According to Anthony Robbins, human beings can be motivated by their desire to fulfill six core needs. These needs are not just wants or desires, they form the basis of every choice we make. Through understanding what drives our decisions and behaviours, we can identify what needs a narcissist is trying to fulfill. And what unfulfilled needs have caused them to develop these narcissistic decisions and behaviours. We can also identify what needs we need to fulfil and what needs were not being fulfilled in the relationship with the narcissist.
Everyday we fulfil these needs, either in a way that is beneficial or resourceful or in a destructive, unresourceful way. Narcissists most often choose to meet their needs in a destructive, unresourceful way. You can either build a person up, or break them down. You can either build or destroy and narcissists prefer to destroy. According to Anthony Robbins, the six core human needs are...
Uncertainty or variety
Love and connection
The first four needs are defined as needs of the personality. The last two needs are identified as needs of the spirit. Certainty is a survival mechanism, it is the need for safety, security, comfort, order, reliability, predictability, control and consistency. Uncertainty or variety is the need for surprise, challenges, excitement, change, difference and adventure. These first two needs work with each other. If there is an imbalance in one need, it will affect the other. If there is too much certainty, you could experience boredom and then desire to experience excitement or adventure.
This is why so many long term relationships fail. They become too predictable, there isn't enough excitement or adventure. Narcissists get bored easily. They like the safety and security around their supply, but due to the high level of certainty, they also require a secondary source of supply to fulfil the need of uncertainty or variety. Significance is the need to have meaning, to feel special, to be needed or wanted, important or loveable. Love and connection is the need for communication, attachment or intimacy.
Narcissists spend too much of their time and effort on gaining significance, rather than love or connection. So with narcissists, there is usually an imbalance there. The final two needs are the needs of the spirit, they provide the structure for happiness and fulfillment. Growth is the need for constant emotional, intellectual and spiritual development. Contribution is the need to give to others. To serve, care and protect other people. I have found in my personal experience that narcissists do not place much importance on the final two needs, growth or contribution.
Some narcissists might work on their intellectual or spiritual development, but usually neglect their emotional development. Narcissists are also self absorbed and lack empathy, so the need to contribute isn't going to be important to them, unless it can benefit them in some way. Narcissism is a coping mechanism and a defence mechanism and an adaptation for not fulfilling these 6 core human needs. Narcissism allows the narcissist to fulfil the first 4 needs.
It gives them safety and security, comfort and order. But this causes their source of supply to become reliable and predictable for them, although easy to control. It creates an imbalance of certainty and uncertainty. The narcissist gets bored, as the relationship is no longer giving them a balance of certainty and uncertainty. To fulfil this need for uncertainty, they might find a new target. It gives them a feeling of excitement or adventure. This could also help to fulfil their need of significance.
Another way for them to fulfil their need of significance is to tear you down. Abuse and manipulate you. Devalue and degrade, humiliate and exploit you. But because they spend so much time and effort on gaining significance, it creates an imbalance with another need they are trying to fulfil, which is love and connection. The importance to the narcissist of fulfilling their needs for certainty, uncertainty and significance, override the importance of their need for love and connection.
There is always going to be at least one of narcissist's core human needs which is unfulfilled. This is why they do what they do, because they are trying to fulfil one of their core human needs. If you pay attention to their decisions and behaviours, it should become clear which need they are trying to fulfil. Narcissists often neglect their need for growth. They neglect their emotional development. Yet their decisions and behaviours are based off of these undeveloped emotions, rather than any logic or reasoning.
Some narcissists might place importance on intellectual and spiritual development. This is usually if they believe that it can help them obtain narcissistic supply or if it can help them to fulfil one of the other needs. Narcissists don't really have a need to contribute, unless it can benefit them in some way. Their envy and self hatred overrides any empathy or desire to contribute they would otherwise have. They are self absorbed and lack empathy because their needs are not being fulfilled. Including the needs which they do not place much importance on.
Just because they do not consider them to be important, it doesn't mean that these unfulfilled needs are not going to have an effect on their decisions and behaviours and their health. Narcissists do what they do because they are trying to fulfil these 6 core human needs. We stay with them because we are trying to fulfil those same needs which we have.
Narcissists who you don't even know could become passive aggressive or violent towards you, as a way of fulfilling their needs. It will give them a sense of certainty and significance. As well as creating an intimate connection with you.
It's a very sick way of creating an intimate connection, but it's still a connection. Many of these people in their childhood were made to believe that they are not loveable. They are not worthy or deserving of love. So rather than trying to develop real human connection, they will become passive aggressive or violent towards you as a way of fulfilling those same needs. They take a different road to get to the same destination, but it ends up being less fulfilling.
Which only causes them to become more frustrated and resentful towards you. Narcissists get angry to feel certain in a world that is uncertain. Their anger meets their need for certainty and even significance. People will give up their goals and dreams to meet their needs. They will even give up their own values to meet their needs. With narcissists, their needs have even more importance than they do to the average person. Narcissists also do not have any consistent values.
Narcissists do what they do because they have developed destructive or unresourceful ways of fulfilling these 6 core human needs. These destructive or unresourceful ways of fulfilling these needs are a response to trauma or to a hostile environment in childhood.