There is no doubt about the fact that an Empath and a narcissist are both highly reactive, sensitive people, but it is how they portray and integrate their sensitivities that set them apart.
A sensitive nature can be seen in kindness, compassion, and empathy, but it can also be seen in bitterness, resentments, and jealousy.
And it doesn’t take much working out to figure which traits belong to which type.
The Family Connection
Another observation of mine is that sensitivity tends to run in families. And this, I believe, is why we witness Empaths and narcissists within the same bloodline and even between siblings.
The family ties and ‘sensitivity splinters’ explains why there are so many sensitive warring families. And it is through blood ties that Empaths find themselves bound to toxic narcissistic connections.
The law of attraction also plays its part in these destructive unions, as many Empaths find themselves dating a narcissist or in a relationship where their chosen partner, although not necessarily self-important themselves, has been raised within a narcissistic family.
The Silver Lining
Although narcissistic types often play the part of an antagonist in the Empath’s life, causing distress and even heartache, there is normally always a significant reason.
The further I travel down this ambiguous road, the more I see the higher purpose served behind the dark behaviors displayed by individuals.
When we continually endure difficulties, through experiencing challenging situations or relationships, we eventually come to realize what we need to change for our own growth and development.
We can learn so much from the bad behavior of others. Even if it’s as simple as developing the courage to walk away, say no, believe in one’s own self-worth, or let go of the need to be in control.
[A word of advice: Try to avoid doing battle with a narcissist or point out their wrongdoings unless you want to open yourself up for a character assassination.
They will lie and lie and lie some more and simply make you out to be the devil incarnate to anyone who will listen. It doesn’t matter how ‘right’ you are, a narcissist does not want to hear what you have to say if it makes them in any way wrong or shows them in an undesirable light, they will just attack you…It’s always best to walk away.]
Although it completely sucks and is difficult to accept, but it is often the case that the more an Empath suffers the stronger and wiser they grow to be.
I am in no way suggesting that continuous suffering is the recipe for the perfect life, far from it, but we can come to a point when we understand why we had to endure such difficulties and see how they shaped us into becoming better people.
The time when we won’t benefit from suffering is if we become embroiled in bitterness and resentments and allow our thoughts to become vengeful (Yes, an unaware Empath can also fall prey to the curse of narcissistic tendencies).
If this happens it will only serve in causing more inner-pain.
Narcissists work as catalysts on an Empath’s journey. They may cause insecurities, emotional injuries, trigger victim mentality and personal challenges but all of which can push the Empath towards great things.
In our need to escape the shackles of emotional pain we are often pushed towards personal empowerment.