Narcissists are known for being self-absorbed and only interested in their own needs. They demand too much from the people in their life. They have unrealistically high expectations that no one can ever live up to, and when they fail, the narcissist is harshly critical. For the narcissist, love is conditional, so why would anyone ever be with someone like that?
There are a few types of people that will want to be with a narcissist. The first are people-pleasers. These are usually people with codependency. Narcissists also flock together so other narcissists are another type. Finally, empaths often see the narcissist’s pain and want to help them.
If you are someone who is attracted to a narcissist or if you know someone who is, it’s important to know the dynamics of that relationship so you can understand the attraction. It’s often rooted in early emotional wounds. Let’s explore the reasons why these 3 types of people are attracted to narcissists.
1. Codependent People are Attracted to Narcissists
Codependency often forms in childhood when a child’s needs are ignored. They might have narcissistic or other types of toxic parents. As their parents ignore their needs, the child can accept that they’re not important.
They learn to focus on their toxic parents in order to survive. They quickly learn that love is conditional, and as such, the child is only loved when they are catering to the needs of everyone else.
Once they’ve accepted this pattern, it continues into adulthood. They continue to be people-pleasers in their romantic relationships and often find narcissists attractive because they seem confident and self-assured.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long. Eventually, the narcissist becomes overly critical. You might think this would deter the codependent, but it actually has the opposite effect. They just work harder to please the narcissist. That’s what they did as a child, and they continue in the same pattern.
2. Narcissists are Attracted to Each Other
This is particularly true of grandiose narcissists. They both want the same kinds of things. They want the limelight, they want the other person to support their dreams and focus on their needs, and they like to have someone who seeks the same things in life. As psychiatrist Marcia Sirota notes, “One narcissist will marry another, perhaps even more extreme narcissist, to establish a mutually-exploitative and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Sometimes a relationship between two narcissists can work, but it still goes through the same stages as a narcissist’s relationship with a healthy person. At first, both narcissists are loving each other’s company. They are in the idealization stage just like what would happen with a healthy partner.
But soon, the bloom is off the rose as they still can live up to each other’s unrealistic expectations. Even though they understand each other, that doesn’t mean they can please each other.
Eventually, the relationship enters the devaluation stage, and as with a healthy person, this is when the relationship will likely end. If it can survive this stage, however, it’s possible the two narcissists can reach a sort of understanding where they can live together without destroying each other.
3. Empaths are Attracted to Narcissists
Empaths are highly sensitive people who have a gift that allows them to sense the emotional pain of other people. They can quickly see other people’s pain, and they are eager to help.
They are often attracted to narcissists because they are initially attracted by their charm. The narcissist seems very sensitive as well, and they act in a very loving way.
But as the narcissist begins to reveal their true self, the empath begins to see the emotional turmoil created by the early childhood wounding. This doesn’t mean that the empath will not want a relationship with them.
On the contrary, the empath wants to help. They have a very giving nature and want to help people heal themselves. Whether or not such a relationship can survive depends on how attuned the empath is to their gift.
Being an empath can be very draining since they are always sensing the emotions of people around them. They have to learn how to control this sensory input and care for themselves. If they don’t know how to do that, a narcissist will drain them dry, leaving them feeling utterly exhausted.
If an empath understands their gift and is able to defend strong boundaries and take care of themselves, it is possible for them to help the narcissist reduce their bad behaviors. Often, however, the narcissist becomes too fearful of such intimacy and ends the relationship themselves.
What Kind of People are Narcissists Attracted To?
You might think narcissists would be attracted to people that are easily manipulated, but you would be wrong. To understand why you need to remember that the narcissist is always focused on propping up their image. They want other people to see them as superior.
For that reason, they are often attracted to impressive, successful people who will make them look good to their friends, family members, and work colleagues. Essentially, they want a trophy spouse. They expect their spouse to praise them around other people, look great so everyone can see what a beautiful or handsome person the narcissist was able to attract, and help them continue to build their image of superiority.
If that trophy spouse fails to do any of that, the narcissist will likely initiate the devaluation stage of the relationship. They become harshly critical of them, and this will usually eventually bring about the demise of the relationship.
Narcissists are also attracted to people who are codependent. They are people-pleasers, and that is exactly what the narcissist wants. They want someone who will put the narcissist’s needs above their own.
Narcissists see other people as extensions of their own identity, and therefore, they believe they should be focused on the narcissist. Additionally, codependents are not likely to leave even when the narcissist becomes emotionally abusive. That suits the narcissist just fine as they can call all the shots.
Finally, narcissists are attracted to empaths because the empath focuses on their needs. They make the narcissist feel special, and that is what the narcissist wants. If the empath isn’t fully self-aware and can’t control their gift or take proper care of themselves, they usually end up feeling emotionally drained.
If, on the other hand, the empath is self-aware, it is possible they can help the narcissist reduce their narcissistic tendencies. This doesn’t happen very often, however.
Some people believe that everyone eventually dates a narcissist, but for a relationship with such a toxic person to last, it usually requires that the partner be someone who either isn’t self-aware, is codependent, or is also a narcissist. These are the kinds of people who find themselves attracted to a narcissist. It takes someone who is very alert to emotional abuse to defuse the tactics of a narcissist. It requires that they get their early childhood wounds healed.
If you are trying to make a relationship with a narcissist work, you might be interested in my 5 Step Roadmap to Heal Emotional Triggers. This guide will help you to understand the origins of your emotional wounds and defuse the responses you have when triggered. You can heal those wounds so that no one can use your own emotions against you again. Just click on this link, and I’ll send this free guide directly to your inbox.
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