What kinds of people narcissists tend to seek out in romantic relationships

Just did a piece for Verily magazine. Here are the notes I sent them.

1. What types of people narcissists tend to seek out in romantic relationships (i.e. insecure, people-pleasers, etc.)

Narcissists choose people pleasers, and good listeners. They want someone who is empathetic, in fact, “Hyper Empathy is preferred” and kind. They want someone who is “High bonding”, “High Sentimentality.” They want someone who gives readily of their time, their caring and their emotions. They also want someone who is highly idealistic and low in “Harm Avoidance” and high in “cooperation.” For more information. Look up “Narcissistic abuse, targets, victims.” And if you think it is more serious look up “Psychopathic abuse, targets, and victims.”

2. Signs that you are dating a narcissist (i.e. what kind of qualities do narcissists generally have?)

Charm, Charisma, Intense mesmerizing eye contact, high touch behavior that starts very quickly, such as holding hands on the first date, or hugging spontaneously right away, or touching to push back their dates hair or take a thread off a jacket on the first date.  Close talker and or just plain standing or sitting closer than normal, a space invader. May talk slightly louder or very loudly and may gesture in an over the top manner and may interrupt in a charming enthusiastic way. May have a loud or unusual laugh and may use the laugh to interrupt you, though it may sound like they are indeed laughing at something you said if you listen closely it interrupts your “turn” to speak. And if you listen even more closely you will notice they interrupt when you take away too much attention from them. High self-discloser on a first date. They will sweep you off your feet and charm you. Love bombing you so that you feel like you are on an emotional high, they will put you up on a pedestal complimenting you in an over the top manner and perhaps showering with small gifts. “Love bombing” is a phrase describing this stage, in which the narcissistic person may smother you with praise, courting, intense sex, vacations, promises of a future together, and designation, essentially, as the most special person ever. (Look up “Mask of Sanity”)

3. Tips to help readers avoid dating narcissists.

Notice the first date. Do you feel overwhelmed swept up? Highly emotionally charged. Does the conversation seem very intimate? Are you sharing stories of your bad relationships? Do they claim they were a victim in their last relationship and tell you the horrible details? Do they compliment you more than once? Do they say you are different or special on the FIRST date? Do they lean in close or touch you on FIRST date? If they describe their ex as crazy, bipolar, a drug addict, and or anorexic or a bitch because they are not just a narcissist research says, people who describe their ex with any or all of these characteristics on first dates and or at the beginning of new relationship describing themselves as victims of their ex,’s are likely to be a sociopath/psychopaths. They are often flat out lying or they created so much stress in their ex’s life their ex may have thought themselves crazy. RUN!  If your still not sure look out Psychopathic Abuse Victim.


If you truly want to understand how smart warm wonderful women are targets of Psychopaths read the research of Sandra Brown:

“The seminal aspect of the research was in detecting these women's unique and astounding elevated 'super traits' of temperament, personality strengths, and weaknesses. These proved to be an amazingly compatible match for the strengths and weaknesses of a psychopath and brought a natural 'balance' to the honeymoon aspects of the relationship.”

“While the uncovering of her innate traits and conditioned behaviors explained much about this dangerous relationship and has brought huge intellectual and emotional relief to the victims, it does not seem to have gone very far in modifying the public misperceptions about psychopaths or their victims. On a recent radio show, after describing the huge elevation of some of the victim's temperament traits and explaining how it could affect her patterns of selection and even tolerance in these relationships, the host said, "That's a crock of crap! You're telling me that a few temperament traits can do that? I don't believe it. She picked him, she stayed, she needs to own it and she was probably abused as a child." These simplistic answers are what have been, and continue to be, at the core of the abysmal lack of public psychopathology education.”

“As mentioned, my research has revealed that women who love psychopaths (and other Cluster B personality disordered individuals) possess rather unique and extraordinary 'super traits' of temperament that make them the perfect target/victim of the psychopath. While the following does not cover all of her traits, these were the ones most highly elevated and were thus likely contributing factors:

Here is the research by Sandra Brown on what psychopaths look for in a romantic partner:
§  Extraversion and excitement seeking (Psychopaths are also extraverts and excitement seekers.)  In other words, these women started out being the least dependent types on the planet!
§  Deep Investment in all relationships (The victim gives great emotional, spiritual, physical, financial investments in any of her relationships, not just the intimate ones.)
§  Sentimentality
§  Attachment – Deep bonding capacity (She has a deep bonding capacity.)
§  Competitiveness – stand ground – not codependent (She is not likely to be run out of relationships – she will stand her ground.  Again, not the co-dependent type at all.)
§  Low Harm Avoidance – does not expect to be hurt (She doesn’t expect to be hurt, sees others through who she is.  In other words, not a person looking to recreate an abusive relationship of childhood.  In fact, more often than not, these women were never exposed to abuse of any kind as children.)
§  Cooperation
§  Higher Empathy – can be genetic
§  Responsibility and Resourcefulness

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.