Codependents And Narcissists Share Common Needs

Carrie Wynn

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Hello, my name is Carrie. I spent the first part of my life struggling with codependency and therefore I constantly attracted toxic and narcissistic partners.

Yep, if I had to greet someone and share a quick high-level overview of what my dating life used to look like… it would sound something like that.

I used to believe that narcissism was very different from codependency and I didn’t even realize that I WAS codependent.

When I did identify my toxic behaviors I didn’t want to believe that my codependency stemmed from a similar hurt that the narcissist felt because I was hurt, angry, and broken.

However, after intense studying of both conditions and some personal work along with some therapy… I have realized that some needs of both codependents and narcissists stem from a similar vein of trauma.

They both have unhealed wounds

Whether it began in childhood or later via a traumatic event in their lives, both narcissists and codependents suffer from wounds that they have not worked through.

“Codependency developed during those important formative years is a way to cope with the trauma of any kind.” -Spacious Therapy

The codependent is trying to cope with their childhood wounds by clinging on to someone else and believing that they can fill that void.

The narcissist on the other hand, is using whoever they can as a source of supply to get a sort of “high” and try to feel good.

They both lack a sense of self-worth

When I was codependent I put all of my energy into making other people happy instead of putting any of that energy into myself.

Narcissists need someone else to give them all their energy to make them feel important and happy because of the fact that they don’t actually feel good about themselves… at all.

“At some time in their life, the narcissistic individual is shamed or disgraced in such a way that they can never again truly feel good about who they are.” — Psychology Today

Put the codependent and narcissist together and we have one person that is giving away everything including their sense of self while the other person is taking everything because they have no sense of self.

They both need to feel validated

Whether it’s external validation or based on their surroundings, codependents are dependent on everything around them to feel happy.

Narcissists on the other hand, need to feel powerful and in control and they are able to gain this control by invalidating their sources of supply. This in turn in their own form of “validation.”

This is where the relationship between the narcissist and codependent gets extremely messy.

The codependent will continue to do everything to make the narcissist happy in order to receive breadcrumbs of validation and then the narcissist will provide those breadcrumbs and then invalidate the codependent to put themselves back on top.

They both need to fill a void

The narcissist needs someone to fill the void and therefore they will jump from partner to partner depending on if they are getting exactly what they need.

Codependents believe that someone else will be able to finally make them whole and they will put their entire happiness on the line by believing it will happen from another person.

When I was codependent and dating the narcissist he promised to fill a void and I chose to believe him. Neither of us focused on ourselves and things fell to pieces very quickly.

Clinging to someone else will not heal our wounds

The reality is that although I allowed someone into my life that did emotionally and physically abuse me, I was a prime target due to my own lack of self.

I began to identify my toxic behaviors to start healing from codependency.

After my relationship with the narcissist I finally realized that if I didn’t work through my childhood traumas and face my own toxic behaviors I would continue to allow other toxic behaviors to be part of my life.

We often believe that someone else can heal us we put all of our faith and belief in someone else as if they are our own personal savior.

However, the truth is that the only person who can heal us… is ourselves.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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