Narcissistic withdrawal is a form of defense mechanism.
The drug for narcissist is admiration---whether he deserves it or not. When any other reaction like criticism or rejection occurs, the narcissist immediately responds by immediately withdrawing.
The narcissist can withdraw and isolate physically and/or emotionally. The lack of empathy for others is evident in his desperate attempt to avoid humiliation and protect his inflated self-esteem.
Withdrawal can also often occur when the narcissist is unsatisfied or has become bored with compliments from the same group of people and is in need of new sources.
Many friends, families and co-workers who experience withdrawal by narcissists are often left confused, hurt and angered. At the same time, the disillusioned narcissist feels no remorse and continues the cycle of addiction.
Narcissism is a personality disorder that is viewed as an addiction. Similar to other forms of addiction, narcissism adheres to craving, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are related and lead to the next. The constant craving for attention eventually leads to tolerance which leads the narcissist to seek new people to provide a similar amplified, unrealistic praise. They also withdraw themselves from their social and work circles often; constantly creating only short-term relationships.