Relationships can be hard and when you are dealing with someone that is a narcissist or someone that is codependent, your relationship can turn toxic.
This is the same saying as attracting opposites. But there is more that comes with someone that is codependent or a narcissist than many people realize.
Someone that is codependent will do whatever they can for people that they love. This can be unhealthy. And a narcissist will do whatever it takes for someone to go above and beyond for them.
Why do these two people attract to each other?
Where Do These Personalities Come From?
The term codependency is not a new term, but it has been proven that this can come from people that have upbringings that were unhealthy. This used to be a term that people would have for someone that was dating an alcoholic and were raised with emotional problems.
As research has shown, it is clear that anyone that comes from a dysfunctional family can be codependent. Codependency can happen in families that have:
- Physical violence
- Expectations that are too big
Children that have to live in these kinds of families are overly stressed and they have dysfunction from their parents.
As the child gets older, they believe that they are part of the problem in their home. Sometimes the parents will even go as far as to blame them for things that aren’t even in their control.
When the child becomes an adult, they become codependent because they need someone to appreciate them and approve of them so that they can get rid of their guilt.
A narcissist is different than a codependent, but they are also somewhat the same. Sometimes their personalities will overlap, and it happens because of how they grew up such as:
- Being abused or neglected.
- Being criticized a lot.
- Being overly adored by parents.
- Living in cultural influences.
It is believed that if someone is overly valued that they begin to think that they deserve special treatment in all ways.
Parents that are always praising their children or encouraging them are often encouraging them to be narcissistic.
Then as the child gets older, they think that they are better than everyone and that social norms or rules don’t apply to them.
The child that is abused may become a victim and keep that mentality all of their lives because of how they were treated as a child.
Even though the two are different, they have similar dysfunctions that cause their actions.
Difference Between Narcissist and Codependent
The two terms are often used together but they actually can be quite different. Their differences will cause them often to connect and they will live happily while the honeymoon phase is in the relationship.
After that is over, it will end harshly.
Codependents always want to fix things and please others. They are people that want to be approved of and they will do whatever they can, even if it means giving up their own happiness, to make others show them love.
Traits of a Codependent Person
- Low self-esteem.
- People pleasers.
- Deny their habits.
- Have no boundaries.
- Care too much for others.
- Put themselves last.
- Cannot communicate properly.
- Do not stand up for themselves.
- Want to be in control.
A codependent will want to have attention from others, and they will seek to make sure that they are being approved of. A mother that is a codependent will want to give her child everything that she can so that the child never has to go through hard things or pain.
This can cause her to let her child to grow up with her so that she can do everything for them, and they will never have to do for themselves.
A narcissist will love themselves more than they lover others. They are often:
- Have no compassion.
- Lack sensitivity
- Seekers of attention.
These people often come across as being charming, but they are controlling and dangerous. If you are a victim of falling for one of these people, you will see that they are better than other people and that they will make your life miserable.
They will try to control you and manipulate you and you will end up in a toxic relationship.
Do They Have Commonalities?
Even though a narcissist and a codependent have some things in common, they are often opposites. A codependent will care a lot about others, but a narcissist will only care about themselves but both of them will want to:
- Be in control.
- Be ashamed of how they grew up.
- Will have a hard time with boundaries.
- Will deny they act a certain way.
- Will need to be praised and validated.
- They don’t care about self or understand it.
Sometimes it is thought that a narcissist will be a codependent to a point because they crave so much attention and always need someone to praise them and to make them feel important.
Sometimes a person can show traits of both personalities.
Why Do They Attract to Each Other?
Because they are similar, you would think that they wouldn’t attract but the truth is they do because they both need things the other will give them.
The narcissist needs someone that will praise them and do whatever they need even if it means giving up their happiness and the codependent needs someone to give them attention and to praise them.
Narcissists are great at manipulating people and being seductive. They will have people that are all around them because they will flatter them and praise them.
They are both known to play games and even if someone meets their needs at the beginning, they will eventually show their true selves, and this can cause the relationship to become toxic.
The codependent will be devastated, and they will do more to sacrifice themselves to try to make the narcissist happy, which will never happen.
Even though both of them might not be happy together, they will try to stay together so they don’t end up alone.
Can These Things be Treated?
Both of these situations can be treated with therapy. Sometimes it is hard to change, and you have to be committed but you can learn to manage these behaviors.
These conditions happened since childhood and so they play a big role in how someone acts as an adult.
If a narcissist chooses to go through psychotherapy, they can get the help that they need and learn how to cope and how to handle themselves towards change.
The strategies will never disappear, but they can learn how to work through them and how to change their ways. Even in therapy, the narcissist will struggle with how to be compassionate, and they have to learn how to have this kind of empathy.
Therapy can help such as:
- Help them to understand other people.
- Learn to understand emotions.
- Understand self-esteem issues.
- Work towards future goals.
Being a narcissist is a condition that cannot be treated by medicine and for someone to change, they have to be guided and form a therapy relationship.
The codependent can get help form the therapist by:
- Changing and recognizing their habits.
- Understanding where their issues come from.
- Learn to love themselves.
- Realize that they can have support.
Therapy for them can help them to have better relationships and to have more confidence in their life.
Dealing with Codependent Relationships
Everyone can have narcissistic or codependent traits here and there but if you feel that you are not able to make your relationships work, you might need to figure out what is going on in your life. If you are stuck in a cycle, you might have a hard time with love and intimacy.
Learning how to work out your issues is important and can help you to be more powerful. This can help you to have healthier relationships and fulfilling situations in your life.
If you feel that you are in a codependent or narcissistic relationship and it is dangerous for you, learn how to move on and to start your life somewhere else.