My milkshake brings all the narcissists to the yard. And they’re like, I’m better than you. Damn right, I’m better than you.
Except that for individuals who possess narcissistic personality traits, such a declaration of superiority is barely even surface deep. A clinical narcissist’s profound insecurity is woven into the very fibers of his or her existence. These individuals harbor intense feelings of self-loathing and abhorrence for anyone who questions their intentions, presents a criticism or challenges their egos. People who exhibit traits of narcissism can have difficulty maintaining interpersonal relationships and typically have low self-esteem and poor boundaries. These individuals can feel empty without the braggadocio they create for themselves and the attention they receive from the manipulation and deceit of others. At one time or another all of us engage in behaviors that are commonly employed by individuals with extreme and pervasive narcissistic traits. But most of us do not embody the vital component of narcissism: a complete and utter lack of empathy, an inability to feel authentic emotion.
Even though people with severe narcissistic personality traits lack regard for us, we should not lack compassion for them. We are all born with the wiring for connection, the ability to be responsive to our environments and our fellow humans. Individuals with significant narcissistic personality traits sustained substantial and repeated blows to their original hardware, emotional injuries so severe that the only way to survive was for them to develop a fabricated self. The humanities of these individuals are intensely wounded.
As an empath I find myself naturally attracted to individuals with strong narcissistic personality traits. These individuals are charming and intriguing. Because I am an empath I possess the ability and the desire to soak up the suffering of others like a sponge, and no one needs more absorption than a narcissist. These injured individuals seem to tap into both my hopeless romanticism and my healer spirit. But individuals with narcissistic traits possess the ability and the desire to steal an empath’s gifts, to decimate the authentic and compassionate essence inherent in an empath’s soul.
The few romantic bonds I have established with individuals who display extreme narcissistic tendencies have always resulted in a debilitating dynamic, a vicious cycle of imbalance. My attempts at sincere communication with these individuals proved as vain as Narcissus himself. More than once I have lost sight of my self-worth because of my involvement with individuals who possess these overwhelming, all-encompassing traits. Yet I have always seemed to claw my way out of the dark depths of manipulation and destruction. As an empath I seek lessons in feelings of shame, periods of sacrifice and the rubble of ruin. Yet I can’t help but feel sad for the fact that most individuals with narcissistic traits will float through an unfulfilling and invalidating life, always on the prowl for their next target.
The times that my path has collided violently with the path of an individual with narcissistic traits has always reminded me that I am determined to live a genuine life. My heart is authentic (metaphorically, because my physical heart is actually bionic). I will continue on in search of a fellow empath. Or at least an individual whose damage will not damage me.
With the awareness that my milkshake tends to bring all the narcissists to the yard, I can do my best to avoid engaging in the intense but insincere interactions inherent in the dangerous dynamic between an empath and a narcissist. My milkshake might be a little quirky but there is nothing wrong with my milkshake. My milkshake is just fine. I simply need to be more discerning about who gets to stick their straw in it.