Relationships can be very complicated. And strangely enough, we don’t always consciously choose the person whom we fall in love with really. It just happens. By nature, empaths have a big heart, while Narcissists, on the contrary, have an annoyingly exaggerated sense of self-importance. It is thus a little bit challenging when these two contrasting personas are in a relationship. So then, how do empaths protect themselves from narcissists? Do they need protection in the first place? In this article, I will take an in-depth look at these two characters and give tips on how to accommodate each other.
Who are Empaths?
If you are an empath, the chances are that you have had an encounter(s) with a narcissist(s). Whether or not the experience was fruitful solely depends on how you interacted with them. Narcissists thrive on making other people feel inferior about themselves.
This could be draining given that empaths are quite the opposite of narcissists – sensitive.
Empaths Character Traits
Before we delve into knowing how empaths protect themselves from narcissists, let’s discuss the traits that define empaths.
The following traits are common among empaths:
- Do you have a problem with boundaries? Empaths tend to worry more about others than themselves. Consequently, it is difficult at times to tell when to open up and let other people into their life and when to shut off negative energy.
- Empaths are easily prone to a nervous breakdown. They feel for everyone, including people who are total strangers to them. Absorbing all these emotions (both happy and sad) can lead to a nervous system meltdown.
- They have intimacy issues. Empaths are quick to connect with other people emotionally. This is a liability especially when it comes to maintaining a relationship with one person. You can unconsciously find yourself emotionally entangled with more than one person.
- Alone time is replenishing. Empaths recharge when they are alone and free from human contact. Absorbing all these emotions can be weary and draining. Alone time allows an empath to decompress and recharge. This is mainly achieved in a serene natural environment setting.
- You have an acute intuition. The gut feeling of an empath is always right most times. I think the ability to feel what the next person is feeling is what contributes to this.
Who are Narcissists?
Beyond knowing how empaths can protect themselves from narcissists, you need to know how to identify a narcissist. It is not hard to identify a narcissist from the crowd. No one person will admit to being grandiose callous and unemotional.
Narcissists Character Traits
Narcissists portray the following characteristics:
- Need for self-admiration. Narcissists crave admiration more than anything else. They will bombard you with statistics and personal achievements to feed their ego. This has the effect of making the other person think lowly of themselves.
- They lack empathy. Narcissists do not show the slightest of emotion towards anything or anyone.
- Feeling entitled. They are arrogant, selfish and think that others are indebted to them.
- They can be manipulative. A narcissist will trick you into doing what they want. Their interests always come first, and they love exploiting others.
- Authoritativeness. Since they believe they are good at everything they do, narcissists have an inflated sense of bossiness.
How Do Empaths Protect Themselves From Narcissists?
Given that they connect quickly, empaths are an easy target to prey on. Do empaths need to protect themselves from narcissists? Yes. Narcissists will not mind that their utterances and actions are hurting others. As a result, such a relationship will only wreck an empath. That said, how do empaths protect themselves from narcissists?
Connecting with nature is the simplest and quickest way for an empath to replenish. Take time to reflect and think about whether or not someone is adding value to you or just exploiting you. This is the only time you can clear your mind and think clearly.
I know this sounds impossible, but there is no other way around it. You need to cut off any ties with narcissists. If you can’t then at least come clean with the person. Narcissists will only drain you of your energy at their pleasure. This might sound selfish at first, but it is for your highest good that you avoid these people.
Do not spend too much time with a person if they exhibit narcissistic behaviors. Take some time off to decompress and gain back the lost energy.
Let Yourself Be
Naturally, you will fall for a narcissist and even get tempted in to ‘helping’ them. Remember, it is not your job to fix everybody. Who will fix you anyway? Sometimes you need to be quite the opposite of what defines you and care for yourself.
Trust Your Intuition
This is the easiest way for empaths to protect themselves from narcissists. Your guts will always be right. So if you detect some negative energy in your life, the safest decision is to walk away.
Don’t Take Everything to Heart
Someone might say something insensitive towards you. If you took everything seriously, then you might become a human wreck. Take criticism for what it is without necessarily letting it eat you up. Besides, not everyone will always be helpful to you and expecting that from them is no less than being a narcissist.
Narcissists crave attention. Don’t give it to them. They can and will find someone else to pick on.
The Bottom Line
The truth is that no one is perfect. Well, a narcissist believes otherwise. Don’t be so obsessed with the idea of protecting yourself such that you forget to live and enjoy yourself. You may end up a sad, depressed soul and discover that you are lonely and unhappy when it is already too late to change things. People will always have flaws, and I think that is what completes us in our human nature. Dating a narcissist may be the equivalent of a dangerous dance with the devil, but hey, at least you get to dance in the long run. I hope the above answers the question: how do empaths protect themselves from narcissists. In the end, what counts is whether you found happiness in your relationship.