Do you often find yourself attracted to a particular type of person? Perhaps someone who is always demanding your attention, who likes to think that they are superior to others, and goes ballistic if anyone challenges them?
If you answered “yes!” to any of the above questions, you might be attracted to narcissists. While the outcome is rarely a good one, there is a silver lining. Once you know and can recognize the red flags, you can save yourself a lot of heartache in the future.
What is a Narcissist? And Why Are We Attracted to Them?
A little narcissism is not a bad thing in itself. We all need to be self-assured and confident about ourselves and our abilities, but that’s not the kind of narcissism we’re talking about here.
People who have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have an over-inflated opinion of themselves and their importance. They need constant attention, admiration, and validation to feel whole. Often, this comes at the expense of their partners, who must either endure their foul moods when they feel slighted, agree with their opinions even if we know they are wrong, and expect frequent outbursts of narcissistic rage when things don’t go their way.
Narcissists cannot empathize, and though they might show intense emotion at times, it’s almost always related to how the situation affects them. You can imagine how this plays out in a relationship – it’s all one-way. Narcissists don’t often find fulfillment in relationships, and no matter how hard you try to please them, it’s never enough. Or, if there is some semblance of happiness, it’s generally short-lived. When you’re in love with a narcissist, be prepared for a roller-coaster ride.
So now that we know what a narcissist is, let’s talk about why we’re attracted to them.
Narcissists are almost always very charming, good-looking, and confident. These are all desirable qualities we all want in a mate. They are also capable of showing intense emotion, so when the veil of new love is fresh, it’s easy to fall hard.
They seem so perfect; they know how to say and do all the right things. But the truth is, they are skilled at manipulation. They play the game very well, especially in the early stages. After all, they’re in it to “win,” so they’ll pull out all the stops to ensure they do. When you’re basking in that light, everything seems possible. You might even convince yourself that everything will work out.
Unfortunately, it rarely does.
They Are Attracted to Who You Are
If you’re a naturally empathetic, caring person, you’re like catnip to a narcissist. As a result, you’ve probably dated more than your fair share. Maybe you even married one. In these relationships, you struggle to have your needs met, but you feel like it’s not enough, no matter what you do. You’re unhappy, unfulfilled, and the cycle seems to perpetuate itself.
One thing is for sure, though. Narcissists aren’t attracted to you because you’re weak or “broken.” Instead, they tend to seek out successful, together people who are kind and giving. It would seem that they enjoy the challenge of upending the life of someone who appears to have it all.
You can tell that he/she is not for you, but what you’re feeling is more like an addiction. Even when you recognize it, you’re not sure how to break free; but you must break the cycle if you’re going to find the kind of love you want – a mutually caring, loving, respectful connection in which your partner values you and your feelings as much as you respect theirs.
Breaking the Cycle
Change is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you’ve lived a certain way all your life. Breaking the cycle is a conscious choice, and it won’t always be clear-cut, but when you are attuned to your own needs and willing to receive them, you’re off to a good start.
Set a few ground rules:
- If they behave unacceptably, don’t take them back. It’s unlikely they will change.
- If they don’t respect your boundaries at the start, it’s not going to get better with time.
Bottom line – go with your gut. If you feel uncomfortable or your partner is constantly manipulating you into going along with things you don’t want to do, they are not right for you. In the big scheme of things, your instincts are always right. Give yourself more credit, and don’t settle for less.
Are you ready to find your match? We’d love to learn more about you! Reach out today to take the first step.