An empath is a highly sensitive individual when it comes to emotions. They are spiritually attuned, naturally giving and great listeners. They possess the ability to feel everything – to take on other people’s emotions as theirs. When overwhelmed with the impacts of stressful emotions, they may experience chronic fatigue, panic attacks, and even depression. Empaths are so kind and loving and cannot say no to a person in need. While these qualities make them fantastic friends, it can be a huge challenge on the empaths themselves.

Narcissist – Energy Vampires
According to Cory Newman, Ph.D., a professor of Psychology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania [1], “A narcissist, by definition, is someone with a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy, whose symptoms begin in early adulthood.”

A narcissist overestimates their ability while devaluing that of others. These set of people often believe they are special than others and as such, rules don’t apply to them. They are unable to empathize with the struggles and pains of others. Their lack of empathy often ensures they take advantage of people. Some believe that the narcissist has been subjected to unimaginable pain and trauma and as a result, take on a certain set of behaviors to deal with their past [2].

Empaths and Narcissists
It is said that opposite attract but when it concerns these two sets of personalities, the result is mostly heartbreak.

Because of the years of abuse and pain, a narcissist feels the need for constant validation and praise and there’s no better person to make the narcissist feel more significant than the empath. The deep need an empath feels to care for other people is what attracts them to the narcissist.

Toxic Partnership
During the initial stage of their relationship, both with enjoy each other’s company because the narcissist ego will be well fed, and the empath will feel happy when they are giving. As the relationship progresses, the narcissists begin to manipulate the empath’s thought process and emotions by filling them with insecurity and guilt. Slowly, the empath’s self-esteem and confidence withers, and the narcissist gains control. This would result in the empath’s dependence on the narcissists who would become unavailable.

The empath would get worn out with constantly being blamed when things don’t run smoothly. They would become very hurt and depressed and thus, become a narcissist themselves. Eventually, both parties will feel that their needs are not being met and that would lead to a breakup. And while the narcissist will move on to another victim, the empath’s journey to healing will be a long one [3].

Boundaries
An empath needs to realize that they can’t fix everyone. It is important they learn to create boundaries. This would enable them to protect themselves from people looking to take advantage.

References:

  1. 9 Major Warning Signs You’re Dealing With a Narcissist“, Prevention. September, 2018.
  2. Why The Relationship Between a Narcissist and an Empath Is a Match Made in Hell“, The Power of Silence.
  3. Empaths and narcissists make a ‘toxic’ partnership — here’s why they’re attracted to each other“, Business Insider. January, 2018.
  4. 10 Traits Empathetic People Share“, Psychology Today. February 2016.
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