Love, Self

How Empaths Use (And Narcissists Abuse) The 5 Love Languages Drastically Differently

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How Empaths Use (And Narcissists Abuse) The 5 Love Languages Drastically Differently

By Shweta Advani

While each one of us has a unique way of experiencing and expressing love. There are five love languages according to Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.

They are:

  1. Giving gifts
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Acts of service (devotion)
  5. Words of affirmation

Some people’s way of expressing love is by doing acts of service for their partner or helping around chores. Some people like to express love through verbal affirmation. Some people express love through physical gestures while some people express love by spending quality time with their partner.

RELATED: Which Of The 5 Love Languages Do You Speak? How To Find Out

People generally think that their partner has the same love language as them and they show love the same way they would like to receive it.

However, this dynamic can turn really messy in case of an Empaths – Narcissist relationship.

When an Empath meets a Narcissist for the first time, they can be misguided to take a Narcissist as an Empath. They can mistake the sweet nothings and sweet gestures that form a part of the Love Bombing technique of a Narcissist for genuine love and care.
Therefore, it is very important that Empaths learn the real love language of themselves and a narcissist so that they can avoid this toxic relationship dynamic.

RELATED: YIKES: The Toxic Relationship Between A Narcissist And An Empath

The five love languages as present in Empath and Narcissist are as follows:

1. Words of affirmation

When Narcissists are using words of affirmation to express love, their intention behind that is a self-serving motive whereas empaths use words of affirmation to express their genuine love and care.

Narcissists use a technique known as “Love Bombing” wherein they shower their partner with unlimited praises and words of affection. They usually employ this technique at the beginning of a relationship to seduce their partner or when there is a fight or a breakdown to hook them back to the relationship.

While these words may look very real as Narcissists have mastered the art of saying all the right things, an empath has to be really careful to see if their words align with their actions or not.

Just because Empaths are honest in their communication and talk to their partner with kindness and respect, they should not make the mistake of thinking that everyone thinks, feels and acts like them. A narcissist can be using seductive words to only benefit himself without having any real concern or love for the other person and he can turn abusive at the drop of a hat if his needs are not being met.

2. Quality time

Undivided attention and focus is something that we all want in a relationship to feel fulfilled. However, a Narcissist is all about himself so he is incapable of giving undivided attention or quality time to anyone. His spotlight is always on himself.

He might, on the other hand, try to alienate you from your friends and family members by spending the majority of his time with you but do not mistake this tactic for love. He is spending the majority of his time with you to fulfill his own needs and agenda and wants to cut you off from your support system so that if things get sour, you have nowhere to go and you return back to him.

Whereas an Empath shows up authentically and is looking for a heart-based connection and therefore gives undivided attention to their partner, but they will not find this deep connection with a Narcissist because he is really not capable of thinking about anything apart from himself.

So, while quality time is high on Empaths love language list, it does not feature in a Narcissists love language list.

3. Receiving gifts

Narcissists are superficial and their preferred language of love is giving and receiving expensive gifts. They need external things to enhance their sense of self so they spend lavishly on flashy cars or gadgets. They also buy expensive gifts for their partners when they are in the “Love Bombing” stage.

Empaths are not at all materialistic. They don’t really get carried away by flashy items, their preferred gifts would be well thought of, meaningful, handmade gifts or gifts of sentimental value. Sooner or later, the Empaths would see through the Love Bombing phase of a Narcissist because they cannot feel fulfilled or loved with only gifts or hollow words of affirmation for long.

RELATED: 17 Disturbing Reasons Why Narcissists Prey On Anxious People

4. Acts of service (devotion)

Narcissists think that the whole world revolves around them and they feel highly entitled to everything and think everyone should serve their needs. They not only expect their partner to do the routine chores for them like cooking, laundry, etc., but also expect them to fulfill their every whim and fancy.

Empaths have very poor boundaries around giving as they don’t like confrontations or saying no and end up being the ones who do all the work in the relationship. In the process, they end up feeling deeply unloved and uncared for as they exhaust themselves in taking care of their partner without getting any appreciation or thoughtful acts of service in return.

This dynamic serves Narcissists really well as they feed off the energy of an Empath but it totally exhausts an Empath and causes them to feel insecure or unworthy.

5. Physical touch

Narcissists operate in extremes as far as physical touch is concerned. They want their physical needs to be met at all times but they will withhold physical affection from their partner as a way to torment them for a perceived hurt or upset that happened long ago.

Empaths need genuine love and physical affection and physical gestures are their preferred love language but a Narcissist would withhold his love from them when they require it the most or when they are at their most vulnerable instead of trying to comfort them or soothe them.

Empaths think that just because they genuinely care and love people, people would do the same for them but that is their biggest mistake especially when they expect genuine love and care from people suffering from personality disorders like Narcissists.

Empaths are highly sensitive people and often put the needs of others before them and forget to take care of their own physical, mental and emotional needs.

This often leads to an Empath burnout. Therefore it is very important for them to learn to create strong boundaries around giving and choose their partners carefully and not fall in the toxic Empath Narcissist relationship dynamic.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of Being An Empath

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This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.