How to Make a Narcissist Want You

This has become the most popular search term in my list. I have written before about other search terms of this type, such as how to get a narcissist back and how to get a narcissist to fall in love. The titular term is slightly different of course, and making a narcissist want you is not necessarily the same as wanting a narcissist to fall in love or to get him or her back.

There may be a number of things going on here. The first is that there may be the idea of vengefulness in the mind of the searcher. “I want that horrible person to want me so that I can do the same and give him/her the boot. Give him/her a taste of his/her own medicine!”

Or, the searcher may be another narcissist, and in that case, it’s probably an attempt at figuring out how to do a hoover.

Unfortunately, there’s a third option, and that’s the fact that the searcher may really be trying to get the narcissist to “want” him or her. And that’s disturbing, because what that tells me is that the searcher likely

Rain is coming.

knows what the narcissist is but still believes in redemption, in a cure, or that love can conquer all.

And that type of thinking only has negative results: heartbreak, betrayal, manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse (sometimes there’s physical abuse as well), gaslighting, rejection, abandonment, hoovering, more rejection. The behaviour of the narcissist is well-established and steady across years of interactions with others. The course of their interplay with you is very predictable, even if you are never sure what they will do or what is going to come out of their mouths; you know that it’s going to be something, and something unpleasant at that.

Most people are optimistic. Yes, we have periods when we aren’t, but for the most part, the majority of us believe in second chances, change, and opportunities to recoup. Narcissists know this, either consciously or unconsciously, and even if they are the unconscious type who becomes conscious of it, it’s not going to change them.

The people who authentically are trying to get the narcissist to want them are turning a blind eye to what they know. Really, they’re the ones who want the narcissist. The narcissist could care less – a few hoovers, a nice infusion of supply, and then, no more narcissist.


Well, the narcissist might turn up now and again, even years apart for a hoover, but for all intents and purposes, the “relationship” is over.

In the end, it’s the victim who has to stop doing the wanting.

Why do people pursue those who have hurt them, manipulated them, betrayed them? Do they feel that it isn’t worth it to themselves to set a standard? (I won’t accept this, this, this and that.) Maybe they’re worried that no one will be left. That unless they accept the narcissist, and convince the narcissist to drop the bad behaviour, they will be alone and everyone will judge them. Or, unfortunately, maybe they are just used to it and can’t imagine another way. Sometimes, it’s that we become comfortable with discomfort.

The charm that the narcissist exudes during the golden period can be heady, wonderful, completely intoxicating.

Once there’s a taste of that, especially if it’s combined with a fear of being judged inadequate if they are constantly alone, or a fear of what might be wrong with them, well, then they’re dealing with what’s in their heads.

The fear that there’s something dreadfully wrong with you if the narcissist can’t be convinced to want you is powerful. The pride that prevents you from moving ahead as a single is also powerful.

And again, the narcissist knows this and takes advantage of it.

This uncertainty in yourself is what the narcissist wants, not you yourself. And you wanting the narcissist? Part of it is that you’re wanting the person the narcissist made you believe you are – an unrealistic golden period version of yourself, and unfortunately, you will fall off the edge of that particular path if you try to stay on it. Yes, you’re wanting what you thought the narcissist is, too, but those feelings you had about yourself during the golden period – you thought you could fly.

Want can never be satisfied; it’s a false economy of hucksterism that the narcissist knows well and manipulates thoroughly. It’s the narcissist’s job to find out what your wants are in order to exploit them.

The narcissist lives externally, and has drawn you into that. There will never be enough love, enough faith, enough loyalty to overcome the narcissist’s deficits and make you feel like you did when you first met the narcissist. There may be glimpses of it, but they’re just that.

It’s unfair, but you will be left holding the “want” bag and will have to deal with it. No Contact is the answer. Many interpret this to mean that it’s for keeping the narcissist at bay.

Yes, it is that, partially. But the most important part is for you. You have healing to do, resting to do, and then, work to do. No Contact allows you to get yourself and your life sorted, to create space so that you can do the work of figuring out why you would love and/or want the narcissist. When you’re asking “how do I make a narcissist want me?” – what are you really asking?

Should I change my clothes? Should I change my hair? Make-up? House?Job? Personality? I know – I’ll become a chameleon and be whatever the narcissist wants me to be in that particular moment. I’ll spend all my time doing that and the narcissist will have so much fun with it experimenting with how many different ways I can be pretzeled. It’ll be a blast!!

Why do you want the narcissist to want you?

Answer the question.

It’s a hard question and will take work and struggle and you will feel frustrated and will want to give up.

But accepting yourself, as you are, with what you have to offer, is worth it.

Sun is coming.

The alternative is to accept that you want a mirage and that your life with this individual will be one of denial, deflection and obfuscation. And if you would rather do that, then that’s your choice. Lots of people have made the choice to live that way, but I believe that there’s a better way.

I hope you come around to that too.

25 thoughts on “How to Make a Narcissist Want You”

  1. Good post Lynette. Our narcissist is an 88 year old father, who dangles love in order to get what he wants. It has taken me 40 years to get my wife to see what he has been doing and that he will never change. This finally happened a few months ago and since she stopped chasing him, we have not heard from him for 3 months. 3 peaceful months of not doing his bidding. My God, what a blessed relief. Unfortunately, he is now on to the next victim. Allan

    1. Wow! There’s nothing like an old narcissist, is there? My theory is that for most narcissists, their narcissism does not soften with age. I think that as their bodies and charms start to fail, they just become more and more cantankerous and demanding.

      I’m sorry to hear that your wife has dealt with this for so long, but I’m happy that she has you. (And it must have been excruciating for you over the all this time as well.) It’s so hard to let go, especially an elderly parent when society can be so critical. Enjoy the peace – after all these years you have earned it. Btw, is his next victim a sibling of your wife’s? Or perhaps a sibling’s child? Just curious to know after all the reading I’ve done.

  2. Great post. Right up my alley, so sorry if this gets long.
    I have a question though. What is “hoover?”
    Nothing gets me pi$$ed off like gaslighting. Probably because I was raised with it.
    I might say that my mom was always begging for my dad to want her, but she was a narcissist, too. Could the person who wants to be wanted also be a narcissist? My mom wanted attention in a different way than my dad did. She wanted people to put her needs before their own. Where my dad wanted to be praised and put on a pedestal. They were like the wrong side of magnets pressing against each other. They never considered what the other person wanted or needed. It was all about them. (Note: I’m talking in past tense, because they got divorced after 27 years, but they are still alive).

    Unfortunately, narcissists don’t know they’re narcissists. My therapist told me that for most of them, they’d have a break down if they had to face that about themselves. Bottom line is basically what you said, a person should take a step back and find themselves. In other words, ask themselves questions about who they are.

    1. Hi Lori,
      NP. My answer will probably be long too. πŸ™‚ A “hoover” occurs when a narcissist tries to get some attention from you after you or the narcissist has ended the “relationship”. It’s named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner because the narcissist is trying to suck you in, get some supply from you, and then dump you all over again. Some of these hoovers can be very elaborate with the narcissist claiming that he/she wants you back, that he/she has changed, gone for therapy, blah, blah, blah. They will try anything to get you back under their control in order to get some supply from you or to have you as a replacement in case their latest target dumps them. You can become a “secondary,” a backup.

      My reading suggests that narcissists get involved with each other more frequently than I originally thought possible, probably because they spend so much time perfecting their act. The other part of this equation is that narcissists also tend to think that they’re the smartest people in the room, so they will fall for the cons of other narcissists. Your mom sounds like a covert narcissist and your dad like an overt or grandiose narcissist. From what I understand, it’s not unusual for these two types of narcissists to get together. On the surface, they seem to answer each other’s needs, but they are too egotistical for that to work out.

      A minority of narcissists do know that they are narcissists; they tend to be very intelligent and very high functioning. Even those who don’t know that they are narcissists know that there’s something wrong – they will at times warn their targets of this: “I’m not who you think I am;” “I can be a real shit;” “I only care about myself;” etc. Usually the target thinks that they’re joking or just being too hard on themselves. (My ex-narcissist told me that he only looks out for himself and I thought he was just feeling down about himself.) When they realise that their targets aren’t taking the warning seriously, they will move in for the kill, so to speak. If you’re interested, try taking a look at this blog: Ursula writes about many topics but she was raised by narcissists and is very knowledgeable about them. I have learned a lot from her.

      1. Thank you for the explanation about “hoover.” Makes perfect sense. I’ve never had that technique used on me, but then again, my parents always have me in their lives so there is no need. However, gaslighting is another story.

        In my book, the character, Jocelyn is based on my mother-in-law, which was an entirely different, sneaky kind of narcissist that I had not dealt with before her.

        Thank you for Ursula’s link. I’ll check out her blog.

  3. I have to say, this was the first article that attracted me to your blog. Why would anyone want someone who cares only for themselves in their life? I’ve learned a lot from you, Lynette.

  4. Very well written Lynette.
    I love people but I love myself equally or more. If I don’t love myself who will?
    God has been very kind to me and haven’t come across many narcissists in my life πŸ™
    There is one around me just now and hopefully I shall get some guidance from your posts on how to deal 😊
    Have a great day or night I think in your part of the world

    1. Thank you very much. πŸ™‚

      It’s healthy to love yourself. Narcissists actually dislike and/or are ashamed of themselves. They come across as confident because they’re pretending that all is okay. On the inside, they believe those around them are better and they’re jealous of that. Being able to like yourself is a good thing. πŸ™‚

      Feel free to take a look at the posts on narcissism. There are lots of other good bloggers who write about it as well. πŸ™‚

      1. Wow. I experienced this in Sweden in 1983. Dinner on the terrace in sunlight at 11pm 😊
        It took me sometime to get used to it.
        We live in an amazing world

  5. This was really interesting. Although a painful lesson, I would now never want someone who didn’t want me, or not want the real me. It’s exhausting and a waste of everyone’s life. Unfortunate that we have to sometimes learn those lessons the hard way to recognise how to be true to ourselves. I hope everyone who searches and reads your words is able to escape or at least deal with if it’s a relationship that’s unavoidable.

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚

      It’s amazing what we will do to ourselves sometimes because we don’t know ourselves very well. I think it stems from a real internalised sense of inferiority. Such a shame when people fall into that or are led into it. The vast majority of us are good enough in our own way.

  6. “draw that which is good closer and push that which is bad further”. I stay away from people who are more interested in what they can take from me. Took me awhile to figure that out of course. Wisdom is earned not learned.

  7. Amen. Scary stuff, thinking there are people out there who might actually believe they want to be wanted by a narcissist. To me, it’s akin to a fly asking a spider over for dinner and asking what he’d like on the menu.


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