Empaths vs. Narcissists: Contrasting Personalities and Values
Awareness Self Help

Empaths vs. Narcissists: Contrasting Personalities and Values


In the universe of human mentality, personalities differ in such a manner that they can range from extremes of high-level compassion to those exhibiting self-centeredness. These dichotomous types of empaths vs. narcissists share mental characteristics and behavioural differences through their uniqueness. Through her romps with the duality of them, it explores how the relationships and opinions about ourselves that we form are influenced by such differences.

Read More: The Grey Rock Method for Dealing with Narcissists

Empaths: The Emotional Sponges

Empaths are sort of people that are known for their very strong ability to break down and understand other people’s feelings as if they were the same. They are endowed with strong empathic instincts for which they may even find it easy to get in others’ shoes and adopt the emotions that are manifest in the people around them. This exquisite depth provides them with the power to relate with others in such a powerful manner and give real help and kindness.

Traits of an Empath
  1. Sensitivity to Energy: Empaths (Intuitive) are extremely receptive to the energy of their surroundings. They often respond to signals that many of us dissocial would miss.
  2. Deep Empathy: They are gifted with an understanding intuition of how others feel, and their emotions are as real as they are being an integral part of their own emotions.
  3. Altruistic Nature: The empaths by nature are very helpful and compassionate thus, they can connect with other people who are in pain or are suffering. They find their worth by being the source of joy and contentment for the people in their surroundings.
  4. Emotional Exhaustion: Because of their ability to gather others’ emotions, empaths may suffer from emotional depletion and mental collapse if they neglect to build up strong boundaries.

Read More: Empathy vs Sympathy: Understanding the Difference

Narcissists: The Self-Centered Egos

Highly contrasted individuals called narcissists are self-absorption, grandiosity and lack of empathy for others. They entertain high self-centeredness and normally crave attention from other people in order to help them recover their low self-esteem. Narcissists care about their personal needs more than anything else and show little or no compassion for other people’s feelings or well-being.

Traits of a Narcissist

  1. Grandiosity: Narcissists always overestimate their own value, and this makes them feel more important and superior. They have the dream of success, power and recognition so they think that they are always special from others and deserve to be treated with special privilege.
  2. Lack of Empathy: Perhaps the most obvious feature of narcissism is an undeniable absence of empathy. Narcissists are not able to understand or empathize with the emotions of others; they can only see them as tools for self-fulfilment.
  3. Manipulative Behavior: Narcissists are gifted manipulators who use the arsenal of charm, manipulation and coercion to get their way and exploit others.
  4. Fragile Self-Esteem: Regardless of their external manifestations of supremacy, narcissists have very delicate self-esteem that smashes at the slightest negative assessment or rejection. They can become aggressive or hostile when someone threatens their privilege by making them feel insecure.

Read More: How To Deal With A Narcissist?

Key Differences: Empaths vs. Narcissists:

1. Emotional Sensitivity vs. Emotional Manipulation
  • Empath: Empath is known for having very strong feelings about others’ emotions. They are gifted with an innate capability to read the hearts and minds of those within their vicinity. Empaths generally manifest empathy, compassion and an undeniable desire to relieve others’ pain and struggles.
  • Narcissist: On the other side of the issue, narcissists care only for their own needs and wishes. They can manipulate the feelings of others for their own gain, sometimes even using them to manipulate others. These communications are characterized by emotionless manner and disregard for the feelings of people around.
2. Empathy vs. Self-Centeredness
  • Empath: Empaths are the people who live through relationships and sharing. They do what they can in order to bring joy and betterment to people, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. Empathetic character is what drives such deep, meaningful connections based on trust and compassion.
  • Narcissist: Narcissists, in contrast, are always chasing satisfying their own egos. In contrast, narcissists have a view that relationships are just transactional and they seek adoration and validation from others to feed their self-importance. Their tendency to be self-centred usually brings about superficial and shallow connections, lacking in real emotional depth.

Read More: Psychology Behind Ego and Why It Is Necessary

3. Altruism vs. Entitlement
  • Empath: Altruism is one of the attributes of empaths that allows them to feel happy when they observe acts of kindness and generosity. They live their lives with humility and gratitude, understanding the interrelatedness among all. Empaths pursue harmony and cooperation, seeking to make a good impact on the universe.
  • Narcissist: Narcissists nurse in their minds a sense of entitlement and bravado as they believe themselves to be naturally entitled to special privileges and accolades. They perceive people as insignificant beings to serve their own needs and greed and normally exploit them to get their ends. Narcissism involves considering others as beneath them, which prevents them from seeing or listening to others.

Read More: Altruism: Motivations Behind Kindness and Helping Behavior

4. Genuine Connection vs. Superficial Charm
  • Empath: Empaths value true connection and intimacy in their relationships. They appreciate sincerity, transparency, and mutual respect, which is the source of their love and closeness that is founded on trust and empathy. The genuineness and warmth make an intimate environment where others feel that they are noticed, listened and respected.
  • Narcissist: Narcissists use their rigid superficial charm and charisma to capture the attention of others and get their admiration. Nevertheless, their deceitfulness is a cover designed to degrade and restrain a group of people. Instead of their charming exterior, they are just overwhelmed by loneliness and emptiness hence their unquenchable thirst for approval and validation.
5. Emotional Awareness vs. Emotional Ignorance
  • Empath: Empaths can perceive their own emotions and those of others at a higher level than the majority of people. They invite vulnerability and self-examination, acknowledging the utility of emotional truths in their personal journey and that between other people. Empaths are highly receptive to subtle signals and subtleties, which enables them to delicately navigate complicated emotional domains with compassion and sensitivity.
  • Narcissist: Narcissistic individuals find it difficult to recognize their own feelings which frequently leads to denial or deflection as a way of survival. They are wary of emotional hurt and emotional intimacy, viewing the latter as a threat to their “artificially created” identity. Their emotional blindness creates conflict and misinterpretation that keeps people from authentic relationships.

Read More: How to deal with conflicts in a relationship?

6. Empathy vs. Lack of Empathy
  • Empath: Empathy is the lynchpin of an empath’s character, a force that pervades every fibre of thought, emotion, and behaviour. They accept life unconditionally and embrace the pain and happiness shared by others. Empaths are depicters of unconditional love and comprehension which is very rare in a world that lacks authenticity and human connectivity.
  • Narcissist: Narcissists are empathy-deficient, they cannot feel or comprehend the emotions of other people. They see empathy as a weakness to be used against others, rather than a strength to be tapped into. Their emotional disconnect is the origin of how others become exploited and manipulated, this creates ripple effects and fosters a breakdown of trust in others.

Read More: What is Blind Trust? Let’s Understand its Role in Our Lives

7. Collaboration vs. Competition
  • Empath: Empaths feel at home in such a collaborative setting as they value mutual respect and cooperation. They respect the inherent value and dignity of each individual and through this recognition, a welcoming and supportive community is formed that gives everyone the chance to prosper. Empaths get their joy from witnessing the successes of others and from the feeling of being one in a team.
  • Narcissist: A narcissist sees life as a zero-sum game in which the most powerful and the most manipulative ones win. They act in their relationships and with others in a competitive way, all the time trying to be in charge and to rule over everything. Their never-faltering ambition for power and wealth leads to a culture of struggle and ruthlessness that leaves in its wake, fear and conflict among the masses.

Read More: Family Manipulation Tactics and How to Deal with Them

To sum up, the divergences of empaths vs. narcissists surpass superficial distinctions and reflect two distinguishable worldviews and value systems. Empaths, by embodying compassion, empathy, and humility, and narcissists, who manifest self-centeredness, manipulation, and entitlement, respectively. Learning about these differences is crucial for building healthy relationships and growing a society that is more affectionate and empathetic.

References +
  • https://www.happierhuman.com/empath-vs-narcissist/
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/empath-and-narcissist-relationship-8597664
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/peaceful-parenting/201901/narcissism-versus-empathy

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