Why are narcissists and codepdendents so often connected?
You hate to admit it, but you’ve been in relationships with narcissists before, maybe more often than you even realize. You might be a bit oversensitive – some people call you an empath – and maybe you have a pretty strong need to please others.
That explains why the narcissist might be attracted to you, right?
But then why are you attracted to them, especially when you know better?
There is actually a scientific reason why people with codependent personalities are drawn to narcissists – and why narcissists are equally drawn to codependents.
Are you a magnet for narcissists?
I used to think I was a magnet for narcissists. Then I learned about what kind of codependent people attract narcissists.
The mysterious force that causes you to keep ending up with a narcissist, despite the patterns you’ve realized, the mistakes you’ve made, and the lessons that you’ve learned, has been linked by researchers to John Bowlby’s attachment theory and your own attachment style.
So, the fact that narcissists and codependents find one another irresistible really isn’t all that mysterious. In fact, we’ve got the science to prove it.
How does attachment style make you so irresistable to narcissists (and vice versa)?
The attachment style you developed very early in life is responsible for a lot of your current behaviors.
Your particular attachment style leads to codependency, which attracts narcissists and leads you to compulsive caregiving and being a “fixer” who finds value in people-pleasing and taking care of the needs of others as you ignore your own.
No matter how much they care, no matter how much they need you and depend on you, these relationships are not healthy or happy on any level – the other person is simply selfish and reckless. And that’s putting it mildly.
This is exactly why your subconscious brain is wired to seek out validation, which makes you susceptible to becoming narcissistic supply. narcissists are drawn to you just as much as you’re drawn to them – and neither of you can really do anything about it.
Is there any way to make it work with a narcissist?
Bottom line: while it’s alluring to believe that you can be with a narcissist and still feel good about yourself, the reality is that when you involve yourself with a narcissist, you’re embarking on a one-way journey that leads to inevitable suffering.
The unfortunate truth is that you’ve got to go no contact and get healthy, eventually.
Otherwise, your relationships will always be unhealthy, your self-esteem will never fully recover, and no matter how close to perfect your relationship may seem superficially (in other words, it’s never as good as it seems or as bad as it seems), there will always be something amiss in the long run.
One final takeaway we would like to offer you is this: in your journey towards narcissistic abuse recovery, don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether you have a friend or family member who can help, or you need help from others who may understand better.
For example, here at QueenBeeing Narcissitic Abuse Recovery Support, you might like to:
Narcissists do not want you to seek treatment – they will actually fight against it. But don’t let that stop you from moving forward. Seeking out help can bring along a long healthy life and peaceful relationships.
Dependent Personality Disorder is on the Cluster C Spectrum.
Most of the personality disorders we dig into here are on the Cluster B spectrum. But according to the Mayo Clinic, dependent personality disorder is a Cluster C personality disorder.
“Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful thinking or behavior,” the Mayo Clinic says. “They include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.”
Dependent Personality Disorder is an Anxious Personality Disorder.
When you first learn about DPD, you might think it’s just a formal diagnosis of codependency.
In short, someone with DPD feels generally helpless, like they can’t take care of themselves at all.
People with dependent personality disorder may feel like they need to be around other people all the time in order to feel good about themselves. They may try to please others and avoid conflict at all costs, even if it means giving up their own needs.
It’s not unusual for people with this condition to feel like no one understands them or supports them as much as they need—and this can lead them to become depressed or anxious.
What does dependent personality disorder feel like?
You may notice that people with Dependent Personality Disorder have great difficulty initiating projects or doing things on their own (because of fear of disapproval or failure).
They need other people to assume responsibility for them, make most of their decisions, give them advice and instructions, and take care of most of the constructive action in their lives.
You’re highly dependent on the people around you, even relying on them to make decisions for you.
You need others to take care of you.
You are afraid to be alone and you worry that you might not be okay if you do find yourself going solo.
You also do whatever you can to make the people around you like you, including but not limited to not disagreeing with them, even if you’re not on the same page.
As with codependency, you are likely to have a fear of abandonment.
You wouldn’t know what to do if your partner needed you to do something for them.
You wouldn’t be likely to tolerate excessive emotional, psychological, or physical abuse in order to maintain the relationship as someone who is codependent might.
People with DPD sometimes act helpless and refuse to handle their adult responsibilities, preferring to have them taken care of by someone else.
With DPD, you aren’t likely to speak up for yourself and you might avoid arguments by agreeing with others even if you secretly don’t agree with what someone wants to do.
As you would with codependency, you’d be likely to stick with an unhealthy relationship due to the fear of being alone.
People with dependent personality disorder feel anxious and worried when they think that someone who is close to them might be harmed in any way, or think that they are abandoning them. This can make it hard for someone with dependent personality disorder to have personal relationships with others.
How can you heal from dependent personality disorder?
Dependent personality disorder causes feelings of shame and guilt in yourself, as well as your inability to be alone. It is also characterized by your pattern of depending on others to meet your own personal needs.
It is a type of emotional dependency that centers around seeking approval or validation from your environment.
Is there any hope for you if you have DPD?
YES! There are numerous treatment options available to help you begin the road to healing from dependent personality disorder.
Of course, as you’ve likely already realized, dependent personality disorder can be a difficult disorder to overcome, as a sufferer’s sense of self is bound up in the relationship.
Whether you’re facing DPD yourself or you know someone else struggling with it, these tips can help you move forward.
The key to healing from dependent personality disorder lies in identifying yourself first and foremost as a person who is capable of achieving their goals with or without the help of others.
The first step to healing from DPD is learning about it and realizing you have it. Self-awareness is the first step and you should be compiling a list of everything you do now that can be replaced with more positive behaviors.
The second step is understanding how the disorder has affected your life and how to make all those broken promises come true. Reaching out to others is important, but don’t let this become a crutch you lean on when you should be solving your problems on your own.
The third step is working on improving your relationships, which is one of the most difficult parts of recovering but also one of the most important. Remember that you’re a strong and capable person who can help yourself just as much as you can be helped by someone else – even yourself.