by Renee Damoiselle
Empathy is the ability to feel the feelings of others.
An Empath, as I understand it, is a person who possesses a natural state of the heart that is particularly sensitive to the feelings of others, even those others who’ve not openly shared their feelings.
An Empath feels the feelings of those in their vicinity and even the feelings of those distant. It can be a great burden and very trying and tiring.
This kind of empathy can be a Super-Power, but too often becomes a detriment.
Too many Empaths find themselves suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem and Martyr Syndrome.
And this tendency is what leaves Empaths susceptible to the attentions of Narcissists.
Empaths and narcissists. Tale as old as time, right? What’s that about?
I’ve seen so many articles about those evil narcissists and how they prey upon, manipulate, gaslight, and downright abuse their way around relationships with “nice” people.
A lot of these articles seem to give the impression that the narcissist is making conscious decisions to engage in all these damaging behaviors.
But the truth is, most narcissists don’t know they are narcissists.
And they don’t go around consciously thinking, “Oh, look, there’s a nice, caring person. I can manipulate them into making me the center of their universe.”
I know this, because I was married to such a person.
He wasn’t consciously trying to undermine my confidence. He simply actually believed that he was always right.
He truly felt as though I must be the cause of every difficulty in his life. He was honestly a good-hearted person.
But he was suffering from a disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD. It’s a documented and diagnosable mental health issue.
At some point along my path I had to acknowledge that there was a part of me that drew this type of personality to me.
I had to take a look at my part in it all, and here’s what I discovered. I drew him to me. I invited the Narcissist in.
So, what is it about Empaths that attracts Narcissists?
1. You fill a void.
Those who suffer from NPD, by definition, often lack empathy. The Empath is practically made of it. Narcissists generally desire that their feelings be recognized and validated. They crave what they cannot manufacture on their own. They crave you, the Empath.
2. You are attentive.
Narcissists crave attention, in all forms. They can see that you will pay attention to them and it’s a very attractive trait.
3. You sense subtle changes in mood in others.
This is a blessing to the typical Narcissist because it means they don’t have to work as hard to make you know how they’re feeling and to get you to come over to their side.
You’re already there.
4. You put others before yourself.
They put themselves before others. It’s a perfect fit!
5. You emit that “I feel you” vibe.
This is exactly what a Narcissist needs. The more attuned you are to their feelings, the more they are able to dictate how the story continues; the more they are able to control outcomes.
6. You have a healing energy.
Narcissists, deep down, know that they have a wound that needs healing. And they look to you to heal it. And the problem with most Empaths is that you are willing to try.
But it’s not your job to heal them, it’s theirs.
About the author: Renée Damoiselle is a Worldly Wise Crone Witch with personal ties to warrior deities. Her “raised eyebrow” style of Truth-Telling enables her clients to face the realities of their challenges and triumphs with confidence and humor (each when necessary). Renée is the Author of the forthcoming book from Red Wheel Weiser publishers entitled, Storytelling Alchemy – Write Your Own Happy Ending. She offers divination and coaching combining Cartomancy, Reiki, Skrying, Mediumship and a healthy dose of good old common sense. She also offers many workshops and talks, and facilitates the GODDESS DIVINE retreat. Friend her on Facebook.
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