How do you abuse an empath?

How do you abuse an empath?

Maybe you were already aware of this, but there is an incredibly toxic attraction between an empath and a narcissist.

Shockingly, it’s not just the narcissist that drives the paradigm of abuse – it’s also the person the narcissist is inevitably attracted to – the empath.

An empath is someone who has “the ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one’s empath capacity.”

Since an empath actually feels the feelings of other people, they have trouble not feeling sympathy for the narcissist – even though they clearly don’t deserve it. In this video, entitled How to Abuse an Empath, I’ll fill you in on the how and the why of narcissistic abuse against empaths, as well as why they are so toxically attracted to one another. 

Surviving Toxic Relationships: Say Goodbye to Guilt Trips

Surviving Toxic Relationships: Say Goodbye to Guilt Trips

Narcissistic abusers really do a number on your head, don’t they? One of their favorite weapons of choice is a good old guilt trip – and who among us hasn’t been on one of those? Only sociopaths are able to NEVER feel guilt – and for those of us who do feel it, guilt is distressing and draining. There doesn’t seem to be a cure. You’ve done or said something you regret – or you’ve been made to feel guilty when you didn’t deserve it – thanks to narcissistic manipulation. In any case, you’re uncomfortable without an obvious solution. What can be done about it now?


Get over your guilt with these strategies:

1. Determine if you should feel guilty. Whose standards are you using? Your parents’? Your own? Your church’s? Can you be sure the source is correct? Ensure that you’re judging yourself by a set of standards you deem to be worthy. It’s your choice.

2. Learn from it. Why do you feel guilty? Obviously, you did or said something that you consider to be wrong. Once you know why you feel guilty, you’re in a position to benefit from it. Ensure that you don’t repeat the behavior in the future. Visualize yourself behaving in a new and improved manner. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

3. Sometimes guilt is unproductive. Imagine that you feel guilty about missing your child’s play because you were required to work. If you did everything within your power, there’s no benefit to feeling guilt. Does your behavior require modification? If not, there’s no reason to feel guilty.

4. Apologize. It can be as simple as saying you’re sorry. You’ll feel better afterward, even if your apology is rejected.

5. Accept that you feel guilty. Acknowledge your feelings and the pain that goes with them. Accept that you made a mistake. Realize that it will pass.

6. Forgive yourself. Even if the other person won’t forgive you, you can forgive yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. No one is perfect.

7. Let it go. Once the event is over, you’ve apologized, and modified your behavior, let it go. At that point, what purpose does your guilt serve? Take a deep breath, let it out, and move on. Keep your mind occupied with more productive thoughts.

8. Have gratitude. Rather than saying to yourself, “I should have told Mary the truth”, tell yourself, “I’m grateful I’ve learned the importance of honesty.” Negative experiences can still be worthy of gratitude.

How to avoid guilt in the future:

1. Think instead of react. Guilt is often the result of acting without thinking. When you become emotional, take a moment to collect yourself. It’s easy to do or say something that you’ll later regret.

2. Be less critical of yourself. Guilt and the need to be perfect go hand in hand. Avoid expecting perfection. It’s unrealistic and leads to feelings of guilt. Everyone makes mistakes on a daily basis.

3. Create realistic beliefs. Maybe you believe that a good parent should do certain things, but you don’t or can’t do them. Are you sure your opinion on the matter is reasonable? Maybe you believe that a good parent would never get frustrated, which is unrealistic.

You’re not alone in feeling guilty. Some people spend a lifetime wallowing in guilt. How long you feel guilty is up to you. Learn from your mistakes and go forward with a new perspective and strategy. Apologize and forgive yourself. The real shame is repeating behavior that results in guilt. Avoid repeating your mistakes and be gentle with yourself. Practice making the choice that doesn’t result in guilt. The more you practice, the more healthy choices you’ll make, and the less guilt you’ll have to deal with.

Triangulation: Why you should never try to fix an argument for a narcissist

Triangulation: Why you should never try to fix an argument for a narcissist

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” ~Joseph Joubert

Have you ever been in a relationship with a narcissist? Have you noticed how they use triangulation to manipulate you and people you know? Pathological narcissism (or narcissistic personality disorder) makes a narcissist feel superior to everyone around them (of course, that’s just one of many toxic narcissist traits). They want everyone’s admiration including yours.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist in a toxic relationship, you’ll already know that it’s nearly impossible to tell them anything they don’t want to hear, because when you attempt it, their go-to move is manipulation. One of their most effective forms of manipulation is triangulation, which narcissists use as a way to keep control, manipulate, and do whatever they please.

What is triangulation in a narcissistic relationship?

Triangulation is a common manipulation tactic often employed by narcissists. In a narcissistic relationship, triangulation is one of the names for a co-dependent behavior in which a third person is brought into a romantic relationship as a mediator, a peacemaker, a confidante, or a messenger. During triangulation, the narcissist communicates as a third party between two people but prevents the two from communicating directly through either manipulating or controlling at least one of them. Triangulating creates a “blame game” that can help one or both of the people involved avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. It can help them avoid feeling shamed, guilty, or otherwise uncomfortable. The narcissist will often manipulate the third person into supporting them in their effort to hurt you.

Why is triangulation so effective in narcissistic abuse?

Basically, since triangulation is a tactic for gaining power between two people, narcissists take control by getting a third person involved in their conflict. For example, there are lots of different kinds of narcissistic abusers out there, but just about all of them triangulate their targets for one reason or another. That is because the narcissist finds themselves in need of controlling someone else, and just can’t seem to get that under control on their own. So, they use anything (and in this case, anyone) that can help them get what they want. Narcissists are able to do this because they use triangulation as a way to create drama and chaos in relationships with other people. They pull people in and make them feel like they’re the only person who can make them happy and then they discard those people once they’ve served their purpose.

Why do narcissists use triangulation against you in romantic relationships?

Narcissists prefer to have a lot of options in romantic relationships because it gives them a sense of power and control, but also because they don’t want to find themselves alone – they always need backup sources of narcissistic supply, so they like to keep a so-called narcissistic harem in place when possible. Plus, they do not want to be limited in their choices by a relationship that is exclusive or committed.

Narcissists are self-centered, and they want the freedom to pursue their own interests and desires without being tied down or limited by a monogamous relationship. Rather than having one primary partner, narcissists will often have multiple partners, partners who know about each other, and partners who are competing with each other for the narcissist’s attention and approval. This type of relationship arrangement is called “triangulation.”

Triangulation is a common tactic used by narcissists in intimate relationships. It involves bringing another person into the dynamic of a relationship in an effort to keep their partner from getting too close or leaving them. When narcissists feel threatened or anxious about losing their partner, they will often try to triangulate them by getting them interested in someone new whom the narcissist can then use as leverage against their partner.

Why do narcissistic parents triangulate their children?

Narcissistic parents will often triangulate their children, either against each other or against other children – or, in some cases, against the other parent.  Triangulation is a way to control and manipulate the environment, and in general, they will create a triangle by creating a love triangle with two people who are close to the narcissist. The narcissist will pit these two people against each other in order to create a situation where he or she can be the hero that saves the day. In this way, the narcissist gets to feel as though he or she has power and control over two people as well as the environment.

So, the narcissist may triangulate their spouse and their child into a relationship with one another, pitting them against each other, attempting to control their relationship and even their thoughts about each other by doing so. This type of triangulation is very difficult for children to understand because it is so complex and somewhat subconscious on the part of the narcissist.

How Do Narcissists Triangulate You?

Ever been stuck in the middle of an argument between two people? If so, you know exactly how gut-wrenching it can be for all involved.

There are times when a well-placed nugget of wisdom can literally fix a problem someone’s having with another person.

That’s when it helps to offer insight and advice when you see what could help (as is often the case when you’re connected but not directly involved, a third-party perspective can often be useful).

Examples of Narcissistic Triangulation

The following are some examples of how narcissists use triangulation:

  • The narcissist cajoles two people to argue over him/her.
  • The narcissist acts as a go-between between two people who are angry with each other.
  • The narcissist uses this to play one against the other (“You don’t really care about her…you’re just mad because I slept with her!”).
  • The narcissist will play one person off another by getting them to compete for his/her affection or approval. This creates instability and insecurity within that relationship and causes rifts between friends, family members, etc.
  • The narcissist will give attention and approval to one person and throw it in the face of the other. This leads the “other” person to feel jealous, inadequate, and upset about the one getting approval. This pushes the two apart and puts the narcissist in control.

How do you deal with triangulation?

Sometimes, especially with smart, stubborn people like narcissists, you have to stay out of a situation and let people deal with it on their own. See, in general, most narcissists just aren’t receptive to advice unless they choose to be. You might say they work on pure energy and emotion, so when the energy and emotion aren’t entirely positive, they cannot focus on what’s really happening and everything becomes clouded, distorting their thoughts and sense of being present.

Their every interaction becomes tinged by the negativity and they begin to see it spill into other parts of their lives – most notably, their relationships. So if you push them to fix their issues, you’ll simply become part of that negative energy they feel and they’ll direct it to you as well.

And you know what happens then? Triangulation – the narcissist begins to play you and the other person off each other and then it gets even worse: you become a source of narcissistic supply.

But rather than just allowing the narcissist to triangulate you, you can try this: take a different road and literally refuse to get involved with the game. If you’re NOT the current source of narcissistic supply, you actually do the narcissist and their current victim a favor.

If the issue is resolvable and if resolving it matters to the narcissist, they’ll get through it, one way or another. This is even more probable if the relationship is important for him or her.

It might be painful to watch but you’ve got to just look away while they work through it – even if you are certain that your advice could really change things. By choosing to let go of stuff and work through it on their own, their relationship becomes stronger and better than it was before, and your own nose stays clean.

If you ARE the current source of narcissistic supply, consider speaking with the third person in the triangle to find out what has actually happened and how they actually feel. This might be enough to relieve you. But in any case, consider planning your escape from the toxic relationship as soon as you’re able to do so safely.

Get help with triangulation and narcissistic abuse recovery, right now.

Need help with a narcissistic relationship? We’ve got you covered.

Related articles

Narcissism at Work: How to Deal with Real Life ‘Horrible Bosses’

Narcissism at Work: How to Deal with Real Life ‘Horrible Bosses’

What if your boss is a narcissist? The fact is that it’s quite possible – after all, narcissists are often in leadership positions. Why? Because they present a strong and well-honed image to many people in their lives.

And in general, narcissists are always seeking validation, so they’re looking for positions that help them feel good about themselves.

Subconsciously, a narcissist feels inferior, helpless, not good enough – all of the things they project on to their various sources of narcissistic supply.

That’s why they need people to keep reminding them how superior they are; because their narcissism causes them to need that every-second reassurance from the world around them – hence the reason they use their subordinates as their at-work “supply.”

In this video, I’ll share ways you can deal with your narcissistic boss ethically and keep your job (if you need to!), as painlessly as possible.


Ever notice how many jokes about bad bosses people tell? And how many movies are there about evil, selfish bosses with ugly agendas?

JenniferAnistonWave08TIFFEven Jennifer Aniston has starred in at least two movies that were all about Horrible Bosses – is  it all Hollywood’s fault?

Think bosses get a bad rap, or is there something to the idea of bosses being jerks? 

Useful Link: 35+ Tools & Resources for Victims of Narcissism

Whether they’re a low-level supervisor or a CEO, a narcissistic boss is a constant source of conflict in the workplace. That’s your first clue.

Related: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

And, apparently, narcissists are often in leadership positions. Why? Because they present a strong and well-honed image to many people in their lives.

And in general, they’re always seeking validation, so they’re looking for positions that help them feel good about themselves. 

Subconsciously, a narcissist feels inferior, helpless, not good enough – all of the things they project on to their various sources of narcissistic supply. 

That’s why they need people to keep reminding them how superior they are; because their narcissism causes them to need that every-second reassurance from the world around them – hence the reason they use their subordinates as their at-work “supply.”

Why your boss is a jerk and what you can do about it

What It Feels Like to Have a Narcissistic Boss

Since they always need people to build them up and since they need to feel better than everyone around them, a narcissist in a position of power can make everyone around them miserable. 

That’s because our very human nature recoils when someone treats us as an inferior life form – and that’s exactly how the narcissist sees people outside of himself. 

So how can you deal with such a boss? Can you ever successfully work with a narcissist? 

While it isn’t easy, it’s definitely possible. Here are some tips to help you along the way. 

Related: How to Control a Narcissist

How to Work Successfully With a Narcissistic, Controlling Boss

Controlling bosses, whether they’re narcissists or not, can slow you down and undermine your confidence, to say the least. Maybe your supervisor second guesses your decisions and expects you to be available 24/7 – and if he’s a toxic narcissist, chances are, it goes much deeper than you realize. 

Overbearing management styles are all too common and counterproductive. Most employees say they’ve been micro-managed at some point in their career, and studies show that workers perform worse when they feel like they’re being watched.

If your boss is hovering over your shoulder, encourage them to give you more space. Try these steps to gain more freedom and still get along with your boss.

What You Can Do Alone and On Your Own 

You’ve gotta start by covering your own ass a little, because you never know when a narcissist will turn on you. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Be honest with yourself. Evaluate your performance. Start out by investigating whether you could be contributing to the situation. Do you show up on time and follow through on your responsibilities? Close supervision could be a rational response when an employee tends to be less than reliable.

2. Take action! Be proactive. Once you’ve assured yourself that you’re on top of your work, you can turn your attention to how to cope with your boss’s management style. Identify their anxiety triggers and figure out your plan of action in advance.

3. Team up! Coordinate with colleagues. Chances are your co-workers experience the same issues you do. Coordinate your efforts to show your boss that they can trust you to pull together to overcome challenges even while they’re traveling or focusing on strategy.

4. Keep a record of what you’re really doing at work. Document your activities. Logging your accomplishments creates a paper trail. Having your facts straight helps you to prove your worth and maintain your peace of mind.

5. Get some help! Seek intervention. When appropriate, you may be able to consult others without alienating your boss. If senior management asks for feedback, let them know your supervisor’s good qualities in addition to changes that could help you do a better job. Your HR department or employee assistance program may also offer relevant advice.

Beware of the flying monkeys at work!

A narcissist at work has a whole agenda that you may not even realize. Something to watch out for is the flying monkey syndrome – this happens with many narcissists, and it’s especially prominent when the narcissist is your boss. Read more about flying monkeys and how to release them from your life. 

The EAR Method

I love this suggestion from Bill Eddy – it’s all about how to deal with a narcissistic boss, and I think it’s solid advice.

“Try to connect with Empathy, Attention and/or Respect (E.A.R.). I know this is the opposite of what you feel like doing. But this really works. Look interested when your narcissistic boss talks to you. “Butter him/her up” with an occasional compliment, asking a question (such as asking for advice on something), sharing an interesting tidbit of information, or thanks for some positive contribution.  But be careful not to lie about a compliment, or put down your own skills in the conversation. Just be matter-of-fact and let the focus be on him or her for a few minutes. Don’t get defensive, because their comments are not about you. Resisting your own defensiveness can take great personal strength, but you can do it – especially if you remind yourself “It’s Not About Me” before you have a talk. It’s about the narcissistic boss’ insecurities and lack of effective social skills. ”  ~ Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Other Steps to Take with Your Narcissist Boss

1. Keep him (or her) posted. Provide updates. Frequent status reports keep your boss informed without their having to ask. Assure them that things are running smoothly. Remember that a narcissist is prone to narcissistic injury, so pay plenty of attention to them by keeping them posted on everything unless they specifically tell you otherwise.

2. Do something nice for your boss’s career. Create more opportunities. Is your boss interfering with your work because they don’t have a full plate of their own? Add value by presenting them with public speaking opportunities and sales leads. Helping your boss to shine is a smart way to advance your own career.

3. Understand who you are in relation to your job. Clarify your role. Listen closely to your boss and observe their behavior. That way you can understand their preferences and anticipate their needs. Maybe they like booking their own travel arrangements. Maybe they care more about employees following instructions than taking initiative.

4. Don’t be shy! Ask for feedback. Find out what your boss is thinking. Ask questions about what results they’re looking for and how you’re measuring up. Pinpoint strengths you can build on and changes that they would like to see.

5. Keep emotion out of it and don’t take it personally. If there are conflicts that you want to confront, be direct and gentle. Speak in terms of finding solutions rather than criticizing their personality or work habits.

6. Give your boss the credit he (thinks he) deserves. Give praise for progress. Congratulations if you’re making headway. Reinforce any positive interactions by letting your boss know how much you appreciate their efforts when you’re allowed to take charge of a project or find your own approach. Tell them that you enjoy working with them and that they’re helping you to contribute more. A narcissist loves people who credit them for work they didn’t have to do.

7. Create a personal connection. Respect and compassion enhance any working relationship. Remind yourself of what you like about your boss. Make time for small talk and sharing common interests. A strong foundation will make any disagreement easier to handle.

Being proactive and empathetic will transform your relationship with a micromanaging boss. Learn to collaborate as a team, or at least maintain harmony. Your life will get a whole lot easier. If he’s a narcissist, simply understand his limitations and work within them to manage it. Check out these tips too.

What do you think? Have you ever had a narcissistic boss? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. 

Narcissism in Action: A Real-Life Example of Sneaky Gaslighting

Narcissism in Action: A Real-Life Example of Sneaky Gaslighting

Meet Tom and Ava. Tom is a raging narcissist who is married to Ava. Fortunately, Ava has figured this out and has been attempting to stop falling for the gaslighting tricks that make her feel crazy.


She’s been employing the gray rock method and he’s been really hating it. He is always trying to figure out ways to keep her feeling insecure and uncomfortable in their relationship.

 

For example, he knows it bothers her when he makes it clear he’s attracted to other women, so one night after he particularly fails to make her feel crazy all day, Tom takes his manipulation up a notch.

 

He tells a story about a hot girl he met at the gas station on his way home. He tells Ava how the girl practically got naked in front of him (all lies, of course) and goes into what he would’ve done had he been single.

 

Related Reading: Take Back Your Life: 103 Highly-Effective Strategies to Snuff Out a Narcissist’s Gaslighting and Enjoy the Happy Life You Really Deserve

Ava realizes what he’s trying to do, and she remains quiet to avoid his inevitable claims that she’s always finding something to complain about, and that she should just blindly trust that he’d never do anything to hurt her (despite the fact that he verbally abuses her daily).

 

This is where it gets scary.

 Warning SIgns You Are Dating a Narcissist

When Tom notices that Ava isn’t giving him the narcissistic supply that he seeks, he takes it up a notch, claiming that he can sense that Ava is upset, even though she showed no signs of it.

 

Eventually, he manages to draw her into the argument and she is left reeling. She can’t believe that he’s done it again.

 

But this is how a narcissist works. He consistently and systematically tears down his victims, forcing them into these predefined roles  (he defines them, of course) that place him in a position of power while she struggles to prove herself to him in some way.

 
Does this situation sound familiar to you? If so, you are being gaslighted and you might just be involved with a narcissist. Don’t feel bad – even very intelligent people can fall victim to the manipulation of a narcissist. 
 
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Let’s discuss. 

Pin It on Pinterest