A man with a hard luck story and a broken wing is irresistible to a lot of women. Perhaps, it’s because we are hard wired to be nurturers and caretakers, or perhaps, the broken wing we see in others is a mirror of our own pain and need for comforting.

Not too many people come out of childhood emotionally unscathed. We all have some issue or another that shapes our current perception and behaviours.  Sometimes the dysfunction is overt and obvious and sometimes it takes a while to see it in another. But we can prepare ourselves by understanding what drives and motivates another’s behaviours so that we don’t fall victim to it.

So suppose you were a Narcissist or a broken down and you were in desperate need of Narcissistic Supply. (Attention, admiration, sex, money….) Obtaining this supply is an extremely anxiety-provoking experience. You don’t want to waste your time on women that know what you’re all about and will shoot you down, so you need a method by which you can determine, which women will be easy prey for you. So what do you do?

All predators have a modus operandi. In the same way that psychopaths or child molesters have their methods for luring their victims, the Narcissist has his specific process for quickly and easily determining who will be willing and who will not.

The Broken Wing Theory

The Narcissist appeals to the nurturing side of women. This is how he weeds women out. You see, as a Narcissist, you want someone that’s going to take care of you, because you’re irresponsible. You want someone that is fairly easy to dominate, because you like the control and you need to be put on a pedestal. You want someone that’s nurturing, because you need the attention and you need to be catered to. You need to find someone that’s overly giving because, let’s face it it’s all about you, so you need someone who will put you first and themselves last.  You’re going to need someone that makes excuses, rationalizes and blames themselves for other people’s bad behavior, because you are going to act like a selfish asshole. So in general you need a caregiver, a nurturer with low self-esteem, and no boundaries, that puts up with a lot of crap.

So the M.O. goes something like this: With immense charm and skill the Narcissist poetically spins tales of hard luck and injustices that have been heaved upon him (nothing is ever his fault). This is why he’s in the particular state he’s in now. It’s only temporary though, he tells you. He wants to be perceived as strong, tough or brilliant (he isn’t really at all, but wants to be perceived that way) And because you’re special he shows you the vulnerable side of him, his broken wing.

He knows from experience that by doing that, it will have the same emotional response, to the right woman, as if he has just pulled out a puppy. He knows, because you are still there, sympathetic to his plight, giving him that shoulder, feeling sorry for him, that he has found his target.  He tells you that he is looking for the right woman, someone who will understand him and give him a soft place to land. He fast tracks you through the Utopian lifestyle you’ll have together. He initially puts you on a pedestal, showering you with attention and compliments, because you are special enough to see his superiority and his potential for greatness.

He dangles everything you want right in front of you. He puts all of his energy and attention on you. He’s the perfect guy. He pursues you like no one ever has and because you are a nurturer, all you want to do is throw your arms around him and say, “Awwww you poor misunderstood baby. Let me take care of you. Let me make it all better.”

Then the nightmare begins.


Narcissists are indeed broken people, so you might say that this process comes by them honestly, but these men are con artists, they have honed their craft well and they’ve practiced it so often it has become second nature to them.  They do not form normal healthy emotional bonds to people, so we know that when they show you their vulnerable side it is a manipulation technique they have learned.

Their deceptiveness is a given, but they are not solely to blame.  The phrase, it takes two to tango, comes to mind, because some of the onus belongs to the target as well.

Why do we fall for it? Most women that have self-esteem, self-respect and boundaries would recognize a dog when she saw a dog and opt out of the situation, but so many of us stick around and allow ourselves to be kicked again and again.

Women as Caretakers

Yes, women are caretakers and nurtures. Nature intended for us to kiss the boo-boos and make everything alright. We are hardwired that way – but – we were hardwired that way to take care of children – not full grown ass men.

This is where we get it confused. We were not meant to fix adults. Every individual is responsible for themselves and the choices they make. It’s nobody’s job to fix someone else’s problems – flat out -because we can’t. We need to recognize how hard it is to make changes in our own lives and for us to stick to those changes. To come up with a solution for someone else’s problem and try to force them to change is impossible.

Somehow we think, if only _________ would do this and stop doing that, then we could have the life and the relationship he promised me in the beginning. We put all of our energy and attention on getting them to change, we stop paying attention to ourselves. Their problems become our entire focus, to the detriment of our own lives.

With the type of woman that gets caught up in this, there is a pay-off for her. By consuming herself with her mate’s problems, it stops her from having to look inside and face her own. So often, these women are full of self-loathing, looking at themselves is the last thing they want to do and they continue to live in a fantasy world, where if they could just get their partner fixed, then everything would be ok. Broken men become appealing to us because we too, believe that we are so damaged and imperfect that we can only have another damaged and imperfect human being.

Flawed + Flawed does not equal Unflawed – it’s not like two negatives canceling each other out.


If you were out shopping for used cars and you came across a beat up, broken down car that was never going to work properly – would you buy it? What if it could talk and it told you stories like –  it got this dent here because it was in the Daytona 500 and that the transmission didn’t work because someone was so jealous of how fast it went, they pulled it out, but they have a plan to get an even better transmission. Would you buy it then? Probably not, so if we wouldn’t buy a broken down old car that will never provide us with what we need – why do we overlook obvious flaws in the people we are considering having a relationship with – flaws that should have us running for the hills – clear indications that they can never give us what we want or need?

It’s almost like we put on our rose coloured glasses and refuse to see the dog right in front of us. There are some obvious – run like hell – signs that we need to be aware of.

Red Flags

  • If you have a man steeped in issues and he is throwing you up on a pedestal, worshipping you as his messiah and savior that’s a huge red flag. It may sound and feel great at the beginning, but trust me that’s a major, major red flag. It’s how the Narcissist gets you addicted to him. The worshipping is short lived and you will spend the rest of your relationship trying to understand why he doesn’t anymore and how you can get it back.
  • If you have a man rushing you through the get to know you phase, that’s a red flag.
  • If your man is constantly coming up with excuses and never taking responsibility for the condition of his life, if it’s always someone else’s fault – that’s a red flag.
  • When a man is tugging at your heartstrings, trying to get you to feel sorry for him, that’s a huge red flag.
  • If you find that you are drawn to men that have problems, there’s a serious check engine light on, telling you that you need to do some internal repairs before you start dating again.


Recognize that the Narcissist is like a used car salesman trying to sell you a lemon.  He’s trying to run a con on you and only by knowing the rules can you protect yourself. When you stop trying to have relationships with broken men and you start being a nurturer and caregiver to you first, will you be able to change the rules of the game and walk away with your winnings intact.


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