Updated: Dec 21, 2021
“I’m an empath so I’ve just resigned myself to the fact I attract narcissists.”
I saw this comment on social media the other day and it made my heart sad.
“Being an empath” has become a free pass to justify codependency and shift responsibility to manage personal boundaries.
What is so SAD about the way “empath” is being used is that it completely DISEMPOWERS us from learning how to protect ourselves and our space.
We have learned that EMPATH means someone who:
Cannot help themselves from feeling others’ feelings
Absorbs whatever emotion/energy is happening around them
Understands others’ pain more than most people.
Is overly compassionate, kind, and big hearted.
Empaths are often contrasted with narcissists - the inconsiderate, conceited, selfish, reckless, and abusive.
The basic message is:
Empaths are GOOD.
Narcissists are BAD.
Empaths are the helpless and innocent prey of the narcissists.
Narcissists are the evil conniving predators.
There are many ways this narrative damages us. ALL of us.
“Empaths” conveniently shift all blame and responsibility for their pain to the “narcissist”. But there is a massive downside to this shift. Where we have no responsibility, we also have no power. We will continue to live at the mercy of others until we take full ownership of our own decisions.
No one ever forced me into the relationships I had.
No one ever tied me up and held me hostage.
No one forced me to give up my independence.
I take full ownership for betraying me, over and over again.
I take full ownership for blowing past a million red flags.
I take full ownership for thinking I could change him.
I take full ownership for acting like a helpless victim of my “empathy”.
I take full ownership for attempting to manipulate another human to conform to my values.
I take full ownership for treating myself as FRAGILE and HELPLESS.
Yes, I have a lot of the traits people describe as empathic. AND I am still responsible for my own emotional protection. I am still responsible to practice discernment in my relationships. I am still responsible to honor my own standards.
We have some big wounds to take responsibility for. One of them is waiting for everyone else to save and protect us.
We “empaths” are not WEAK.