Does it seem like not only are narcissists everywhere, but they all find you & want to be your friend or romantic interest?
I’ve felt that way myself. I’ve had so many failed friendships with people I later realized were narcissists. I probably would’ve had more failed romantic relationships with narcissists as well if I wasn’t so particular about who I dated before I got married. So many times in my life, I’ve felt like a narcissist magnet- if there’s one within ten miles of me, they will find me quicker than a bloodhound on the trail of a rabbit..
And, it’s not just me. Many other people I’ve talked to share this experience. This made me wonder why do some of us keep ending up with such dysfunctional, abusive people in our lives? I came up with a theory…
Like me, the other folks I’ve talked to who have had many narcissistic relationships also were raised by at least one narcissistic parent. This means they learned very early in life to behave in a certain way- to work hard to please others, not to ask much (anything, really) from others in a relationship, to tolerate abuse, to offer much praise & no criticism. These behaviors are extremely pleasing to narcissists, so upon meeting people who behave that way, narcissists are instantly attracted. They then begin their own version of “love bombing.” Love bombing is when a narcissist inundates their prospective “love interest” (more like victim..) with loving gestures- romance, gifts, words of love & praise, wanting to take care of the love interest financially or rescue from a bad situation. Narcissistic friends do this minus the romantic aspect. They listen to you, pretend to share things in common with you, & more to draw you into a relationship with them. Once you’re in though, the mask comes off & the true person is revealed.
So how do you avoid attracting narcissistic friends & romantic interests? Get mentally healthy!
The more mentally healthy you are, the less able narcissists are to use & abuse you, which is an incredible turn off for them. While many narcissists enjoy the challenge of destroying someone who is strong, empathetic, & intelligent, they do like someone who can be molded into whatever they want. An mentally healthy person won’t let that happen. She knows her boundaries, & enforces them strictly. She also recognizes dysfunctional & abusive behavior quickly, & won’t tolerate it. Being mentally healthy is more valuable than having a high IQ when it comes to deterring abusive people from wanting to be in a relationship with you.
I’ve seen this come to pass in my own life. The more mentally healthy I’ve become, the less interested in me narcissists are. I seldom find any interested in talking to me for more than a short time, let alone pursuing a friendship. Plus, I usually can spot them a mile away now, so when I realize the person I just met is a narcissist, I’ll have fun with them. I’ll change the subject off of them, their interests, etc. onto something else. Preferably me, since narcissists have no interest in talking about anyone other than themselves.. heehee!
Something else has come from being healthier too- not only do I attract less narcissists, but I attract more mentally healthy people! I honestly can say right now that I do not have ONE abusive &/or narcissistic friend in my life. My friends are caring, compassionate, intelligent & generous. If we have a disagreement, we can work things out, even if we never come to agree. We know it’s OK to agree to disagree. We don’t always share many similar interests, but we do respect each other’s right to be interested in what the other is interested in without judgment. We often think very much alike & share similar religious beliefs.
I’m not saying attracting narcissists in your life is your fault, or that you have to be completely mentally healthy & over the narcissistic abuse to have good friendships. Not by any means! Please don’t think that is what I mean at all! It’s still completely on the narcissist that they seek out victims. And, once you start recognizing & failing to tolerate abuse, things will change naturally. Abusers will start seeing you as an unavailable target & seek another victim.