The three phases of narcissistic abuse are: Idealize, Devalue & Discard. This cycle can be very painful and emotionally exhausting.
(aka: the “love bombing” phase)
This first phase can feel like a drug, and can last for weeks, months, or even years. You feel as if you’ve found your soulmate. You’ll be showered with praise, gifts, attention, compliments, promises of a future together, and you’ll be placed up on a pedestal. It all seems so perfect, and red flags are often ignored as you are swept away in the euphoria and excitement of this beginning phase.
This second phase is when a narcissist’s charming mask comes off. Suddenly the attention they so lavishly gave you is gone, and replaced with indifference & silence. You’re left baffled, confused and wondering what you did wrong to cause such an abrupt turnaround. The silent treatment is often inflicted during this phase, along with gaslighting, projection, verbal abuse, and sometimes physical abuse. The narcissist will use both words and actions as weapons, to make you doubt yourself, to strip your self-esteem, and to confuse you. The narcissist simply does not care how they’ve treated you or how you are feeling.
This third and final phase is cold and brutal. It’s chilling to see how a narcissist can so abruptly and cruelly, without warning, abandon you. You’ll be tossed away like you never even existed. Poof! Gone.
Then after that final discard, comes the Hoovering phase. This is when the narcissist apologizes and sucks you back into the relationship by “love bombing” you…
… and before you know it, you’re in the first IDEALIZE phase of the abuse cycle all over again!
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