Since writing about the harmful attraction between empaths and narcissists I have received lots of messages from people wondering why they repeatedly magnetise narcissists into their lives.
When we are in the thick of a relationship with a narcissist, it can feel as though we are trapped trying to decipher a complex enigma. This type of connection is not as difficult to decode, or to understand, as it may at first seem.
When we start the process of detangling from the web a narcissist has weaved we are so emotionally exhausted it can be very difficult to see what has actually happened, so we often look to portion out blame.
Is it them?
Is it us?
Is it everyone around us? Our circumstances? Bad timing?
Where lies the truth?
The biggest problem is found in the colour of glasses we choose to wear. Red flags are never visible whilst wearing rose-coloured tints, or any other shade for that matter.
When we are ready to seek the truth it all begins to become much clearer.
A game for one has little gain for a narcissist, as they need to plug into someone else to receive an emotional “fix.” Narcissists are detached from their emotions as there are blockages preventing movement. The only way they are capable of processing emotions is when they tap into someone else’s emotional energy.
Narcissists will likely seek out people who have large amounts of excess energy. For example, they will connect with empaths who are intuitive healers and who tend to vibrate love and healing energy. If an empath is not taking care of themselves properly, they will leak out energy at such an intense level that it can be detrimental to their own emotional well-being. Empaths are also an easy target for those looking for an easy feed.
An exchange often takes place as the narcissist is seeking admiration, validation and a desire to constantly have their ego stroked and in return they will provide whatever it is the other person is lacking. However, what the narcissist offers is only on the surface and comes with conditions that their needs are always met with priority, regardless of the effects this has on anyone else.
This can look like a fair deal, especially to the narcissist, though unfortunately it isn’t as the narcissist has a strong need to be in control. The other person then very quickly becomes the prey—the narcissist being the sharp and hungry predator.
What may seem like an equal exchange is something very different. The narcissist will feed to receive validation to such an extent that it leaves the other person totally drained and feeling worthless. Meanwhile, the narcissist rises above resting high up on their well-deserved throne where they fully believe they belong.
Narcissists are a dazzling light that fireflies cannot stay away from. They will dance around it until they have been thoroughly burned.
We are like the firefly, lingering around sifting through charred ashes hoping to find codes and clues to figure out what exactly went wrong.
We find it difficult to believe that what began as a fairy-tale ended with a far less enchanted story penned by The Brothers Grimm.
When clarity arrives we are left shell-shocked and bewildered and we frantically scramble to try to understand what drew us towards this raging fire in the first place. We look back puzzled and wondering what type of insanity caused us to stand torturing ourselves on scorching coals, refusing to step away so we could take some relief from the pain.
Unfortunately, we will find no answers from the narcissist. This is mainly because a narcissist will hold all of their cards very close to their chests. They refuse to show anyone their hand due to a fear of being exposed, as removing their masks would signal the end of their royal and majestic reign.
Narcissists have a grandiose opinion of themselves and they survive on drama. They want the to be on centre stage when the show reaches its climax so they will not want to be seen scurrying through the dark back door of the theatre house.
Therefore, we have no option but to work out the dynamics for ourselves and not concern ourselves with the details on the narcissist’s agenda. We should try to focus on what attracted us so powerfully in the first place so that we can prevent a repeat performance and more importantly take accountability for our own role.
A relationship with a narcissist is usually a steady process that has built up over time. Like an insidious drip we are slowly fed an addictive poison so by the time we resurface we are intoxicated, dazed and confused.
We have to remember that we choose to drink the elixir. It is never forced upon us. Narcissists are clever and cunning players of their complex game and they will find little pleasure if an opponent is not eager and willing to partake.
If a narcissist comes across someone who is more skilled or significantly mentally stronger than they are, the board will be flipped over, tantrums often displayed and the game ends before it has even begun.
For those that have not witnessed the timorous chameleon caught in the act of changing colours, narcissists are the most irresistible, charismatic, thoughtful, caring, passionate and lovable characters we could ever wish to meet.
We are in shock that we have met someone who seems to tick every box and meet all needs and desires.
And narcissists are in their element when we are caught like a rabbit in their headlights, astounded by their magnificence and in awe at their sexual prowess and unfailing charm.
Realistically, the narcissist is simply role-playing. They read us instantly and they quickly work out exactly what it is we are hoping to receive from them.
We want someone strong and independent and they will show us these traits. If we want a sensitive, deep and introverted type, they have the ability to quickly put on that mask instead. They are masters at deception and they play a quickly changing manipulative game.
The narcissist is fully in control at this stage and they intend to keep it this way. If they are successful in bewitching us we are then led directly to their lair. Once we are spellbound and falling head over heels, that is where the real magic takes place. We are basically a prop, however a willing one.
Now, if we were to suddenly open our eyes, take off our tinted glasses and remove the narcissist’s masks we would see everything play out just as clearly as though we were sitting in the audience watching people step into their character roles.
We are looking to the narcissist to meet our needs. We are projecting on them all the things we want and they are delivering what it is we are hoping for. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement in these beginning stages.
We ask—the narcissist delivers.
We begin to enter co-dependency. We place our happiness, hopes and dreams into the hands of a narcissist and they are then free to put them into a pot and stir them all up. However, not before they add to the mix all their own hopes and dreams, which, unfortunately do not mirror our own.
The narcissist thinks only of themselves and will work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure that their life plays out exactly as they have envisaged in their mind. Someone who is not a narcissist will not be thinking only of themselves, they will be thinking of both people involved in the relationship. The balance is out, the scales will immediately tip.
The spill out from the tip is what takes place continuously throughout the relationship. Nothing is ever steady and the scales will always be manically swaying. Every time the scales turn erratic, if we try to jump out and onto safety, the narcissist will steady things once again by feeding us what we want to hear. We stay. Things balance out, but only temporarily. Soon enough, the narcissist tips the scales once again in their own favour. Repeat, repeat and repeat.
Until one day, the narcissist has taken all that they need so we are rendered useless, emotionally beaten and no longer worthy of the superior narcissists company. They will find it very easy to walk away like a bloodthirsty vampire moving on to bleed their next victim dry.
Or, the other more preferable option—we open our eyes.
We stop looking to others to provide what we need and feed ourselves large enough doses of love, self-worth, independence and happiness. This will mean that when we are faced with a narcissist, we will not be looking to them to keep us fulfilled and alive, as realistically all they deliver is nothing more than a quick injection of junk food with very little nourishment.
When we are hungry, we are weak and we accept less.
We begin to starve.
We are weakened further.
It is a painful, but very simple truth.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Courtney Carmody