I remember reading somewhere that Narcissists don’t love themselves; they love how they feel when others love them. When they are alone, they feel empty and unloved. They are codependent on their source of Narcissistic Supply.
This article has been written to give you a deeper view of narcissism and codependency by concentrating on the two main characters in this story: the narcissist and the empath. The charismatic, charming, and manipulative narcissist meets the sensitive, empathetic empath.
Narcissists and empaths attract each other. It is not uncommon for empathic people to be drawn to narcissistic partners and vice versa. An empath can be attracted to a narcissist because they offer an appealing sense of safety and security. In contrast, narcissists are bewitched by an empath’s ability to meet their deep emotional needs.
However, an empath will also quickly feel drained and unappreciated by a narcissist. A narcissist will often resent an empath’s need for validation, leading to a volatile and unhealthy relationship.
To understand the relationship between a narcissist and an empath, you need to understand the codependency cycle first.
What is codependency?
Codependency is the tendency to behave in ways that allow an addict to continue their destructive behavior, such as enabling their substance abuse, compulsive gambling, and so forth. The codependent is likely to either be an addict themselves or have an addiction to helping other people. It is considered a relationship problem, where one person relies on another for their well-being.
Codependent empath and narcissist
The codependent empath often has a hard time standing up for themselves and learning to say, “No.” Empaths want to connect with everyone and often feel like it is their job to save everyone, including the narcissists.
The codependent empath is often drawn towards narcissists because they need to be and often feel like they are not living up to their full potential.
They are often drawn to narcissistic partners because they put so much pressure on them for commitment. The codependent empath feels like they have to say “yes” and take on the responsibility of caring for the narcissist. The codependent empath also believes that they are only worthy of love if they put others’ needs above their own.
Codependency cycle between a Narc and empath
The narcissist empath codependency cycle is a pattern of behavior in which a narcissist (a person who is excessively self-absorbed and lacks empathy) unconsciously attracts and emotionally abuses someone who is emotionally vulnerable (a person who is easily hurt and lacks self-confidence).
Due to the codependent’s low self-esteem and need for positive affirmation, the narcissistic abuser provides an uncritical and constant supply of love, approval, and attention. This cycle often leads to emotional distress, financial problems, and even physical abuse.
Why do narcissists attract empaths?
There are many reasons why narcissists might attract empaths, but a few of the most common include:
- Narcissists often project an image of being strong, confident, and in control. Empaths tend to be attuned to others’ feelings and needs, which makes them a valuable partner for a narcissist.
- Narcissists often use empathy as a tool for gaining access to other people’s emotions and weaknesses. Empaths are typically quick to understand and respond to others, making them easy targets for manipulation.
- Narcissists often use empathy as a way to avoid feeling their own emotions. Empaths are drawn to narcissists because they feel they can understand and care for the narcissist in a way that no one else can.
- Narcissists often use empathy to get what they want without having to commit or share anything genuine or authentic with the empath. Because empaths are drawn to the narcissist’s vulnerability, they are more likely to be served rather than harmed by them.
- Narcissists often exploit the trust and connection that empaths feel to take advantage of that relationship. Because empaths tend to idealize their partners, they may be more likely than other people to continue investing in the relationship even when it is harmful or unfulfilling.
Why do empaths attract narcissists?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the way empaths attract narcissists will vary depending on the individual narcissist and empath involved. However, some general tips that may be helpful include:
1. Mirroring — Many narcissists find it rewarding to be admired and loved in an entirely self-centered way. As an empath, it may be easy for you to mirror their behavior and become just as self-centered and narcissistic as they are.
2. Focusing on the negative — Narcissists often focus exclusively on the negative aspects of others, which can make them very attracted to empaths. As an empath, it may be difficult for you to see the good in people, leading to Narcissists dominating your thoughts.
3. Being available — Narcissists often need constant attention and admiration, which can be easy for empaths to provide.
Breaking the Narcissist Empath cycle
A codependent relationship between narcissists and empaths is unfortunate but ultimately toxic. In this relationship, one person becomes the source of the other’s happiness, and the other becomes the source of their unhappiness. This is an example of what psychologists call enmeshment or a symbiotic relationship. It becomes a codependent relationship when the two people become so intertwined they can’t function independently.
You may be drawn to the narcissist at the beginning of the relationship because of their charm and charisma. They can be so lovely; you think you’ve finally found your soulmate. This is why empaths get trapped in narcissistic relationships because they can’t believe that the narcissist could be cruel.
The relationship with a narcissist can be exhilarating initially, but it becomes like an addiction. You need more and more of the narcissist’s attention and approval to feel good about yourself. You might be trying to get more of the narcissist’s attention, but you need help to heal yourself.
Breaking the codependency Narcissist Empath Cycle can be a complex process, but it can be done with the help of a professional. Here are some steps that may help:
1. Identify your triggers — Identifying the triggers that set off your codependency Narcissist Empath Cycle can help break the cycle. Once you know what prompts your behavior, you can avoid those situations or respond differently.
2. Seek professional counseling — Working through your codependency Narcissist Empath Cycle and triggers with a professional may be the best way to begin breaking free. A therapist can help you explore your past and identify any patterns that have led to your current situation. They can also provide support during the healing process.
3. Establish healthy boundaries — While therapy may help break free from the codependency Narcissist Empath Cycle, it is also important to have healthy boundaries in place. Setting limits on how much you will allow yourself to get hurt and how much you will allow others into your life will help protect you from further damage.
Of course, empaths and narcissists are two very different kinds of people, but the unfortunate reality is that they can have a codependent relationship with one another. If you are reading this and are a narcissist, you can take steps today to change your life and become the person you deserve to be by reading our blog on the topic of narcissism and codependency.