The relationship between Empath and Narcissist
Are you an Empath?
Through the years, I have discovered that many of my clients are empaths. The characteristic of an empath is feeling and absorbing other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities. As an empath myself, I feel everything deeply and I am sensitive to other’s emotions. Being an empath is a great gift. Empaths are big-hearted people and try to relieve the pain of others. They are deeply connected to Nature and animals. They are naturally giving, spiritually open, and good listeners. They are also drawn to the metaphysics and spirituality. Do you resonate with these signs?
However, being an Empath can be very draining. When overwhelmed with the impact of stressful emotions, empaths may experience panic attacks, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, stress, comfort eating or exhibit many other physical symptoms that defy traditional diagnosis. They become overwhelmed in crowds and toxic places. People exhaust them and often call them crazy. Because they absorb other people emotions, it is hard to differentiate which emotions are theirs and which ones are not. They suffer from back, neck and shoulder tension. Many Empaths feel isolated, confused, drained, that they dont belong and lost in this world.
Judith Orloff MD from her book Empath’s Survival guide describes an empath by these 10 traits- Empaths:
- are highly sensitive.
- absorb other people’s emotions.
- are introverted.
- are highly intuitive.
- need alone time.
- can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships.
- are targets for energy vampires/ Narcissistic relationships
- become replenished in nature.
- have highly tuned senses.
- have huge hearts but sometimes give too much.
I have found that many empaths have/had narcissistic parents. The thing about having a narcissistic mother and/or father is that you have been taught to believe that you are the crazy and imbalanced one, instead of them. This causes you to constantly doubt yourself and any feelings you have about them.
Learning how to understand and make peace with your childhood is one of the most healing and empowering experiences you could ever go through.
When we were children, we looked up to our parents for support, encouragement, nurturing and love. But when we were denied these things, we developed a variety of beliefs, behavioral patterns and coping mechanisms to help us survive in such a difficult environment. As adults, we often play out these same coping mechanisms, often to our own detriment.
The thing about being the child of a narcissistic mother and/or father is that it often contributes to something known in shamanic terminology as soul loss. Soul loss is the inability to contact or experience our souls due to the unresolved wounds, traumas and fears we’ve accumulated over the years.
Signs You Had a Narcissistic Mother and/or Father:
- They tried to control you through codependency
- They constantly guilt trip you
- They only loved you when you did what THEY wanted
- They liked to “get even” with you
- They never respected your boundaries or privacy.
- They competed with you
- They “owned” your accomplishments
- They constantly lied to you, control and manipulate you.
- They never listened to (or cared) about your feelings
- They constantly insulted you. They berated, demeaned and harassed you on a constant basis. They may have even latched onto an insecurity of yours and used it to humiliate you.
- They exerted explicit control over you
- They gaslighted you. In order to control you, they used a psychological manipulation tactic known as gaslighting.
- They “parentified” you. You become their care takers.
- They reacted intensely to any form of criticism
- They never displayed any empathy
- They were never wrong and pretend they cant make mistakes.
- They liked to present a perfect family image to outsiders.
If you’re the child of a narcissist, you will likely struggle with these problems:
- Codependency in other relationships…especially your partner
- Weak sense of self
- Poor interpersonal boundaries and inability to say “no”
- Chronic guilt or shame
- Trust issues
- Inability to express emotions
- Anxiety or depression
- Being a people-pleaser
Empath and Narcissistic relationship
The empath gets attracted to a narcissist. Empath loves deeply and unconditionally. They feel emotionally fulfilled even though the narcissist plays no role to develop a stronger bond. The empath feels satisfied and thinks their love is reciprocated just by being around the narcissist. The empath feels special and think they have met their soulmate. Sometimes it appears that the narcissist wants this relationship as much as the empath. For an empath, this relationship will be everything as they are the ones who are in love. Out of love, they would always want to soothe and cheer the narcissist, talk to them, help them and do whatever it makes them feel good. The narcissists project themselves as the victim of their past, their relationships, and the circumstances. The empaths are givers; they try to make up for all the unfortunate things that have ever happened to the narcissist.
As the time will pass, the narcissist will make the empath feel weak, not confident, and bereft of the abilities to do even the simple things. Actually, what they want is someone who invests their time, energy and love and is in their complete control. The more devotion, love, care, affection, and effort the empath puts into the relationship, the narcissist feels completely in control over the relationship. The empath literally dances to the tune of the narcissist. As long as the empath continues to appease the narcissist, it’s impossible to detect any problem in the relationship. The problem occurs when the empath finally reaches the breaking point.
Finally, the empath raises a voice because they can no longer keep up with the suppressing ways of the narcissist. Day after day their emotional needs remain unfulfilled. This happens because from the beginning of the relationship they have believed their partner’s emotional needs are all that matters. When they finally understand their well-being also matters, and speak out, they seem selfish. The narcissist does not like it.
When the empath finally bursts out something like “My feelings also matter,” the narcissist is quick to call the empath “crazy”. They call them over-dramatic and their concerns unfounded. This kind of dismissive behavior is the tactics used by them to gain control over the empath’s mind. The empath gets confused. Why they have meted out such behavior, is beyond their understanding. They start blaming themselves and wonder if they are at all worthy of being loved by anyone at all. At this point, the empath is not able to understand that they are just being manipulated. The emotional abuse continues.
The empath will try to communicate with the narcissist in all truthfulness. The narcissist will, however, justify their behavior and pass the blame. It is normal to feel lost, confused and hurt. But despite all the heart-break, the empath will need to be calm and do some self-evaluation to figure out how they became so defenseless. This is how they will start transforming. For empath this will be a painful awakening. They will learn from the experience to move ahead. The empath will know that they are by nature healers. They have the inner strength to help others in the right ways, sometimes as a duty and sometimes when life brings them to such situations.
The empath has to realize the bitter truth that not everyone deserves their love, care, and affection. Not everyone who seems distressed and unhappy is revealing their true self. There are some people who have sinister motives and have a very different outlook towards relationships and people than they do. Not everyone they fall in love with can be trusted so quickly. They would make positive efforts and heal themselves. The narcissist will not. The narcissist will move on. In time they will find another victim. The empath will be stronger, wiser and be more cautious about who they time, affection and love.
When an Empath meets and falls into the gravitational pull of a narcissist, they are in fact entering a significant life lesson that involves learning how to create boundaries, self-respect, and resilience.
Healing for Empaths
While you might feel highly sensitive, broken, overwhelmed, lost, confused, depressed, anxious, unworthy, nobody understands what you are going through and lonely, know that there is hope and it is possible to heal. To begin your process of soul healing, you might like to do the following:
- Stop hoping that the narcissistic person will change — you can never change them. Best is to do your own inner work and if you can stop any contact with the narcissistic person.
- Explore who you are- journey of self discovery
- Set strong boundaries and learn to say ‘no’.
- Empower yourself.
- Allow yourself to grieve the mother/father who could not be there for you in your childhood.
- Shadow Work- heal your past and emotional wounds.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Understand that you have been raised to suppress and deny your feelings. Now is a good opportunity to slowly open up to those years of repressed feelings. You can do this by seeking psychotherapy or alternative methods such as shamanic healing, emotional detox, holistic healing, etc.
- Learn to take care of your own needs through the practice of self-love.
- Reconnect with your inner child and learn how to care for it in a way your parents never could. This is called inner child work.
- Practice emotional cleansing and ground yourself everyday.
- Keep an active daily journal in which you self-reflect. This will help you become more self-aware.
- Explore soul retrieval, which is a vital part in Shamanic healing.
- Find your life purpose. Your life will have more meaning and you will feel fulfilled. Have a mission, vision and passion.
- Express your emotions in a healthy way, particularly any guilt, shame, anger you have inside.
- Join a support group and connect with others who have experienced similar experiences.
The Awakened Empath
As Empaths heals their wounds, they begin to awaken spiritually. When they awaken, they begin to crave for an existence that is much deeper than pursuing money, fame or status: they begin to look for our true life purpose. When they awaken, they begin to sense that there is much more to life than physical reality. They begin to realize that happiness cannot be found in external pursuits, but it is something that can only be found within. They begin to listen to their hearts more, not only their heads. They begin to long for spiritual liberation and unification with others. Most of all, they long to embody our Soul, or True Nature.
Are you an Empath in a relationship with a Narcissist or healing from one or had a narcissist parent? Do you resonate with the above?
As an empath, you are called to step up and listen your Soul’s guidance. You are being called to grow, transform, and let go of all that obscures the light of your inner Presence. Soulwork is about learning how to identify the blockages within you so that you can fulfill your personal destiny and highest calling.
Contact me if you are struggling. I know how lonely you feel as I have been through this journey. It is definitely not easy. Together, we will work on:
- setting boundaries
- emotional cleansing and purifying
- practice self love and self care
- cutting ties with toxic people
- empowering you
- grounding and protecting yourself
- sending energy back
- heal on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level
- learn to say ‘no’
- Practise awareness, feeling, surrendering, allowing and releasing
- connecting with your intuition and psychic powers
- chakra balancing
- finding your life purpose
- awaken to your true self
- finding your authenticity