An Ode to the Narcissist

I now understand the way you operate, way more than before.

I begged for your approval, but if I wasn’t a benefit to you, you looked for the door.

Your presence was intoxicating, as long as I obeyed.

Your anger was visible the moment I strayed.

Narcissist, you are only here to service yourself.

Narcissist, your image is your only wealth.

Stop trying to make me feel small so you can feel grand.

Stop this behavior and get a new brand.

I guess you are content with being a jerk.

I guess I will walk away from you with a big ole’ smirk.

Ah, yes, the narcissist. I happen to have known many of them in my short life time. As an empathetic person, I am drawn to them because I can see through their performance and see the broken down little child that they actually are. That’s all it is, really. The people who go out of their way to flex their “greatness” were once the picked on kids who didn’t know how to deal with the rejection.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t know of many people who have not been picked on for something. I know I was. For being Italian, for being more artistic than sporty. For quoting black and white films as a seven year old… the lists goes on. But I did the reverse of a narcissist (which isn’t healthy either). I put the blame on myself and became so introspective with trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me. My way and the narcissist way are both incorrect extremes. But, I was able to identify what I was doing and I feel like most narcissist’s are unable to realize the error of their ways.

As I’ve continued to grow I’ve learned that I am an empath. Essentially I’m a very sensitive, emotional sponge. I can pick up on the emotions of other people and feel all sorts of very deep things. It can be overwhelming most of the time and I am still learning techniques of how to protect myself. In learning this about myself I have been notified that empaths and narcissists attract each other. I was not at all surprised by learning this and it actually made me feel a sense of ease knowing that I wasn’t necessarily seeking out these harmful people, there was just a natural attraction.

If you look at some of the most successful people, some of the best artists for example, very rarely did they boast on their stellar work. Modigliani tore up numerous paintings of his. Al Pacino still refers to himself as “the quiet kid from the Bronx”. Genuine people of great talent do not need to announce that they are great, they just are. The narcissist needs to proclaim their greatness in order to get praise so that they feel like a validated human being. It’s sad, really.

And that’s where the empath or empathetic person comes along. We see through this facade and pick up the sad reality of the narcissist. We then try to latch on in order to “fix” them. The narcissist loves this because we show interest and try to boost up their ego. But the moment the empath stops showing support, or not enough praise, the narcissist gets angry and attacks. The love that they once showed the empath instantly gets turned off and they turn. The empath is left feeling rejected, used and abandoned. It’s a wicked relationship between these two.

This is one of those circumstances where I say, “gosh, I wish I knew all of this sooner!” But hindsight is 20/20. I lived and I learned. And I continue to learn and am now aware.

Narcissists are not evil people, they are just broken. But being broken is no excuse for terrible behavior. If you are a sensitive or empathetic person, just be aware of the personalities of the people you keep in your inner circle. Don’t allow yourself to be hurt or drained by people, it’s not your job to suffer for others.

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Michelle Sabato

Michelle is an actor and writer who was born and raised in Cleveland's Little Italy. Some of Michelle's hobbies include: reading, writing, film and carrying conversations solely made up of movie quotes.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Narcissists can be in our personal or our professional lives and they are very hard to cope with for sure. Women don’t often believe their own worth and a narcissist can take advantage.

  • Such a kind and compassionate view of broken people, and a very insightful explanation of both them and yourself. Good for you for having your eyes wide open and for finding self love! (So timely, given the certain person we must all watch in horror, living in a house that may or may not be white.)

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