The Empath and the Narcissist: Star-crossed Lovers?
Are empaths naturally predisposed to attract narcissists, and vice versa? That’s what an article entitled Toxic Attraction Between an Empath & a Narcissist claims—and I don’t disagree. Add my name to the list of growing connections the author found between the two personalities; I vulnerably fell for the endearing trap that was laid to feed multiple narcissists the attention and control they craved.
When you are so innately open and loving, it is so easy to see the good in another human being, and believe it still exists even way after (s)he’s shown you abusive tendencies.
As the author says, “If an empath is not consciously aware of boundaries and does not understand how to protect themselves, they will very easily and very quickly bond with the narcissist in order to try to fix and repair any perceived damage while attempting to eradicate all their pain and suffering.”
Trauma bonding. That’s what narcissists use to control their supply. The love-bombing beginning isn’t just exorbitant affection; it’s an emotionally and intimately connecting bond that lays a curtain over true intentions. It isn’t until the honeymoon period is over that the more overt manipulation and gaslighting starts, and by that time, the empath has painted this beautiful picture that cannot be destroyed. And anything that is wrong? Well, it’s the empath’s job to save their love, isn’t it?
No, it’s not. It never was, but we were drawn to the wound by our very spirit. Unfortunately, the more I read, the more I realized that the open nature of an empathic person is the ultimate magnet for narcissistic abuse.
But that doesn’t mean that an empath deserves it or is unable to avoid it.
On the contrary; by learning to establish proper emotional boundaries, empaths can block this type of energy from consuming them. Knowing they are susceptible to this kind of a bond, they can learn all about the characteristics and patterns of a narcissist to be prepared to disengage and walk away. And, if they do find themselves in an abusive situation, they are absolutely able to find the strength to take control and walk away. I did, and although I got caught up in a new cycle a few years later, the third time was the charm—I avoided it because I knew the signs. And you can, too.
Is there hope for the couple if they choose to work together? Not likely, according to the article: “The ability for these two types to bond is quite simply impossible. The narcissist’s heart is closed, an empath’s is open—it is nothing short of a recipe for a huge disaster, and not a beautiful one.”
If you are an empath, learn to protect yourself. I don’t mean close yourself off from the world or love; I mean: take it slow; believe red flags; look for balance; and if you see those warnings sings, remember that (s)he cannot be saved. The only person who would end up needing saving is yourself. Run.
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