People with type A personalities attract narcissists, but a relationship between the two is a recipe for disaster (2023)

  • Narcissists know exactly who to target.
  • Often they go after people with high levels of empathy.
  • But they also target people who are type A.
  • Having a type A personality means you're a go-getter, and you push others to succeed.
  • But they also tend to over-give and work hard to understand other people.
  • Sometimes, this can lead them down a dark path.

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Type A people are the go-getters in life. They're impatient because time is an important resource to them to achieve all of their goals and meet their incredibly high standards.

They have many strengths, like being inspirational and pushing others to succeed. But their traits can also make type A people targets for narcissists.

Read more: What it means to be a type A, B, C, or D personality — and how to find the strength in whatever you are

One reason for this, according to psychologist and dark personality expert Perpetua Neo, is they tend to want to give somebody more than what they receive.



"Someone who is extremely type A with a problem receiving... will say no to any favours no matter how small," Neo said. "This is really good bait for the narcissist, because narcissists tend to be freeloaders."

Type As want to understand people

Type As also tend not to feel very well understood, because they pursue perfection and excellence "in a world that wants you to be vanilla or mediocre," Neo said.

So they might work especially hard to try and understand other people. In psychology trying to fix the pain in your past with current relationships is called repetition compulsion, and it's a sign you haven't worked through your trauma.

People with type A personalities attract narcissists, but a relationship between the two is a recipe for disaster (1)

kan_chana / Shutterstock

Add this to the fact type As are very logical and try to find an explanation for everything, and you have a "perfect storm" for a toxic relationship with a narcissist, Neo said.



"They tend to want to understand the cause, for instance, 'why is my partner so impulsive, or why does my partner get into a rage or drink so much?" Neo said.

"But the problem is the person themselves. You'll never know the real cause because they're going to keep moving the finishing posts, and you're too busy with their smoke and mirrors to realise the problem is the narcissist."

Being a type A with empathy is a perfect storm

Narcissists use excuses to keep their victims hooked. They can use sob stories and even pretend to have mental health disorders to get their victims to feel sympathy. That's why empaths often get sucked into toxic partnerships with them.

"When you're empathetic as well you try to understand and over-give and repair and save your narcissist, because an empath likes to save," Neo said. "Type As have amazing tenacity and perseverance, so they don't give up. You basically have a perfect storm, a ticking time bomb."



Read more: Some people can't help being attracted to narcissists — here's why

Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist and author of "The Empath's Survival Guide," told INSIDER in a previous article that people with high levels of empathy end up blaming themselves, so put more and more into the relationship, even though they're getting nothing back.

"It's so hard for many empaths to believe that somebody just doesn't have empathy, and that they can't heal the other person with their love," she said.

Type As can also be dangerous to narcissists

Although they can be targeted, type A people can also become a narcissist's worst nightmare. One of the most important defenses against dark personalities is having strong boundaries yourself, and type A people are usually aware they have the right to build them.



In the aftermath, they tend to learn from the experience and fortify any gaps where the narcissist got in.

"Narcissists know how to hurt people and how to use people, but there's no longevity in that," Neo said. "Because eventually people find out — they often have to change jobs, change cities, and their friendships tend to be pretty superficial."

Narcissism can often come from an intense feeling of shame, meaning their sense of self is so small and crumbly they have to build up a false one on the outside.

"Whereas if you are a type A empath, you become dangerous because there is longevity to what you do," Neo said. "You inspire people, and with your longevity of your relationships and inspiring people, you actually help a bunch of people to evolve faster than a narcissist."


Why type A personalities attract narcissists? ›

They have many strengths, like being inspirational and pushing others to succeed. But their traits can also make type A people targets for narcissists. One reason for this, according to psychologist and dark personality expert Perpetua Neo, is they tend to want to give somebody more than what they receive.

What type of personality attracts narcissists? ›

Highly empathetic individuals make perfect targets for the affection of a narcissist because those high in empathy, by definition, care greatly for the feelings of others and make people feel valued and special.

What is a relationship between two narcissists like? ›

They may feed off one another, both trying to maintain that facade of the 'perfect couple' that they believe everyone is envious of. They may try to keep up appearances, posting lavish lifestyles and fantasies on social media to maintain their ideal that they are better or more powerful than others.

Why do borderlines attract narcissists? ›

The reason why these personality types are attracted to one another is they magnetise. Each one helps the other play out their individual drama by fulfilling their needs. In the case of the borderline sufferer, when they first encounter the narcissist, they see everything they are not and cannot do.

What type of person does a narcissist prey on? ›

A narcissist will target a victim who will forgive them over and over for being hurtful. Typically, people who stay in relationships with narcissists are kind and forgiving. They tend to overlook the bad, seeing mainly the good in other people. So, they will always find excuses for a narcissist's abusive behavior.

Who do narcissists find attractive? ›

In fact, narcissists are often attracted to strong, confident, and self-assured women. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is important to realize that the narcissistic traits of grandiosity and confidence are really a mask for deep insecurity.

What turns a narcissist off? ›

When you don't depend on anyone to make money and you use your abundance to take care of yourself and not predators, you will always have the ability to control your own future. This is power, and pathologically envious narcissists are often turned off by it because it means they cannot easily control a victim.

What does a narcissist crave the most? ›

Narcissists thrive on getting attention, feeling special, and having control.

What is so attractive about a narcissist? ›

Their Confidence Is Attractive

In a post on Psychology Today, UCLA Psychiatry and Biobehavioural Sciences Professor Joe Pierre says adaptive traits such as self-sufficiency, confidence, ambition and leadership are attractive qualities when looking for a partner.

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship? ›

At the end of a relationship, a narcissist will often spiral down a long-winded gauntlet of manipulation tactics. They may blame you for causing the relationship to fail, work hard to keep you to stay with them, make lofty promises to change their behavior, or badmouth you to everyone around them.

Do narcissists fall in love quickly? ›

Narcissists can and do love, but their love tends to be superficial and fleeting. They can develop intense emotional attachments—even appearing to "fall in love"—and yet still maintain a complete lack of empathy for the object of their affection.

Can a narcissist be hurt by a person with Borderline? ›

Furthermore, the Borderline individual's tendency to project unacceptable aspects of their own character onto those around them will eventually shatter the perfect image they have of the Narcissistic partner, whom they then devalue and attack.

Can a Borderline beat a narcissist? ›

In truth, the Narcissist is no match for the Borderline. It doesn't matter how smart or powerful he is, she'll turn his world upside-down to where he could lose his entire fortune, acquire a serious disease, and become a shadow of his former self.

Why are borderlines so manipulative? ›

Perceived manipulative behavior in individuals with BPD often stems from their intense fear of abandonment and emotional instability. These behaviors, which may include excessive crying, threats of self-harm, or dramatic expressions of emotion, are often desperate attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

Which personality type is most prone to narcissism? ›

However, some experts believe that people with the following MBTI types may be more prone to narcissism: ESTP, ENTJ, ENTP, and INTJ. These personality types are often ambitious, competitive, and confident, which can sometimes lead to them being perceived as narcissistic.

What type of woman do narcissists look for? ›

So narcissists are attracted to women who shine, who are exceptional in some way, and who have a lot to offer. Because narcissists would like to take what you have to offer. The way he gets in is by finding a weakness he can exploit.

What kind of person does a narcissist marry? ›

The extreme narcissist who has wealth or power will seek out a spouse who makes them look good to others; someone who'll boost their fragile ego. They want a spouse who'll give them a strategic advantage in their social or business dealings. They'll marry someone who's attractive, wealthy or well-connected.

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