- Narcissists know exactly who to target.
- Often they go after people with high levels of empathy.
- But they also target people who are type A.
- Having a type A personality means you’re a go-getter, and you push others to succeed.
- But they also tend to over-give and work hard to understand other people.
- Sometimes, this can lead them down a dark path.
Type A people are the go-getters in life. They’re impatient because time is an important resource to them to achieve all of their goals and meet their incredibly high standards.
They have many strengths, like being inspirational and pushing others to succeed. But their traits can also make type A people targets for narcissists.
One reason for this, according to psychologist and dark personality expert Perpetua Neo, is they tend to want to give somebody more than what they receive.
“Someone who is extremely type A with a problem receiving… will say no to any favours no matter how small,” Neo said. “This is really good bait for the narcissist, because narcissists tend to be freeloaders.”
Type As want to understand people
Type As also tend not to feel very well understood, because they pursue perfection and excellence “in a world that wants you to be vanilla or mediocre,” Neo said.
So they might work especially hard to try and understand other people. In psychology trying to fix the pain in your past with current relationships is called repetition compulsion, and it’s a sign you haven’t worked through your trauma.
Add this to the fact type As are very logical and try to find an explanation for everything, and you have a “perfect storm” for a toxic relationship with a narcissist, Neo said.
“They tend to want to understand the cause, for instance, ‘why is my partner so impulsive, or why does my partner get into a rage or drink so much?” Neo said.
“But the problem is the person themselves. You’ll never know the real cause because they’re going to keep moving the finishing posts, and you’re too busy with their smoke and mirrors to realise the problem is the narcissist.”
Being a type A with empathy is a perfect storm
Narcissists use excuses to keep their victims hooked. They can use sob stories and even pretend to have mental health disorders to get their victims to feel sympathy. That’s why empaths often get sucked into toxic partnerships with them.
“When you’re empathetic as well you try to understand and over-give and repair and save your narcissist, because an empath likes to save,” Neo said. “Type As have amazing tenacity and perseverance, so they don’t give up. You basically have a perfect storm, a ticking time bomb.”
Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist and author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide,” told INSIDER in a previous article that people with high levels of empathy end up blaming themselves, so put more and more into the relationship, even though they’re getting nothing back.
“It’s so hard for many empaths to believe that somebody just doesn’t have empathy, and that they can’t heal the other person with their love,” she said.
Type As can also be dangerous to narcissists
Although they can be targeted, type A people can also become a narcissist’s worst nightmare. One of the most important defences against dark personalities is having strong boundaries yourself, and type A people are usually aware they have the right to build them.
In the aftermath, they tend to learn from the experience and fortify any gaps where the narcissist got in.
“Narcissists know how to hurt people and how to use people, but there’s no longevity in that,” Neo said. “Because eventually people find out – they often have to change jobs, change cities, and their friendships tend to be pretty superficial.”
Narcissism can often come from an intense feeling of shame, meaning their sense of self is so small and crumbly they have to build up a false one on the outside.
“Whereas if you are a type A empath, you become dangerous because there is longevity to what you do,” Neo said. “You inspire people, and with your longevity of your relationships and inspiring people, you actually help a bunch of people to evolve faster than a narcissist.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.