How empaths attract narcissists? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will discuss How empaths attract narcissists?. We will do that by describing empaths and narcissists separately. We will then discuss the attraction between them and how their relationship maintains over time. In the end, we will discuss certain strategies and behaviors, empaths need to show in order to survive or break off the relationship with a narcissist. 

How empaths attract narcissists? 

Empaths attract narcissists by being themself around them. Their tendency to prioritize the needs of others before their own along with carrying the emotional load of others makes them attractive to narcissists. It enables them to be the perfect bait through which narcissists can fulfill their needs. It gives them the opportunity to be admired and manipulate them for their personal interest. The relationship continues because empaths play out childhood patterns of survival. They act favorably and helpful to get love and validation from narcissists who string them along but do not actually fulfill their needs. If empaths don’t realize the toxicity of such a relationship, it can harm them greatly in the long run.

Empaths and narcissists 

An empath refers to people who are highly sensitive. They can detect the emotions of other people and see the world from their perspective. Sometimes, they absorb the emotions of others around them. They often confuse these feelings with their own which can have a negative impact on their mental health. They are highly compassionate people who love to help anyone in need. They also have high intuition and can pick out patterns among situations, emotions, and people.

A narcissistic person is someone who requires constant admiration from others in order to feel validated. They are highly sensitive to criticism and overreact at the slightest signs of someone critiquing them. These people have an idealized version of themselves that they love but in reality, they have low self-esteem and try to compensate for these insecurities by acting grandiose. They are self-centered and disregard other people’s feelings and their rights. They can be described as arrogant, manipulative, demanding, and selfish in behavior. They are also resistant to changing themself and often externalize blame instead of accepting their mistakes. 

The attraction between empaths and narcissists

Although empaths are opposite to narcissists, both people are drawn to each other. So, in their case opposites attract. Narcissists are attracted to empaths as it gives them an opportunity to make use of them to fulfill their needs of admiration. Empaths on the other hand are attracted to narcissists as it gives them an opportunity to absorb someone’s emotions and fulfill their needs. They hope to get love and validation from their relationship with narcissists. 

According to Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist: “What narcissists see in empaths is a giving, loving person who is going to try and be devoted to you and love you and listen to you. But unfortunately, empaths are attracted to narcissists because at first, this is about a false self. Narcissists present a false self, where they can seem charming and intelligent, and even giving until you don’t do things their way, and then they get cold, withholding and punishing.”

The relationship between an empath and a narcissist offers emotional satisfaction to both parties. This is because a narcissist gets his emotions processed and suffering eased when an empath absorbs their emotions. Whereas, an empath gets the satisfaction of helping someone in need. It creates an emotional bond that is destructive and toxic for them but attractive at the same time.

The Maintainance of the relationship

The dynamic of their relationship involves narcissists playing out patterns from their childhood and using strategies they used to get love from others around them while being with an empath. At the same time, an empath is doing the same. They act out survival patterns they learned as a child i.e. disconnecting from themself and putting others and their needs at the top in order to get love, validation, and a desire to be in a meaningful connection which is intimate and honest. 

Initially, narcissists act all sensitive and attentive. They present the best fake version of themself by using their charm. They see and adore empaths due to their caring and loving way of being kind to others and absorbing their emotions. With time, they start to notice their flaws and blame them for being imperfect. 

Empaths, on the other hand, stay through the relationship along with its blame and critique because they think they can help narcissists be better people and fix them by being compassionate to them. They double their efforts to be attentive listeners and hold their emotional load. They focus on building harmony.

Whereas, narcissists try to disrupt that harmony by using manipulation and stringing their empathic partners along. If empaths confront them or point out their behavior, they promise to be better and ask their help to do so. This traps empaths who actually believe they will follow through with their commitment and stay in the relationship to give them support that they actually do not need.

 With time, the relationship between an empath and a narcissist becomes a trauma bond that is difficult to end, despite the damage it causes to the people involved. Empaths are self-aware and try to look at their flaws. However, when they are stuck in a trauma bond, it is hard for them to realize what this toxic relationship is doing to them. They fail to realize that they need to change themself instead of trying to change a narcissist who is not ready to change himself. 

What Empaths need to do

Empaths need to accept that the responsibility for personal growth lies with them. They need to be able to set personal boundaries. Although they see boundaries as harsh and as something that pushes others away, they need to learn that setting limits is essential in their relationship. They have to learn to say No in order to preserve their own mental health.  

When an empath tries to shift the power dynamics of their relationship, the narcissist feels threatened and pushes back. It is important that they don’t fall weak and continue to make their voice heard and clarify their needs and wants. They need to put the responsibility of change on narcissists rather than taking it upon themself to change them. 

Their communication style needs to shift from being passive to assertive. Another important thing, they need to learn is to let go of the need to be approved by others. Doing so will help them realize that a lot of their behavior contributing to maintaining the toxic relationship is trying to please the narcissist and depending on their version of the truth about themself. It is important that an empath focuses on separating their identity from the narcissist’s version and look inside to find their real identity.

If it is possible, then empath should break the relationship and distance themself from such people. However, if this cannot be done, they should learn strategies to survive. Furthermore, seeking couple therapy or professional therapy can also be beneficial. 

FAQs: How empaths attract narcissists?

What empaths can learn from narcissists?

An empath needs to learn to trust themself instead of depending on the approval of narcissists. They need to realize that the narcissist is manipulating them and actually lacks empathy. They disregard the pain of others, so they will eventually do the same to empaths. 

Are narcissists attracted to other narcissists?

It is highly possible that narcissists attract narcissists. Research has shown that narcissism has been positively associated with liking narcissistic actors and negatively associated with liking non-narcissistic actors. 

Can a narcissist love you?

Amorous narcissists are the types who can be persuasive lovers yet uncommitted to a romantic relationship. They use their charm and tactics to make people fall for them. Although these may seem expressions of love, they are inauthentic and lack depth. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed How empaths attract narcissists?. We found that Empaths attract narcissists by being themself around them. Their tendency to prioritize the needs of others before their own along with carrying the emotional load of others makes them attractive to narcissists. It enables them to be the perfect bait through which narcissists can fulfill their needs. It gives them the opportunity to be admired and manipulate them for their personal interest. The relationship continues because empaths play out childhood patterns of survival. They act favorably and helpful to get love and validation from narcissists who string them along but do not actually fulfill their needs. If empaths don’t realize the toxicity of such a relationship, it can harm them greatly in the long run.

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

Citations

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-empaths-and-narcissists-are-attracted-to-each-other-2018-1#:~:text=Empaths%20are%20%22emotional%20sponges%2C%22,need%20in%20a%20selfless%20way.

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.

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