One of the most common patterns among ASPD (Anti-Social Personality Disorder), NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) is an obsessive need to know if they hurt you. Negative emotional reactions are deemed a "success", and they especially want to know if you still want them even after they have mistreated you.
They will intentionally wave new partners or exes in your face to see if you'll react. They invent pointless reasons to contact you, just to see if they can get a reaction out of you. If they don't get a reaction, they continue escalating and prodding until they do.
To people with Cluster-B disorders, it's very important that you still like them, even if they don't like you. They want to be 100% sure they are the one to reject you, and never the other way around. These "victories" give them bursts of self-worth and excitement, but of course this is a pretty hollow form of self-worth.
Often times survivors get sucked into this "game" and wish they had been the one to reject first, so they could "win". But this completely flies in face of healthy vulnerability and attachment in romantic relationships. When someone views relationships and rejection as a game, they have already lost. Love is not about making sure other people want / love / adore / need / miss you. That is a false, ego-based concept of love.
Your attention provides the personality disordered individual with a "burst" of prideful energy that keeps their false self afloat. This is why they need you to adore them in the idealization, it's why they are constantly trying to get reactions out of you when you're together, and it's why they need to know you still care after the breakup.
Your praise, reactions, adoration, and even hatred are all proof that they "exist". That they are important. That they matter. Look how strongly you reacted, they must have been important! Without any internal compass of their own, they rely on external measures of worth to prove their value.
But the false self is never satisfied. It's like trying to fill a black hole, an infinite void. Even after a "victory", their nagging boredom or emptiness comes creeping back. But instead of trying to explore that uncomfortable sensation, they quickly find a new target to distract themselves and keep the false self alive.
By understanding this, we can let go of the win / lose mentality that often comes with Cluster-B relationships. Just because someone claims victory doesn't mean there was a game worth playing. So often, we get stuck in this rut of trying to prove who cares the least, who moved on the fastest, but again this is all based around "not letting them win". It's a waste of our time.
Our greatest victory comes from exploring our own uncomfortable sensations that arise from rejection. When a trusted loved one rejects us in an abrupt way, we often absorb very difficult messages. Especially if we were immediately replaced or compared with others, it's common for feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness to form.
If we can explore these difficult sensations (rather than numbing them out), we can build a kind relationship with ourselves and eventually free our hearts. As we begin to understand why people with NPD / BPD / ASPD reject others, it becomes much easier to understand and release our own underlying feelings of rejection.
It is sort of like a wound being passed around, and the cool thing is, we all have the ability to slow down with our external distractions, sit with the inner discomfort until it reveals the wound, and realize: "Hey, this isn't even true. It's not who I am".
As we do this, we restore our connection with our true selves -- dissolving old blockages and flooding our body with feelings of love and freedom that come infinitely from within, regardless of our surroundings. This is all that matters.
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Why Narcissists Want to Know If They Hurt You
To people with Cluster-B disorders, it's very important that you still like them, even if they don't like you. It's all about "winning" the rejection game.
Article Author: Peace