Why Some Relationships Are Toxic and Doomed From the Beginning
Many relationships are doomed from the start due to a lack of empathy, understanding, and communication between both parties. Narcissists often have difficulty seeing the needs of their partners, while Empaths often struggle to maintain boundaries in order to protect themselves. This results in a toxic relationship where each individual feels drained and disrespected, leading to resentment and anger that can be difficult to move beyond. This can quickly lead to an unhealthy dynamic where both individuals feel taken advantage of and unable to come together as a team.
Why a Relationship Between an Empath and a Narcissist is Toxic
A relationship between an empath and a narcissist can be incredibly toxic. As the empath gets more in tune with the narcissist’s feelings, the narcissist takes advantage of it and exploits this connection for their own gain. This leaves the empath feeling depleted, unappreciated, and used. Furthermore, these relationships are often co-dependent, making it difficult for either party to walk away from them. The lack of balance between the two makes it increasingly easy for one or both parties to become resentful and angry toward each other, which can have long-term damaging effects on both mental and physical health.
Opposites Attract, But the Results of Joining an Empath and a Narcissist Can Be Toxic – Here are 15 Reasons Why
An Empath is Attracted to a Narcissistic Partner
An Empath is often attracted to a Narcissistic partner due to the allure of their confidence and charisma. They are drawn in by their charm and how they make them feel seen, admired, and appreciated. However, this relationship can quickly become toxic as the Empath quickly realizes that the Narcissist is not able to offer authentic love or support.
Efforts to “Fix” the Narcissist Fail
No amount of effort can undo the damage of a toxic relationship where one partner is a narcissist. Attempts to convince narcissists of their need for empathy and understanding may fail, as they often lack insight into the reality of their words and actions. Any efforts to “fix” the situation may instead be met with aggressive behavior, manipulation, and further attention-seeking tactics in order to maintain control. Narcissists have difficulty seeing outside themselves, so attempting to help them change will rarely end in success.
Manipulation Takes Over
Narcissists have a tendency towards manipulation, using their charm and charisma to control and manipulate those close to them. They lack empathy and are unable to take accountability for their actions, meaning they will do whatever it takes to maintain power in the relationship.
Self-Worth is Questioned
The psychological effects of manipulation can be devastating, leading to feelings of worthlessness and insecurity. Victims may find themselves constantly questioning their own judgement, self-image and even identity as the narcissist’s toxic behavior chips away at their confidence.
Submissive Behavior Follows
Manipulation can lead to a cycle of submissiveness in relationships, as victims become conditioned to looking to their manipulator for approval. Over time, this sense of helplessness and powerlessness takes over, leaving victims feeling unable to stand up for themselves or take action against their abuser.
Feelings of Being Drained of Energy
Manipulation can have an insidious effect on a victim’s energy levels. Victims often report feeling drained, exhausted and overwhelmed from constantly trying to keep up with their abuser’s demands. This excessive mental and emotional labor saps victims of their strength, leading to feelings of powerlessness and despair.
One-Sided Conversations Become Common
One of the major hallmarks of manipulation is that conversations tend to become one-sided. The manipulator controls the conversation and limits the victim’s ability to get a word in edgewise. This forces victims into a cycle of silence, making it even harder for them to speak up and push back against their abuser’s attempts at control.
Empath’s Thoughts and Feelings are Dismissed
Empaths often find that their thoughts and feelings are ignored or dismissed by others. This can be extremely disempowering for the empath, leaving them feeling unheard, invalidated, and unheard. Manipulators in particular tend to use this tactic to undermine the empath’s sense of identity, thus allowing them to further control their victim.
Lack of Support From the Narcissist
Empaths in relationships with narcissists often find themselves without support or validation. The narcissist rarely understands the empath’s needs, instead expecting them to conform to their own beliefs and desires. They may also struggle to find comfort and understanding from others, as many people are not aware of the plight of empaths living with narcissists. Without a strong support system, empaths may be vulnerable to further emotional harm.
Loneliness Sets In
Living in a relationship without the support of a narcissist can be lonely. Often, empaths find themselves unable to find solace in the company of other people and instead become isolated. This sense of loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, and fear, as the empath may feel that they are completely alone in their struggles.
Lack of Trust Breeds Dissent
The lack of trust between an empath and a narcissist can make it difficult for the empath to feel safe in the relationship. Without mutual trust, the empath may hesitate to express their thoughts and feelings, fearing that the narcissist will use them against them. This can lead to resentment and disagreement over even the smallest issues, further straining the relationship and creating more mistrust.
Real Intimacy Requires Maturity
Real intimacy requires both partners to be mature in the relationship and view it as something worth nurturing and protecting. It requires both people to take responsibility for their own feelings and actions, as well as exhibit understanding, respect, and consideration for the other person. In a relationship between an empath and a narcissist, this level of maturity can be difficult to achieve, but if done so will ultimately bring the two closer together.
Guilt May be Experienced by Both Partners
When an empath and a narcissist are involved in a relationship, both partners may experience guilt. The empath may feel guilty for not being able to meet the narcissist’s needs or expectations, while the narcissist can feel guilty for the lack of empathy given to the empath. Guilt creates an emotional barrier between two people that can be difficult to overcome and can lead to further conflict if not addressed and discussed openly.
Unfulfillment in Terms of an Emotional Connection
When two people lack a strong emotional connection, one or both of them may feel an unfulfilled sense of longing. This can be particularly true for an empath and a narcissist, where the depth of feeling the empath needs is not met by the narcissist’s surface-level approach to relationships. To truly connect emotionally requires both parties to take active steps to understand each other’s feelings and desires, which can be a challenge but ultimately MAYBE worth the effort.
Breakup Becomes Necessary For Growth
Sometimes, a breakup can be the best thing that two people in an unhealthy relationship need. This is especially true for empaths and narcissists, as both parties need to step back from each other and work on themselves so they can have a more successful relationship in the future. Taking the time apart to focus on personal growth is essential for healing any unresolved issues and trauma associated with their relationship, so it may not always be easy but it can lead to better outcomes for both individuals in the long run.
How Empaths Can Heal After a Relationship with a Narcissist
It can be difficult for empaths to move on from a relationship with a narcissist, as they may be struggling with feelings of betrayal and hurt. However, it is important for empaths to take steps to heal themselves so they can move forward in their lives.
There are several tips an empathic person should consider if they are trying to recover from a relationship with a narcissist:
- Work on strengthening your sense of self-worth by reminding yourself that you deserve better and that you don’t need another person’s validation or love to be happy.
- Practice self-care in whatever form works best for you – whether it’s journaling, meditating, or taking time away from social media.
- Talk about what happened and learn how to express your feelings in healthy ways. Talking with a therapist can also be helpful in processing difficult emotions.
- Create boundaries with the narcissist and limit contact as much as possible – even if it is hard at first – so that you don’t fall back into unhealthy patterns of behavior.
- Find new activities and hobbies that bring you joy and help you cultivate healthy relationships with people who make you feel safe and valued