A few a long time in the past, scrapbooking was all the craze. Individuals would painstakingly curate pictures, compose witty or emotion-packed captions, after which artfully organize the photograph and acceptable stickers, cut-outs, and decorations on the web page of a scrapbook as a approach of marking the significance or the which means of the individual or occasion captured within the photograph. Earlier than “scrapbooking” grew to become a significant pastime that concerned time, cash, and inventive effort, individuals have been accumulating matchbooks, nightclub napkins, ticket stubs, or flowers that dried to a crumble however have been acquired at a particular occasion or acquired from a particular somebody.
This want to maintain “souvenirs” of necessary occasions in life is unquestionably a standard human trait. Nonetheless, the explanations behind the memento accumulating may be very completely different for many who are narcissists in comparison with those that will not be.
There are two main classes of narcissists. Grandiose narcissists feed on reward and have remarkably excessive ranges of shallowness, self-confidence, and self-promotion. They principally imagine all of the overweening reward that they encourage others to supply as much as them. They can’t see their faults, and even when one cracked the floor, they’ve the self-preservation abilities to cowl up the crack and by no means acknowledge a weak spot.
There are additionally weak narcissists who lack the sense of self-confidence and company that grandiose narcissists carry. In actual fact, the conceit of a weak narcissist is already fairly shaky and whereas they construct up grand expectations of what they’ll accomplish or have outsized expectations about entitlement and what others owe to them, they’ve a tough time managing their reactions and responses when actuality crashes down on their false beliefs.
Narcissists crave companions who mirror their imagined glory in addition to imagine all of the fantasies that narcissists imagine about themselves. Relationships finish, although, and the way they deal with the stays of a relationship are a bit completely different than the typical individual.
Souvenirs of Failed Relationships
What do you do with the pictures, presents, and memorabilia of your failed romantic relationships? Do you rip up the pictures of your ex? Do you chop your ex out of pictures of the 2 of you? Did you create a “burn pile” for all of the mementos, love letters, or humorous playing cards you acquired throughout your time collectively? Or do you hold onto every part — the framed pictures in your mantle, the presents your ex gifted you with, the playing cards or Submit-it notes that they left for you on the fridge?
Who, What, When, The place, and Why Did the Relationship Finish?
For many people, the solutions to the questions above actually decide how we resolve to take care of the “detritus” of the connection. If it have been an amicable finish, we could hold on to a number of the pictures or presents we had acquired — these souvenirs develop into keepsakes that carry which means and constructive recollections. If a relationship ended abruptly in a storm of drama or a damaged coronary heart, we could also be very keen to put every part the ex left behind in a “field to the left, to the left, to the left.” A few of us could ditch every part post-break-up, however a few of us could maintain onto one thing that was tremendous particular, significant, or that we simply preferred — the borrowed sweater that we “neglect” to return, the baseball cap that we thought regarded higher on you than your ex, or perhaps one thing that your ex valued however that you simply stored out of spite. A CD, a e book — it might be any of 1,000,000 various things relying on the couple.
Narcissists Don’t “Bear in mind Fondly,” They “Show Trophies”
Reminiscence Captures and Nostalgia Mills: Among the many most commonplace causes for holding on to keepsakes of previous relationships is just utilizing the thing as a reminder of the completely satisfied moments spent with the ex. Snowboarding collectively final winter, the superb journey to the tropics, the double school commencement and the social gathering that adopted, the walks within the forest preserves and the leaves and stones you picked up alongside the way in which. Seeing this stuff could deliver again constructive emotions in regards to the components of your life that you simply shared with somebody you as soon as cared deeply about. This may occasionally additionally provide proof that you’ll be able to worth that side of the connection in itself and your potential to just accept that loss and pleasure may be intermingled in life.
Companion Stand-Ins: If you’re holding on to that smooth sweater that your ex left behind and cuddling up in it when you’re feeling down, this displays the usage of the “relationship memento” as one thing of an alternative choice to your ex. Or if you’re yelling at a photograph of your ex since you are nonetheless not able to let go of the anger or the harm you felt on the break-up, that photograph is serving as a stand-in on your ex.
Some narcissists would possibly really maintain onto keepsakes because of this. As narcissists objectify different individuals, companions, youngsters, relations, and so forth, it’s not unlikely to discover a narcissist holding on desperately to a souvenir from a failed relationship to make use of it as a goal for disapprobation and vitriol when the narcissist is eager for the companionship the ex as soon as supplied. Depriving the narcissist of the eye they crave for survival of their ego is without doubt one of the deepest wounds an ex can go to upon a narcissist.
Trophy Show: That is the place the narcissist actually shines of their potential to make use of their exes for continued self-enhancement and self-aggrandizement. They may maintain onto objects from their relationships with excessive standing companions as a method of proving their self-worth, attractiveness, energy, and sexual prowess. They search out excessive standing companions, by way of place, bodily look, function, and so forth, and when these relationships naturally come to an finish, as narcissists are unable to efficiently keep long-term relationships for any nice size of time, they may show their relationship keepsakes as an enormous recreation hunter shows his trophies from hunts. It’s the similar degree of objectification of a companion simply as an enormous recreation hunter objectifies their quarry.
Susceptible or Grandiose: Trophy Looking Occurs Throughout the Board
When a narcissist experiences a failed relationship, their ego takes a blow that may be quickly debilitating. Not solely does a break-up go away narcissists stranded and alone, it’s extra prone to go away a narcissist with a damaged ego slightly than a damaged coronary heart. Holding on to any souvenir from the failed relationship is a approach of sustaining possession of the ex, additional objectifying the ex, and offering a trophy of their prior conquests. It’s seldom a “romantic nature” that leads a narcissist to show romantic keepsakes, however a “chilly coronary heart and tender ego.”
When a brand new romantic curiosity brags about their success in prior relationships or the standing and superiority of prior lovers, that could be a cue that you’re only one extra creature of prey of their crosshairs. And, after the probably inevitable break-up, you can be merely yet another notch on their belt to proudly show to the following goal they’ve of their sights.