Ways to Develop Empathy as a Narcissist

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Narcissistic people have an inflated sense of importance and expect attention and admiration from others.

These personality traits make it difficult for them to develop empathy.

They might be able to read that something isn't right but can't feel the emotions you're going through.

This makes them indifferent to how others feel.

If you have noticed that you often disregard or fail to understand people's feelings, decide to develop empathy as a narcissist.

You can develop empathy by understanding other people's perspectives.

This would help you to recognize and understand people's feelings.

You can also develop empathy as a narcissist by cultivating healthy relationships with people.

It helps you to understand people better.

You can also educate yourself through soft skills that help you develop empathy.

You can also volunteer in various groups or exciting activities.

Going for therapy would also provide you support for narcissism and help you to develop empathy.

Read on to gain insights on how to develop empathy as a narcissist.

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Understand People's Perspectives

Narcissistic people can be self-centered and obsessive about themselves.

Understanding people's perspectives means that you're able to experience their feelings and understand their situations.

This means that you have to remove the focus from yourself and take time to focus on people, their feelings, and their emotions.

It means recognizing that the world doesn't revolve around you and that what you do, say, or don't do affects others.

It also means recognizing that people are not things you can use and that they have feelings too.

Empathy, in this case, means that you're going beyond being sympathetic to people's feelings and that you understand how they feel.

It doesn't come to them automatically, even when they feel cognitive empathy, the inability or unwillingness to feel emotional empathy.

But when they understand other people's point of view. Understanding people's perspectives is the key to creating healthy relationships.

Healthy Social Interactions

The fact that narcissistic people lack empathy affects their relationships with other people.

It makes them come off as arrogant, cold, and elusive. This can make them isolated from family and friends.

Their lack of empathy has also made them guilty of antisocial behavior, such as physical and emotional abuse and crime.

Being around people helps you to understand people better.

It helps you create strong social bonds, cohabit with and work with people.

Creating healthy relationships with the people around you helps you to develop empathy as a narcissist.

To achieve this, you need to remove the focus on yourself or your obsessive need to be the center of attention.

Take time to acknowledge other people as well, pay attention to their needs and determine to take people for who they are rather than for what you can benefit from them.

Take feedback well, and ask questions on how you can improve your relationships.

Offer help to people going through difficult situations or if you notice they are upset.

The vulnerability of doing all these could make you want to stop, but be conscious of what you intend to achieve.

Educate Yourself

People diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder often develop the traits while they are kids for several reasons.

You can develop empathy as a narcissist by educating yourself on why empathy is essential.

This would take much intentionality, but with the proper resources and support, you can develop it.

Your general practitioner or mental health practitioner can greatly help educate you.

They know which personality traits are specific to you, and they understand for instance, why you need excessive attention and admiration.

They can provide healthy steps to develop empathy, the function of emotions, and the importance of understanding other people's emotions and needs.

This is very important for you as an individual.

For instance, your performance at work, career advancement, or promotion would depend on how your colleagues and superiors see you.

Empathy is also crucial in your relationships and could help avoid a relationship breakdown or divorce.

Developing soft skills such as interpersonal relationships, teamwork, and leadership skills are also ways to educate yourself and develop empathy.

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Volunteering is another way to develop empathy as a narcissist.

It helps you be sensitive to people's needs and driven to offer help, especially to people going through hard times.

Volunteering helps you to share and understand people's feelings and situations.

It also helps you see beyond yourself and see how you can contribute to a worthy cause.

Helping people helps you to learn skills to help you relate with and work with people and form healthy bonds.

It also helps you to see the world from other people's experiences and share in their emotional experiences.

You could volunteer in charities, NGOs, animal rescue, hospitals, and children's centers.

You could also look for places that match your interests or find causes that are important to you and volunteer there.

Donating, sharing your stuff, and supporting charities are also good ways to volunteer.

Volunteering helps you to display your care and compassion to others and connect with people.


Therapy is a helpful way to develop empathy as a narcissist. It helps you to understand your state of mind.

It may be difficult at first because it makes you vulnerable and causes some distress.

It also exposes your shortcomings and recognizes how your behavior or action affected others.

It is, however, beneficial because it means you are considering other people's needs and seeking to understand people's emotions.

Your therapist can support you in developing empathy and learning to acknowledge others' feelings.

Be patient with yourself in situations where you feel frustrated, powerless, and insufficient.

You're a work in progress; eventually, you can develop empathy for people.

Therapy will give you strategies for showing empathy in interpersonal relationships, handling difficult situations, and protecting yourself.


Lack of empathy is a primary feature of narcissistic personality disorder.

You can develop empathy as a narcissist by understanding people's perspectives, having healthy social interactions, educating yourself, volunteering, and therapy for narcissism.


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May 25th, 2024

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