“Many highly sensitive people have asked me why they so often end up in relationships with narcissists or other negative types of people, who take advantage of us, drain our energy and take our kindness without giving anything in return. Whether these people are co-dependents, addicts, abusive, or narcissists, they disrespect our boundaries, blame, criticize and make us feel so bad about ourselves that we don’t have the energy to leave. So what is it about sensitive people and narcissists that creates such an attraction and leaves such a trail of destruction?
Manipulation and Control
HSPs are compassionate and empathetic by nature. We feel other people’s pain instinctively and want to help. In addition, narcissists are experts at manipulation and control, so they will use your big heart for their own ends (see my post The Highly Sensitive Person and the Narcissist). HSPs can feel such intense love and compassion for people that we can believe our love can heal others. And often other people are so amazed and relieved by receiving this much love and understanding, they respond with enormous gratitude and often flattery. Sensitive people respond to this praise by feeling good about ourselves and feeling needed and so we give more. But as this pattern continues, we end up giving until we’ve got nothing left and getting nothing in return, under the mistaken belief that if we just give a little more, it will be enough. But it’s never enough because the narcissist is an empty vessel, a bottomless pit of need.”1
1.From Psychology Today