Tag Archives: empathy

Let’s Set The Record Straight, Right Now!

There are some misconceptions going around that have the potential to be dangerous to unwitting victims of a narcissist.

Twenty years ago no one had even heard of a narcissist and a psychopath was someone depicted as running the Bates Hotel.

I had heard of Narcissist, the fabled guy who fell in love with his own reflection, but he was a joke, not to be feared.

After leaving my ex I was determined to figure out what happened to me and warn others.

There really wasn’t much information out there about narcissists and what I could find was vague and didn’t seem like my ex. One of the reasons I had fallen in love with my ex was the fact that he wasn’t a braggard. I had dated egomaniacs before and they never lasted long. I could not stand a guy who had to put a price on everything, interrupt people and be the center of attention. You know the guy, the one telling off color jokes at the top of his lungs, the used car salesman stereotype, the sleazeball leaning against the cigarette machine with his shirt undone to his navel with a gold chain and hitting on all the women. I never understood how they got women.

Or the guys in the gym who can’t walk past a mirror without flexing, or the highschool jock who has girls flocking at his feet. No fear of me ever falling for someone like that! As for a guy controlling what I wear, who my friends are, or when I go out; that was downright laughable!!

I was reading a post on a victims of a narcissist support site and some woman was saying she has learned to co-exist with her narcissistic husband. According to her, she knew exactly how to “handle” him. When I hear anyone say they know how to “handle” a narcissist and they can co-exist peacefully, I know one of three things is going on,

1. they are not with a narcissist

2. they are deep in denial

3. The narcissist has not revealed his true colors yet

She was defensive and told me she had done lots of research and knew what she was talking about. She related a story of a friend who’s husband was so selfish he filled the garage with all his “toys” and the wife could not park her car in the garage in winter and said, she would never presume to tell this friend to leave her husband and find someone better.

I would hope the hell not!! If that is the worst the woman has to deal with she should consider herself lucky.

This woman has a very warped definition of a narcissist!! Narcissists are NOT benign!!

It seems to me calling someone a narcissist has become the “in” thing to do. Everyone who has had a bad experience of any kind, been rejected by a man, or been with an inconsiderate man, is quick to label them a narcissist. The self righteous, “I am woman hear me roar” women will tell you they know how to deal with a narcissist. They tell a man what they think, they never let a man walk all over them. They aren’t a doormat.

Let me be very clear, narcissist is NOT the new age term for asshole.

If you sleep with a man even though he refuses to commit, you are making a conscious decision to have sex with a man without a commitment. If a man is honest enough to tell you, “I don’t love you”, “I don’t want a commitment”, “I don’t want to ever get married” believe him! Don’t assume you are going to win his love by being a doormat.

If a man falls out of love with you, it’s gonna hurt, but it happens, deal with it, it does not make him a narcissist.

Now, what does make him a narcissist?

The DSM 5, used to diagnose personality disorders, says at least 5 of these symptoms must exist:

    • A grandiose sense of self-importance

    • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    • A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions

    • A need for excessive admiration

    • A sense of entitlement

    • Interpersonally exploitive behavior

    • A lack of empathy

    • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her

  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

In a proposed alternative model cited in DSM-5, NPD is characterized by moderate or greater impairment in personality functioning, manifested by characteristic difficulties in 2 or more of the following 4 areas [2] :

    • Identity

    • Self-direction

    • Empathy

  • Intimacy


It still sounds rather obscure and benign if you don’t fully understand how these traits manifest themselves.

Besides, by the time a victim goes looking for answers to “what the hell is happening?” They are in so deep it can be almost impossible to safely leave the relationship.

Any normal halfway intelligent woman wouldn’t date a narcissist if they saw him without his mask on the first date or two. When you meet the narcissist he is nothing like the description above, in fact he probably seems the exact opposite.

It isn’t even possible to describe how to a pick a narcissist out of the crowd or say what kind of woman they are attracted to because they morph into the victim’s perfect partner. They don’t have a “type” of woman, every woman they meet, regardless of age, looks, economic status, or religious beliefs is assessed for their value to the narcissist. Not every woman will fall for them but that is of little consequence to the narcissist because he has so many women in various stages of falling for his act he always has one or two ready to step into the role of his main supply.

He will use women for whatever he sees of benefit to him. One might provide a roof over his head, another could give him prestige, or a desired job, it could be simply a sexual relationship.

The one thing all the women will have in common is they will all think they are special to the narcissist and that he is totally in love with her alone. They will all think they know him better than anyone else and not have a clue who he really is. Most women find out exactly how little they knew about him after the relationship ends.

Before we go any further, let me clarify some misconceptions about narcissist. The mental health professionals can’t even agree on many aspects of narcissism. There is controversy about how dangerous they are, if they can be “healed” and how someone becomes a narcissist.

Some quick facts:

Not all narcissists were abused as children. I believe many of them were simply because they were narcissists and the parents were trying to teach them right from wrong. There can be numerous children in a family raised by the same two parents in the exact same way and one of them will be a narcissist and different from birth, always lying, breaking rules, blaming their siblings, getting in trouble in school etc

Brain scans have been done that prove narcissist and psychopath’s brains never develop the ability to feel empathy or guilt. Consequently, they can not be healed, not with therapy or by your magical love.

People will tell you narcissists aren’t dangerous. But recent research is showing otherwise. All psychopaths are narcissistic. They say narcissists don’t murder people, only psychopaths do that. If they both display the exact same traits how does a lay person distinguish between the two. A narcissist is just a psychopath who hasn’t killed yet.

There are three personality disorders that are considered the most dangerous; psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissism. The reason they are so dangerous is because they are the only disorders that lack a conscience. Think about it; without a conscience what stops a person from doing whatever they want whenever they want. Most of us have been so angry at someone at some point in our lives that we thought, “I could kill the bastard”; but we don’t! Because we know our conscience wouldn’t allow it. We may see something we like and think, “I really want that”, but we don’t steal it because we would feel too guilty, or we would think Karma would get us, or God, or we know how we would feel if someone stole from us. A narcissist doesn’t have those filters. He wants it, he takes it, without any guilt, in fact he feels entitled to take it.

Therapy doesn’t help a narcissist, except to help him be better at being a narcissist. Counselling only provides the narcissist with more information he can use to manipulate his victims and improve his acting skills.

Narcissists will tell you that they aren’t dangerous or even that evil. I have been told by narcissists that I am describing a psychopath, psychopaths say I am describing a sociopath or narcissist, the sociopath says, “Not ME! You are talking about narcissists!

One of the leading traits of a narcissist is that they are pathological liars. Why would you believe anything they say?

I heard a long time ago,

“If a narcissist’s lips are moving, he’s lying.”

Which is another reason therapy doesn’t help them and why therapists don’t agree on the cause, motives, and severity of narcissism; they never get a straight answer from the narcissist.

They are academy award worthy actors. They knew at a very young age they were different than everyone else, so they learned to imitate the emotions of those around them in order to fit in and go undetected. They learned that acting the way they wanted got them in trouble and worked against them. They are usually highly intelligent so figure out they get much further if they pretend to be like everyone else. That is where upbringing plays a major role in how they present themselves, and some are more sophisticated than others.

Look! I don’t really care what label you put on them, there is a type of person out there in the world destroying lives and they all follow the same m.o. The Diagnostic Manual wants to put narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths under the same classification and call them Antisocial Disorder.

People want to break it down even further to Malignant, Covert, Cerebral, and Somatic Narcissist. As far as I am concerned, we give the narcissist far too much attention as it is. A narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist.

We go looking for answers so we can put our experience, the narcissist in a nice little box and file it away. We think if we can figure out how the narcissist ticks and why he does the things he does, it will help us heal, give us closure.

We think he can give us answers for why he wants to destroy us, the one who loved him unconditionally. Because we do have a conscience, empathy and guilt, we know that for us to treat people that way we would have had to have something truly horrible happen to us. No one acts that way without reason.

You are wrong, narcissists treat people that way without any justification…..because they are narcissists. They know they “hurt” people, but without the ability to feel empathy, hurt, is just a word. Love, is a word they use to manipulate their victims, they have no idea how it feels to truly love someone. In order to truly love someone you have to feel empathy.

Now don’t go crying for the narcissist, feeling sorry for the poor guy who will never know how it feels to love and be loved, doomed to live a lonely loveless life and die alone.

The narcissist actually feels superior to the rest of society. He sees feelings as what makes people weak, it is the thing that enables him to victimize so many people. Why would he want to be like his victims? He thinks his victims are stupid and weak so deserve to be used by him. Every time a victim forgives him he is more disgusted with their gullibility to believe his lies yet again!

So how can you protect yourself? You don’t want to be suspicious all the time. If they are such good actors how on earth can you know until it’s too late? It’s really very simple.

They all seem perfect at first. Not perfect for everyone, but perfect for you.

They think you are perfect, where have you been all their life? They have never known love like the love they have with you.

They push for sex early.

It’s a whirlwind romance. Him rushing to live together or get married. Talking about having kids etc.

He will try to get you to quit your job, move to a new town somehow make you dependent on him.

He usually keeps you away from his family somehow. They are vicious addicts, have always abused his good nature or they don’t like you.

He will point out how disrespectful your kids are to you. How your family doesn’t appreciate you. He just wants to protect you. You are always taking care of everyone else. There probably is a smidgen of truth to it too.

All his ex’s were psycho bitches that are out to get him and destroy him. He will forbid you to talk to them because they will try to turn you against him.

You will discover some lie early on and he will down play it, beg forgiveness and promise it will never happen again.

He will more than likely have money tied up somehow and will try to borrow a bit until the big payoff comes through. He will have money to wine and dine you at first though. He is getting it off some other sucker.

He might have questionable work ethics or credentials.

Often he is new to town so has no long term friends you can meet, he becomes friends with your friends.

Sex is intense and frequent, at first.

Then, all of a sudden, like a switch went off; he is moody, critical, flies into a rage over nothing and you are shocked, don’t understand what you did wrong. He might disappear for days at a time. He will pick a fight and not call or answer your calls for days and then pop back into your life like nothing happened.

If you try to break up with him, he will cry and beg you to give him another chance but things quickly go back to him being moody and angry all the time.

None of this is normal behavior and this is when you exit stage left and cut off all communication. You can NOT talk to him because he will put doubt in your mind. Trust your gut that is telling you something is not right.

Advertisements

Super Heroes and Narcissists

What do a Super Hero and a Narcissist have in common? 

They both hide their identity behind a mask and lead a double life,

They usually have a loyal side kick

They are both make believe

They both have super powers (well the narcissist likes to think he has super powers)

In any story involving a super hero; there is an equally evil villain and they both have super powers; the only difference between them is the super hero uses his `powers to do good and the villain uses his to do evil.

When you met the narcissist he was your super hero, and true to form for a super hero, he didn’t really exist. I used to follow a blog written by a young woman who called the new man in her life her superman. I remember seeing red flags throughout her posts and thought to myself, just wait; your superman is going to turn into the villain soon enough; and he did, as soon as she got pregnant. Guess who is a single mom, again, with teenagers and a baby, Superman is no where to be seen now.

So why is it so hard to tell the hero from the villain? How can good be so close to evil? Like they say, most genius’s are bordering on insanity, love is the closest thing to hate, a person can be so happy they cry, the most powerful emotions are so intense they can almost become their exact opposite. (This is just me trying to connect the dots, try to follow along, I am trying to make a point here, I may just be taking the scenic route getting there)

This is where it is going to get confusing because I am going to challenge your definition of empathy. Keep in mind this is just me throwing thoughts around.

First here is the Full Definition of empathy from Merriam/Webster Dictionary

  1. 1 :  the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it

  2. 2 :  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner

I think everyone here has at some point been told they are an “Empath” as if it is a bad thing, and the reason they were targeted by the Narc. What we all gather from the information we consume is;

Victim = Empathy ………. Narcissist = Lack of Empathy and the combination of the two equates to, empathy/feelings are bad, it is the victims fault and the victim is flawed.

But this creates a quandary for the victim because they have witnessed the narc exhibit empathy, when they first started dating the victim felt as if the narc was able to pick up on her every emotion, he knew her better than she knew herself. Even once his true colored showed he was still able to do something so totally sensitive and romantic there is no way he “guessed” at it.

For example; nearing the end of the relationship when the good times were extremely rare and short lived I was stranded yet again (you guess it, my truck was broken down) no money for the bus, no cell phone and called my ex from a phone booth in tears. He was amazingly compassionate and said he had to take a run out of town to fix a semi that was broken down and he would pick me up so I could ride along. I was relieved and hopeful we might actually enjoy a long drive together but then I thought of Kato at home alone without supper until God knows when. I had to put the thought out of my head, he would survive, I had no options for getting home. My ex told me where to meet him and I went to wait. As per usual he was taking a long time and I was getting frustrated, when I heard a semi honk behind me. When I turned around, there was my ex crouching down with a big smile on his face and he was holding Kato between his legs. Kato’s tail was going a million miles an hour. I doubt I ever loved my ex more. He knew how important Kato was to me. The situation provided him with a golden opportunity to ruin my night worrying about Kato. If he was a true narcissist why would he do something so thoughtful? If he was lacking in empathy how would he even know how I felt?

There were a handful of times my ex came through with something so thoughtful, so insightful, so totally me, it was impossible to believe he didn’t love me. I had never known anyone who knew me so completely and never known anyone who had the power to destroy me so completely.

I think one requires the other in order to destroy someone, you have to know them intimately, every like, dislike, insecurity, what makes them happy, what makes them angry, every skeleton in their closet and every dream, hope, desire and you have to make them trust you so they will share their most embarrassing secrets and secret fears that they barely admit to themselves, let alone anyone else. People are not going to bare their soul to someone who doesn’t care and empathy is not something a person can fake, can they?

I have heard it called “cold empathy”, calling someone empathetic doesn’t necessarily guarantee they are a caring, good person with honorable intentions, so don’t be fooled by someone who seems to be able to pick up on your every emotion and know how to sooth your troubled soul because they just might use their power to bring you down.

I think we are all born with the super power to pick up on other people’s feelings, what separates us from the evil narcissist is how we use our super power.

We do exactly what the narcissist does when we meet someone, only we are not as focused as the narcissist because our life does not depend on it like it does for the narc. But when we meet a new romantic interest we want to learn everything about them and we make mental notes of his likes and dislikes, we compile all the information he feeds us in order to form a picture of this person we just met, we all, after all, are the sum total of our life experiences, right? We assume the person is telling us the truth about themselves and the narcissist is especially believable because he is smart enough to pepper his past with some unflattering details, we think he is so honest he can’t even lie about the errors he has made. We know that we tell stories of our past in such a way as to make ourselves sound better, no one meets a new person and relieves all their flaws right from the get go, that doesn’t even make sense, so the narcissist must be telling the truth; and he looks and sounds so sorry, we totally miss the fact that the way he put it, it really wasn’t his fault; if the other woman hadn’t done this or that he would not have been forced to act so against his true character and he always adds he is sure it would never happen with us because after all we are nothing like his ex’s, we are special.

Later we will use the information we collect during those romantic all night discussions with the narcissist; we will remember his favorite drink so we can have it waiting for him after work, we will remember his size so when we see that blue shirt that matches his eyes perfectly, we buy it, we remember the hurts of his past so as to not inadvertently cause him pain, and so we know how to bring him joy and make him feel special. (like he makes us feel) This is normal! We will even change our interests, if he is into something we have never done we are willing to give it a try for him, right? I had never liked watching hockey on TV but I dated a guy who was nuts about hockey and for a period of time I really enjoyed hockey and never missed a game. After we split I never watched hockey again. I have never changed my whole personality in order to hook a man because I see no point in that, eventually your true self comes out and you are with a guy you have nothing in common with and I learned decades ago to never think you can change a man and what you see is what you get, so if you don’t like what you see keep right on walking.

The narcissist is collecting information on you also, in the beginning, in order to hook you and later to use as a weapon against you. YOU are being totally honest and he has been totally lying to you, so most of the info you have is bogus and you shared the most intimate details of your life with him. You are instantly at a disadvantage.

With the narc is, what you see is NOT what you get, but I digress.

Back to the empathy thing.

I believe the narcissist has a “type” of empathy, in fact he might be more empathetic or intuitive than you or I; it is what he DOES with his empathy super power. This takes us back to the question; what is imperative if you want to destroy someone? The ability to know them better than they know themselves and get them to let their guard down. The fastest way to do that is through…….empathy.

So if the narcissist has empathy how can he go around hurting people all the time? Because what he is lacking is a conscience/guilt, in other words, he knows he is hurting you, he just doesn’t give a fuck. No I lie, he does give a fuck because he wants you to hurt, it makes him feel powerful and superior. He has the super power to bring you to your knees using the exact same skill you use to do good.

He abuses you, and your empathy makes up all kinds of possible scenarios for his behavior. When he doesn’t give a shit, you just substitute what you would be feeling if it was you. A narcissist has no idea how guilt feels, he never loses sleep over hurting someone, he losing sleep trying to devise a plot TO hurt someone.  The narcissist operates from his ego, he may get extremely jealous and suspicious when you are totally loyal and faithful, all the while be screwing around with half a dozen women himself. I tried to relate to my ex by saying things like, “How would you feel if you found out I had a personal ad?” I related back to him how he had told me how much it hurt to find out his ex had been cheating on him. (but now I believe it was probably a lie) He was always obsessed about whether his women were screwing around on him, all the while he was seeing 3-4 of us and telling us all that he loved us ad we were the only woman in his life. He knew how it felt to be jealous, he just didn’t care, it was more important to him to satisfy his needs and without a conscience there is nothing to stop him.

Why bother? Why go to all that work? Because a common criminal will just walk into a bank with a gun and demand the teller hand over the cash. It doesn’t make him a narcissist, it makes him a criminal. When a narcissist commits a crime he isn’t doing it for the money as much as he is doing it for the ego boost of sucking the victim in. There is a much bigger ego payout when you can suck the victim into playing a part in their own demise. Now THAT is powerful and provides visual proof of the narcissist’s superiority to the mere humans he must co-exist with. The whole time he is playing you like a concert violinist he is congratulating himself on how intelligent he is. And how stupid you are. Haven’t you ever noticed that this seemingly highly intelligent man can be so stupid as to leave his laptop open with his email account on the screen, or leave a phone number where you can find it, a hotel receipt in his pants pocket when he never does the laundry and knows you will find it.

He is getting frustrated because you are not picking up the clues fast enough, you aren’t playing the game of cat and mouse so he has to drop some clues to get you playing the game.

For a narcissist it is all about the game, manipulating people to do his dirty work, it is a complicated plot where a dozen different moves made by a handful of people results in him getting what he wants. He will take advantage of an easy target but he feeds off of the manipulation, the gas lighting, the total destruction of his target and ……….. getting them to help in their destruction. Oh glorious narcissistic supply!!

I have read that narcissists actually hate sex, they only use it to hook the victim. To take it a step further I believe that in the beginning the narcissist is aroused by the simple fact that they are sucking in the victim, knowing what they have in store for the victim and the victim innocently mistaking his ardor for love.

The longer the relationship goes on the narcissist is building up an immunity to the supply he gets from the victim and he must ramp up the abuse. The closer he gets to the final discard, the end goal of this whole performance, the curtain is about to drop, all his plotting, conniving and scheming is about to pay off. He gets excited about how devastated the victim is going to be, he can visualize it, he has it all planned, how he will reveal the fact that he doesn’t love her, how he has found the “love of his life”, it’s building to a crescendo, just like that moment just before you orgasm. He holds himself back, wanting to let his load go but he knows if he can wait the orgasm will be so much better. He doesn’t need sex, he is getting something better.

The thing with empathy is, no one can know exactly how another person feels because they only know what they have experienced; something that brings them to their knees might not have the same effect on someone else. We, as empathetic people assume other people are feeling what we would be feeling. Personally I can not tolerate anyone or thing suffering, get almost ill to my stomach and it seems to be getting worse the older I get. I was at the vets today to get Stella’s stitches out (for those of you who don’t follow my FaceBook, Stella was spayed last week, that in itself was more traumatic for me than her I am sure) they brought out a female lab X, co-incidentally named Stella; she was struggling to walk and could barely keep her head up, then I noticed one of her front legs was missing. I fought back the tears and almost had to leave, or go to the owner and hug her, I kept thinking how I would feel if I had to decide whether to have Stella’s leg removed in order to save her life and I felt I should be doing something to comfort the dog, the owner, myself. In an attempt to figure how I would handle it I asked how old the dog was and the receptionist tod me 9 yrs old. Not that I could afford to have the surgery done but if I could I doubt I would go for it, I think I would choose to have her made as comfortable as possible and put her to sleep instead of making her last few years painful and make her have to adjust to For one thing I could never afford the surgery but I also knew it would kill me to watch her suffer. Then I asked myself, “would it be more selfish to keep her alive or to let her die peacefully? Who would I be deciding for? Her or me? The owner of the other Stella was totally stoic, I imagined she was breaking down deep inside, maybe she wasn’t, she obviously loved her dog but I have no right to assume I know how she feels.

Empathetic people have to ask themselves; are they assigning emotions they would be feeling to other people who quite possibly aren’t feeling anything close to that. That is the only draw back of being an Empath, having compassion for others is a good thing, the world needs empaths, having empathy is a powerful skill; imagine the world without empaths; they are the activists, the one’s who change laws, save children, run dog rescue shelters, care for the elderly, risk life and limb fighting fires, they run food banks, they are the voice of reason, the peace keepers. Don’t let anyone tell you that having empathy is a bad thing, unless you use the super power for evil and not good.

Is Empathy A Choice – And Does The Narcissist Have A Choice?

empathy

 

This could be one of those posts that stirs up some controversy. Right off the bat I am going to put a disclaimer; this is just my opinion, who knows I might change my mind on it down the road; so if anyone has a different theory, please……. tell us what you think.

I received this comment from Safirefalcon on my post about sharing your pain.  I could feel a very long reply coming because it is something I have thought a lot about, so decided to make it a post.  Here is the comment and my reply below that.

painempathy

Re: the quote by Brene Brown though (and I love Brene Brown btw) I don’t think empathy is necessary a choice. I see it as a type of emotion and those aren’t always choices, especially when speaking of empathy in the context of narcissism. That’s not to say that everyone who’s eyes glaze over when telling of an experience is a narc.

But pertaining to narcs, their lack of empathy isn’t really a choice is it? Serious question.

They do however have a choice how to be and ‘act’ when told about something that could invoke an empathic response from someone who isn’t a narcissist. They could pretend to care or they could do what would be easier and make it clear that they don’t.

I know this post doesn’t necessarily have to do with narcissism or NPD but when I read your blog it’s where my mind goes. Lol.

Safirefalcon, I seem to view everything in terms of narcissism now LOL so I know what you mean. lol

empathy bear

As far as choosing to be empathetic, I think some people are more empathetic than others and it can be a curse; I wish I wasn’t as empathetic sometimes because it can be very taxing and I get sick of being told I am too sensitive. I don’t know how to be any other way, it is fine for someone to say not to take things so seriously, it is a lot easier said than done.

I think where the choice comes in is how we deal with that empathy. The empathetic person has to realize that it is not their issue, they can empathize with another person but not take it on and own it themselves. I think also that some times we are projecting what we would be feeling under the same circumstances but the other person may not be having the same reaction. We assume everyone feels the same as we do but many people are not affected as strongly as we would be and don’t even understand why we are so upset for them. We may not be able to help feeling empathy but it is our choice to act on that empathy. I think empathetic people tend to want to fix things for people and sometimes our help is unwanted and often times not in our best interest. With the narcissist, he is using our empathy to get what he wants, so it is never in our best interest.

To ensure we are not taken advantage of is not lacking empathy, I have a hard time drawing that line myself. I find myself thinking I am better able to cope than the other person, ie: I will give my last $5 because I know I will find a way to get by; so in essence I am saying the other person is incapable. In the case with our children, we want to save them from hurt so badly that we rescue them and they never learn to stand on their own two feet. It is where empaths run into trouble with narcissists, they act helpless and put it on us to fix the messes they invariably get themselves into. Or we assume they are feelings the same we would feel and we assign them emotions they are not having.

I have been working on not assigning people emotions that I would be feeling and trying to just take a person at face value. If they act like they don’t care, believe they don’t care and not assume they are embarrassed to admit their feelings, or they are a male and afraid to show emotion, or his guilt is making him act the way he is. I know the wospos’s mother and I assigned him emotions he wasn’t feeling and he just road with it. Like his mom thinking he was so sensitive because he removes himself from emotional situations, ie: missed his grandma’s funeral because he was too upset to be there. NO he didn’t give a shit and he was going to get laid by some chick at a party and didn’t want to leave.

As for the narcissist feeling empathy and whether he has a choice. I have read a lot on this one and I think the verdict is still out. We all know that the narcissist appeared very empathetic when we first started dating them and when they would try to pull us back into the web. From my experience, the wospos could seem very empathetic and do really thoughtful things for me, things that a lot of other men would never think of; the absolutely most considerate thing that only I would appreciate. On the other hand there were times I knew he was trying to appear empathetic and totally missed the mark, so what is it? Does the N play a guessing game as to what the right response to a situation is or does he say the cruel things he says knowing it will hurt the other person. Did the wospos not go to his grandmother’s death-bed because he just didn’t care and felt nothing or did he not go because he knew he would be expected to show emotions and it was too much work, or did he not go because by not showing up he had everyone thinking about him, even his grandma who was the one dying was wondering way the wospos was. I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter why they don’t show empathy, all we need to do is accept that they won’t and stop trying to teach them how to be considerate people.

But, in order for the narcissist to manipulate others like they do, does it not require empathy? If he was incapable of understanding other people’s emotions then how would he know exactly what to do to cut someone to the core?

I think the problem is the definition of the word, to me Empathy is an emotion, not an action.

Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else is feeling. Is it something a person can learn, or is it a natural instinct that we are born with?

Babies show empathy, if they see a child crying they will cry, I have seen YouTube videos of babies that cry when they hear a sad song or watch a sad cartoon.

Baby cries when mommy sings

Toddlers cried watching cartoon

I think we all agree that some people are just born empathetic and others not so much, the not so much people are not narcissists by nature but can be easily mislead by a narcissist and coerced into doing the narcissists dirty work. These people are usually the ones who are weak and lacking in self-confidence, they get off on the attention they get when they spread rumors, they see the narcissist as powerful and it is an ego boost for them to be the narcissists “best buddy” or they will spy for the N to get in his good graces where an empathic person would have stronger morals than that. The one fellow that did a lot of the wospos’s dirty work was Jim and he knew what JC was, he bitched about him all. the time, he was forever being ripped off by the wospos and knew he was a lying cheat, yet he would get sucked in by JC all the time and relished sharing any new gossip he had on JC and couldn’t wait to inflict pain on me by sharing new info he had even after I told him I didn’t want to hear it, it was as if it was out of his control, he would explode if he couldn’t tell me JC was happy with the new woman. I don’t understand that even more than I don’t understand the narcissist.

What about the narcissist, if a person can’t feel how can he have empathy? Isn’t empathy being able to put yourself in a person’s situation? feel their pain? I know I have cried many a tear reading women’s stories in here but that is because I have been there and can relate to what she is saying. Prior to meeting the wospos I would not have had the same level of empathy because I was one of those people who thought, “Why don’t they just leave?” “I would never let a man abuse me”, “He would never get a chance to hit me twice.” There are certain things a person doesn’t have to experience in order to empathize, a parent can imagine what it must be like to lose a child.

empathysuffering

If a person has experienced the control and cruelty of a narcissist we can empathize but if they haven’t, they can’t understand why we didn’t leave, even some of the stories sound bizarre to our own ears, imagine how unreal they must sound to a person who has never experienced the crazy world of a narcissist. No one can understand what it is like to live in a world where there is no reality and you can count on nothing, not even what you see with your own eyes.

I have read that narcissists actually have a very high level of empathy, I have heard it called “cold empathy”, they know what a person is feeling, that is why they can zero in on a person who is vulnerable so well; they just choose to use their ability to feel empathy to their advantage. That is where the lack of conscience comes in, they don’t feel guilty so there is nothing to stop them from using their empathy to better themselves, if it does not benefit them they can shut it off and feel nothing. To feel emotions is a waste of time to the narcissist, it is a weakness they leave to commoner, it is beneath them and would leave them vulnerable to be taken advantage of like they take advantage of people’s emotions.

empathyactions

In many ways the narcissist IS like the rest of us, he also assigns emotions to people that they don’t have, only in his case he is assuming all people feel as he does and are just waiting for him to show weakness so they can take advantage of him.  JC even said to me one time that he didn’t like to share anything from his past because I would use it against him later, I couldn’t understand why he would think that, I didn’t even know what he meant by that. But I do now.

Or after we split and he came to me saying he always loved me and didn’t I know that? He said, “You knew I had lost my job, that the place was infested with mice, I had to move.” as if that should have explained why he had to find another woman to feed off. And was he meaning to be cruel when he said that M didn’t want him talking to me and I should be able to understand, how would I feel if I was in the same position? knowing full well I had been in the exact same situation and it HAD hurt like hell but he hadn’t stopped talking to other women. Was it a totally innocent remark because he couldn’t relate or was it a purposeful comment meant to hurt me?

empathyblindness

People in my life have hurt me badly, people I love and expected to be there for me no matter what, and had been up until I met the wospos, turned their backs on me when I needed them most. It was not because they didn’t care or love me, they just could not empathize and so had no idea what I needed and did what they thought was the right thing to do. It doesn’t make them a bad person, it just makes them unable to relate to my situation and mindset because they have never been there. That is why sharing our stories are so important, not just to warn others about the getting involved with a narcissist but also to give them insight into what to do if someone they care about is involved with a narcissist.

I think there are many reasons why a person’s eyes glaze over when a victim starts to share their story;

They simply do not understand and see the victim as responsible for their own abuse

It is too scary for them and if they don’t hear it they don’t have to admit it could happen to them

People in general want happy stories, they don’t know what to say or do to help the victim and they don’t want to say the wrong thing so they avoid the situation all together. Like when you are walking down the sidewalk and see a friend coming towards you who is going through a bad time and you want to cross the street and pretend you didn’t see them. It is not that you don’t care, it is that you don’t know what to say or how to comfort them so you avoid the situation totally. Is that lack of empathy or lack of experience?

Then, there are people who are afraid they have turned into a narcissist. Is it possible for a person who once felt empathy to turn into a narcissist? I think it is possible for a sensitive person to be so badly hurt that they shut off their emotions so they are not vulnerable, yes. I believe that children who are severely abused can become narcissist and self-centred and I believe that society as a whole is becoming more narcissistic BUT that does not make them a narcissist. What makes a narcissist who he is, is the lack of guilt more than the lack of empathy. I think. The lack of a conscience does not automatically mean a person does not have empathy, it means they will use their empathy to take advantage of people.

empathyblockers

I don’t think I have answered the questions, I just reread this post and I went around in circles.

If a narcissist does have empathy, he uses his powers for evil and not good; we are polar opposites, I just hope we don’t cancel each other out. I hope the empaths of the world don’t become cynical and instead join forces to support each other and teach the rest of society how to use their empathy for good.

 

 

flickspire – Gratitude HD – Moving Art

When you think about it logically and rationally and not from a position of your pain and broken heart you realize you have so much to be thankful for. That you have some much to give the world and there are people who walk past you daily that need your smile or words of kindness but you are missing the opportunity to give someone else a reason to be grateful because you are focused on a heartless individual who has done nothing to make the world a better place.
You are wasting hours, days, years of your life moarning something that was only an illusion. You are wasting your life waiting for one person to change so you can be happy when you could be changing the whole world with a smile and empathy for your fellow man.
http://www.flickspire.com/m/LittleeInc/GratitudeHD?lsid=dbafc8047f25252b224a4f4c1b0bdfbf

There is life and light after the narcissist, I promise! Hugs Carrie

Empathy

I haven’t watched the whole video because I just haven’t had time. Sam Vaknin discusses empathy. I found it very interesting and could explain why we find it so easy to fall for the narcissist. I have said it before but of course Sam Vaknin is an expert and says it scientifically.
What is empathy? We say it is because we can relate to what a person is feeling; or we know how a person feels. But that is impossible; we can only know how WE feel and so we, as empathetic people, assign our feelings to the narcissist.
He doesn’t have to have feelings because we assign him feelings. JC’S adoptive mother always talked about how sensitive he was and when his father died they were afraid to tell him because he was so sensitive. But he never cried, get didn’t even talk about it and he didn’t spend much time with his father. I tried to be sympathetic with him but I didn’t feel he was sad, he was empty. Yet his mother took his distance as being so sensitive he couldn’t stand it and had to with draw. Two totally different views of the same behavior. Which one of us was right? I am sure we both feel we were right but then she always finds a way of putting him in a good light and believes him. How I don’t know in light of some of the stuff he has done. But she is assigning him her reactions and she is a very empathetic person and very sensitive so that is how she sees him.
I hope I explained that right but you can watch it for yourself.

Topsy-turvy: Paul Bloom Against, Vaknin for Empathy (Vaknin and Rutsch)
Www.YouTube.com

Re(Creations) by Carrie Reimer 778-344-4974