Archive for April 17th, 2014

April 17, 2014

Narcissistic Supply

Love Addiction

Narcissistic supply is a concept in some psychoanalytic theories which describes a type of admiration, interpersonal support, or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment (especially from careers, codependents and others). The term is typically used in a negative sense, describing a pathological or excessive need for attention or admiration that does not take into account the feelings, opinions or preferences of other people.

The term ‘narcissistic supply’ was used by psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel in 1938 in describing the way in which a narcissistic individual ‘requires a ‘narcissistic supply’ from the environment in the same way as the infant requires an external supply of food.’ Building on Freud’s concept of ‘narcissistic satisfaction’ and on psychoanalyst Karl Abraham’s work in ‘Short Study of the Development of the Libido,’ Fenichel highlighted the ‘narcissistic need’ in early development. He noted that ‘it has been stated repeatedly that small children need some kind of narcissistic supplies for maintaining their equilibrium.’

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