Why are people attracted to Narcissists? - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

In the grand scheme of all of the ways that relationships, marital, dating, sexual can go off the tracks, I've been thinking a lot lately about why it is that people with NPD, who basically start eroding a relationship from the moment it starts, never, ever seem to find themselves alone or ostracized.

Found this article, and apparently science wants to know too. https://psychcentral.com/blog/new-st...so-attractive/

I dated a woman whose ex-husband had NPD. The man used his young daughter as a prop to consistently harm his ex-wife ... even 6 years after their divorce. By her own account, she had adored him, and post divorce, was terrified of him. He had hauled her into court no fewer than 10 times over those 6 years. He was an attorney, so he represented himself. To further cement his complete authority, he would in turn sue any attorney that represented his ex. I REALLY wanted to meet this guy ... but that never happened.

I'm sure folks here have had brushes with it, or knows someone who has it. For me, I can smell'em a mile away, and I fundamentally have an aversion to Narcissists of either gender. I'm sure most people who would recount interacting with one, likely feels the same. Nonetheless I find it fascinating that given their need for recognition, acknowledgement, adoration, or victimizing ... they never suffer for a lack of people and orbiters around them willing to take on that role. Even smart, well adjusted people.


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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:48 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Why are people attracted to narcissists?

I will hazard a guess. Most the narcissistic people I know initially appear to be very self confident and out-going. Their true NPD doesn't become apparent until later on.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Men and women attach themselves to Narcissists because they {the Narcissist} are adept at manipulation, having, displaying the fine Art of Salesmanship.

Narcissists have a good measure of Charisma, Chutzpah, sometimes Gravitas.

Many of the more successful ones are, in appearance, not so in deed, attractive,.

They have a powerful [natural] chemistry set. They can attract the opposite sex with covalent bonding, {covert}, not so much as polar ionic, {at odds} bonding.





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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:21 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

What the article says is this: "Narcissists get dates because it looks like they’re TRYING." They put such a big effort into winning you over (at the start!) by any means possible. You can spot them a mile away once you understand it.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

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Originally Posted by blazer prophet View Post
Why are people attracted to narcissists?

I will hazard a guess. Most the narcissistic people I know initially appear to be very self confident and out-going. Their true NPD doesn't become apparent until later on.
See, I'm wondering if people are attracted to Narcissists either because they demonstrate traits they wish to emulate, admire, or fundamentally find desirable? And in my history of knowing folks with NPD, even after they had demonstrated untold levels of d0uchebaggery, those who found themselves pulled into their orbit, could not pull themselves out. As I indicated, the orbiters or partners were often people whom I would not put in the category of low self esteem, or weak minded.

So I'm wondering if the people that stick around are looking for something from the Narcissist that either fulfills them, or they hope rubs off on them?

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

I'll also put out there that I have been accused of being a Narcissist in the past.

I assured that person that I didn't need theirs or anyone elses acknowledgment or adoration to recognize my own awesomeness.

That response was well received ...

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

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Originally Posted by Laurentium View Post
What the article says is this: "Narcissists get dates because it looks like they’re TRYING." They put such a big effort into winning you over (at the start!) by any means possible. You can spot them a mile away once you understand it.
Yeah, but I've also seen this behavior with trauma and low self-esteem. I dated a VERY attractive woman who went all in on winning me over, and once she had, she began to sabotage. She outright said at one point, "I don't deserve you." And she believed it ... which I found tragic.

I get that often these things don't become self evident until you are in the thick of it. But I am wondering if anyone here DID make that realization, what did you do? Did you extricate yourself from the relationship (friendly, lover, or other wise)? Or did you hang in and just modify your own behavior?

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:52 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

I too had an ex. that was previously married to an extreme narcissist for 18 years.

He had a Phd in physics and as such he could command an arrogant and condescending posture which made it difficult to stand up against.

although appallingly abusive, he had almost complete control over her.
she was simply under his spell.

it was only after he put her in the hospital that she finally realized she had to leave and did.
he continued to stalk her.

even years after she left him, she was drawn to him.
once, i had to talk her down into going to see him.

yes, they have a very powerful grip over their victims, especially as you say, when they are accomplished and clever.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:53 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Narcissists probably exist on a spectrum like most things dont they? Dont see it being a binary sort of thing. As long as thats true I think most narcissists probably arent as extreme as the ex-husband lawyer. They can mask and hide it as confidence and self-assuredness. In those cases people just think "that person has it going on"?

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunCMars View Post
Men and women attach themselves to Narcissists because they {the Narcissist} are adept at manipulation, having, displaying the fine Art of Salesmanship.

Narcissists have a good measure of Charisma, Chutzpah, sometimes Gravitas.

Many of the more successful ones are, in appearance, not so in deed, attractive,.

They have a powerful [natural] chemistry set. They can attract the opposite sex with covalent bonding, {covert}, not so much as polar ionic, {at odds} bonding.





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So ... it's all about electrons. Narcissists got a lotta electrons ... I'm down with that.



Edited to add: There is an obvious and glaring example of what you describe that I know we could discuss and contrast, but probably shouldn't. I'll also make clear for anyone reading that my post wasn't intended as a veiled reference to that individual. Yes, I'm of course talking about Charlie Sheen ... not pictured above. That's John Stamos.
I'm always intrigued by how people find themselves attracted to toxic.


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Last edited by Deejo; 06-13-2019 at 11:06 AM.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

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Originally Posted by Middle of Everything View Post
Narcissists probably exist on a spectrum like most things dont they? Dont see it being a binary sort of thing. As long as thats true I think most narcissists probably arent as extreme as the ex-husband lawyer. They can mask and hide it as confidence and self-assuredness. In those cases people just think "that person has it going on"?
I think you are probably spot on with this. My wife suspects her mom has NPD. The woman definitely demonstrates some traits ... but doesn't leave me with that really "off" feeling I've gotten from a number of NPD'rs historically. I'll have to get back to you on this ... I'm flying down to spend a week with the in-laws next week.

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:06 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Who are these people supposedly attracted to narcissists? Are they mostly male or female? These are important questions.

Quote:
Jauk set up a study involving 90 people who participated in a series of speed-dating meet-ups. (Speed-dating, though lame, acts as a good showcase to gather people’s immediate reactions to potential dating partners.)

Every participant was evaluated to determine their level of personal narcissism. They were also shown pictures of the other speed-dating participants and asked to rank their physical attractiveness. Jauk’s subjects then went through several rounds of speed dating (resulting in almost 700 “dates”) and then were asked to rate the people they interacted with.

They were asked to say whether they wanted to interact with each person in a short-term relationship — wonderfully described by the researchers as “arranging meetings purely for sex on an ad hoc basis” — OR a long-term relationship (a.k.a. let’s go to IKEA together and buy some bookshelves).

The results were very interesting. They clearly showed that, in dating situations, people LOVE narcissists. There were definite correlations between the people that men and women selected for short- and long-term relationships and their levels of narcissism. To quote a Guardian summary of the study, “those with the highest scores on the narcissism scale also tended to be perceived as most desirable by members of the opposite sex.”
I see. So it's both men and women. I've read the study and it doesn't sound like the participants actually met in person and interacted with each other. It sounds like they were just shown pictures and told to choose which people they found physically attractive without knowing much of anything about their disposition. I think the study more implies that attractive people are more likely to be narcissistic. Speed dating is all about physical appearance after all. And the study talks about speed dating.

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Last edited by BruceBanner; 06-13-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:14 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejo View Post
See, I'm wondering if people are attracted to Narcissists either because they demonstrate traits they wish to emulate, admire, or fundamentally find desirable? And in my history of knowing folks with NPD, even after they had demonstrated untold levels of d0uchebaggery, those who found themselves pulled into their orbit, could not pull themselves out. As I indicated, the orbiters or partners were often people whom I would not put in the category of low self esteem, or weak minded.

So I'm wondering if the people that stick around are looking for something from the Narcissist that either fulfills them, or they hope rubs off on them?

This is just a theory but maybe those people enjoy the chase, thrive on drama, find it interesting, doesn't want to be a "quitter." Maybe they would be bored with someone who simply loves and adores them. I've seen this with competitive people. They like to "win" at relationships so are always trying to win their partner. But if their partner is NPD they'll never win. The NPD partner has to be the one to end it because the other partner won't ever quit.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Agree with SunCmars and jorgene posts above.

Narcissists feel it is all about them. They believe
they are fantastic people. You are the one with
the problem not them. During a relationship with a
narcissist they will make you feel so. They have done
so much and you are lucky to be with them. How dare
you even think about leaving them. If you think about
leaving they can turn on their charm and manipulation
and pull you right back in.

It is all about them. You are the one with the issues
and they have the ability and charm to make you
think so. Unless you realize it even friends and family
can not convince you otherwise.

Never place anyone on a pedestal it hurts more when they fall off
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why are people attracted to Narcissists?

Well, in the case of the study cited, a group of 90 people, presuming 45 individuals of each sex, and and about 700 dates.

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