If you have a narcissistic ex, it’s important that you understand they will likely come back into your life at some point. Sometimes they test the waters by sending you a text message or trying to contact you on social media. They might also send what are called ‘flying monkeys’ to find out information about you. These are friends who just happen to bump into you at the grocery store or the gym. Moreover, it might be years after your breakup that this happens. They often come back, but how far will they go to get you back?
Basically, a narcissist will go to almost any length to get you back. They will say and do whatever it takes. The problem is that it usually isn’t true. They can be very charming, so it’s easy to get hoovered back in, but you should know that no matter what they say or do, they haven’t changed.
Narcissists will promise you the moon, but they will not deliver on those promises. It’s important that you understand the true motivation behind their desire to get you back and the reality about the likelihood they will really change. Read on to learn about why they come back and how far they will go to get you back.
What Will a Narcissist Do or Say to Get You Back?
The truth is that a narcissist will say and do almost anything to get you back. As you know if you’ve had a relationship with a narcissist, they can be very charming. They can say all the right things to seem like the perfect person.
The problem is that those promises are nothing more than a pocketful of mumbles as the song goes. They might, for example, swear up and down that they’ve changed. They will tell they’ve realized the error of their ways.
They will tell you things like that they now understand what they have lost. They may also promise to get therapy. Aside from these promises, they might also try to play on your sympathy.
They may talk about how difficult it has been for them since you left. They will also try to tell you how they have struggled without you or that you left them at the worst possible time. All of this is to play on your sympathies
The problem with them trying to get you back is that they are usually doing it for all the wrong reasons. They aren’t doing it because they have taken a hard look at their behavior or truly made an effort to change their bad behavior.
They are usually doing this to save face, to cycle back to you after they’ve exhausted another source of narcissistic supply, or simply, to prove they can. While they might have loved you, they don’t know how to really express love.
They learn early on that people tire of their behavior, and they learn to move between friends. They cycle through their loved ones, and they do this with romantic partners too.
Why Will a Narcissist Try to Get You Back?
There are several reasons a narcissist might come back after you’ve broken up. While their feelings for you might be playing a role, it’s much more likely that other emotions are behind their behavior.
Getting you back may help them feel powerful. They like feeling as though they can manipulate you whenever they want. They like knowing they have that charm. It makes them feel superior.
They may also need to save face. Remember that they have constructed a false self-image infused with grandiose ideas of perfection and superiority. Some people see a breakup as a flaw, and that is not something the narcissist can tolerate.
They will often try to get their ex back in order to prove to the world that they are superior. They can do whatever they want and smooth it over with you to get you back.
They also want to get back what was a secure source of narcissistic supply. Romantic partners are a great source of adoration for narcissists. They are readily available, and they are in love with them. It’s a perfect setup for the narcissist.
Will a Narcissist Change?
The unfortunate truth about narcissism is that it’s not often that narcissists will do what it takes to truly change. They will promise to change, of course, but as noted psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvasula says, “This is future faking. The narcissist promises a scenario down the road and you go back in assuming they will follow through.”
They rarely follow through, however, and almost never without being pushed into it. Part of the problem is that since the narcissist has created this false self-image and infused it with grandiose ideas of superiority, they can’t admit to mistakes. They can’t take responsibility for their bad behavior.
That would mean that they weren’t superior, after all. They use convoluted logic to convince themselves that even if they did something terrible, somehow it’s their partner’s responsibility. Their fragile ego simply can’t stand admitting to any flaws.
All of this makes it unlikely that they will change. Moreover, for a narcissist to change, it usually takes years of intense psychotherapy. It takes time to get to the root of their narcissism and help them rebuild a sense of identity that can support their own ego.
How Should You Respond When They Come Back?
Of course, you have to decide if you will take them back or not. If you decide you will, then you should make sure to do the following things.
Set Strong Boundaries
You can’t let them go on trying to manipulate and control you. To stop that, you’ll have to set strong boundaries and enforce them consistently. If you don’t do this, the narcissistic abuse will start all over again.
Moderate Your Expectations
You have to moderate your expectations of what your relationship will be like if you continue with a narcissist. You need to realize they are not able to consider your emotional needs, so you’ll need a strong support network that can provide that for you.
Get Plenty of Time Away
Make sure that you get lots of time away from the narcissist to process your feelings and recharge your batteries. Living with a narcissist is emotionally exhaustive. You’re going to need time to recharge.
What If You Don’t Want the Narcissist Back?
If you decide that you don’t want the narcissist back, that won’t stop them from trying. In fact, in some cases, it might make them try harder. To stop their hoovering, you’ll likely have to take some drastic steps. Here are a few things you can do.
Block Them Everywhere
Block them on social media, your phone, and any other electronic means they may have of contacting you. If you forget even one of these platforms, they will find it and contact you that way.
Alert Friends, Family, and Your Work
You also want to alert friends, family members, and perhaps your work colleagues as well that you don’t want any more contact with them. It’s possible you might even need a restraining order to stop them from contacting you. They can be vindictive enough that they simply won’t stop.
Watch out for Flying Monkey
Flying monkeys are friends of the narcissist who they will use to ‘accidentally’ bump into you. Their mission is to get information about you that they can use to get you back.
Narcissists will go to extreme lengths to get you back. It is often essential for their fragile ego that they get you back. They will often come to your work, promise you the moon, and even stalk you. If none of that works, they might initiate a smear campaign to discredit you so no one will blame them for the breakup. All along the way, they will use what they know about your emotional triggers to manipulate and control you.
That’s why you need to recognize and defuse those emotional triggers. I have created a 5 Step Roadmap to Heal Emotional Triggers to help with that. It’s a handy guide with easy instructions for learning all about what triggers you and why. Just click on this link now, and I’ll send it directly to your inbox. It’s free, and it can help you stop narcissistic abuse in its tracks.
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