media, do not answer your phone or text messages from the narcissist. ...
  2. Have a plan – know when you are going to leave and where you are going to go. ...
  3. Find support – work with a therapist or counselor experienced in supporting people leaving narcissists.
1 Feb 2021

Does a sociopath care if you leave? ›

But sociopaths don't care about closure — they care about maintaining control over you. When you're leaving a sociopath, breaking up by text — or even ghosting — is acceptable.

Can sociopaths apologize? ›

Sociopaths might even apologize or put themselves down if it serves some greater purpose in the game they are playing.

Can sociopaths have long term relationships? ›

Having a healthy relationship with a sociopath is not possible due to the fluctuations of their mood and behaviors. Even if a sociopath today isn't violent and abusive, this issue is on a spectrum of behavior so it's not a behavior that can ever be ruled out.

Why do psychopaths want to hurt you? ›

Unlike sadists, psychopaths don't harm the harmless simply because they get pleasure from it (though they may). Psychopaths want things. If harming others helps them get what they want, so be it. They can act this way because they are less likely to feel pity or remorse or fear.

Do psychopaths ever feel sorry? ›

For decades, researchers studying psychopathy have characterized the disorder as a profound inability to process emotions such as empathy, remorse, or regret. A recent study, though, suggests that psychopaths are not incapable of feeling emotions like regret and disappointment.

Do psychopaths feel happy or sad? ›

Psychopaths do have feelings … well, some feelings.

While psychopaths show a specific lack in emotions, such as anxiety, fear and sadness, they can feel other emotions, such as happiness, joy, surprise and disgust, in a similar way as most of us would.

How do psychopaths treat their partners? ›

Psychopaths are likely to repeatedly attempt to deceive their partners and will lie about anything under any circumstances in order to conceal their behaviour and achieve their goals – whatever they may be.

Do psychopaths get lonely? ›

Social isolation, loneliness, and associated emotional pain in psychopaths may precede violent criminal acts. They believe that the whole world is against them and eventually become convinced that they deserve special privileges or the right to satisfy their desires.

How do psychopaths feel about themselves? ›

These persons may feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination and believe that they had, in comparison with normal people, fewer opportunities or advantages in life. Despite their outward arrogance, psychopaths feel inferior to others and know they are stigmatized by their own behavior.

How a narcissist destroys your life? ›

Grooming a person, manipulating her into doubting her feelings, generating shame regarding her best qualities, and manipulatively creating dependency are four ways a narcissist destroys a person from the inside out.

Can living with a narcissist make you mentally ill? ›

Living or working with a narcissistic person can be incredibly challenging, often leading to feelings of inadequacy, self doubt, and anxiety. In more extreme cases, exposure to a narcissist can lead to clinical depression from the emotional abuse and torment a person has had to endure.

Can you have PTSD from a relationship with a narcissist? ›

Psychological trauma from their abuse will not just go away. In fact, this type of abuse can cause long lasting post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The abuse from a narcissist is overwhelming. It is hard to identify and sufferers tend to blame themselves and continue to suffer long after the relationship is over.

Is there life after narcissistic abuse? ›

Narcissistic abuse is insidious and can cause lasting effects like low self-esteem, trust issues, self-doubt, grief, depression, and anxiety. With time and treatment, it's possible to heal and overcome these issues, recovering parts of yourself and your life that were lost to the abuser.

Can your brain recover from narcissistic abuse? ›

Narcissistic abuse can cause psychological problems, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. Some victims of narcissistic abuse suffer from brain damage due to the abuse. There is currently no cure for this type of brain damage, but there are treatments available that can help victims recover.

How do you survive being a victim of a narcissist? ›

  1. 15 Tips to Help You Heal from Narcissistic Abuse. ...
  2. Label the Abuse. ...
  3. End the Relationship (If You Haven't Already) ...
  4. Set Clear, Defined Boundaries. ...
  5. Avoid Retaliation. ...
  6. Seek Immediate Support. ...
  7. Create a Consistent Schedule. ...
  8. Anticipate Grief.
7 Dec 2021

What life is like after leaving a narcissist? ›

After the break-up, people will experience an obsessive longing for their abusive partner (drug), debilitating emotional pain, and often engage in self-destructive behavior. This emotional response is why some people feel incapacitated by the hurt and obsess about hooking up with an ex-partner for more abuse.

Why is it so hard to get over a relationship with a narcissist? ›

Because in a narcissistic relationship we have taken on so many of the other person's struggles and so much of their identity as our own, we may feel like we'd be giving up part of ourselves if we were to leave them. If they have become the center of our world, we may then feel lost without them.

Do narcissists get sad after a breakup? ›

People with high levels of narcissistic admiration experienced less anxiety and sadness after a breakup and maintained positive perceptions of their exes. They were also more likely to initiate a breakup and attribute it to their lack of interest in their ex.

Does a narcissist know he is hurting you? ›

Narcissists don't know they're hurting you. It doesn't even enter their minds. And, if you try to tell them how you feel, they get defensive and make you feel you're wrong again. In fact, they'll even rather “innocently” tell you: “I'm only trying to help you.”

How the narcissist feels when you move on? ›

They're utterly delusional in believing that you couldn't possibly want to be with anyone else because there is no one better than them. Because you've moved on to someone new, your new partner serves as a constant reminder that they were not good enough for you, so they'll launch an attack against them.

Does my narcissistic ex think about me? ›

It's true: Your narcissistic ex will remember you but not — never — in the way you hope they will, as the “great love of their life”. Most of the time they won't even think about you and you know why: They're too busy spinning their web to snare the next unsuspecting spider.

How do you exactly revenge a narcissist? ›

How to Get Revenge on a Narcissist
  1. Criticize them.
  2. Take authority away from them.
  3. Say “no.”
  4. Go “no contact.”
  5. Expose their behavior in public.
  6. Succeed in areas they want to dominate.
  7. Make them jealous.
  8. Trick them into doing you a favor.

How do you fully move on from a narcissist? ›

How to Move on from a Narcissistic Relationship
  1. 1 Go no contact.
  2. 2 Set boundaries for yourself.
  3. 3 Reflect on the relationship.
  4. 4 Write down your reasons for moving on.
  5. 5 Take a break from dating.
  6. 6 Let yourself grieve.
  7. 7 Know that it's okay to still have feelings.
  8. 8 Reconnect with yourself.
21 Mar 2022

How does a psychopath react to no contact? ›

Many psychopaths continue calling, texting, emailing, leaving voicemails after you've expressed that you want no more contact. These messages may be sweet and nostalgic, or they may be cruel and obscene. He may express a wish to "negotiate" your return. He might make beautiful promises.

Do psychopaths struggle with relationships? ›

Individuals who fit the criteria of psychopathy—whether or not they also engage in criminal behavior—exhibit behaviors associated with an avoidant attachment style, being unable to form close intimate relationships.

Do psychopaths stay friends with their exes? ›

“Apparently, psychopaths are more likely to keep exes around because they can provide the opportunity for access to resources such as sex, money, or information,” reports Independent.

What does a psychopath want from you? ›

They're so drawn to the reward that they can't think about the risks -- or the other consequences. Psychopaths struggle to take a step back and weigh the rewards against the costs. They're so driven to achieve, or gain, or be something that they can't see anything else but the reward.

What emotions do psychopaths feel? ›

Psychopaths do have feelings … well, some feelings.

While psychopaths show a specific lack in emotions, such as anxiety, fear and sadness, they can feel other emotions, such as happiness, joy, surprise and disgust, in a similar way as most of us would.

What are psychopaths weaknesses? ›

lack of empathy, guilt, conscience, or remorse. shallow experiences of feelings or emotions. impulsivity, and a weak ability to defer gratification and control behavior.

Can psychopaths turn off their feelings? ›

They can turn emotions on and off.

"The results of the study indicate that the vicarious activation of... emotional brain regions was much lower in the patients with psychopathy than in the normal subjects," explains Keysers.

How do psychopaths not communicate? ›

If you must deal with a psychopath, try these five strategies:
  1. Keep Your Emotions in Check. No matter how frustrated or upset you feel, keep your emotions in check. ...
  2. Don't Show That You're Intimidated. ...
  3. Don't Buy Into Their Stories. ...
  4. Turn the Conversation Back on Them. ...
  5. Opt for Online Communication Whenever You Can.
17 Apr 2018

How do psychopaths pick their victims? ›

Uninhibited by conscience, they initially assess the utility of those around them freely and equally. They then tend to narrow their choices to those they find unusually trusting or vulnerable. Sometimes, simply having normal personality traits qualifies an individual as vulnerable.

Do psychopaths feel lonely? ›

Social isolation, loneliness, and associated emotional pain in psychopaths may precede violent criminal acts. They believe that the whole world is against them and eventually become convinced that they deserve special privileges or the right to satisfy their desires.

Can a psychopath be a good person? ›

Yes, research shows there are “good” psychopaths. Many people in positively heroic professions have strong psychopathic traits.

Why can't psychopaths love? ›

"Narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths do not have a sense of empathy," she told Business Insider. "They do not and will not develop a sense of empathy, so they can never really love anyone." This doesn't change when they have children.

Who is attracted to psychopaths? ›

Those with histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, schizotypal, passive-aggressive, self-defeating, antisocial, paranoid, borderline, avoidant, dependent, and sadistic personality traits also were attracted to psychopaths.

Why are narcissists obsessed with their exes? ›

"The central motivator for narcissists is validation," she explains. "And an ex is often a really interesting place to get it... They constantly need that fresh narcissistic supply, and they kind of know what an ex's supply is like."


1. Life After Narcissistic Abuse | What All Victims Struggle With
(Stephanie Lyn Coaching)
2. What It’s Like to Break Up with a Narcissist
3. When you "abandon" the narcissist
4. Why did I attract a NARCISSIST in my life? ~ Abraham Hicks 2021
(Abraham Hicks Wisdom)
5. The progression of recovery from narcissistic relationships
6. Jordan Peterson - How Narcissistic Psychopaths Fool You
(Bite-sized Philosophy)
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