What is the relationship between an empath and a narcissist?

This article will explain how a relationship between an empath and a narcissist works. How damaging it can be for the empath, and why they are often the best pray for the narcissist.

What is the relationship between an empath and a narcissist? 

The relationship between an empath and a narcissist is destined to be a toxic relationship. This match that seems to be made in heaven at first, will lead to frustration, and complete exhaustion later on.

The first thing that it is important to know is that narcissists and empaths will attract each other based on their basic traits. The narcissist will need someone to shower them with love, care, and understanding. And this speaks directly to the empath since they are people that are constantly open to caring, and understanding others.

So when the first spark flies, the narcissist will see that this is a place in which they can fulfill their needs. Being comfortable with that, they will go as far as making big gestures of appreciation. They can begin to be extremely loving to the empath, and make big declarations of love.

Making the empath feel like they need to give more and more to the narcissist. This relationship will be based on the dichotomy that the empath has too much of what the narcissist is lacking. Since the narcissist isn’t able to feel empathy, they will feed on the overflow the empath has.

This turns this relationship into a parasite-like relationship. The narcissist will suck all the empath has to give, and the empath, even though drained, and exhausted, will keep trying to find ways to give more to the narcissist. 

But this is not to say that only narcissists are responsible for the toxic trait in this relationship. Empaths should also be aware that they tend to give too much to others, and that they have a compulsion to care, which they need to take a closer look at.

Otherwise, they will fall easy prey to narcissists that will often look confident, and assertive. And when a narcissist needs someone to heal their ego that has been bruised for many different reasons, the empath will be the best person to do so. 

They will be able to listen to the narcissist talk for hours, and will often say supportive things, and give them compliments.

But as the relationship progresses, it may become draining for the empath. At some point, they may realize that there is something wrong, but for empaths living a situation is extremely difficult. They have the belief that people can change, or even worse, they have the belief that they will be able to change people. 

Which makes them stay in a bad relationship longer than they should. And to make matters worse, as they try to find ways to break free from the narcissist, the narcissist will often use manipulation techniques, such as gaslighting, to make the empath think that they are the ones in the wrong.

They will use the extreme sensitivity of the empath, and make it seem like the empath is being selfish, mean, or even overly sensitive. And since the empath fears that this is how they are behaving, they will often stay in the situation, even if it is detrimental to them.

A relationship between a narcissist and an empath will most likely only end as the narcissist decides to move away to another person, and feels that the empath has become so submissive that the relationship is not fun anymore.

Or as the empath creates an emotional structure to find their way out of this relationship. For that, it is usually necessary that the empath will go to therapy to strengthen themselves, and still, it will take a lot of back and forth with the narcissist so the empath realizes that this is not a relationship they should be in.

If you see yourself in a relationship that is similar to that, it may be important to understand on what side of the spectrum you and your partner are. So here is a brief definition of what it means to be an empath, and a narcissist.

What is an empath? 

An empath is often a person that feels too much, too deeply. They have, inside them, an urge to help others. They are not only experiencing their feelings deeply, but when the people around an empath talk about how they feel, the empath will quickly relate.

Because they experience empathy more intensely than other people, they will often feel emotionally drained. Because they can easily understand what others are going through, they can sense their surroundings quite easily, and even though this may often feel like a superpower, it is something that will make them stressed.

An empath is often a person that will need support to learn how to handle all the things that they are fed by people around them. Otherwise, with time, they can become burned out.

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is a person that can have traits of narcissism, or even have a narcissistic personality disorder. Because the intensity of the narcissistic traits can vary from one person to the next, it is common to say that narcissism will happen on a spectrum.

But usually, being a narcissist means that the person has a grand view of themselves, and thinks they are special. Because of that, they believe that they should be treated differently from others. 

They often feed off the admiration others will give them, and that is why they are in constant need to impress people around them. Narcissists are often seductive people that have a deep understanding of how to deal with others.

They believe that their thoughts and feelings are the most important ones, which causes them to be the priority. Because they can’t experience empathy, they will have trouble understanding what people are saying, and where they are coming from. 

Making it harder to have a relationship with them, since the other person’s thoughts and needs will often be disregarded.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is a relationship between an empath and a narcissist like? 

Is there a cure to being a narcissist?

No, there is no cure to being a narcissist. But it doesn’t mean that the narcissist needs to always be the same way. They can look for treatment, and even though it may be incredibly hard for a narcissist to face their shortcomings, at some point they may realize that some of their narcissistic traits are bringing them problems.

In that, they will likely go to therapy. In that process, they will be able to understand a little more about themselves, and maybe let go of a little of that facade of perfection. They may also find a way to set more realistic goals for themselves, so they are not constantly frustrated.

One should know that sometimes narcissists will also go to psychiatrists, and with that, take medication. That will not be focused on dealing with the narcissistic traits, since there is no medication for that, but ultimately to help them cope with other conditions they may go through such as anxiety, or depression.

Why are empaths drawn to narcissists?

The empath will be drawn to a narcissist like a moth to a flame. That is because the empath will often be open to hearing and helping others. As soon as they get in touch with the narcissist, all of the demands, and troubles the narcissist show, making the empath feel like they can help.

The empath will see the narcissist as someone that will fulfill their every need by acting selflessly. And the narcissist will gladly accept all of this help, and dedication. Making them instantly attracted to one another.

What are protecting techniques for empaths?

Empaths need to care for themselves, and for their health, since the ability they have of feeling things so deeply can often drain them. For that, they can do visualization exercises, like one in which they see themselves protected by a shield.

They can also feel less drained if they learn how to tell others what they want, and need. This prevents them from staying in the position of only caring for others, without ever thinking about their own needs.

It is also important that empaths learn how to set clear, and firm boundaries. This will allow you to protect yourself a little. You may also do that by looking for professional support, like therapy, in which you can talk about your feelings and emotions.

What happens when an empath leaves a narcissist?

The first reaction to an empath leaving a narcissist is disbelief. The narcissist won’t believe that the empath has mustered the strength to leave. That is because it is incredibly difficult for empaths to leave people behind, seeing that they believe that people can always change.

But at some point, the empath may realize that the narcissist won’t change, and may decide to leave. Once this happens, the narcissist will try to maintain the empath under their control in every way they can. They will completely disregard the boundaries and need for space that the empath may have said.

And they can begin to act erratic, and even manipulative to try and get the empath back. During this process, the narcissist can use all of their manipulation techniques such as gaslighting, silent treatment, and even bad-mouthing you to others as a way to get the empath back.

It can go to the extent that the narcissist can even threaten to harm themselves just to appeal to the caring side of the empath, in hopes of getting them back.

What are the biggest fears of the narcissist?

The biggest fear of a narcissist is to be left alone, without anyone to pay attention to them. Narcissists will feed on all the time and energy you give them, it doesn’t matter if it is in a positive, or negative way. You can be complimenting them, or even arguing with them, either way, they are satisfied because they got what they want from you, your attention.

It is only when people walk away, and cut the contact with the narcissist completely, that they will feel pain. This great fear is why a narcissist will likely always have a lot of people around them. They need to guarantee that, if at any point, one person walks away, they will be able to get their narcissistic supply from somewhere else.

This, in a committed romantic relationship, for example, may lead the person that just broke up with a narcissist to think that their ex has moved on incredibly fast.


This article showed how the relationship between an empath and a narcissist sets itself. It explained why this relationship can be so detrimental to the empath, and what they can do to get out of it.

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