Updated: Jan 27
I have been a magnet for narcissists my whole life. I have attracted those people who are toxic to my mental, emotional and ultimately physical health. The worst part is I blamed myself for their behavior. I always thought that it was me. It wasn’t until last year that I really came to understand what a narcissist is and what they do to people, especially INFJs.
What is a narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who is all about themselves. They have a grand sense of self-importance and are obsessed with their own success. Narcs are very manipulative and have a hard time maintaining connections with people because they lack empathy. Everything is always about them and what they want. They often feel entitled and lack compassion, yet crave attention and admiration.
a sense of self-importance or grandiosity
fantasies about being influential, famous, and/or important
exaggerating their abilities, talents, and accomplishments
craving admiration and acknowledgment
preoccupied with beauty, love, power, and/or success
an exaggerated sense of being unique
believing that the world owes them something
exploiting others to get what they want (no matter how it impacts others)
lacking empathy toward others
But why though?
Why in the world would we attract people like this?
INFJs are different from most people, so different that we grow up feeling out of place. We just don’t belong anywhere. Because we feel like we don’t belong we compensate by allowing people to walk all over us (remember how I said I have a problem with people-pleasing?). We aren’t able to express our needs and emotions, nor are we able to set boundaries.
Somewhere along the way, we started to believe that if we do more for others they will love us. So we end up doing everything for everyone.
Let me tell you a story
I have a sister who is 2 years older than me. We were like twins growing up. We did everything together. She was the fearless leader with all the crazy ideas and I was right behind her, willing to do whatever she said. I lived in her shadow. I wanted to please her.
She would say things to me like “You’re pretty, but you’re not as pretty as me.” And “You have a nice singing voice, but it’s not as good as mine.” And “You would be a lot prettier if you would wear makeup, but you have to wear it right.”
I never really thought much of what she was saying back then, but now I realize that it made me feel like I was not enough. I learned that I was not enough from a very young age and it became ingrained in my head.
So, as I grew up I accepted less than what I deserved because I had that feeling that I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t deserve things because I wasn’t enough.
I accepted poor treatment from my friends, always being “attracted” to people who were toxic. I accepted that treatment from bosses as well and made the excuse that I just had “bad luck” with picking good companies to work for.
But the fact of the matter is that is was all my fault. I did attract these people like a magnet! It was my fault because I had this belief that didn’t serve me. I had told myself this story for so long, this story that “I don’t deserve better because I am not enough” that it felt like it was ingrained into who I am and that I could not change it no matter what I did. That was just a part of me that I had to accept.
As an INFJ I am always looking for ways to make things better. I have shared a little bit about my problems losing weight. Basically, I have been trying to lose weight for most of my life. Some other things that I struggle with are making friends and keeping them. I have had a lot of toxic jobs in the past too.
I wanted better! I wanted a solution for all of these things. I wanted an answer to why all these bad things kept happening to me and I couldn’t fix them. I felt like a big change was coming my way, but I didn’t know what it was. So I just waited, still searching.
But it finally happened. I hired a life coach who has taught me so much about emotions and family dynamics and the stories we tell ourselves. It all made so much sense after that!
A change happened
That was when the changes started to happen. I was able to recognize all of the places in my life that I had failed myself because of these beliefs that I had, because of those “stories” I had told myself for all of those years. Along with that awareness comes the ability to shift those beliefs into something that serves you a lot better. You are able to become that person that you want to be, the person that you see in your head and dream about all of the time. I am no longer worried about the future, but excited about what happens next!