Dynamics and Patterns Between Empaths and Narcissists

Tamara Low

- Certified EFT
- Pranic Healer

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on linkedin

It is not possible to explore all of the many facets, intricacies, and impacts of Pathological Narcissism all in one article, this I know. I have dedicated the last two years to understanding how those with High Narcissistic traits, Narcissistic Personality Disorder/Pathological Narcissism (and other Cluster B personalities), impact all of us on such a deep level, personally, as a society, globally; including the health of the planet that we inhabit. They are especially drawn to Empaths and Highly Sensitive People due to their kind, caring, empathic and compassionate nature. The above mentioned, all share core Narcissistic personality, thinking, and emotional and interpersonal characteristics. 

Dr. Christiane Northrup has written a book called “Dodging Energy Vampires, “in which sheds lots of light on this phenomena. She says, “It is interesting to note that the ratio of male to female vampires is about 4:1, but fully 20 percent of all people (male and female) have vampire characteristics or are full-blown Cluster Bs. That’s one in five people, and each one of those directly and adversely affects five people.” That is a lot of people impacted and harmed! 

It is only in the past 25 years or so that energy vampires have been clearly identified by the mental health profession, says Dr. Christiane Northrup, and that is why so many of them have so successfully continued to manipulate their families and society in general. Awareness is the key!

How does Narcissism develop?

During the first 3 years of life we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, which can result in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until its dealt with).

Stacy Hoch says attachment issues halted the development in the Codependent and the Narcissist. She refers to them as, “the flip side of the coin” and says, due to their inner wounding a Codependent gives to feel worthy and the narcissist takes to feel worthy and, Narcissists escape the void that they feel on the inside by consumption to fill it, and Codependents escape the void that they feel via self-abandonment and self-rejection, but the escape is an escape just the same. Both are deficient in self-love. Ross Rosenburg wrote a book called, “The Human Magnet Syndrome” which describes in detail the unconscious, energetic pull towards each other that stems from the inner wounding of a Codependent and a Narcissist.

Dr. Christiane Northrup offers a different perspective, and that is; modern brain scans suggest that many of those with Cluster B Personalities (including Pathological Narcissists) are born this way. She says, though they might have experienced childhood trauma, this does not explain their lack of compassion and lack of conscience- most people that have come from traumatic backgrounds know right from wrong. The conscience is supposed to develop around the age of 3 or so, and in this case, it does not. She says it is not caused by a biochemical imbalance, it is a character problem.

The Characteristics of a Pathological Narcissist:

Narcissism is not a diagnosis; It’s a pattern, explains Dr. Ramani Durvasula. Further, the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires that the person have pathological personality traits including antagonism which is characterized by grandiosity, entitlement, self-centeredness, firmly holding to the belief that one is better than others, being condescending towards others as well as attention seeking, excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of attention of others, including admiration, and validation seeking. Further, these personality patterns need to be stable across time and consistent across situations, for example, at work, at home, in public, and with family. 

Narcissism is broadly characterized by a lack of interpersonal awareness, as well as interpersonal antagonism, and dysregulated moods, and the core pillars of narcissism are, lack of empathy, entitlement, grandiosity, validation seeking, and dysregulation. There are eight typical patterns within a narcissist interpersonal features; lack of empathy, manipulation, projection, lying, poor boundaries, jealousy, gaslighting, and controlling. 

Lack of empathy is the lack of interest in or capacity for understanding the feelings and experiences of others. Narcissists may be cognitively capable of empathy but they do not shape their behavior in accordance with empathy, says Dr. Ramani Durvasula. Ross Rosenburg says, “Pathological Narcissists are only empathetic or sensitive to others when doing so results in a tangible reward for themselves and/or when it makes them feel valued, important, and appreciated.” They will watch us, study us, observe us, and gather data to assess our vulnerabilities. Once they understand these vulnerabilities, they will exploit them/us and use them to their advantage. All the while, we think that in sharing our vulnerabilities with them that they are being honoured and protected. Nope. They know what to say to figure out how to draw someone one in and get them to trust them so that they gain control in the relationship. Finding this out is very damaging and confusing on so many levels.

There are 30 traits and patterns of Narcissists and other toxic people that fall under five categories (interpersonal, behavioural, dysregulation, antagonistic, cognitive), and there are subtypes of Narcissists; Grandiose, Malignant, Covert/Vulnerable, Communal, and Benign).  

Overt narcissist’s grandiosity is apparent and easy to recognize. With Covert narcissist’s, grandiosity is hidden. Debbie Mirza says that “the covert type is one of the most destructive to your heart, psyche, and physical body because it is so hidden, unrecognizable, and you are usually the only one that sees it.” 

Core Traits:

– Lack of empathy. They mirror other’s emotions and learn to act empathetically. 

– They take advantage of others to achieve their own personal gain. 

– They have a grandiose sense of self-importance, are self- centered. 

– They feel superior to others, feel that they are “special,” act entitled (as if the world owes them), and can be arrogant.

– They lack true compassion and true remorse. 

– they think they are perfect. 

– They often exhibit vengeful behaviuor, are frequently angry, lack remorse, and are incapable of intimate relationships. they often exploit others through deceit, Debbie Mirza says, “they will look you in the eyes, making you feel special and heard, make sounds and give looks that tell you they care, but they really don’t.”

– They are master manipulators- masters at using specific interpersonal maneuvers or tactics to gain advantage over you (more on that soon).

– They know exactly what they are doing. 

– They do not have a strong sense of self. 

– They have fantasies of power, success and attractiveness. 

– They require and crave excessive admiration, fame, and recognition. 

– “Looking good’ to others is one of their most cherished values. 

– They thrive off the attention of others. 

– They can be pathological liars. 

Covert narcissists:

Debbie Mirza wrote a book on Covert Narcissists, describing them as often being well-liked, charming, charismatic, kind, appearing humble and empathetic, being good listeners and appearing to really care. “You can feel incredibly loved by them and they simultaneously make you feel terrible about yourself. They use cloaked tactics that you don’t see for years.

Coverts hide all these attributes so people will like and trust them, they know if they are obvious about their self-absorbed traits, people won’t like them. They know they must appear humble to be liked and revered. They know how to play people, and how to charm them.”

This is why they are so tricky, because their true selves and true intentions are deeply hidden behind a shiny exterior. Dr. Ramani says, charm, charisma, confidence, attractiveness, success intelligence, articulateness in human beings is the equivalent of colourful feathers and camouflage in animals. They draw people in to “their web” and unless we are aware, we can get drawn in. This is not a place that we want or need to be.

Other Traits and Characteristics to be Aware of

– Blaming others for their own hurtful actions and refusing to take responsibility for their behaviour. 

– Trying to protect our inner wounding by projecting and being defensive

– Minimizing, telling half-truths, and outright lying. 

– Creating drama, chaos and confusion (to knock us off centre), while saying how much they hate drama. “In fact they flourish under conditions of insecurity and chaos.” (Dr. Ramani) 

– You are never allowed to disagree with them. So confronting any weakness in them or suggesting an area of improvement is often met with stonewalling or rage (Christiane Northrup).

– They rage, lie, intimidate, control, manipulate, criticize, belittle, hoover, project onto you (their issues), use people, confuse them, are demanding and entitled, and likely jealous and envious. 

– What they say does not match their actions. 

– They might use “future faking” to help create the illusion of a future together, to keep you hooked.  

– They use others for their “narcissistic supply” as they cannot get it on their own. Dr. Ramani Durvasula, writes, “people that think or act as if they are amazing are their energy supply. They have people around them that adore them, respect them, revere them, see them as special and almost perfect, and in some cases seem to worship them”, but what is actually behind it is deep insecurity, they prey on insecurity on others, and as a result, they also create more insecurity in the world.

-They hurt and do a lot of harm to those around them, and society at large, they make others feel uncomfortable, confuse them, cause deep self-doubt in others, emotionally and often financially abuse them, fool them, knock them off centre, tank their self-esteem, incite fear, sadness, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, helplessness and other emotions. Whatever it takes to get what they need and it’s at the expense of others. Those that have developed the coping strategy of Codependency are often insecure (due to their inner wounds), kind, trusting, giving, and forgiving, which makes them perfect targets for these people, until they wake up, that is!  

End Summary 

Empaths have a natural propensity to trust people and see the good in them (especially “Old Soul” empaths, according to Dr. Christiane Northrup). “Trust others until they give you a reason not to trust” is how I used to live my life. Now, I go by “show me you are trustworthy, and if so, I will trust you.” Narcissists want to create havoc and confusion (cognitive dissonance) in people, and self-doubt, that is their strategy. I now really pay close attention to people’s actions and energy and not rely solely on their words (as I did before) as words can easily be manipulated and twisted. The more deeply that we know and understand the traits, characteristics and tactics of Pathological Narcissists, and the way they operate, the more aware and empowered we will all be. 

My goal and mission:

I have found Emotional Freedom Techniques and Pranic Healing to be absolutely invaluable tools in assisting in resolving the energetic damage and resonance of such people and interactions; as well as the conflicting beliefs (cognitive dissonance) that accompany it. These modalities also assist in processing and dissolving the disbelief, shock, confusion, hurt, pain, etc.

We ALL deserve to be treated kindly, respectfully, lovingly and to be involved with, and spend time with, people who are honest, authentic, genuine and speak and embody the truth. I wholeheartedly wish this for you on your healing and wholeness journey!! 

Tamara

Also see: Healing From Narcissistic Abuse and How to Understand and Identify Narcisstic Abuse

Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

Disclaimer:

*Energy Therapies, such as EFT and Pranic Healing are not a substitute for professional medical, psychological or psychiatric care.

Related Articles:

References: 

  • Durvasula, Ramani S. “Don’t you know who I am?” How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Post Hill Press. 2019. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 33-34). Harper. Kindle Edition. 
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empath, the Codependent and the Narcissist: Who’s What? YouTube.
  • Makenzie, Jackson. Psychopath Free. Berkley Books, New York. 2015. 
  • Mirza, Debbie. The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse (p. 10, 14-18). Safe Place Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Northrup, Christiane. Dodging Energy Vampires (p. , 69, 81). Hay House. Kindle Edition
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube. 
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019.

Sign Up For New Articles

Receive by email the latest empathic articles and education.

Internal Exploration Questions
General

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions
Codependency

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Price List

 

*All prices are in Canadian dollars

Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, which can result in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until its dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without other’s validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for the sake of others, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harms other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self- abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.

Healing

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, on-line videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. In order to heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed, as well as inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and looking at and identifying deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested in a list of, “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can be also referred to as “Tapping”) please email me and I will send that to you.

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse”, and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore

References:

  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest:

I am passionate about assisting Empaths and Highly Sensitive  People in the areas of our lives that hold us back from our TRUE selves, passions and calling(s). My goal is to:

  • Assist in removing, eliminating and clearing the energetic blocks, hurt, pain and fear that keep us from our true selves, and our hopes, goals, dreams and desires.
  • Assist others with emotional pain; including  Narcisstic Abuse, and with their unique challenges and struggles.
  • Assist others in exploring, eliminating, and dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden and in pain (eg. beliefs that we took on or were taught about ourselves as children).
  • Assist others in recognizing, identifying and healing Codependent belief systems and the multitude of ways that Codependency affects us, impacts us, impedes us, and holds us back, eg. keeping us small, hidden and invisible.
  • Offer energetic and educational support for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People.

Under “About”, see Internal Inquiry Questions, such as, “What is getting in the way of your truest and deepest expression?”, and an Internal Inquiry Questions about Codependency. 

The Ultimate Goal

Living a life that is in line with TRUE us.

Being whole, happy, energetic, vibrant, and free.

Achieving and perusing our true and deepest desires (in spite of what anyone thinks).

Reconnecting with our TRUE self and locating our TRUE- est and DEEPEST calling.

Celebrating Empathy and the gifts of High Sensitivity.  

Developing kindness, gentleness and compassion towards ourselves.

**This is a process. We can take daily steps toward achieving these goals.

My Services

I offer support  for those that desire to explore their inner world to excavate their TRUE self and their deepest and truest goals, passions and desires; for those that desire to go on an emotional wellness scavenger hunt, with the goal of cleaning the old clutter and finding the true gem that is YOU.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically preventing and treating Psychological ailments, where stress is at the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and the auric layers.

Emotional Freedom Techniques works with the meridian system to clear energetic blocks or disruptions that get in the way of our health (physical and emotional). It is one of the MOST powerful somatic (body) release techniques.

Emotional Freedom Techniques and Pranic Healing both assist in regulating our Nervous System. 

 

Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world around them. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy and also pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing, and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency, is just one manifestation of emotional pain, and an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, or hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/hearttbreak, infertility, low self- esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can  insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, just to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations as to what is happening within us as well as how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think that we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am being productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non- judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfill it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”

Warmly,

Tamara

If you are familiar with EFT, or you would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”

References:

  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.