You may have heard a friend or loved one talking about a dark empath and wondered to yourself what that might be. Someone who is empathetic, but not empathetic? Well, that’s close, but not quite accurate. See, dark empathy is not a diagnosis but a personality trait that one can possess. It can be hard to detect because it can be hidden so well. A dark empath is a person who can process and understand empathy for others, but also possess narcissistic traits.
Now you may be thinking, “How can you be empathetic and so selfish at the same time?” Well, dark empaths are known for their expert-level abilities to manipulate exactly by being empathetic towards others. They will appear to the person as empathetic but really have plans up their sleeve to use this person’s vulnerability for their own ends.
Read to the end because you will learn how dangerous a dark empath can really be and why it is so important to stay away from them.
Number 1: They are more sociable than the other triad.
Many times, dark triads have social anxieties and are unable to socialize normally. They can possibly fake it, but most of the time, they lack the ability to understand social cues and fit in with the crowd. On the other hand, a dark empath can be the life of the party. Dark empath is more lively and out there, which can make them way more approachable compared to other personality types. Especially since most of the people who have traits from the dark triad have a tendency to be antisocial.
Being more approachable means they can find more victims to manipulate and mold into what they need: a punching bag. They are looking for a person to bully and shape into a submissive friend. Dark empaths have learned how to present themselves as very friendly souls, which can lead to them finding those victims that are looking for a friend.
They search crowds for people who seem to have no one or feel like they are less than anyone else, but we will get into that at a later time. A dark empath is a very dangerous personality because they are capable of a type of abuse you can’t see coming from the beginning.
Number 2: They are very skilled at using others.
Dark empaths have perfected the ability to control others and use them to their advantage, but not let others become suspicious of them. Many dark empaths have been practicing controlling behaviors from a very young age, starting with parents and siblings and then gradually moving on to friends. These abilities to understand others and/or appear emotionally invested help lure people into their web.
They begin to learn and understand peoples’ weakest points and use those weaknesses as keys to getting what they want. They prey on these weaknesses. They understand they are the predator and they assume the title with pride. This kind of persuasiveness and ability to empathize with others has led dark empaths to convince others to commit crimes and other terrible acts. Many people who follow these dark empaths will never understand or see that they are being used because they are usually people who need and crave friendship.
They just want to feel like they are heard and loved and don’t care what they have to do to get that. This makes it much more dangerous simply because you can’t tell as an outsider that these victims are being used. Dark empaths are good at hiding their intentions because they know what others will think and don’t want to raise suspicions. They don’t want anyone to be alarmed by them, so they will appear friendly and understanding. Behind closed doors is a different story, though; they control the victim without them even realizing it. Dark empaths are good at making victims feel like they are more important than they really are, so they will stay around longer.
Number 3: They form bonds with people they deem as inferior.
We mentioned this in point one and we’d like to discuss it more. Dark empaths pick people they see as inferior to them. They view victims as weak-minded, spineless, and controllable. They treat these victims like a toy. They look for people who need friendship and who need to feel loved. These kinds of people are what dark empaths see as inferior to them.
Dark empaths view themselves as independent and self-loving. They appreciate who they are and they view people who do not think the same way as inferior or weak. You will never see a dark empath attach to or attempt to attach themselves to strong-minded people. They understand that these people are not easily controllable and view them as a waste of their time. They go for victims who want to be heard and need a sense of security in the friendship or relationship.
The thing that makes this a dangerous personality trait is patience. A dark empath will take their time to form a bond with their victim. If they see that they can get great use out of that person, they will take their time to gain their trust and love. They will stick around for as long as the victim needs, becoming loving and understanding of their feelings. They will give them the sense of security that they need to give their entire self to that friendship or relationship.
Dark empaths understand that some people require a little more time to become vulnerable, emotionally and mentally, in a new relationship, so they will be persistent and open to spend as much time helping that person open up. This is dangerous because to anyone surrounding the victim, they seem like the perfect new person for the victim, that one friend or significant other they were always looking for to come in and save them, to help them become themselves again.
Little do they know, this is strictly business to the dark empath. One thing to look out for in these so-called perfect relationships is the person making sarcastic but rude jokes to the victim, playing them off as just teasing, but in fact, strictly preying on the victim’s weak spots. Another thing to look for is gaslighting. If the victim calls out the dark empath on their mean jokes, the dark empath will turn it around on them, making the victim feel guilty for questioning them.
The dark empath will say defensively, “I was just joking with you and you had to go and question my friendship and loyalty to you. After all of the countless hours, I spent listening and helping you become better again.” This will instantly turn on the guilt and the victim will begin apologizing for their harsh words. Their confidence will shatter again, which will make the dark empath turn the empathetic switch on.
Number 4: They have the ability to guilt-trip people.
Have you ever met a person, let’s say at work, that always guilt-tripped you into doing something for them? And what we mean by guilt-tripping is to make you feel like absolute trash if you did not help them. They will say things such as, “I am always willing to help you anytime you need me and I ask you for one favor and you turn me down? How is that teamwork? What kind of coworker are you? “
You know those words are going to pop up on that coworker’s evaluation at the end of the year and they are going to point straight at you for not helping others. That will result in you getting pulled into the office and getting that stern talking to. Yes, we mean that coworker. Or have you ever had a friend who guilts you into talking to someone for them or doing some work for them that they are too lazy to do themselves? Yes, we mean that friend too.
These people, our dark empaths, have that keen ability to guilt-trip others into getting what they want. This isn’t a normal guilt trip you may get from someone who just wants a small favor, this is the guilt trip that makes you feel like you are the worst person for not agreeing to it fast enough. These people have a dangerous personality trait called dark empathy.
A normal empathetic person will understand and take no for an answer, but since dark empaths like to be in control of the situation, much like narcissists, they will extend the guilt trip as far as they need to get what they want. This act of guilt-tripping can also be used when they want you to think the same way they do.
When it comes to controversial topics and when they feel strongly about an idea, if they find your beliefs are not the same, they will do everything they can to guilt you into changing your mindset. Dark empaths like to be in charge of a situation or a group. This makes them dangerous because they have the ability to easily guilt-trip you without coming across as controlling.
They are able to walk that fine line of control and empathy. They can turn that on and off to cater to specific people. They want the victim to feel like they are still trusting an empathetic and loyal person, but they are wrong to feel that way. The dark empath feeds off of their ability to manipulate their relationships.
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