At some stage in their lives most of if not all empaths have been in a relationship with a narcissist.
Here is the typical story of narcissist and empath…
When they met, they both felt the butterflies in the stomach. Especially the empath who was greatly attracted by the narcissist. The empath was that drawn by the narcissist because he (she) wanted to heal the narcissist’s bleeding soul by giving the kind of love no one had been able to give them with before. The narcissist was also head over heels for the empath because finally, they had someone giving them pure love and affection and making them feel worthy.
But as time went by both partners started finding out their bond was toxic and was not based on true feelings. The emotional boost the narcissist received from their delicate empathetic partner began to lose its effect. The narcissist even went as far as hating the other partner’s attitude because it was something that they couldn’t feel or do.
It’s true that in the beginning, the narcissist thought he (she) was in love – but they just loved the idea that someone cares for them. And when they got a sufficient dose of warm feelings, they decided they didn’t need the person who provided them anymore. So they started retreating from the relationship.
And all the time the empath was none the wiser.
Because she (he) strongly loved their partner and were just trying to reassure them of their deep feelings while making them feel happy in this relationship. And they really managed to do so but only temporarily.
Why this actually happens?
The fact is that empaths always fall deeply in love with narcissists because they think that through all the efforts put in the relationship they are building a strong connection with them. Unfortunately, in reality, the narcissist only stays with the empath because of the constant validation provided by the latter.
“What narcissists see in empaths is a giving, loving person who is going to try and be devoted to you and love you and listen to you,” she explains. “But unfortunately empaths are attracted to narcissists, because at first this is about a false self. Narcissists present a false self, where they can seem charming and intelligent, and even giving until you don’t do things their way, and then they get cold, withholding and punishing.”
So it is confirmed by an expert that an empath shouldn’t fall in love with a narcissist.
But is this possible?
Unfortunately, as empaths believe they can fix people and heal them, they could hardly resist the temptation to try to fix the wounded personality of a narcissist and when these two meet the closeness becomes inevitable.
“If only they could listen, if only they could give more,” says Orloff. “That cannot be the case with a narcissist. It’s so hard for empaths to believe that someone doesn’t have empathy and that they can’t heal the other person with their love.”
Shannon Thomas an author of the book “Healing from Hidden Abuse,” adds that empaths seek for harmony, while narcissists try to break it. They try to manipulate empaths by belittling them, and such sensitive people can’t accept being told they’re not good enough. That’s why the empaths motivate themselves to try harder, put more effort or give more love and affection to the narcissist. And sadly, that’s precisely what their narcissistic partner wants to achieve.
What is more, empaths do feel the need to support their partner and to help them become better people. Eventually, however, it turns out that the empath is only being manipulated:
Empathetic people know that we are not perfect, and they’re trying to be patient with other people’s flaws.
On top of that, empaths suffer a lot because they often believe in the narcissists’ promises that the latter eventually could change but this never truly happens.
And the worst part of having a narcissistic relationship is that it can lead to trauma because the partners cannot become real partners in a healthy relationship. As time goes by they start playing the roles of a victim and an abuser. Sadly, when this becomes the case, the relationship is at a stage where it is almost impossible to leave it, no matter how toxic it is.
“With empathy comes the ability and willingness to look at ourselves and look at our own faults, and that gets taken advantage of while the trauma bond is happening,” Shanon Thomas says. “It becomes a cycle for an empath who has been trauma bonded because they start looking at themselves, and what do they need to do to change, and what do they need to do different, and what their character flaws are. It’s the perfect set up, unfortunately.”
So the first step to avoid traumas is to identify the narcissist. But this is easier said than done.
The harsh truth is that for an empath, it’s inevitable to feel attracted by the charm of the narcissist who usually wears a mask and presents for someone else. Narcissists are the types of people who know what to say and how to act to make the empath fall for them and them and then manipulate him or her into doing things that fit their needs.
Then, is there a way to avoid narcissistic abuse?
First of all, all people should remember that we are the ones responsible for our lives, and the others are responsible for theirs.
So, If you’re an empath, don’t let other people take you for granted. Know who you are and what is acceptable for you. That could help you protect yourself if you deal with narcissists – as they would have a tough time underestimating you.
Also, set healthy boundaries with your partner (always). For empaths, this is quite a difficult task, but they should learn to say “no,” as this way they wouldn’t become close with people who want to manipulate and control them.
Please share your experience in the comments.