If you’re in a relationship with someone who displays narcissistic traits, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the idealization phase. This is the honeymoon period where your partner is on their best behavior, showering you with compliments and love.
They make you feel like you’re the only one that matters and that they would do anything for you. If you’re lucky, this phase will last a few weeks or months. But more often than not, it doesn’t take long for the mask to come off and the devaluation phase to begin.
In this article, you are going to read the psychological definition of idealization, What is the Idealization phase in narcissistic abuse, and what does a narcissist do during the idealization phase? Examples of the idealization phase. How you can deal with the idealization phase?
Let’s dive in.
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Idealization definition in psychology
Idealization is a psychological process whereby someone devalues or neglects their own needs and instead focuses on the needs of another person.
The individual often idealizes the other person to the point where they become perfect in their eyes, and the relationship becomes all-important.
The purpose of idealization is to create an emotionally intimate connection with another person. It allows people to feel safe and secure in relationships by forming a strong emotional bond with someone they trust.
However, when idealization is used as a defense mechanism, it can ultimately lead to disappointment and disillusionment when the other person fails to meet the unrealistic expectations that have been created.
1. What is the idealization phase of narcissistic abuse?
The idealization phase is the first stage of a narcissist’s abuse. In this phase, the narcissist will put their victim on a pedestal and shower them with attention and affection.
They will make their victim feel like they are the only person in the world who matters. The victim will believe that they have finally found their soulmate. During this phase, the narcissist is grooming their victim for future abuse.
7 Things Narcissists do during Idealization Phase
So narcissists do these seven things during the idealization phase.
1. Narcissists will give you compliments non-stop during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will shower you with compliments during the idealization phase. They will make you feel like you’re the most special person in the world and that they would do anything for you. Don’t forget that this is just a ploy to groom you for future abuse. Don’t let their charm deceive you.
2. Narcissists will want to know everything about you during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will want to know everything about you during the idealization phase. They will ask about your family, your friends, and your hobbies.
They will be very interested in your life and what you’re doing. This is because they want to learn as much as they can about you so that they can eventually exploit you.
3. Narcissists will be overly attentive and romantic during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will be very attentive and romantic during the idealization phase. They will take you out on dates, buy you gifts, and send you to love letters.
They will do everything they can to make you fall in love with them. Again, this is all part of their grooming process.
4. Narcissists will make you feel like you’re the only one that matters during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will make you feel like you’re the only one that matters during the idealization phase. They will always be there for you when you need them and they will never put themselves first.
They will make you feel like you are their world and that they would do anything for you. This is all a facade though, once the devaluation phase starts, they will quickly change their tune.
5. Narcissists will act like perfect partners during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will act like a perfect partner during the idealization phase. They will never argue with you, they will always agree with what you say, and they will never do anything wrong.
This is because they want to gain your trust so that they can exploit you later on.
6. Narcissists will make grandiose promises about the future during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will make grandiose promises about the future during the idealization phase. They will promise you that they will never hurt you, that they will always be there for you, and that you will be together forever. They will make you feel like you are their one and only. Don’t believe these lies, they will only hurt you in the end.
7. Narcissists will try to isolate you from your friends and family during the Idealization phase
The narcissist will try to isolate you from your friends and family during the idealization phase. They will want you all to themselves and they will do everything they can to keep you away from your loved ones.
This is because they don’t want you to have anyone else to turn to. They want you to be completely dependent on them.
They are manipulating their victim into thinking that they are perfect and that they can do no wrong. Once the victim is completely under the narcissist’s control, they will start to see the narcissist’s true colors.
The narcissist will start to devalue their victim and treat them with contempt and indifference. The narcissist will also start to gaslight their victim and make them doubt their own reality.
The idealization phase is a trap that the victim can never escape from. Once they are in it, the only way out is through the pain of the narcissistic abuse.
Examples of Idealization Phase
There’s no one answer to this question since idealization can take on many different forms in different relationships. However, some general examples of idealization might include a partner who is always attentive and loving, never argues or fights, is always available for sex, has no flaws or weaknesses, and so on.
In healthy relationships, idealization can be a sign of genuine love and affection. However, in unhealthy or abusive relationships, idealization often takes the form of unrealistic expectations that are impossible for any real person to meet. This can lead to feelings of disappointment and betrayal when the partner inevitably fails to meet these unrealistic expectations.
5 ways to deal with the Idealization phase
Here are simple 5 ways to deal with the idealization phase:
1. Don’t let the narcissist charm you.
Don’t let the narcissist charm you during the idealization phase. Remember that they are just trying to groom you for future abuse. Don’t be fooled by their false facade.
2. Keep your distance from them.
Keep your distance from the narcissist during the idealization phase. Don’t let them get too close to you and don’t share too much information with them. This is because they will use this information against you later on.
3. Document everything they do.
Document everything the narcissist does during the idealization phase. This will help you later on when it comes time to make a police report or to get a restraining order.
4. Talk to someone about what’s going on.
Talk to someone about what’s going on with the narcissist during the idealization phase. This can be a friend, family member, therapist, or any other support system. They can help you deal with this difficult time.
5. Get ready for the devaluation phase.
Get ready for the devaluation phase, which will inevitably follow the idealization phase. The devaluation phase is when the narcissist starts to treat their victim with contempt and indifference.
Be prepared for this and have a plan in place so that you can get through it safely.
How long does the narcissist idealization phase last?
The narcissist idealization phase can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on how long it takes the narcissist to groom their victim.
How does a narcissist deal with rejection in the idealization phase?
A narcissist will typically reject the person who rejects him or her. This can manifest in a number of ways, but the most common is that the narcissist will devalue and discard the person who rejected him.
This can be incredibly damaging to the person who was rejected and can leave them feeling shattered and hopeless.
The idealization phase can be a heady time for the victim of narcissistic abuse. It’s when they are on top of the world, and the narc seems like their knight in shining armor. This is also when the narcissist does their best to make themselves indispensable in the victim’s life.
If you find yourself in this phase, it’s important to keep your wits about you and remember that it won’t last forever. Prepare yourself for what comes next — devaluation and discard — by reaching out to loved ones or therapy for support. Share your experience of idealization with other victims of narcissistic abuse in the comments box so they know they are not alone.