What Is An Empath?
Walking into another man’s shoes is technically impossible. You can never know what other people are going through in their lives. Maybe you can imagine how you would react in a certain situation but feeling from another person’s frame of reference is what empaths do.
An empath not only relates to what others are going through; he feels and experiences exactly what others feel or experience. An empath sees with the eyes of the other person, hears with their ears, and feels with their heart. They are highly sensitive people who have the ability to put themselves in other people’s skin and experience their emotions the way they do. They are like sponges that absorb every emotion; negative or positive. They will understand your pain without hearing a word and will share their joy on a mere smile. They have an ear for unspoken words, keen eye to notice gestures and body language, and heart that feels the emotions.
They are happy when they are with happy people and sad when in the company of emotionally disturbed people. They become so emotionally connected with people that it becomes difficult for them to distinguish between their own and other people’s feelings. Being an empath can be confusing, exhausting, and frustrating. They pick up emotions from their surroundings and can be happy at one moment and feel like crying the next.
What Are The Different Types Of Empaths?
Empathy is emotionally exhausting and tiring. Feeling for someone to an extent that their emotions become your emotions can be a nightmare if the feelings are negative and emotions are of sadness or anger. Even excess of happiness can be debilitating. Empaths, depending upon their specific set of abilities can be categorized into seven groups.
1. Emotional Empath
This is the most common type of empathy. Emotional empaths are prone to picking up emotions from their surroundings. They can easily become happy, sad, angry, and distressed if they find these emotions in people around them. However, it can be good; feeling as happy as your friend is on his promotion or engagement can be amusing.
2. Physical Empath
Physical empathy involves experiencing physical symptoms of others. Feeling tired when your partners have done the workout or feeling pressure on temples after hearing about a friend’s headache are examples of physical empathy.
3. Intuitive Empath
Where physical and emotional empathy develops after hearing or seeing about emotional disturbances; intuitive empathy develops even when the other person has not said a word. Intuitive empaths can feel the emotions without even being shared.
4. Dream/Precognitive Empath
The people having a dream or precognitive empathy can have emotional and physical experiences prior to their happening. Their dreams provide insightful information that can be used to derive wisdom. They also have an ability to read the dreams not only of themselves but also of others.
5. Plant Empath
If you have ever talked to your plants or felt their needs; you are a plant empath. People having empathy for plants make great gardeners as they love everything related to plants. They believe plants have feelings and a wilted plant can either be thirsty or sad. Understanding their needs and feelings, plant empaths like to spend time with plants and while helping plants they help themselves.
6. Animal Empath
Most of us love animals but a few go the extra mile. You will find animals empaths talking about animals, wanting to live with animals, and have feelings towards animals. They communicate with animals and will sense the needs of animals. Animal empaths love to keep pets and helping animals bring them joy. They feel the distress of animals and try to free them from misery.
7. Earth Empath
They are nature lovers. Organic, eco-friendly, and green are their keywords. You will find them talking about making this planet cleaner, greener, and a better place to live in.
How Does An Empath Affect Another Person?
Empathy can have positive and negative effects on people. If an empath is gathering positive energies and good vibes, they will reflect those energies and the people around them will be happy and satisfied. On the other hand, if an empath is receiving negativity and distress, they will reflect the same. Although it isn’t something they can control but the whole atmosphere gets affected by changes in mood.
One good thing about empaths is that they are highly sensitive people and people usually turn to them for help and advice. They are not only good listeners, but they also try to understand the situation and extend whatever help is required. They are caring and compassionate and are very good friends. If you are sad, you can share your feelings with the empathy friend of yours and they will understand you without judging you, and if you are happy there is no better way than to celebrate your joy with your empathy friend.
What Is The Opposite Of An Empath? What Are The Characteristics Of A Narcissist?
Where empaths have an ability to emotionally and physically align with the emotions of the people around them, their exact opposites; the narcissists have all their attention focused on themselves. Not only their own attention, but they also need people around them to focus their attention on the narcissist. All they need is attention, admiration, and empathy.
Narcissism is considered a personality disorder. It is a mental condition in which people develop an increased sense of personal flattery and excessive self-admiration which leads to a lack of empathy for others. Narcissists are actually very sensitive and fragile beings and they dread hate words and criticism. The basics characteristics of a narcissist are:
• They have an aggravated sense of self-worth
• They require extra attention and special treatment
• They tend to take advantage of other people and never feel ashamed as they lack empathy
• They are over-sensitive
• They get extremely jealous if someone else gets any attention in front of them and often think that others are jealous of them
• They are unable to take any criticism; you will find them lashing back on slight criticism
• They get enraged if they do not get the expected attention
• They will exaggerate their achievements and expect to be recognized as superiors without notable talents
• They tend to fantasize about success, smartness, power, and beauty
• Thinking themselves superior, they want to be associated with superiors only
• They will look down upon people they think are inferior and belittle them
• They are unable to recognize the feelings of others and often end up hurting people around them
The characteristics of empaths and narcissists are similar in a way that both involve intense emotions, feelings, and needs and are opposite based on the direction of these feelings. Where one is directed towards self, other is directed towards others.
How Does A Narcissist Affect Another Person?
Since narcissism is not normal (it is a personality disorder), the person can affect people around them in various ways.
M. Scott Peck said: “Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.”
Whether you are in a relationship with a narcissist or friends with them, you will always find them talking about themselves as if the whole world revolves around them. They neither feel good or bad for others nor do they have empathy for others. They never respect or value people around them and they make others feel less worthy. The people around them feel neglected, unwanted, unloved, and are never valued. This lowers the self-esteem and confidence and they start demeaning themselves.
How Do I Handle Being With A Narcissist Person?
Handling a narcissist is not easy and needs to be approached with care. Being a personality disorder, it is advisable to seek professional help. Living with a narcissist partner can be very challenging. You will lose yourself before you know it.
In order to handle the narcissistic person, you need to keep a check on your emotions on a regular basis. If the feelings of worthlessness are devouring, you need to part ways; the sooner the better. It is important to take a stand for your own mental wellbeing. Reach out and seek help and reassurance from friends and family.
Empathy and narcissism are near opposites. Where empathy is self-destroying, narcissism hurts near and dear ones. If you are the one who feels for others and shares their emotions, you are on the empathic side while loving yourself more than expected makes you fall under the narcissism category. It is important for you to seek professional help if you are finding traits of either in yourself. You will be a narcissist or empath without even knowing and there won’t be anything you will be able to do about it.