Narcissists can seem charming, generous and entertaining – but they also have a dark side that is jealous, angry, insecure and quick to cut other people down. This means that they always have troubled relationships with their family, friends and co-workers; although this will never be their fault, of course.
They naturally tune in to where they can get narcissistic supply from: people who are warm, kind, caring and will go above and beyond to help others. They are drawn to healers because they so badly need healing on the inside (usually their inner child) but no amount of help or focus from the other person can do this, because the work is deep for the narcissist and they need to commit to doing it fully with a licensed therapist or mental health professional.
The narcissist you’re with –
- Believes they are exceptionally smart, good looking and talented
- Is always the centre of attention and has a “big” personality
- Gives lavish gifts
- Is quick to anger when things don’t go their way
- Gets jealous of other people
- Will seek to take down potential threats to their power / control / sense of comfort by insulting the other person and questioning their character, because they hate anything that threatens their ego and how they see themselves
- Will argue with every point not because it’s factually correct but to destabilise the other person (gaslighting) and try to establish themselves in a position of control where they are seen as “right”, awe-worthy and the smartest / most powerful / most amazing
- May build a small group of close-knit allies who all adore them
- May use their sensitivity as a weapon for more love, attention or to bring focus back to them
- Will do what they can to get adored and noticed
- Can’t be alone (there is no-one to give them attention or praise when they’re on their own)
How you will feel as the empath –
- Like a “yes” person with them, as you compromise more than you should to avoid the drama of having to deal with an emotional reaction
- Like you have to justify their personality to your family and friends (and downplay their flaws / hide what they’ve said or done)
- Like you can’t get away from them or get any real time to yourself. They may try to persuade you not to go away with friends and family or use neediness / sensitivity / attention seeking to keep your attention on them
- Like you’re on eggshells sometimes and have to stop them from getting angry or upset
If you’re a partner of a suspected narcissist, ask yourself:
- Could they cope with you being your sassiest, fullest, most honest, authentic self?
- Or are you afraid to do that for fear of ruffling feathers?
- Would saying the truth and trying to get YOUR way for a change make too much of a fuss and provoke too much of an emotional response in the other person that it’s just easier not to?
It is not your responsibility to control or contain anyone else’s emotions and when you catch yourself doing so that is a red flag 🚩
Narcissism is on a spectrum and they are not soulless, heartless people – but it’s often an adaptive response to inner insecurity and wounding as a child. It can be tempting to feel like with enough love and attention from you, you will be able to heal them and make them feel whole, although this is never the case.
All adults are responsible for their own inner experience and you revolving your life around being a stable emotional support for the narcissist only distracts them from doing the deep inner work that they really need to do with a therapist in order to heal.
As a sensitive person, you MUST protect your own energy and be an advocate for your own boundaries. If not, you will find yourself gradually changing your personality as you lose yourself to accommodate the narcissist in your life.
Stay strong and know that it’s not your responsibility to justify or hide anyone else’s real behaviour.
You deserve to have balanced, equal, respectful relationships in all areas of your life – and no one else should ever stop you from being your most empowered, authentic self.