Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does it feel like I always attract narcissists?” Many survivors say most partners or friends they grow to care about are narcissists. When we do attract healthy people or partners, we may find that we aren’t as intrigued by a wholesome relationship, or we label the relationship as “unexciting.” There is something about narcissist that draws narcissists and victims together.
I want to make a point here. We can’t control a narcissist, but we can change things within ourselves to stop the cycle. In my experience, there are three reasons we attract toxic people.
1.You suffered narcissistic abuse as a child.
Almost everyone is taught how life should be in their childhood. In a healthy family, the parents meet the needs of the children physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. In an unhealthy family, the roles are reversed. The child is expected to work hard to shine a light on the toxic parent and earn that parent’s love. Unfortunately, in some cases, both parents are narcissists!
When we reach adulthood, a toxic environment seems “normal” and healthy. It’s what we know. Many of us raised by harmful parents think love must be earned, not just given. We learn no one will love us unless we are pretty or handsome, intelligent, quiet, outgoing, successful, and more. The toxic parent dictates our beliefs, values, and worth. This mandate is brainwashing for many of us. Those voices of inadequacy play in our heads for a lifetime unless we do something about them. And it’s difficult to do the work to heal, so sometimes we don’t go to therapy or find coaching. A broken heart and soul lead to bad choices in partners, friendships, and jobs.
A good example of toxic parents comes from one of my clients. Megan is a 34-yer-old woman living at home with her parents because she is between restaurant jobs. Megan’s mom is a narcissist, and her father has become the “yes man” or doormat. Megan had her menstrual cycle a few days ago, and her parents turned off the water source to her room. She came home from work needing to shower, but her parents wanted to show her who is still in control.