If I asked you what attracts you to a person, you might say kindness, trust or a good sense of humour. But do you know what attracts people to you?

Are you attracting people that will allow you to develop healthy relationships? Do you always end up dating a narcissist? If you have ever asked, “Why do I attract narcissists?” read on. See if you identify with any of the reasons below.  

What Attracts Narcissists?  

It helps to understand what attracts a narcissist. Narcissists look for people to manipulate or they surround themselves with people they want to emulate.

Potential victims:  

People that make them look good:  

  • Attractive looking  
  • Popular people  
  • Impressive job/car/house/friends  
  • Those they aspire to be  

Why Do I Attract Narcissists? 11 Reasons

1. You are vulnerable  

It doesn’t matter where your vulnerability comes from; narcissists will spot it. They are like sharks swimming in the ocean, waiting for the tiniest drop of blood. They’ll circle you and wait to strike.   

Narcissists have a sixth sense of vulnerable people. It doesn’t matter whether you have been in an abusive relationship or you’re a quiet one that won’t speak out. Narcissists’ spidey senses single you out with spine-chilling accuracy.   

2. You have low self-esteem  

People with low self-esteem attract manipulating partners. If you lack confidence in yourself or what you deserve, you are open to abuse.   

Those with a healthy balance of self-esteem and strong beliefs are more likely to question unreasonable behaviour. They are more likely to see gaslighting and guilt-tripping tactics and call them out.   

3. You are empathic   

Empathic people are sensitive to narcissists. Narcissists portray themselves as victims. They want the world to know how hard their life is. As a trusting person who can empathise, the narcissist will draw you in with one sob story after another.  

It won’t occur that you are being exploited. You may not have seen a pathological liar like a narcissist before. You may not even realise you are being manipulated. Your instincts are to help, heal, and nurture.   

4. You grew up with narcissistic parents  

Growing up in a narcissistic environment makes you used to this kind of manipulation. As you have lived it before, you are more likely to understand and forgive the narcissist.   

Perhaps it feels normal for you to be in this kind of relationship again. It may even seem a little comforting; we gravitate to things we know. Either way, you may not initially attract a narcissist just because you have narcissistic parents. However, keep forgiving your narcissistic partner and they’ll stick around.   

5. You are the caretaker in your relationships  

I believe this also comes from a place of low self-esteem. Caretakers prioritise the feelings and needs of their partners. This is nectar to the narcissist. They want their needs to be front and centre, even to the detriment of their partner. Because once they’ve sucked you dry, they’ll move on to their next victim.   

You are fulfilling a need within yourself by care-taking for your partner. Perhaps taking care of your partner helps you to feel important. Your self-esteem rises. However, you attract narcissists with your sense of responsibility. They will milk you until you have nothing left to give.   

6. You are a people-pleaser  

Why do I attract narcissists? We hear a lot about how polarised the world is today and how showing kindness instead of aggression is the way forward. But you can’t please everyone.

Do you feel better when you don’t make waves? Do you avoid confrontation? Are you likely to put your feelings to one side to keep the peace?   

This is exactly what attracts a narcissist. People that don’t value their own judgment will put up with unacceptable behaviour. Yes, kindness is an admiral quality, but not to the detriment of your sanity.

Remember, there is no pleasing a narcissist. They will move the goalposts time and time again, leaving you exhausted.   

7. You are naïve  

isfj personality

If you have never come across a narcissist before, you will be unprepared for the scale of their devious nature. I don’t know about you, but I assume people tell me the truth. I know we all embellish stories and filter our lives on social media to look good, but we are honest.  

It can be quite a shock to meet someone who has no morals and no boundaries. People who will manipulate the situation to their benefit. We don’t know how to deal with people like this.   

8. You are used to abusive relationships  

Then again, perhaps you are all too familiar with abusive partners. Maybe a previous relationship has left you vulnerable with little self-worth. We carry a lot of baggage into future relationships, knowingly or unknowingly.  

Tell someone often enough that they are not good enough, or that no one will put up with them and eventually they’ll start to believe it. A narcissist can spot this and take advantage of you.   

9. You get validation from others  

Narcissists are charming and use love-bombing techniques, which make you fall hard and fast for them, particularly if you need external validation. Confident people with high self-worth don’t need others to tell them how valued they are; they already know it.   

Their self-belief comes from inside, which means manipulative tactics designed to make them feel better do not easily sway them. Those with internal strength are more likely to question the motives of someone who is constantly flattering them.   

10. You are successful/popular/wealthy  

If none of the above applies to you and you are still wondering ‘why do I attract narcissists’, then look at your life. Are you a successful person with an impressive house, car, and a fulfilling job? Do you have a lot of friends and a great social life? Are you rich?   

Narcissists want attention; they want to look good; they crave admiration. If they don’t have the goods, they will attach themselves to people who do. You need to be careful of hangers-on and sycophants.   

11. It is a spiritual lesson  

cycle of trauma

The final reason that answers why you attract narcissists is not an easy one to process.

Some of us believe we are on a spiritual journey and are here to learn life’s lessons. That means we encounter people designed to teach us about ourselves. Perhaps you rely on the opinions of others too much. Is your self-esteem low?   

Do you need to change how you think about yourself? Are you carrying baggage from previous relationships that affect you today? If you keep attracting narcissists, it is time to look deep inside yourself. See if there isn’t something you can learn from these experiences.   

Final thoughts  

Are you still asking yourself, Why do I attract narcissists? People with low self-esteem and a caring, empathic nature attract narcissists. If you believe you don’t deserve to be loved and respected, you will be a magnet for these devious people.

Find validation from within, work through your self-limiting narrative, and you’ll discover a partner worthy of your love and attention. 


  1. linkedin.com
  2. psychologytoday.com
  3. Featured image by vectorpocket on Freepik

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