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What personality type does narcissist attract?

INFP Empathy & Attracting Narcissists (Ask an INFP #6)

Welcome back to the “Ask an INFP” blog series, where I answer questions and discuss topics as requested by some of my lovely readers. If you would like to participate, feel free to leave a comment, contact me on instagram ( @ infpinsights) or send an email to While I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, I hope to create a space where we can discuss meaningful topics that add value to your own self-growth and discovery.

Thank you to @the_dunwich_lurker on instagram for asking the following question:

Why do INFPs attract narcissists and how can it be avoided?

I also received a request to discuss the following topic:

Staying grounded to yourself while having an empathetic heart.

I’ll start off by answering the first question, then extend the discussion to cover the topic of self care, and staying grounded to yourself, while experiencing deep emotions and empathy for others.

Why do INFPs attract narcissists?

First of all, let’s define what a narcissist is, since it is a term that is often thrown around loosely these days. It is someone who displays the following traits:

  • Expectation for superior treatment from others
  • Possessed by fixations of power, success, attractiveness etc.
  • The perception of being of a higher-status than others
  • Desire for constant admiration from others
  • Sense of entitlement to unique treatment and authority over others
  • Exploitative and manipulative of others for personal gain
  • Unable or unwilling to empathise with others
  • Intense jealousy for others and the perception that others are equally jealous of them
  • Pompous and arrogant manner

Someone with many or all of these characteristics may be diagnosed with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a mental illness where the person has unstable emotions and a distorted self-image.

INFPs may tend to attract narcissists, because on the outside, INFPs may appear gentle, unobtrusive, and therefore an ‘easy target’ to be taken advantage of. However, I’m not at all suggesting that INFPs are victims that cannot stand up for themselves – we will passionately defend our values when we feel it is necessary. But in general, we tend to be less assertive than other types, and less likely to confront conflict head on.

INFPs tend to attract unhealthy people in general, because of our highly empathetic nature, our ability to stand up for the underdog and see the best in others. We are often nicknamed ‘the healers’, because we often empathise deeply with other people’s pain, based on our own experience of the intricacies of human emotion. We attract hurting souls, because we are experts at listening to and accepting others, without projecting immediate judgement.

How can this be avoided? And how can we stay grounded to ourselves while having an empathetic heart?

Firstly, be assured that having deep feelings and empathy for others is not a sign of weakness; its is a beautiful strength. However, I know first-hand how one-sided relationships can lead to feeling burnt out, used and unappreciated. That’s why it is so important to practice self-compassion, and not neglect your own needs. While I don’t think we can necessarily avoid attracting narcissists or unhealthy people, we can control our response to them. Here are three important things to remember:

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1. Don’t blame yourself

As I said before, your empathy and compassion for others are beautiful qualities. It is so important not to blame yourself for other people’s problems. No matter how much you care, it is not your responsibility to fix others.

2. Learn to set healthy boundaries

This is definitely easier said than done. I must admit, this is something I struggle with a lot, and am definitely no expert on. Personally, I’m more likely to try to avoid the person, or even be passive aggressive, than directly communicate with the person what my limits are. However, I did have to do it once (in writing), to a family member from whom I experienced emotional abuse. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I felt terrible doing it, but I knew it was necessary for my emotional health. Here’s an article from Psych Central that explains how to set healthy boundaries, that I found helpful.

If these boundaries are not respected, you may need to consider leaving the relationship. Obviously this depends entirely on the situation, and there is no golden formula. Emotional abuse often goes unnoticed and can be easily overlooked; it cannot be directly observed and is difficult to explain. No matter what, you need to prioritise your emotional health. I had to leave the relationship with the family member I mentioned before. That person also displayed some narcissistic tendencies, such as refusing to empathise with my experience or acknowledge the impact of their behaviour. I understand how difficult it can be, especially when you have so much empathy for the person and really want them to experience healing.

3. Stay connected to yourself

Feeling deeply and empathising with others can be very draining, so it is important to take time out to recharge and reconnect with yourself. This will be different for everyone. For me, what helps is journalling and going for walks in nature (as I discussed in my previous post, “Finding Inner Peace”). For others, it may be expressing yourself through an art form, or seeking a quiet space to reflect or meditate.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic – don’t hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch if you need a listening ear. And don’t forget to submit any other questions/topics for discussion for the next instalment of the series!

More resources:

  • About NPD:
  • How to set healthy boundaries:

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Why You Attract Narcissists

To address this age old question, I’ve separated it into two parts. Firstly, I will argue that a certain personality type attracts narcissists. And secondly, I will explain the mindset which will attract a narcissist, one that is based on a compensation response from childhood.

Empaths Attract Narcissists

In my book ‘How To Kill A Narcissist,’ I introduced the idea of highy-sensitive people, and the ways they attract narcissists. The emotional world of an Empath is very rich. They are artists and dreamers. Empaths inspire others with their energy and zest for life. They are healers, and usually very creative and spiritual. Above all, they can brighten up a person’s day just by being themselves. Yet this richness comes with a cost:

  • Empaths crave love and connection more than most people, and they suffer when isolated. As a result of this deep need for emotional connection, their boundaries are usually weak.
  • The emotional buttons of an Empath are easier to push than those of Non-Empaths. Because they have a super sensitive emotional antenna, even the smallest attack can shake them up. When somebody else shows intense emotion, whether it be anger, sadness or outrage, the Empath feels like they are being engulfed and bombarded. With that, their immune system drops and their anxiety increases.
  • They often feel fatigued, just by being around people. They get sick more easily. They are often nervous and afraid. It has nothing to do with strength; inside their body and mind, they are simply overwhelmed with fear, shame and anxiety. This deafening, blinding emotional system makes it hard to see out into the world.
  • Empaths must have structure at all times. They need an environment which insulates them so that emotions don’t get out of hand.
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For all of the above reasons, Empaths attract narcissists like the plague. Their inner beauty, weak boundaries, compromised internal strength and strong need for connection make them a gold mine of narcissistic supply. To get the upper hand, the narcissist only has to bombard the emotional system of the Empath and then coerce the Empath into cooperating with their demands. But there’s more.

The Mindset Which Attracts Narcissists


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There is one core mindset which attracts narcissists, and that is hidden grandiosity.

During the love-bombing phase, the narcissist sells you a fantasy. Rather than reject this blatant manipulation, you lapped it up. But why? Could it be that you keep attracting narcissists because you crave the fantasy? We all want the perfect, sexy partner, and by extension, the perfect, happy home. We especially pine for this reality if we were deprived of goodness in our lives. Coming from a dysfunctional home makes you want a perfect happy home as compensation. Having an emotionally absent parent makes you want an attuned, loving partner. We forget that in reality, all people are wounded and imperfect, and forming and maintaining relationships is hard work. Each person has individual desires, beliefs and behaviours which will clash with yours. Relationship has phases of constant tension and pain, followed by routine and boredom. It’s not all rainbows. Can you handle that? Truly? If not, then you will keep attracting narcissists.

Any friction resonates with the pain of your past, and you pull away from it. Those who exhibit shame and imperfection get brushed away, while narcisists slide right through our defences, bonding with us without friction. When a narcissist arrives, you see the beginning of a perfect union, which you hope will lead to a happy home. The narcissist sells you this because they too will tolerate only perfection. Anything less will activate their anger, frustration and rage.

The narcissist sees themselves as perfect, and because they are so self-centred, see anyone attached to them as an extension of themselves. They will never accept that they are limited or flawed, so as reality eventually bites and imperfections in the relationship arise, they will lash out at you. You did this wrong, or that wrong. You feel like you are always striving for a higher bar, and the bar keeps rising as you get more and more exhausted.

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But why do you put up with this? Because you are running away from something. By striving for the perfect relationship, you are denying that your past was extremely painful and flawed. Most importantly, you are denying the fact that the future will also contain flaws. Normal people who show imperfection are unsettling to us, because their imperfections show that they could let us down or leave us. They connect us with our shame, and our shame has proven to be painful and irredeemable. Life can feel bleak when it is realistic and ‘normal.’ By denying that, we are harbouring hidden grandiosity. Normal will never fly for us. And so we keep attracting narcissists — the very people who will feed our hidden grandiosity.

Those who have healthy shame and realistic ambition never attract narcissists. They laugh in the face of the narcissist’s love bombing, easily seeing how detached from reality the narcissist is. So why do we keep attracting narcissists? Why do we take the bait? Because we want the fantasy. Reality is pain. To dwell in reality is to see that the world isn’t as wonderful as we hope it is. Coming into reality reveals our hidden toxic shame. It shows our shortcomings and broken dreams. It shows us all the things ‘wrong’ with our life. We need an escape.

Enter the narcissist.

Dare to be normal, and you will stop attracting narcissistic abuse. You will stop attracting narcissists full stop. Let the fantasy of perfection go, and embrace your wounded, imperfect self, warts and all. Accept what you are and where you are, and work through your True Self to form a brighter future. There is no perfect future, and nobody can deliver a perfect future. This is a hard pill to swallow, but there is no other way. Expose your hidden grandiosity, and wave it goodbye. Then and only then will you stop attracting narcissists and kiss the hell they bring goodbye forever.

Part two of this article describes in detail how you can stop attracting narcissists. Part three, written by Transformational Coach Katinka Noack, will then go into how you can attract the right relationship instead.

To begin your recovery from narcissistic abuse and heal from a narcissistic relationship, you can also check out my book, How To Kill A Narcissist. In the follow-up, How To Bury A Narcissist, I delve deeper into the narcissistic family and Self-actualising after narcissistic abuse. If you need support in cultivating healthy, empowered relationships, then Transformational Life Coaching might also be helpful.

What personality type is attracted to a narcissist?

People with type A personalities attract narcissists, but a relationship between the two is a recipe for disaster.

What kind of people fall for a narcissist?

Empaths and highly sensitive people can be more susceptible to the charm of those who have NPD or narcissistic qualities, says Zinn.

What attracts someone to a narcissist?

Unfortunately, we accept the love we think we deserve. On the flip side, you may be attracted to narcissistic partners because of their confidence and charm. They can introduce you to their life of excitement and supposed glamour, making you feel amazing — but only when you’re with them.

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What type of partner is best for a narcissist?

Narcissists love to find partners who are self-sacrificing. Narcissists dont have any desire to focus on the victims needs. He/she needs a partner who is willing to have no needs, that way, he/she can always make sure only the narcissist is taken care of.

What kind of woman is attracted to a narcissist?

One of the most common misconceptions is that narcissists only look for emotionally dependent partners who lack confidence and self-esteem. In fact, narcissists are often attracted to strong, confident, and self-assured women.

What types of people attract narcissists?

Who fell in love with a narcissist?

Echo was a nymph who was destined a fate that she could only repeat the sounds and last words of others. One day she spotted and fell in love with Narcissus. She followed him through the woods but could not speak without repeating his words.

Why do girls like narcissists?

«They lack empathy and have a difficult time taking someone else’s perspective.» Twenge said she does understand why women fall for narcissists. «The initial appeal of narcissists comes from their assertiveness and confidence,» she said. «These are stereotypically masculine traits that many women find appealing.»

Do narcissists choose attractive partners?

Narcissists are attracted to dynamic and appealing partners, individuals who appear as if they have high self-esteem but who also have a «pocket» or two of low self-esteem.

What are the red flags of a narcissist?

Here are some narcissism red flags to look out for: Lacking empathy. They seem unable or unwilling to have empathy for others, and they appear to have no desire for emotional intimacy. Unrealistic sense of entitlement.

Who do narcissists target in relationships?

Narcissists often look for victims who struggle with insecurity and low self-esteem. People who think less of themselves and struggle with the “I am not enough” mindset tend to attract toxic partners. People with self-esteem issues tend to think of themselves as imperfect or unlovable.

What attracts an empath to a narcissist?

Empaths tend to desire validation and love from a narcissist, potentially due to their childhood experience of not having their emotional needs met by a caregiver or parent. Likely, an empath had a narcissistic parent, or experienced some kind of emotional neglect in which they learned that love is conditional.

Why does everyone love the narcissist?

Narcissists are masterful impression managers: Thanks largely to their intense self-obsession and self-adulation, narcissists excel at managing initial impressions. They care a lot about their appearance and dress to impress, which signals status and makes them attractive.

Why do people gravitate to narcissists?

Primarily, narcissists are attractive because they think of themselves as the top prize, and that factors into to how other people see them. They believe in their own value (on the surface, at least), so their charisma and confidence often makes them the life of a party.

Why is it so easy to fall in love with a narcissist?

People fall in love with narcissists for about a million reasons. Many narcissists have other appealing characteristics like intelligence, good looks, humor, power, career success, and outward confidence.

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What is attractive about a narcissist?

Their Confidence Is Attractive

A key trait of narcissists is confidence – they are attractive because they think of themselves as attractive. They believe in their own value, so this confidence and charisma become qualities that pull others in, that makes them the life and soul of the party.

What are narcissists interested in?

Since narcissists are very interested in social status and influence, they use acts of generosity to appear noble and kind. Some examples of this are narcissists who donate their money, goods, or time.

What are the 5 main habits of a narcissist?

Let’s take a look at five of the most common characteristics of a narcissist in order to create awareness.

  • Inflated Ego. Those who suffer from narcissism usually seem themselves as superior to others. .
  • Lack of Empathy. .
  • Need for Attention. .
  • Repressed Insecurities. .
  • Few Boundaries.

How do you tell if a narcissist loves you?

If a narcissist is interested in you, you might notice that they shower you with admiration and attention shortly after you meet them. They might be quick to say “I love you,” put you on a pedestal, and make grand romantic gestures.

What are telltale signs of a narcissist?

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

  • Grandiose sense of self-importance. .
  • Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur. .
  • Needs constant praise and admiration. .
  • Sense of entitlement. .
  • Exploits others without guilt or shame. .
  • Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others.

Do narcissists tend to be good looking?

Narcissists are more likely to be highly extraverted, want to be the center of attention, and are more disagreeable than others. Researchers have found that narcissists tend be more physically attractive than average.

Are narcissists attracted to successful people?

In fact, narcissists are often attracted to strong, confident, and self-assured women. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is important to realize that the narcissistic traits of grandiosity and confidence are really a mask for deep insecurity.

What it’s like dating a narcissist?

When you are in a narcissistic relationship, you may feel very lonely. You might feel like you are just an accessory and your needs and wants are unimportant. Narcissistic partners act as if they are always right, that they know better and that their partner is wrong or incompetent.

Can a narcissist love a woman?

Narcissists may show you love and act in loving ways, but this tends to be conditional, in that displays of love depend on what you can give them in return. For people with NPD, relationships tend to be transactional. Love is not self-serving, proud, boastful, exploitative, or envious.

Does a narcissist know they are a narcissist?

Key points. Narcissists are fully aware that they are narcissistic and have a reputation as such. Narcissists would rather be admired than liked. Narcissists are masters at making first impressions, leading them to do better with short-term relationships.

How do you make a narcissist fear you?

17 Ways to Make a Narcissist Really Afraid of You

  1. Don’t give them your attention. These attention-seekers will do anything to be noticed. .
  2. Starve them of empathy. .
  3. Show strength and confidence. .
  4. Ignore them. .
  5. Set and enforce boundaries. .
  6. Say no. .
  7. Challenge them. .
  8. Hold them accountable.
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