The Strange Story of Narcissistic Collapse

Dr T J Jordan
4 min readJun 15, 2023

When the ability to empathize uncouples from compassion, it grows claws…

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

The fragility of the narcissistic ego is nowhere as visible— and nowhere as punishing — as when it collapses. And our relationships with narcissistic partners are more often than not in the insecure state of chronic collapse.

Remember that people who are narcissistic, constantly use their partners to shore up a fragile sense of self worth. Their partners serve as a source of “narcissistic supply” meaning that their function is the feeding and protection of the narcissistic ego.

A relationship with a narcissistic partner is nearly always a struggle for balance: we need to be imperfect enough to feed their sense of superiority, but our imperfections must not reveal the flaws in our relationship.

So what happens when the narcissistic supply starts to dry up? What happens when we get tired of giving the “please and appease” response— or even when we make an unintended misstep? What happens when we tire of trying to be as perfect as our narcissistic partner tells us that we should be or we reveal the secrets of our flawed relationship outside of the trauma tribe?

The Story of Collapse

Narcissism is the mark of an impaired sense of self and a disordered system of self worth. Hidden in the narcissist’s self promoting behavior is dislike — even hatred — of themselves.

During narcissistic collapse, we see the extremes of ego fragility.

Fragility is different from vulnerability. All of us are vulnerable — meaning that we all have susceptible bodies and more or less tender hearts. But fragile means easily broken — the tendency to fracture rather than bend.

In intimate relationships, narcissism survives on the praise and admiration of a partner — and requires the secrecy of the tribe that is…

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Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.