Opposites attract, as the law of magnetism states. It is a true one and indeed, and applies in relationships. Diametrically different personalities attract each other like the opposite poles of a magnet.
So it is with empaths and narcissists.
Each personality type has distinct traits. While the former character is sensitive, astute and self-sacrificing, the latter is manipulative and egocentric. A relationship between them is a time bomb waiting to explode.
Traits of Empaths and Narcissists
1. Spotting the Empath
The word Empath sounds like new-age, psychological term. Being one means absorbing external energy. An Empath can attune to the feelings of others. The emotions and moods of those around them influence their life. An empath perceives the spiritual urges, motivations, and intentions of people and acclimatizes them. They are more aware of the emotions of others than their own and project them without realizing it.
Many Empaths suffer from inexplicable environmental sensitivities and body aches. These are largely the result of outside influences, and not themselves. Quiet achievers, they often have problems with handling compliments. While they can be expressive about relationships and other subjects that have to do with making an emotional connection, they have a few problems discussing their feelings.
Empaths are quintessential peacemakers. They are experts in handling confrontations and resolve them as peacefully as they can. They try to understand as much as possible about the feelings of others so that they can establish peace in all situations. However, in their quest to empathize, they bottle up their emotions to prevent others from knowing themselves too well. Withholding such feelings can be harmful to their health.
Empaths are terribly affected by the violence and trauma they are privy to, no matter which media communicates them. The pain inflicted on children and animals, in particular, may leave them in tears. You will find them working towards charitable causes or holding voluntary positions.
2. Spotting the Narcissist
Chances are that you have encountered a narcissist at least once in your life. You may be familiar with friends who revert conversation topics to themselves, or colleagues who brag incessantly about their achievements. If these or any of the following traits sound familiar, you could be dealing with a narcissist.
Narcissists make outstanding first impressions. They are charismatic, personable, and will draw you to them. They have an unending list of social media contacts. However, you will discover their negative traits over time.
While many narcissists are loud, some are quiet and reserved. Narcissists may be either grandiose or extremely shy, waiting for their turn to show off their merits. Many of them are leaders, though not necessarily the best ones.
Narcissists always manage to make the conversation about themselves. They love boasting about their connections and are guilty of making themselves seem better than others. Appearance is paramount to a narcissist; they will always have sharp-looking clothes.
Criticism is never a narcissist’s friend. Their egocentric natures cause them to not only shun it but also pin the blame for their failures on external circumstances. They take everything personally; not surprisingly, you will resort to flattery just to get along with them.
So what happens in relationships between empaths and narcissists? Why won’t the two blend?
The personalities of empaths and narcissists are diametric opposites. There is potential for an explosion when they combine; yet, they draw to each other in a toxic, volatile way.
The charm of the Narcissist is an attraction for the Empath, who enters the relationship wanting unconditional love. The Empath mistakenly believes that the Narcissist is offering them true love, even though this person may not be doing anything to develop their connection. The Empath believes that they have formed a unique, once-in-a-lifetime bond because the Narcissist may signal that they want to connect as much as the Empath does.
In fact, the Narcissist just wants someone to affirm them. The Empath, the proverbial Giving Tree, is all too willing to accede to their requests. The Empath does not want to see them hurt in any way. Those two form what seems like a perfect match.
Over time, the Narcissist will make the Empath feel like a shadow of their former self. The Narcissist will criticize the Empath’s interests and will attempt to wield their power over them in subtle ways, such as refusing to let them make any decisions in the relationship. The Empath begins to forget their needs to seem more likable.
The Empath is not completely unaware; they soon realize that they are giving too much in the relationship and reaches their breaking point. They begin to adopt the traits of the Narcissist and assert themselves. The Empath starts to stress that their feelings matter as much as the Narcissist’s. Still, the Narcissist will make the Empath feel as though they are not sane for responding that way.
There is nothing wrong with the Empath, but the Narcissist will try to shift the blame for relationship failures onto them. Both eventually move on to other partners.
The relationship failure will be an epiphany for the Empath. Understanding why a connection with a Narcissist breaks down will prompt the Empath to be more discerning about making commitments and painful, draining sacrifices.
By Michelle L.