Do Empaths attract narcissists? (A complete guide)

In this article, we will answer the question ‘Do Empaths attract narcissists?’. We will do that by initially describing an empath and a narcissist. This will follow up by describing the attraction between them and the nature of their relationship. We will move on to discuss how empaths can identify, deal, and protect themself against narcissists.

Do Empaths attract narcissists?

Yes. Empaths attract narcissists because these personalities are opposite to each other. A narcissist sees an empath as a tool to fulfill their needs. They love the compassion and emotional absorption ability of empaths. In contrast, an empath is attracted to a narcissist because they present a false and attractive image of themself that is different from their real manipulative self. They shift to their real self i.e. someone cold and punishing after they catch their prey. Empaths also get attracted to them due to their need to fix them and get validation from them.

Empath

An empath refers to an individual who is sensitive and able to feel the emotional pain of other people.  They can understand other people’s perspectives and are driven to help and heal them.  Usually,  they hold their partner’s feelings and help them process it together.  However,  with the narcissist, this does not go well as they let the empath be the sole holder of their painful emotions and feel that this is their right.

Narcissist

Narcissists are people with a hidden sense of insecurity.  They try to overcompensate it by using their skills to get compliments and favors from other people so that their wounded self-ego can get inflated.  Their need for admiration, self-importance, and a sense of entitlement starts in early adulthood.  They have difficulty empathizing with people.  Usually, instead of owning their feelings, they project their insecurities on other people.  They are aware when people withdraw their love and care from them due to their behavior.  However, they know how to emotionally manipulate and get back the unauthentic love.

The Attraction between an empath and a narcissist

Narcissists are attracted to empaths because it gives them an opportunity to feed off their compassion and leave them broken. Since empaths are opposite to narcissists, they attract each other. A narcissistic person has no empathy. Whereas, and an empath is full of empathy and love for other people. This creates an attraction between them. 

An empath’s ability to absorb other people’s emotions is attractive to the narcissist as it gives them a chance to fulfill their needs. On the other hand,  empaths are attracted to narcissists because they present a false self. They can seem intelligent,  loving,  attentive, and charming.  With time, they gradually start to turn cold and punishing. They look at other people with hatred and full of flaws. This applies to an empath as well because once narcissists start to notice their flaws, they blame them for being imperfect.

The relationship between an empath and a narcissist

A narcissist feeds on compliments,  money, and favors from other people.  An empath is generous, kind, and trusting enough to provide all this to a narcissist who feeds off them and take advantage of them. 

The relationship between an empath and a narcissist is unbalanced.  It resembles a parasitic relationship.  The narcissist is preoccupied with emotionally feeding off others to fulfill their egotistical needs. They use manipulation and control to you have the power in the relationship.  Whereas the empath tries to heal the wounded narcissist but ends up becoming the powerless victim.

It is difficult for an empath to discover a narcissist and the fact that they are being used because their nature is to give love to other people unconditionally.   They justify or give explanations to a narcissist’s reasons for doing cruel things.  They even try to cure and help them but it does not happen. Since the narcissists are satisfied with who they are and do not want to change.

 In addition to that, a narcissist string along empaths with hope and occasionally compliments them for behaving correctly. This drives the empath into their trap and they start behaving according to the way their Predator wants.

 Whenever an empath realizes the flaws of the narcissist, they try to emotionally manipulate them into saying that they are making their best effort to be perfect and they cannot do that without an empath’s help. Since empaths have difficulty turning away from people who need them,  they continue to stay exploited and in a toxic relationship.

An empath has an underlying belief that if they can make a person who is unable to love,  love them,  they are truly worthy of love.  In other words,  they are driven to a narcissist to desperately receive validation. This is because during their childhood they were unable to receive unconditional love from their parents.  So, they seek this validation from an unloving narcissist to restore their self-worth. The vicious cycle continues as an empath associates love with pain and continue to try to fix the narcissist and tolerates the abuse.

Such a dyadic relationship is dysfunctional but both partners are equally responsible for the imbalance.  The empath needs to realize that they have to set boundaries and refuse to internalize the narcissist projected feelings of inferiority.  They need to walk away instead of being walked over before it is too late.

How an empath can identify, deal and protect themself against a narcissist

A Narcissist puts down other people to feel good about themselves.  They use their people skills and engage in a passive-aggressive communication style to point out the mistakes and imperfections of others on a regular basis but in a subtle manner. 

They do this too to make someone feel helpless and imperfect. Doing so helps them lessen the impact of their own faults.  This is a way they avoid facing their own imperfections and maintain a sense of dominance over other people. Furthermore, they emotionally manipulate others when they withdraw from them. They become the victim and make the other person the aggressor through their words. Spotting these traits can help identify a covert narcissist. 

In addition to that, empaths can use a few tricks to handle a narcissist. This includes the following:

●       When a narcissist makes fun of you,  use the same casual and light tone, and make a comeback.  This will unsettle them and they would eventually stop making such attacks.

●        When a narcissist does things passive-aggressively,  point it out and ask them the reason behind it.  This puts them on the spot and they would have difficulty defending themselves.

●       When a narcissist points out a flaw in you,  point the same flaw in them.

●       An empath can use their empathy as a superpower.  They can do this by going in the opposite direction of their conditioning i.e. instead of understanding other people’s pain and helping them, they can try to reflect and give themselves space. Try to understand their own pain and take care of themselves instead of others.

●       Learn to catch the red flags of a  narcissist and acknowledge they exist.  Take help from a therapist and reflect on the narcissists and their own patterns of responding and figure how to to change them.

In order to protect themself, an empath should do the following:

  • Question the volatile nature of your relationship and label the problems.
  • Ask your friend to get a balanced perspective of a narcissist.
  • Imagine the worst-case scenario for your relationship and ask whether it is worth it.
  • Pull away from a narcissist as soon as you can. End your relationship if possible.
  • Set clear and firm boundaries. 
  • Learn to emotionally distance yourself from a narcissist.
  • Practice distanced compassion.

FAQs: Do Empaths attract narcissists?

Do narcissists love empaths?

No. Narcissists adore empaths because they can feed off them but they do not love them in the true sense of the word since their love is driven by selfish reasons.

Can I outsmart a narcissist?

Yes. Narcissists have good people, manipulation, and controlling skills. However, one can outsmart a narcissist by being in control of one’s emotions and disarming the narcissist in the process.

What is the narcissist’s weakness?

A narcissist dislikes being embarrassed and having others point out their flaws.

What happens when you set boundaries with a narcissist?

When a person sets boundaries with a narcissist, they will try to play the victim. They will argue, blame, and minimize the other person’s feelings and call them ‘inconsiderate’ or ‘too sensitive’.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question ‘Do Empaths attract narcissists?’. We found that Empaths attract narcissists because these personalities are opposite to each other. A narcissist sees an empath as a tool to fulfill their needs. They love the compassion and emotional absorption ability of empaths. In contrast, an empath is attracted to a narcissist because they present a false and attractive image of themself that is different from their real manipulative self. They shift to their real self i.e. someone cold and punishing after they catch their prey. Empaths also get attracted to them due to their need to fix them and get validation from them.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 🙂

Citations

https://www.allicantellyou.com/articles/why-do-empaths-and-narcissists-attract-and-how-to-save-yourself-from-co-dependence#:~:text=Empaths%20are%20emotional%20sponges.,need%20in%20a%20selfless%20way.

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-empaths-and-narcissists-are-attracted-to-each-other-2018-1

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/highly-sensitive-refuge/201912/do-highly-sensitive-people-attract-narcissists

Https://qrius.Com/how-empaths-become-the-narcissists-narcissists/#:~:text=the%20realization%20of%20this%20toxicity,their%20extreme%20low%20self%2desteem!

Https://iheartintelligence.Com/narcissists-destroy-empaths/

Https://iheartintelligence.Com/the-quiet-narcissist/

Https://roseaitken.Com/three-ways-to-stay-powerful-when-dealing-with-narcissists/

https://drpartiali.com/blog-posts/2017/7/11/the-parasitic-relationship-between-a-narcissist-and-an-empath

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.