Narcissists are difficult people to like, but who is it that they are looking for? You might be tempted to think that narcissists target weak people who are easy to manipulate, but you would be mistaken. Narcissists actually prefer people who are strong-willed and have characteristics or talents that they, the narcissists, admire.
They like to have relationships with stronger people because when they are able to tear them down, they feel even stronger and more powerful than if the person was someone who is weak. You have to remember that narcissists are all about their image, and they will go to any lengths to ensure that image is a good one.
Toward that end, they will zero in on particular strengths they see in other people and then proceed to destroy the very strengths they admire. People with strong family relationships, good careers, and a strong sense of accomplishment all attract the narcissist’s attention. Prepare to learn about the types of people who easily attract narcissists.
Specific Traits that Attract a Narcissist
There are actually four specific types of people who tend to attract narcissists. They all share one thing in common — characteristics you would think of as positive.
1. Impressive People
People who are impressive in some way won’t fail to attract a narcissist. It might be that they have a successful career — usually with a public face to it — or it may be that they have a great family.
It’s also possible the narcissist is attracted to the talents or hobbies that this person does well. Basically, if you’re someone who has impressive accomplishments in any area of your life, you’re likely to attract a narcissist.
The reason for this is twofold. First, if you are in their life, that will reflect well on them. It will boost their image. Second, if they can take your accomplishments or talents and somehow tear them down, that makes them feel even more powerful.
2. Complimentary People
If you are someone who, because of your own kindness, likes to compliment people or make them feel good about themselves, then you’ll likely attract a narcissist. Narcissists need external validation.
For that reason, they are highly attracted to people who will make them feel good about themselves. If you compliment them or show them that you are impressed with them, the narcissist will follow you around like a puppy dog. But watch out, because they won’t return the favor.
3. People Who Make Them Look Good
The narcissist is always looking for people to make themselves look good in the eyes of other people. They want the trophy wife or husband to show everyone that they are so great they can get a special person to marry them.
This is why the narcissist will try to surround themselves with successful, impressive people, but it’s not because they want some of that success to rub off on them. It’s because they want to project an image of success.
The narcissist is externally validated, and thus, they need other people to make them feel good about themselves. If they are receiving compliments simply because of who they know, that’s external validation.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the narcissist won’t continue to try to tear down or control these successful people. On the contrary: they will feel even more empowered if they can successfully take down someone who is widely viewed as successful. In their mind, they will look even better if their successful friends fail.
4. People Who Validate Them
The narcissist is always looking for that external validation. When they find someone who will overlook their flaws and validate their feelings, they want to be around that person.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they want to treat that person nicely. In fact, they want someone who has enough compassion to stick by their side even when they are abusing them. That’s another way that they can feel powerful.
If you’re feeling like a narcissist magnet, you might try asking yourself a few questions to discover exactly why. This can help you to both understand why they’re attracted to you and what you can do about it.
Do you have clear boundaries?
If you don’t have firmly established and defended boundaries, narcissists will be drawn to you. This is particularly true if you’re one of the four types of people discussed above. A narcissist knows what to look for in the kind of people that will put up with their manipulative tactics, and they won’t hesitate to exploit weak boundaries.
Do you stick it out when a relationship goes downhill?
Particularly if a relationship starts out good, but then goes downhill quickly, you might be tempted to stick it out and see if things improve. You can easily justify the inappropriate actions of the other people. Maybe they’re just in a bad phase, or maybe they’re a narcissist.
If you have rejected someone because they behaved inappropriately, don’t take them back. They are unlikely to change in the future, and this is particularly true if the person is a narcissist.
Do you make excuses for someone else’s bad behavior?
It’s easy, and in some ways more palatable, to just think someone is having a bad day when they behave badly. But for the narcissist, those bad days turn into bad weeks, months, and even years.
If you make excuses for them, they’ll exploit the fact that you’re letting them off the hook. They don’t see their behavior as bad; they believe themselves to be entitled to behaving however they like.
Narcissists take advantage of people’s desire to believe the best of their fellow humans. If you give them a chance to integrate themselves into your life, they will, and it will be very difficult to get them out.
Narcissists often react to rejection by pursuing the object of their affection with even more determination. They show what appears to be genuine remorse for their bad behavior and they will frequently love bomb you.
If you let them in, however, it will be extremely difficult to get them back out. The important thing to realize is that you never deserve to be devalued or undervalued. You also deserve to have your emotions respected. These are things that are hard for the narcissist to do.
That’s why if you’re one of those people who seems to magically attract narcissists, you need to establish firm boundaries, require respectful treatment from anyone in your life, and never back down from your stated consequences for bad behavior. These tactics will help you protect yourself from a narcissist.
It’s also helpful to understand how to say no to a narcissist. To help, I want to send you a free copy of “5 Must-Know Techniques to Effectively Reject a Narcissist.” Just click on the link below this blog article and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.
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