Empathic narcissists may seem like a contradiction in terms, but unfortunately, they do exist. These individuals are very difficult to spot because of their charm and charisma, but having a bit of knowledge about what to look for can help you to recognize this type of person before you become too deeply involved. Here are 8 warning signs that you might be dealing with an empathic narcissist.
What is an Empathic Narcissist?
An empathic narcissist has an underlying sense of empathy and compassion, but uses this as a ploy to manipulate and control others.
They are especially adept at understanding the needs and emotions of those around them, but instead of channeling their empathy as a tool for compassion, they use it as a weapon for their own gain.
They usually have grandiose ideas about themselves and can be charming, seductive, and highly persuasive. However, beneath their façade lies an exploitative nature that seeks to take advantage of those around them
They Lack Real Empathy
The defining trait of an empathic narcissist is their lack of empathy for others.
Despite appearing sympathetic on the surface, deep down these types of people do not care about how others feel or think. In fact, it often goes against their own self-interest for them too show true empathy towards another person or group of people.
They Always Seem to Know Exactly What You Need or Want
Empathic narcissists appear to have a sixth sense when it comes to understanding what other people need or want. They do this not out of genuine concern, but rather as a way to manipulate and control the situation in their favour.
If you meet someone who seems to read and act upon your every thought or emotion, you may be dealing with an empathic narcissist.
Their Show of Empathy Is Too Perfect
Another tell-tale sign of an empathic narcissist is that they often display perfect empathy – a little too perfect. It can feel almost uncanny how well they seem to understand your emotions, even if you haven’t verbally expressed them yet.
This often happens because they are using the information they gather from you against you in order to gain something for themselves, using their empathy in order to gain power or control over you.
They Seem Too Good To Be True
Empathic narcissists know exactly how to present themselves as perfect, compassionate people. They’ll often use this charm and charisma to draw people in close, only for their real motivations to be revealed later on.
This type of person is capable of masking their true intentions and playing the role of a caring individual. It’s important to stay aware and be willing to take a step back if something seems too good to be true.
They Have Unhealthy Boundaries
The boundaries between empathic narcissists and other people are often blurred or non-existent.
They may have difficulty understanding that other people have different thoughts and feelings than them, which can lead to conflict as well as emotional manipulation.
Empathic narcissists don’t respect others’ boundaries or privacy, and will often cross lines without thinking twice about it.
Their Feelings Always Take Precedence
Empathic narcissists always put their own needs first. They expect people around them to cater to their every whim, even if it means disregarding the needs of others.
This sense of entitlement is one of the most obvious warning signs that you may be dealing with an empathic narcissist.
They’re Incapable Of Taking Responsibility
Empathic narcissists rarely take responsibility for their actions or words. It’s always someone else’s fault when things go wrong in their lives.
They tend to blame external factors or other people instead of looking inward at themselves and recognizing where they could have done better.
When confronted with their mistakes or shortcomings, they’ll often deflect responsibility onto someone else rather than admitting any wrongdoing on their part.
They Present Themselves as The Victim
One of the key characteristics of an empathic narcissist is that they always appear as the victim in any given situation, regardless of whether or not it is true or false.
They will use this tactic to gain sympathy from those around them. This allows them to manipulate people into giving them what they want without having to put in any effort themselves.
They Are Superficially Charismatic
Empathic narcissists are often very charismatic on the surface, using charm and charisma as tools to draw people in and make sure that they get what they want out of every interaction with someone else.
This can be particularly dangerous because it makes it easier for them to manipulate people. It’s important to remember that while someone may be charming, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have good intentions, so always be very cautious when interacting with someone who seems too good to be true.
They Try to Make You Dependent on Them
Empathic narcissists will often try and make their targets dependent on them. This could mean anything from trying to get them financially dependent on them or making them believe that no one else can truly understand them like the narcissistic individual can.
This gives the empathic narcissist greater control over the target by making them think that only the narcissist can meet their needs and desires.
How to Protect Yourself from an Empathic Narcissist
Know the warning signs: Empathic narcissists often have grandiose ideas about themselves and come off as overly charming, persuasive, and seductive. Be aware of these traits, as they are usually just a façade meant to manipulate and control you.
Listen to your gut: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is when it comes to empathic narcissists. Don’t be fooled by their smooth talking or seemingly compassionate words – they likely have another agenda in mind.
Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries with any type of narcissist, but especially with those who are empathic. Make sure your needs are being met and don’t let them take advantage of you for their own gain.
Prioritize yourself: When dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, make sure that you prioritize taking care of yourself first before anything else. Be conscious of the time and energy you give others, so that you can save some for yourself as well.
Speak up: When necessary, don’t be afraid to speak up against any mistreatment or abuse coming from an empathic narcissist in order to protect yourself from harm. Doing so can help stop the behaviour in its tracks and will ultimately keep you safe in the long run.
Final Thoughts on the Empathic Narcissist
Recognizing an empathic narcissist isn’t always easy. However if we can recognise the signs that indicate that we might be dealing with one, we can save ourselves from getting caught up in their toxic web before it’s too late.
If any of these behaviours sound familiar, take some time away from the person in question until you have had a chance to assess whether they truly care about your wellbeing or whether they just want something from you. Your mental health could depend on it.
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