Narcissists Feed on Empaths
Lately I find myself drawn into conversations about Empaths and Narcissists with increasing frequency. Not that I mind as it allows me to see things from others’ perspective, furthering my understanding of both sides of the equation. Admittedly, the conversations with Narcissists are rarer, and usually indirect, while those with Empaths tend to be more revealing. Typically, those conversations involve recent revelations by an Empath concerning succumbing to and escaping from a Narcissist. All too often realizing they (or really, we) have been taken in by someone after spending a great deal of time and energy trying to please one for whom no amount of attention and devotion is ever enough.
Unfortunately, most Empaths don’t learn how to recognize a Narcissist or even that we’re allowed to set boundaries until we’ve been taken in and sucked dry at least a couple of times. The breed tends to be over-the-top charming and, for a little while at least, able to make us feel special. Often, it’s impossible to tell the difference between adoration and a need to have us hyper-focusing on them alone . We don’t notice the increasing isolation at first, and our natural empathy rises to the top where we give much more than we’re getting.
Detaching from the Insatiable Beast
Eventually, we do realize no matter how much we give, the Narcissist is never satisfied. When we start pulling back, we’re often subjected to anger and abuse. But if we can stick to our guns and make it clear we want our boundaries respected, we eventually find ourselves alone again. Our own energies slowly flow back as they’re not being depleted by an insatiable beast. Once we get past the pain and sense of betrayal, we often experience a sense of relief. It may take awhile to recognize the bullet we dodged or the joy of being alone rather than dancing to someone else’s tune.
Narcissists are emotional carrion feeders. They attract with charm as opposed to taking an active part in building a relationship. Once it becomes too much of an effort, they hiss and spit a bit, then move on to greener pastures where they can lie on a rock looking beautiful until someone new draws near and is caught, however briefly in their net.
Emotional Laziness Misconstrued
Not that everyone with a tendency to be emotionally lazy is a Narcissist. Some people honestly prefer to use their energy for other things; a job, a talent, a cause—something that stirs their passion but doesn’t involve a personal relationship with another individual. Often, their focus is necessary in order to achieve the results they desire. Then too, an Empath whose heart has been trampled too much may retreat into something else for however long it takes them to heal. In some cases, it can take the rest of their life.
Lynea Lattanzio of Cat House on the Kings is one who has, for the last 25 years or so devoted all her energy to a cause she believes in with all her heart. Starting with her home and about 6 acres of land on the Kings River, she built a sanctuary and rescue for cats. She purchased 6 more acres of adjacent land with a bequest from one of her supporters, and continues to grow her program to include adoptable cats, ferals, FIV+, kittens, and even dogs, peacocks and goats. Feral cats are allowed to live out their lives in the pastures where they can decide to trust a human or two—or not. If you want to learn more about her rescue efforts, click on the link. Cat House on the Kings was featured on National Geographic Wild in a segment called The Lady with 700 Cats. Last I heard, that number is at least a few hundred low, despite adoption facilities at 2 Petcos as well as their own. Lynea is not one to turn away a cat or kitten in need.
Learning to Avoid What Sucks Us Dry
Once again, I’ve gotten a bit off track. Yet my point here is to demonstrate that simply a lack of willingness to put effort into relationships does not a Narcissist make. Quite often it’s simply a case of different priorities. And sometimes, it’s an Empath who’s been tossed around by a Narcissist’s whims for too long and intentionally directs his or her efforts elsewhere, perhaps to heal, or perhaps to find an outlet for their gifts which will feed instead of bleed them.
Yet the fact remains that laziness in relationships is one of many factors which, in combination characterize a Narcissist; factors Empaths and other HSP’s (Highly Sensitive People) learn, often through experience and pain, to recognize and eventually avoid.
I’ve seen discussions on both sides of the argument about whether another Empath is a good or bad match. Some favor a mate who isn’t as sensitive to the energies and the ebb and flow of emotions to balance them out. Others prefer someone who “gets” them because they know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by the outside world at times. Like anything else, I think it comes down to a combination of attraction and where you need balance in your life. In my opinion, all relationships are about balance, but that balance comes in different areas for different people.
Needless to say, the only one who finds balance in a relationship between an Empath and a Narcissist is the Narcissist. Even then, it’s a tenuous kind of balance which is upset when the Narcissist stops getting what they want, or essentially overbalances the Empath.
Finding My Balance With Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the conversations I attract which allow me to learn more about myself and others who experience similar things.
- I am grateful for my work space where cats can sprawl in their favorite spots on the desk, behind the computer, on the shelf under the window, or anywhere they feel they need to to be close to me.
- I am grateful for things which challenge me to get out of my comfort zone and out of my own way.
- I am grateful for the inspiration and motivation I’ve been feeling the last few days to write, organize, and de-clutter.
- I am grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, joy, energy, writing, connection, relationship-building, positive indifference, improving social acuity, pre-holiday planning, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.