top of page

I’m Empathetic and I Love Narcissists

Narcissism- this is a misunderstood term that infiltrates its way into many discussions, often conjuring images of grandiosity, entitlement, and manipulation. But what exactly is narcissism, and why do narcissists seem to gravitate toward empaths again, and again, and again?

In simple terms, narcissism is a personality trait that is characterized by a strong sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration and validation, and a lack of empathy for others. We all possess narcissistic tendencies at times, but narcissistic personality disorder or NPD shows those traits to an extreme. To the point of impairing the ability to function in healthy relationships or a healthy place in society. There is a set of criteria that one must meet to be considered a narcissist and this can be diagnosed by a mental health professional.

Then we have empaths- those who possess an extraordinary ability to provide empathy to others, no matter how small. They tend to soak up the emotions of those around them while maintaining somewhat porous boundaries in most relationships. Empaths are usually understanding listeners, have great nurturing abilities, are natural healers, and can pick up on the needs and feelings of others in ways that others may not be able to, like a sixth sense if you will.

From an outside perspective, narcissists and empaths could pass as undeniable opposites- one consumed by self-absorption, the other by selflessness. Narcissists are drawn to empaths like moths to a flame, not out of genuine admiration or affection, but rather because empaths represent an endless source of validation and adoration that continues to fuel the narcissist.

The narcissist tends to view the empath as a mirror reflecting their self-image which acts as a source of affirmation, allowing their ego to continue growing. Empaths are like sponges, absorbing the emotional chaos of the narcissist and providing a steady supply of attention, admiration, and validation in return. This relationship becomes utterly imbalanced and quite toxic as the empath may give up their values or goals to provide that validation to the narcissist.

But why do empaths find themselves lost in this dynamic, struggling to become free? The answer lies in the depths of empathy and compassion that empaths can provide to the narcissist in the relationship. No matter how dark-natured the narcissist may be, the empath sees a light of redemption and tries to fix or heal the broken parts of the narcissist- no matter how many red flags they must ignore. Since empaths are caregivers by nature, they tend to put the needs of others before their own with the hopes of finding happiness, connection, and even a sense of belonging.

Unfortunately, this impulse is then exploited by the narcissist, who continues to prey upon the empath’s compassion and vulnerability with no other motive than to fulfill their desires or selfish gains. Often, a narcissist is undeniably charming or charismatic to hide their true intentions while luring the empathetic person into their web of emotional abuse.


Read that again: It is a web of emotional abuse. Nothing more. Nothing less.


As the empath becomes increasingly entangled in the narcissist’s web, their self-worth and autonomy slowly dissipate, leaving them burned out, full of self-doubt, and trapped in a vicious cycle of codependency. Because the empath continues to see that light in the narcissist, the ‘what could be’ if you will, they get trapped in the codependency and this often pours over into other relationships the empath may have in their lives.  

After all of this, what could empaths possibly do to protect themselves from life-sucking narcissists? First and foremost, it’s essential to recognize the red flags of narcissistic behavior and trust your gut. If something feels off, it usually is- remember that. Learn how to set boundaries within your relationships, practice self-care, understand your values and morals, and surround yourself with a positive support system that is going to respect your empathetic personality and not abuse it for personal gain. Doing this will help you work toward reclaiming your power- to finally unlock the chains holding you down. To break free from toxic relationships, you must take that first step in making a positive change for yourself.


To sum it up, the dynamic between narcissists and empaths is a complex combination of psychology, personality, and power dynamics. They all work together to create the abuse cycle we often see. While narcissists feed on empaths like some kind of emotional vampire, empaths can possess resilience that can battle these toxic patterns they find themselves in. By understanding these dynamics and prioritizing self-care and self-love, empaths can reclaim their emotional well-being and learn to thrive in their interpersonal relationships with a strong foundation of trust, respect, authenticity, and selflessness.


Photo 2_edited.png

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Jessica, author of Howtolivewhiledying. I am a passionate advocate for those navigating the complexities of chronic health issues, overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, and the profound impact these experiences have on mental health. I invite you to join me on a journey of resilience, growth, and empowerment. Let's foster a supportive community where vulnerability is celebrated, and healing is not just a destination, but a continuous, courageous journey. Subscribe to my blog for more!

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
bottom of page