What is an Empathetic Narcissist? The lack of empathy for others usually highlights a narcissist or narcissistic traits in someone, but be ready to blow your mind after knowing about this deadly combination of Empathy and Narcissism in a single individual. Now, imagine how that person can be dangerous and unhealthy for you!
You might be wondering how to spot such a person. How to differentiate and view the red flags in them? How to deal with them? How to save yourself? and many more such questions. Do not get worried, as there are means and ways to deal with such a lethal personality. Let us start by knowing more about narcissism and narcissists first, and gradually finding more about an Empathetic Narcissist.
NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) or Narcissism is portraying some common toxic traits in an intensified state than others. In psychological terms, narcissists who suffer from NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) portray these traits or emotions in a greater magnitude than others. These traits or emotions include a boosted sense of self-importance, inflated self-worth, and a constant need for admiration, adoration, and validation.
Narcissism can be of different types, and it is a little difficult to categorize narcissists just based on their characteristics, traits, and attributes as narcissism is beyond that and on a wider range. But more or less everyone is a little narcissistic as all of us do possess and display these traits at some point in our life. But what makes a narcissist different than us is, they continuously display these traits, as they lack empathy and understanding for others.
What is a Narcissist?
The common description of a narcissist would be described as someone who is self-absorbed, who loves and seeks constant attention, adoration, and validation, who loves their grandiose image, and who tries to impress others with their charismatic charm.
Narcissists are often characterized by their boosted sense of self-importance, self-pride, and self-needs. With a narcissist, everything is just about them. Narcissists thrive upon the attention, adoration, and validation that they receive from others, and what makes them distinguished from others is the way they think and the way they behave, which is totally selfish and mean.
What is Empathy?
Empathy can mean different for different people. Some may resonate it as an ability to feel other people’s sadness, feel someone else’s pain or put oneself in other people’s shoes to look at things from their perspective. Empathy may have different perceptions or may be perceived differently by different people, but the meaning remains constant with varying actions.
The general definition may include, Empathy as a fascinating emotion that gives a person the ability to understand, care and think for others even before their own needs. Empaths naturally possess selflessness which makes them cherished by almost everyone around them. Though it is a natural trait or emotion for people who are selfless but it is not a genuine feeling that may come naturally for selfish people.
An Empath or an empathic person is someone who is capable of feeling empathy, having a lot of empathy for others, and are highly emotionally sensitive too. Empaths also make sure not to hurt someone by their behavior and they do not cause any discomfort to others by their feelings.
What is an Empathetic Narcissist?
Narcissists are generally categorized into a few types but two types are discussed here to make the comparison uncomplicated, Overt and Covert Narcissists.
Overt Narcissists constantly try to prove their worth, thinking about how others think of them, proving their superiority over others, and much more. Some peculiar traits of Grandiose Narcissism are, aggressiveness, arrogance, constant need to gain attention, and most importantly they are self-absorbed. They are usually extroverted in nature.
Individuals with covert narcissism do not display any symptoms openly but are closely associated with mental health issues in terms of anxiety and depression. Covert narcissists are totally the opposite of overt narcissists. Some peculiar traits of covert narcissists are, they can associate more with childhood trauma, they are introverted and shy, have low self-esteem, always need to play the victim, moreover are repulsive to criticism.
Empaths are empathetic, but narcissists are not empathetic. Keeping this in mind, there is a type of narcissism, covert narcissism that consists of such narcissists called empathetic narcissists.
An Empath or an empathic person is someone who is capable of feeling empathy, having a lot of empathy for others, and are highly emotionally sensitive too. Empaths also make sure not to hurt someone by their behavior and they do not cause any discomfort to others by their feelings. Whereas narcissists are self-obsessed, they are unable to think about someone else, or anybody else’s feelings. Yet there are narcissists who are able to showcase empathy. Now let us know if that empathy is false or do they really feel empathy.
Covert Narcissists, look humble, sensitive, shy, and introverted to others, but in reality, they do possess empathetic feelings, but they are usually shallow or fake just to play the victim, and seek benefit from others. Narcissists do possess empathy, but it is cognitive empathy. Meaning that they would undeniably be able to understand that the other person is suffering, hurt, or sad, but they are unwilling and demotivated to take any action related to that. They are able to feel other people’s pain, but they are not willing to comfort them, care for them or at least be a supporter of them.
This means that Empathetic narcissists do possess empathetic emotions for people in need, who are troubled or hurt, but it is only that they do not choose to display that compassion for others as they feel being vulnerable might hurt their grandiose image, or their mighty unaffected reputation might get tarnished if they display sympathy and empathy for others. They feel that they would be looked upon as someone weak, or they may lose their power over others trying to comfort others with care and understanding.
Signs and Traits of an Empathetic Narcissist
Playing the Victim
Narcissists are individuals with a lot of internal conflicts, and imbalance and lack that emotional bonding that is required to live effortlessly and happily. A lack of empathy or a low empathy has been proposed as a prime reason for the narcissist’s hurtful, nasty, cold-hearted, insensitive, and negative behavior towards other people.
Many pieces of research conclude that people with a narcissistic personality disorder may not experience guilt as you do. This may provoke them to use manipulation while dealing with others for what they need. Low empathy makes them believe that by even commenting or explaining something incorrect that they might have done as an attack and thus they may choose to entirely shut themselves and play the victim card instead of listening or taking accountability.
Thus people with narcissistic personality disorder may play the victim card when they sense the slightest of the threat if it is even a small comment or a small argument or a misunderstanding.
Oversensitive to Criticism
Most empathetic narcissists are always defensive, and trying to guard their own truth. They are oversensitive to criticism and other people’s views about them. They may get easily offended when people provide any criticism or act as critiques of their life decisions. They may feel that their character is being attacked and that they may get offended.
Shifting the Blame
It is a tactic, where the wrongdoer tries to escape from their wrongdoings, and instead blames the victim as the culprit. This technique of blame shifting often involves proving one’s own self innocent to get away from accepting the responsibilities and blame and highlighting one’s own sufferings and pain after creating havoc. It is a way for the culprit to distract attention from their faulty personality to their fake innocent and pitiful projected self.
Blame shifting is also one of the most commonly used tactics by an empathetic narcissist. When something does not go according to a narcissist’s wish or plan, or when something goes wrong or a mistake is made, a narcissist would definitely deflect responsibility and place the blame on someone else.
An empathetic narcissist’s thought processes and reflexes are a little impossible to predict precisely. They act impulsively out of aggression when proven wrong or pointed fingers at. Narcissists are passive-aggressive beings, who fail to connect emotionally with their loved ones hence they use various methods to feel powerful. Their actions always differ from what they have to say or believe.
They are prone to create an imaginary world, where they say and make all crude, concrete, and everlasting promises and false and fictitious scenarios but indeed are rudimentary about the execution of those. So when you date a narcissist, you are always blinded by their fake and goody personality initially but are constantly manipulated throughout the course of your relationship.
Empathetic narcissists are confident and focused individuals who care about their own well-being, and their own affairs yet can be caring for others. They do this to maintain their good image in the bigger picture, and their empathetic feelings may just be fake at this point.
Ways to Cope with an Empathetic Narcissist
Coping with an empathetic might seem difficult, but it is not as difficult as you think, just start prioritizing yourself and you are good to go. Let us know some ways to cope with an Empathetic Narcissist,
Know what battles to pick
Narcissists in general wish to have a heated fight when they are being criticized for something. They are wishing to have a conflict here, and they would always like to blame you for every action and chaos that they have created. They would make a mess and pin it on you.
If there is a minutest chance that causes a scene then an empathetic narcissist would definitely grab it and cause a ruckus by throwing a debate or a fight. So not arguing or throwing a rebuttal is the best way to save yourself from unwanted arguments and provocations.
Practice Objective Communication
Objective communication involves getting into a conversation with a set goal and set actions to achieve what you want. Here objective communication may have an end goal of not giving in to the empathetic narcissist’s manipulative tactics when they display fake empathy.
Consider seeing a Therapist
Seeking help from therapists can help to deal with such lethal empathic narcissists. Sometimes when you have been constantly a part of the narcissist’s abuse, then you are unable to see what is good and bad for you any longer, as every abuse starts seeming normal and thus you get habituated to it without weighing the impacts that may be caused by such toxicity on you. So seeking professional help may be beneficial in such cases.
Maintaining a healthy distance in the relationship can help you stay as much unaffected as possible. Prioritize your well-being, happiness, self-worth, self-respect, and good. Do not get so indulgent that you get hurt badly due to the narcissist’s manipulative tactics.
Allocate your “me-time” every day
The companionship with an Empathetic narcissist might be hindering your mental and emotional well-being. You may start neglecting your emotional needs to the extent that you start facing depression.
What are some ways to let go of the trauma caused by empathetic narcissists?
- Learning about your true feelings, keeping aside all the false facades that you have created, and acknowledging them can be the initial step.
- Look after your physical health with the help of exercises, yoga, meditation, and any form of physical workout.
- Look after your mental health with the help of meditation, reading good books, seeking help from your loved ones, listening to music, and doing more things that keep your interest at its peak.
- Give appropriate time to yourself to heal internally; do not force healing upon yourself.
- Learning new skills, meeting new people, and visiting new places also play a crucial role in freeing yourself from narcissistic characteristics.
Empathetic narcissists do possess empathetic emotions for people in need, who are troubled or hurt, but it is only that they do not choose to display that compassion for others as they feel being vulnerable might hurt their grandiose image, or their mighty unaffected reputation might get tarnished if they display sympathy and empathy for others. They feel that they would be looked upon as someone weak, or they may lose their power over others trying to comfort others with care and understanding.
Covert Narcissists, look humble, sensitive, shy, and introverted to others, but in reality, they do possess empathetic feelings, but they are usually shallow or fake just to play the victim, and seek benefit from others. Narcissists do possess empathy, but it is cognitive empathy. Meaning that they would undeniably be able to understand that the other person is suffering, hurt, or sad, but they are unwilling and demotivated to take any action related to that.
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