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When Empathy Turns Bad: The 6 Traits of a Dark Empath

When Empathy Turns Bad: The 6 Traits of a Dark Empath

You've likely heard about empaths, but have you heard of dark empaths?

These are people who have the sensitivities of an empath, but they also possess some very dark traits.

A dark empath is someone who can feel the emotions of others, but they do nothing to help, even if they are able to.

In fact, they use their gifts to their own advantage rather than to help others.

In many instances, you could compare a dark empath to a narcissist.

They possess many dark traits, including psychopathy and Machiavellianism.

Today we are going to take a look at the six most common dark empath traits.

That way, when you meet these people, you will immediately be able to see them for what they really are.

What is a Dark Empath?

A dark emapth

Like the classic narcissist, a dark empath has a huge sense of entitlement and superiority.

This is a person who will use their gifts for the exploitation and manipulation of others.

So, how can someone with these traits be considered an empath?

They have empathetic talents. They just don't use them to benefit anyone but themselves.

Oddly enough, dark empaths do have the ability to be compassionate and kind.

They can connect with people on an emotional level.

But, more often than not, the dark empath is seen as being a cold person.

This is because they are usually unable to hide their darkest traits.

There are some who theorize that there is actually no such thing as a dark empath.

They consider the idea of a dark empath to be just that, an idea or theory.

The theory is that some empaths are narcissistic and dangerous, hiding behind a mask of kindness.

In other words, rather than being empaths, they are sociopaths.

Obviously, any empath is going to get frustrated on occasion, and they may question why they are being kind to some people.

But, this happens to all of us at times.

No matter how positive our intentions are, there are going to be times when we don't act accordingly.

Those who do not believe there are actually dark empaths out there feel that to call someone this can cause them to feel shame.

But, when does a narcissist actually feel shame in the first place?

On the other hand, there are those who do believe in the dark empath and know that this is a narcissistic person who will do whatever it takes to manipulate others, in the guise of being helpful.

Dark Empath Traits and Characteristics

woman expressing the dark empath traits

Everyone has a dark side, but not everyone has the same characteristics as a dark empath.

It is said that about one-fifth of the world's population are dark empaths.

But, it may simply be that some people show their dark sides more than others, and they are not truly dark empaths.

Let's take a look at the seven main dark empath traits and characteristics.

Keep in mind that everyone has some of these traits, and not everyone who has a couple of the traits are not necessarily dark empaths.

If they have three or more of the traits, then it is quite likely that they are indeed dark empaths.

1. Dark Empaths are Extroverts who Exploit Others

The dark empath is a very social type of person.

They have what is known as open behavior, and have great social skills.

A dark empath is not one to shy away from letting people know what they think, even if it sounds mean or hateful.

They will openly express their views of others, no matter what anyone thinks.

This is not a person who is going to be a pushover.

Rather, their dark characteristics cause them to be the ones who push others around.

When most of us think about empathy, we think of people who are kind and caring, and who take on the emotions of others.

A dark empath has what is described as cognitive empathy.

Basically, this means that they are able to socialize and understand how others feel.

But, instead of being understanding, they exploit these feelings in others.

A dark empath can easily express their inner thoughts, thanks to their exceptional social skills.

They often explain their perspectives, at length, just to hear themselves talk.

But, not all extroverts can be characterized as dark empaths.

It isn't a good idea to wonder about friends who are extroverts.

Chances are they aren't actually dark empaths at all.

On the other hand, if you know people who are extroverted, and who will jump at any chance to manipulate others, it is a good sign that they may be dark empaths.

2. Dark Empaths Have a Thirst for Power

a dark empaths thirst for power

One of the dark empath traits you may not be surprised to see.

But let's face it, we all like power and would like to have lots of it.

There is a difference though, between enjoying power and having a true thirst for power.

A dark empath has an incredibly strong thirst for power, and they will jump at any chance to grab it and use it to their advantage.

This is a person who needs to be a leader, no matter who they are with and what they are doing.

There is a bit of a conundrum here though.

Even though dark empaths want to lead and have power, they also like to be participants.

They don't always want to be the leader.

Or, maybe it is their narcissism that causes them to act this way.

They pretend to not want to lead in order to lull others into a false sense of security.

In any case, when push comes to shove, a dark empath will always let you know that they are in charge, even if they do not want to necessarily be leaders.

Now, things aren't always doom and gloom when it comes to the dark empath.

There are times when they bring out the best in others.

Dark empaths are often very talented, and they will strive to bring out the best in others.

The thing is, are they doing this for others, or simply to make themselves look good in the eyes of others?

They will do whatever it takes to motivate others.

But, this is usually because they have a common goal with those they are motivating, and to help them means that they are helping themselves.

3. Dark Empaths are Quite Narcissistic and Proud

We already touched on the fact that dark empaths are narcissists.

Now, let's dive a bit deeper into this theory.

One of the most well-known characteristics of the dark empath is narcissism.

Whether it is full-blown or hidden, it is there, and it will be apparent at some point.

Because dark empaths are narcissistic, they can't stand it when someone says anything negative about them.

They also cannot stand to be rejected, and the word “no” is not in their vocabulary, unless they are the ones saying it.

A dark empath can be so proud that they feel superior to others.

They have the ability to be quite rude at times, and they can be aggressive, both directly and indirectly.

Some dark empaths are able to hide their narcissism from people.

Others wear it like a badge of honor, which can often backfire on them if they are not careful.

This is because they tend to take things personally.

They don't take criticism well, as we already mentioned, and they can often be victims of their own narcissism because they take things so personally.

If there is someone in your life who is narcissistic and proud, and exhibits other dark empath traits, you need to practice self-care.

This will help you to overcome any anxiety the dark empath puts on you.

When you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is this narcissistic, you will need to take steps to protect yourself.

The dark empath can be passive-aggressive and have many neurotic tendencies, as well as phobias and depression.

This could be a result of past trauma in their life.

4. Dark Empaths Possess Much Talent

a dark empath showing her talent

So far, we have only talked about the negative aspects of dark empaths.

But, they also have many positive qualities, including great talent and tenacity.

For instance, this is a person who, once they set a goal, will not give up until they achieve the results they desire. When they want something, they will do whatever it takes to get it.

We have mentioned that dark empaths like to lead at times.

Actually, they make terrific leaders.

They understand the emotions of others, and they are able to connect easily with pretty much anyone.

The dark empath has the talent to be able to make fast decisions and think on their feet.

At times, they can appear to have talents that defy explanation.

In many cases, you will find that dark empath have many creative talents as well.

They tend to be musical or artistic, and at times it can seem as if there is nothing they cannot do, particularly when it comes to creativity.

Just remember, no one is perfect, not even the dark empath who may think that they are perfection personified.

5. Dark Empaths Excel at Emotional Manipulation

One thing that can truly define a dark empath is the fact that they can emotionally manipulate pretty much anyone.

This is one of the reasons why this type of person is so dangerous.

Unlike a psychopath who will harm you physically, a dark empath will attack one's Achille's heel.

They will find your weak spot, and exploit it for all it's worth.

The dark empath can easily understand the emotions of others, and then use those emotions to manipulate them into doing whatever they want them to do.

They will bend that person's will to their own.

The only time a dark empath shows empathy is when they know they can use it to their advantage.

This doesn't mean they will manipulate everyone they know, but they will be able to persuade most people to do what they want them to do.

This person may not harm you physically, but the emotional scars they leave can be devastating.

Dark empaths will use their skills at varying levels.

Not everyone is the same, just as not all dark empaths are the same.

Empathy is a tool for this type of person.

They use it to understand others so they can get what they need from them.

When a dark empath has a goal, they can persuade others to bend to their will at any time.

They don't necessarily hurt everyone, but they have the ability.

6. Dark Empaths Know how to Lay a Guilt Trip

Guilt-tripping others is all part and parcel when it comes to emotional manipulation.

Dark empaths are often known for having the skills to be able to make others feel guilty for their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

They use their ability to be empathetic in order to mold others into what they want them to be.

They do not use this trait to help others, at least not in most cases.

The dark empath will play on their empathetic nature in order to manipulate others.

If they want something, they will stop at nothing to get it, and they will make you feel guilty if you don't help them.

Empathy is used as a tool for dark empaths.

They clearly know how to read others, and they quickly learn what makes people tick.

Once they find that Achille's heel, they dig the knife in and twist it.

But, even though they are at fault, the people they aim their manipulation at will have guilty feelings when they don't bend to the will of the dark empath.

Are Dark Empaths Rare?

The rare dark empath traits

There are new studies that show as many as 20 percent of the world's population are dark empaths.

But, these studies are very new, and much more study needs to be done in order to understand the nature of the dark empath.

When it comes to dark empath traits, we all have some of them.

But, only dark empaths and sociopaths use these traits to their advantage.

Conclusion of the Dark Empath Traits

If you have someone in your life who displays dark empath traits, make sure you do your best not to succumb to their emotional manipulation.

As much as you may love this person, it may be time to remove them from your life, or at least keep a safe distance from them.

You don't have to be a victim of a dark empath.

Be confident in your own natural talents and abilities, and you will never feel the need to rely on those who may not have your best interests at heart.

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