The Interesting Thing That Happens When An Empath Abandons A Narcissist

You will experience myriad complicated emotions when an empath abandons a narcissist,

couple going through breakup 1st footage / Shutterstock

When you, an empath, leave a relationship with a narcissist, the narcissist is initially stunned, reeling and destabilized.

The narcissist may beg or try to manipulate you into staying. Even if they have other sources of narcissistic supply, they weren’t counting on losing your supply today.

When you hold firm, the pain of rejection and abandonment causes the narcissist severe narcissistic injury, which results in narcissistic rage.


The narcissist may then:

Eventually, the narcissist will find supply elsewhere, though they may still wish to punish you for this perceived transgression.


RELATED: 11 Valuable Lessons I Learned About How Dating A Narcissist Changes You

More importantly, what happens to you, the empath?

Initially, you feel very empowered, brave, and confident. You were courageous. You took a stand for yourself. It’s only fitting you celebrate.

You also feel like peace is actually possible in your life. Your nervous system begins to relax, to let down its guard, ever so slightly. You sleep a little better, feel a little more energy, and feel mentally a little clearer.

When your focus is on yourself, you feel your own sense of peace. You no longer feel the narcissist’s pain and anger.

Next comes the crash.

The massive waves of crushing self-doubt start to roll in and you find it hard to stay afloat.

  • Maybe they’re not a narcissist.
  • Maybe they can change.
  • Maybe I should give them another chance.

You wonder if you made a mistake. No, you agonize over whether you made a mistake.

RELATED: How To Get Over A Narcissist

Now you’re uncertain about everything…

  • What to order at a restaurant
  • Whether your shirt is too slutty
  • How to proceed with your car repair
  • Whether your email to a co-worker could be interpreted as mean

You plummet down the rabbit hole of doubting yourself about everything.

You have become your own biggest critic and nothing you seem to do is good enough. (That’s your ego gaslighting you, by the way.)

You look back at your decision to end the relationship through this lens.

  • Maybe I am too sensitive.
  • Maybe I overreacted.
  • Maybe I am insecure…Oh my gosh, holy cow, I AM insecure. The restaurant, the shirt, the car, the email. I am totally insecure!

Then it hits you — maybe you were the problem.

Your focus shifts to the narcissist, empathizing with their sadness, rejection, and anger.

You start feeling it as if it were yours. You don’t want to feel that way. You don’t want anyone to feel that way.

You think about their dysfunctional family of origin, their traumatic childhood, and maybe the unknown series of events that made them this way. You wonder if there’s a way to help them, to stop both of your pain.

Maybe you take them back, relive the devaluation — far worse this time — then start this cycle over again.


RELATED: If You Have These 30 Traits, Consider Yourself An Empath

Eventually, you awaken.

You learn everything you can about narcissists and other toxic people.

You learn everything you can about yourself: your likes and dislikes; your neck gets tight when you’re devalued; your skin breaks out when your boundaries are violated; you get sick after spending time with toxic people.


You realize taking care of yourself is the single most important thing you can do to be of service to your family, your community, and the world.

You prioritize and get to know yourself deeply. You commit to healing your trauma.

At that point, you realize you didn’t abandon the narcissist. You said YES to you.

Disclaimer: This answer is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. It’s a recount of how I’ve been able to help myself and others heal from narcissistic abuse and how it may be helpful to you.

RELATED: How To Deal With A Narcissist — 8 Smart & Simple Steps

Dr Melissa Kalt, MD is a trauma and covert narcissistic abuse expert who helps high-impact women break free from the longstanding aftereffects of narcissistic abuse.