The Toxic Attraction Between An Empath And A Narcissist

All is fine in love and war unless it’s a toxic attraction leading to destruction. The toxic attraction between an empath and a narcissist.

We know that “narcissist” has become a bit of a buzzword recently, and some folks are quick to apply it to an ex-lover or family member or friend. While awareness of this concept is healthy, so is remembering that it is, in a mental health context, a serious condition that shouldn’t be applied to someone you’re mad at because they stole your mirror. – Eds. 

Often times empaths realize that they have that sensitive, highly intuitive aspect of their personality after they have survived a broken relationship with an energy vampire or a narcissist.

This article is written from the perspective of an empath, however, the narcissistic personality might have a different perspective on the relationship too.

The Toxic Attraction Between An Empath And A Narcissist


Studies on the narcissist personality type reveal one truth:  A narcissist is wounded.

This wound traces back to their childhood when they either might have been neglected care and concern by the primary caregivers, dejected by close people or have felt the pangs of rejection over persistent situations. Our past experiences have a significant influence on the development of our adult personality.

A child who has been ‘conditioned to be loved’ when they have achieved something and left devalued on occasions they failed to achieve something will help them form a personality that is based on fragile and fluctuating attention. This leads to a very vulnerable sense of identity and low self-esteem.

Praising children’s intelligence, far from boosting their self-esteem, encourages them to embrace self-defeating behaviours such as worrying about failure and avoiding risks. – Dr. Dweck 

Often times, the energy-sucking, cruel monster we see in a narcissist is just a superficial cover to the extremely destroyed, insecure, shattered person inside that we fail to see.


An empath on the other side is sensitive, considerate, empathetic on the inside and is extremely transparent on the outside. An empath has an incredible power to fathom the exact depth of another individual’s emotions; they can literally absorb the physical, emotional and mental agony of another person and feel it as if it’s their own.

An empath rarely has a conscious sense of their personal boundary. This vague definition of their boundaries gets them to be highly attracted to the melancholic, heartbroken, enigmatic charm of the narcissists, rushing to fix and repair any damage and attempt to eradicate all their pain.

The empaths fail to see the truth in the eyes of the narcissist. Just as an empath is a giver, healer, the narcissist, on the other hand, is a taker. What can be a better mutual attraction point than this?

A narcissist is utterly empty on the inside, covered up by the mountainous grandiose self-image. The lack of validation and nurturance during childhood requires a substantial amount of compensation when they grow up. To defend against their impoverished self-image, these individuals feign an attitude and demeanor to convince themselves that they deserve everything best in this universe. This mindset compels them to get intimately involved with individuals they feel could be the “best source of their narcissistic supply” to their exaggerated need to be constantly validated.

This complex dynamic is beyond the understanding of the simple-minded empath who views the world and its inmates just as compassionate and giving as themselves, being oblivious of the narcissists’ deep-rooted agenda.

The narcissist’s agenda is one of manipulation, of acquiring power and control over other individuals. The empath’s agenda, in contrast, is to love and heal selflessly. This creates a suitable circumstance for the narcissist to take advantage of the empath’s submissive and sensitive nature to the fullest degree possible.

The more dominating the narcissist becomes, the more likely the empath will retreat into a victim status. And soon enough, this domination and power play will be projected on the empath, while the empath imbibes in this poisonous projection into themselves. Before long, an extremely vicious circle has begun to swirl.

When a narcissist sees that an empath is wounded they will play along and the main intention will be to keep the empath down. This cruel, inhuman treatment of power play will make the empaths feel more vulnerable and pathetic about their situation.

- Advertisement -
I am a professional content writer and marketer with over 3 years of experience. When I am not writing about relationships, personality and lifestyle, you can find me swimming in a pool somewhere.
- Advertisment -


  1. I to am an empath and have had several narcissistic relationships and thanks to your article I now realize that your right about not being able to fix anyone. I use to get into relationships so that i could fix people and I have learned this simply isn’t possible. Just wanted to say thank you very much for your insight.

  2. An empath myself, and a counselor, I’ve had to let go of a couple of narcissistic friends. Ian made some good points, above, re: the defining characteristics of a narcissist, and I would tend to agree with his observations, although not having met your narcissist, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. It does seem possible that your initial perception of that person as “loving and attentive” could have been projection on your part and/or he was very good at faking it to get what he wanted; otherwise, NOT a narcissist. Be that as it may –

    With narcissists, the key feature is that EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THEM – always! In good times, they are the star of the show and the life of the party. In bad times, they are the poor defenseless victim desperately in need of your help. And God forbid YOU should ever be a star and/or need help, because how dare you take the spotlight away from them?!

    I had a friend who, in public, was the life of the party and fun to be with at karaoke, laughing, dancing, having a ball. She was always the center of attention (good or bad) and often accused of being “a drama queen.” As her friend, I stood up for her against these accusations. But in private, she would call me all hours of the day or night supposedly seeking my “advice,” including medical, which was my field at the time, about the latest drama affecting her and her family. She and her kids were in the ER so often that I said her family ought to get Frequent Flyer Miles or something. But, although she allegedly wanted my “advice,” she always ignored my recommendations, preferring the advice of high school dropout Billy Bob or whomever she happened to be sucking up to at that moment.

    Another friend, who presented as the sweetest, kindest, gentlest lady you would ever want to meet, came to me for counseling and spiritual help. Her estranged husband was a monster who had abused her physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually in all kinds of horrible ways and nobody believed her. The law had sided with him, saying she was crazy. But for some reason she couldn’t let go of him emotionally. I had never met him and couldn’t verify her story but regardless, worked with her on letting go, getting herself free, healing, and following through on the legal process. I even smudged her condo and banished demons which she was sure he’d left there to curse her. Like my other friend, she called at all hours and stayed on the line for hours, suicidal, when I told her I had to work or sleep.

    Then it happened – I had the worst year of my life. My mom had died and my new stepmom was diagnosed w/ terminal cancer. Meanwhile, the trailer I was living in had roof and floor leaks, black mold, a very lively rat infestation, a flood and a fire. It was the rainiest summer on record for our area and my entire property was underwater, and sinkholes were opening up, one just 20 feet from the trailer. I have a preexisting immune dysfunction and my health deteriorated horribly due to the black mold. Also I lost my job. I posted my experience on Facebook and here’s how my narcissistic “friends” responded:

    Friend A, the Life of the Party, said “Quit whining! All this bad stuff is happening to you because God is punishing you for being such a negative person and not having enough faith!” Friend B, the kind, gentle victim, said, “You have brought this on yourself by being negative. I CHOOSE to be happy! and I LOVE the rain!” I prayed for both of them and let them go.

    That’s the thing about relationships with narcissists: You can be there for that person for years, through thick and thin, but when your life takes a turn for the worse and now YOU need support – forget it! Not only will they NOT help you, they will stab you in the back for having the audacity to have any drama in YOUR life that may detract from all the attention being on them.

  3. To the author:

    You have some value to what you have to say about relationships and it’s inner workings but you obviously don’t have a clue what a narcissist is….

    “Emotionally exhausted, lost, depleted and debilitated an empath will struggle to understand what has happened to the once loving, attentive and charismatic person they were attracted to.”

    Loving, attentive and charismatic is not and are never qualities of a narcissist. They are not wounded! They are generally very pig headed and rarely act the victim. They go blindly into life with little to no true care for others. They play life like a game and all the “love” they give is really only to benefit themselves in some way.

    If an empath goes into a relationship with a narcissist. It tends to be seen more as; the empath struggling to get the narcissist’s attention, while the narcissist blindly goes on in life never really being able to understand why the empath feels so clingy.

    I think the type of people you are talking about are empaths just like yourself. But as you said they were hurt in some way and they have stopped reaching out and feeling the emotions of the people around them. People who are looking to fill a void are not shallow! They are running on instinct and anxiety lots and lots of anxiety or depression. It may be so bad that they destroy everyone and everything around them but THEY ARE NOT A F***KING NARCISSIST!! If you were one of these people you would know there was a time before everything went so sour. You would know what the need to take from people in the way you are talking about is because you feel way too much empathy and feelings that you just shut down your inner core until you feel as hollow as whatever destroyed your happiness in the first place.

    I’d really like to hear a reply

  4. So you’re saying that empath could blame everyone who is not as sensitive as him to be a narcissist or sociopath?Because just maybe you’re overreacting and let’s blame everyone who doesn’t answer to your love the way you want to be a bad person…that’s stupid!

    • Martina – you might be a narcissist if . . .
      1) you think someone is overreacting to manipulative behavior
      2) you are projecting your bad behavior onto someone else, as if they are the problem
      3) call the other person names and insist they are wrong in calling out your bad behavior

      I can clearly see why you think this is “stupid”.