Quora Answers: Narcissists And Empaths



Why Would An Empath Mirror A Narcissist?


When I was with my Malignant Narcissist Ex-husband, I often mirrored his narcissistic attitude and tendencies.

Though it wasn’t exactly a conscious effort on my part.

So why did I do this?

Why would an empath mirror a narcissist?

One reason, quite simply, is self-preservation.

Looking back, I can recall trying to erase my emotions. Or at the very least, numb them into non-existence.

To avoid the pain my husband continually heaped on me.

If I didn’t feel sensitive, then his words couldn’t hurt me.

If I didn’t feel love, then his betrayal couldn’t destroy me.

If I didn’t feel attached to him, then his animosity couldn’t break me.

By suppressing my own emotions, and mirroring the narcissist, I was losing my sense of self.

Because I do have emotions.

Because I am sensitive.

And I do feel love.

Stifling my feelings only contributed to the cognitive dissonance that already engulfed me.

Not dealing with the pain at the time only made it harder to deal with later.

It’s no surprise that it became a huge chasm of unresolved feelings.

Even after several months of No Contact, it threatened to destroy me from within.

Granted, an empath mirroring a narcissist for self-preservation can be a temporary fix.

It’s a way to avoid more pain at the moment.

But this becomes a problem for the empath if she doesn’t process those emotions at some point.

The painful feelings may have been temporarily suppressed.

But they didn’t evaporate.

And since they still exist, they still have to be processed.

Especially if they’ve been dormant a long time.

Otherwise, a form of psychological cancer begins to grow deep in your subconscious mind.

Although it is curable in the beginning, the longer it’s ignored, the more it grows.

Fortunately, I am no longer living with a narcissist.

I can now look more objectively at some of my former self-preservation strategies.

When you’re just trying to survive, processing your emotions takes a backseat to more practical matters.

Like trying to avoid getting your ass kicked.

A victim of narcissistic abuse will do whatever she can to cope with the horror that is her life.

But not processing those painful emotions will keep her trapped in her own version of hell.

Long after leaving the narcissist.


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