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Ask an Empath

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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Après L Orage » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:01 am

Shanzik wrote: I mostly know when people are lying, not because I analyze their body language or anything, I just know. And if I'm in a room full of people, I can always catch those little things - like who's secretly in love with whom, who feels as an outcast even though he's standing in a group


That would be it, I'm guessing: being aware of people's motivations and emotions to an unusual degree.

Question for you Shanzik: do you think as yourself as someone who has good insights into her own emotions? And if yes, do you think that the fact that you can easily put yourself into other people's shoes has to do with it?

I am not sure whether it is related which is why I wonder what other members think.
Last edited by Après L Orage on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby whichway » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:05 am

Where has the term "empath" been scientifically validated? What is the origin of the word empath?

I know the term of HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) is being researched but does not currently have enough data to back up its existence. The theory is that a HSP has a trait that 20% of people have. I haven't seen any science to confirm this. If this is indeed some sort of trait perhaps it falls somewhere in line with extraversion?

I've seen a lot of people describing themselves as empaths as though they have special powers. I would put this in line with the the "Unusual beliefs and experiences" trait that characterizes STPD (although people with STPD have restricted affectivity). I also question if this has anything to do with the use of the word empath in Star Trek (possibly the origin of the word?) which later got picked up in science fiction.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that some people have more empathy than others (in fact, research shows it). But what purpose does the label "empath" serve?

If it serves to describe someone who becomes enmeshed with others, or who gets stuck in emotions (similar to a depressive disorder), there may be some use in exploring that, as I can't think of another more appropriate term.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Shanzik » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:02 am

Après L Orage wrote:
Shanzik wrote:
Question for you Shanzik: do you think as yourself as someone who has good insights into her own emotions? And if yes, do you think that the fact that you can easily put yourself into other people's shoes has to do with it?


To be honest, no, I don't. I have better insight in other people's feelings than I have in my own. Often I confuse the two, and can't clearly distinguish if what I'm feeling is because of something that happened to me or to someone else. I only recently became aware of it all and started approaching it in a more rational way.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Pangloss » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:34 pm

narc_magnet summed it up pretty well. :wink:

There is a difference between Empaths and HSP, I believe I fit both categories. Actually, I don't really mind not seeing myself labelled, I am what I am and I don't have a problem with it.

I actually love living my simple Empath life, I feel so intensely about Life from a very young age. I remember there was a large tree outside the building where I grew up, and almost every night, I would stand on my balcony looking up at its branches and leaves as the street lamp lit it up. I stood there spellbound by this tree. I "told" the tree how magnificent it was, I didn't think that was a weird thing to do.

Smells, colours, textures, compositions, rhythm, words, music, a sound, an air, etc....there is so much to take in, and I want to take in all that is good, beautiful, thoughtful, delicious, wonderful around me. I don't need to spend a single cent too. All of these subconsciously got absorbed and I think they become expressed in my interaction with others and in my work. I seem to have a million ideas and a very keen sense for aestehtics, from tiny details to the larger picture. It has helped me so much in my work.

It's ULTIMATE SUPPLY, haha. :D

I guess this is what is meant by living in the Present? Beauty abounds everywhere. I talk alot to strangers, young and old, I actually find a lot of good in people around me. I can usually see something attractive in all of them, visible or intrinsic. I also feel distress and pity, when something is going very wrong.

Last night, I had a disastrous problem with the plumbing, but later, in the middle of a sleepless night, I heard a man singing in the street, beautifully, without a care in the world. I wanted to throw open my window and shout, "Hey, that's really good singing!", but being an Aware Empath, I decided it was foolish and dangerous.

***WARNING POSSIBLE TRIGGER***

Tbh, until I found out about NPD, I had no idea whatsoever about psychiatry, all these Labels. I didn't think people can be labelled.

It's all the falsehoods, sabotage and own goals that led to me wonder what on earth is this type of personality of my exhusband? Don't get me wrong, I know many wicked people, and for the longest time, I was convinced my stepmother was the garden variety wicked stepmother, but now I suspect that she had malignant NPD, as did her horrible mother. Her father was a wonderful artist, warm, caring, great fun to be around. Her sisters and their children were normal too.

Further insight came from the screaming, raging, controlling but "nice" father of my exhusband and his critical, unhappy, aloof mom, I couldn't understand adults who behave like these, like angry children. From there, I got a better grasp, the pieces of my life started fitting together and I embarked on my path to recovery.

The moment I gave up entirely any hope of saving my marriage was the moment I saved myself. My father went early to his grave because he couldn't break free from my stepmother, and he cried often because he couldn't help me when she abused me. It must have hurt him badly and he just shriveled and died, even though he was such a beautiful person. He was like me, an Empath and HSP, sensitive, artistic, he played the flute for me to go to sleep after my mom left us. He was a much better person than I ever can be, and he deserved a better life.

As long as there is a soft-hearted Empath in their life, a pwNPD like my stepmother can go on unaware till the end of his/her life, destroying and sucking all life out of the Empath spouse. They would think that they are in the right too. They don't see anything wrong with what they do, even if their words and deeds would be considered by normal people to be beyond the pale.

They seem to be able to tell Empaths from the Nons snd gravitate naturally to them, and the Empaths naturally feel the depths of their unhappiness and try to fix what is broken in them, as I understand from HG Tudor's blog. However, the Empaths get annihilated in this union - a better fit for pwNPD would be the stepmother of my exhusband, wiley enough to fake back to her husband, and to protect herself from NI, NR, having few better options in her life except this marriage, etc.

This is why Awareness is precious, and I congratulate you all for embarking on your own journey.
Last edited by Pangloss on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Shanzik » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Pangloss wrote:
They seem to be able to tell Empaths from the Nons snd gravitate naturally to them, and the Empaths naturally feel the depths of their unhappiness and try to fix what is broken in them, as I understand from HG Tudor's blog.


This I'm certain of, I remember how my narc described me once, he used the people like me term and said my species is almost exctinct hahah :mrgreen: .

Did you ever do that Jungian MBTI test? Are you an INFP or INFJ? Also, are you some kind of artist, or something creative, most empaths are? :D

I relate to a lot of what you said, I just don't blame the narcs for any kind of harm done to me, I'm the one who allowed it and learned from it and refuse to continue being a victim. Then again, I might not be an empath like you are, I do have a "dark" side and ability to bite back that I sense you don't.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Pangloss » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:06 pm

Shanzik wrote:
Pangloss wrote:
They seem to be able to tell Empaths from the Nons snd gravitate naturally to them, and the Empaths naturally feel the depths of their unhappiness and try to fix what is broken in them, as I understand from HG Tudor's blog.


This I'm certain of, I remember how my narc described me once, he used the people like me term and said my species is almost exctinct hahah :mrgreen: .

Did you ever do that Jungian MBTI test? Are you an INFP or INFJ? Also, are you some kind of artist, or something creative, most empaths are? :D

I relate to a lot of what you said, I just don't blame the narcs for any kind of harm done to me, I'm the one who allowed it and learned from it and refuse to continue being a victim. Then again, I might not be an empath like you are, I do have a "dark" side and ability to bite back that I sense you don't.


Yes, I tried the MBTI and I was an INTP/J. I have a very logical mind even though I sound absolutely reckless and impulsive. :D I do highly creative work, I could see immediately how something can be made more functional, efficient, but also more beautiful, aesthetic, bringing on a stronger identity, invoking feelings, it's like my senses are able to "taste" all the ingredients and how they can come together to create magic, in just the right composition, and have them work together. I love beautiful things, even Carp is mesmerizing as it turns from a dark grey to a paler white-grey ombre accented with an adorable cherry pink after living in a white bucket and white bath tub for a few weeks.

I can bite back, but I prefer not to, I'd rather not live with someone in a perpetual life-and-death battle. I'd rather be on my own, alone. I don't want to live or befriend with any pwNPD, thank you. They are better off finding people with healthy boundaries.

Of course I have open boundaries, this is why I can drink in so much around me. I'd rather not close them, but find another kindred spirit to share all these dorky secrets with. My son is a good companion for me, we both sense and love the same things. He's a mess, with many faults, but he's a happy kid and inherited more from my side of the family.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Purple 8 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:13 am

Jasmer wrote:Please describe empathy to me. I'm not sure I feel the same kind of empathy other people feel. Do you feel what other people feel, i.e. do you feel pangs of sadness when friends are sad?

Yup.

How does this work?

I'm not qualified to explain that.

How strong is this feeling?

I'm not sure how to explain.

Do people just go around going through the motions and pretending to feel all these things more deeply than they really feel, or is my range of emotion and empathy really as shallow as I think it is?

It's really as shallow as you think it is. :P
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Purple 8 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:24 am

narc_magnet wrote:Hi Purple 8. Here are 3 scenarios I experienced recently. I'm curious to know how you think you'd feel in these situations. Everyone else is welcome to chime in too - I'd be curious to hear your reactions.


1) An employee who has been reporting to you for the past year is significantly underperforming versus both expectations for the role and others in his peer group. You've given him consistent feedback and coaching throughout the year, to no avail. You believe he is not a good fit for the role and you put him on a formal performance improvement plan -- which could end in his termination if he is unable to achieve the goals spelled out in the plan. A few days later he comes to you to share that his wife has left him and that he's going though a tough patch -- and asks that you 'take it easy on him'.
You think: I want to, but it's not best for business.
You feel: Anxiety, displeasure.
You say: I'm sorry, but you're not a good fit.

2) Your close friend has finally separated from her emotionally abusive husband (or wife) after 10 years of tears and self-doubt. She calls to tell you that her soon-to-be-ex came to her crying, apologizing for his behavior, and asking to reconcile. She was impacted by his display of emotion and is now feeling conflicted. She wants to know what you think.
You think: She's better off without him/her.
You feel: Urgency,
You say: He/she's not good for you.

3) Your out on a first date. He (or she) picked the restaurant -- Japanese. When his food comes, he struggles to manage the chopsticks and sushi is falling apart all over his plate. It's pretty obvious he doesn't know how to use chopsticks. Rather than laugh it off and ask the waiter for a fork, he gets visibly flustered and blames the sushi for falling apart too easily.
You think: Nothing.
You feel: Amused.
You say: I don't say anything until after I finish laughing. I say, "I'm sorry."
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby Purple 8 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:41 am

jrh592 wrote:If ask someone you were doing business how they are and they tell you not so good and they are getting tested for cancer, how would you feel?

Concerned, upset.
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Re: Ask an Empath

Postby OneRinger » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:10 pm

Après L Orage wrote:An empath is somebody who will take cues from his/her feelings before taking cues from their logical thoughts. Those are two different ways to take information in. There is wisdom in considering both your emotions and thoughts as a source of information.

Technically I am an empath but dislike the word as I find it discriminating to those who empathize with their logic first. I have met a few thinkers who could teach lessons of empathy to some feelers. I have also met my fair share of thinkers who perceive themselves as very logical while actually reacting very emotionally to a given situation through their logic. That said, a blatant lack of emotionality does not equate a blatant lack of empathy. Conversely, narcissistic feelers, despite displaying emotionality, will lack empathy.

Yet in certain individuals a blatant lack of emotionality will coexist with a blatant lack of empathy. Reasons may vary such as a lack of maturity, a narcissistic personality structure or congenital lack of insight into other people's feelings such as in certain syndromes.


I think this is all very true.

That is also why I believe caring is and should be separate from "empathy". Reading people's minds does not mean you need to care, and conversely, caring does not mean you read their mind properly. There is even a lot of emotional abuse that is people caring too much about people who don't want them to care, but they read their minds and know better. You see that in some rape cases on children.
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