Narcissists aren’t just vain but also hurtful to those around them due to their lack of ability to consider someone else’s point of view or needs. For most of us, narcissism is difficult to spot because we, as humans, approach the world differently and see the world differently. The “rose-colored” lenses we often see life through cause us to see people how we would like for them to be such as kind, open minded, loving, pure, altruistic, intelligent, helpful, etc. Sadly, there are “game players” (i.e, narcissists) who strive to mimic genuine people and strive to take advantage of unassuming, kind hearted people. As a result, it’s important that we understand what we are dealing with and how to move away or protect ourselves.
Curiously, people with higher IQs tend to be more drawn to narcissists. Is this because highly intelligent people enjoy a challenge, or is it the aspect of the “unknown?” There are actually 5 main reasons highly intelligent people are attracted to narcissists:
1. They are people smart and good at lying: Believe it or not, some narcissists truly are intelligent, almost genius in some cases. Their ability to uncomplicate complicated math or financial challenges or their ability to speak in front of millions of people in an audience is appealing to many of us. We are a society who does not take well to shyness or social anxiety. We prefer individuals who are “go-getters” and gravitate toward those who refuse to back down or become fearful and hide. We are “impressed” by individuals who are fearless, confident, and efficient. The narcissistic individual understands this and will often aim to “people-please” by trying to possess positive traits that we gravitate toward.
2. They are typically attractive in some way: Narcissists are often portrayed on television as physically attractive and desirable. The individual could have an appealing voice, beautiful eyes and a smile, have a great physical structure or figure, dress in a flamboyant style, or have a captivating personality. Can you think of anyone on TV that might fit this description? The sad part is that this type of narcissist draws people close to him or her with their sex appeal and, if engaged in a conversation, almost always ends up not being so great a person as once thought. Sadly, this type of person can be found in everyday life.
3. They appear empathic or caring: This is the type of narcissist who engages in altruistic activities for the sole purpose of impressing others. These individuals are the most sneaky and hurtful to society because they often engage in activities that cloak their self-centeredness and lack of ability to connect emotionally with others. You might find this kind of individual hidden in religious, political, or community agencies.
4. Many are successful and smart: It’s a frightening fact but we all know that narcissistic individuals tend to be socially astute and sometimes even academically ingenious. Politicians, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals can very easily meet the diagnostic description(s) of narcissism.
5. We are pre-programmed to be attracted to control: We, as humans, are attracted to people who look like they are in control of their emotions, their professions, their relationships, their finances, etc. Control is attractive. In a sense, people who appear in-control often exude a sex appeal that is charming. Consider the young woman who becomes infatuated with her professor, the young man who prefers older women, or the mother of 3 who finds herself attracted to her children’s basketball coach. There is something appealing about observing someone in control. Whether that person truly is in control or not remains to be seen in many cases. But the “perceived control” that person has is often what draws many of us to narcissists.
Despite the above, there are ways to ensure that you do not get sucked into the psychological game of the narcissist. You must remember that narcissists “create victims” out of those people who react to emotional responses. A narcissist’s best tool is their ability to manipulate your emotions. Don’t let that happen.