The Little Shaman is a spiritual coach & specialist in cluster B personality disorders, with a popular YouTube show and clients worldwide.
The definition of the word bankrupt is to render somebody or something destitute in some way. Now, we often hear this word in relation to money but it doesn't just mean financial bankruptcy. There is moral bankruptcy, emotional bankruptcy... In other articles, we have compared pathologically narcissistic people to vampires and this is in line with that.
Narcissists take. That's what they do. They take and they take, and if you will keep giving, they will keep taking. They don't seem to have that little voice in their mind that tells them they are taking advantage of other people. And they do not give back. They have nothing that they did not take from another person, so they have nothing to give to other people. Many people believe that narcissistic people are deliberately withholding things from them. That belief is understandable, but it takes for granted they have something to give in the first place. The overwhelming majority of pathologically narcissistic people just don't.
If you understand that you have a semi-finite amount of love, hope, attention... if you think of your capacity of these things as like a bank account, then you can see how it can indeed be emptied. And this is what happens in relationships with narcissists. You are constantly making withdrawals from your account to give to them, but they are depositing nothing back in. Eventually, everything is spent and there is nothing left. The person is exhausted, they are resigned and they are depleted. Often this is when the narcissist moves on - after the other person has nothing left to give them.
Your care account will rebuild itself over time, so don't despair, and sometimes we will see a re-appearance of the narcissistic person when this happens. It's up to you to research your emotional investments, so that you are not simply throwing them away or putting them into something that is a bad risk. And the narcissist is a bad risk. There is no return on your investment. You may as well be throwing it down a hole. With your finances, there is a concept known as risk vs reward. This means that the amount of reward or return you will get on your investment should be worth the risk. If it is not, it is a bad investment. Your emotional investments work the same way. If you don't get back at least what you are putting in, you are making a bad investment.
With financial investments, there are something called standard deviations. This refers to the amount of understood risk for that particular investment, usually based on its history. For example, there are certain fluctuations or deviations for certain stocks. These are normal, or standard. When we are speaking of emotional investments, it is the same. There are standard deviations in friendships, in family relationships, in marriages. They are normal fluctuations where, at certain times in the relationship you may be required to give more or may be blessed to receive more but they are nothing to be concerned about. However, in the case of narcissistic people, there is no fluctuation. There is no deviation. It is all one-sided. Investments go out and they are not returned. Eventually, the person faces emotional bankruptcy because they have poured all their emotional coin into a bad investment with no return.
Of course, narcissists are known to financially bankrupt people as well. They take whatever they can get. If you have a collection of wicker picnic baskets that is worth nothing to anything but you, they will take that if they can get it. Anything that they perceive as having any sort of value, they will take. This is because as we stated earlier, they have nothing of their own and must subsist on either what others give them or that they can take. They are often spiritual, emotional and sometimes literal thieves, taking whatever they can to prop themselves up and heedless of the consequences or cost to anyone else.
The good thing is, like vampires, they have to be invited in to your life. They can't emotionally bankrupt you if you don't allow them to do so. Bad investments don't make the withdrawals. You do. And you don't have to do that if you don't want to.