How Narcissists Treat Their Exes? (What to do & how to handle it?)

Have you ever fallen for a narcissist? Then you must have experienced the rollercoaster of emotions they stir in their partners. 

Whether you’ve parted ways with them, or you’re thinking of doing so, today we’ll look into their behavior with their exes and how they might behave with you.  

It won’t be easy to get them out of your way, and we’ll see that below. 

Even research confirms that narcissists can leave you feeling empty and doubtful of your ability to love again. 

But nothing is permanent, and once you know what you might be faced with, it’s going to be easier to overcome it. 

How Narcissists Treat Their Exes?

Narcissists treat their exes awfully. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are ego-driven and don’t give up easily on their sources of attention (exes, in this case). 

They find it hard to accept that their partner isn’t any more an option, and that’s why they keep most of their exes around as friends. 

That circle is a trap because they will want to suck from you admiration, and favors, and even keep you as a booty call regardless of the fact you’re not together anymore. 

Things Narcissists Do After The Break up:

1. They Attempt To Lure The Ex-Partner Back Into The Relationship (Hoovering)

Even though narcissists are portrayed as evil, if you rip off the mask, you’ll see they are deeply troubled and insecure about their self-worth. 

That’s why they will want to have you around even if they don’t love you. 

You’re someone they’ve won, and it’s easier for them to try to control you than start all over again with someone new. 

Since their main goal is to be admired and have your attention, they will try to get you back into the relationship. 

To reach this they will try every tactic, from giving your breadcrumbs of affection to showering you with unexpected love. 

And then, they’ll back off, go silent and wait for you to run crying into their arms. These aren’t signs of regret, but manipulation.

2. They Make Their Ex Jealous By Flirting With Other People (Triangulation)

Another common tactic they use to hurt their ex is triangulation. They start flirting with other people to make you jealous and make you feel inferior. 

They have no intention of getting into another relationship with the other person but they’re using this as a tactic to hurt you because they hope you still have feelings for them. 

Triangulation also involves a third person in another context. They might not be involved romantically with them but they’re using them to paint you in a bad light. 

For instance, if you’re in the same workspace they will sit closer enough for you to hear them talk and your ex will constantly play the victim and tell the third person how terribly you treated them. 

3. They Try To Make Their Ex Question Their Own Reality (Gaslighting)

Gaslighting is one of the many strategies a narcissist will use to make you feel like you’re the one who’s lost. 

Considering that they will never admit being wrong, you’ll turn into a scapegoat for them to blame for everything. 

  • They could tell you things such as “I had to break up with you because you were depleting my energy every day.” 
  • They will blame you for everything that went wrong during your relationship, including situations outside of each other’s control.
  • To completely gaslight you, they’ll try to get mutual friends and family members to sympathize with their made-up version of the story, so you start doubting the truth. 

Talk to a close friend you trust, journal about your feelings, and don’t fall for these dirty tactics. 

Gaslighting is their craft and they’re not afraid to take it to extreme extends just to convince you that you’re wrong about them.

4. They Propose To Stay Friends

If they’ve introduced you to their friendship circle where there is at least one of their exes, you can see where this is going. 

Narcissists don’t like to entirely part ways with their exes because they want to get favors from them when they need to. 

Therefore, they could propose you stay friends.

While everyone has their own standards for staying in touch with their exes after a breakup, it’s not advisable to do so. 

Especially with a narcissistic ex partner. Their main purpose is to do emotional manipulation to use you and they will continue to do so if you let them. 

4. They May Continually Harass And Stalk Their Ex

A narcissistic person won’t give up and accept they’re undesirable. Nah. They will try everything no matter how inhumane it sounds. 

This includes harassing their exes publicly and stalking them online and in person. 

Prepare yourself for the worse until their anger and determination falter. 

They are relentless in their desire for revenge and aren’t afraid of breaching the law to pursue it. But the law is your best protector. 

If they keep stalking and harassing you even after you’ve cut all communication, consider making a police report if you feel threatened. 

Stalking and harassment are criminal offences and you can receive protection against them.

5. They May Blackmail Their Ex

Think back to the intimate moments you’ve had with your narcissist ex. Do they possess intimate materials that they can use to blackmail you? 

If they do, that’s one of the first things they will try to blackmail you with. It’s normal for you to feel frightened but keep these in mind: 

  • Most of the time, they won’t do what they say. It’s just a tactic to get you to respond. So don’t take them seriously. 
  • The laws against revenge p*rn protect those who fall victim to it. Therefore, they’re the only ones at risk if they share intimate pics or videos without your permission. 

The less you react to their blackmail attempts, the sooner they will stop trying to get your attention. 

Remember that even if they do act on their threats, you’re not the one who should feel embarrassed. 

They’re the ones who are doing something shameful by being toxic and unreasonable.

6. They Blame Their Exes For The Breakup

This is a no-brainer for sure. No matter how badly they’ve behaved or acted towards you, they will never accept their faults. 

They are likely to blame you for the things that went wrong in your relationship, including the breakup – to boost their self esteem. 

Most claims will be false so there’s no room for worry or doubt. 

You know the truth, so avoid arguing to make your point. They won’t understand. It’s a waste of energy to try to persuade them. 

What you should keep in mind is, to be honest with your relatives and friends before they manipulate them with a fake version of the story to win their sympathy. 

7. They Spread Lies And Rumors About Their Ex

When you’re dealing with a person with dark personality traits, be prepared for everything. 

They’re ready to fabricate entire scenarios in their head just to save themselves from criticism and win the love and attention of others. 

Now that you’ve decided to part ways with them, they’ll do anything to hurt you. 

Their narcissistic rage will make them feel angry and they will try to spread rumors and lie to everyone about your relationship and the reason behind your breakup.

“She/he cheated on me with a stranger but I still forgave them.”, “She/he never prepared a meal for me and I had to pay for food and clothes all the time.” 

Such lies are typical for a narcissistic person. 

8. They Try To Sabotage Their EX’s Future Relationships

A narcissist can’t stand seeing you happy, at least not without them. 

If you’ve found a way out of this toxic relationship and get back in the dating world to find someone new, they’ll show up like a haunting ghost. 

They might mask their actions under jealousy and love, but that’s far from it. 

Jealousy isn’t the right word to describe their feelings. 

They just want to keep you single so they still have chances to convince you to change your mind about the relationship. 

Tell your new/potential partner about your past relationships, and work together to keep your ex out of your relationship. 

9. They Still Flirt Their EX Or Make Sexual Advances

When all of their forceful attempts to lure you back into the relationship don’t work, they’ll try to revert to being romantic and asking for sexual favors hoping to convince you to go back. 

They will try love bombing – showering you with extreme love and affection to keep you under the thumb.

Don’t fall for it. Here are some of the phrases you might constantly start hearing or reading: 

  • “I’ve changed, trust me. I’m a different person now.”
  • “I’ll start going to therapy and I will become a better person for you. Promise!”
  • “I understand that it was my fault for all of this. Give me another chance, and I’ll fix it.”

These are false promises. Narcissists rarely change. No matter what they say, they’ll return to their old toxic patterns in a blink. 

They’re incapable of behaving differently. So stick to your final decision, and don’t turn your head back. You deserve better than this.

So, make sure you don’t keep your doors open to sexual intimacy to a low self esteem toxic partner who is playing mind games.

Do Narcissists Miss Their Exes?

After some time passes, even the most sensitive and empathic people in the world forget about their exes. Let alone narcissists. 

A narcissist has little compassion for their lovers. 

Even if they miss their exes, it’s not the person they miss but the attention they received from them. You would only be feeding their narcissistic supply and fragile egos if you entertain any further and would only subject yourself to narcissistic abuse.

When we speak of narcissists, we’re talking about people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

This is considered a mental health condition. People suffering from it are incapable of feeling normal empathy and compassion. They don’t miss you, they just want to keep control over their former partners, it’s part of their narcissistic traits.

So, don’t be surprised that they don’t care.  

How To Handle Narcissistic EX After Break up?

No matter how badly your narcissistic ex treated you, it’s normal at first to miss them and feel alone. We get used to certain patterns, and it takes a while to forget them

But once you get over the feelings you had for them, remove them from your life entirely. Here are some of the things you should consider: 

  • Recognize and acknowledge their narcissistic behavior
  • Set strict boundaries and limit physical and virtual contact
  • Seek support from trusted friends, family, or trained professionals
  • Prioritize self-care and rebuild your self-esteem
  • Take legal action to protect yourself from them

While the process is easier said and done, this is the right way to break free of a toxic relationship and save yourself from horrible things. 

Don’t lie to yourself with the hopes that they might change because they won’t.  


Life hand us different cards, and a narcissistic ex might be one of them. 

As the saying goes “love is blind” so we don’t have much control over whom we fall for but when we do realize the hell in which we’ve dipped our toes it’s time to get out of it. A relationship with a narcissist is a kind of hell. 

Narcissists treat their exes bad. They seek revenge and narcissists love to maintain control over their exes.

However, you can get back your peace of mind and stability in your life if you take the courage to end this relationship and cut every contact with them. 

Sometimes this might imply even taking legal action and going to therapy. It’s all worth it to get your life back on track. 

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Gletjan Muco
About Gletjan Muco

Gled is a highly sought after relationship and self improvement expert, known for his unique blend of expertise in technology and human nature. With a passion for helping individuals reach their full potential, Gled inspires and guides individuals on their journey towards self-discovery and growth, leaving a lasting impact on all those he works with. Whether you're looking for clarity and direction, or seeking to express and develop yourself, Gled is the expert to turn to.

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