August 3, 2020

I am both an Empath & a Narcissist.

*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.


This week, I attended Waylon’s free webinar about narcissists and empaths.

In less than an hour, I learned and accepted that I am both.

An empath, by definition, is “a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.”

A narcissist, by definition, is “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.”

Thank you, Oxford Dictionary.

I feel everything.

I’m an emotional sponge. I feel the energies around me. I feel what people don’t speak. I feel a victim’s pain when I read of something terrible happening on the news. Because of this, I grieve a lot. I fill myself with anxiety and turmoil. But I also feel the joy that those around me feel when they are in high vibration. I feel unspoken words, and I speak for those who are afraid to speak for themselves. I am an empath.

I feel sorry for myself sometimes.

I feel like a victim. I feel like a child screaming to be heard. I feel like I should be more than I am. I obsess over my state of being. I grieve the loss of my former, “more put together” self. I compare myself to others. I need to be in control of my surroundings, my feelings. I fall in love with photos of myself, my words and my creations, and I soak up the approval from others who do the same. I am a narcissist.

Being an empath often feels like a curse. It is said that you attract narcissists when you’re an empath because the narcissist feeds off of your connection to them. You feed their ego. They take advantage of your feeling.

Being a narcissist is seen as evil and self-absorbed. Many narcissists hurt others to protect themselves, to nurture themselves. Many don’t even know they are a narcissist. Narcissism exists on a spectrum, and many take it to the extreme and damage others with their mentality and actions.

But what if you are both?

What if you read about narcissists and see yourself in those descriptions? What if you are an emotional sponge and soak up everyone’s feelings, near or far? What if you also think of yourself first? What if it was okay to accept that as humans we can be not just one or another? What if it were okay to accept that there is nothing wrong with you for feeling for others and serving yourself?

What if you noticed and accepted that one feeds the other, within yourself?

I didn’t think I could be both. I didn’t think it was okay to be either. But, I am reminded of yin and yang when I think of these two polar opposites residing within me. I think of balance. And with that, I am able to accept that I am both a narcissist and an empath.

Learning that it is possible to be both allows me to see myself for who I am and let go of the stigmas on either side. And in accepting, I am able to see myself clearer, away from judgment. I am able to give myself a foundation to stand upon as I grow into my best self. I notice the difference between healthy and unhealthy.

I appreciate the gift that has been given to me this week, the gift of allowing me to accept myself as I am—both a narcissist and an empath.


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