Push pull relationship theory

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push pull relationship theory

Push-Pull Dynamic of a Romantic Relationship with a Narcissist . A secure base: clinical applications of attachment theory. London. The push and pull theory about relationships are familiar to most if not all of us. It is being attracted to someone, however, in the beginning, you. Have you left a relationship only to come back and then do it again? That constant leaving and staying becomes the cycle of the Push-Pull.

Thus, a false self is constructed to the outside world to defend against the horror of being let down by the universal human need for connection and attachment.

push pull relationship theory

The narcissist constructs a false reality, or mask, to project to the outside world, such that their inner wounded psyche, which feels completely unloved and unworthy, is deeply buried and inaccessible, even to the narcissist. And when a romantic partner attempts to get close emotionally with a narcissist, the NPD person engages in avoidant behavior that has the effect of pushing away their love object.

Push-Pull Dynamic of a Romantic Relationship with a Narcissist

Essentially the narcissist becomes less available for dates, phone calls, cancels plans last minute, and in some cases, slowly fades away or even vanishes. The result is one of consternation and confusion for the romantic partner.

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The NPD is so locked into defending their fragile ego that all energy goes to buttressing their false self against any potential or perceived criticism or abandonment.

They are not operating out of conscious awareness, and their devaluing and discarding behaviors are typically very cruel and painful for their romantic partners.

push pull relationship theory

The NPD has typically had enough time to get in touch with their human needs, wants and longings for closeness again, as we are all constructed to be social, attached beings.

However, once re-engaged with the romantic partner, the same cycle of devaluation and discarding ensues.

Push-Pull Dynamic of a Romantic Relationship with a Narcissist | The Savvy Shrink

The extreme NPD cannot maintain and sustain a close intimate relationship that requires vulnerability, compromise, honesty and empathy. The NPD has great difficulty with their own internal construct of reality and how their behavior impacts their significant others.

push pull relationship theory

The outcome is the same with an extreme NPD: Back in the days when traditional dating was the norm, playing hard-to-get was a viable strategy for women. Both sexes derived high status from being in a steady relationship.

A guy with a very attractive girlfriend was perceived as a winner in male-on-male competition, because he was selected by a girl with a lot of options. But assortative mating, then as now, was the norm, and for both sexes being part of a couple was generally preferable to being on the market. It was just a question of how high they could aim.

The Push-Pull Relationship

Women played hard to get in an attempt to appear more in demand. By acting like they had a lot of options, they were often able to secure attention and subsequently commitment from more attractive men. Certainly, the social script allows for both women and men to indulge in casual sex and avoid relationships, especially before they turn 30 or so.

push pull relationship theory

They require liquid courage to go through with the casual hookup. The fear of rejection and being made to look foolish in front of friends trumps the very real desire to connect. Guys and girls often resort to push-pull, sending a deliberately confusing and inconsistent series of signals to ostensibly drive the other person into a frenzy of desire and need.

The technique was formally codified by sleazy pickup artists: A tension loop creates unresolved emotional tension inside a woman, increases it, releases it by bringing closure to it, and then sparks it all over again.

push pull relationship theory