Being an empath is a beautiful experience of life, one that allows you to feel a deep connection and resonance with other people and the world around you.
Empathy is a gift, the ability to sense and feel how others feel so you’re able to act towards them with a deep sense of love and understanding.
But as you know, there are times when this empathic gift can become a detriment to your own wellbeing, and this happens when you start to place your own needs on the backburner behind helping others, or when you lose your sense of self amidst the sea of emotional energy around you, and when you end up depleted and withdrawn because you’ve given all your energy out to others.
When you have such an abundance of empathy, it can turn into over-giving and becomes hard to discern who truly deserves your attention, service, and love as you may truly care for another person and want the best for them, no matter whether or not they give you the love and attention you deserve back.
This is where it becomes so easy for a narcissist to attract an empath into their world, because an empath will truly care about their happiness and will often keep giving and giving their energy to the narcissist, no matter how they’re treated in return.
As a balanced, grounded empath with boundaries in place, this will not happen to you. You can learn to say no, to stand your ground, to prioritize your own health, happiness, and healing in your life, and not neglect your own needs for the sake of others.
But if you’re in an unbalanced state of being over-empathic, and overly emotional, with no boundaries in place, you are likely to be sucked into the magnetic pull of a narcissist’s needs very easily, wanting from a whole heart just to help, but ending up neglecting yourself and giving all your power away. This is what leads to depletion, depression and unhealthy, co-dependent relationships.
When an empath who just wants to give and give and give meets a narcissist who wants to take and take and take, their energies match up and it becomes a pretty easy connection to make.
The empath will sympathize and want to fix, tending to always see the narcissist through a lens of compassion, even when their actions warrant the opposite.
An empath is less likely to notice the red flags of a narcissist as they can be trusting and want to see the best in everyone, and without some discernment or even a little cynicism as a boundary, they can get easily taken advantage of.
So as an empath, how can you avoid this situation of attracting narcissistic people into your life?
We have some ideas for you:
- Call the narcissist on their unacceptable behavior
Practice being upfront and honest about how things the narcissist does make you feel. Do not let yourself get walked all over. And it’s important to become more aware of the patterns that happen each time you enter into a relationship that ends up being with a narcissist who you didn’t recognize at first! Watch for the patterns and let people earn your love and trust, don’t just extend it willy nilly!
- Take time each day to ground yourself and come back to center
It’s important to release other people’s energy at the end of each day, send your energetic roots into the Earth, and come back to your center of balance within yourself. This will help you tune into your true feelings, wants, and needs. Check out the Sacral Chakra Balancing for Empaths article for some practices to help you ground and release other people’s emotional energy.
- Create energetic boundaries
Before you can clearly communicate clear boundaries in your relationships, it’s super helpful to first create energetic boundaries. You can do this by simply imagining a shell of light around your entire body, protecting you, and guiding you through life to help you deflect the energy vampires and contain your own energy within yourself.
Every time you encounter a situation with a narcissist or someone who’s draining your energy, take a moment to take a breath and imagine this invisible shell of protection around you and notive the difference it makes.
- Assess where you’re giving too much of yourself away
It’s important to get some distance and self-reflection on your relationships to look from a long-lens, with self-honesty, at all the times when you gave too much of yourself away.
Look at the people, relationships, and situations in your life that make you feel depleted, that sap you dry, that make you feel worthless or never seem to change- are those really the kind of relationships you want for your life? Are you involved with some narcissistic behavior that you can recognize now when you’re at a distance?
Don’t lose yourself in any relationship. Always make sure to have moments when you can be alone, to self-reflect and get some perspective around things.
- Take action on your insights and make changes
Once you’ve grounded yourself, feel centered and protected, and have your boundaries secure, it’s time to make some changes in your own behavior in order to shift your relationship with the narcissists in your life.
Once you start acting differently, choosing differently, and speaking differently, you will see the people in your life reflect those changes, either by exiting out the door or by transforming themselves too.
Either way, you’ll end up with only those people around you who honor you and respect you, and are deserving of the amount of love and compassion you have to share.
We hope this helps you see how easy it is to fall into the empath/narcissist trap, and also how achievable it is to step right out of that dynamic to become an empowered, balanced empath who no narcissist is gonna want to mess with.