A narcissist and an empath walk into a bar.
Then the narcissist blatantly hits on the waitress in front of the empath, denies it, tells her she’s overreacting, demeans her with a smile on his face, and tells her to stop being so dramatic when she responds to it.
Then he talks about himself for the entire night.
Shitty joke, right? It only gets worse.
He decides where they will go and with who, and if she suggests anything else, he tells her she’s being rigid and uptight.
While they are out, he makes occasional underhanded comments that slice at her self-esteem like little razor blades. But he does it so proficiently; it’s often undetectable, except from the visible cringe and growing frustrated anxiety of the empath.
When she finally snaps back after one too many of the backhanded digs, he recoils in feigned surprise and hurt. He tells her that she is angry and emotional. He tells her to relax…he’s just having a little fun.
That is a narcissist.
The only “fun” they have is at the expense of someone else.
The emptiness of the narcissist is vast….and demanding. It is rooted in pain. But the nature of a personality disorder is to not recognize that there is an issue with the set of behaviors, and they often run unchecked. So the greedy, needy, impulses wreak havoc on those who become entangled in the snare.
The empath is the ideal target. The narcissist recognizes very quickly that if all else fails, an empath is hard pressed to turn their back on pain. They are emotional sponges, sensitive to the pain of others, and often fall into caretaking and codependent behaviors if they are not careful.
Eventually, the empath is put through the parasitic cycle of the narcissist’s needs one too many times, and attempts to break free.
And here, suddenly before them, is the person of their dreams.
The one from the beginning, the one with all the love bombing.The one who is attentive, interested, and mirrors all of the thoughts, feelings, and interests of the empath so there is a forged intense connection.
The persistence of the narcissist MUST mean they truly love and care, right??
This is a game. This is about power, control, and winning.
The empath does not recognize this, as it is a far cry from their hypersensitive, emotion based thought process. They are naïve to the concept of people as objects. And so they are pulled back in for a few more rounds with this practiced manipulator.
All the while, the small digs, the gaslighting, the withheld affection alternated with love bombing, the manipulation of reality itself, grates away at the self-esteem and psyche of the empath. A once confident person finds themselves wrestling with insecurity. A once clear and focused individual finds themselves constantly questioning things they have witnessed with their own eyes or ears.
The relationship becomes intolerable to the empath, who finds themselves forever trying to shift and adjust to the whims of the narcissist. The narcissist’s perpetual boredom and constant need for stimulation trigger fights, infidelity, and chaos. The empath becomes resentful, but attempts to walk away are met with pleading displays of affection and empty promises of change.
However, eventually, the true underlying colors will come out if the empath holds fast to something against the wishes of the narcissist.
Taunting, jeering, condescending rants. Attacks that do not focus on a behavior or argument topic, but go right after the empath as a person. The narcissist is an expert at reading people as it is vital to them using others to get their needs met. This comes in extremely handy when the time comes for them to lash out in resentful rage. They quickly pick up on your values, which is what they will slash at. Pride yourself on being kind and compassionate? The narcissist will label you mean, coldhearted, and cruel. Do you hold your work ethic up as an asset? The narcissist will tell you that you are lazy and shiftless. Maybe it’s your confidence and surefootedness that make you stand out. Then you will probably be slandered as insecure and desperate.
If it carries on long enough, the empath will find that they are exhibiting similar behaviors to the narcissist. They collapse inward and begin resorting to manipulation, similar to the narcissist. The toxic behaviors all begin to mirror one another.
If the empath is wise, they will finally use this total unraveling as the final sign to heed and run far and fast, going totally no contact, if possible.
Then the smear campaign begins. Narcissists HATE to lose. The emptiness that drives their behaviors is deep and painful, and any abandonment only adds to this. When they lose the ability to control the empath, they will shift their focus to how others see them. The narcissist thrives on the validation and admiration of others, and they will not allow this to be compromised by a perceived defeat. So they go on the offensive. They will slander the empath, make them out to be a monster, they will play the victim and tell everyone how “crazy” the empath was.
Most narcissists seem to have a list of exes that are “bipolar” “crazy” “unstable” “dramatic”, etc. This is one of the earliest warning signs of dealing with one. They will pit you against people you have never met, breaking them down to build you up, and painting themselves as a victim. What they leave out is how their constant psychological manipulation often frazzles even the most secure of people they come in contact with. Those who end up in a relationship with one DO often behave in ways they are later ashamed of after the continuous erosion of their sanity by the narcissist.
They also have exes that they keep in their pocket to suck attention and energy out of, in the event of their current target leaving, or boring them. They cannot be without a fan club of sorts, or they are forced to experience their deep-rooted, extremely uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy.
All told, the narcissist will likely never let go of such a valuable source of attention and amusement as the empath provides them. It is up to the empath to make the break, stick with it, and then begin the work in earnest of rebuilding. This includes taking responsibility for their part in it, and understanding what parts of them need healing to prevent it from happening again.
This toxic nightmare can leave the empath cursing the nature of what they are, as it made them more vulnerable to the wiles of the narcissist, which in turn, broke them down so badly.
Don’t let that happen. Don’t ever regret being who you are. Being a kind, in tune, forgiving person is not a curse, it is a gift. If you crossed the path of one of these people, forgive them for their actions that they are often unable to control, and let them go. Thank them for showing you the parts of you that needed your attention, and for the lessons you learned.