March 6, 2020

You Aren’t an Empath. They Aren’t a Narcissist.

Warning: salty language ahead!

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and cannot possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.


Do you consider yourself an empath?

If so, you might also have narcissistic characteristics.

I bet you are shocked reading this.



There are so many articles, quotes, pieces of writing, teachings, and preachings out there online and in real life about the two main psychological types of humans: empaths and narcissists.

There are so many online communities of empaths who are seemingly fighting for their rights against the “evil” narcissist.

The empath type is depicted as having the greatest qualities a human being can possess and is nothing but love and some fucking light—I am not even sure what that means, to be completely honest.

Empaths are depicted as having superhuman abilities and traits that are able to see and feel the unknown and thus are out oftentimes put on a pedestal.

On the other hand of this broken scale, stands the narcissist who is depicted with all the negative traits and psychological characteristics, who is evil and is out there to get the empath.


This topic has become insanely popular because those who cannot face their inner shit have to resort to victimhood to justify their inability to deal with their own psychological issues.

Every empath needs a narcissist to be an empath or to be called an empath, right?

Because if narcissists would not exist, not even as a term, would empaths exist or be of such great importance?

As human beings, we need to understand one simple fact: we are darkness and we are light within.

You can do your transcendental meditation every day, you can pray 10 times a day, or help others—and you’ll still have both dark (oftentimes called blind spots in psychology) and amazing light sides or admirable qualities.

In other words, we as human beings need to understand that we have the ability and the potential to be both at any time: the empath and the narcissist. Both live within us.

Now, with this being said, I don’t want to neglect something important. Just because I am saying that we as humans have the potential to be both the “evil” and the “saint,” that does not mean that when we become aware enough of our inner psychological dynamics and how our mind thinks and acts, we don’t have a choice which parts of ourselves to feed more than the other.

Also considering the above facts does not mean that we don’t have to be aware of other people. We need to.

Sometimes we need to set clear boundaries.

Sometimes we have to tell someone to “Fuck off” and get away from them.

At other times, we have to recognize the “bitchy beast” within and how he or she is acting or what is she or he feeding on instead of calling someone “jerk” or “bitch” or whatever label of anger you choose to call someone.

Dividing the world into “empaths” and “narcissists” is not doing any good to anyone.

Living in the duality of “good” and “bad” is not going to help us become more aware of ourselves and our lives and how we are existing in this world.

Just because you might be a highly sensitive person (I consider myself one), sensitive to environmental energy or to other people’s energy and so on, and you cannot function well around certain energies and people and environment, does not make those people or environments “bad.” They just reflect back to you your level of sensitivity—but they are not “bad.”

The way you cope with it is by removing yourself from those energies or trying to understand why they affect you in the way they do. Or you can find another option for yourself. 

Same with empaths.

Just because some people have a different type of personality than you or might not be a “good fit” for you does not mean they are “bad.”

In the worst-case scenario, when you witness over and again an abusive behavior from someone (that is causing your mental or emotional distress), you have the choice to leave that person. That person might be behaving the way they are for so many reasons you may not even know of.

You just get the fuck out of their way and take care of yourself and your inner well-being?

Are they “bad”? I don’t know. Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

You need to see what kind of dynamics you’re playing out with that person that is allowing them to not treat you “right,” or not in ways you would want.

I believe we need to be thankful for whoever crosses our paths, because they each deepen our self-discovery and help us get closer to who we are and leave behind parts of us we have outgrown. They help us become aware of life, ourselves, and this human existence.

In other words, they all serve a greater purpose: helping you understand who you are, what your boundaries are, or how they look, what you tolerate and don’t, what you love or hate.

If we could see every single person we meet or interact with as our “teacher,” we would drop labels of “empath,” “narcissist,” and so on.

If you are completely honest with yourself, you will notice or become aware of certain narcissistic traits within you, whether they are dormant or dominant, and whether you use them or not, is irrelevant.

I don’t believe in black or white.

I think we as humans are love and hate. We are anger and compassion. We are narcissistic and empathic. We are humans and Divine. We are darkness and light.

Each and every one of us.

Yes, even you, so-called empath.

The question arises: are these opposite energies within us balanced?

Are we feeding one scale more than the other?

Are we aware of the dynamics we play in our relationships, and do we dare to hold our adult asses responsible for what we first put out there?

If we did, we would allow inner transformation to happen and change the way we play our roles and the ways we show up in people’s lives, we would drop labels and psychological stereotypes, and we would use each moment and person to see who’s inside, instead.

The empath versus narcissist blame game will only take you so far in life.

Oh, and your “spiritual mask” is just a mask—so fucking drop it.

You can’t be spiritual if you deny your animal within and her/his instincts and primal urges.

(By the way, I don’t even know anymore what “spiritual “ means. We have been abusing this word so much, ignoring completely the human daily life existence we actually have.)

I crave more and more to dive in and see how the human within me really looks. And she looks so fucking pissed sometimes. Ugly and greedy at other times. Unstable at other times. Jealousy drives her mind at some moments. Paranoid thoughts run through her mind at other times. And then she shines on other days. She is a badass warrior woman who inspires and motivates.

I’m just interested in getting to know this human within me better. My spirit is partially human and partially not human. And I honor all of it. Not only one side.

What about you?

Do you dare to see who’s inside of you?

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