Being Very Sensitive After Narcissistic Abuse

I recently learned a word I never heard before.  That word is clairsentience.  According to Merriam Webster online, it means to perceive the things that aren’t usually perceptible.  In some further reading on the topic, I realized many people think clairsentience is a psychic power like being a spirit medium or fortune teller, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.  Some people are naturally more perceptive & sensitive to things than other people.  And, some people are exceptionally perceptive & sensitive. 

I’ve always picked up on energy.  Not just the energy people naturally put off, like a happy person has a happy “vibe”.  I mean energy like if a person who loves me has been in my home, I can feel their good energy for some time after they leave.  The same goes if someone is angry or hateful has been in my home – I feel their negative energy too.  Prior to my husband & I buying his late parents’ home, he met with his sisters at that house one day.  The first time I went into that house several days after they left, I felt their negative energy the moment I walked in the door.  It was so pronounced, I felt like it slapped me in the face.

In thinking about this phenomenon known as clairsentience, I’ve noticed it is quite common in those who have been abused by narcissists, even if victims don’t always realize it.  It seems to me having to be completely in tune with a narcissist’s wants, needs, feelings & even whims in order to avoid disappointing them by facing their wrath can create this deep awareness in some people.  I believe it to be one aspect of hyper-vigilance.  I also think that many victims of narcissistic abuse aren’t aware that this clairsentience can be a good thing because of its relation to hyper-vigilance so often making it uncomfortable. 

Clairsentience can help you to be in tune with people other than the narcissist.  You can realize quickly the mood of someone you care about.  You also pick up on subtle things like how a person truly feels about you or if they’re in need of something but don’t want to ask. 

Clairsentience can make a person very empathic & in tune with those in their life, which is a wonderful thing for relationships.  It leads to having very close, good relationships partly because of this.

It also naturally means you can identify toxic people very quickly, because you can pick up on subtle cues that other people may not notice.  For example, narcissists are smug people, but not all wear that smugness proudly.  In some, it’s barely noticeable at all.  It may appear as a look in their eye or a slightly disappointed expression when talking about those they deem not as good as themselves.  Many people won’t notice those subtle cues, but a person with clairsentience will recognize those very subtle clues & (hopefully at least!) avoid people like this.  This skill means that a person with clairsentience can have very good, healthy relationships while wasting very little time on the bad ones.

Another plus is the sensitivity to energy.  Being able to feel the “vibe” of a gathering of people is a useful skill because it helps you to figure out quickly how best to act in the environment.

If you realize you fit the description of someone with clairsentience, then I urge you not to look at it as a bad thing or some strange psychic phenomenon.  Instead, just appreciate it as the useful life skill that it is. 


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

23 responses to “Being Very Sensitive After Narcissistic Abuse

  1. Interesting. I do find that my discernment or what I have heard call “a bs barometer “ has become more sensitive. It’s like once you’re eyes are opened, you can’t go back. I had not heard this word before. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Stella Reddy

    Thanks for the education, I never heard of it before either. It does explain a lot for me the past few yrs tho. It has been uncanny how often I can sense my husbands moods these days, I even spook him sometimes. I like having it, saves me some trouble to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cynthia, great word. I think we all have this sense, but for some it is at a heightened level. What I mean by this, is our hearts give off an electrical impulse that can be felt by others in the vicinity. This is one reason attraction can be communicated as the target of interest may actually sense the heart beating faster of the interested party (that and those caught glimpses). If a positive person is in your home, I have to think you may sense the positivity even after the person leaves the room, a sort of fading echo. The same goes for the negative persona. Maybe some are more in tune with this than others.

    Of course, it may be more simple than this quoting the line from an old Bob Dylan song known more by its tagline “You’ve got a lot of nerve.” The lyric goes “I wish for for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes. Then, you know what a drag it is to see you.”



    • Interesting! I didn’t know about the electrical impulses thing. That makes sense.

      I like the lyrics of that song. How many times I’ve thought something similar.


      • Cynthia, I gleaned that from the documentary “I Am” on what makes us happy. It may be why speed dating rules out suitors – no electromagnetism. The Bob Dylan song is the ultimate put down song – all the things you would like to say, but edit. Keith


  4. Linda Lee Adams/Lady Quixote

    My spidey sense has undoubtedly saved my life on several occasions. One of the more incredible times happened many years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Her dad and I drove out to a lake, very late one night. We were sitting in his car overlooking the lake, talking and enjoying the peace and quiet. There were no other vehicles and no other people that we could see or hear. No traffic, no street lights, nothing but crickets. It was dark, calm, and I was feeling very relaxed.

    Suddenly, I had the overpowering feeling that our lives were in imminent danger. I touched my now-ex-husband on the arm, interrupting his nonstop flow of ego talking. Very quietly, I said “Please start the car and get us out of here as fast as you can. I will explain later.”

    Thankfully, this man who hated to do anything that wasn’t his idea first, actually did what I said. He started the car engine, turned on the headlights, and began backing out of the dirt parking lot. That’s when his headlights hit the three men that were just a few feet away, sneaking up on us!

    To make a long story short, we got away from them, even as they ran to a car they had hidden in the trees and tried to chase us down. As we were fleeing the area, somehow I knew that they had just killed someone, and when we drove up shortly afterward, they decided to kill us too, just in case we might have seen or heard something.

    About a month later, if I remember correctly, the body of a man was found buried in a shallow grave near the spot where we had parked by the lake. The murder victim had gone missing on the night we had our terrifying encounter at the lake.

    Now, any time I get that sensation of danger, I leave from wherever I am, immediately. I believe it is God’s gift, to keep me and my loved ones safe from harm. I know my sense developed during my abusive childhood, as a way to stay safe and alive.

    Thanks for another great post, Cynthia. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I heard this word many years back but I forgot the meaning 😄 It’s listed in psychic abilities. Have you checked the world “Claircognizance”? I believe that we trauma survivors have this ability to just know things too it’s the inner knowing.


    • From what I’ve read, it is listed as a psychic ability, but I really don’t agree. It can come from being conditioned by a narcissist to anticipate their every move or thought.

      Yes, I’ve heard of claircognizance too. Not enough to have any educated view on it though. But yes, trauma survivors can have the ability to know things other people don’t thanks to the conditioning we have endured. That’s why I think clairsentience is an aspect of hyper-vigilance. Maybe claircognizance is another aspect of it. I really am not sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ibikenyc

    I’d never heard this word, either. It’s a good one.

    I’d also forgot how useful this sensitivity can be even in non-toxic situations. Looking forward to some of those! Thank you for the reminder ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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