Why Do I Attract Narcissists?

I created this blog in 2010 to heal after ending a relationship with a narcissist. I am not the only person to do so; many excellent bloggers are writing about the same topic. Perhaps the most painful aspect of dating or marrying a narcissist is experiencing firsthand  the idealization, devaluation and discard phases of the relationship.  One minute, the narcissist has you on a pedestal and the next minute, he or she tells you that your hair is too frizzy.

Although I focused on my relationship with my first husband in this blog, whom I left when I was 22 and then reunited with at the age of 40, this was not my first relationship with a narcissist. . So I have spent the past few years asking why I attract narcissistic type partners. At first it seemed to be a cruel twist of fate or karma.

Many of my readers ask the same question, “Why do I attract narcissists? What’s wrong with me?”

I am not a psychiatrist and I have no professional training in the field. I can only speak from life experience. From my experience and from the experiences of others, it is clear that if we are raised in a dysfunctional family situation, where our emotional needs as children are not met, then we are more likely to attract similar conditions in adulthood.

One of my parents had a narcissistic personality and was physically and emotionally abusive. I have not written about this before in this blog, but clearly this primary childhood relationship predisposed me towards seeking out relationships with narcissists in adulthood. Furthermore, it is my understanding that narcissistic types will seek out, perhaps unconsciously, individuals who are accustomed to poor treatment by others. If we are raised in dysfunction, then we will accept dysfunction.

The only way out of this pattern is self-awareness. Once we identify that we have been living our lives in a cycle of unhealthy relationships, then we can learn to identify the red flags or warning signs which can keep us safe from negative entanglements with the wrong people. I am not an expert, but I recommend therapy for working through all negative relationship patterns. We must learn to value ourselves and to not allow others to treat us badly. When we value ourselves then we will avoid dysfunctional relationships with others because we will not tolerate their behavior.



4 thoughts on “Why Do I Attract Narcissists?

  1. I remember asking my last counselor, “Do I have a label stamped on my forehead saying, ‘Abuse me?'” He gave me a level look, and I answered my own question: I’ve been trained to interact with abusers. I know how to behave with them, so of course I interact with the familiar. I had to change how I interacted with people.

    Abusers still cross my path, but now I have healthy boundaries I know how to protect. The abusers aren’t comfortable around me anymore, and I’m not willing to waste my time playing their silly games.

    • Judy, thanks for writing. Yes, that is exactly what I was driving at. As adults, we seek out the same type of relationship patterns that were established during childhood. A friend once explained it to me by saying that if we grow up in a dysfunctional family, then we are very tolerant of dysfunctional situations when we are adults. Whereas someone who grew up in a healthy relationship would not tolerate an individual with poor boundaries or inappropriate behavior.



  2. Frankly, i believe the experts are the people who’ve been involved with those two-legged lizards. And people who finally realize that narcoid is no dern good, don’t charge the readers of thdir blogs 80 bucks an hour. Yes, there is a need for therapists, but there are alot of cranks out there who simply want to make (va-ca) money on the dire misfortunes of others. Them lizardzz are everywhere….bleech!

    • Susan, Thanks for your comments. I’ve been blessed with excellent therapists over the years. Maybe it’s because I don’t hesitate to shop around. I do agree that the blogging world has opened up a new realm of ‘self help’ 🙂

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