Empathy — where did your mind take you after reading that word? Love, care, a better understanding between people, consideration of others feelings? Probably towards, positivity, peace and all things good.
A lot of people also believe that empathy is the key to end cruelty and aggression in this world but, are they right? Well, the recent discoveries have proven to state otherwise.
It is a broadly believed concept that people who possess dark personality traits, such as that of psychopaths, Machiavellians, sociopaths or even narcissists and Gaslighters often come short in the field of empathy.
On the opposite end of this spectrum, the Empaths are believed to lack dark traits and have heightened Empathy. While the regular people (most of us) who lie somewhere in between may be low and high in either of these two, depending upon where we stand in this projectory. A well known but flawed concept.
In a research carried out by Marsh and Cardinale it was concluded that psychopaths do possess the miracle element of empathy in them, making it not so miraculous now.
This research backed by other studies, that suggests there is no relation between aggression and empathy, compels us to conclude that there’s a darker side of empathy as well.
In recent years various psychological studies which are directed towards personality traits are revealing a new personality type which is as interesting as it is revolutionary — Dark empath.
If you feel like an outsider in conversations, or like the majority of people don’t understand you? You may be part of this selected group of people as well.
The Dark Empath personality type is a rare breed, often misunderstood and falsely labeled as evil or manipulative. But this is not the story of them all—usually they’re just highly sensitive people who have experienced trauma that has left them unable to trust others easily.
In this blog post, we’ll explore everything about the dark empaths, their traits, challenges associated with the Dark Empath personality type, and how to cope with them.
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What Is a Dark Empath?
A dark empath is a person who you may find pleasing at first sight but he or she is also someone who can get as dangerous as traditional dark traids such as narcissists. In addition to their dark traits are also bestowed with an ability to understand others’ emotions.
In simple words, a dark empath is a human being with golden expertise in emotional manipulation.
They are Interesting because these people are High in dark personality traits and revolutionary because they do have heights of empathy in them as well.
Unlike empaths, their ability to not fully connect with others around them on a deep, emotional level carters as a dark empath’s biggest weakness, which eventually limits them from fully understanding others sentiments.
These traits may sound new or different to us at first but in reality they’re not. Talking in the context of cinema and literature the Dark empathy has been celebrated throughout years and still is.
These are the typical mysterious or evil characters who, in the end, turns out to have a good heart.
The highschool bad boys, the anti hero vampires I.e Damon Salvatore, Nicklaus Mikealson or Edward Cullen, the Mafia who never do things out of their certain set of morals, the thief who steal to provide for the needy. I think you must have understood my point by now.
In a recent study it was calculated that almost 19.3 percent of people in a group of 991 people are dark empath. Making their population not so small, as we believe them to be.
This study concludes that their are more dark empaths around you than you may think, there’s a good chance that even you may belong to the same group.
No matter if it’s the first case or second you certainly should look into the matter of dark empath. I mean, At the end of the day, they do possess a powerful personality, being good or bad is relative.
The three subtypes of dark empaths.
There are three different subtypes of dark empaths: the sadistic, the narcissistic, and the sociopathic.
1. The sadistic dark empath.
These people thrives on making others feel pain. They take pleasure in other people’s suffering and get a thrill out of causing them distress.
This type of dark empath is often manipulative and cruel, and they may enjoy playing mind games with their victims.
The narcissistic dark empath.
They are all about power and control. They need to be in charge of every situation and feel a sense of superiority over others. This type of dark empath is often arrogant and self-centered, and they may have a hard time empathy for others.
The sociopathic dark empath.
They are the most dangerous type of all. They are completely devoid of empathy or remorse, and they will do whatever it takes to get what they want.
This type of dark empath is often callous and manipulative, and they may be capable of harming others without any regard for their safety.
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11 Tell-tale Signs That Someone is a Dark Empath.
To help you understand the concept more further, here are the 11 signs of dark empathy. Who knows maybe you or someone around is one of them too?
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1. They are very social, in other words High extroverts.
One of the most common characteristic trait out of all signs pointing towards a dark Empath is an open behaviour.
They are usually extroverts who have an abundance of social skills and hence, never tend to shy away from expressing their thoughts, views or even their perspective of Someone.
They are not the type of people who can easily be pushed over instead, the presence of dark traits can make it the other way around.
It is also noticed that instead of normal empathy as we have come to know of it, these people experience what is called cognitive empathy.
In simple terms, they are able to understand someone’s emotional state very well but instead of connecting with them like a normal empath they generally tend to exploit it.
Now given the fact this is a pretty basic characteristic Trait which means it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person who is an extrovert must be a dark empath too.
A person must possess atleast three to four traits from this list to qualify as one of them.
2. A Dark empath enjoys power but at his will.
Most people enjoy and want power, how’s it different for a dark empath?
Hunger for power is one of the key characteristic Traits of traditional dark triads such as narcissists. They basically have an addiction for power and usually feel a pull towards authority, status and leadership.
What sets a dark empath apart from these classic dark triads is the fact that even though a dark empath may want to hold the upmost power, he/she enjoy a rather participatory leadership.
They are not followers but at the same time they don’t like to be leaders all the time either. Letting others around them know who the real boss is? Sure. Taking on the duties and responsibilities of a leader all the time? Not really their thing.
On the brighter side, they sometimes also bring the best in others around them. As these people are usually talented beings (explained further below) they inspire others to do great, participate more and this eventually helps to achieve the group goal more effectively.
3. They possess a little narcissism.
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How can any dark trait possibly be known without a little narcissism? It is one of the most well-known traits of a dark empath that they possess a dash of narcissism in them.
Even the ones who don’t, are pretty vulnerable to having it. It’s either on the surface or hidden deep somewhere within them.
Dark empaths get hurt easily especially when they hear someone say something negative towards them. They also don’t work well with rejections and Nos in general.
Dark empatha uphold their pride above everything else, have a superiority complex, and may become ignorant at some times.
Even though they don’t possess the same percentage of aggression as that of dark triads, they sometimes do demonstrate high amount of indirect aggression.
Note : If there is someone of such attributes around you, it becomes extremely important for you to practice self-love.
If you’re or at some point of time have been stuck with such (narcissist, gaslighter, sociopaths or toxic) a partner, family member or friend, then self-care will act as one of your main strengths to overcome the stress, anxiety and toxicity of the past.
Even in normal situation self-love comes to our aid in the battle of daily frustrations. It helps us to walk towards a better, healthier and happier future.
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4. A dark empath is usually a Talented being.
As Interesting as it may sound, not everything is negative about this personality type. On the very contrary these people are found to have remarkable talents in certain aspects of life.
They don’t give up on their goals, have the ability to make quick decisions and hence, are proven to be great leaders. They understand people well and therefore don’t have difficulties in connecting with them.
This does not mean that they are perfect beings because talent and perfection certainly are two different things.
5. They are great Emotional manipulators.
This is one of the signs that actually define dark empath. Emotional manipulation is one of their strongest suits.
Dark empaths are dangerous beings, not because they can physically harm you like psychopaths. But, because they have the ability to understand others emotions well and then bend it according to their will and easiness.
Empathy for a dark empath is clearly a means to an end. Now don’t get me wrong, not every human is the same and certainly not every dark empath is the same.
As I have mentioned above they can connect with people easily and will not necessarily harm anyone emotionally either but can They persuade people easily? Yes.
Do they use this ability for their personal ease? Sometimes.
6. A Dark empath is good at Guilt tripping people
This trait may also be considered as the expansion of the above point. Just as stated above, they use empathy to understand and then manipulate others emotions, they use the same process in guilt tripping people as well.
It all comes down to the fact that empathy is instrumental for them.
A personality trait that they use not for caring, showing love or considering others feelings but to understand others emotions so they can mold them accordingly.
Due to the fact that classic dark triads lack in
Empathy, it is a little difficult for them to understand people’s emotions but on the other hand it’s a piece of cake for a dark empath.
7. They enjoy Malicious humour.
This is one of the classic traits of a dark empath. Did I mention dark empaths have a superiority complex? Yes, I did.
Now to fuel that complex they of course require something, right? Well, malicious humour is just the miracle remedy for that. Now you must be thinking what exactly is malicious humours?
Keeping it short and simple, it is a form of humour where people make fun of or laugh at someone that they consider beneath them.
This type of humour is described by Sigmund Freud as tendentious, meaning it is the worst type of humour and obviously destructive in nature.
This humour is often described as making hurtful jokes (that mostly originated from a sense of prejudice) to put someone down just to uplift your own self or to get a feeling of superiority over them.
8. They have a boastful personality.
They possess a superiority complex and most of the time try to supersede others from their strong personality or skills. It may sometimes get toxic for their accomplice to grasp such negatives.
If you think you possess such a personality type, you must try not to jump off your limits while socializing.
Their boasting behavior and malicious humor can sometimes be the reason why they may appear ruthless and callous to many people. Of course, it is not all-important that a harsh person is surely a dark empath but there is a good chance that they are.
9. A dark empath believe in working hard.
They are diligent workers as they highly wish to make themselves better. They cannot just spend their life at the mercy of somebody else, instead they try to satisfy their inner self by building their life.
Their dedication to work can sometimes make them a little bitter towards their loved ones. Therefore, unwillingly hurting them in the process.
Their dedication surely takes them to the sky or the position they were desiring but in the end, they are left all alone with nobody to celebrate their success.
If it appears to you that you are doing something similar, then you need to create a work-life balance because in the end, both things are equally important
10. They are the real-life Angry Birds.
Aggression is something that runs through the veins of Dark Empaths. They sometimes are proven to be dangerous predators but like every other personality type, not all of them are the same.
Most dark empaths learn to control their aggression with time but those who fail to do so might go towards the dark side and end up hurting others around themselves.
Usually, dark empaths bottle up their emotions and this controlled anger doesn’t help them either. It sometimes comes out in the form of anger outbursts. Dark empaths are not able to take dark humor towards them from others.
It is a fact that a dark empath is an emotionally intelligent being, which means it’s not quantum physics for them to control their emotions but their anger on the other hand may tell you a different story. Therefore, my word of advice — if a dark empath is angry at you, all you can do is run.
Manipulation at it’s best.
A dark empath uses manipulation as a means to end, you must be aware of this fact given It’s already mentioned in one of the above points.
It is common for people to connect this behavior with that of Narcissists, gaslighters, or other types of dark triad manipulators but it’s not the same.
Studies have concluded that the manipulation technique used by a dark empath is usually indirect, toned down and instead of straight up severe manipulation it’s something that emotionally builds up over time.
This technique is directly linked to their ability of easily understanding the psychological working of others around them.
To help you get a better understanding of this phenomenon, we’ve taken up an expert from the tale of the boiling frog.
If someone puts a frog in a pot of boiling water it will instantly jump out of it. On the other hand, if you put the same front in a pot filled with pleasant, lukewarm water and gradually heat it, the frog will remain in the pot until it’s dead.
Like the above scenario, direct manipulation might be spotted with a little bit of effort if not easily, giving us enough time to avoid it, prevent it or save ourselves from it.
But the type of emotional manipulation that creeps slowly in our brain over the course of a long period of time becomes something very hard to escape.
Put the above mentioned dark empath traits in the pot i.e an extrovert personality, empathy as well as a strong state of mind and you’ll get masters of manipulation, who’ll always seem blameless in your eyes.
How to deal with a dark empath?
If you find yourself in the presence of a dark empath, there are a few things you can do to try and mitigate their effect on your energy.
First, try to stay calm and centered. If you feel yourself getting agitated or defensive, take a few deep breaths and focus on your own inner strength.
Secondly, try to keep your energy field as strong and protected as possible. Visualize a white light surrounding you and imagine it repelling any negative energy that the dark empath is trying to send your way.
Finally, if all else fails, you can always try to remove yourself from the situation entirely. If you can’t do so physically, then mentally detach yourself from the drama and focus on something else entirely.
The goal is to protect your own energy and not let the dark empath bring you down to their level. Remember, It is important to try to keep your own energy balanced. This means eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and spending time in nature.
If you can do these things, you’ll be in a much better position to deal with a dark empath.
Empaths possess a high amount of empathy in them, on the other hand, a dark empath has many traits that are similar to that of dark personality types like narcissists, psychopaths, along with the element of empathy.
These dark traits limits them from connecting with others on a deep emotional level, while Empaths have no issues in doing so whatsoever.
A Dark empath possess a powerful personality, that he/she can use for either social or personal gains.
Every personality type has a good as well as bad side and dark empathy is no different. Therefore, concluding wheather being a dark empath is good thing or bad is relative to different individuals.
Classic dark traids such as narcissists, psychopaths, anti-socials, sociopaths etc are known to lack Empathy.
Personality types such as INFJ, INFP, ESFP, ENFP, and ISFP are considered to possess heightened amounts of empathy in them.
Conclusion – Dark empath.
Dark empaths are neither from the classic dark triads nor empaths. They lie somewhere in the middle.
Due to their possession of qualities or traits from both the negative side as well as the positive side of the personality spectrum. They usually have an upper hand over others.
Due to the Empathy present in these people, they also experience a higher level of shame than the dark triads or the typical (neutral) people.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to an individual’s psychology. Not all dark empaths are more inclined towards the dark side, not all of them are manipulators or cause harm to others.
This is exactly where a line is cut between the dark empath and the classic dark triads.
If someone is a psychopath, narcissist or a gaslighter they’re more likely than not to be toxic and dangerous for others around them (directly or indirectly) but a dark empath get to choose which side they want to pick and with passing time can switch their side as well.
Thank you for sticking with me till the very end.