Due to their own lack of receiving reasonably attuned care-giving as a child (whether it was being under protected or over protected), the narcissist does not develop the authentic “True Self” that is necessary for confident living. A disregard of the child’s basic needs disturbs their development of self-esteem and the ability to function effectively. In order to protect themselves, they invest a lot of energy building up defenses. One of those defenses to is develop a “False Self”; which is a mask of behaviour that allows them to put on a show of being real in public. However, this pretense leaves the narcissist constantly guarding themselves from being “found out”, making them overly sensitive to narcissistic injury. Narcissistic injury is any perceived threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. So in order to maintain their illusion and protect their false self from any fluctuations of a disappointed ego-ideal, the narcissist demands that they receive perfect mirroring, stroking, and responses from their victims; this attention is known as narcissistic supply.
What is Narcissistic Supply?
Narcissistic supply is anything in fact that shields the narcissist from feeling a sense of shame or abandonment, and this is an integral part of narcissism. The narcissist needs narcissistic supply in order to preserve their fragile ego, and this can be provided by two distinct sources:-