Empathy is NOT Why Someone Attracts a Narcissistic Relationship
Many seem to talk about how Narcissistic relationships happen due to one person being an empath. Personally, I don't feel your attraction to a Narcissist has to do with empathy. Sure, you may be empathic, have a big heart, and felt a deepened sympathy for this person when they opened up about how much they've been through, but that has little if anything to do with why someone may attract a Narcissistic relationship into their lives.
There are bunches of reasons why we may attract such a relationship, such as having a Narcissistic parent, but the main reason I'll be focusing on here...
You were attracted to the Narcissist for the exact same reason they were attracted to you! Because you both have childhood wounds that have not been healed. Yes, you're both still wounded children.
Sure, your bond may have originally formed due to your empathy hearing about their wounds, but they were not attracted to you because you have empathy. They were attracted to you because you had unresolved pain points from the past and you for them! These types of relationships are attracted to each other because they connect on similar pain points. This is why they bond so quickly and so easily in the beginning. It's not the love bombing, that comes after you're hooked into their pain. First, it's the connection between two wounded children.
These relationships always start off quickly, as if they know everything about each other without honestly knowing a thing. Wounded children have a sweet, alluring bond. Almost as if they can see into the pains of each other's hearts. Two small vulnerable children sharing their wounds. Because they shared a wounded past and opened up to being vulnerable, the trauma bond forms.
These relationships always have early childhood experiences which may have left them feeling deeply wounded, hurt, and usually abandoned. Both partners can sense this and are attracted to it, yet an actual Narcissist has learned to respond to pain specifically due to their selective trauma response. Everyone responds to trauma differently. I've found by studying trauma response with those who seem to have more Narcissistic tendencies, there's a specific pattern that presents due to trauma response in early childhood.
The child learned to read someone's pain points by default as a survival mechanism. This person when younger had to learn to read into people's deeper emotions at a very early age for their own safety and protection. Perhaps mom or dad was a Narcissist and they had to learn to read into their parent's reactions very quickly to feel if they were in danger. This set them up to be very good at reading the energy of any particular situation. They learned to easily understand where someone's fears were so they could know when there would possibly be an unsafe response from a caretaker. This was their survival and it continued to be a way of life well into the future. If you're around an actual Narcissist, you can probably notice they always attract difficult relationships. It's a pattern. They actually seek them out unconsciously because of their trauma response. They find those with unresolved wounds to be safe because it's familiar. They learned to read the energy of pain and they search for it with their senses because they know how to respond and react to it. A non Narcissist, though still presents with wounds and trauma responses, for whatever reason adapted differently to their trauma response.
So if you're attracting Narcissistic relationships, perhaps now you can see the reason why. Because your pain points from early childhood were left unresolved and made you an easy target!
You were most likely an open book at the beginning of this relationship. Sharing most everything you can, especially the vulnerable parts of yourself you'd worked so hard to hide, but still hoped someone would look past and love you for anyway. You probably shared a wounded connection as you talked about how difficult your past was. Felt a sense of knowing as this person seemed to get you because they experience something similar. Maybe they even shared how challenging it was for them at a young age and you felt the cry of their Inner-child reaching out to you. Who can resist that vulnerability? Of course, this is why so many attach this link to the empath being the reason for the attraction. As you can see it's much deeper than that!
In a safe relationship space, we are able to share those aspects of ourselves and work through it with a partner whose supportive of our emotional needs. In a safe relationship, we're able to be open about such things, realizing that everyone goes through something and nobody is perfect. In a safe relationship space, we will be encouraged to find supportive ways to work through things, sometimes together and sometimes not. In a safe relationship space, we will never be judged for working through our difficulties. Sure we may have disagreements and go through challenging cycles, but they won't end in gaslighting and smear campaigns that go on indefinitely.
Unfortunately, in a Narcissistic relationship, the other person turns quickly to use all of your vulnerabilities against you by shaming you for your now-perceived imperfections. It can be absolutely traumatic to open up to someone and be so vulnerable only to have them turn around and take all of those things you shared in what you perceived to be a safe space and use them against you as a tool to boost their own wounded self.
And while it is gut-wrenchingly painful to experience, it is also possible to make sure this sort of thing never happens to you again. It is possible to move out of this dynamic once you begin to see the signs that something you once thought was safe, turned out to be anything but. By becoming more familiar with our own psychological patterns and behaviors through conscious awareness it is possible to heal and move on.
Ask yourself the deeper questions...
- Do I still have wounds from the past that I haven't moved through yet?
- Am I looking to this relationship to somehow fill a space for something else I needed to look at?
- How can I show up for myself and provide what I may have been looking for in this relationship?
- An important question to ask if currently experiencing such a situation...
- What within myself was attracting this particular relationship into my life has to do with my unhealed wounds from the past.
The key is to work on finally healing those early childhood wounds once you recognize them! Our current challenges always provide the most important information as to where to look to find them.
By becoming familiar with your own inner landscape and making sure you become that person you desire for yourself, you will no longer need to assign that role over to someone else.
You will then begin to attract different types of relationships. The kind of relationship where you can openly communicate and work through your challenges in a safe space where you are free to be yourself while still being supported in a loving, healthy way.
Co-founder, creator, and leading expert in freeing others to awakn™ their unique gifts and step into their authentic self, Jenine's propriety method, based on healing the wounded child, guides you to reconnect with your child essence™, the Sacred You™, where all solutions reside.
An award-winning, international, best-selling author, skillful subconscious facilitator, and inner-child specialist, she continually embodies and demonstrates a simple truth...that anything is possible if you believe...even unicorns!