There Is An Empath for Every Narcissist

July 29, 2019
Extreme empaths do exist, and they are confronted by a very real set of challenges that are unique to them.
Extreme empaths often have problems with boundaries.
Their inner psycho-spiritual and energetic  boundaries can range from being highly porous, to patchy, to being just plain absent. They can have poor defences, and consequently they can be open to suggestibility, manipulation, abuse and exploitation. Extreme empaths are born that way – they are psychically highly sensitive.
Most extreme empaths have been deeply traumatised in some way, usually during childhood. It is our extreme sensitivity that predisposes us to being traumatised, and it is the trauma that splits us open energetically and psychically – destroying our defences. These words may possibly resonate for you. These words are my gift to my fellow empaths. 
There is a narcissistic tendency or potential within us all, empaths included, but for most of us our narcissism lies at one end of a spectrum – at the other end of which lies empathy. To have moments of narcissism does not make us a narcissist, but when we recognise it within ourselves, it can be a very real call to action to attend to some deep personal work. There is much talk about doing our “shadow work” – and our own narcissistic tendencies can be a really good place from which to begin that journey. How do we know that we are not ourselves narcissists?
The recognition and ownership of our own narcissism will leave us feeling ashamed and sickened to our boots – and it is for this reason that we would much rather not even acknowledge its presence – it really is that awful. It is after all, much, much more comfortable to identify the narcissism in others. This powerful tendency to project our own shadow onto others has made the current narrative around narcissists really quite murky.
Empaths can display extreme narcissism, and this is due to their own unseen and unrecognised lack of personal boundaries. Empaths who have poor boundaries tend to unwittingly absorb what is going on around them – they are equal opportunity psychic sponges for anything and everything. They can acquire narcissistic proclivities. Being an empath is not an inoculation against narcissism.
We are conscious beings.
We are consciousness itself coming into expression in Human form. Consciousness, by virtue of its ability to witness itself as being separate from “other” has within it an innate thread of narcissistic potential. Consciousness is more than a duality between self and other, it is a plurality of self and others. We are plural in nature – and the empath is potentially an open channel for the psychic energies of all of these states of being.
It is only when we have rebuilt our energetic, emotional and personal boundaries that we become able to bring this chaotic deluge of energies into some kind of coherent order. Strong boundaries enable us to see exactly what is ours, and what belongs to others. Strong boundaries enable us to see when we are  possessed by something that isn’t us; to see when we under attack or being manipulated, to see and heal our own brokenness. 
When we deal with emotional energies, we are dealing with deep, watery, Neptunian and dark Plutonic energies that can flow in unseen and unconscious ways. If our vessel is broken, leaking and lacking sails then we have no control over what course our journey takes. We can founder on rocky shores or simply sink into the depths. The empath who lacks functional energetic boundaries is sailing in a rudderless vessel that becomes easy pickings for pirates – aka narcissists.
The fundamental quality that makes a true narcissist, is a lack of empathy. Empathy is the ability to recognise, share and resonate with another person’s emotions. Narcissists do not and cannot resonate with anyone else’s emotional states. This lack of experience of a wider emotional terrain outside of themselves, also causes them to be emotionally undeveloped within themselves.
This is a double whammy, as they assume everyone else operates under the same emotionally thin regime as they do. Narcissists can and do have emotional breakouts that can appear jarring, inappropriate and strange. This can happen under times of emotional stress, when they do not have access to an outlet (an available empath) for their unprocessed emotions.
The expectation that narcissists will “reach out” or “feel” other people’s emotional states is unrealistic. The expectation that they will do their own emotional work is also unrealistic. The extreme empath will find this reality unbelievable and will set about to heal or fix the missing aspects of the narcissist. If they are under the thrall of a narcissist they will also be manipulated into taking full responsibility for what is wrong in the relationship.
Narcissists do not accept any responsibility for what is wrong with the relationship or themselves, as they are unable to – they lack the inner emotional architecture of a whole, normal person. Narcissists don’t change because they can’t change. To expect them to change is unfair on everyone involved. To expect a narcissist to realise that they are a narcissist is also an unrealistic expectation. 
Narcissists usually end up in relationships with empaths and extreme empaths in particular. Empaths do all of the emotional work that narcissists can’t do for themselves. Empaths are like an emotional dialysis machine – an external emotional processing unit that removes negative emotional energies, and adds positive emotional energies. The empath is left full of the narcissist’s toxic emotional sludge, and drained of their own life force in the form of an outflow of positive emotional energies.
This will never be anything other than an unacknowledged, thankless and draining task. For the narcissist, their internal state, and the external manifestation of it, is completely unconscious. For the empath the situation remains occulted, until they become aware of the true nature of themselves and their situation. For empaths this process of bringing their situation and themselves into full conscious awareness and understanding, is tantamount to deprogramming.
On a deeply unconscious, existential level narcissists are aware of the absence that lies within their energy bodies, and they are utterly terrified by it. This fear lies at the very bottom of their parasitism of others, and their refusal to enter into deep inner work for themselves. This is why it is pointless and incredibly damaging for everyone to fall into the old polarities of “good guy vs bad guy” and “good vs evil” etc. Narcissists are just as high functioning as everyone else, and they will be found everywhere. They are an organic part of the human ecology.
Extreme empaths are also just one aspect of this human psychic ecology, and it is time for us to wake up from our slumber about our own condition. Narcissists on the whole, may not be able to change, but empaths are blessed with the ability to bring about profound inner transformation and healing within themselves, in a myriad of ways.
In these times of social media abuse and virtue signalling, empathy and sympathy have become confused. Sympathy is a feeling of care and concern for someone else, but unlike empathy, it does not involve a shared perspective or shared emotions, and while the facial expressions of sympathy do convey caring and concern, they do not convey shared distress. (Psychology Today).
Narcissists are masters of camouflaging themselves with socially acceptable postures and behaviours. They will exhibit sympathy when they judge that it is expected or advantageous for them to do so – it may even be genuine. Empaths will see the outward show of sympathy (behaviours that model what sympathy is expected to look like) and mistake it for empathy, as they simply assume that everyone feels in ways similar to themselves – and they will proceed to fill in the narcissist’s emotional gaps themselves. The high IQ narcissist will develop a very sophisticated, “rational”, “logical” and “sensible” personal discourse that will be used to maintain their position of power over the empath in the relationship, or in the work place. The empath will experience themselves as just being wrong, mistaken or intellectually unsound. 
The extreme form of this manipulation is known as “gaslighting”. The empath is already struggling under impossible emotional conditions. They are then confronted with life situations that are intentionally engineered by the narcissist to undermine their sense of personal agency.  Gaslighting is a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt themselves and ultimately their own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth. The term is derived from the 1944 film Gaslight, in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she’s insane by causing her to question herself and her reality. (Psychology Today)
The empath is left dealing with an incredibly destructive and chaotic inner emotional landscape, combined with an inexplicable external reality that makes less and less rational sense. The empath now lacks access to even one single point of orientation from which to steer themselves. It truly is a terrible situation to exist within. The empath is wide open to any and all emotional, physical, etheric, psychic and entity possession. 
To maintain longterm and exclusive access to the empath, the narcissist will isolate them from their support structure – especially friends and extended family. The narcissist will choose which “friends” are not a threat, and will manage all contacts with them. The narcissist will behave brutally and mercilessly in private, while maintaining a socially acceptable public face. Just this simple act is incredibly punishing for the empath.
The narcissist will control and manipulate the empath’s life. Any activity or interest or hobby that diverts good feeling energy away from the narcissist will be sabotaged until it becomes impossible. Any and all attempts by the empath to heal or develop or grow personally will also be derailed by the narcissist, as this too is a threat to their continued control. The empath just can’t figure out why things aren’t getting better in the relationship – no matter how hard they try and what psychic knots they tie themselves in. Of course the narcissist has no intention of changing the situation in any way – and the empath just does not understand this. In fact the empath is unable to believe that anyone would or could intentionally behave in this way.
The perception, acceptance and understanding of the very existence of narcissists goes against the very nature of the empath – they are shocked and often in denial that such a condition is even possible. Dr Judith Orloff’s youtube channel provides incredibly useful clinical descriptions of both empaths and narcissists, and their interactions – from the point of view of developing survival skills for empaths.
The relationship between the empath and the narcissist is all about emotions, or emotional energy. The empath is the provider and the narcissist is the consumer. This dynamic is played out in many ways. The extreme narcissist may possibly identify, profile, stalk and groom the empath over time. However the situation for the extreme empath is much more complicated, nuanced and conflicted.
Empaths who have woken up to the power of their own beings, and who have healed their own psychic wounds, are much less likely to be fooled by a narcissist. They probably already have a catalogue of personal experiences to draw from, and they will be quick to see the phenomenon at work in the lives of other empaths. Many empaths do not even realise that they are indeed empaths – they just seem to be suffering in extreme and abusive ways.
The narcissist lacks the ability to process emotions in a normal way. They will use the empath to absorb their unprocessed negative emotions, and to provide good feeling emotions – especially in the form of support and sympathy. The empath will be kept in a constant state of negative emotion – through manipulation, gaslighting, and abuse. They are there to service the narcissist’s emotional requirements by mirroring the narcissists emotional state in the moment – and nothing else. This is a real time scenario, played out in the moment, every moment. This is the one and only role for the empath in the relationship. Don’t expect anything else.
For the unknowing empath in a relationship with a narcissist it is a real challenge to untangle their emotional terrain. Their own indigenous emotions will be entirely mixed up with the emotions of the narcissist. They will believe that they have a clear picture of what is going on emotionally, but sadly this is probably not the case. Due to their broken boundaries they will be in possession of a huge number of emotional imprints that belong to them and numerous others, including the primary narcissist. Untangling this mess is real work, but it can be done.
Empaths are easily overwhelmed by the emotional energy of other people. They can struggle to clarify which emotions belong to them, and which belong to others. Empaths can have other people’s negative emotions projected onto them and be completely unaware of it. They can just as easily project their own emotions on others and then mistakenly read them as belonging to that person. It is this last aspect that narcissists exploit.
Empaths have the ability to “fill the gaps” in the emotional body of the narcissist with their own emotional energy, and then in true empathic style, read those emotional energies as belonging to the narcissist. When this happens the narcissist has successfully camouflaged themselves with the emotional energy of the donor empath. This is psychic parasitism and it is perhaps the most insidious aspect of the entire scenario.
The narcissist has in a very real sense clothed themselves in the energy of the empath. They have acquired a “normal” energy body that is worn as a form of camouflage. This explains why the narcissist will fight tooth and nail to keep the empath in a state of complete subjugation. The narcissist feels good wearing someone else’s psychic skin. They have invested a lot of work and effort into getting that pelt, and as far as they are concerned it belongs to them – they own it. The only strategy that is open to the empath is to remove themselves physically, mentally and emotionally from the narcissist.
This is a dark scenario, but these words are intended to hopefully add some clarity to the situation for those empaths who are labouring needlessly in states of suffering. We are divine and sacred beings, and we are natural healers of ourselves and others. Healing does happen and change is very possible. I wish you well in your journey.  

© 2019 Murray Hill.

Murray Hill is an artist and writer who produces work around spiritual themes. He is an initiate of the Toltec mystery school as taught by Don Miguel Ruiz. He is also a Seer in the Celtic tradition. In 2004 he experienced a life changing moment in the ancient Mexican Toltec capital of Teotihuacan, which brought a lifetime of spontaneous spiritual breakouts into coherent form.

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