A Narcissist & an Empath Walk Into a Bar: Understanding the Dynamic of Abuse.

Via on Mar 5, 2015

Christian C/Flickr

When I met him, I was blown away.

He was a Yale graduate, confident about himself and his ideas, and certain that he was meant to “rule the world”—and that he intended to do it with me.

Up until then, every man I’d dated had been immature, needy, uninspired and uninspiring. This new guy’s intelligence and charisma, and his open admiration for me, felt like coming home.

Unfortunately, all of the qualities I found so compelling were also the classic traits of a narcissist.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following  symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

By the time the “honeymoon phase” ended—a heart breakingly brief span of a few months—I was convinced he was my one true love and I would do anything to serve the relationship.

Little did I know, “anything” would include giving him all my money, agreeing to let him have sex with other women, spending what little money we did have on drugs to the point that we were evicted from two apartments and became homeless for over a year, allowing myself to be coerced into becoming a dancer, and then giving him all of that money as well, while he endlessly berated me, shamed me, and blamed me for the pile of sh*t that was our life together.

Now, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I am not a stupid woman. What on earth could have compelled me to remain in such a situation? I have spent many sleepless nights asking myself that very question.

This was a textbook abusive relationship, but I had no idea what that meant. Even now, after years of study and research, the dynamic—the fact that is plays out so frequently among so many different types of people and with such exactitude—mystifies me.

But I think I finally figured out an important piece.

It is not just the narcissist that drives the paradigm, but the person he carefully selects to assist him. I’m willing to bet in more cases than not, perhaps in every single case, that person must be some degree of empath.

 “An empath is defined as someone with “the ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one’s empath capacity.” 

Unlike narcissism, empathy is not considered a pathology, but it certainly is a game changer.

Being a true empath is a complicated gift. Because of the empath’s ability to actually feel the feelings of others, they have a bottomless well of sympathy for everybody’s outlook and opinion—even if those outlooks or opinions are the polar opposite of the empath’s.

This puts “untrained empaths” (people, like the young me, who haven’t developed as strong enough sense of self to have a baseline standard for “good” and “bad” behavior) in a precarious position. They are able to endlessly justify the needs of those they care for, and see it as their duty to do so because no one else is capable of understanding them.

It falls to the empath, then, to both protect and bolster those close to them, even at the expense of their own needs and feelings. Not to do so feels like failure, and the resulting pain that those we care for experience is almost unbearable. In other words, we protect others to protect ourselves.

Combine an empath’s need to protect with a narcissist’s need to be lord and master, and you’ve got a self perpetuating cycle of disaster. Once established, it is almost impossible for an empath to break away, because doing so will cause the narcissist so much pain. The empath prefers to absorb the pain themselves, believing that they, and they alone, have the power to “fix” the narcissist. (Which is, ironically, narcissistic itself.)

So how can empaths protect themselves from being exploited?

Here are some simple suggestions:

1. Remember, we can’t “fix” others.

People will go through tough times and experience painful emotions no matter what we do. We must learn to accept this and allow it without always actively intervening.

2. When we feel ourselves getting “sucked in” to someone else’s drama, we can learn to turn inward.

We can ask ourselves, how do I feel about this? Do I feel that this other person is draining too much of my energy, or is acting in a way that is not philosophically in line with my beliefs (i.e.; unethically)?

If so, take a step back. Observe rather than engage.

3. Spend time quietly alone.

When empaths become overloaded by other people’s emotions, they begin to lose their sense of self. Spending time alone in meditation or reflection can help us hear own own voice without the influences of others.

4. Understand that not everybody is empathic.

This was one of the hardest things for me to realize—I assumed empathy was a standard part of every human being. Once I discovered that is not the case, I could steer clear of those who are unable to feel empathy, knowing that they would likely end up taking advantage of me.

If you, like me, are a card carrying empath, you’ve likely found it is both your greatest blessing and your greatest curse. But just because our innate nature can make us vulnerable to those who don’t necessarily have our best interests at heart, so it can allow us to develop a depth of connection to other caring souls that is unparalleled.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Relephant Reads:

6 Relationship Tips for Empaths.

Identifying Emotional Abuse before it Happens.

Bonus: Elephant’s founder Waylon Lewis on introverts, extroverts and empaths:

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~

Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Christian C/Flickr

About Erica Leibrandt

Erica Leibrandt is a certified Yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, vegan cook and mother to six heathens who masquerade as innocent children. She aims to apply the principles of Yoga to real life. Between writing, teaching and studying to earn her master's degree in clinical counseling from Northwestern University, she spends her time being walked by her dogs and trying to dream up an alternative to doing the laundry. If she occasionally finds herself with a fried egg on her plate or dancing until dawn, she asks that you not judge her. Life is short, she knows the chicken that laid the egg and you can never dance too much. You can connect with Erica on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

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Comments

91 Responses to “A Narcissist & an Empath Walk Into a Bar: Understanding the Dynamic of Abuse.”

  1. Kyle says:

    interesting, but very similar to a much longer, detailed, and less biased article I found elsewhere quite some time ago.

    I think it's false that Narcissist's 'carefully select' and that extreme empathy 'is not a pathology', or at least it shouldn't be put in that light simply to compare to something that just happens to BE a pathology (because labelling and comparison are not a mindful practice, by the way)

    Narcissists and empaths are simply drawn to each other naturally. And each have their own equal and opposite issues to work on.

    This article makes the narc out to be the bad guy, and the 'untrained' empath out to be the victim. Where, in reality, they are both doing their best to live with their natural conditioning which largely is not their fault.

    Both of these people need therapy of some sort to help with their respective imbalances.

    But, kudos on trying to make us recovering male Narcissists feel like the target of suffering female empath shame.

  2. Stacey says:

    Kyle –

    You say recovering… May I ask how you knew you needed help?

  3. sara says:

    I'm not a professional on this topic, at least not officially, but the empath sounds like someone who is dying to find any diversion from their own internal work, and gets a serious high from trying to control (or fix) everyone else in their life. Just a thought.

  4. Carolyne 'Chevy' Pickup says:

    This is the first time I have read any article mentioning empaths in relation to any other disorder and I really enjoyed it. As a life coach I have experience with people who are working towards opening up their intuitive abilities whereas empaths wish to learn to shut them down. What most people do not understand about empaths is that they are so pschically open that they are often overwhelmed by other people’s emotions. My teacher, Grandmother Pathweaver who taught me the Medicine Way, spoke of this. She taught me how to pull other people’s emotions out of my heart. A few months latter I experienced meeting a friend and having an overwhelming urge to go home with him. I knew it was not my emotions but his, since the conversation was about his new freedom now that his daughter had moved out. I was so thankful I had learned the lesson to differentiate between my feelings and other peoples rather than getting involved with a relationship that was not my idea.

    The thing is that empaths and people with empathy are two different experiences. Empaths can literally be overwhelmed by other people’s emotions. Empaths can be male or female and it isn’t about oxytocin, the drug that helps you to care about others which women have a higher amount of since we are often the care givers.

    Empaths are wired to feel for others. We have neither acknowledged nor accepted this as a culture. We need to because nature creates certain types of beings for certain reasons and because we have more empaths on the planet than we ever have had before, we should take this opportunity to find out why nature feels we need this type of ability. How does this serve humanity?

    What I really liked about this article is the pairing, it makes sense to me because there are some people I can’t spend time with. Their energy is too chaotic and I can feel that. I think that empaths would seek out the company of a narcissist because narcissists keep their energy and attention turned inward. This would make it much easier for an empath to spend time with that person. Empaths are natural healers often going into the nursing profession. Reiki is a good modality for empaths, but also Pranic Energy Healing which is more dynamic and less passive, and Yuen Chinese Energetics. All three rely on a person’s intuitive abilities and will support them in this growth only if that person has learned to take care of themselves first. Which is what this is all about. The narcissist says,’this is all about me!’ The empath says,’yes, it is.’

  5. Erica Leibrandt Erica says:

    Here is another good article on the subject of narcissists and empaths if anyone is interested.. .http://thehappysensitive.com/how-to-stop-being-empathic-and-become-a-complete-narcissist-a-k-a-arsecissist/

  6. Mark says:

    I once worked for a severe Narcissist. He was very successful in superficial relationships or in relationships with people under him who would give him love (lies) in return for career success. His blindness led him to massive self destruction. A lot of people got hurt in the process. If anyone tried to warn him that actions have consequences he would punish them pretty severely at times. His world was ground to dust. It was a shame.

  7. Anonymous Coward says:

    I love how the NPD fellow hijacks the 1st comment in the thread with the typical "poor me" self-pity subterfuge.
    Don't fall for that "flip n bounce" .

    I've realized how NPD has been a major part of my immediate family's history. And of all the reading and forum discussions, I've seen….. not one mentions anything about "recovery" for the NPD-diagnosed. All discussion is focused on recovery from the damage done and/or getting away from this type of relationship. I was curious,. but haven't read the often recommended book on this subject, "The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family".

  8. lrconsiderer says:

    This was chilling and fascinating. Thank you SO MUCH. I haven't really ever considered much about being an empath before now, but I certainly will.

  9. Amanda says:

    What happens when you have narcissistic tendencies/thoughts but can read people and feel energies like an Empath? It may seem like an oxymoron and completely impossible.. but really think about it. I believe I dated someone like this. It is a constant innerstruggle for him. And I know because I myself am an empath, and it was while being with him I discovered this about myself. We are no longer together, for multiple reason, we are each working our ourselves and our own lives through self-reflection. But I wholeheartedly believe one person can have both qualities and being an empath myself I know that is difficult within itself.. but to have both personalities.. Well I can't even imagine that.

  10. Cat says:

    Very well written. I was married to a narcissist for 13 years.

  11. Counselor J says:

    You seem to be really talking about a codependent personality and a narcissistic personality coming together.
    Empath ≠ Codependent.
    Narcissists can be empaths, Codependents can be empaths.
    Narcissists are so deeply self loathing and afraid others will see that brokenness that they do anything they can to put up a false bravado so that even they, themselves, do not have to face that frail, scared inner self. They can be empathic towards other's feelings, in fact they usually are: so that they understand who they can use to bolster themselves, and who they need to avoid (those who will threaten to crack their façade or not play along with the game). When Narcissists "self destruct" it is usually because they have that façade broken (it often happens in older age naturally; or when others challenge/disregard them). At that time they often go into a narcissistic rages or deep into self shame/loathing.
    Codependents feed into that because they want to be loved and be the one who "saves" their partner and makes it all better. They empathically sense the deep fragileness of the narcissist and want to fix it/love it out of them. They disregard their own red flags and self worth to bolster the narcissist.
    So, please, don't conflate "Empath" with "Codependent"… it does a disjustice to empaths who are not codependent. No empath who had a strong sense of self and worth would allow themselves to be taken for everything they have and compromise their own morals or ethics or needs or goals.

  12. Samantha says:

    I’m glad you made the connection that that at least some part of you was narcissistic as well. I believe your comments on how to help are pretty sound too. I don’t agree with how your reasoning for the relationship and your theory on empaths. Everyone is empathic, the degree of awareness and openness depends on your emotional armoring, childhood, and how much effort you’ve put towards personal emotional growth. However, people still feel others no matter what state they are in and attract similar people. All relationships and interactions are a mirror of ourselves. The description of yourself sounded like a person with low self esteem and weak personal boundaries. Ironically, that low sense of self worth is the underlying quality of a narcissist. Usually when they are head on intense narcissistic they are so emotionally armored and disconnected from themselves. That also reflects how you felt – disconnected and not speaking your truth, being unsure of yourself. Please take a look at this relationship in the past and all the ones you have now (friendships too!) and honestly ask yourself what emotions are in you that you think or know the other person feels? And look up psychology and projection!

  13. Empath Woman says:

    This article is narcissi incarnate. I am a woman, an empath, and find the biases addressed here more of a public therapy session steeped in attention-getting victimhood than relevant information. I don't mean to be unkind, just honest.

  14. Wow. A good one. When one of your fam Imy members is the one with NPD, it is terrible to live with. Sadly, I have the experience. :(.

  15. Gina says:

    One thing: It’s not that a narcissist is unwilling to feel empathy. Rather, they don’t have the capacity or capability to do so. I’ve tried many times to convince myself that it is choice for them, which the term “unwilling” implies and which carries the hope that some day they will choose otherwise, but have been repeatedly proven wrong.

    This is an interesting article and has given me yet another tool to work with as I strive to stop picking the narcissist out of the crowd. The concept in the article is eye-opening and spot on, and gave me a little more insight about myself. Thank you.

  16. John H says:

    What’s even worse than either a narcissist or an empath? When you stumble across a narcissistic empath who is self absorbed and wanting to fix everyone… Now that’s a hangover and a half…

  17. neverincarnated says:

    You are CODEPENDENT. Don't confuse codependency with empathy. Those two things are NOT the same.

    I am getting tired of every victim of every narcissist believing they have some "special feeling" powers. Most do not. They are, in reality, inverted narcissists (codependents).

  18. Matt says:

    The truth of this is that most people, in particular women (no offense) think that because they get involved in these kind of bizarre relationships is not empathy. If you respond to someone exploiting your own vanity (yes vanity) then you in fact are the narcissist. There is something perfectly self absorbed about not being able to see objectively and claiming someone is your one true love even though they are in fact a loser or worse, just an asshole. To directly respond to the article a true empath by defination can feel another persons emotions. So you would be able to tell someone was a narcissist right off the beginning and see them for who they really are. I know it’s hard to find out you’ve been used, we all have a way of coping, however being involved someone who is using you but you think you know better, too “in love”, etc that’s also narcissistic and definitely not empathic. I’m not saying that it’s always so black and white but sometimes it’s important to examine our own behavior instead of labeling someone else as the problem.

  19. Lynn says:

    Do not mistake a narcissist as someone with empathy. There is a fine line, where people with narcissistic personality traits, are in fact SOCIOPATHS! The difference is although both are self absorbed, a narcissist may actually have a guilty conscience. A Sociopath, has no capacity for emotion. Their entire life is an act, played out for their benefit. A Sociopath has no compassion for others, nor can he/she grasp the concept. A Sociopath is the most dangerous of personalities because of the inability to understand how one can be emotionally hurt, and absolutely no remorse. Serial killers usually fall in this category.

  20. Max Sterling says:

    Yes, narcissists are women in growing numbers. And they are often more dangerous that male narcissists as they cleverly use the woman=victim man=abuser myth in western cultures to blameshift when things go sour. They react explosively when the empath partner eventually gets wise to their tricks and exits the relationship. Look closely at the Emma Sulkowitz story and you will find a textbook example of an abandoned Narc using a distortion campaign to punish their ex for leaving them. The signature root of malignant narcissism is always childhood trauma, so look carefully at the background of anyone you get involved with and don’t fall for the “poor pitiful me” story.

  21. The sadness is how far we will go to love someone..waiting for that initial spark of empathy that was never real to begin with. That and the fact that we often believe what they tell us about ourselves — it is all our fault.

  22. Michelle says:

    “Empath” is not a real word. Not in psychology, medicine, or in the actual dictionary. Using this terminology implies that the victim is special, in some way, and this specialness makes them vulnerable to sociopaths/narcissists. This gets dangerously close to victim-blaming/rationalization.

    The sad fact is that 1 in 5 women will be in an abusive relationship with someone who matches this abuser profile (about 1 in 20 people is a sociopath, completely lacking empathy; many more are narcissists).

    I think it’s important to state that the default for human nature is to have empathy — it is these abusers that are pathological. Being human doesn’t make you an “empath” or any other special term — it makes you human. A human worthy of basic respect and reciprocal empathy/decency.

  23. Kelly says:

    Got any info on a mother empath raising a narcissist son?

  24. Dan says:

    Narcissism is driving the youth of today a young man needs to be full of himself in today’s society, if he is not he is typically ostracized, or not a man. It’s just something I’ve noticed…

  25. Zeta Lewis says:

    So, I am an extrovert empath, I get so confused most days, what are my feelings and which ones are not mine, I got married to a narciss, and I have learnt so much about myself, I chose not to be a victum and rather look at my mirror, I found out a lot about myself,
    I don't believe there are any victims in this world, only choices, and I believe that been gifted with emphathy is like everything in life, it has up sides and downsides, either way, because I can feel and resonate with different energies, this also means I am not always right, I also miss read situations, because I have miss read an energy,
    Its all about learning how to be here in this world, to be present and to be able to look at knocks as building blocks and not as an excuse not to be fully with the world…
    Sorry if this offend anyone out there, this is not my intention, I simply want you all to know, that every relationship has problems, but the biggest problem is not first recognizing it within yourself, and having the courage to heal it forgive yourself and move on,

    Love and light
    Zeta

  26. Phil Walker says:

    This article is quite good but as some of the above comments say it confused empath with someone who is also codependent. The main target of the narcissist is the empath, codependent, infj (myers briggs) and highly sensitive person.

    Being an empath in itself is great and always good and to be nurtured. It’s the codependent aspect of that which is sucked in by a narcissist. Yes I agree with the above in terms of time alone etc etc to nurture self but this is about nurturing our own wounds to attract better relationships and to use our empathy appropriately in a good way with good boundaries and not to just be sucked in. I have been sucked in by a few narcissists and have been in deep recovery since the last one and just coming through with the vow ‘this will never happen again’.

    I am an infj, highly sensitive person, empath and I guess increasingly recovering codependent.

  27. Stephanie Day says:

    Great article, the combination has a myriad of variables that could implemented. I’m also an empathy and ended in a very abusive dysfunctional relationship with a narc. It’s taken me two years to “figure it out”. Yes, empaths are sensitive, we take on other’s emotions and want to fix everything. We feel other’s pain, I once thought I was psychic because I knew things I shouldn’t know. But later, I learned it is empathy. I never learned about boundaries and recognizing dangerous people until I was 50! Great article addressing the dynamic’s of empaths/narcs. I’m also a recovering codependent, I think a lot of empaths are codependents too? Thanks for sharing your article, spread the word!

  28. April says:

    This person is confusing being empathic with having low self-esteem and no personal boundaries. A true empath will be able to sense the negativity and narcissistic tendencies in a person and intuitively know that the person is not a good influence. When you have no sense of your own worth or identity, you tend to take other people's energy/emotional resources to fill in your own void. This can feel like you are feeling other people's emotions and feelings because you literally are absorbing their energy. You might not be aware of this, but you're in a sense draining those around you by taking from them. This is not very different from how Narcissists take from people around them to validate their ego. This is why you are both attract each other; you vibrate on the same level. I'm not saying that you can't be an empath when you're in these kind of relationships. However, I suggest that you don't focus on labeling yourself as an empath as it can be a way for your ego to feel "special" and therefore a reason revel in victimhood. Try loving yourself first and fill yourself up with your own emotional resources, and be surprised how much things can change. You won't be overwhelmed by other people's emotions yet have a more clear and accurate perception to their state of being and emotions (if you really do have empathic tendencies).

  29. Melina says:

    Can anyone offer any thoughts on temper issues. My boyfriend tends to have a temper that can really fly off the handle. I have tried to be understanding and loving about it from the beginning. For instance when his bike broke on a trail he hurled it down the trail whilst yelling obscenities. My response was to give him a hug even in his rage and it calmed him down, but eventually you cannot always do that in every situation and it would be nice if he regulated himself some. When we had an argument early on in our relationship and I was sitting on the passenger side of his car he got out and slammed the door so hard that the glass shattered in my face. He once rammed into a car next to us out of road rage and has crashed a few cars due to road rage. If a guy messes with him in anyway, he will confront them and sometimes beat them up or yell obscenities or chase them down in his car. At work he hurls tools and yells when car projects frustrate him. He regularly breaks my stuff if he is mad at me and early on when another guy approached me to dance, he ran outside and broke stuff. I am thinking of this because today he actually broke his hand today since he got so mad at his work that he punched an engine. All of our apartments have had holes in the walls from him punching them. Sometimes he has ripped the whole wall down. He gets impatient so easily. I care for him and do love him, but, man, he is stressful to be around often. Any thoughts? Also, this does make me feel emotionally distant at times and uneasy around him.

  30. Melina says:

    Oh, how could I forget that he head butted me once too in a rage and bruised my head. He also recklessly drove us off the road once when he was angry with me and then pummeled the dash board of my car, breaking it. He then got out of the car and punched my door leaving a big dent. There is more, but I will stop.

  31. Zachary says:

    Of course the “recovering” narcisist must pick out one detail about the given example and then make it about himself. The fact that the only thing you gathered from that story is that it chose a male narcisist and female empath to illustrate the point indicates you are still in that mindset and have not yet begun “recovering.” Just look, you took an irrelevant point to make this about yourself, and even more, making yourself out to be the victim. It’s an article that’s not “targeting” you or trying to make you feel shameful, but a narcisist would perceive it that way. All in the mean time you are able to put down females and insinuate that they (or any empaths) are just as responsible for the radical behavior of a narcisist. I encourage you to continue to “recover” but unfortunately personality disorders can only be maintained and empathy cannot be taught. One thing you can do is become more mindful. Recognize when you are “scheming” and trying to take advantage of another. Recognize how your actions affect other people by being genuine. Recognize that it is okay to disagree with another and to not let your own immediate emotions make you feel the need to be defensive/berating. Recognize that this world is not yours to give, but yours to share. You’ll become a much happier person when you don’t have to manipulate, blame, or guilt people into “getting ahead or “being right.” When you reciprocate respect and empathy, you’ll begin to find that most people are willing to help you get ahead and you’ll be able to sustain an established friendship/relationship. If you continue to have a life of constant chaos from never finding fault within and never being able to say “I’m sorry,” you will find yourself a lonely old man with a trail of ash from the burnt bridges…

  32. Zach says:

    PS. I am an empath and am incredibly sensitive to others feelings. However, other empaths must recognize that although they have a natural tendency to be submissive and attempt to do anything to avoid conflict, you must be aware of individuals with personality disorders because they will suck you dry. That is why I disagree that the dynamic of the relationship is 50/50. The empath looks for reciprocity and certainly doesn’t shy away from being given affection. I believe that the narcissist wears down on the empath so that they are unable to escape the situation. This forces them to continually be the blame of any wrongdoing and almost begin to accept that it is them who is doing something wrong. They then go each day trying to avoid conflict with the narcissist by doing anything to please this person, just hoping that they will one day be satisfied. However, this day will never come. I’m disappointed at those who blame empaths for contributing to the dynamics of the abusive relationship with a narcissist. There is a clear difference between someone who genuinely cares and looks after their partner’s needs versus someone who is dependent on the physical/emotional needs of their partner. Empaths want to give not because they need to in order to feel right, but because they are able to recognize when someone needs help. They are not dependent on this as many of you pointed out, it’s simply the “goodness” of a human being trying to do right in a relationship and often times do hope that their partner is able to recognize and reciprocate these same actions/feelings. I believe that many of you are confusing empaths with someone who has dependent personality disorder. When a person with this pathology is joined with a narcissist/anti-social, I believe it then becomes a 50/50 contribution each way

  33. Tiffany says:

    I always thought I was just an HSP and empathetic. (I was raised by a narcissist.) But then one day I ended up in a classroom far from home. It was a blissful setting but I could not stop crying sporadically. I would be just fine one moment, then I would mysteriously start crying like a wave of devastation overcame me. The class was a week long so I had time to work with it. I realized that this would happen when I was around one particular woman. I denied this link. I doubted. I still cried around her uncontrollably. I never spoke to her; I couldn't. Most of the time she was behind me and I would start to cry without consciously knowing she was there (of course I was avoiding proximity to her). Turns out she was in the class to help her recovery process because her college aged daughter was just killed in a car crash 3 weeks before. When I found that out I realized I had my proof, as I had not suffered a similar loss (at least not in this life). I hope this provides an example to doubters and skeptics who have not found their own proof.

  34. Nicole says:

    I am an empath in the truest sense of the word. I feel other people’s emotions and physical ailments as if they were my own. I’ve had relationships with 2 narcissists, both which were highly destructive (could it go any other way?). I disagreed with your article, specifically the part about how the empath thinks they are the only one who can understand and “fix” the narcissist. While that desire to fix and save was definitely present in my heart with those men, I never thought that I was the only one who could be that person for them. I always felt like I needed the connection I felt with them more than they needed it with me. They were both very good at being rejecting, accusatory, twisting my words, and shutting me out. I spent most of my time in those relationships utterly confused about what I had done wrong and how I could fix ME and the relationship. The saving/fixing part with regards to the narcissist is usually only present at the very beginning of the relationship. That’s how they hook us in…by acting vulnerable and playing the victim. We think they value us and admire us so the empath part of us goes to work trying to help them and make their lives better. But the rest of the relationship consists of them pulling the wool over our eyes with their accusations and lies.

  35. MM says:

    Is there any cure for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

    I am with the one for years but I do not think telling him ‘you are with this disorder. Do something about it.’ won’t do anything. Because the disorder works for him conveniently. It just is a problem for people around him. In the end, he will get back to his own shoes and get whatever he deserves but there should be something for him to see himself. I hope I can stop breaking every single bone for him and pretending that I believe his lies and love him blindly. War of bullshit here.

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