Why are Highly Sensitive People attracted to narcissists? Why are they drawn to people who deny their sensitivity and even accuse them of “being too sensitive?”
There is a saying that “opposites attract” – but what they don’t tell you is that is not always a formula for success in love. We have often seen that very empathic, intuitive, and sensitive people are drawn like a moth to a flame to someone who doesn’t respect their gentle gifts. Sometimes this is a result of the sensitive person’s underlying lack of faith in their own nature. Sometimes it is low self-worth. And sometimes it is just the result of the intoxicating charm of Narcissistic people who appear to be so captivating at first – but are not capable of returning the sublime tenderness of true love.
Narcissists believe they are the center of the universe and that everyone should revolve around their needs, their timetables, and their style. They can be very charming and are often the brightest light in the room. But up close and personal they can be demeaning, belittling, and will ignore your most basic requests for safe emotional treatment.
When you are filling a need for them, they can make you feel like you are the only star in the sky – but then, in time their eyes start to wander. Narcissists have an insatiable need for new conquests and signs of approval from new people – after all, they already “have” yours. And for someone who has given their heart fully and completely, this abrupt “about face” can leave you blowing in the wind.
Narcissists exist on a spectrum. That means some people are a little narcissistic, some are extreme cases. There is a simple test you can take that helps you determine a Narcissist’s score on the scale (see below).
Narcissists can be sexy and flirtatious – when they want to be. Then cold as ice in the next moment. These sudden or abrupt changes of heart can be very confusing to sensitive people who haVv a more constant feeling of love. Where did the love go? Was it ever real?
Maria was a highly intuitive, gentle person, a little on the shy side. When “tall, dark and handsome” Trevor turned his attention to her – at first to be study partners in a tough graduate course – and then seduced her, she was amazed that she fell so quickly for his easy charm, his rugged good looks, his wicked wit. She ignored the quiet intuitive voice that said he was dangerous – she had seen him flirt with several other girls that she considered more attractive than her. At first she was over the moon, she had never gotten this kind of amorous attention from someone “like him.” She doubted that she deserved this “gift from heaven.” But when the course was over, and his need for a brilliant study partner had passed, his constant deception, and endless excuses for not seeing her made her feel like she had dropped into purgatory.
If you are a highly sensitive person trying to manage the twists and turns of mood and affection with your narcissist partner, you can spend an awful lot of time trying to please them, ignoring your own intuition, and doubting what is really real. You can start doubting your own sanity when your partner continually denies your version of reality. This can lead you to ruminate and spend a lot of energy trying to understand what is going on. This a very self-defeating pattern – because there is no sensible reason why narcissists behave the way they do. They are running on primal patterns of taking care of themselves and their personal survival.
Narcissists don’t like to be confronted with their insensitive behavior. They are allergic to being wrong, and rarely take responsibility for when their actions hurt you. From the perspective of a narcissist – everything they need is justified – which means they will lie or cheat to take care of their own desires. They are wired to please themselves – not you!
There is a very illuminating book called “The Narcissist Next Door” by Jeffrey Kluger. And you can also take a thorough test called the NPI – The Narcissistic Personality Inventory created by Robert Raskin and Howard Terry. And you can also take the “Are You in Love with a Narcissist? Test which will be available soon online.
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