The Rise of the Empath and the Narcissist

empath and narcissist
Image Artwork by Nela Dunato 

It seems like every other day I am seeing an article on my Facebook feed about narcissists, empaths and romances between narcissists and empaths.

Both empaths and narcissist are buzz words that people seem to be using more and more to describe themselves or people they know.

What it is interesting is that I have observed that narcissist are like the shadow of the empath. Whatever the light touches also casts a shadow, and I feel that both narcissists and empaths are one side of the same coin.

What is a Narcissist? 

Firstly, narcissism is a mental disorder, however today the term is being used more freely to describe people who most likely are living from a place of extreme ego.

No one is born a narcissistic, it is a behaviour pattern that is developed over time. Narcissists are described as being manipulative, lacking empathy, having split personalities, being controlling and having a heightened sense of self importance.

On a deeper level however, perhaps the narcissist is an empath themselves, but just can’t seem to figure out how to handle all of their emotions. This then results in them shutting out their emotions, feeding the ego and turning into a seemingly emotionless person.

Perhaps a narcissist has so much empathy that they don’t know what to do with, so it manifests as them displaying narcissistic tendencies.

What is an Empath?

The term empath is also being used more freely to describe people who are highly intuitive and extremely sensitive to energy.

We are all intuitive and sensitive to energy to some degree, but empaths are here to light the way and to hold the torch for other people to follow. Empaths are here to increase our awareness to energy and that we are all energetic beings.


The same goes for the narcissist, they are simply holding the torch to expose the ego and how it can take over and make the person seem almost inhumane.

Empaths and narcissist have always been around, but as our consciousness continues to evolve, we are becoming more aware of these behaviour patterns.

Why Empaths and Narcissists Attract 

If we look at narcissists who are empaths that simply cannot use their gifts, then it would make sense as to why an empath and a narcissist would be attracted to one another.

Both the empath and the narcissist would recognize themselves in one another. The empath would want to cure and help the narcissist and the narcissist would want to learn and perhaps even suck energy from the empath as a way to cope.

Often we view the narcissist as a spineless villain who is out to take advantage of the empath, but perhaps really deep down on a subconscious level, the narcissist is trying to understand how the empath has been able to use their gifts.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the empath should tolerate or become a victim of the narcissists behaviour, but perhaps this may explain why an empath would get sucked into this type of relationship.

On a deeper level, the empath can see the narcissists cry for help and guidance. In this type of relationship, the empath is responding to something much deeper and below the surface.

There is no doubt that the empath is the narcissists greatest teacher, it is just up to the narcissist to embrace the lesson. But it is important to understand that it is not the empaths responsibility to change the ways of the narcissist.

For those empaths who have been or currently are in a relationship with someone displaying narcissistic behaviour, it is important to understand that you are not responsible for healing them. Only the narcissist can do that when they realize that they too are an energetic being that has been gripped by the fear of the ego.

Just the same, the narcissist is most likely going to be the empaths greatest teacher as it will help to expand their gifts and expose any self-limiting beliefs that are blocking the empath from living their life to the fullest.

About the author

Tanaaz

Creator of Forever Conscious and other things.

  • nature_queen

    TQ!feels like this article speaks to me. I grew up with a narcissist parent.Took me 3 decades of life to finally let go and stop trying to heal the toxic relationship. Never felt more alive and lighter.

    • awesome! thanks for sharing! i am so glad you have been able to transcend and rise above it! that is incredible and an inspiration 🙂

  • Lily Snape

    Awesome! This article also speaks to me. I am in a marriage now with a more narcissistic man that’s going through a divorce. It took me years to realize that I was an empath, earth angel in the first place and why I was always running low on energy. I’m sure he is an empath on some level. I’ve given him some tips these last few months, but he seems to believe he is happy with himself. But I can see it’s just his ego.

    • thank you for sharing your insights Lily! I am glad the article resonated with you 🙂 Hopefully he can realize his empathic gifts one day 🙂

  • Andrea Cullen

    lovely article with no finger pointing either; its nice to read an article not finger pointing at narcissists; even though i was there i understand that was my path to accept and grow from! I felt the sun however when i moved away from the shadow 🙂 and hopefully he did too. Because what ever side we fall on in this pendulum both can live through pain and both hopefully will expand into growing into themselves, and their gifts with accountability and responsibility. thank you xx

  • Tom Smith

    this article is makes alot of sense to me- im so glad i found your site- thanks!
    having read the article, i think im definitely guilty of spending much of my youth with an over developed ego and sense of self importance, but i truly believe ive swung the other way entirely and find myself extremely empathetic to the point i tend to get the life sucked out of me by people- although i concede this to be a dual process where i hopelessly/recklessly give my energy away. i have a history of being sucked into others emotional pain and fighting battles that arent mine. sometimes im convinced i can feel the physical and mental pain of others close to me. do you think this is a sign of both empathy and narcissism? or perhaps medical? answers wont offend me so feel free to comment. and thanks for such a great site

    • thanks for your kind words Tom! It sounds like through your awakening process you have just become more sensitive to emotions and the world around you. This commonly happens when you start opening yourself and operating from your soul instead of your ego. Perhaps developing some tools of protection may be helpful. Also, you may find this article interesting-
      http://foreverconscious.com/signs-attacked-energy-vampire

    • Helen Verrill

      you definately sound more empath than narcissist to me . A lot of people have an over developed ego in their teens, it’s in the job description. Sounds like as Tanaaz says you need to find ways of self protection from the overwhelm of others emotions. Good news is as an empath the positive vibes are really contagious too x

  • Kenny

    Only issue I have with this article is it says this supermoon falls on nov 14th with the sign taurus, now heres my issue, i was born on the 15th of nov, taurus is not the correct sign, scorpio is the correct sign, i know this because im a scorpio

    • Andrea

      Scorpio is the SUN sign, the moon was a Taurus moon, which is opposite the Scorpio sun…. sun is opposite the moon

  • Jessica Davis

    Great article. I’ve noticed most of what you talk about in my own life in the last few years in dealings with a narcissist that seems to fascinate me and vice versa.
    Question is though what exactly you meant by the very end of your article where you say that the narcissist will be one of my greatest teachers? How so?

    • glad the site resonates with you! The narcissist being the teacher is referring to the lessons you learn from this person, like how to be stronger in yourself and so on. Often the people that we encounter in our lives that give us the most resistance can often help us to learn amazing things! This is not excusing narcissistic behaviour of course, and it definitely doesn’t justify staying in a relationship that has a dynamic like this, but it is another way to look at things. hope that helps!

      • Jessica Davis

        I’m still confused. What am I supposed to be able to learn from a narcissist?

        • SadisticShadowolf

          Well your journey has lessons throughout as you know. I have dated a narcissist and she tore me in pieces. Once you have dealt with the pain. Returned all of her crap back to her (or he) and detach your true self from that person. You can look back and see why was that person sent to me. What did I learn from them or what will I never do again. There are many things that can be learnt. This journey that you are on has many lessons. Many of them are not happy ones but the message behind it has a lot of meaning. For example the one that felt like she destroyed me I learnt many lessons. I was open to her going to see her friend that was a guy. I was clear and said to her go and have fun but remember I know everything. She kissed the guy and I knew that she would. Her friend also messaged me to confirm it. We dated for a while and everything revolved around her and I did not matter. My point is I learnt a lot. Never will I date a narcissist again. I know in general very much how they work and what they do to lure you in. Sometimes yes it is just attracted and they really do like you. Remember narcissist is a word, a box and a program. We use these programs because everything is a program. However not all are the same just like we are all unique. I have met very nice people that had narcissistic characteristics. I had limited my time spent with them but they cannot be placed in one box.

          And I am sorry but I am going to say this. I have seen some comments here where people talk about how things aren’t all butterflies and rainbows. I do agree with them. However we can choose to see the good or the bad. Our perception, thoughts, believes, subconscious and consciousness manipulates everything in our world. We are consciously creating or unconsciously creating.

          I am not saying be happy and cheerful all the time. But you and only you can choose to see whether its a light or a darkness. Only you can truly believe and change for the better. Yes we have amazing mentors, guides and light workers. But you decide whether it starts today or it doesn’t. We all have our bad days but the lessons are still there.

          Some take lifetimes to find their true purpose and then for some it happens when they are young. Everything happens in its own time. Some of you are not ready to understand this message, some are.

          There is such a strange stereotype with spiritual beings having a human experience. They forget the keyword HUMAN experience. I shout, I swear, I lose it. There are days where I have had enough of it all. I am aware of this and I accept that this is what I felt at that time. It is now gone. It was a way of letting it out. But that was my past self. I have got off the hamster wheel and I am present in my now. FOREVER in my now.

          We do not say forget every bad experience as if it didn’t exist. Take the lessons, your memories will save them and should you need a reminder it will certainly awaken. But do not hold on to old stuff. It no longer has hold on you. There is too much that you are holding onto. You literally must lighten up. Lighten your load and lighten your mind.

          My intention for this post is for you all to wake up and see that your life is in your hands. Let go of all your old stuff, return into your Now and just be present. Be Light Be Present Be Now. Smile and thank you. Remember we are all one. She is you and you are her. That person is your reflection. If we are already one that makes her you and that makes her apart of you.

          Vibrations aside we are all one with source. Their minds may be lost or corrupted by programs but that is not you. You are conscious awake and know that you need to get on with your purpose.

          Have a wonderful day everyone
          Love, light, prosperity, consciousness and Be
          ShaDoWoLF

        • Helen Verrill

          Are you saying they help us with boundaries ? That would make sense I feel I agree with your article and also at the same time I agree with the people who say it is not true as narcissist are only out for themselves. I had a relationship with someone I described afterwards as a sociopath but he much more fits the description you give of a wounded narcissist. He did suck the life out of me, but I know he is not all bad and has healing qualities. We are friends now but not close. He certainly helped me with boundaires and self belief but only very much in the long term . I can imagine being with someone really messed up for years and suffering the damage done as a result it would be very hard to view the abuser as a lost empath. However I appreciate your positive take on the situation.

  • Sparkplug

    I don’t agree with much in this article. If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, you know innately they are not empaths in disguise. If your life has been torn apart by one of these abusive people – your physical and mental health ruined, your home, your future, your financial security all up in smoke, developed CPTSD, etc., you would realize this person isn’t just out to learn how you use your gifts.

    They want blood. They don’t stop until you’re torn to shreds. There isn’t anything “feel good” to glean from these kinds of relationships. And, they target highly sensitive/empathetic people. They mimic and mirror and we think we’re in a relationship with one of our own kind. Once the mask comes, off, watch out.

    The narcissist/empath articles are there for a reason. The dynamic is played out over and over and over again. Please don’t make light of the damage these people do.

    • Lia Lemus

      w0w yer comment was deep and truthful ….
      but how do u know they arent empaths in disguise ?
      maybe theyre just focked up
      p.s. a narcissist destroyed my life

      • Sparkplug

        You might not know right away, Lia. They are masters at love-bombing and sucking you in. But I have never seen an empath do the kind of damage a narcissist does.

        Narcissists are not out to learn from empaths. They are out to suck them dry, to try to get what they do not and cannot have (empathy).

        This article makes the relationship sound like a delicate dance, instead of the, soul-destroying, abusive encounter it is. It is a dangerous situation for an empath, who is often targeted by the narc.

        No warm fuzzies here.

  • Phillis Stein

    I have a very long experience with these types of people – they appear to be attracted to me like flies to honey! The first was my father – a total narcissist. I agree that narcissists are formed rather than ‘born’ so to speak, usually by smothering/spoiling mothers who place their child on a pedestal. Sociopaths are a different story, and anyone attracting narcissists also need to be on the lookout for sociopaths – as they will likely be attracted to you also. I’ve had a lot of dealings with both. It did teach me to be stronger & at least I can now spot both types (which I never even knew existed until I worked it out. Now, I can spot either personality type very quickly & I find that totally avoiding both types to be the best course of action, particularly in work situations, and even more so if you have one of each type together. THEN, the sociopath will be pulling the strings of the narcissist – the narcissist will ENJOY carrying out the plans of the sociopath – but the “puppet master” will be the sociopath (the narcissist is the expendable patsie).

    Learn about these folk and avoid them studiously is my advice – it is unlikely you can help these folk, especially once they’re over 25 yo.

  • Dana Thomas

    It is Clearly obvious that you have NEVER been the victim Of an abusive Narcissist I can see that in what you wrote. Narcissists never try to improve themselves they Just don’t see the need, So what you have written isn’t even about Narcissists at all. Narcissists derive pleasure out of inflicting emotional pain they go out of there way to inflict pain it’s a game with them, all the while telling you that it’s all in your head, and that you are crazy, to believe they would do such things….. They will never change because they like the feeling of power over others lives. The only way to get free of a narcissist is to go “NO Contact” even then they will try to torture you from afar. You really shouldn’t write about something you clearly no nothing about!!!