Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse: Are You an Empath?

Many of us are noticing our empathic tendencies and getting more in touch with them. There is a lot of talk out there about how those who consider themselves highly sensitiveand empathic got that way. Some believe that the highly sensitive and empathic learn to be that way through their own trauma. After experiencing abuse and neglect, they develop a deep understanding of what that feels like and notice it easily in others. Some believe that people are born with these characteristics. Either way, there are sensitive people who feel deep empathy and you might identify as being one of those people. This can feel like a blessing and a curse all at once. It seems that this may play a role in our difficulty to remove ourselves from a relationship with a narcissist when we see traits early on. We see the world from an empathic point of view and are not able to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who victimizes others. When we see narcissistic behaviors in someone with whom we are in a relationship, we try to make sense of their behavior through our own lens of empathy, and it does not make sense. We then attribute the behavior as being a one off or abnormality but eventually, we see that it is the opposite. The behavior that we make excuses for is actually the heart of who the narcissist is and our empathic and sensitive ways can make us ignore what later seems obvious.

About the Author: Brenda Stephens

Brenda Stephens, LPCC, LMHC, LPC: Brenda is a therapist, speaker, coach, and author working with survivors of narcissistic abuse for the past 16 years. We aim to help survivors heal, reclaim their lives, and learn how to avoid toxic relationships.



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