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  • Writer's pictureRobin Chestner-Hannon

Narcissists and Empaths

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Sometimes in life you have light bulb moments of clarity. During this time of Covid I've had a lot of time for self introspection and healing. I am very clear what needs to be worked on. I am snuffing out the moth to the flame that has led to every narcissist finding me. I'm humbled to see where I still need healing, and where I need to set better boundaries.

So what is a narcissist, and how do you know them when you see them? First of all narcissists can be very charming. They ingratiate themselves with you in order to feed off of you. They are drawn to soft, kind, empathetic souls, and they are able to find your Achilles heel very quickly to get what they want from you.

They may start small, and see just how far they can push. For example, your friend Alice keeps asking you for favors, and because you are kind and empathic you grant them. Next thing you know Alice is manipulating you for more and more. This could include money, gifts, or entrapping you into paying the bill somehow in a restaurant.

Traits include, shame, blame, deflecting, invalidating, accusing, and gaslighting. Whatever your reality is, a narcissist will convincingly make it seems that your perceptions are insane, and completely off base.

There are many examples, but if you find yourself rushing to someone's aid in a chronic manner, and or putting their needs ahead of your own, you more than likely have a narcissist on your hands. If you walk on eggshells, or constantly wonder if you've lost your mind, if you feel hopeless, trapped, angry, and unheard, there could be a narcissist in your life.

If the world seems to revolve around your narcissist, don't be surprised. They are expert at shame, blame, manipulation, and crazy making. The world must revolve around them but they will act surprised, wounded, and outraged if you call them out on it.

I wanted to share this because there are many of us who are empathetic healers, and find themselves pulled into situations, or being used for our warm hearts. It is not wrong to set healthy boundaries, or to realize we can't save the world, but we sure do need to save ourselves from ourselves from time to time.

We are not responsible for poor behavior, and we must honor and love ourselves enough to refuse to tolerate what is essentially abuse of our good natures.

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