Home Love & Relationships 21 Stages Of The Relationship Between An Empath And A Narcissist

21 Stages Of The Relationship Between An Empath And A Narcissist

21 stages of a narcissistic relationship

Why The Attraction Between An Empath and A Narcissist Is So Strong?

When it comes to being in a relationship with a narcissist, I don’t think there is anything more harmful and dangerous for a person. The experience is painful, verbally, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially abusive. It is filled with lies, manipulation, and deceit. It is something no person deserves to go through.

However, there are people who still decide to give the narcissist a chance and be in a relationship with them because they can’t seem to shake off the immense attraction they feel for the narcissist. And the person who usually gets involved with the narcissist is the empath – someone utterly opposite from them.

These two completely different individuals are drawn to one another like moths to the flame. However, their inevitable collision can be dangerous, even fatal, for the empath. 

Empaths are extremely sensitive people. They have a unique ability to feel what other people are feeling and go through the same experiences that others are going through. They can feel the happiness or the sadness of others as their own. These individuals have a big and soft heart, full of love, generosity, and kindness for everyone around them. They are always there for everyone who needs their guidance and support.

Empaths have difficulty saying ‘no’ and setting clear and healthy boundaries because of their nature. They are loyal friends, colleagues, and lovers, and they will always be there for the people they love, even though they are hurting them.

Narcissists, on the contrary, don’t have empathy in their hearts. They don’t care about other people’s feelings. They have an inflated sense of self-importance, and therefore, they always need to be admired by others. They present a powerful but false image of themselves. Other people see them as confident and self-assured; however, that is a mask to cover their low self-esteem that is vulnerable to even the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder (the clinical term given to narcissists) is not black or white. Those who are lower on the disorder scale are those we call selfish and entitled (the average jerk). However, those who are at the end of the scale, those diagnosed with NPD, are morally and emotionally flawed individuals. They are deeply cruel and uncaring, incapable of feeling empathy and compassion for other people, but who hide behind the mas of an attractive and charismatic person.

So, the question is, why these two completely different types of people are even attracted to one another?

The Empath And The Narcissist

The narcissist is attracted to the empath because the empath is everything they are not. The empath is stable, kind, supportive, and loving. Something the narcissist will never be. The empath listens and understands the narcissist. The empath is emotionally available.

So, a person like this is the perfect target for the narcissist. The empath wants to give, give, and give, and the narcissist wants to take, take, and take. It is heaven for the narcissist. The narcissist can finally fill the void inside themselves with the immense love, attention, and care they receive from the empath.  

The attraction is about filling the void the narcissist has.

The empath is attracted to the narcissist because, in the beginning, they are funny, carry, charming, and irresistible. Their vibe is so powerful and mesmerizing that the empath can’t believe they found someone like that. The narcissist is very intense, and that attracts the empath, who is all about the depth of everything.

Later on, the empath starts sensing that something is not right, but they start making excuses for the narcissist, believing they are hurt, and so, they want to help them heal. But the narcissist is good at pretending to be broken, lost, and helpless, which invites the empath to save them.

The attraction here is all about wanting to save the narcissist.

But, this attraction is fatal because the empath can never change the narcissist nor help them heal their wounded heart. Therefore, their relationship quickly becomes a codependent one, with the narcissist having all their wishes fulfilled and the empath being left empty-handed. Sadly, with the narcissist, it is never enough. Regardless of how much the empath gives to the narcissist, the narcissist is never happy and fulfilled.

The narcissist doesn’t want to change. Nor are they able to change. They don’t have the basic emotions required for someone to want to make a change – guilt and empathy. Therefore, the narcissist cannot be helped or saved by the empath. The best thing that the empath can do is leave the narcissist alone.

21 Stages of a Narcissistic Relationship – Every Empath And Narcissist Go Through These When They Are In A Relationship:

1. The narcissist attracts the empath. They begin a relationship. The empath’s love is deep and unconditional. The narcissist, on the other hand, has no intention of developing a stronger connection and getting close to the empath. The empath is happy and satisfied every time they are around the narcissist and they falsely think that their love is being reciprocated.

2. The empath starts to feel like they have finally met the love of their life. The narcissist asserts them by designing an illusion which leads the empath to think that they have a special bond that is impossible to break. At times, it may look like the narcissist wants the relationship as much as the empath, but this is not true. The narcissist only wants to be in control.

3. As time passes, the narcissist will try to break the empath’s self-esteem by making them feel weak and unable to do even the simplest things. The narcissist will never openly attack the empath, but they will say something like, “I don’t mean to hurt you but…” and then mention some “shortcoming” of the empath. The whole control of the relationship will be in the hands of the narcissist as they will start making every decision. The empath will gradually start to believe that they are incapable of anything and that they are lucky to have the narcissist in their life.

4. The narcissist will become the sole center of the empath’s universe as they are the ones that are truly in love. They will always try to help, take care of, cheer up and soothe the narcissist. They will always be there for the narcissist whenever the narcissist needs them. The narcissist will try to present themselves as the victim thus manipulating the empath into giving them what they want since the empaths are natural givers. 

5. The empath’s intentions are pure.

The empath has a good heart and they cannot understand the fact that the narcissist’s wounds are different from theirs, and so is the healing. The narcissist’s wounds cannot be healed with love, as the empath believes because the narcissist is a person who is immune to love.

6. The relationship starts to be all about the narcissist.

Eventually, the empath will realize this, because as time passes, they will start to feel afraid to state or fight for their desires and needs in the relationship. The empath will rather die than give someone a reason to dislike them, so they will still try to please the narcissist even though they are not happy in the relationship.

7. The more affection, devotion, effort, love, and care that the empath gives to the narcissist, the more in control the narcissist feels. And as long as the empath continues to put the effort into the relationship, it is almost impossible for them to see a problem in the relationship. The problems arise when the empath finally ‘wakes up’ and reaches their breaking point.

8. The empath will eventually raise their voice because they can no longer stand the devaluing ways of the narcissist. The empath starts to feel devastated because their emotional needs are not being met. When the empath realizes that they have been living in a delusion all the time, they will start to speak up their truth. The narcissist is not happy with this new turn of events.

9. The narcissist is someone who needs constant attention. They feel satisfied when people obsess with them. However, they can never be happy no matter how much attention and praise they get from others. They always need more. And the empath often fails to understand this.

10. When the empath finally decides to honestly talk about their feelings with the narcissist, the narcissist is quick to call them “crazy”, “delusional”, or “over-dramatic.” They would dismiss any of the empath’s efforts to save the relationship and they will try to manipulate them again to regain control.

11. For an empath, this behavior is impossible to understand. They would start blaming themselves for everything that is wrong in the relationship because the narcissist has them feeling like they are not good enough and they are not worthy of love.

12. The empath fails to understand that they are being manipulated once again. Narcissist has created a twisted way of reality in their minds. The empath is being gaslighted to a point where they cannot believe their own perception and sanity. They couldn’t see the truth that the narcissist is the one who is wrong and wicked, not they.

13. Every empath’s attempt to communicate honestly with the narcissist is pointless. Narcissist will always try to pass the blame to justify themselves.

14. The empath should know that it is completely okay and normal to feel confused, lost, defenseless, and deeply hurt. They need to do a lot of self-reflection and work on themselves to start feeling okay again.

15. Empaths are the healers of society.

They have the inner strength that is necessary for them to overcome any challenge that comes their way. They can alleviate other people’s pain as well as their own only if they are willing to do that.

16. The empath will eventually realize the bitter truth that the narcissist does not deserve their affection, love, and care. They must understand that not everyone who puts a sad face on is showing their true colors. There are many people out there who have vile motives and use many manipulative techniques to get what they want. The empath must face the brutal truth that not everyone who says “I love you” really means it.

17. In the above situation, the empath needs to understand that they are the actual victim in the relationship – not the narcissist.

18. When the empath realizes that the narcissist will never change – this would be a painful revelation and awakening for them. However, this is essential for the empath to move forward and put an end to the toxic relationship with the narcissist.

19. The narcissist will go on with their life as if nothing has happened. They won’t even remember the enormous love and appreciation that the empath has given them.

20. The narcissist will move on and find a new victim.

21. The empath will become wiser, stronger, and more cautious of to whom they give their love, time, and affection.

Can Empaths Become Narcissists?

Empaths are compassionate beings. They are not confrontational. They can undertake a lot of abuse and not say a word. However, when they reach their breaking point, they can change unexpectedly.

After dealing with so much abuse thrown at them, the empath can start detesting the narcissist, their tormentor. They will then want to destroy the narcissist’s ego that delusionally makes them feel powerful and in charge. The empath wants to fight against everything the narcissist is. So, in a way, the empath then becomes the narcissist’s narcissist.

They start mirroring the narcissist, turning cold towards them in order to destroy their ego.

Therefore, the reaction of the empath to the bullying and the disrespectful behavior of the narcissist is SILENCE. Eternal silence. Which can be seen as abusive as well, because they can get up and leave without an explanation. However, when it comes to narcissists, these tricksters don’t deserve an explanation. They knew what they were doing. They just feel hurt that they are being left out.

However, their “hurt” passes quickly as they find a new victim that they can abuse and mistreat. On the other hand, the empath who walks away is the winner in the game of life. And their silence means that they have won without uttering a word. And they walk away with their head high because their heart is pure.

Can A Narcissist Fall In Love With An Empath?

Can a narcissist love someone other than themselves? The truth is, narcissist is able to soothe themselves and tell themselves things that will help them protect themselves from the potential heartbreak. Narcissist pushes their loving feelings aside because they don’t want to feel them and be vulnerable.

In actuality, many narcissists do have a hard time letting go of a relationship and moving on because they don’t know how to heal their wounds. And when they try to come back and recover the relationship, they don’t know how to do that because they still refuse to show feelings and be vulnerable because that is what hurts them. It hurts them to reveal their vulnerability because that’s how they protect themselves from the potential pain. Plus, vulnerability to them equals being inferior and inadequate and they don’t want anyone to see them that way.

The narcissist shows love only at the beginning of a new relationship because then, having someone idealizing them and looking up to them, they do not feel so vulnerable. However, when the honeymoon phase is over, when their ideal partner starts showing them they are a real person, with flaws and insecurities, then the narcissist starts losing love and affection for them.

On the other hand, narcissists always want to protect their image of a ‘perfect’ man or a woman. Therefore, they avoid deep and intimate conversations with their partner because they don’t want to reveal their true self and they don’t want their partner to see them as less ‘perfect.’ The narcissist is someone who is constantly protecting the grandiose image they have of themselves and that is why they feel enraged when someone doesn’t give them the royal treatment.

The narcissist believes that those people who make them feel flawed are wrong, not realizing that the feelings of inadequacy they are feeling are because of them, not because of other people. Those bad feelings and beliefs exist in the narcissist, but the narcissist is not aware of them. And so, they tend to find faults in other people to protect themselves and escape from those feelings. So, the narcissist starts feeling victimized by other people’s maltreatment, and therefore, they start pushing away people who love them.

When a narcissist is hurt or wounded, they feel as the whole world is against them. So, they will either attack the person who hurt them or completely withdraw to escape the pain. But, what they are failing to realize is the amount of hurt they have done to the other person and the role they had in the breakup. Again, the narcissist has zero empathy for the feelings of the other person.

However, underneath their tough exterior, they cannot cope with their feelings of pain when they listen someone tells them how bad they are, and what mistakes they have made. Why? Because deep down, the narcissist is extremely self-critical. So, they run away from their feelings because they don’t want to feel bad about themselves and admit they are wrong.

This can cause extreme distress to their partner because they won’t know how to deal with the narcissist. Plus, the narcissist can use addictions to give them ego boost such as affairs, sexual addictions, gambling, always wanting to present themselves as the best and the wealthiest one to inflate their ego even though those things may not be true at all.

So, the narcissist will discard an empath who exposes them for who they are. Instead, they will choose an empath who will admire them and fulfill their wishes because the narcissist wants to feel powerful and perfect. However, no matter how good the empath makes the narcissist feel, the narcissist cannot fall in love with them because they run from love. For them, relationships are one-sided. It’s all about them and their needs. It’s all about them feeling special and important.

If you are an empath, you need to be strong and set healthy boundaries. You need to say NO to anyone who takes you for granted. You need to be bold and assertive and not let anyone step over your boundaries. You need to respect yourself and stay away from anyone who disrespects you in any way.

You must understand that the only way to heal the situation you are in is to get out of it. No matter how many months or years you have wasted, stop lying to yourself that things will change and leave. You can’t help someone who doesn’t think they have a problem. You can only be responsible for yourself and your own life.

You need to understand that some people don’t want to be fixed. They don’t want to change because they don’t see a problem with their behavior. So, leave them alone and go find what you deserve.

The world is filled with good and empathetic people like you. But unfortunately, the narcissist’s cold heart is not a safe place for you to land.

So, trust your instincts. What does your gut feeling tell you? Your intuition is warning you, and you should start listening to it. So, believe in yourself and wave goodbye to everyone who gives you anxiety and pain. Be your own best friend, and please, stop ignoring the red flags that are in front of your eyes.

And finally, learn to walk away from anything toxic.

Take care.

Love and light.

Mary Wright


  1. You forget the part where the narcissist will try to punish the empath foe leaving and do his worst manipulating the empath into not leaving the circle of influence.
    Leaving the narcissist is hell, especially if there are kids involved

  2. I still cannot come to terms with the Narc never having to face the consequences of their behaviour. They get away with lying, cheating, stealing, freeloading, abuse of all types and ruining people’s lives. We have to rebuild our lives after they ruin it and they are off doing the same thing to the next supply.

    It never stops leaving a trail of destruction! I want to end this constant need to know that they will pay. Being told that they are empty and void of emotions and scared people will find out about them doesn’t ease my pain. It doesn’t mean they pay for their wrongdoings.

  3. I am glad it’s over. But the lessons I have learned are priceless. This is now a chapter of my life. I have accepted things I cannot change and I have the wisdom to know the difference.

  4. It is just so difficult to comprehend how someone, anyone can be so cruel. So calculating. The depth of the hatred and disdain he had for women, myself included was frightening. I could feel it within him. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I hope to goodness I never encounter another human like that. I thought my mother was the worst, but he had her by leaps and bounds. I’m sure this is how we met, and why I just felt so karmically connected to him. it was like I had known this man from a previous life. I was so drawn to him, I am still trying to get away. I’m going it, I just know the aftermath isn’t probably all done yet. I have been physically ill. it’s the craziest thing for me like this, so far. I hope never again.
    Pray for me!!!

  5. I was raised by one and raised with one. My whole life was ruined. My education taken away from me. The hurt and pain I experienced as a child was horrific. I am 40 now with 5 children who I adore and respect and treat them as human beings. I am back in education. The missing piece in my jigsaw as it was sadly robbed for. I am starting to like life for once 😁

  6. hmmmm
    I sort of see this in my life ….but only just recently and this wasn’t coming from my partner. …this was coming from her son of 13 yrs and is now 16 yrs and is well in control to the point I’ve been kicked out allowed back in my partners life on his say so but at arms length to the point of just losing my mother 4 months ago I’ve not been allowed to grieve as my partner was ill her son was going through exams and stressed out my partners mother had just been diagnosed with a small skin tumour. …..so I put my partner first as there were issues with my mother’s death that had to be investigated. …once we buried my mother 8 weeks later and all other parties and their problems had thankfully being solved and all is well , did the real problems start for me ….I was humiliated for my moods my sadness my loss …I was being negative bringing the tone down I was weird they were all having little pow wow meetings behind my back. …probably in the lines of he’s no good he’s got a dead end job you can do better ect ….my partner has now a full time job and lovely house and furniture nicely decorated and who helped in all the this ????
    yet I’m being told I don’t need you or your money. ….my birthday was a few weeks ago I got 5 bars of cheap chocolate I paid for us to go out it was worst nightmare in 6 and half yrs of being together. …the next day her son couldn’t wait to tell me he knew his mother didn’t want to go out in the first place !!!! I was promised when she got paid she would treat me to a meal after words ….I became I’ll the week later I may now have testicular cancer and was told to go to my room in a shared house. ..then she got paid went for a meal with her friend that hasn’t been on the scene for 4 yrs or her illness a nice little 4 some both their son’s.
    week after that I asked should we go out ….yes but when you feel it was a reluctant yes …I pushed the question the reply was absolutely stomach wrenching ” no I don’t want to I have no money ….I don’t want you to think I’m with you for your money! !!
    she then went out again with her son and mother 2 days before my late mother’s birthday on 10 November that she had promised to come and help with the grave ….not a word was mentioned. ..I went on my own early got a message of so where are you now !!!!
    I reminded her ….oh sorry I didn’t know? ???
    so it looks like I have to narcissistic individuals to contend with funny really he is gay and treats her like dirt speaks to her like dirt manipulation isn’t the word she’s so scared to answer him back unbelievable. ..this was my downfall I put him in his place for 3 yrs asked him to clean up after himself as good parents do sort of self respect and learning for later life ….that was my downfall. …as I keep getting reminded in sarcastic little innuendos at every opportunity and my partner says he’s having banter …..finds it funny when he’s not about she’s like another person like the one in the first 3 yrs of our relationship. …Time I made decision I’m 51 now

  7. Omg Therese I feel EXACTLY like you I cannot come to terms with that at all I just want them to hurt so badly

  8. Should they be all shot or drowned at birth, im an empath im married to a narc and my dad is the king of narcs, there is no hope your saying, I cannot wash my hands of them.

  9. This is exactly what happend in my relationship… This person used and abused me emotionally. And the sad truth is I only realized this after a year of a dedicated, loyal and honest love. I wasted everything and will never be able to get this past year back. And this Narcissist will never even be upset or take responsibility for their actions, only look for the next victim.

  10. To C, I am right there with you. It makes me ache to know their life will go on and they Will be perfectly fine without me. Year and a half of complete and true love. Only ending because I realized the truth, he is still trying to manipulate me now even when after I left him saying he will take me back but I need to change and fix things, when I never did anything wrong! Glad I realized before I wasted another year of my precious life.

  11. While reading this, I felt as if it was written for me. I now know I need to get away and fast.

  12. I can relate so much. I felt I wasted my feelings and time for someone who only cared about getting their needs met. They use their words wisely to make you feel wanted but they only look for their benefit. They feel miserable and want you to join the club. Now that all ended I can see what a sad life they do have ahead of them. They will not be able to bond with people or have long-term relationships because they do not care deeply enough about anyone. You are only a temporary plaster to cover their wounds. Everyone will realise their games at some point and leave them, and rejection is one of the things they want to avoid at all costs as, deep down, they feel inadequate and need your validation. And I feel sorry for the ones who will become the new victims because that is the only way a narcissist operates. They will always be looking for new supplies of attention and admiration…people willing to feed their bruised egos. They are the most insecure people you’ll meet in life even if you could admire some of their qualities or the things they are able to achieve on the surface. Below all that, there is a person who has decided to not confront their unresolved issues but rather blame others for their miserable choices. When confronted, they might even show pride in how they have behaved even if it is clear that they have used you or treated you badly. Preserving their fragile ego is their highest priority. Thankful for the lessons learned, it was a painful process but you come out of it empowered. I will never allow someone to treat me like that again.

  13. First of all thank you so much.
    I was in a relationship with a narcissist girl (learned about narcissist after reading this article and some other research). She broke it twice within 5 months. Her reasons were not so convincing and she didn’t got anyone else too. I loved her unconditionally. I did my best, i gave my 100%. Yet, she left me again. She had left her last 2 boyfriends, she told me her story, i believed her as she always told me the truth, but it is the truth too that she covered her mistakes and put blame on others. I didn’t knew that she covered her mistakes, i didn’t had anything to cross check, i thought she is a good girl (there were some basis which seems completely fake now) and it’s not bad to try rather than not to try. I got attached. I’d cried. I didn’t get good sleep for days.

    While reading the article, i felt its about me. I’m glad that I’m no more into it, its very much painful to lose someone whom you truly loved (this time she put blame to her own parents), but it’s better to not stay in a relationship with a narcisstic girl, i don’t need her anymore.

  14. It was only after my significant other left me that I realized the Narcissist existed. I took adjectives, my family members, & friends used to describe my significant other & hit an article on Extreme Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In the end, the Narcissist left me, telling me I was a sucker for their affection and didn’t love me (meanwhile, I was telling them “you will never find someone who loves you more”). BUT I have yet to find a description of a narcissist that fits the profile I lived with; although much of this article does fit. My narcissist was an only child that was doted upon by a strong-willed & extremely controlling mother & (you guessed it) a kowtow con-artist father (that would be a seemingly likely role to play to put up with the controlling mother). The result was a vain entitled/empowered selfish personality that dumped people that did not suit them . . . anymore (including me). The healing has been/is long & slow. There is a good book out there that does an excellent job of explaining the narcissist: “Disarming The Narcissist” by Wendy Behary. The book delves into the child years of the narcissist, and how their environment creates the narcissist. It explains a lot but still does not remove the pain of being dumped.

  15. I am sitting in the aftermath of a twelve year relationship with a narcissist. I am sure his road to who he is began with his father however a person such as I hoped very time we broke up and then made up that he changed and things would be different. Nope. Never. I claim my part in our relationship. When someone gives you the feeling they only want you around for sex and to clean up after them believe it. That is all they want. They may want to pay for everything and try to make you feel like you are the most important person in their life. You are in a sense, because they hit the jackpot with you. You are loving and honest and truly think you will be treated the way you treat others. You are the balloon they are the dart. They get what they want from you and how dare you question them, their motives, their dealings, their choice of friends, etc.. They are better than you, entitled, special and far more intelligent than this world can deal with. And there you have it folks! My advice…RUN. No contact is your only life preserver. They will take every part of you and make sure you know how inferior you are. Everything you believe in will feel like garbage. Not counting what picture they have painted of you to others. Somehow they become a poor victim and what a great person they are! I wish they knew. Don’t think you can handle it or things will change. They won’t. Ever. Run. Just run and don’t let the memory of them worm into what is good in your life.

  16. There was no mention about how the narc will sometimes, like with me, never cut ties completely. Like they want to keep you on hold in case this new relationship doesn’t work. His new relationship happens to be a bigger narc than he is and convinced him to sell everything he Owens to move to California from MO. He’s never lived anywhere but one house his entire life. She’s just as selfish as he is if not more. But just yesterday I got a text asking me if I knew the password to his email acct. we’ve been apart for over a year. He always finds a way to keep in contact over the dumbest things. It drives him crazy not knowing wha I’m doing with my life. His face turned 3 shades of red when he saw I had gotten a new car. We have a daughter together so we will forever be tied together. To a point. He’s filled her head with so much crap it will take me a lifetime to undo what he has done to the relationship with my daughter. But I will never give up on her and trying to build something pure and filled with unconditional love. And for those of you who get stuck in the rage of thinking he was so easily able to move on, don’t worry, he will never have true happiness in his life never feel or know what true love is. He will never be satisfied with what he has because he can never appreciate it. They spend their lives chasing something nobody ever gets. Perfection. I had to forgive him, let it go and give it to God. For my own sanity. I was raised by a narcissistic father and loved one from the time we were 12 years old. But now I see the signs and I know what I deserve and I won’t settle for anything less. If that means I spend my life alone then so be it. I tried to take my own life on Sept 19th 2018. By the grace of god I survived. I won’t let this second chance be for nothing. He did me a favor. He reminded me how strong I was and how strong I could be when needed. It’s ironic that. Narc has such high opinions of themselves and have this sense of entitlement when really they are so full of insecurities it’s got to be suffocating. I may had to continue seeing him on occasion or talking to him when he calls, but I keep it short and give him no extra information and make sure I sound as detached to him as he once sounded to me. I wanted revenge at one point, but that wouldn’t do anything for me. It’s about redemption. Him seeing that he may have broke me but I’ve put the pieces back together and will know wha having true happiness in my life again feels like. If I’m lucky I will,find someone who can finally appreciate what I have to give, and will give it back unconditionally. Don’t continue to look for answers you are never going to get. The worst thing you an do to a narcissist is give them silence and let them see that you can be happy if not happier without them in your life. We all deserve so much for the abuse and broken hearts, but only we can give ourselves what we need. I will never be in a situation where I’m dependent on another. At 45 I’m now a student who will have a career and be able to say that I did it, I fought the devil and I won.

  17. “ Anonymous 11/13/2018 at 1:08 am
    Should they be all shot or drowned at birth, im an empath im married to a narc and my dad is the king of narcs, there is no hope your saying, I cannot wash my hands of them. “

    OMG #TWINNING youre me ima parallel universe but that’s my life. Except we’re only common law married and he left. My dad, I love him but he’s so hard to tolerate. My ex and I both fail at the no contact thing. No matter who initiates or who tries to avoid it eventually it’s broken. It’s been eights years of cycling. Being an empath is the ultimate Spiritual sacrifice.

  18. So much truth, but in this story I am actually the narcissist (or I was) because somehow I realized how toxic I was for the relationship so I decided to quit the relationship. My situation was worse because, only after the break-up, I hardly realized how toxic I was even for my self, with the way I tried to be the victim in front of my person. Somehow, I was a narcissist that couldn’t even love myself. After 5 months of suffering, on both parts, I finally have awaked. I started to meditate and to do self-reflection, and it was like a revelation. I wake up in one day and I felt like all the truth was in front of me, and it was a painful one. At that moment, I remembered all the bad things that I did and how much love and kindness my boyfriend was offering to me and I rejected and ignored it during the relationship and after.

    I don’t agree that the narcissist will never change, how the article says. I changed, not totally, still working on that, but I feel that I am on the right way. I started to improve myself, first I started to learn to love myself, and then others. I repeat, I still working on that, because is hard to understand and accept for me that during over 20 years I was in a specific kind of person, I suffered a lot because of that, and I lived in the illusion that this is normal to suffer, and after that, I found out there is a solution for me, and this solution is named “LOVE”. I am considering that I am such a lucky person right now because my boyfriend forgave me, and now we are together again and happier than never. We see our relationship such clear and we like so much to build it and improve it, based on all the mistakes we did in the past and in the present too.

    The people can change, even the narcissist ones. Trust me! 🙂

  19. All is time i thought he was tricking me info believeing i das nars. But Really he was n i das the empath i can e ven beleive what i just read. Omg omg that was exactly my life last 3 years n Real lg like that last de months. I am so crushed i dont know what to do .un so hurt.

  20. shooo its a brilliant article that leaves me betwixt and bewildered for it has no real direction, nebulous without shape or form – just like the story of human life. One ting is certain if you are an established vegan, workout regularly in the gym, take self dicipline and correct meditaion as serious as breathing, know that love has no terms and conditions, love is its own reward

  21. Love does not conquer all or anything w a narcissist. They have no ability to accept or seek help. Everything is your fault always wil be. Please get out ASAP !!!!! You are worthy you are not wrong you deserve better and never look back. You will be smarter stronger and more beautiful inside and out. Love will come your way. Don’t regret you are still a good whole person.

  22. veronics me too, i have been with narc for last 3 years. you as a empath will only suffer as they will do exactly what ypu dislike

  23. You describe my situation so accurately it’s like you with me.. Help.help how does one overcome the pain…. But I will.learn. You dont know how helpful you’ve been. At least someone knows this condition exists.. if you didnt know please know today.. its painful for the empath to see the narcissist move on like nothing ever happened.. it was all about the power they wielded… I will go on.. pray for survival and any others who are or have been in such a situation..

  24. Very good summary of an important type of relationship, empath-narcissist.
    I find it good to keep in mind that many people use the word narcissist interchangeably with sociopath/psychopath. These can often be similar in many external ways but they can also differ because their core wounds are totally different.
    In this article I see some qualities that belong more to narcissists and some that belong more to sociopaths/psychopaths. For example, points 6, 7, 8 and especially 9 are characteristic of narcissists, which we think of as having “ego issues”.
    Whereas points 1-5 and especially point 12 are more sociopathic/psychopathic in nature.
    I tend to think of narcissists as being more developed than sociopaths/psychopaths. Narcissists do care about what others think; sociopaths/psychopaths do not. A narcissist can lack empathy, especially in cases where their ego is triggered, but sociopaths/psychopaths are pretty much incapable of empathy. Narcissists want control in order to protect their egos and to get admiration from others; sociopaths/psychopaths want control in order to satisfy their physical and material desires.

  25. Also the official definitions of psychopaths and sociopaths are different, but there is a theory that the only really difference is in their intelligence level. According to that view, “sociopath” is used for less intelligent ones, who tend to be dysfunctional in society, wind up in jail etc, and “psychopath” is used for the more functional ones who know how to hide their true motivations from normal conscience-motivated people.

    According to Martha Stout, the defining characteristic of sociopathy/psychopathy is a lack of conscience, whereas narcissists do have a conscience (they care what others think and can feel subconsciously guilty and insecure).

  26. For me this went on for a year as an empath in love with a narcissist. One step not mentioned here is that he will wine and dine you, say I love you and shower you with gifts all the time and then eventually when he has found his next, fresh victim he is gone! NO warning, no explanation. Just a text. Never wanted to meet again. And its a day after celebrating my birthday, making love and giving me a gift. Heartless. They have no emotions or sympathy.

  27. I’m married to what I think is a narcissist, and he is becoming more violent towards me. How can they be that good that I would choose to stay? I do see where I started noticing it. I have several chronic illnesses and funny but I started Keto diet and felt like a new person! After 17 years I started a new job. My self was feeling pretty awesome! Then the fighting got worse he sabotaged my diet, and coerced me to leave my job because it was making me feel awful (which it was). Granted I see now how the pattern was all along, it just worsened lately. He then would rage in an instant and it has progressed to being physical. I clobbered him a good one back, he left and made it my fault. “I’m sorry for hurting you BUT let’s look at what led up to it…YOU did….” Now he is doing therapy, wants us to be a family (I have a 16 y/o son) and he knows he has a problem that he can’t control his anger and will make every effort to fix it. Can he? Part of me feels he is sincere.. while the other part is just waiting for the anger to rise again. Is it possible he isn’t a narcissist? He does have quite a few of the traits but he is realllllllllly good at manipulating me into thinking he isn’t? I have a plan if I need to leave but need the money to do so. I’m in therapy to rebuild me and I know he isn’t going to like it. Can they really be this good, maybe not know that is what they are doing? I love him so very much (empath) and really do think he is my soulmate… but after reading everything, it looks doomed. 🙁

  28. @Alina
    “I hardly realized how toxic I was even for my self, with the way I tried to be the victim in front of my person. Somehow, I was a narcissist that couldn’t even love myself. After 5 months of suffering, on both parts, I finally have awaked. I started to meditate and to do self-reflection, and it was like a revelation. I wake up in one day and I felt like all the truth was in front of me, and it was a painful one. At that moment, I remembered all the bad things that I did and how much love and kindness my boyfriend was offering to me and I rejected and ignored it during the relationship and after.”

    You ARE NOT nor have EVER BEEN a narcissist. EVER. You are accountable for your actions. You may have done wrong things. But you are not, nor have you ever, ever, ever been, a narcissist. You may have acted in narcissistic ways, you may have been selfish at times. You have definitely made mistakes… but you are not, nor have you ever, been a narcissist. Be wary of anyone who would tell you otherwise if this is your writing.

  29. @Alina
    This isn’t to say your reflections aren’t worthwhile, and I think it’s wonderful that you are able to do so. It is the most beautiful gift, to be able to truly know the hurt in others, and the love in others. So that we know the love in ourselves, so that we grow. The key to empathy, is the core of insight, and it is what allows us to know one another, even from afar. Narcissists simply can’t do this. They dont reach realizations like this. What you did, and are able to do…

  30. Very good article..it’s as if you just told the story of me and my ex..I HATE this disorder and what is the after math…. and can’t stress enough how bad I want this feeling gone and pray to GOD I’m not under estimating myself.i had her about this HELL months before I actually new..I jumped on QUORA and started reading…and read over and over…I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or if it’s because I was just so dam sick of the way it was or, and this scares me,I really am just covering my feelings…it was hard to read and think this was how my life was going to be…all the dam lies, over some of the stupidest childish things, and all the hateful, untruths , and made up things he said about me just so he could get pissed and have a reason to leave for yet another silent treatment…I’m feeling a little ashamed that it took me so long to catch on…and it just kept going downward….he left, but not after failing to find any, ANY thing he could make up about me to let people think he was the victim…dam…everything I’ve learned says RUN, change my number, everything…either I really am just kidding myself, or I’m stronger that I thought even tho I still cry every day, lots, but I chose not to do any of those things…he’s never layed a hand on me, even tho I’ve seen his eyes and that face…and he’s never ever going to have that chance to try…he’s taken too much as it is….I’m wanting to know, do they all get worse as time goes on??? As in months….and my GOD, why in GODS name is there no legal actions that can be taken….these people are evil…big bullies and the damage they do..m.its not right….if anyone has an opinion with the way I’m doing this, please let me know….he does know I’m aware of his problem, and I’ve done all this without telling anyone…he was right when he whispered in a voice I hadn’t heard, ” no one will believe you”

  31. OMG! It sounds like my life! I recently left him on November3, 2019! I’m just beginning to realize that the 2 years we were married, I was the only person committed to the marriage. He cheated with a friend 6 months into our marriage! He had so many ongoing relationships that I later found out about and of course he became angry! Listen to yourself, don’t doubt yourself, you deserve SO much more! There is someone waiting to love us the way we deserve to be loved! But first, we have to relearn who we are, and regain what was taken from us, only to become the BEST person that we were designed to be!

  32. I am currently in the middle of a damaging Discharge… I luckily dodged the arrests, as I have an innate suspicion of doing something, everyone tells you to!
    I am a male who for the last two years has been loosing friends and family respect as I fought to save my loving wife from “misdiagnosed” medication.
    I was screamed out of the house before Xmas and soon was on a spiralling incompressible nightmare of school and social services betrayal, police pursuits and the cruelest treatment from your own family, that only those on this site can imagine. $millions have gone up in smoke, and my dream properties (farm and townhouses) will not survive. Yet I care not one iotas!
    I think only of my beautiful daughters (11 and 14) whom everyone says “the children must come first” yet fail to see that they are being traumatised as bait and weapons to (successfully) destroy me. I panicked and fell into every trap as I absorbed the toxic behaviour of my “damaged” wife, doing the honourable thing and forgiving her every step of the way, even as I uncovered news of plot after plot to entrap me.
    Now comes the totally screwed up part…. I have never regarded myself as spiritual or remotely interested in psychological appraisal or explanations, until my wife in an email accused me of “Gaslighting”
    never heard of it. A quick research revealed that she had been doing this to me for 23 years! I immediately cross referenced to her father and concluded that he wasn’t just a bigot and racist, but a manipulative Gaslighter, who had destroyed his wife, and his two daughters, must have PTSD from over 40 years of witnessing his abuse of their mother, until she slipped into the confines of onset dementia.
    My wife, I concluded, was being controlled by the long term abuser, and her sister was under a form of Munchausen by Proxy. After seeing the trigger events that “broke” my wife just before Xmas, I called him out on all of this, and recorded the hour long conversation.
    As background, I have kept my mother (who I adored and respected as a child, adolescent and adult) at bay for two years, as at 76 she has become ill and only seems predicated at destroying me. I had intended to get strong and emotionally stable again, after “fixing” my wife and family situation, so I could help my mother, with what I had imagined was a toxic form of dementia.
    My wife and Mother, cannot abide each other, and both cannot stand my relationship with my father,(International aspects here). Their hatred for each other has caused calamitous stress on me and ruined every vacation I was looking forward to, for the last five years, and my mother ruining events for a further three years previous.
    Why do I mention this… it is because I now see that my mother is a most powerful Covert Malignant Narc! For unrelated reasons, I have douzens of audios, and I hear the mutual adoration between my mother and wife. I see the phone records, and toxic false stories of my recreational drug use, and now realise the shear horror of the stress they have DELIBERATELY created for me over the last five years!
    Do I believe, the story that my mother has manipulated my adoring wife, recognising the damage already present from her father’s abuse? Despite having to handle every aspect of their personal and financial lives (mother and father in law)for the last 15 years, and making them both $millions each, I discover in my wife’s files, paperwork showing them all working to undermine and destroy me since mid 2012!
    to cap this all … I then piece together that my oldest friend (50 years) was providing a pincer movement, and providing them with info, I told them was none of their business! He’s a “loyal” friend but a bad lawyer, and I’d given him some scraps over the years, in my mind believing that it was I that “owed” him. Yet I now evidence, the extreme chaos he has caused since 2012…. Pleading for small funds, when I was particularly cash strapped (real estate) yet always came through for my friend (over $60,000 in total I had not realised) and worse, he was never around when I needed simple notarising and I had sidestepped three major disasters, by following my instincts and ignoring his advice, whilst realising that he has “messed up” two simple procedures for friends, that I had referred him to!!!
    I have forgiven him, as I see a pattern such as my recent experience, toxic estranged wife controlling access to children, with a mother dynamic (my mother’s oldest friend) who “cannot abide” his wife. His father has treated him and his brother appallingly, yet is the most fantastically loving and sacrificing father to his subsequent six kids, after going “no contact” with my friend’s mother for thirty years, until the eldest sons wedding! His mother is “lovely” yet has a black widow history of the next three husbands……
    Do I believe they are all Covert Narcs, or is it the master Farther in law, who has manipulated them all?
    My 50th birthday (late Jan 2020) saw particularly cruel tricks on me and isolation from my daughters, who I then feared to be further exposed to the horrible abuser that is my father in law. So I revealed the audio of me outing his abuse!
    I see that my wife forwarded this to her sister early morning, where upon my wife then went and spent 10 hours getting a fraudulent restraining order against me under domestic abuse legislation. On the same day, despite being 4 or 5 am in her location, my mother was instructing a leading “expert” to have me sectioned under the Mental Health legislation, against my will, and providing lies about drugs and behaviour, to justify… and crucially… reveal that my wife was obtaining a restraining order… thus confirming their duplicitous contact between each other….
    I had thought my sister (51) was the one to save me from this, yet I know see that she just sent an email to a colleague not realising that I get bcc’d copies! And thus, the connection that my sister on the one hand appears totally sensible and concerned for me, yet then contacts me and extracts the most toxic levels of “Supply” from me!! I was all set to believe her a controlled victim of my mother, yet she now reveals, and I recall her going to a spiritual retreat and having hypnosis many years ago, and see that she goes “numb” and stupid in situations, that I now self-explain as self defence against my mother!

    I have currently, escaped from one country, as I would be automatically incarcerated for 3 or 5 years for fake contempt of court, I am hiding from my mother, whilst being abused emotionally by my loving father, who cannot see how my mother (from almost no yearly contact – he has known her since 16 – now 79), has inundated him with toxic correspondence on me for six months, and extracted “supply” from him, and blocked his empathy for me!
    I am rewriting my recollection of my childhood, as the underlying theme of him being selfish, does not accord with the evidence of him being loving and self-sacrificing on steroids!!
    Yet, he also had trumped up legal problems after my mother took us away, yet now refuses to remember the details…..
    My wife has begun financial divorce proceedings, tied in with her father and sister. I am about to reverse this and destroy everything ( and keep their grubby hands off the children’s assets which I have ring fenced, yet there is evidence that my mother and “friend” are in a position to hand over behind my back).

    It must be beyond pain for her, that I keep avoiding the pit fall of jail! They do not yet realise that I am out of the jurisdiction, as it is unimaginable that I would abandon my daughters… totally true, except for the fact that I so exhausted and broke myself over the last twelve weeks, that a rare moment of clarity of “playing the long game” is the only way to protect them. One is dyslexic (I think almost immune to the Narc’s manipulation) the other has signs of an Empath, being easily now channelled under “Parental alienation” because I let her down!!… I see now how she reached out to me over a year ago, and I allowed my mother’s and wife’s chaos to deflect me…. The very faults that I should bestow on myself, I have deflected and accused her, and in disappointment at me, she has sort refuge in self preservation… she is 14 and she and her sister are the most adoring special human beings you could imagine.

    I’m not sure posting these are allowed, correct protocol, or a good idea? But I want all to appreciate their good nature and the fact that my wife, my own mother, my wife’s father and sister have destroyed their lives and are currently traumatising them as weapons, to be disguarded later on, and no one is helping or giving me the time of day to consider that anything strange is going on!

    i am about to pour a whole bunch of criminal and tax charges against my father in law, their accomplices (flying monkeys) and my wife, from which there will be no turning back.
    i cannot win in the family Court, yet I fully expect my wife and father in law to offer up the girls, in exchange of self preservation and money… I hope I am right

    I have just alienation my father, as I had to access his emails, where (sure enough) my mother has sent three pages of notes on having me sectioned, with “experts” I’ve never met, claiming I’m definitely “on drugs ….crack and meths”, have ADHT and my “brain is not in sync”.

    Not only that, but she has introduced a “friend” who is in fact an estate rival, who I haven’t seen for thirty years, who’s mother wants to buy my farm for him, in a deal which my mother attempted to broker many months ago, but I rejected.
    By liquidating the “hard assets” into cash, the strategy plays into the hands of my wife, her father and my duplicitous mother, as they can then attempt to circumvent the inheritance safeguards put in place for the children. Yet, no one sees it! No one can see past the lies of my behaviour or non-existent drug use!

    So the result, is the arch Narc succeeds in destroying my relationship with my father, even though it is obvious to all that (but not the flying monkeys) that she is a horrible selfish creature that has isolated all her friends and has none left.

    My daughters are being used in the most cruel and traumatic fashion to bait me, yet no one will come to their aid.

    This 21 stages is pretty accurate, but it does not emphasise enough the brutality and destruction and pain possible with the discharge!

    At least I can imagine that it will make “no contact” easier to maintain.

  33. I am starting to learn the art of spoting manipulaters… and manipulating them into going elsewhere before the dance begins… I’m strong after all these years of abuse… and I finally moved in with a roommate instead of a romantic person of intrest… and guess what??? My roommate ended up being a non romantic narcsisst… I thought we were friends… Well… lesson learned… When I realized what was going on… I adjusted myself, but not to please them… to defend myself… I made myself as boring as possible… and pretended ignorace of attention needs… I became the driest source of narcsisstic supply… and started makeing plans based on the enevitable discard… I’m fine now. How??? I don’t take what they do personally, because they don’t target us personally… Not taking it personaly helps to not let it settle into out core… The trauma bounces faster back to them… Karmetically… When we hold onto the trauma… it takes forever to get back to the narcsisst… Use the laws of Karma… The roommate is already regreting kicking me out… I won’t carry THEIR baggage anymore… I set it down, and keep on moving… good people will show up in my life if I do the work on MYSELF.

  34. Great explanation.. I have had several narcs in my life, two ex partners and a mother.. my first ex definitey had psychotic tendencies.. his physical abuse could have killed me several times. I hung around because we had children, but finally had an affair at 24 and we split.. it was the only way to get away from him because he would have hounded me otherwise.. six months later and with five small children, I met the second Narc, a sociopath.. he ruined every other relationship I had… friends and relatives were distanced and all his friends were told untruths about me so they all secretly didn’t like me.. it was torturous because i tried so hard to be liked and to be understood.. 17 years on, and after much drama, I lost my Dad suddenly, and the spiteful words about my mourning finally made me wake up.. what a Journey and what wisdom of the Narc I now have.. I believe these people are born this way.. 3 of my now adult sons have gone the same way as their Dad despite my loving and caring.. they have teamed up with my Narc mother mainly because they have to be in a pack(cowards do!)..and just Over a year ago I walked away from them all.. I have Fibromyalgia and this has so helped my illness.. I no longer have any where near so many flare ups which i’d suspected was linked to emotional stress. It helps me to believe these people are another species and every time I work another out I can then put them in the Narc Box.. and treat them differently; holding back my true caring nature and my information so I don’t feed them…6 years ago after five years on my own, I met an empath. He is the kindest guy and best friend I could ever have come across.. and I am healing as is he.. he’d been with a Narc for 22 years before.. we swap notes in the empath way, and both hope these people will look in the mirror but realistically don’t see it happening this lifetime..

  35. I really wish there was more. What about after leaving the narc? What about the steps to find yourself again?

  36. This is exactly what I lived for 52 years. But he did another thing. When he noticed that I was trying to detach he began the bombing love phase again that could last a year and then he started again with the manipulation. Although he never stops lying. I was always confused. Five years before his death I found information on YouTube and my life change completely. My love disappear but he was ill. I developed compassion for him and stayed with him until he died. Now I am struggling with trusting other men.

  37. I have been reading multiple articles and non!! And I say that again NONE! Has resonates so much as this does…. everything that you have written is everything I have experience in my past relationship…. I am still in the process of accepting the hard truth…. it’s just 1 month ago since I walked away and I have never feel pain so deeply but I believe and know that I am going to overcome this wound….. I have tried and tried even make excuses thinking that he was hurt by the past smh…. this was one huge lesson I learnt and I don’t think I’ll every be the open to love again….. a broken world with a lot of broken people…. and after all the pain I still love him I still forgives him omg sometimes I think I’m crazy or something I just can’t be angry even when I’m hurt I still feel sorry for people ugh….thanks for the article keep on educating and inspiring us women/ men. We appreciate it🙏🏻❤

  38. Hello I wanted to chime in cuz I just finally got dumped by a narcissist and everything was my fault as usual but guess what I did nothing but try to love this person he has mommy issues and has not been loved properly growing up abandonment issues no one really cared for him I don’t even think he likes women I know he doesn’t like himself and he treats his kids nice one day don’t give a s*** the next day he really drugged me through the mud he devalued the hell out of me calling me a spoiled brat and he made sure that if it was a compliment he made sure he wouldn’t give me one just to hurt me I never knew that evil exist with a smile on his face please listen to the red flags I know I will

  39. Wow couldn’t be put any better story of my life I was ghosted and then abused of bashin my Sheila 17 days of mental torcher emotional abuse and silent treatment just to amplify every thing were zero energy was used and messages sent all every day trying to make sence and understand what went wrong and what I had done now give me a reason or tell me to fuck off atleast but I never done nothing to deserve the way I was treated I couldn’t get treated any worse if I was a pedofile with zero empathy and then finally proved 19days later them I learn about npd and even this spot on as this has impacted every aspect of my life despite really missing her like the last kick in the teeth on top of the 10 other along the way she was the 3rd one i cryed over and only to learn about npd to learn i done every thing wrong it’s as if the u love and care the more u get hurt ansmd suffer and ive had a few if I never went through it I would never believe it and I wouldent wish it on a enemy

  40. Empaths will win. Narcs will shrivel and die. Absolutely truthfully and brilliantly captured!


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