Those of us who end up with narcissists are often highly empathic people. We have a strong desire to know the truth and for the truth to be known. We care about the other person’s feelings. We absorb the feelings of those around us and we feel their pain. We want to caretake others and to rescue them from their pain. Although these are great qualities to have, they can be taken advantage of by narcissistic individuals. A narcissist will typically target empathic types. This is because empathic individuals provide them with narcissistic supply. The narcissistic also knows that they are likely to be able to use the target’s kindness to manipulate them.
This dynamic of the empathic person wanting to caretake and rescue the narcissist, who in turn wants to manipulate and control the empathic person, means that we find it very difficult to walk away from these relationships. We may feel as though we are going around and around in circles, with no way out.
A narcissist is able to sense when we have had enough and are about to leave. This will prompt the narcissist to turn on the superficial charm. We say to ourselves, “Perhaps this time it will be different??”
No! The REAL truth is that the narcissist is not going to change or to see the errors of their ways. Sadly they believe that manipulating others is the only way to be safe in the world. Deep down we know that if we approach the narcissist again, we will be hurt, and the cycle will start over again.
This can be described as the drama triangle. When I take a step away from the narcissist after he has done something unacceptable, he plays the victim. This leaves me feeling as though I am the persecutor. Therefore I want to rescue the narcissist from this position. However he then moves into the position of persecutor and I am victim. There is no one rescuing ME from the victim role. Therefore the only way for me to get out of the victim role is to leave – and stay away!
The bottom line is that this situation is never going to turn out well for you. By rescuing the narcissist, you are effectively sacrificing yourself. The narcissist will always be the winner, for no better reason than the fact that they lack a conscience and so there is no limit to how low they will stoop in order to get what they want. A narcissist cannot function in a healthy relationship. They need to steal energy from another person in order to feel alive and therefore they need to create chaos!
If you give the narcissist another chance, they will not thank you for it or treat you any better. In fact, their respect for you will decrease and they will know that they can get away with treating you badly. You show them your standards by your actions.
Your only option is to not play their game. Do not be fooled by their act. It is the narcissist’s choice to hurt others and there is nothing you can do to change that. The best hope you have is to shine by example and focus on your own health and wellbeing.
Please comment in the box below to share any experiences you have of struggling to gain closure. What obstacles have you found and what have you found helps?