Best Self Magazine

The Empath and the Narcissist: A Love Story?

The Empath and the Narcissist: A Love Story? by Nikki Bruno. Photograph of a butterfly painted on a broken building wall by Kristel Hayes
Photograph by Kristel Hayes

Are you an empath involved with a narcissist? Here are 8 steps you can take to turn your destructive relationship into a self-love story. 

It’s a classic pairing: the empath and the narcissist.

You’re a giver. Emotions permeate you easily. If your friend is filled with joy, you’re delighted, too. When your son tells you his teacher cut him down in front of the whole class, you deeply feel your son’s shame, anger, and helplessness. Upon walking into a crowded room, you can immediately sense the vibe — cheerful, subdued, threatening. You’re skilled at comforting and listening to people. You have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for problems that aren’t actually yours. You are loving, intuitive, trusting, and sensitive. You avoid conflict and sacrifice yourself at the altar of harmony.

You’re an empath.

Your partner, on the other hand, lacks compassion. She feels her emotions but is nearly impervious to the feelings of others. When you tell her that she’s hurt you or that she’s messed up, she denies it, says you’re wrong, twists the blame squarely back on

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