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Why Do Empaths Attract Narcissists?

Dearest hearts you may believe that these two groups of people, the empath and the narcissist, are polar opposites and wildly dissimilar therefore they should have no attraction for each other and no common ground. The empath is generally seen as the all-feeling one who becomes the victim while the narcissist is seen as the self-consumed one who’s seen as the predator. Herein lies the problem, no one is ever comprised of one strain of thinking or behavior. There’s good and bad in every being and it’s up to each individual to decide whether to allow their mature, loving side to dominate or their childish immature side to present itself.

The two groups share a common bond of feeling misunderstood and of having low self-esteem

It does not follow that the empath is mature and enlightened or more advanced nor does it follow that the narcissist is underdeveloped with none of these qualities. What is true for both ends of this social spectrum is the need to feel loved and appreciated. The two groups share a common bond of feeling misunderstood and of having low self-esteem. They both look outside themselves for validation because they don’t see themselves as worthy. Both of these groups have developed personality traits to deal with their supposed shortcomings.

The empath gains attention, respect, and pseudo-love by helping others. They are the, “let me do if for you” group that often feels overwhelmed, over-obligated and taken advantage of. They self-destruct by agreeing to help everyone, by trying to make everyone around them feel better and by taking the burden away from others and placing it on their own shoulders. They often judge their success or happiness by whether or not they’ve succeeded in making another person happy.

Since no one can be responsible for another’s happiness, especially not when it comes at the expense of their own wellbeing, the empath will never receive the acknowledgment or praise they desire. They’ll assume it’s because they haven’t tried hard enough, been accommodating enough or done enough for the other person and so they’ll fail but they’ll immediately begin again. This time they’ll commit even more time and resources into the other person’s welfare and when this cycle also fails the pleasing behavior will begin again after a brief rest period. Often the renewed behavior will be laced with a frantic and desperate willingness to please but the end product will always be failure. The empath has been trying to do the impossible and has assigned their value as a person to the successful outcome of their campaign. At some point, the empath will abandon their attempt to please the narcissist and will begin seeing themselves as a failure and permanently damaged goods.

When the narcissist says, “Look how great I am,” they’re really saying, “Please help me to see myself as great. When I look at myself, I see only false bravado and a whole lot of nothingness so what I really need is for you to convince me of my greatness.”

The narcissist who has been the recipient of this frantic attempt to please may at first appear to be genuinely delighted by the attention and slavish devotion of the empath. It’s during this phase of the relationship that the narcissist will encourage the devotion and attention of the empath by offering praise and acknowledgment. However, the instability of the narcissistic personality demands that relationships cannot be sustained even when they are benefiting the narcissist. The narcissist desires attention and wants everyone to be proud of who and what they are. They desire to be seen as heroes, larger than life and just a little bit better than the average person. Unfortunately, they don’t have the self-esteem or the foundation to support these claims so they constantly need to be propped up by others. When the narcissist says, “Look how great I am,” they’re really saying, “Please help me to see myself as great. When I look at myself, I see only false bravado and a whole lot of nothingness so what I really need is for you to convince me of my greatness.” The narcissist has no foundation for their claims of superiority and because of that, they develop a sense of unworthiness and self-loathing. They cannot be what they desire to be and therefore they detest what they are.

What differs is that the empath gains worth by being helpful while the narcissist gains value by being perceived as someone important

The empath also has no love for self. They see themselves as useless in and of themselves and useful only if they can be seen as valuable by someone else. Both of these personalities are extremely vulnerable, both are debilitating and both are unable to see themselves as they really are. In the case of the empath, their worth is tied to other’s opinions of them and in the case of the narcissist, their worth is directly related to other’s opinions of them. What differs is that the empath gains worth by being helpful while the narcissist gains value by being perceived as someone important. Therefore, the empath may seek to hide in the shadow of the narcissist so they can feel worthy without feeling vulnerable. Neither of these personalities is conducting their lives from a place of balance. Both are seeking to receive from outside themselves that which can only come from within and neither of these two groups is living from the place of their highest good; yet rather than separate them into victim and predator, it’s best to see them both as underdeveloped with regard to themselves.

Rather than seeing themselves as worthless until validation they must learn to see themselves as worthy just as they are

Instead of looking outward to find validation from the world, it’s necessary for both groups to dive inward. Into the heart center where their connection to the Divine is anchored. Once in the heart, they must strive to let go of all of the illusions the ego has created for the purpose of growth. This means they must examine and stabilize their self-esteem. Rather than seeing themselves as worthless until validation they must learn to see themselves as worthy just as they are. The fear that they will never be loved or accepted must be seen for what it is and released so they are then able to look at themselves realistically and love themselves where they are as they are.

If you over give trying to prove you have value or you overpromise trying to prove your worth, you’re not being honest with who you are

The path from dysfunction to health doesn’t have to be burdensome or painful but it does require honesty and commitment.

If you over give trying to prove you have value or you over-promise trying to prove your worth, you’re not being honest with who you are.

Both of these states stem from a poor self-concept that will never be corrected by looking at others for validation. The only way to heal a self that has become distorted by the ego is to go within to the quiet place of the heart. It’s from this place of peace that you will see your own magnificence and be able to love yourself as you are.

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Marcia Martin
Marcia Martinhttps://www.mmhearthealer.com/
Marcia Martin M Ed – The Heart Healer, is a personal empowerment coach, channel, bestselling author, and podcast host on Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network who specializes in helping people heal their relationship with themselves. By healing the heart of all past pain and trauma you’ll be able to establish and maintain healthy relationships with yourself and all others so you can live a successful life. Her unique, heart-centered, energetic, healing approach, Angel Heart Healing, enables you to build the perfect relationship with yourself and answer the questions, “Who am I? Why am I here? and Where am I going?” Marcia will help you release your greatest fear so you can achieve your biggest dreams as you heal your heart and transform your life. Schedule your, thirty-minute Angel Heart Healing Breakthrough mini-session at https://www.mmhearthealer.com/coaching or join the Healing Hearts Community at https://www.mmhearthealer.com/community and be supported by Marcia and other like-minded individuals who are committed to personal empowerment.

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4 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Hi Marcia,
    I thank you for writing this as it gives me clarity on both levels. The statement:
    “If you over give trying to prove you have value or you over-promise trying to prove your worth, you’re not being honest with who you are.” is so clear to me for someone I love very much but doesn’t seem to care if I am even alive or well. Sad situation.

    • I’m so sorry you’re having to experience that Lynn. Although you cannot change another you can look at all that you are and strengthen yourself, love yourself more and honor the goodness that is you. Then you’ll be immersing yourself in love and from that loving place you’ll attract additional loving people into your life who in turn will strengthen you and support you so that joy overwhelms the sadness and life will be filled to overflowing with love.

  2. Hello Marcia,
    I see the parallels here yes. The self value is lacking I agree.
    I see a significant difference however in the fact that the empath has a more spiritual connection in being able to relate to others and can “feel” the experience of another without ever having gone through a similar situation.
    The evidence of either being genetic is not really supported. Is one born this way? Nurtured in a way? I think an empath is a of the spiritual realm within humanity that can’t be measured. The narcissist To me has a more genetic disposition combined with severe psychological damage from earl abuse. Either way, there really isn’t a calculated diagnosis that is full proof. A narcissist sees nothing wrong with themselves and an empath sees everything… Its not something many go to the doctor to find out really. Psychosocial engagement is usually sought by an empath who has no clue they are an empath and narcissistic personality disorders ‘walk’ around seeking thrills in empath vulnerable’s. The empath is susceptible because they want to help the inner being, they seek the “why” and try to help as you say, …to the point of surrendering their soul to the narcissist, who is the killer of the soul. It’s a fine line! It seems The to me the narcissist hunts for the empath as there will likely be less resistance and they will dominate. They wear a mask of the greatest academy performance in history and are fake. They are frauds, to others and I’m not so convinced, to themselves.
    These two types of people are more opposite to me. Underlying similarities yes…but overall it is the greater connection the empath has with soul that helps them to survive over the active and usually sociopathic narcissist who curses the souls existence and sells their heart to the devil. If I could describe it in this metaphor….. there are good angels and bad angels that walk the earth. Those who are born with a pure heart and those willing to trade it in for the want of power.
    That’s just my thoughts at the moment. In most cases that I see or know of, the narcissist sees what they want in the unsuspecting empath. The empath wants to give love. The worst collision ever when they are together and somebody, usually the empath has to fight for their lives in the end. When and if they get out they see more of their own self value than ever before. The narcissists usually already has another victim in the shadows. They are not faithful people.
    Interesting read here so I am thinking again. I appreciate this very much and sorry if this was so long but I am very familiar here. Have a great Sunday Marcia, Thank you again from my heart. Paula.

    • Thanks for commenting, Paula. You’ve brought up some really valuable points that are well worth considering. I don’t have all the answers but I do know that the most important thing you can do in every situation is to love yourself so much that you honor and appreciate all that you are. Then when confronted with someone who is lost in their own darkness you can stand strong in your light and show them the way to joy. They may not accept your offering but you will not have lost your own self trying to help someone who isn’t ready to receive help.

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