Is this you? Do you feel what other people are feeling and internalize it? Do you feel highly in tune with other peoples' feelings and energy? Do you see the best in someone quickly because that’s what you want to see? Do you find yourself wanting to help and heal those around you?
Being a highly empathetic person (aka an "empath") is an amazing trait BUT it can be a challenge in dating.
Because when you so easily internalize other peoples' feelings, it becomes all too easy to neglect your own.
If you’re not careful... you can lose yourself in the process.
And sometimes that becomes a pattern.
And that's where narcissists enter the picture...
If you’re so easily able to internalize other peoples’ issues and AND you’re willing to de-prioritize yourself to help… you attract people who want that. You attract people who want to be saved and nothing more.
Those are people who NEED everything to be about them. They NEED to receive your love, your compassion, your help, your healing... BUT they don’t have any intention to give it back to you. They want it all to be about them.
That is NOT what you deserve.
It’s great to date someone who needs help just like you do… but if you’re not careful you can start to attract people who crave that BUT have nothing or no intention to return anything to you.
As someone who deeply feels… you WANT to help them and that's exactly what a narcissist wants. They want you to be conditioned to stay.
Narcissists are attracted to you… through no fault of your own.
And in the process you lose yourself. You blame yourself. You might try to break away but you start to think that any inclination you have to focus on YOU is selfish. You start to think your feelings really don’t matter because focusing on you would mean abandoning your partner.
You deserve so much better than that!
The world needs more people like YOU - people who are selfless, who know what they bring out the table and are eager to give it away.
BUT you never deserve to be taken advantage of by someone who offers nothing back.
So how do you combat narcissists in dating who want to take advantage of your amazing empathy?
Balance. You need to balance your heart with a healthy dose of self respect.
- You can be a loving and empathetic person and still say NO.
- You don’t have to put up with a narcissist who wants everything to be about them and has no intention of ever making it about you.
- You don't have to put up with someone who only wants to be loved and doesn’t ever want to love.
- You don’t have to put up with someone who struggles with commitment.
- You don’t have to put up with someone who is hot and cold and who plays emotional games with you because they know you care. Use your empathy… help others, help others change, help others heal… BUT learn to spot the difference between someone who wants to change and someone who doesn’t.
You can’t fix someone who doesn't want to fix themselves.
You can’t be responsible for their life. It’s THEIR responsibility to learn and grow and love. Their responsibility can’t become yours but the unfortunate reality of life is that some people aren’t ready to own their s***. And they’d just love to give it all to you... permanently.
As an empath… you need to learn to spot those people. Do they believe in their ability to change? Do they actively want to change and give back? If nothing were to change and you were to stop burdening yourself with THEIR responsibility... what would happen?
What would happen if you replaced your inclination to FEEL with just OBSERVING instead?
Just because you CAN feel what they're feeling… it doesn’t make you responsible for it. You can care deeply about someone. You can want the best for them. You can genuinely want to help them.
BUT if they can’t help themselves and if they can’t love you back… you need to learn to NOT get drawn into the dependency your empathy so deeply craves. Realize that attachment is NOT necessarily love.
Balance your default to attachment with a bulls*** meter.
That’s a bulls*** meter that asks yourself…
Is this person actually here for me?
Are they showing up for me?
Are they being honest and genuine with me?
Are they as attached as I am?
Do they see in me what I see in them?
When you realize your attachment might not be love… you can realize what is YOURS and what is THEIRS.
What feelings are true to you? And which are theirs that have become yours?
Stay connected to YOUR feelings while also practicing your empathy. That is balance.