Are You a Magnet for Narcissists?

Please Note: You can skip whatever part you are not interested in – I’m assuming you’re interested in a part of this as you’re reading it – and go straight to whichever part you are looking for. PART ONE indulges my need to understand NPD due to my being the only child of two Narcissists. PART TWO is my experience of what attracts Narcissists. PART THREE is my experience of  what having a relationships with a Narcissist means for the person who is a magnet for Narcissists like I am. PART FOUR is a bit of a rant about Narcissists and what I’ve learned about myself and self expression due to repeatedly attracting them and learning shit from them.

I read a blog post the other day written by a woman who became alarmed that her propensity to attract Narcissists was a sign that she herself could be one. She had applied the relationship rule that we attract others who express who we are subconsciously, our shadow self, our unclaimed parts. That we project ourselves onto those with whom we have relationships and they reflect us back at ourselves.


I understand her alarm at the possibility that attracting Narcissists means she may be one. If you do a search for information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder the results are ugly. Whether the information comes from a mental health professional or a victim of a Narcissist, the picture portrayed of the disorder is The Picture of Dorian Gray. If in a moment of clarity, and they do have them, a Narcissist were to suspect that they had NPD, what they would read would be too awful to accept and they would retreat back into their disorder to protect themselves from the very wound they became a Narcissist to escape.

It doesn’t help that many people confuse Sociopathy with Narcissism. The two conditions have similarities, but they are not the same. Narcissists are mostly unaware of what they are doing. Sociopaths always know exactly what they are doing. Narcissists manipulate others because they need to control their reality, and others are part of their constructed reality, it is partly conscious, they do think that they are very clever, but it is largely subconscious. A Sociopath is always conscious. Narcissists do have feelings, much of their behaviour stems from a need to not feel what they are feeling because their emotions are those of a young child, frightening, huge, uncontrollable, and they never learned how to process and deal with their emotions because the Narcissistic wound occurs during the phase when children learn to do so. Sociopaths do not feel, their wound occurred before the emotional nature developed.

Sociopathy occurs before the Narcissistic phase of development, and is usually the result of an infant undergoing abuse the likes of which most of us do not want to imagine. It has also been linked to early brain damage. The trauma which creates a Narcissist is very different from the trauma which creates a Sociopath.

A large percentage of Narcissists are created by one or both parents invading the fragile boundaries of a young child and pushing the emerging identity out of the body and replacing it with their own. They project themselves into the child and the child becomes them, losing touch with themselves and their real identity, which is why a Narcissist can change their identity easily, discarding one for another, because they have no fixed identity of their own. This kind of abuse is often unseen by others, as to the outside world the parent or parents of a Narcissist appear to be very loving, perhaps too loving, over-protective, sacrificing everything for the child. Parents who think that their very young child is a genius and who do everything in their power to nurture that genius, pushing the child to fulfill its potential often at the expense of the child having a childhood, run the risk of creating a Narcissist.

In some ways you could equate the Narcissistic wound to a country which has been invaded, the original inhabitants, the natives, are rounded up by the invaders and exterminated or exiled to an inhospitable, uninhabitable, part of the country. The invaders call themselves settlers and proceed to build a home in this new land, yet without any visceral connection to it all they see is the potential therein, the fertile fields which can be farmed until every nutrient is removed from the ground, the abundant wildlife which is hunted to extinction, the resources, the ore, the gold, the oil, removed from the earth, every inch exploited without thought for the consequences of the exploitation, because it doesn’t matter, once this country is empty of value, the settlers will unsettle themselves and move to new territory, repeat the cycle, because they have no real roots in this land. They have a homeland, but they choose for whatever reason not to live there, perhaps because they are unwelcome there and don’t feel a sense of belonging anywhere. The Earth is a temporary home.

Those who inflict the Narcissistic wound which creates a Narcissist never claim responsibility for what they have done. They did their very best, obviously the child was a bad seed and a bad egg. Either that or they never see the bad side of the Narcissist and tell their child that the world just isn’t prepared to accept such a superhuman being.

They do what they do to their child because they can and because they think it is good for them, and they tell themselves that they do it for the good of the Narcissist. They know better. Because those who create Narcissists are always in a position of power over the person, the child, who is made into a Narcissist, and they abuse that power, consciously sometimes, but often unconsciously. They often believe they are doing what is best for the child, and for themselves, but they often think they are sacrificing their good for the future of the child. They are noble in their quest. They often feel that they are harnessing the potential of the child, which the child will spend years wasting while being a child, while having a childhood, and which the child might waste as an adult too.

The Narcissist creator wants control of another’s life because they could live it better than the person to whom it belongs, because they feel that they have wasted their own life in some way and are angry about it. They need redemption, a second chance… and they take it, because they believe that you can make your own dreams come true by seizing whatever opportunity is available, even if it means kicking someone else, a child, out of their own body, and taking that body and mind over. The sacrifice will be worth it.

If you’re going to hate a Narcissist, spare some hate for those who created the Narcissist. Those who wounded a child so deeply that the child grew up to spread that wound around, and inflict the pain of the wound onto others. They did not do this to themselves. They did not wound themselves. Why would anyone do that to themselves, especially not a child. Human beings are designed by nature to avoid pain. We only hurt ourselves and others when we are already hurting.

There are a lot of Narcissists in our world, psychologists have come to the conclusion that we are living in a Narcissistic society. So the chances are that all of us will attract a Narcissist, maybe more, at some point and have a relationship with someone with NPD. This could be a boss, a colleague, a friend, a lover or a partner.

There are some traits which are particularly attractive to Narcissists, and if you display these traits you will be more prone to being a magnet for Narcissists. Many of the traits which Narcissists find attractive are the same ones we are encouraged to develop to be socially acceptable. They vary slightly with gender.

There is a myth that those with NPD are predominantly male. In my personal experience I have met more female Narcissists than male ones. I think the reason that there seems to be fewer female Narcissists than male ones can be explained by society’s behavioural excuse system – stereotypes. All women are crazy. Thus a female Narcissist is less likely to be seen as having NPD and more likely to be labeled as a woman being stereotypically crazy, prone to irrational emotional outbursts, and emotionally manipulative, in other words, hormonally challenged. Female Narcissists also tend to be very sexually aware, often displaying what is known as sexually inappropriate behaviour, and will do things which will turn a man’s brain to mush. Thus men are less likely to realise that a woman has NPD. Other women will label such a woman with names which will be put down to envy and jealousy. A female Narcissist will often have few if any female friends, and she will be rather proud of this often stating boldly that she prefers men to women. A female Narcissist also makes very little distinction between seducing a male and seducing a female. Seduction is a very useful tool, people who are no longer thinking with their minds are easier to manipulate, and less likely to notice what you are doing. If they come to their senses, their embarrassment will protect the Narcissist. They will blame their own weakness, be ashamed of their own desire, and not blame and shame the Narcissist. The Narcissist will be gone before that penny drops, if it ever does.


So what does a Narcissist find attractive in others:

1/ Niceness. A willingness to compliment others and a reticence to criticise. A tendency to promote the positive traits of others and to overlook anything which might be negative. A desire to put the pleasure of others before your own. You make the needs of others your priority over your own needs. To please. To do what others want to do. A need to be liked and a horror of being disliked.

This is attractive because Narcissists need an endless supply of reassurance that they are wonderful, intelligent, talented, gifted, beautiful, and the most amazing person you have ever met. Their self image is a balloon which is constantly deflating and they can’t blow it up themselves, they need others to fill it with air for them. This is what is primarily known as Narcissistic supply. If compliments are withheld a Narcissist will have a tantrum because they are panicking due to the deflating balloon. Thus Narcissists will surround themselves with Yes men and women who are too afraid of them to ever say No. If you ever say No you will be discarded and bad mouthed to the other Yes men and women. An example will be made of you to discourage mutiny in others.

2/ Self Control. The tendency not to want to bother others with your problems. To handle your own shit privately on your own. To not burden others with your issues, your feelings, your needs, your emotions. Self reliance and self sufficiency. Not only do you handle your own shit, but you’re very good at handling the shit which belongs to others. A parental figure. A hero or heroine.

This is attractive to Narcissists for several key reasons. They are often looking for a parental figure. Their true self was replaced by one or both of their parents, and this relationship in their formative years created the template for their relationships in their adult years. They also seek to be in control, they are control freaks, but they never feel that they are in control even when they appear to be. They live in fear of losing what control they believe that they have. So someone who appears to them to be a master of self control is someone they want to absorb into themselves. They want to become you, and they will often do a Single White Female (even if male) identity theft on those they want to become. To them this is how an identity is created. Through shape-shifting mimicry. This trait is also attractive because they feel safe in the knowledge that someone who is in complete control of themselves will not make any demands on them. That you will not ask them to shoulder any of your problems. They admire this. Anything they admire, they want. They also feel that your shoulders are big enough to take on all their problems and that you will solve them for them, take care of them, and, most importantly, that you will take their wound out of them into yourself and heal it for them. This is an identity swap contract of sorts, you take everything from them that they don’t want and deal with it, and they take everything from you that they want and thus they can create the perfect identity for themselves.

3/ Empathy. The ability to know what others are feeling without others telling you. To meet the needs of others before others know they have those needs. To pick up subtle hints and to cater to them.

Many Narcissists believe that they are very empathic. This is because they have huge unexpressed emotions which they experience as being outside of themselves, thus belonging to others. An empath has fragile boundaries. Narcissists have no boundaries. There is no difference between them and others. Others are an extension of themselves. Because the Narcissistic wound occurs at the stage when a child is still in a symbiotic relationship with mother, with father, with the world around them and they have not yet learned to differentiate between self and other. Thus their emotions in their eyes are the emotions of others. The main reason Narcissists find empathic people attractive is because those with a high level of empathy absorb the emotions of others easily and are often open to taking them on and into themselves. Empaths are also reluctant to give their emotions to others because they are aware of the inner pain and confusion this can cause and so they are very considerate to the point of self-sacrifice. Narcissists have a god complex, so someone willing to sacrifice themselves on the alter of the Narcissist’s self-image is very desirable and pleasing. They can give you their rage, their pain, their hurt, their wounding, their darkness, and any other emotions they are too afraid to feel, which they can’t deal with, process or release, and thus they are free to not feel a thing and thus proclaim themselves a god or goddess.


So now that you have an idea of why you attracted a Narcissist, what they seek from the relationship, and what they get from being with you. The gifts you give them. And since all relationships are a two-way street. The question is, what does a Narcissist give to you?

What do you really get from having a relationship with a Narcissist? Why were you attracted to them? Not the conscious reasons, such as the fact that most Narcissists are very charming, larger than life, and usually swoop into your life on a chariot of fire, sweep you off your feet and carry you off into a wonderful fantasyland for a while. Stop blaming yourself for falling for them, they are irresistible. Stop raging at them for having ruined your life, abused you, and made you feel worthless, and thank them for it. Sound weird? Wrong? Let me explain…

1/ You’re too nice. Your niceness is a lovely trait which many people find wonderful and attractive. You enjoy being nice. It has many perks. BUT. It is not all of you. You have a fierce side too. We all do. The Narcissist abusing your niceness is there to inspire you to claim your darker side. The side which you may be being too nice to express and thus you’re not tapping into all the power within you.

A really good book to read, which I highly recommend and which helped me enormously is – The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. In it he outlines why being too nice can cost you your safety, your life and your sanity. And how balancing out your niceness with fierceness, doesn’t take away from the joy of being nice, but adds to it. Be nice, but learn to protect your right to be nice with a fierce dragon who burns those who want to take advantage of your niceness. Learn to say NO with the same enthusiasm with which you say YES.

2/ You’re too controlled. Your self control is admirable, but if you’re overdoing it, then you’re a prisoner of it. Learn to let go and let loose.

One of the things which really annoys me about some of the advice given about How Not To Attract A Narcissist is that it mostly relates to controlling who you are. Stopping you from being you, because being who you are is dangerous to yourself. Rubbish. There are a lot of Narcissists in this world, you’re going to bump into them, and if you have to live in fear of who you attract, and the solution is to be less of yourself, to control self-expression more than usual… that sucks as a solution. In fact being more of yourself is the real solution. Because then, even if you do attract a Narcissist, you will scare the crap out of them and they’ll run away in awe, or stick around and not mess with you.

3/ You’re too empathic. Your empathy shows you your connectedness with others. Empathy is a very valuable trait. However you need to strengthen your fragile boundaries between you and others.

Empathy should not make you weak, but stronger. If it is making you vulnerable to others, then shut it down for a while, focus on yourself, find your emotions, learn to recognise them so that you can differentiate between yours and those of others. Your emotions have a very personal marker. Listen, focus, and get to know that marker. Then, once you know it, open yourself up again, but remember you can shut your open boundaries any time you need to. You are not responsible for the emotions of others. Personal responsibility and accountability is key, and very healthy. If you allow the emotions of others in to you, to your awareness, that is your responsibility and you are accountable for that. What you do with your sensory knowledge is your responsibility. You can learn to control your empathy without becoming heartless and losing the joy of having such a beautiful gift. It takes time, practice, making mistakes, and having empathy for yourself too. That is compassion. If your empathy excludes you, it is incomplete. Start with yourself, then work your way outwards.


Narcissists absolutely hate authenticity. They do not know how to be authentic, and they long to be authentic, burn and yearn for it, but they can’t be it, so they hate it. It is kryptonite to their superman/woman self/non-self.

Their main tools of controlling others are blame, shame, criticism, censorship, and anything else which makes another person adapt their self expression to suit others. They encourage political correctness, politeness, social niceties, and compromise in others to suit them. They use emotional blackmail to get you to willingly do what they want you to do. The prize for your subordination is that they may use you again.

So. Speak your mind. Express your emotions. Smile when you’re happy, frown when you’re angry, cry when you’re sad. Don’t say you’re fine if you’re not, say exactly what you are really feeling. Ignore their attempts to shut you up. If they have a tantrum, scream louder if you want to, or walk out and leave them to it, but don’t let their display of grandiose and overwhelming emotions stop you from expressing yourself.

They are not a child, don’t treat them like one, and don’t become their parent.

Don’t be sensitive to their needs if it means being insensitive to your own. They are not, no matter what they tell you, sensitive to your needs in any other way than to use your needs against you to manipulate you.

Put yourself first, because what they want is for you to put them first, and to put yourself last or even better forget about yourself completely.

You being you, all of you, uncensored, is a frightening and horrifying monster to a Narcissist. Because you are being real, and real people scare the shit out of Narcissists. They are not being real, they know that they are not being real, even if most of that knowledge is buried in their subconscious and they think that they are very real. They think everyone else is as fake as they are, in fact they think others are more fake than they are. They are their reference point for the world. They can’t express genuine emotions, or voice their real thoughts, and they apply this to others. They don’t actually know how to be real, and the very thought of it scares them. So when you are real and genuine, it stirs up the real person buried deep within them, and they live in fear of their real self because they don’t know who their real self is, it is unknown, and the fear of the unknown chills them to the marrow. This fear of their real self is the spur which governs their entire life, and all of their subsequent behaviour is an attempt to escape and kill this real self off, and replace it with an idealised self of their own creation.

The ultimate lesson and gift that a relationship with a Narcissist gives you is this… Be yourself, all of you.

What is a Narcissist – someone who doesn’t know who their real self is. What attracts a Narcissist to you – they think you know who you are and they want you to teach them how to know who their real self is. What do you get from a relationship ship with a Narcissist – the ability to see what not being yourself can do to you and to others.

The ultimate goal of a Narcissist is to be superhuman. To escape being human. The purpose of life is to be human. If we were not meant to be human, we would not be having a being human experience. The purpose of death is to be super human. As in we cast off the mortal, human being, coil and that’s that… the bit afterwards depends on your beliefs.

Be yourself. All of yourself, the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the positive and the negative. Embrace it all into one. Only you know who that is and how to be you. That’s your gift. That is what makes life worth living. And don’t forget you’re a human being… mistakes are a part of that, make them, learn from them, regret them, and be kind to yourself, even when you’re not.

Just a very long thought.



If you would like to know more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder please visit:

Update 2017 – I should really go through the links below and update them, but some things are better left as they were. However I have recently come across an excellent blog (which also has a Youtube channel for those who prefer the spoken word, and the author of the blog has written books for those who prefer books).

This is the blog – Knowing the Narcissist

This is his Youtube channel – Knowing the Narcissist – Youtube

The author is a Narcissist – he states this in his bio, but before you run away, pause a minute, many victims of Narcissists have claimed to have found healing and help in their recovery through reading his posts (read the comments on his posts). I find his posts to be informative. In his posts he explains the Narcissist from the perspective of a Narcissist, and the Narcissist’s victims from the perspective of a Narcissist (and he gives detailed information about the different types and levels of Narcissists) – this is often what is missing for those trying to heal themselves after Narcissistic Abuse.

He is also rather patient, compassionate, and understanding for a Narcissist. Please be respectful – do not go there to bash a Narcissist, he is not your Narcissist.

Everything below this update are old links, some are still active, and maybe one day I’ll re-check them out. Thank you for visiting. Take care of yourselves. Best wishes.

Narcissism – Living Without Feelings – A very long and detailed analysis of NPD, which explains how someone develops the disorder, what goes on behind the facade, how the disorder affects the individual who has it, and its effects on others, and so much more. If you want to understand NPD, this is an excellent article. Comprehensive and insightful.

Narcissism and the Fruit of Suffering– the blog of my favourite author, whose book Going Mad to Stay Sane helped me to figure out and explain many aspects of my own experience with narcissistic parents, especially my tendency to be self destructive.

Out of the Fog – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – an excellent resource for information on NPD. There is also a forum.

The Narcissistic Continuum –  There is also a forum, for those seeking support, advice and information.

Let Me Reach with Kim SaeedAn inspirational blog about NPD and how to heal and empower yourself.

Narcisismo PatologicoAn NPD blog in Italian. Thoughtful and insightful.

Raised by Narcissists – a forum for children of Narcissistic parents

How to Handle a Crazymaker by Kimberely Key, M.A.

The Vampire’s Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out by  Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

The Narcissistic Family Portrait by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.

Why Some People Will Never Learn by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D.

Narcissism Revisited by Paul Lutus

NPD Recovery – also check out her Youtube – NPDRecovery Youtube

Surviving the Narcissistic Parent: ACoNs (Adult Children os Narcissists  – a superb account of what it is like to be the child of a narcissistic mother, also applies to a narcissistic father.

Nasty People

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships & The Drama Triangle by Dr. Lynne Namka – different ways to view and understand the effects of growing up with a narcissist, being in a narcissistic (abusive/unhealthy) family or in a relationship with a narcissist.

How to Recognize and Handle Manipulative Relationships by Preston Ni

7 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists, From A Psychologist’s Perspective by Dr. Kelly Neff

6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.

Games Narcissists Play by Alexander Burgemeester

Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head by Shahida Arabi

5 Signs You’re Being Played by a ‘Victim’ by  Thomas G. Fiffer – This is an excellent article about covert narcissists. Covert narcissists prefer to play the victim (sometimes they play the role of victim of a narcissist).


UPDATE: I just came across this excellent article – Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What the heck is that? by Christine Louise de Canonville – about a new term – Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (or Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome) – which psychologists are trying to have recognised. It relates to those who are and have been victims of narcissists. It is an in depth look at the traits and behaviours of victims of narcissists and the process of recovery from narcissistic abuse. If you suspect that you may be the victim of a narcissist but are unsure this may help you to figure things out. If you are a victim of a narcissist you may find this article and other articles on this site useful and helpful. Please check it out, it’s very informative.



Worth reading if you’re thinking of telling a narcissist that they have NPD:

Is There a Cure For Narcissism? by Kaleah LaRoche

How to Talk to a Narcissist by Bill Snow


Narcissists in Fiction:

Honest Science vs. False Friend: A Contrast Study of Temperance Brennan and Angela Montenegro  – This is an interesting post examining two characters on a popular TV show (the Narcissist as a TV & film trope is very common), one of which could be perceived as being a Narcissist but isn’t, the other is a Narcissist but may not be perceived as one (because Narcissists are focused on how others perceive them thus they are better able to manipulate their image and control how others view them). Like the person who wrote this, I find the character of Angela Montenegro intensely annoying and distressing (I have been known to shout at the TV when watching this show when her character appears and does her ‘thing’) because she is very narcissistic yet gets away with it, everyone makes excuses for her (including the resident psychologist who is supposed to be very clever) and thinks she’s lovely, very ’empathic’. Episode 6, season 5 was particularly explicit in showing Angela’s Narcissism and I got intensely angry about how it was handled). This episode reminded me of CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum’s post of Puppygate – Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate.



A couple of related posts:

Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence

When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?

An insightful guest post about NPD:

The story of a relationship with a Narcissist: I Am Not Special by Hope


  1. Hello,

    Greetings from New York. I am originally from India though.

    I have been in three relationships and in all of them had the misfortune of meeting narcissists, concealed as they are.

    Anyway, each of the three relationships ended badly. The most recent once ended on this very chirstmas and I am still in the recovery phase.

    I have been shattered and totally lost all identity of myself. I am trying very hard to start over. Especially this being the third time. I have lost everything I had and was. In the state of a total identity crisis.

    I wanted to thank you for this post of yours. It provided me with a very different and unique perspective.

    Please keep up the good work!

    Bless you!


    • Hi, and thank you for sharing 🙂

      Big cities often are a hub of big egos all scrambling for position, status, power, meaning, competing with each other, trying to fight that creeping sense of insignificance which comes with living in a big city… and if you’re looking for love in a big city the chances of dating narcissists is higher, and the chances of being in a relationship with someone who will end up breaking your heart and your identity is also higher.

      During a time of identity crisis it’s important to be aware of the fact that you’re still you even if you’re not entirely certain of who ‘you’ is exactly. There is still ground beneath your feet, still a sense of stability, still someone there, who drinks a glass of water, who eats, who brushes their teeth, who can laugh even if when you think about it you don’t feel like laughing at all. You’re still there, still whole, but someone has disassembled the pieces of your puzzle… time to put it back together again and maybe the image will be the same or maybe it’ll be slightly altered due to the experience – the alteration may be something which is a blessing, maybe you lighten your load, feel more in touch and in tune with yourself after the chaos has subsided.

      If you’re attracting narcissists, and doing it repeatedly… it might be time to review how you view yourself, there’s obviously something special, unique and very interesting about you. You have something of great value which is natural to you which narcissists want – what is it?

      The mess which narcissists leave behind, which a relationship with them makes of us gives us the opportunity to get to know ourselves better – we have to get under our own skin to get them out from there, we have to look at all the pieces of ourselves when retrieving what they’ve shattered, so we get to see ourselves in a more intimate and deeper way.

      What you learn from these relationships is to value yourself in a new way.

      Take care of yourself and best wishes!


  2. Hello!
    Thank you so much for writing this great article..
    I have lately started to realise i have a NPD and have yet to find an article who speaks of the subject in a way i can understand (and quite frankly- a way that sees it as a disorder and not as just a mean personality).
    Do you know any articles writen for NPDs looking to be healed?

    Thank you SO much.


    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      If you’re looking for information about NPD online, the internet is overflowing with it, both from professionals and from people sharing personal experiences, but much of it is about how awful narcissists are and how to get away from them, deal with them, or recover/heal from their abuse, rather than what to do if you think you may have NPD. It can be quite daunting and grim to explore the subject if you suspect that you may have NPD and would like to find some useful and helpful resources about the condition.

      First off – if you think that you may have NPD, I would recommend getting a professional diagnosis.

      Thinking you may have it and actually having it is different.

      It is considered quite rare for someone with NPD to think that they have NPD due to the nature of NPD.

      A competent professional will not only be able to give a diagnosis, but should also be able to offer treatment. There are several therapy methods considered to be helpful in treating conditions like NPD.

      This is an article worth reading as it discusses the differences between regular narcissism, narcissistic behaviour and narcissistic personality disorder –

      RE: Do you know any articles written for NPDs looking to be healed?

      I’ve only come across a couple of articles written specifically for those with NPD who are focused on healing their narcissism.

      This is one – – it is an old one, and it is a reposting of the original on a forum.

      This is another – – this is more recent and is part of a series by an author who claims to be a narcissist and to have healed his narcissism.

      There is one therapist whom I’ve come across who writes more positively than most about NPD – Susan Heitler Ph.D.

      This is one of her articles –

      And this is a case study of NPD, which I think she may have written for a professional publication –

      Hope this helps, best wishes!


  3. Thank you. I happened upon this article by chance and it is exactly what I needed to read. I’m an empath and have attracted/been attracted to NPD partners all my adult life with disastorous self esteem/worth consequences for myself. Your article has given me the strength to help myself and to say ‘not again’ which is very much easier said than done in these situations. Thank you.


    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It is indeed easier to speak an intention than to do it even if you’re determined to do it. If it’s a new path you’ve chosen for yourself, it’ll take time (and mistakes) to learn about it.

      Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the time and space to figure things out, trust your vision, don’t beat yourself up if you make some mistakes, treat yourself with the love you deserve. Take good care of yourself!


  4. This is AWESOME! Haven’t read anything like this in all of my recovery. Thank you so much!


  5. Thank you for your article. It explained why so many narcissist have been a part of my life.

    Recently I went to visit my best friend just in time for our 45 year high school reunion. She wanted me to stay for a month to celebrate her birthday month with her. She had several birthday parties by friends and family. She boasted on how clean and orderly she was, assigning me and her husband cleaning assignments. The third day of my visit she went into a rage of fit when we were in the car and continued the rest of the day. Her sister came to visit and asked me if I was enjoying my visit and I told her no. Her sister told me she gets like that sometimes, they just let her blow over. About a week later I met old friends at home of her birthday parties. We talked during it catching up. The next day all of us we planned to stay at a casino hotel to celebrate our friend’s birthday again. Right away we sat to talk. My friend kept giving me mean glances whenever I would start to speak that confused me. As the evening rolled around, she looked like she was working up to have a fight with me. I tried to avoid it, but she kept insisting with little hints here and there. We saw a cover band and danced along. Back in our rooms getting ready for bed I told my friend I was taking a shower, she “no, you can’t. There are other people here (she and her sister) who need showers too and you have to need to be considerate.” I insisted by telling that I’m really sweaty and can’t go to bed like this. Her sister said it was fine to let me take a shower (she had not been dancing). Before she left the room to go back down she commanded I take the right side of the bed because if I take the left side she’ll kick me right off.

    When I came back home I had no idea what was going on with her. So I looked up bi-polar, bully, people who celebrate their birthday the entire month, it often came “narcissist”. After reading several articles, I realized there had been so many narcissists throughout my life starting with my parents, who conditioned me to yield to them, sometimes unreasonably. Out of respect I did. Even today my mother has grandchildren jumping through her hoops. We often cry on each other’s shoulder when it gets tough.

    So, my question was am I so use to people who bully, do I seek them out? My recent experience with my friend who came after me for stealing some of her thunder by returning and catching up with our mutual friends. Your article helped me understand so much. Needless to say I won’t miss that friend anymore and now know not to indulge my mother any further. I will be sharing this with my children to let them know it’s my mother’s problem, not ours.

    Again, thank for clearing up the dysfunction in my life. I’m not confused anymore.


    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      An incident with a friend helped me to get perspective on my own history, and prompted me to share my mess… sometimes things which happen in the now give us a much needed perspective on our lives and the people populating it, both the good and the not so good.

      Your friend sounds like high maintenance… some people need more than we can give, and they need more and more until we realise that it’s their problem and not ours. Thinking their problem is ours can be hard-wired into us, and cause us to accept things which we don’t question until we suddenly start questioning it. Once we start asking those kinds of questions… things can fall into place and other ways open up to us.

      Best wishes on your journey forward!


  6. This is without question THE best advice I have EVER had about narcissists! Thankyou!! x I was raised by two narcissist parents, both utterly self absorbed and selfish, and grew up unloved and feeling unlovable. I am the classic victim of narcissist parents with all the usual issues. For my whole life I’ve attracted / been attracted to narcissistic ‘friends’ who are JUST like my mother, selfish, un-empathic, un-supportive, controlling, egotistical, fragile little flowers whose massive, paper thin egos need constant propping up whilst offering nothing in return other than a tantrum when any sort of constructive critique to their self created drama-rama’s was offered,


  7. oops! Hadn’t finished there.
    Anywho, I have just had the hugest wake up call regarding my mother, who had been stringing me along that she really did kinda sorta care for the past year or so.
    She was due to visit me on her birthday, came up with a BS reason she couldn’t, then on mine, she cancelled again for more BS reasons.
    I finally realised that she just HATES seeing me as a younger version of the ageing her, seeing my happy life, she is quite simply jealous, and I’ve never been able to accept that til now, as I have a very low opinion of myself (for all the obvious reasons), I am not a jealous person myself, fail to see why anyone would be jealous of me, and still struggle with the fact that a mother could be so eaten up with jealousy of her own, only daughter. Now, however, I finally get it.
    I have literally gone from being her mallable child, confidante and support system 25 years, whilst we were with my drunk abusive father, to no longer required, as soon as her 2nd husband/victim turned up, unwelcome in their home without a prior invite, and generally kept at a ‘safe’ distance (including her literally snatching the phone out of his hand if he dares pick it up when I call) in case my personality in some way mars the perfect woman/saint/martyr/superwoman she wants to appear to be to her new partner.
    Every time I have really really needed her, she has dropped the ball and run away as she ‘can’t cope’, whilst claiming to be strong and independent.
    I was totally gutted by her latest cancelled visit, yet she, queen of empathy and sensitivity (according to her) failed to note that I was so desperately upset, putting it down instead to me being ‘ill’. Seriously, words fail.
    Well it’s all good. I will never invite this vampire into my house again, or my life. She wants distance and I will give her that. Plenty of that. I am over half a century old and have spent way too much of that time hammering and crying at the padlocked door of my mothers heart. I now realise that there is nothing behind that door anyway.
    much love to all my fellow victims of narcissistic abuse, especially those who have narcissist parents, don’t give up hope, don’t give up on yourselves, and remember to protect yourself from those who would take more than they would give x


    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Your mother reminds me of mine. I stuck with her for far longer than I should have, it’s difficult to break free not just because of the twisted bond which a narcissist parent creates with their child (which often takes the form of the child being the parent/caretaker of the narc parent), but also because society tends to make it hard for children to cut their parents out of their life (and a narcissist parent will use that to keep you guilted and shamed into a relationship with them).

      Kudos on breaking free! You deserve to breathe freely! Take good care of yourself!


      • Thank you for your well wishes and understanding, it is so very cathartic to speak with someone who ‘gets it’ 😉
        I spoke with a therapist some time ago, and she was utterly clueless about narcissists and their behaviours, virtually telling me off with the patronising remark, ‘hmm, you’re very angry, aren’t you…’?
        Angry? ANGRY????? I was totally RAGING after the realisation that after 50 years on this planet, having had my mother blame my father for absolutely everything, whilst making herself out to be the victim (I the innocent child in the middle of this not suffering as much as she did, apparently), that SHE was the real reason that I have been so totally messed up all these years.
        Drugs, partying, nothing could salve the wounds in my soul that SHE put there to boost her own ego, keep me in my box, stop me being more successful / attractive / happy than SHE was, in her self chosen martyr role of ‘loyal wife to abusive husband’.
        Her parents offered her safe haven, BEGGED her to please, just come home and escape the drunken closet homosexual, messed up nightmare that was the sperm donor who created me, but no, she’d lose face and look bad, so rather than do the right thing, for both of us, she stayed, and stayed, for 25 years, and put me through a hellish, desperate horrible and terrifying childhood with two of the most self absorbed selfish people on the planet, who thought of nothing but themselves, their egos, their wants and their needs. I barely existed.
        I was the one who initiated her leaving him, taking time off from a busy job to do so, but guess what, history got rewritten and that never happened. SHE was the strong one, SHE sorted it all out, she certainly wasn’t the dribbling mess falling apart and downing yet more antidepressants than she had in the previous 25 years whilst I did what she should have done years ago, in fact, the way she retells the tale, I sometimes wonder if I was actually there at all, her gas-lighting being so stupendous, she can literally say something then 5 minutes later deny she said it.
        I came back from travelling in my mid 20’s, devastated by some things that had happened to me, and I was ‘allowed’ to live with her for 2 weeks before she literally palmed me off to a friend’s place. The friend only told me a few years ago that my mother asked if I could live with her and she couldn’t deal with me. No support, absenting herself, prioritising herself, as usual.
        She soon met her now husband and I was history, no longer a sister, a friend and a support system, just erased, replaced, discarded. The pain I experienced was just the start of the heartbreak and feelings of anxiety, depression and abandonment that I couldn’t identify but felt so strongly for so long, my whole life, in fact.
        I’ve never really fulfilled my potential, despite the fact I’m actually quite good (as I can now admit) as a few things. I’ve had opportunities but couldn’t stick with them, always baled, figured I wasn’t good enough, that I was a fake and would be found out as such, that I was just a loser putting on a good act. I really have no idea how I didn’t just give up and kill my good for nothing self.
        I met my partner and life got better briefly before I truly crashed. OCD, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, for years, til I eventually fell apart. OF course, my mother’s had FOUR ‘nervous breakdowns’ and been much worse than I have. It sickens me that I was running to the person who’d caused all this for support, namely, my mother, but I did, and of course, she was pretty much useless and used it as an opportunity to remind me what SHE had been through.
        The breakthrough for me wasn’t therapy or yoga or any of the myriad other things I have tried, it was medication, that I started taking a year or so ago.

        I have NEVER felt better, but still can look back, and see my parents and my childhood for what it was, not with him the abuser and her the victim and me the, well, the NOTHING (as i’ve never been entitled to have feelings), but that I was the victim, better than that, NOT a victim, a bloody SURVIVOR, and they are just a couple of paper tiger narcissists who are pitiful at best and contemptible at worst.

        I’m still in touch with both of them but am currently redefining the terms I connect with my mother on based on your sterling advice (XXXX!!), as well as renegotiating the terms on which I engage with a narcissist ‘friend’ (not that there’s any such thing!) I have in a similar way.

        Since my path of discovery has begun, we have also realised that my partner’s mother is a covert narcissist, the very worst kind and seriously slippy to identify, and that SHE is the one responsible for my partners oh so familar feelings of isolation, lack of support, inadequacy and self doubt…despite his considerable success in business and, may I add, our life together! 🙂
        I’ve met people raised by narcissists who became narcissists, hell, my mother was raised by one, but amazingly, we both made the decision a very long time ago to NOT become our parents (or parents at all, actually) and to take from them the best gift of all, the fine example of how NOT to be and how NOT to live our lives.
        We have love and laughter and good people around us, we both give ourselves and our time freely to people who really deserve it (though I still get it wrong sometimes and find myself wishing I hadn’t welcomed that vampire through the door…!), and life is truly wonderful.
        We both feel so grateful for the happiness we’ve found, both together and as individuals, and we’re embarking on the 2nd part of our lives feeling positively reborn, well, almost, as the light at the end of the ‘what the hell is wrong with me?’ tunnel approaches, and we realise that we aren’t the terrible useless losers our respective mothers tried to insist we were.
        We have both taken on huge challenges in our own way, and succeeded, and surprised ourselves.
        Of course, our mothers can’t stand it, but at least we can laugh about it now and laugh at their ridiculousness over wine at the end of a long day.
        The latest thing my mother did to me is the LAST, as I’ve said, the absolute LAST time I will let her let me down, as my heart is shut for business as far as she’s concerned, and my revenge is that as she doesn’t want to be my mother and be a decent human being she gets nothing, none of the gossip and entertaining trivia she so loves, none of that, she’s either with me or she isn’t, she can’t pick and choose what parts of my life she wants to dip into and what bits she doesn’t!
        I look forward to brief chats about the weather in future, and it goes without saying I will use the words ‘I’m fine’ a lot, and ask about her her her, and that’ll be it.
        She’ll probably say it’s because I’m ill. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!
        Best wishes again, and thank you for letting me share, or as mother would say, ‘fussing and going on!’


  8. having never encountered narcissistic disorder to the extent that it literally nearly took my life, I found this this article both really helpful and quite upsetting, having researched extensively about the trait, the causes are quite horrific and this is probably the only article that has caused me to feel a great deal of sympathy for a narcissist as opposed to feeling angry, confused and everything else that goes with recovering from their abuse. I am in the process of rebuilding myself and this article is the best thing ive read about progressing from victim to survivor, and emerging a more conciously aware self… ive probably pissed a few people off recently by removing toxic personalities from my life, but I don’t care, its about me and who I truly am, not about people pleasing and taking their problems on or getting involved in gossip or nastiness, I’m a good person and to emerge better makes me a better person, I wont allow toxicity or negativity around me anymore. just for the record I’m 56 male and was sucked into a narcissist female who became everything I wanted by exploiting my needs, it left me broken and suicidal but I’m emerging stronger, wiser and better for it


    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      My apologies for the upsetting parts of this post – if it was those that made you feel sympathy for your Narcissist, those come from my trying to understand why Narcissists are the way they are and do what they do, which is part of my own recovery process as the child of Narcissist parents and is also a reflex programmed into me by my Narcissist parents (figuring out which is reflex and which is needed for my recovery is something I’ve been doing through blogging).

      The part of the recovery process where you feel intensely angry, acknowledge your anger and are inspired to use a flamethrower to get Narcissists and anyone else who is toxic out of your life is very necessary and healthy. It can appear to be a scorched earth policy, but ultimately it’s not that. Anger can be a protective experience, where you finally do what is right for you after years of denying yourself.

      Female Narcissist are often of the Covert type of Narcissist – they’re much harder to identify as Narcissists, and they can wreak all sorts of havoc beneath the surface before you notice something is wrong with the picture. They tap into the ‘knight in shining armor’ hero archetype in people, and it takes a long time to realise that they’ve convinced you to kill yourself to save them. My mother was this way.

      Midlife is a great age – it’s when we realise that what happens next is up to us. We have battle scars to remind us of what’s worth fighting for and what’s not, and we are wiser because we’ve sometimes had to lose our mind to find our sanity, to lose ourselves to find ourselves.

      Take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself, and keep on doing what you need to do!

      Best wishes!


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