5.4
September 16, 2015

Why We Fall in Love with Narcissists. The Harsh Truth.

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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.

 

Relephant:

Loving a Fearless Sensitive Warrior.

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Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Courtney Carmody

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Dre Feb 18, 2016 11:15pm

I do not wish the pain of the aftermath of dealing with these people on anyone. Not even my worse enemy. The Pain is so deep and I truly believe it is a spiritual attack. the bizarre experiences will leave one gasping for air questioning your sense of smell, hearing, sight and sanity. I am successful, witty, educated yet so unwise ! My family members want to slap me for allowing this person in my life let alone still being in love with the weirdo. The curtain got pulled back 4 years in deep when I was 8 months pregnant & walked into his job when 9 of his co workers gathered around me and were like “uhh he quit 3 weeks earlier”. He had pretended to go to wake up and go to work for 3 weeks! He said he was unhappy and wanted to find a job he actually liked. Mind you this man had not a pot to piss in!!! He was unemployed for weeks and when the baby came everything came crashing down on me. Later on God gave me an epiphany that he didn’t quit his job bc he was unhappy he quit bc he was doing drugs behind my back and wasn’t going to pass his random drug test. He then ended up getting a job at the bar to accommodate his drug life and all nighters. You know, a place where he can charm and stand around getting paid to shoot the shit. He mocks my 9-5 white collar “hamster wheel ” life yet he has nothing to show for his. I found him selling, growing and smoking pot behind my back. He is so sloppy with it he can’t be sober and keep it away from our daughter the very few hours he gets to see her. He tells me I am smelling and seeing things when I confront him about it being around her. I asked him to go to therapy to address his habit and work out a co parenting plan so that we could come to an agreement and him rectify his irresponsibility. For three months he cried about how much he was doing everything to win his family back and how much counseling was costing him. When I noticed nothing was changing and only getting worse and more bizarre I went to out therapist and asked him if they were going to come to a conclusion to propose to me soon. The counselor then laughed at me and told me he hadn’t seen my ex since our initial orientation 3 months earlier! I went to confront him and as usual he said I didn’t hear him right or read his emails and text messages right regarding counseling. You know! Gas lighting abuse! A total mind fuck !!! He said that he intended to go but didn’t have the money bc he was going to pay me child support. So I ended up with a domestic abuse charge for stepping in his toe with a high heel! I went to jail for the night and now am paying thousands! He never paid me the child support and bought a new car the following week like a straight douche. Now I look crazy and he comes out looking like the charming, kind, cool calm and collected one! The injustice you will feel with these kinds of people is enraging. Mine was a moocher! These people somehow leaving you feeling anxiety when you are without them ! I miss him and I hate myself for it. He even Es shameless enough to ask me to claim our daughter on his taxes and doesn’t even pay child support! He wants me to hand him over the credit to buy other women drinks at the bars and smoke 10$ blunts! It’s infuriating. To give u an idea of the mind fucks he once texted me “church just got out, would you like me to come pick you up so we can go eat lunch?” I agreed and started looking for a dress to wear since I assumed he would be in a nice suit. He came over in house clothes & I said oh you changed out of your suit without jumping to any assumptions. As we talked further it became clear he did not go and he started to become angry. After 20 minutes of the games and circles he then yelled ” I never said I went to church!” This was chilling to me. It then became clear that this was a person with a mental disorder and real life demons. I cannot express the mental damage these people will leave you with. I will never be the same. I still cry and cannot accept this is what I ended up with after thoroughly being there for him to help him improve his life. My life has declined and I have had to resort to antidepressants until I can build my emotional stability and courage back up. I do not know what focus means. I am still crying deeply several times a week. I am jealous he has such a carefree life and he is so handsome and charming it’s not fair. My brain cannot seem to accept that I will be stuck with him through our daughter. Everyday I wake up in great shock that this is who I chose to be her father.

Empathy Queen Feb 18, 2016 5:51am

Thanks a lot for your amazing words! I can say my ex was totally a narcissist who left me like a dead body! But I’m so glad he is gone from my life forever!

My story has begun almost one year ago, I was recently studying abroad! I was lonely and having hard times in my studies then a great guy just came! He has everything I ever wanted in a guy! He was polite, cute and loving! He had broke up with his ex girlfriend after 6 years of love! As an empath person I was trying to heal him and I was giving him a lot of love to recover fast from his cheaty ex gf as he said! He was awesome! But I noticed since the beginning that he is too stingy when it comes to me! He was all the time generous on himself and to show off in front of other people but with me NOT at all! I talked about it with him then he came back normal but stills he never bought me anytging except on my birthday or valentine’s!! What was a huge red flag for me is that he was really cold! If I cry because of him he would start watching tv and laughing or going to sleep! While I’m crying he is laughing or sleeping!!!! He never comforted me when I cry! Specially from him! And if we ever had a fight he will never be the one to fix the things up I’m always the one who is doing that! But he was always saying to me I’m over emotional and I’m always the problem! I always blamed myself when I was with him, even when I do nothing he was complaining and making a big issue out of it! He controlled me and manipulated my emotions a lot! I was too much emotionally attached to him to the limit I can’t even live a part from him! We moved together really fast! His sexual drive was extremely low! At the beginning of our relationship he was so much touchy and cuddly because he knows I’m a virgin and I can’t sleep with him without marriage, so I was really happy that I found someone really amazing that he wanted to protect me! That’s why I fill for him! Then I started to want him sexually because I felt he was the one! He was always making excuses and refusing to do so! Even he stopped to be cuddly and lovely the way he was! So I was thinking he might have a sexual problem 🙁 and I was always trying to heal like a dump empath again 🙁 then after 6 month he told me his parents refused our relationship and he started to say really unbelievable excuses “supernatural powers and spirit things” just to break up with me! I was too naive and believing everything he was saying! In fact I never trusted him but I couldnt leave him I was totally emotionally attached! So I cried a lot for him to stay with me! I was too pathetic weak girl 🙁 then We spent 4 months after that together but in front of people he treats me good otherwise he is really bad! And whenever we are alone either we playing video games or he just pretend to be sleeping just to avoid me to touch him or seduce him! Then same parent issue appears that they don’t want us to be together! While his parents are not in the country we are studying and there is no way for them to figure out! So then we broke up totally 🙁 anyways we got back together after one month “during this break up time if I text him he replies like nothing happened” I can get him back anytime! But I need to cry and humiliate myself to him all the time! After one month I was blaming myself all this time and I was feeling so bad that I left him and I’m sure it’s about sex he has some problem 🙁 for that I tried to get him back and sleep with him to liberate myself from the guilt and blame I carry! We slept together only after I told him that I think you have a sexual problem or you are guy! He was offended then he acted he loved me “he is totally ice cold” and slept with me. Then I realized he is physically normal! Nothing is wrong with him! It was crystal clear he has some personality disorder! We stayed for 2 months then the same thing happened his parents figured out and he can’t do this anymore! Same shit! This time I was aware of everything he was doing, I just said to him ok take care and bye! I ignored a lot of details in this comment because it’s already too long but I was totally unhappy with him happy that I got rid of him. I broke up 2 months ago and I’m still different and emotionally depleted I imagined it will take time to get back normal:( now he started to publish pics for him and his new gf! Just to let me see! He doesn’t want me to be happy! Whenever he figured someone is flirting me or I’m getting more successful he gets really mad! What a sick mind 🙁 I can’t forgive him tell the rest of my life, specially for manipulating my mind and taking my virginity. But, I know the best revenge is to get more and more happy and successful. Thanks darling for your amazing articles, I love them all. Please write an article about how to recover from that toxic kind of relationships and get back healthy again.

Martha Parks Dec 19, 2015 10:40am

Yes. You have confirmed/validated EVERYTHING about life with a narcissist.

When I met him he was a struggling actor in NYC. He was smart, funny, charming as all get out. A big loveable teddybear of a guy. He made me laugh, flattered me and told me he loved me on the 3rd date. (BIG RED FLAG).

I couldn’t say “I love you” back but the part of me that was longing for validation and romance swooned…

He was on tour a lot and wrote long passionate love letters. Again the romantic in me swooned. He came back bearing a tumble weed that he had caught and kept beside him on the bus and truck tour. How utterly romantic!! I thought.

Within the year we had moved in together. I paid the deposit and rent because I was a strong independent woman with a good job. (You see it coming don’t you???) He was an artist and a bohemian and oh so romantic. (sarcasm begins)

And then we got married…

While I was working 90 hours a week backstage on a hit TV show, he was supposedly auditioning. Actually he was sitting at home, smoking, drinking and watching porn. But I believed him when he said he wouldn’t compromise his ideals by taking just any acting job or in fact any job.

Over the next 25 years, I worked continuously. I was never fired. He, however, was. We moved to my home state and I was the one who ruined his acting career in NYC. I was to blame for his failures. He was fired from a local theater and had to take a “degrading” job as middle management for a manufacturing firm. Meanwhile I found a job at a vet clinic, then went back for my masters in Clinical social work.

HMMM, I began to see that perhaps my husband had a mental illness. For years I had been blamed for being depressed, pessimistic, demanding because I thought bills should be paid and obligations upheld. He got us into debt several times. We lost the house when he lost his job in the 2008 downturn. By that time he had attempted suicide several times, had an emotional affair with a former girlfriend, routinely called me a castrating bitch and held me responsible for everything that had gone wrong. I finally was ready to leave and get a divorce. Then he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. So I stayed. I nursed him through the treatment, put my career on hold, taking a 4 month leave of absence from my job.

He recovered, joined a Cancer Support group and fell in love with his “Cancer Coach”. Who was a lesbian.

He wrote her a highly romantic letter and was dismissed from the group until he sought counseling.

THAT was when I realized I had to get out. AND there was NO way he could blame that on me.

He was cruel in ways that were so subtle I had normalized them, thinking “he can’t help it, he has a mental illness”.

I realized so many things. I was enabling and co dependent. I had wanted to save him. The need in me to nurture and love was so strong that it became my Achilles heel. It took a lot of therapy and self examination and brutal truth to set me free. I had to put up boundaries. I finally established a no contact rule with him and his family. Blocked him on facebook. Cut all ties with him. He still lives in this town and there are overlapping friends. But the boundaries are in place.

Part of me thought that everyone else perceived him as that big lovable teddy bear and would think I was the bitch he made me out to be. So I cut ties and refused to talk badly about him. I never posted anything on facebook about the marriage or divorce. Unlike him. He put EVERYTHING (from his victim perspective) out there…

I have discovered that no, not everyone is taken in by his acting ability. Not everyone sees me as the bitch. And those who do have no place in my life.

I am free. The wounds are healing. I am hopeful. I am reprogramming my brain to silence the negative voice (his) that told me I was to blame, I wasn’t worthy, I was stupid, I was a cunt, a bitch, a prude…

For I now know I am a warrior, a survivor. I am strong and smart and not a victim anymore.

If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. The abuse and the escape. I want to offer that there is hope. It is painful to get there, but freedom is worth the price of pain.

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.