I didn’t know they could exist. I had seen signs of what I thought might be a mixture of two states of being which are on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. So it was that I began to observe what I call the Narcissistic Empath to see if I could find a pattern in this type of human.
As I have observed over the years, a pattern which emerged for me was something new and undefinable. It wavered between Narcissism and Empathy. Yet, it was not completely either of the two.
Being an Empath (highly sensitive person) my intuition is finely tuned. I can go into the multiple ways in which I “see and feel” human beings. The reason I share this part of me is to give you a glimpse of how I see others.
I am a behavior watcher. I listen to words, and then I sit back and deeply observe the individual’s behavior. This behavioral pattern which was emerging in this type of person felt like something slightly different.
After having an association with a couple of them for a few years, I now see a definition for this type of human, the Narcissistic Empath.
How can this be? I asked myself this question. How can one be both a Narcissist AND an Empath?
According to psychology, narcissists cannot feel at all. Albeit, I am no scientist with a PhD after my name. I am a self-educated person who has spent hours and years studying psychological subjects out of sheer curiosity and need to understand the workings of the human mind. I began this study to understand my own childhood and journey in life.
When the realization sunk into me that this is what I was observing, I set out to specifically find personality types that fit these exact criteria. Three main patterns emerged in my observation.
1. Narcissistic Empaths are very loving and protective with those they care deeply for. They are softer with the way they communicate with those people. They are less apt to be cruel. They are more sensitive to their loved ones’ needs. It is genuine sensitivity. They are patient and aware of their words.
2. They don’t give a damn about people they do not know or have an interest in only sexually and will often make these types their targets. They target strangers. With strangers there is no emotional connection for them.
3. They are palpable. They change. I watched one associate spend a long period of time in a very positive mindset. They were very dedicated to their creative craft. Their interactions were loving and kind. Then an event happened in their life which hurt them deeply. Enter their Narcissistic state of being, in which they are currently sunk. The projector behavior has been the most disparaging to observe. They teeter from positivity to downright meanness, depending on which way their current state of being has leaned.
The Narcissistic Empath seems to be one who teeter totters from one side to the other depending on who they are dealing with and what their personal situation is. It is natural for all humans to have a change in behavior if things in their life get rough.
However, a Narcissistic Empath will take it to the extreme, projecting in vicious and often very convoluted ideals. Yet, what is the difference between a Narcissist and a Narcissistic Empath? The Narcissistic Empath will still be kind to those they love and actually feel it deeply. This is different from the Narcissist who feels nothing and will, without care, abuse those they love. The full on Narcissist fakes their empathy. A Narcissistic Empath fakes nothing. Their Narcissism is real and so is their empathy.
There are many quotes available from “gurus”, urging humans to rid themselves of ego. Yet, the definition of ego is simply a self-identity. So, in fact, it is necessary to have an ego/self-identify. The inflation of the self-identity into an unrealistic self-view is what creates the definition for being egoistic. There should be balance in the human ego. It is the center of who we are. When there is unbalance in our authentic self-identity, it is akin to a rocking boat on a choppy sea.
My questions regarding the Narcissistic Empath kept me on a path of investigative observation.
Could the Empathic side heal the narcissistic side of these humans? If so, what would it take? Was it possible to have both a cold and unfeeling part and a deeply loving part; to switch back and forth between the two? Oh yes. Humans do it every day. Yet it’s not Bipolar or even Borderline Personality Disorder in what I have observed. Still, these people are different, from bipolar and BPD people.
The Empath sees life deeper and in a completely different way, based often out of cosmology minded DNA. The Empath feels things the that non-Empaths are feeling. The Empath absorbs. They see into others; their pains and passions, and I wondered if part of the Narcissistic Empath was also a shutting down to feeling because of the heaviness it can sometimes carry, to be a highly sensitive person. I know of Empaths who do drugs or drink to numb the influx of emotion, using synthetics as a blocker, unable to create their own sense of balance by getting to know themselves deeply.
I believe that the Narcissistic Empath can heal by making deep positive choices toward self-love and having willingness to do concentrated work on themselves.
If they clean their social environment and the self-deprecating thoughts that they use to both degrade themselves and justify the times they lash out, I am of the belief that eventually, with daily routine, the Narcissistic Empath will heal the “dead” part of themselves and be able to become an Embodied Empath, fully in their power and sight, knowing how to balance it and throw away the un-needed junk.
I am observing a few such individuals to continue studying this state of being. I want to see which paths they each decide to take over the next few years. I want to know which part of them will “win” based on which path they choose.
How do you tell the difference? That is a loaded question since Narcissists are adept at faking empathy. However, one thing I’ve noticed about the Narcissist. If one knows what to look for, they’re not that good at faking empathy at all. The sign of their narcissism will always show its face.
With a Narcissistic Empath, there is a turning which happens. The empathy is consistent, present, and genuine. There seems to always be a major event that swings them to the side of shutting down all emotion. They make it through small bumps, but the larger ones make their empathy disappear. Then the Narcissistic phase will remain until they heal the pain. Once the pain is healed, they move back into their genuine Empath selves.
It’s like a mold which needs to be removed and the only one who can remove it is the homeowner.
This is where the work comes in. This is where humans tend to falter, and understandably so. It hurts to heal.
We must face all the torn parts of ourselves that are triggered when we are hurt. Yet, our self-identity can be that of a torn shirt. We grab our needle and thread and stitch the hole. Sometimes we have to re-stitch it, but we stitch it all the same.
So then, we can also stitch the patterns of our pain into beautiful patch works, covering ourselves with the finished blanket of self induced empathy. This, dear ones, is a path to self-healing.
Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.