Psychic Narcissism: when inner emptiness leads to psychic stealing

by Caroline van Kimmenade


What can be better than dealing with narcissists?

Dealing with narcissists who have super powers.

For sure.



I’ve written a lot about narcissism on this site + created a programme to free HSPs from the toxic responsibility-binds with narcissistic people, and for a while, that’s all I thought there was to it.

Yet, surprise, surprise, life tends to be more complex and stunning than we assume! At times in wonderful ways, at other times in shocking ways.






Heads up, the full version of this is a looooong article. Short and breezy would be nice, but this is a complex topic that is already plenty dumbed down in various other places on the interwebs, so I want to make a real attempt at doing it some justice, while keeping it understandable too. Published here on the blog is about a third of the full article – Go to the Happy Sensitive Library to access the full version. (Members: click here to start reading)


Let’s start with a distinction made by Adam Grant in his book “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” (really worth reading!).

Grant talks about givers and takers. Givers are people who are basically happy to help, without doing a cost-benefit analysis for everything they do for others. Takers are always thinking “what’s in it for me?” and when they give, they only give to get a lot more in return.

There’s more to it than that (there are “matchers” too!), but the part I want to highlight here is this: there are two “layers” to givers and takers. There is the surface appearance and the deeper truth.


There are Two “Layers” to Givers and Takers


What this means is that some givers are kind on the surface and other givers are more stand-offish, perhaps even rude on the surface.

The defining thing about givers though is that they come through quite selflessly when they are needed.

We all know people like this, right? The person who is kind on all levels (think Lorelai from Gilmore Girls) versus the somewhat rude and grumpy person that you can nevertheless always count on when things go wrong (think Luke from Gilmore Girls).

Both of these are givers, even though they look quite different on the surface.




O.k. so the same applies to takers. There are takers who are very nice on the surface: polite, wouldn’t make an obvious fuss, they say all the right superficial things. But somehow, when they are needed and there is nothing in it for them, poof, they’re gone. They are quick to claim, demand and require – quite understandably or politely even – yet lack true reciprocation.

Then there are the takers who are more “obvious”, they are self-centered on the surface, and self-centered below the surface. They are clearly out to get more for themselves at all times. Nobody expects any help from them ever and if they do offer help, you immediately wonder what they are getting out of it.

Either way, whether they are kind and even helpful (up to a point) on the surface or not, takers are in it to take. They don’t give for the sake of giving. Their giving is an investment that they will make sure pays off well.

Now, Adam Grant makes more distinctions in his book, especially about the boundaries givers need to develop to make sure they don’t burn-out, but for now, I want to use the overview sketched here: Obviously Giver, Not Obvious Giver, Obviously Taker, Not Obvious Taker.

Because – this is where things get weird – this same “split’ between surface and deeper truth also applies to how people show up in a visible, obvious way, versus what they are doing with their energy (and this is where it’s all me, and I’m not referring to Adam Grant’s work any more).


The Narcissistic Component


Let’s switch to narcissism for a moment so I can explain something very relevant to all this.

In discussions on narcissism, you’ll see a lot of mention of “narcissistic supply”. This is basically the idea that narcissists crave a lot of attention – whether positive or negative. They find a way to make everything about them, to get the maximum amount of attention (that can be through a “I’m an amazing guru” strategy or through a “poor me, I will die if you don’t hold my hand all the time!” approach).

Narcissistic people are really bad at giving themselves the inner support they need. They are always looking to (manipulate) other people to give them praise and attention and time and confirmation and admiration and yadayadayada. They are running away from themselves and from true introspection, so they are always looking for lots of bright shiny things to fill their empty sense of self with.

They can do this in a nice way, or in an obnoxious way but their goal is always to get a whole lot more than they give.

So, that’s narcissistic supply. When you give a narcissist attention, you give them “narcissistic supply”. Makes sense right?


The Psychic Component


Now, on the psychic energy planes, a whole other world of “narcissistic supply” opens up.

You see, our energy body (or aura) is nourished by something referred to as life-force, prana or chi (and there are many more names for this vital energy, in many different cultural traditions across the world).

This energy body also needs to be “fed”.

Ideally, your energy body is a closed circuit of sorts. You both create and use up all the life-force energy you need.

However, there are also people who are depleted on the inside. It’s usually not their whole energy field (aura), but parts of it. It could be certain chakras (energy centers) that are running on empty, or parts of the area around their body (aura).

This is where someone’s deepest psychological conditioning comes into play. You see, there are two basic ways to deal with a problem: acknowledge it and do something about it, or refuse to resolve it and instead look for someone to blame.

Blame is essentially saying: “It’s someone else’s job to fix this! They owe me!”



The Multiple Levels of Give and Take


Now, remember what I said about surface level and deeper truth? It applies here too. Someone can be quite the responsible go-getter in visible ways, and also collapse into a “poor me” heap on the psychic energy level.

Basically, when someone collapses into chronic victimhood on the life-force energy level of their being, they start expecting to get that life-force energy from other people.

What makes things tricky is that there are various “layers” to someone’s personality. So just as someone can be an obvious giver or taker, or a less-obvious one, someone can also be more or less obvious when it comes to seeing how they deal with life-force energy.

Some people are obvious takers on all levels, it’s all “me me me”.

Other people are obvious givers.

Other people are depressing to be around and – while they can be nice people – you don’t feel good around them and it’s obvious that – at the very least – they are not givers.

Then there are people who behave like givers on the surface: they are constantly running around trying to do everything for everyone. If, however, they don’t take care of themselves at all, then on the the life-force level, they can end up getting very depleted. Then, because they “do so much for others” deep deep down they can feel justified in becoming a big taker when it comes to life-force energy.

This is a little like saying: I helped you write your thesis, so it’s o.k. if I empty out your wallet in secret.

Which in the end makes you wonder – was the thesis help just a way to get to the wallet?


It’s like this…


There is a difference between offering someone a cookie, versus having it pulled out of your mouth.

There is a difference between supporting a friend, versus having them psychically steal whatever life-force cookies they can get their hands on.




I know, bunnies are cute. But imagine this is your life!

What if you were ALWAYS a baby. What if your chair was always on the ground. What if your only food source was cookies. What if there were 100 rabbits.

There are ways in which the bunny scenario is cute, and then there are situations where it would lead to a starving baby.

One cute stealing bunny, is not such a big deal. But 100 of them that are hungry and all over you? Yikes!


Things are not always what they seem


Once we get to the level of life-force energy and givers and takers on that level, things are often not what they seem.

You can meet an incredible asshole who nevertheless takes care of his own life-force just fine.

And then you might meet someone who is all softness and kindness in their words and visible actions, but deep down they are depleted and will take what they can get.

So, you can have someone who in all ways looks like a pleasant and responsible person, and who nevertheless, on the energy level, is seeking the life-force version of narcissistic supply.

I am not saying everyone who does this is a narcissist.

What I am saying is that the part of them that is depleted and that is seeking life-force energy from others is narcissistic.

Even if that part of someone is only 5% of their personality, it needs to be addressed because left unattended, it will attack loved ones and use everyone they know for life-force energy, severely hurting (depleting) those they use in this way.

This is where some “too good to be true” Rainbow Sprinkles For Everyone types can come into the picture. By spending so much time being a model citizen and superficial saint, they are actually neglecting their own needs. As a result, their life-force gets depleted and they end up psychically attacking the people they are so busy “helping”. On one level they give, but on another level they take (a lot!). Talk about a broken system!


drawing of psychic narcissist connecting psychically with fishing rod coming out of forehead


Signs (not proof!) of psychic narcissism


Because of the layeredness of social interactions, psychic narcissism is actually really hard to spot. It’s easy to mistake it for something else. Nevertheless, here are some scenarios that are signs (not proof!) that you could be dealing with a psychic narcissist:


The Charmer who Freezes you out

Can be really charming and try to get your attention but then once you’re interested, they ignore you.

Maybe they wanted proof that they could get you to like them.

Or maybe they ignore you because they got what they wanted already: a psychic connection.


The Wobble Enthusiast

Can act strangely, constantly doing or saying things to upset you, destabilise you or bring you down. Yet they seem to simultaneously like you and want to keep the conversation going.

Maybe they just enjoy playing a game of “making you feel bad”.

Maybe they like to show you how powerful they are by pushing you this way and that.

Maybe they had a bad day and are taking it out on you.

Or maybe they’re doing it because bringing you out of balance creates an easier psychic way in to your energy field.


The Exhausting Nice Person

Can be really nice and kind and say all the right things but somehow, after spending time with them you feel like you need to nap for a week. While you’re napping, you can’t seem to get them out if your head. Even though there is no reason for them to be high on your Think About List.

Psychic narcissists with this m.o. know that you catch more flies with honey. They use this to create a psychic connection (which is why you can’t get them out of your head).


The Secret Loser

Seem charismatic and can-do people at first glance but then as you get to know them better you notice their chronic defeatism. They have a deep ” nothing will get better anyway ” attitude. They are always lacking and the world is always unfair.

Careful, this kind of “poor me” breeds entitlement! If this person has the psychic skills, chances are high they are on the prowl for life force energy.


The Nervous Donut

May seem calm on the surface but when you get to know them better you notice their chronic underlying fear and anxiety – which by the way they won’t own up to.

Underneath that sugary exterior there is a massive hole.

The fear “needs” constant reassurance, in the form of life force energy from other people.


drawing of person with big black hole on the inside who says I'm fine


Psychic narcissists have a taker attitude.  Yet, because there are so many ways (strategies) to be a taker, there is no simple list of traits to look out for.

The problem with psychic narcissism is that it’s hidden in the deeper crevices of someone’s personality. Since there are likely different kinds of give and take happening at different levels of someone’s being, a psychic narcissist does not have to be an obvious taker at all. They can be giving in other ways.


How Psychic Narcissism Affects You


Your life force energy is what gives you your health, your drive, your enthusiasm, your happiness, your ability to imagine a brighter future, your inspiration, your inner calm etc etc etc. Basically, when it comes to what we can do and how we feel, it’s all about life force energy.

Needless to say, life force energy is not something you want to be robbed of.

Of course, there are (many) other explanations for being tired, feeling deflated, losing your mojo etc. It’s just that, if you have someone around who has narcissistic traits and psychic abilities, psychic narcissism is one (important) possibility.

Ironically, many psychic narcissists self-identify as empaths (which they aren’t) because they feel affected by energy from others. Yet, true empathy is actually really low on their list of qualities.

(To make things more complicated, someone can be both empath and psychic narcissist – although this is rare. In that case one of the two will be the predominant pattern. While this combo may sound odd or logically impossible, it’s consistent with research into empathy and dark triad traits.)

In the name of opposites attract, psychic narcissists and empaths are often drawn to each other. They inhabit the same psychic planes, but in a totally different way. The psychic narcissist takes and exploits and if the empath doesn’t decide to leave, the empath can end up in a real hole of despair, not knowing what on earth has happened to them.


photo of library


Heads up! The article published here is only one third of the full article.


The full article addresses a lot of questions you probably have, like:


  • what is this whole “stealing life-force” thing about? I need more explanation
  • why and how does someone become a psychic narcissist?
  • do psychic narcissists know what they are doing?
  • are psychic narcissists all traumatised, is that why?
  • how much of a problem is it really if someone takes some life force? I’ve got plenty!
  • what about shielding?
  • are all spiritual teachers knowledgeable about this phenomenon?

Purchase A Happy Sensitive Library Membership to access the full article. 

With your membership, you also have access to a host of other Happy Sensitive materials and courses. New materials are added to the Library on an ongoing basis, and you get access to all of them.

Several chapters of the article published here on the blog have been shortened. The version in the Library has a lot more detail and explanations. On top of that there are 10 chapters that have been left out completely that are included in the Library:

  1. Understanding the Workings of Psychic Narcissism
  2. Your Aura is like a Veggie Patch
  3. Stealing Things? Wait! What is this About?
  4. Does Stealing Matter?
  5. The Problem with Energy Protection Methods
  6. What Causes All This?
  7. So, What to Do?
  8. Damage and Confusion
  9. Some “Buts” About Feeling Drained
  10. The Difference Between Empaths and Psychic Narcissists



Obviously, when someone is already very narcissistic on a visible and psychological level, then there is zero to ‘almost zero’ chance that they would ever do anything about their psychic narcissism. Steer clear!

However, like I mentioned, it’s also possible that psychic narcissism is just a smaller part of someone’s whole personality. Like an old habit that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the person. So it’s possible for someone to be on a self-development journey where they take a lot of responsibility for dealing with themselves and their past, and then they hit upon this one part of them still stuck in the Stone Age.

When psychic narcissism is a smaller part of someone’s personality, and this person on the whole is quite self-responsible and able and willing to face difficult things, then chances are high that they will heal this tendency, once they know how.




P.S. For in-person help and recommendations for all this, set up a Clarity Call with me here. Dealing with a possible psychic narcissist, or feeling confused about what is and isn’t happening psychically, is not some kind of Sudoko puzzle to leisurely crack on a Sunday afternoon! People spend years running in circles trying to figure out this stuff on their own. Your life is more important than that. Your loved ones need you happy and healthy, not secretly worrying yourself to bits, exhausted or tapped out and not knowing why or what to do about it.

P.P.S. Remember, a much more detailed and complete version of this article can be found in the library. It’s 3 times as long, with 3 times as much detailed explanation as the article you just read. Also in the Library: the recording of a live “Core Differences” class on the differences between different kinds of sensitivity to energy – including explanations and Q&A on psychic narcissism. Go to the Library.




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