There is a magnetic attraction felt between an empath and a narcissist, but the motives for each individual is very different and can lead to a downward spiral of toxicity in the relationship.
Empaths are the opposite of those with narcissistic personality disorder. Where the empath is highly sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others, the narcissist is only concerned with themselves and what they can get out of a situation.
Because empaths are the “healers” of the world, they tend to be drawn to the most broken people- and believe they can help to fix those who are hurting the most. However, that just isn’t possible with a narcissist.
Even though an empath might be aware of the toxic traits of a narcissist, they might still get involved in a relationship with one.
When that happens, there is usually an obvious path of destruction that follows, known as the downward spiral.
1. The relationship begins.
At first, the narcissist will display all the traits they know you will find attractive. The mask they choose to wear takes the face of kindness, concern, and promises of a future together. The empath feels like they have met their one true love, and even though the narcissist does not know what true love is, they go along with the ploy.
2. Illusion and control.
The narcissist knows you are a strong individual, so they use sneaky manipulation tactics under the guise of “love” and “betterment” to control the relationship. They will tell the empath that they love them, and “don’t want to hurt their feelings, but…” then proceed to list 100 things you did “wrong.” Then, in order to keep the narcissist happy (and therefore protect your relationship,) you succumb to their demands.
Instead of seeing it as “they aren’t allowing me to have access to the finances,” the empath will see it as, “they are trying to give me more time for myself.” And the narcissist will go along with this and support the notion that this is all for your best interests.
3. You lose your voice.
The empath tries to heal the emotional wounds of the narcissist, and sometimes they do this by relating their own painful experiences. Eventually, the empath realizes that their wounds are not the wounds of their partner, and the narcissist makes that abundantly clear. Time after time, you will be made to feel insignificant and because of this repeated dismissal, you start to keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself.
Inside, this is starting to kill you. Your nature is to heal, but you’ve never met someone who could cause you so much pain just by wanting to help them.
4. Then, you find your voice.
Like I said, empaths are strong people. They might put up with the abuse for a while, but not forever. They know their self-worth even if you don’t.
The empath will undoubtedly tell the narcissist that enough is enough, and their feelings matter too. They will remind them that a relationship is a two way street and you both have to work on it in a healthy way.
Then the narcissist brings out the big guns. They will call the empath “crazy,” or try to convince them it is “all in their head” and “everything’s fine.” This leads to a lot of mental confusion, and it’s exactly what the narcissist wants. After all, maybe it isn’t so bad and you have been a bit over-dramatic about the whole thing.
The moment an empath has that self-doubt, the narcissist has the advantage in the relationship.
6. The tipping point.
One of two things will happen when a toxic relationship reaches this point: either the empath will stay, or they will leave.
If they choose to stay, it isn’t for very long, as the narcissists behaviour is a constant reminder of their unhappiness. And when they leave it is because they have done the self-evaluating and realize this is never going to work- and it’s not their fault.
What this experience teaches them is that not everyone is worthy of the kind of love they can give. Not everyone deserves to have the unfaltering kindness and patience shown to them that an empath can give. That may sound a bit harsh, but that is the truth…there are some people out there who only want to take advantage and abuse those with big hearts.
We all have bad relationship experiences in life, but this kind of connection is extremely toxic.