Individuals with striking narcissistic traits often tend to relate to empathic people. Emphatics are people who radiate a ‘good light’ that particularly attracts narcissists, since being fundamentally insecure people, they do not have such light and use that of others to be able to emerge from reflection maintaining in this way an apparent image of beauty and power. Empathic people understand narcissists because they have learnt since early age that putting themselves in others’ shoes was the only way to survive to the abandonment. Narcissists smell empathic people and use them, since they know very well that these people have been ‘trained’ to emotional blackmail since childhood. Narcissists know that they can get what they need unconditionally from empathic individuals (e.g. attention, admiration, love) and when they feel that they are not receiving it in the quantity they need (namely totally) then they abandon them and look for such emotional supplies elsewhere.  This is why it is not a coincidence that their perfect preys are empathic people.

Do you think you are an empathic person and you don’t know how to recognise a narcissist?

First of all, it is important to know that there two types of narcissists: overt and covert. We can easily recognise overt narcissists because they show grandiose traits, whereas covert narcissists are more difficult to recognise because, they initially seem shy and sensitive, then they increasingly crave for attention, often acting as victims. Both types are great manipulators. Indeed, be them partners, friends or members of family, we can recognise them by noticing that they are very good at using trickery as a way of manipulation and victimisation as a way to arouse compassion.  Another way to recognise them is to pay attention to how we feel in their presence. If we experience a sense of manipulation, devaluation, confusion and a progressive diminishing of energy levels when we are in their presence, then are relating to a narcissist. Learn how to recognise their traits and observe your feelings when you are with them, this can help you pondering whether it is worthy maintaining this type of relation.


Les Carter (2010). Difendersi dai narcisisti. Come non farsi rovinare la vita da chi pensa solo a se stesso. Milano: TEA.