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How Empaths/HSPs Can Stop Attracting Narcissists

Posted by Julia Stewart

A bird sitting in a tree - Believe in Yourself

Empaths, also known as Highly Sensitive People, often have problems with Abusive Narcissists.

If you are a coach, you have a high likelihood of being an HSP. Find out here if you have this genetic trait. If you are an HSP, and you've ever had problems with difficult, or even dangerous people, you most likely were dealing with people who have narcissistic issues.

Is any of the following familiar to you?

Relationships with narcissists usually start out great but almost always turn sour. Their common relationship pattern is to idealize, then demean, then discard people. Sometimes they repeat the pattern over and over with the same person. Other times they stay stuck on the demean stage for years. That can ruin their target's self-esteem.

They are the office mate who always needs a favor, takes advantage of your kindness, then steals your ideas. Or the romantic partner who goes to great lengths to woo you, but once you've fallen in love, starts cheating on you, right away. Or they are the "best friend" who steals your job or your spouse. Ouch.

You may have wondered what you did wrong in these instances, but HSP is a normal trait that seems to attract abnormal people. If you're an HSP, or have had problems with a narcissist, or if you are a coach with clients who have had these problems, read on for how to handle these vexing issues and live happier...

Most information available about this topic is geared toward self-defense for Empaths/HSPs because narcissistic behavior is so common.

That's good and necessary. But great coaching focuses on solving problems at their source so they never come back. And that got me thinking...

  • What if you were impervious to narcissists?
  • What would that look like?
  • How could you do it?
  • What if you could recognize narcissists before they notice you?
  • What if you stopped attracting narcissists, at all?
  • How could you do this using your HSP strengths?
  • What if you became unattractive to narcissists?
  • Would that make you less attractive to everyone?
  • What if you kept your empathy and compassion but couldn't be manipulated with it?
  • What if you stopped rewarding narcissists for their abusive behavior?
  • How might the world become a better place because you grew into a better version of you?

Those last few items are ultimately the most powerful.

These questions sent me on a journey of research into both narcissism and HSPs/Empaths. That brought me to Narcissistic Abuse, which I have personally experienced (probably you have, too). I've read a ton of research and also books by therapists who specialize in HSPs or Narcissistic Abuse but it's almost impossible to find anything on these topics written from a coaching perspective of creating solutions vs. healing problems after the damage has been done.

One of my gifts is making connections between bits of information I get from various sources. This leads to insights which lead to new approaches. Which lead to new learning modules because I like to help others by sharing what I've discovered. This is one of those topics.

HSPs are virtually the opposite of narcissists. At the other end of the sensitivity spectrum are those who are very insensitive. They are more prone to disorders on the narcissistic side, such as psychopathy and conduct disorders. They tend to regulate themselves with the emotions of others and therein lies the key.

The best way to share the details of this discovery is in a class, so I've created an in-depth class that meets on June 7th.

It's free. In it, I will share with you details on how HSPs attract narcissists and how to stop. I'll also share resources and the research behind these ideas, so you can continue your learning. Armed with some knowledge and a positive environment, you can hone your strengths and believe in yourself. That's freedom.

It could dramatically reduce the amount of pain you experience in your lifetime. As an HSP, negative experiences have a greater chance of causing you to languish. While positive experiences have a greater likelihood of helping you flourish.

So it matters a lot.

From a big picture perspective, helping HSPs avoid the Narcissism Trap can help change the world for the better. Because Narcissists are responsible for much of what ails the world.

You can flourish in a narcissistic world as an HSP. You can also help the world become a little less narcissistic and that's good for everyone.

 

Will you join me? Register for this free one-hour class now:

 

How HSPs/Empaths Attract Narcissists and How to Stop

 

Topics: become a coach, webinar, Free, HSP

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? Take This In-Depth Test to Find Out

Posted by Julia Stewart

Sensitive Man Enjoying the Scent of Flowers

Highly Sensitive People have an opportunity to flourish even more than other people.

HSP is a popular term for a well-researched inborn trait called Sensory Processing Sensitivity that impacts 20% of the human population. Several gene variations have been identified that are associated with HSP and like any trait, HSP brings both advantages and disadvantages to the individuals who have it. If you are an HSP, you will notice more about your environment and process it more deeply, which can help you excel in intellectual, emotional, creative, or intuitive areas; as well as in relationships, and even in sports and business. But all that extra information can overload your nervous system, causing stress and overwhelm, so you'll pay a higher price for putting up with negative circumstances, but you'll profit even more from a positive environment than others will.

As an HSP, you need to pick your environments wisely or even create new environments to elicit your gifts while minimizing the costs.

Start first by identifying whether you are an HSP with the in-depth test below. Next, educate yourself about your trait so you can optimize it. The research into this personality trait is fascinating and may upend much of what you previously thought about personality, well-being, and mental health. But there is no diagnostic test for it, only a short scale used mostly by researchers. If you are a coach, holistic healer, artist, writer, or researcher; those careers are common to HSPs. Read on for how to identify your trait and get started optimizing it...

DOES is an acronym used to describe the main features of HSP. The D stands for the key feature of this genetic trait: Depth of processing. HSPs take in more information from their environments and that leads to both advantages, such as making better decisions, and disadvantages, such as suffering from over stimulation. O stands for over-arousability which can lead to upset or overwhelm, one of the downsides of HSP. Next is E which stands for Emotional intensity and Empathy. HSPs feel more intensely than others. This means greater highs and deeper lows. Plus, they are finely attuned to others and feel other people's emotions. The latter can create havoc if an HSP spends too much time around people who are emotionally disregulated, but it can be an asset at work and in most relationships, when smartly managed. Finally, S stands for Sensing Subtleties. HSPs are aware of subtle changes or differences that don't register for nonsensitives. The ability to notice subtle changes is an asset in many situations.

"Empath", by the way, is a self-identified trait that overlaps quite a bit with HSP but is not well researched. Hence, definitions of the Empath trait vary according to who the writer or speaker is and may include psychic abilities. But generally, there are enough overlaps between Empath and HSP that they may be the same trait. So if you think you are an Empath, take the test below. Both the test and this article are based on the writings of Elaine N. Aron and others, such as Michael Pluess, who research Sensory Processing Sensitivity ...

Because HSP is inborn, it will show up from birth and you will always have it.

So, in addition to taking this test, check with your parents about early indications that you were more sensitive as an infant. It is unlikely you will answer "Yes" to every question in the test, even if you are an HSP, because of independent personality factors or because you learned to subdue some of your sensitivity to blend in better with the majority who are nonsensitive. Likewise, you may not be an HSP but still answer "Yes" to some of these questions because you have developed sensitivities or strengths in some of these areas at some point in your life. Finally, a few of these questions may sound like traits that could show up in either HSPs or nonsensitives, but the key here is why they show up. Is it a product of sensitivity or not? If it is caused by sensitivity, it may be a normal trait for HSPs.

Take this 6-minute, 50-question test to know if you're a Highly Sensitive Person:

Answer "Yes" to the questions below if they are either "Sometimes" or "Always" true for you. You can also think of them as "Moderately" or "Very" true. If the majority of answers are true for you, you are likely an HSP. And if only a few of them are true but are "Always" or "Very" true, you probably are an HSP, although this test is not intended to be an official diagnosis. If you have this trait, take responsibility for it by doing everything you can to optimize it for your own benefit and for the benefit of your loved ones and others who come in contact with you. Otherwise, they and you will miss out on the rich possibilities of your trait.

  1. As a child, were you precocious in some areas but lagged behind your peers in others?
  2. Did adults sometimes assume you were shy or frightened because you paused before joining in at a new school, party, or activity, but you were really just taking it all in?
  3. Were your parents proud of your accomplishments but worried because you were so sensitive?
  4. Did your sensitivity ever make you a target for bullying, teasing, or taunts by other children with names like: Crybaby, Sissy, Nerd, or Teacher's Pet?
  5. Did your parents and teachers push you to shrug it off, toughen up, or fight back; but that was very hard for you to do (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  6. Have you ever wished you were more like other people and/or secretly preferred your sensitivity?
  7. Do you love subtle or complex colors, flavors, scents, or music?
  8. Are you more sensitive than most to the effects of caffeine, alcohol, or medication?
  9. Have you always felt an affinity for animals or nature?
  10. Are you highly intuitive or have accurate gut feelings?
  11. Are you responsible and conscientious?
  12. Are you creative or innovative?
  13. Do you have a rich, complex inner life?
  14. For fun, do you prefer small gatherings of friends, going to a seminar, spa or spiritual retreat, or spending time in nature; but find big parties, loud concerts, nightclubs, or major sporting events too much (Answer Yes to this one, if the first part is true, even if the reverse was true in your teens and twenties)?
  15. Do you love helping others but do your best work one-on-one or in small groups?
  16. Do you take your time processing and assimilating new information and then make good decisions, have useful  insights, find solutions, or have new creative ideas?
  17. Do you find busy city streets, stadiums full of people, or being around highly emotional people exhausting, upsetting, or overwhelming for you?
  18. Are you easily bothered by too much heat, cold, wind, or humidity, or by loud noises, rough fabrics, certain smells, or too little sunlight?
  19. Are you intensely spiritual or religious, and/or do you find meaning in secular philosophy, science, math?
  20. Have you become an expert or master in at least one area of your work or life but don't brag about it or expect much acknowledgement for it?
  21. Do people value you for your gifts but complain you are too sensitive or you expect too much?
  22. Are you highly emotional or have one or two very strong emotions?
  23. Do you ever wish you weren't so sensitive?
  24. Do you love spending time alone even if you are an extrovert?
  25. Do you need peace and quiet to be at your best?
  26. Are you more interested in improving yourself and less interested in competing with others?
  27. Do you feel shy or overwhelmed in new surroundings even though you are neither when in familiar surroundings (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  28. Have you ever gone through a painful period when everything felt hard and you couldn't seem to keep up with it all, but have you also had periods of great happiness when it felt easy to succeed at your goals (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  29. Do you feel like you've known more than your fair share of abusive narcissists (a.k.a. toxic people, emotional vampires, or high conflict people)?
  30. Do you love experiencing intense positive emotions but dread equally intense negative emotions?
  31. When something painful happens, does it seem to stay with you longer or do you have more trouble shaking it off than others do?
  32. Are you more easily hurt than most people by the things others say?
  33. Do you cry easily, or did you used to cry easily but have learned not to cry in front of others?
  34. Do people complain that you overreact?
  35. Have you spent most of your life acting tougher than you really are and has that cost you emotionally and/or physically (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  36. Have you ever walked into a room and sensed that something was wrong even though no one said or did anything to confirm it, and did it turn out that you were right (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  37. Do you intuitively know what others need and automatically try to provide it even if it wears you out?
  38. Is setting boundaries harder for you than most because you are so aware of what others' need?
  39. Do you sometimes need to withdraw temporarily from relationships, to recover, and do others feel hurt by this and sometimes punish you for it?
  40. Do you pick up subtle signals from others and adjust yourself to accommodate them?
  41. Do you have strong emotional empathy and deep compassion for others?
  42. Have you ever felt depressed or anxious around certain people or circumstances, but felt fine once you changed your environment (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  43. Do you love being close to other people but still need your alone time (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  44. Are you choosy about who gets to be close to you?
  45. Do you find it harder than others to let go if you get close to the wrong person?
  46. Do you feel especially alive when you are in a forest, near the ocean, or in some other natural setting?
  47. Do you love traveling and sight seeing but in smaller doses than most people (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  48. Do you find your life is dramatically better when you pay attention to your self care?
  49. Have you noticed that enough sleep makes a huge improvement in your life?
  50. Have you built your life to accommodate your sensitivity and have you noticed your life has improved tremendously because of it (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?

Again, if you answered "Yes" to most questions or answered "Yes" to fewer questions but your answers were "Very" true or "Always" true, you most likely are an HSP.

This is important because HSPs benefit more from positive people and environments, and are also harmed more by negative people and environments.

To enjoy greater happiness and success, HSPs must accommodate their trait and communicate to important nonsensitives why they are the way they are. If you skip this, your life will likely be unnecessarily difficult and painful when it could be both joyful and successful.

The good news is you have more to gain from positive psychology coaching than most people and can enjoy what researchers call, Vantage Sensitivity. Vantage sensitivity is the ability to excel because of the HSP trait, sometimes beyond what nonsensitives accomplish, but only if your life is well designed to optimize your trait.

Because of Vantage Sensitivity, it is well worth your while to invest in coaching and become your best self, especially if you are an HSP.

Would you like to develop your Vantage Sensitivity? Download Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People and pick one idea from it. Then perfect that idea. HSPs are gifted at over-responding to problems. When you focus that gift on over-responding to your own needs, you create capacity, strength, and the ability to do almost anything! This is just the beginning...

Are you ready to give Vantage Sensitivity a try? Then start upgrading your self-care.

 

Download Self Care for Highly Sensitive People below:

 

Download Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People Here

 

Topics: self care, Empaths, HSP

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