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Symbiosis: The Empath and the Narcissist

Dear Empath,

You may feel as if your purpose in this life is to facilitate the healing of others. You emotionally feed and water others to watch them abundantly grow. Highly sensitive and highly intuitive, you’re like an emotional sponge, absorbing all of the emotional energy around you. You thrive when you see others happy, genuinely feeling their joy.

Equally, though, you deeply feel their struggle. You feel the pain, heartache, and the negativity of those around you. You have the heart that makes you easily sought out for someone who is hurting, toxic, or has narcissistic tendencies.

Do you feel taken advantage of? Without strong boundaries, you become exhausted. Even when you do set boundaries, you may receive serious push back for doing so as it appears to be against your nature to those around you. Being a “people-pleaser” may be a theme within your identity, allowing negative energy to cause you anxiety.

Reconnect with yourself. Find inner peace. Grant yourself the compassion and understanding that you so freely give to others. Know that it is never your responsibility to fix someone else. Mindfully manage your environment. Take up journaling to externalize your internal thoughts. Know that you aren’t alone – 20% of the world’s population can relate to how you’re feeling.  You are a gift to the world – protect yourself accordingly.

Dear Toxic Person,

You may not recognize the warning signs you display in your life. You may criticize others and aim to overcome feeling inferior. Maybe you’re aware that people tend to step away from relationships with you, although you often attribute this to something being wrong with them.

Admitting we’re wrong isn’t fun, so you may deny your wrongdoings whether it’s on a conscious level or a subconscious level. Sometimes, you may feel that you are unworthy of existence. At other times, you feel as though your purpose is grandiose. You may have a strong fear of rejection that hinders you from vulnerability.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a need for admiration, a lack of empathy for others, a sense of entitlement, taking advantage of others, and a heightened sense of self-importance. Someone who fits into such category tends to seek external validation, has goals that are grounded in gaining approval from others, and has superficial relationships.

Know that this isn’t your fault. Toxic tendencies and Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be caused by external forces. This includes, strict parents that have damaged your self-esteem, put you under pressure to meet unrealistic demands, or exposed you to an unpredictable environment. These experiences have caused you to wear a cloak of importance to make up for your feeling of insignificance. Seeing a therapist can help you become more aware and able to identify things in your past that have paved the way for the attitudes and behaviors that have created conflict in your life.

An Empath and Narcissist Together

Relationships between an empath and toxic person seem to be extremely common. The toxic person and the empath are seemingly opposite, but we’ve all heard that opposites attract. The empath may be a target for the narcissist. Although the empath is highly intuitive, they often don’t initially see the toxicity due to the toxic person’s charm.

The empath tends to stay in toxic relationship for too long, allowing their high level of empathy and understanding to justify the behaviors of the toxic person. The empath longs to help the toxic person grow, feel needed, and is patient enough to stay through the suffering. These relationships are unsustainable, yet they give both the empath and the toxic person an opportunity to grow. This type of relationship ultimately serves each person a deep purpose.

If you have found yourself identifying with either of these roles and realize that you may be in a relationship with your opposite, learn your lessons, grow. Leave the relationship as a stronger and more self-aware individual. Not all relationships are meant to last, but all relationships give us an opportunity for self-improvement.

Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.


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