Why INFJs Attract Narcissists (And What To Do About It)
No matter your personality type, you can fall prey to a toxic person, like a malignant narcissist or a sociopath. Toxic people have little empathy, combined with an excessive sense of entitlement, a false sense of superiority, and a tendency to be interpersonally exploitative for their own gain. Introvert or extrovert, INFJ or not, you’ve probably encountered at least one toxic person in your lifetime.
That said, it’s interesting to note that people who identify as an INFJ personality type are highly represented on forums like Psychopath Free, a support forum for survivors of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. Could INFJs be somewhat more prone than others to attracting toxic people? It may seem bizarre that one of the most authentic personality types could end up with someone who’s inauthentic and superficially charming. But there are several good reasons why these two people may (initially) gravitate towards each other.
(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality test.)
Let’s explore how the traits of the INFJ interact with the traits of the narcissist — and how, like any other personality type, we can be both vulnerable to narcissists as well as empowered by what we’ve learned from our experiences with them.
Why INFJs Attract Narcissists
Not all INFJs attract narcissists, but here are three reasons why some INFJs will do just that.
1. INFJs seek the “ultimate relationship.”
INFJs are idealists. They place a high value on the few people they invite into their private inner world. When INFJs seek the ultimate relationship, their heart is in the right place. They only want what they know deep down they deserve — a person who respects and honors them as they are.
To an INFJ, the narcissist’s love-bombing (a period of excessive idealization and “grooming” that a narcissist subjects a victim to) may initially seem like the ultimate high of a perfect relationship. The INFJ finally gets the affection, adoration, and attention they may not be getting elsewhere.
Lovers of words, INFJs may initially be charmed by the narcissist’s flattery. Like any other personality type, they can be susceptible to the toxic person’s “false mask” of seeming vulnerability and innocent admiration.
But once an INFJ has learned all the tricks and tools of such charlatans, they’re able to differentiate between authentic interest and an inauthentic agenda.
2. INFJs have a tendency to want to “fix” others.
This sensitive personality type possess an enormous strength — compassion. Yet sometimes INFJs run the risk of going beyond just helping someone and serving as a catalyst for their growth. Instead, they try to “fix” a toxic person who doesn’t take accountability for their own healing.
If you’re an INFJ who’s been emotionally abused by narcissistic parents or a toxic partner, please know that it is not your fault. Your sensitivity and empathy may have been exploited by a toxic person, but these are still some of your greatest gifts to give the world. It simply means that you should use your empathy in a more discerning way, giving it to people who won’t use it for their own agenda.
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