Empaths are often narcissists’ main targets because they are seen as an easy source of supply. So how do empaths protect themselves against narcissists? Empaths are driven by compassion; they tune into the energy and emotions of others. They feel deeply, and this often places them in the role of rescuer.
Empaths fall victim to the whims of a narcissist when they play the damsel in distress because they want to save them from themselves. Unfortunately, unless the narcissist is willing to change, no amount of nurturing is going to set the narcissist on the road to recovery.
And this is where empaths get stuck in a toxic relationship that has the potential to lead to their complete destruction. Due to the sensitivity of the empath, the narcissist/empath bond screams danger. The charming side of the narcissist quickly hooks the empath, and it is during this love bombing stage that they fall head over heels for the narcissist.
However, when the narcissist moves onto the devalue stage of their manipulation strategy, the empath is left completely broken. Getting out of a relationship with a narcissist is easier said than done, but there are plenty of ways you can protect yourself while you are planning your great escape.
6 Ways Empaths Can Protect Themselves Against Narcissists
1. Give Yourself a Break From the Relationship
As an empath, one of the most effective grounding methods is spending time alone. It gives you the chance to cleanse yourself of other people’s emotions, to get back in touch with your own feelings and to reconnect with who you are.
Please be warned, your narcissistic partner is not going to like this, and He will do everything in his power to get you to stay. He will cry, give you the silent treatment, insult you or sulk like a petulant child.
Do not fall for his tactics, instead, play him at his own game and tell him you are going away for his benefit. Explain that as an empath, you like being able to give everything you’ve got to your partner. But when you feel depleted, you are not at your best.
Wherever you go, turn off your phone, disconnect from social media and just enjoy your own company. If not, your vacation will soon turn into multiple counselling sessions, because your partner will feel the need to call you several times a day to check up on you.
2. Withdraw Your Supply
Do you want to get out of the relationship? Are you asking yourself how do you repel a narcissist? Perhaps the easiest way to achieve this is to withdraw your supply. Refraining from complimenting and pandering to the needs of your partner will prove difficult for you because that’s your nature; however, it is possible.
Narcissists only stay in relationships because of what they can get from it, but once the supply is cut off, they get frustrated and move on. Withdrawing your supply is like flushing an addict’s drugs down the toilet.
They will go straight out and find some more drugs. Narcissistic supply is like a drug to the narcissist, and they can’t live without it. Here are two of the most effective methods for cutting off narcissistic supply:
Show no Emotion
One of the main reasons why narcissists get into relationships is because they feed off other people’s emotions. When he launches an attack, he loves to see you get frustrated, angry, or sad because this lets him know he is in control.
Narcissists enjoy being the puppet master, and when they feel as if they are losing their grip, it terrifies them. When he pushes your buttons, stop getting angry, when he gives you the silent treatment, don’t get upset.
When he blames and shames you, don’t react. Narcissists have zero emotional intelligence, and so don’t take their behavior personally, they literally don’t know what they are doing. But once you stop showing emotion, you will reclaim your power.
Withdraw All Compliments
Narcissists need praise; they want you to lavish them with compliments and admiration. Deep down, narcissists are very insecure and suffer from extremely low self-esteem. The confident character you see on display isn’t who they really are. To keep up the facade, they need people to feed into the ego of the fake persona they have created. If they don’t get the admiration they crave, they are forced to confront a reality they are not ready to accept – that maybe they are not so grandiose after all. When you stop showering the narcissist with verbal kisses, they will run straight into the arms of someone who will.
3. Don’t Become the Focus of the Conversation
Narcissists are like politicians; they don’t answer questions. Instead, they will redirect the conversation and discuss what they want to talk about. On the other hand, they are adept at asking all manner of personal and intruding questions.
Their nosiness is another manipulation tactic. The narcissist will get as much information out of you as they can and then use it against you at a later date. Basically, the less you open up to a narcissist, the less ammunition they have to fire at you.
The good news is that you can avoid being an open book by changing the tide of the conversation. For example, if he asks you what you spent your last $50 on, (knowing full well later on in the evening he is going to accuse you of mismanaging your money).
Tell him how much you admire his saving ability, and then ask him to give you some tips on how to save more money. In this way, you are killing two birds with one stone. Not only are you avoiding the question, you are also giving him supply by complimenting him.
Although the conversation will probably turn into a praise fest for your narcissistic partner, at least you’ve dodged a bullet.
4. Name Their Behaviour
Narcissists are like children, and will push the boundaries to see how much they can get away with. They want the spotlight on them at all times and one way they achieve this is to bring the conversation back to themselves.
You will notice that if you are talking about your day, the narcissist will cut you off in mid-sentence and start rabbiting on about theirs. If you went to Greece, they went to the Maldives. If you test drove a BMW, they test drove a Bentley.
Narcissists are so commanding that most people just endure the pain of being overshadowed. But it will shock your partner into their much-hated reality if you call them out.
You can say something like, “You seem to have a bad habit of cutting me off and redirecting the conversation to yourself anytime I’m speaking.”
Or, when they perform one of their slick moves by complimenting and insulting you in the same sentence. Say something like, “That didn’t sound like a compliment to me.” Like a spoilt child whose just been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the narcissist will probably throw a temper tantrum afterwards.
Don’t engage with them, just state the facts and don’t say anything else. If necessary, leave the room.
5. Keep Setting Boundaries
Narcissists don’t know what boundaries are, when you set them, they will cross the line. Boundary pushing for the narcissist is intentional, they want to get a reaction out of you. Anytime you react, it lets them know they are still in control. But if you want to protect yourself as an empath, you will need to keep setting boundaries. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Write it Down: The first step is to write out a list of all the ways your partner violates your boundaries. Record how it makes you feel any time they do this. By doing so, you are getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Additionally, it will ensure you don’t miss any important details.
- Wait For an Infraction: When it comes to setting boundaries, there is no need to confront the person with a list of your rules and regulations. Doing so will cause an argument, and that is not what you want to achieve. Wait until your partner has committed a violation and then say something. Don’t just state the boundary they have broken, state the consequences if it happens again.
- Enforce the Consequences: And finally, let them know you mean business by enforcing the consequences. Before approaching your partner about your boundaries, make sure you have decided what the consequences will be and stick to your decision. For example, if your partner goes into your purse and takes money without your permission, tell them you will put a padlock on your bag the next time it happens. When they do it again, slap that padlock right on.
It is important to mention that once you start setting boundaries, your narcissist partner won’t be happy. They are not going to tolerate someone telling them what to do. As far as they are concerned, they call the shots and not you. The narcissist will attempt to subdue you by doing something like threatening to disown you.
6. Don’t Take the Bait
Empaths don’t like confrontation, but some narcissists do. This is one of many ways empaths and narcissists are polar opposites.
Additionally, narcissists are not stupid, and your partner will know you’ve gone into protection mode because your behavior has changed. One minute you were a passive pussycat, the next you’ve turned into an aggressive tiger.
By refusing to be a doormat, the narcissist will take this as a massive insult and will launch a revenge attack. You can expect your partner to do things like bring up anything they think you’ve done wrong in the past. Or, they will say you are selfish and only thinking about your needs. As always, they want an emotional reaction out of you.
Don’t take the bait, because the moment you do, the ball is back in their court.
Empaths are sensitive creatures, and it is normal to want to know how do empaths protect themselves? If you are reading this article, you have probably reached a point in your life where you are tired of being subjected to narcissistic abuse. Whether it’s friends, family members or partners, you just can’t seem to escape narcissists.
Your first line of defence is to educate yourself on the condition, because they are pretty easy to spot once you understand the dominant character traits of a narcissist. When you meet someone new, look for the following red flags:
- Arrogant: Narcissists think they are superior to others. If you’ve just started dating one you will be in the love-bombing stage and everything will seem perfect. But pay attention to the way they treat other people; for example, you might go to a restaurant and he’s extremely nasty to the waitress. If it happens more than once, don’t make the assumption he’s having a bad day, run for the hills.
- Manipulation and Control: Again, they are not going to try and manipulate and control you, but you will notice these characteristics when they are dealing with other people.
- Always Boasting: As you have read, narcissists need praise at all times. One of the strategies they use to get it is to talk about their grandiose achievements. By the way, there is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, but narcissists go over the top with it which is why it’s a tell-tale sign.
- Attitude of Entitlement: Does your new friend think the world owes them something? They will have a chip on their shoulder if they don’t get their own way. Or they will do things like steal cutlery from restaurants or towels from hotels. Not because they are poor and desperately need it, but because they truly believe they have the right to help themselves to whatever they like.
Now that you are fully equipped to deal with the narcissists you’ve already got in your life, make every effort not to open the door to anymore.