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What Happens When An Empath Leaves A Narcissist?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Those who have had the displeasure of being in a relationship with a narcissist will know that they can be incredibly toxic individuals.

What Happens When An Empath Leaves A Narcissist

Narcissists thrive on manipulating others, and exerting their power.

Oftentimes, the people who narcissists choose to be in relationships with are incredibly kind and empathetic people, who have a desire to change them for the better. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t how a narcissist perceives the situation, and instead, they’ll view the empath’s kindness as weakness.

A cyclical form of abuse occurs, where the victim is blamed for the narcissist’s transgressions. But what about when the empath gatherers up the courage to leave the abusive party? 

How would a narcissist react to being left, and would they leave their victim alone finally? Below, we take a closer look at what takes place after an empath leaves a narcissistic partner. 

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look. 

The Narcissist VS The Empath 

Before we jump straight in and take a look at the titular question, we think it’s a good idea to explain exactly what a narcissist and an empath are. We often see these terms flying around, but don’t have a good grasp on their real meanings. 

Let’s begin with the narcissist. A narcissist essentially refers to someone who is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

Psychologists aren’t yet aware whether this issue is caused by genetic or environmental factors.

Despite this, it’s often the case that people with this disorder have had troubling childhood, and this speaks for their behavior in adulthood. 

A narcissist is by definition, somebody who has a highly aggrandize view of themselves, and as a result, believes that they deserve special attention from those around them.

They often believe that they are better than others, and as a result, find it incredibly difficult to empathize with the feelings of the people surrounding them. 

If a narcissist doesn’t get the special attention they think they deserve, or their behavior is called out, they can become incredibly angry, and will lash out at those around them. 

If we were to present an opposite personality type to the narcissist, then we’d probably say they would be an empath.

Being an empath is not a clinical diagnosis, but instead consists of a number of different traits that form how a person responds to others. 

Empaths are people who are able to quickly read a room, and feel as though they’re physically absorbing the energy of the people around them.

They can identify the emotions of others incredibly well, and they can often feel these emotions in their own bodies as if they were their own. 

Empaths are often drawn towards narcissists, and it’s not hard to see why. Empaths have an inherent need to want to help other people, especially if they’re struggling.

Empaths will be able to see beneath the surface of the self aggrandized front that the narcissist puts up. They will know that underneath lies an incredibly sad and helpless person, with very little real confidence. 

They’ll want to help these people, and will often pour all of their energy into making them feel worthwhile.

From the narcissists perspective however, they will see this as a form of weakness, and will drive them toward even more manipulative behaviors.

The Relationship Between An Empath And A Narcissist

The Relationship Between An Empath And A Narcissist

The relationship between empaths and narcissists are usually highly toxic, and display signs of abuse.

Many empaths who find themselves in this type of relationship will find it incredibly difficult to leave, because the narcissist has made them feel as though they’re trapped.  The way they do this is through a cycle of abuse.

When the relationship first begins, they’ll be incredibly attentive and charming, but then when they feel as though they’ve ‘got’ their victim, this will prompt them to show their real selves.

This is when they will begin chipping away at the empath’s confidence, and make them question their self worth. 

This happens gradually and over time, and if the empath does indicate that they want to leave, the narcissist will once again become charming and kind to their victim, once again giving them hope. 

But, when an empath is finally able to free themselves from a relationship with a narcissist, what happens then? First, of all, utter confusion.

The narcissistic, who is unable to tolerate any kind of blame or criticism, will feel as though they’ve walked away from the perfect relationship.

They won’t be able to comprehend why their spouse was ever unhappy, and will frame this as their problem. 

They may then try to win their spouse back, using the same tactics they did at the beginning, by being charming and attentive.

But, if this doesn’t work, the narcissist will decide to move on, and find somebody new that they can manipulate. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, the relationship shared between narcissists and empaths is highly toxic, and contains all manner of abusive traits.

It’s incredibly difficult for an empath to leave a narcissist, as the abusive party will have worn away their sense of self and their confidence over time. 

When they do eventually gain the courage to leave, the narcissist will be left reeling, wondering why anyone would possibly want to leave such a ‘perfect’ relationship, presenting a very skewed view of the situation.

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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