The Brutal Truth Behind The Toxic Relationship Between A Narcissist And An Empath

I’m an empath, and I think narcissists are special. It may seem kind of silly, but the narcissist, the one so focused on how great they are, is actually profoundly wounded.

Something in childhood got to them. It unravelled them. It damaged them. And so now they seek validation. But here I am. I’m an empath.

I’m a healer. I absorb what other people are feeling it and feel it as if it were my own. My own pain, my own anguish, my own hurt.

Narcissists rarely know an empath’s boundaries. It makes us easy to bond with. We eat their pain like breakfast lunch and dinner.

What I always forget when I love a narcissist is that they’re takers. They don’t give much back. They look to you to fix them. They’re never fixed though.

This leaves the empath now shattered and losing touch with their empathy. It’s how narcissists are born. It’s hard to escape from.

At the end of the day, the narcissist is going to be manipulative. They desire deeply to be in a position of control. All an empath really wants is love and to be loved. I want to heal people. I want to care for people.

But narcissists grow stronger from love like mine. Their damage is never healed, but they feel better about themselves. But a narcissist never makes a true connection to their authentic selves.

They will walk away from almost every relationship once they realize they can’t control their partner anymore. It’s no longer a fun game.

It’s just not possible for the two to bond. As an empath you will likely attract several different types of narcissists to your life.

Below we have a compiled a list of the five most popular types of narcissists you will encounter:

1. The Victim

A narcissist isn’t always confident by nature. They can be quiet, reserved, and sensitive too. They may engage in self-hatred and act like they aren’t worthy.

They are often motivated by their fears and don’t truly have the capacity to fully be themselves or loved. Their narcissism is fueled by inferiority complexes.

2. The Superhero

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the superhero. The one who thinks they’re smart, sexy, perfect, and just kick ass all the way around.

They act like nothing can possibly hurt them and that your duty in life is to make them feel super great about themselves because they are, after all, the best.

3. The Perfect Lover

This narcissist seems lovely at first because they display incredible care, affection, and perfection to you in the beginning.

They flatter you, give you gifts, and make you love them. As soon as they have you, they use you until they are no longer interested.

They eventually cast you aside as boring. These people are often “gold diggers” as well.

4. The Elitist

This is a type of narcissist that probably came from money and wants to stay that way. They grew up in the lap of luxury and as a result look down on everyone else.

They may seem pragmatic, successful, intelligent, and driven at first, but eventually they demonstrate a desire to one up, brag, and self-promote.

5. The Schemer

This type of narcissist seems like they have good intentions from the start. They do good for people and their community, but there’s always something to their kindness.

They expect something in return. And if they don’t naturally get it, they’ll demand it. If you don’t give it to them, get ready for a serious conflict.

How Can An Empath Stop The Damage And Put An End To This Toxic Relationship?

Every attempt to communicate your feelings to a narcissist is a lost cause. Narcissists are very charismatic and manipulative.

They will constantly try to blame the empath for the pain of both parties. They will make the empath feel as though they are responsible for all the problems at hand.

The Empath Has A Simple Choice

You can either remain as a victim of the narcissist’s cruel game, or you can find the needed strength to walk away and put an end to the relationship once and for all.

Empaths needs to accept the fact that a narcissist will never change. Waiting around for a narcissist to become a better person is a waste of precious time.

In the end, the only thing that truly matters is that we let others treat us the way we think we deserve to be treated.

If an empath willing stays in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, they end up thinking that they do not deserve better than that.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. As an empath, you need to understand that is not your job to fix others, especially those who do not want to be fixed.

You cannot fix someone who doesn’t think there is anything wrong.

Empaths need to realize that the way they were treated from the different types of narcissists listed above is not a treatment they deserved.

Find the courage to leave the relationship and utterly walk away from the narcissist.

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Article originally appeared on Higher Perspective

How to know if you’re dating an empath

leslie knope, ben wyatt, parks and recreation nbcLeslie Knope had some seriously empathic qualities.NBC

  • Empathy is a highly-valued and attractive trait in a significant other.
  • Sometimes, people feel empathy to the very extreme. These people are called empaths.
  • There are a few surefire ways to tell if your partner is an empath, which comes with its own share of pros and cons in navigating a healthy relationship.

In , there are certain qualities we all look for in a significant other. Our love stories and desires may be different, but for many people, empathy ranks high on the list of desirable traits in a partner.

But what happens when someone feels empathy to the extreme? They could be an empath. According to Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide,” an empath is an “emotional sponge.”

“[They are] somebody who absorbs the stress and also the positive emotions into their own bodies from other people,” Orloff told Business Insider.

To put it simply, empaths are the opposite of narcissists. They’re not just highly-sensitive, they’re on a more extreme end of the emotional spectrum.

It might sound rare or unlikely, but as Hello Giggles pointed out, “it’s pretty likely that you know someone who fits the description” of an empath, which means that it’s worth understanding how to tell as well as the good and the bad of dating an empath.

There are tests and quizzes you can take to determine if you or someone you know fits the description of an empath, but there are also telltale signs, each of which have their own implications.

They feel what you feel but to a whole new level.

Essentially, this is the defining trait of an empath.

“Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad,” according to HuffPost. “They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme.”

couple vacationAbElena/Shutterstock

This can even mean physical symptoms, with empaths developing sympathy pains out of unity.

“They sometimes take on their loved ones’ pain in their bodies, so they actually feel it,” Orloff said.

An empath will be there to listen and share your joy or pain in whatever you’re going through, sometimes even more than you do. This can be great and feel like having an ally on your side, but it can also be a bit overwhelming when you need a level-headed, logical response or a simple, impartial listening ear to a problem.

They love spending time with you, but also need time alone.

It might seem like an empath is pushing you away or distancing themselves from you, but in reality, they’re just trying to take a break from absorbing your feelings in addition to their own, which can be exhausting.

Taking on the emotions of others can be draining, so empaths need to “recharge their batteries” and take a step back.

couple kissUnsplash/josh peterson

That said, when they’re with you, an empath is happy to spend lots of time together, even preferring alone time over going to “overwhelming” places like the mall or the movies.

This all might make them appear anti-social or moody, but really, it’s their way of checking in with themselves and replenishing.

They’re good listeners to the point of neglecting their own needs.

An empath is happy to hear your story, give you advice, and let you feel what you need to feel.

That said, they’re feeling along with you. They’re willing to give, sometimes too much, without asking for you to give them anything back.

According to Orloff, the key is communication. Make sure that you’re listening and asking the empath in your life if they’re feeling alright or if they need you. They might not be as willing to communicate their needs, but everyone needs someone to listen sometimes.

couple bed sex loveBecca Tapert/Unsplash

They have trouble saying “no.”

Boundaries are difficult for empaths, according to Judith Orloff. This can result in a struggle when it comes to using the word “no.”

“What I always tell them is ‘no’ is a complete sentence,” Orloff said. “Learn how to say ‘no,’ but don’t get into a big discussion about it. Just say ‘no, I’m sorry I can’t do this tonight, I’d rather stay home.'”

Sometimes empaths will say yes to something even if they’re not interested in doing whatever it is that you want to do. An empath wants to make you happy, so they’re willing to do the work to keep your emotions in check.

kissing coupleUnsplash/Amber Zewert

Make sure that you’re communicating and discussing what you both want to do, otherwise, one person might not be fully invested or enjoying activities to the same degree as another. Ideally, you and your partner are both enjoying something and setting healthy boundaries.

They don’t respond well to criticism, so you might have to walk on eggshells.

Empaths are incredibly sensitive. Though criticism isn’t usually fun for anyone, it’s especially taxing for an empath, who is usually just trying their very best and doesn’t respond well to arguments or tough criticism.

Unfortunately, these kinds of conversations are necessary and healthy for relationships, so it’s best to adjust a bit to your significant other’s needs.

Loving an empath means having to maintain open communication, keeping in mind that your words have power and that they should be used wisely. When it comes to critiques or disagreements, make sure that it’s done with intention, kindness, and solely for the purpose of moving forward.

They give it their all but need to know when it’s time to call it quits.

Empaths put a lot into their relationships, sometimes too much. They care so much that they can take it a step too far and leave themselves drained, emotionally raw, and searching for absolute answers, which can be hard to find when it comes to relationships.

“Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things,” according to “As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind.”

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you have to know when it’s not right. Not all relationships are meant to be.  

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The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath and a Narcissist

The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath & a Narcissist

We know that “narcissist” has become a bit of a buzzword recently, and some folks are quick to apply it to an ex-lover or family member or friend. While awareness of this concept is healthy, so is remembering that it is, in a mental health context, a serious condition that shouldn’t be applied to someone you’re mad at because they stole your mirror. ~ Eds.


I am an empath. I discovered I was an empath after I got involved in a very deep and highly destructive relationship with a narcissist.


I am writing this article from the perspective of an empath, however, would love to read the view from the opposite side if there are any narcissists that would like to offer their perception on this.


Through writing about the empath personality type I have connected with many other people who class themselves as an empath and time and again I have heard people tell me how they have also attracted relationships with narcissists. There is a link. So, I decided to explore it further.


For a detailed explanation of both the narcissist and empathy personality types, please click here and here.


This is my theory…


From my own experience and studies on the narcissist personality type, there is always one core trait: A narcissist is wounded.


Something, somewhere along the line, usually stemming from childhood causes a person to feel worthless and unvalued and, due to this, they will constantly and very desperately seek validation.


Here comes the empath, the healer. An empath has the ability to sense and absorb other people’s pain and often takes it on as though it were their own. If an empath is not consciously aware of boundaries and does not understand how to protect themselves, they will very easily and very quickly bond with the narcissist in order to try to fix and repair any damage and attempt to eradicate all their pain.


What the empath fails to realize is that the narcissist is a taker. An energy sucker, a vampire so to speak. They will draw the life and soul out of anyone they come into contact with, given the chance. This is so that they can build up their own reserves and, in doing so, they can use the imbalance to their advantage.


This dynamic will confuse and debilitate an empath, as if they do not have a full understanding of their own or other people’s capabilities, they will fail to see that not everyone is like them. An empath will always put themselves into other people’s shoes and experience the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of others while forgetting that other people may have an agenda very different to their own and that not everyone is sincere.


The narcissist’s agenda is one of manipulation, it is imperative they are in a position whereby they can rise above others and be in control. The empath’s agenda is to love, heal and care. There is no balance and it is extremely unlikely there ever will be one. The more love and care an empath offers, the more powerful and in control a narcissist will become.


The more powerful the narcissist becomes, the more likely the empath will retreat into a victim status. Then, there is a very big change—the empath will take on narcissistic traits as they too become wounded and are constantly triggered by the damage being in the company with a narcissist creates. Before long, an extremely vicious circle has begun to swirl.


When a narcissist sees that an empath is wounded they will play on this and the main intention will be to keep the empath down. The lower down an empath becomes, the higher a narcissist will feel. An empath will begin to frantically seek love, validation, confirmation, and acceptance from a narcissist and each cry for help as such will affirm to the narcissist what they are desperate to feel inside—worthy. A bitter battle can ensue.


As an empath focuses solely on their pain, trauma and the destruction of their lives, they become self-obsessed and fail to see where the damage is coming from. Instead of looking outwards and seeing what is causing it, the empath will turn everything inward and blame themselves.


An empath at this stage must realize the situation they are in and wake up to it, as anyone who is deeply in pain and has been hurt can then become a narcissist themselves as they turn their focus onto their own pain and look for others to make them feel okay again.


Any attempt to communicate authentically with the narcissist will be futile as they will certainly not be looking to soothe and heal anyone else. Not only this, they are extremely charismatic and manipulative and have a powerful way of turning everything away from themselves and onto others. A narcissist will blame their own pain on an empath, plus they will also make sure the empath feels responsible for the pain they too are suffering.


An empath will know that they are in a destructive relationship by this stage and will feel so insecure, unloved and unworthy and it can be easy to blame all of their destruction onto the narcissist.


However, an empath should not be looking to blame anyone else. An empath has a choice, to remain the victim, a pawn in the narcissists game or to garner all strength they can muster and find a way out.


Emotionally exhausted, lost, depleted and debilitated an empath will struggle to understand what has happened to the once loving, attentive and charismatic person they were attracted to.


However we allow ourselves to be treated is a result of our own choices. If an empath chooses to stay in a relationship with a narcissist and refuses to take responsibility for the dynamic, they are choosing at some level what they believe they are worth on the inside. An empath cannot let their self-worth be determined by a narcissist. It is imperative they trust and believe in themselves enough to recognize that they are not deserving of the words and actions the narcissist delivers and to look for an escape.


In an empath’s eyes, all they searched and looked for was someone to take care of and love and to ultimately fix.” That is where the trouble began and that is the most profound part of this that an empath must realize.


We are not here to fix anyone. We cannot fix anyone. Everyone is responsible for and capable of fixing themselves, but only if they so choose to.


The more an empath can learn about the personality of a narcissist the sooner they will spot one and the less chance they have of developing a relationship with one. If a relationship is already underway, it is never too late to seek help, seek understanding and knowledge and to dig deep into one’s soul and recognize our own strengths and capabilities and do everything we can to build the courage and confidence to see it for what it is and walk away—for good.


The chance of a narcissist changing is highly unlikely, so we shouldn’t stick around waiting for it to happen. If a narcissist wants to change, then great, but it should never happen at the expense of anyone else. They are not consciously aware of their behavior and the damage it causes and in their game, they will sacrifice anyone and anything for their own gain—regardless of what pretty lies and sweet nothings they try to whisper.


An empath is authentic and is desperate to live true to their soul’s purpose and will very likely find the whole relationship a huge lesson, a dodged bullet, and painfully awakening.


A narcissist will struggle to have any connection to their authentic self and will likely walk away from the relationship very easily once they realize they have lost their ability to control the empath. The game is no longer pleasurable if they are not having their ego constantly stroked, so they will seek out their next victim.


The ability for these two types to bond is quite simply impossible. The narcissist’s heart is closed, an empath’s is open—it is nothing short of a recipe for a huge disaster, and not a beautiful one.


Author: Alex Myles


Editor: Travis May


Photo: Victoria Sorderstrom (used with permission)


Source:Elephant Journal