When psychological abuse creates hostages
Empaths are deeply emotional beings; they feel everything that those around them do. Empathetic people make great doctors, therapists, parents, and friends. They will put the needs of strangers before their own, treating others as they wish to be treated, and taking any abuse with unfathomable grace. Empathetic people are necessary to negate the societal effects of those who are not, but kind souls are often the targets of toxic ones. Narcissists are very perceptive, and if you’ve ever dealt with one, you know that holding your true emotions and desires close is important. Since their aim is to exploit your weaknesses, the narcissist will prey on your feelings and use your deepest pain or your deepest joy to manipulate you into doing what they want. So, how do narcissists select their victims? How do they know a person will be easy to mentally imprison? Let’s discuss that.
Empaths are very easy to spot; they wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are also very easy to emotionally connect with because of this. These traits make empaths susceptible to manipulation since they have a genuine love for people and will seek out the good in everyone even when red flags are present. Generally, this targeted connection will begin with some sort of emotional manipulation in the form of love bombing (inflated flattery) or a sad story (to prey on sensitivity). This way, the narcissist will be able to gauge this person’s reaction to determine whether they are a worthy candidate. For example, if a person does not take well to their flattery, and instead brushes them off, the narcissist will move on and find someone else. However, if their tactics work or their sad story gains pity, they will dig their nails into the empaths psyche as far as it is possible to do so. Narcissists seek naive and/or emotionally generous people, the ones who give love without expectations, even to those who don’t deserve it.
Why Can’t Empaths Just Cut Ties?
Cutting ties with a psychological abuser like a narcissist is no easy feat. Victims are bound by constant manipulation and guilt trips at the hands of the narc. By the time they realize anything is seriously wrong (if they ever do), they are too afraid to leave either in fear of retaliation or of leaving the narcissist with no one to support them. The door could be wide open, and they would have no courage to escape. That is intentional. You see, narcissists have a way of breaking down a victim’s defenses until all that is left is an insecure skeleton that is too weak to stand up for themselves or ask for help. Their tactics dig in so deep that someone could be reaching out a hand to assist them and the victim would turn down the help, most likely minimizing the abuse or even blaming themselves because of their empathy for the narc. Empaths find it difficult to cut ties because they know that beneath the abusive and defensive exterior lies a deeply insecure and hurt soul. So, they stay, even when it is to their detriment. Often the “last straw” so to speak comes from an unexpected, eye-opener. The moment when the abuse “clicks” is when the empath gets their power back. This could be in the form of a friend or just a personal revelation, however, some empaths never get their power back; especially when the narcissist is a significant other.
Ways to Fend Off Narcissists
Narcissists are very picky with their victims; they don’t want someone who is confident or headstrong. They want someone who is easy to bend and eventually break, someone who won’t challenge them or their inflated ego. So how can an empath become narc repellant? Read on to find out.
Narcissists don’t like people who are sure of themselves. If you know who you are, they won’t be able to create an identity for you. Know yourself, know your worth, and hold your head up high.
Set Firm Boundaries (Stick to your morals and values)
Get comfortable saying no. Narcissists are threatened by assertive people. They are like children and children despise the word no. They will kick and scream until the parent gives them their way. If something is wrong or just makes you uncomfortable tell them you won’t do it. When they see you can’t be manipulated into compromising your morals the tantrums will fade and the narc will get their fix elsewhere.
Don’t Allow Control
What you eat, what you wear, even when you speak, narcissists want to control it all. Don’t participate in their mind games. You live your life how you want, even if that means without them. Your psychological wellbeing is a priority. Independent people are a threat to a narcissist, so be that. Reach out for help if you need to, don’t allow the abuse to continue.
Call Them Out
Image is everything to the narc. Since they are insecure and have little self-worth, other people’s opinions are important to them. Call them out on their lies and discrepancies in stories they tell when you hear them. They need to know that you know their agenda and that you aren’t afraid to speak out about it, even in front of other people in your friend group or social circle.
Focus on You
Self-care is essential, you don’t need to be at the beck and call of the narcissist. You have your own life and you are most certainly allowed to live it. It is okay to say no to hanging out. It is okay to have your own plans, even if that plan is to relax at home all day.
Chase Your Passions (Be Happy)
Narcissists are not happy with themselves, so seeing you be successful and joyful will make them very angry. You are meant to be submissive to them, ready to act on their command. If you are off chasing your dreams, what is left for them? Go after what makes your heart soar, even if it isn’t a “traditional” path. Narcissists cannot stand seeing someone succeed, even if they are “successful” themselves. You see, success has many meanings to many different people.
For some, it means to make an obscene amount of money, for others it means to be able to buy a house and provide for their family, others just want to be happy. Many narcissists are in fields that make a lot of money but don’t bring them joy, this is because how they are perceived is what is most important to them. If you are successful in doing what you love and you are happy as well, the narc won’t like that, and upon finding that they cannot crush your dreams, they will distance themselves from you.
Don’t Stoop to Their Level
This is what they want, for you do be as miserable and ruthless as them. Maintain your dignity, don’t participate in fights. Even when you call them out on a lie, you don’t need to be rude or snappy. Be the bigger person (easier said than done, I know) and keep your good spirit. When people are unfazed by the narcissist’s attacks, they have no leg to stand on when it comes to manipulation.
So, why do narcissists target empaths? In short, empathetic people are selfless, and psychological abusers need them to cater to their ego. Selfless people put their needs before others, even people they’ve never met, the perfect servant to a starving ego. The ego of a narcissist is never full, so they will move from one victim to the next, draining them all until they have nothing left to give. If one does not feed the narc, they will be forced to look inwards for sustenance. Upon finding their soul is an empty void, the narcissist will starve. They must feed, no matter the cost to those around them. Narcissists lack empathy, so they seek it out in others.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.” – Amanda Torroni
A balanced mind is not only a luxury but a necessity, please allow me to help you find yours. Book a reading today! You can also check out some items I love that promote healing, self-care, and good vibes. Stay happy, stay safe.
It is important to note that if any of these methods of fending off a narcissist - calling them out, for example, will put you at risk of retaliation, do not do it. If your life is in immediate danger, call 911 right away. If the narcissist in your life is your significant other, there are resources available to help remove you from that situation.