Empaths & Narcissism

I ran across this article  a little while back, and found it quite fascinating. In my view of the world, it’s not all that different than co-dependent personalities attracting narcissists, but it’s nice to view it from a more positive perspective.  The article speaks about “empaths” and explains some traits of an empath.  They also align this with how empaths attract narcissists.  One such common character trait is “highly sensitive”.

My daughter is ruthlessly sensitive… so much so that I have tried to teach her not to let things bother her, and we’ve had many conversations about it. After reading this, it makes sense that she may feel the way she does and that I should take a more validating perspective in working with her. As such, the other day when I was frustrated with her behavior and she then worked to try to cheer me up afterwards when I remained frustrated, I spoke with her about it different. I explained that it’s not her responsibility – it’s okay for me to have my feelings and have to work through them myself (especially since I’m an adult), and for her to go about her day being a kid and giving me space. We then talked about how she does the same when her dad goes through rages. It was eye-opening and helpful. If I can help her to learn to distance herself and not be an emotional sponge for his issues, it will help her both in her relationship with her dad, but all throughout her life. Yay!

I wouldn’t have come across this information if I wasn’t focused on my own healing and considering what aspects of my personality attracted a narcissism to me, what I need to heal within me and what core beliefs do I need to change to move forward more healthy. This depth and level of desire to heal is in many ways linked to doing this blog – as I have a deep, completely unfounded, belief that the more we heal and the stronger we are – the less likely a personality disordered individual would want to be in our lives anyway. I.e…. the more likely they would be to chose to fade away or at the least, the less likely they will be to continue to stir conflict.  As I said – it’s certainly an unfounded belief and perhaps it can easily be called “wishful thinking”!

Nonetheless, I thought I would pass along the link.  Is it possible that you can also identify with the traits of an “empath”?  At least enough to understand how they are more likely to be attracted to you than someone else?


2 Responses to “Empaths & Narcissism”

  1. Julie says:

    I thought was very interesting that you talked about this subject. To often Surviors focus on the NPD and their crazy behavior instead of looking at ourselves. I’ve noticed these characteristics in myself, low boundaries, focusing on others, victim mentality, and co-dependent behavior but every negative has a positive flip side -empathy, nurturing, and hoping for the best in others. I have thought long and hard about these issues and it does seem that like a vampire the NPD is drawn to these characteristics. Some books refer to them as emotional and spiritual vampires. When I was around the NPD I felt tired and like I was in a fog. I have read studies that people in high stress situations like war or abusive households brains loose functions from the bad stress hormones attacking brain cells. Setting boundaries has helped me..it’s changed everything 🙂

    • It is interesting. I think that there’s an order to it all. Having been the kind of person who always trusted anyone and looked for the good, forgave and forgot… I think that the first step needed to be with the fingers pointed at all the bad in the relationship that I swept away. I did need to keep focus on the evils of a sociopathic personality and accept that this is what I was dealing with and he could not/would not change. After that and working on releasing the anger and resentment, getting past the hurt of realizing I had been dubbed, only then could I turn and look at myself. Even after much reflection, the article struck me as a more “ah-ha” moment because I was really re-thinking and actually absorbing points I had considered before. That said – I do totally agree with the term “emotional vampire” or “spiritual vampire”. I just need to be more aware of that heavy impact on me and how to protect myself.

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