Imagine you’re trapped in a maze. To each side of you are tall, tall hedges that you can’t see through or around. Every path looks the same. You aren’t sure which way to turn and every now and then, despite your hard work and navigation skills, you keep hitting dead ends. The longer you’re trapped in this maze, the more your body begins to react — your adrenaline rushes, your cortisol spikes, your other hormones go crazy as you realize you’re in a prison of sorts, and you start to sweat or cry as you become lost in despair. Will you ever escape, you wonder. On top of that, someone has laid traps for you — they want you to fail so you can never escape the maze. This is but a cat and mouse game that is fun for them. What kind of person would do such a thing, you wonder again. Your hope fades and you accept you will be trapped in here forever.
This is how it feels to be in close proximity to a narcissistic personality and in the throes of their ego games. Many empaths (most, really) have lived this their entire lives without realizing it. In your group of close family, friends, romantic partners, or work associates exists at least one of these types of people, without a doubt. As I’ve said before, I’m not suggesting you diagnose these people, and I work hard to not do that either, but you deserve to understand the system that you are unwittingly a player in. Empaths and narcissists attract each other over and over again, both in the here and now and from past lifetimes, and the goal in these relationships is always to heal some deep deep core wounds.
That said, once you recognize you are in these traps, you can begin your healing process without the influence of narcissistic people. I want you to know how you are being targeted so you can stop that shit right now. It’s never ever the victim’s fault, so please know that. However, it will be up to you to escape because these people are 99% of the time incapable of change. This isn’t fair but it’s the harsh reality and a symptom of a sick society. You have to save yourself.
Here’s how to recognize and avoid the narcissist traps:
Do not accept help from these people. They often hide behind do-good personas to pull empaths in. This means any forms of charity, good will, and support always have a string attached. If you accept their help, you will owe them something in the future — if only your devotion, time, energy, and self-respect.
Do not let these people into your inner world. Once they get in your head, they use your weaknesses against you to make you doubt your instincts and intuition.
Do not accept gifts. Presents, evenings out, sex, money, etc. always are a form of debt that will be expected for you to pay back, or they will use it against you in the future when they do something shady; ie: you don’t have a right to call out their behavior because look at all they have done for you.
Do not get into arguments with these people. You will never succeed, even if you are right. They will pull you into doubt, insecurity, and the blame game instead of truly hearing what you are saying and taking it to heart.
Do not give them the power to make decisions in the relationship. If you give them power over you, they will rig things in their favor and put you at a disadvantage.
Do not give them any energy. This means, do not allow them to elicit a stress response or love response of any sort. It feeds them energetically and they will come back for another fix.
Accept they will create their own alternative storylines. This can mean they turn social groups, friends, and family against you with their sick version of reality. This is normal and do not give it any credence. If others cannot think for themselves, that is their issue, not yours. Remember, few people care about the hard truth — they care about social acceptance.
Remember that they purposefully inject subconscious meanings into the things they say. This means yes, they are passive aggressive on purpose to trigger you. If you respond to the passive aggression it will only feed them further because they will call you crazy or blameshift. Ignore, ghost, etc.
Stack the odds in your favor. Most empaths have played a passive role in life, allowing things to happen to them rather than creating actively. Narcissists are so good at stacking the odds in their favor and we have to learn from them. Go out of your way to make things better for yourself — no one else will.
Tell your story openly. The only way to stop these cycles is to tell the truth about the abuse you have endured. Please hear me when I say, this may not make things better in the temporary, but in the long term, we can change the world with our stories.
Overall, please be safe. Sometimes these people are downright violent or so devious they will do anything to break you. Often, telling others in order to get support or help will lead to nowhere because unless others have been through this pain themselves, they will not understand the severity. Recognize the traps, then tip toe around them so you are no longer caught up in the maze. Save yourself.