The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath and a Narcissist.


I have my own ideas about the complicated dynamics between narcissists and empaths, but I’ll just let this excellent article (written by an empath) speak for itself.  These two apparently opposite types of characters do often seem to be drawn to each other.

The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath and a Narcissist. 
By Alex Miles

We know that “narcissist” has become a bit of a buzzword recently, and some folks are quick to apply it to an ex-lover or family member or friend. While awareness of this concept is healthy, so is remembering that it is, in a mental health context, a serious condition that shouldn’t be applied to someone you’re mad at because they stole your mirror. ~ Eds. 

I am an empath. I discovered I was an empath after I got involved in a very deep and highly destructive relationship with a narcissist.

I am writing this article from the perspective of an empath, however, would love to read the view from the opposite side if there are any narcissists that would like to offer their perception on this.

Through writing about the empath personality type I have connected with many other people who class themselves as an empath and time and again I have heard people tell me how they have also attracted relationships with narcissists. There is a link. So, I decided to explore it further.

This is my theory…

From my own experience and studies on the narcissist personality type, there is always one core trait: A narcissist is wounded.

Something, somewhere along the line, usually stemming from childhood causes a person to feel worthless and unvalued and, due to this, they will constantly and very desperately seek validation.

Here comes the empath, the healer. An empath has the ability to sense and absorb other people’s pain and often takes it on as though it were their own. If an empath is not consciously aware of boundaries and does not understand how to protect themselves, they will very easily and very quickly bond with the narcissist in order to try to fix and repair any damage and attempt to eradicate all their pain.

What the empath fails to realise is that the narcissist is a taker. An energy sucker, a vampire so to speak. They will draw the life and soul out of anyone they come into contact with, given the chance. This is so that they can build up their own reserves and, in doing so, they can use the imbalance to their advantage.

Read the rest of this article here.

7 thoughts on “The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath and a Narcissist.

  1. wow!! ok this is not “racist” this is an observation,culturally! this exact scenario is playing out now in the black-white relations community! by each side allowing it to!!! and by each believing they are one or the other
    the white takes empath role and says
    “we sympathized with you and gave you everything! and you want more and its never enough we we are done!”
    and the blacks as narcissists (which many are now coming to this conclusion) take that role willingly! and even taunt and flaunt it to HURT the “empaths” in sociopathic style, they are rebelling against these two IMAGINED roles.
    I am not racist, I feel its imagined.. and that the SAME solutions and healing and help for the individual empath/narcissists relationship described above in this article is the SAME for them because they have AGREED to take this type of role on!
    the more they believe it ,the more they build it up and egg it on til the full out war comes and we all know it goes nowhere and feels the same as the empath/narcissist relationship.
    if you go read any of the race relations articles out there today you will feel scared. the WHOLE language of even the well meaning articles is STILL based on this co dependant type of relationship between “black and white” wether its to deny it exists,the language gives it MORE power, or to out and out instigate it.
    its a very STUCK feeling.
    it feels the SAME as my ex relationship with the narc. this is VERY VERY true . because I am talking about AMERICA and the black AMERICAN culture as it thinks and believes it relates to the rest of Americans . its playing out in this manner to a tee. I am not saying race relations even closely resembles this dynamic here in other countries.
    we have AGREED to take on a role that some of them have agreed to play full well.
    its so strange to me and exhausting.
    and so UNHEALTHY psychologically for both sides who decide to participate in it


    • I meant as an empath myself 😦 watching all this in the media of course I am drawn in,interested and watching it! it is HORRIFIC. and it has an extreme narcissist vein running al through it on both sides
      the empath side is never played by the “black” side. some of them DO (its human nature) take on the role of “playing with” the empathy’s feelings! as it is NOT respected and im sure its seen as narcissism in itself! when it comes to race.. for one side to say “we gave you, we helped you, “(white side) the other side will of course rebel against such statements, but too often in the angry unhealthy way of saying.”yeah and you owe us more!” to which the empath stays stuck and almost decides..well maybe I will give them more to “shut them up,” then will I be done with them?
      its getting that bad!!!these sentiments are spoken daily now!
      wether it was male/female
      black white
      this or that religion
      and other dynamics im sure you can come up with
      this exact relationship has played out in societies in MOB mentality levels as well!
      not just a random fringe relationship of a male and female in a romantic relationship
      or the family scapegoat
      it happens between COUNTRIES too.
      sports teams
      its everywhere
      bottom line is its a competitive theme


  2. is this hard wired into our survival then? its everywhere. and people don’t let it go. they fight to the death for “it” but it seems like an imagined entity in the middle. why haven’t humans learned yet?
    this outside view looking in for me (in watching/studying between religious wars/race relations/ and male/female (chauvinism/patriarchy) has helped me to see the futility in my own ex toxic narc/empath relationship and my own family / scapegoat past experiences..that I do still carry with me as scars and hurts to this day.
    I can look and say wow how futile. how pointless. it helped me to fix myself as sad as it is. to avoid all such behaviours when I see it in others in mob groups. look HOW MUCH such a sickness has impacted/affected/SHAPED our lives and society!! (religion/chauvinism /much more)
    social “castes” wealthy/poor
    even in the work place
    yet all the SAME

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    • I have no idea whether it’s hardwired into our survival or not, it could be, but it certainly doesn’t seem to benefit the survival of the empath very much, does it? Why would someone be drawn to someone who is so toxic to them? Some empaths seem to indeed “get something” out of the relationship, at least at first. Maybe the intensity: relationships with narcissists can be VERY intense, and empaths are drawn to emotional intensity of all kinds, I think. They also like the idea of being able to help the narcissistic person, but of course that is not going to work and at best, will end in disappointment and usually much worse.

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  3. my ex kept saying he was “kept down” by society. the man had MORE opportunities than anyone else I ever met! even if you handed him a $25 an hour job (way back in 2004!)when he was young and had no experience and no college! he would QUIT it right away then go back to saying how bad life is and how he has no chances in life! it was his FOOD.. now.. I am saying this because.. the NARCS in the “black community” do exist. maybe as a social construct but.. when a NARC catches wind of it that some people are “afraid” to “offend” them in any way…well apply that to your narc relationship! what do you remember? you are afraid to set them off or offend them! and they USE it. the low or unsavory characters in the race relation discussion..instead of seeing the fear to offend as something to positively address..he is self destructive so he sees that as something to FEED him. like in the animal world, a show of fear is a weakness to use and abuse. its NEVER seen as compassion or empathy. its seen as a means to an end and nothing more.
    as a result,there is now a well used and coined phrase called “negro fatigue”!
    this is the SAME “FATIGUE” we felt with our narcs! I disagree with it being called a name like that. I do not like it. but of course we as humans when we feel exasperated we use LANGUAGE as a powerful weapon to attack.
    its a wall put up to call it that in hopes they will back down out of embarrassment. we ALWAYS also hoped our ex narcs even COULD feel embarrassment! but it was never to any avail.
    they are steadfast in their goal
    and it isn’t to get along! I only mentioned the term negro fatigue here in case none of you here heard of it,so you can google it to see how far it went and also to SEE the PURE form of empathy/narc dynamic therein
    we admit and now KNOW WE WERE WRONG in our “empath” stance! both sides are losers before they even start! we know that now.
    we were enablers
    they were takers
    I am surprised this can develop in the guise of race/sex/religion/money and more
    its identical!
    that’s why many get OUT of it
    black/white..many even at first joined in the arguments and said no forget this! this isn’t right.
    its the same as reasoning with your narc
    it never went well
    there is always that constant “tugging” within race relation discussions for the narc to raise his voice the LOUDEST. and for too many to respond to it and get frustrated
    it has become far too similar to a parent child relationship rather than a race issue. they trump up false ideas or bring up the past .they demand things to be made right “first” in order for them to also be right in their personal lives (as if you are their parents)
    its what a teenager would say to a parent
    its very unhealthy.
    and some white people respond to it ! like “I don’t know you, get yourself straightened out first!” and go on a barrage of insults and pointing out their wrongs
    saying we or anyone wont help you until this or that..agreeing to take on parent role!
    both will spin out in anger for both are out of “supply” to give either anyway!
    none of what I say negates the real true hurts and social injustices in those communities. its sad because that’s exactly what can get clouded.
    its a TACTIC
    just as I also couldn’t get HELP I needed in my bad relationship due to the people around me/family/friends..deciding to ARGUE FIRST about me and my life choices rather than help and see I was being abused
    the abused fall by the wayside.
    they will continue to get abused. because two narcs are head to head almost pretending to have a side.
    the true victim in the middle is the one who must become strong.
    and see what his/her problem really is!
    its them! trying to “speak for” her…trying to hide from her..that they are her problem


  4. Very interesting. I didn’t really know until I started reading this blog, that being a narcissist was a condition, more like a sickness from a bad event in life causing a disorder. I have read about narcissist’s sucking the life out of empaths beceause they are healers. I would be interested to read the view from the otherside. Does the narcissist not notice they are hurting another person, do they not care at all?

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