20 Stages Of The Relationship Between A Narcissist And An Empath

Navigating the turbulent waters of a relationship between a narcissist and an empath can be a complex journey filled with emotional highs and lows. This article will delve into the 21 distinct stages that define such relationships, providing an in-depth understanding of the dynamics at play. As we explore this roller coaster ride, it’s important to remember that a narcissist is characterized by a lack of empathy and self-centeredness, while an empath is known for their deep sense of empathy and a desire to help others.

The First Meeting

The initial attraction between an empath and a narcissist is born out of their contrasting personalities. The narcissist is drawn to the empath’s kindness and understanding, viewing them as a source of attention and admiration.

The Montage

At this stage, the narcissist creates a montage or illusion of a perfect relationship. The empath, captivated by this illusion, believes they have found their soulmate.

The Devaluing

As the relationship progresses, the narcissist begins to devalue the empath, criticizing them and making them feel inadequate. This serves to break down the empath’s self-esteem and increase their dependency on the narcissist for validation.

The Gaslighting

Here, the narcissist starts to manipulate the empath’s perception of reality. They deny their abusive behavior and convince the empath that they’re overreacting or misremembering events.

The Narcissist Lies

This stage sees the narcissist using lies to maintain control over the empath. These lies further distort the empath’s sense of reality and undermine their confidence.

The Rage

Unable to handle criticism or rejection, the narcissist may react with intense rage. This volatile behavior keeps the empath in a constant state of fear and anxiety.

The Second-Guessing

The empath begins to doubt their own judgment due to the constant manipulation and gaslighting. This stage further cements the narcissist’s control over the empath.

The Attraction

The empath is initially drawn to the narcissist’s apparent confidence and charm. They may mistake the narcissist’s self-focus for strength and independence.

The Illusion

The narcissist creates an illusion of a perfect relationship, making grand gestures to win the empath’s trust. The empath, believing in this illusion, becomes more emotionally invested in the relationship.

The Manipulation

The narcissist begins to manipulate the empath, using their kindness and understanding against them. The empath, wanting to help, often ends up enabling the narcissist’s abusive behavior.

All About Control

The narcissist seeks to gain control over the empath. They use various tactics, such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and withholding affection, to keep the empath under their thumb.


The empath starts to feel like a failure as they struggle to meet the narcissist’s unrealistic expectations. This further erodes their self-esteem and makes them more dependent on the narcissist for validation.

The Trap

The empath feels trapped in the relationship, unable to leave due to fear, guilt, or a sense of obligation. They may also still hold onto the hope that the narcissist can change.

The Awakening

This stage marks a turning point for the empath. They start to realize the nature of the narcissist’s behavior and understand that they are in an abusive relationship.

The Struggle

The empath struggles with their decision to leave. They may feel guilt, fear, or a sense of obligation towards the narcissist. However, they also start to understand that their own well-being is important.

The Break-Up

The empath finally decides to break up with the narcissist. This decision often comes after a lot of thought and emotional turmoil.

The Aftermath

Post-breakup, the empath may experience a range of emotions from relief to sadness. They may also have to deal with the narcissist’s attempts to manipulate them into returning.


The empath begins the process of healing from the abuse. They may seek therapy or counseling and focus on self-care.


The empath reflects on the relationship, recognizing the red flags they missed. They learn from their experience and make a commitment to protect themselves in future relationships.

Moving On

Finally, the empath moves on from the relationship. They carry with them the lessons learned, but also a renewed sense of hope and a commitment to their own well-being.

Final Thought

While the relationship between a narcissist and an empath can be fraught with complexities, understanding its dynamics can act as a powerful tool. This knowledge enables empaths to recognize patterns of abuse, liberate themselves from toxic cycles, and begin their path towards healing and self-discovery. Such a journey is not only about surviving but also about reclaiming one’s own strength and worth in the face of adversity.

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