Empathy and Irony

Many people state that my kind and me lack empathy. I don’t like that attitude. First of all it amounts to a criticism and I am not to be criticised. Secondly, empathy is regarded by some as the ability of blurring the line between self and other. The handy dose of empathy pictured above underlines this. In fact I am amongst the best at blurring the line between self and other. I am a champion at it. One of my killer lines of seduction is to declare

“I don’t where you end and where I begin we are merged into one.”

If that is not a blurring of the line between self and other I do not know what is. I repeatedly explain that I see people as extensions of myself, they are objects that become subsumed within what I am as I swallow up their identity and use their traits as my own. Blurring of lines? I would argue that that is an obliteration. By that definition I am absolutely oozing empathy aren’t I?

The third reason that I do not like the suggestion that I lack empathy is that empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Again, I understand the feelings of others to a high degree. How can I manipulate those feelings if I do not understand them? Some of our kind instinctively behave in a manner which causes manipulation. They do not have much thought behind the process but they act in this fashion because it is all they know. It is all they have been conditioned and programmed to do. They do not need to consider what they are doing because it just happens and then the manipulation unfolds. Those of us at the greater end of the scale of narcissists do consider what to do in terms of our manipulation. We are always plotting and scheming as we reflect on the best way of manipulating you to do what we want and provide us with our precious fuel. I sit and consider the most effective ways of wielding my devilish toolkit in order to provoke and engender the most rewarding emotional reactions from you.  I work through the schemes and machinations as I dream up new ways of provoking you. I analyse your life, what you do and what you say and then work out how I can then use that material to make you react.If I did not understand how certain things would make you feel, how can I know how best to manipulate you? I understand all about your feelings because I watch you and I observe and I remember. I have done this many times to your type and therefore I have built up an acquired knowledge of the ways that people such as you will react. I sit and consider what I can do to make you hurt, make you cry and make you frustrated. I know you so well I know exactly which buttons to press. I know which emotions to coax from you and because I understand this I know precisely what to do to achieve this. For some of you a cold front of silent treatment will make you pour forth that fuel as you frantically call and cry, worried as to why we have stopped speaking to you. With others a prolonged period of triangulation brings out the emotional response required because you always compete with someone or something that you perceive as a threat.

The fact you show your feelings so readily is joyously received by us. You provide us with a manual from which we can learn. We can mimic your emotions so our fakery continues to draw you in, make you feel sorry for us and have you focussed on us. Your exhibitionism in this regard allows us to understand which emotions run deepest in you and also the ways in which these emotions can be brought to the surface. We have to know how you feel so we can then influence how you will feel. I understand your emotions. That is demonstrating empathy is it not? Would you now say that we lack empathy?

You cannot say that we do not care about your feelings either. We care about them because we need those feelings because they provide us with fuel. We need to know that you will feel and show those feelings to us. We care very much about your feelings as without them we would be denied our fuel and that is fatal to us. We care about your manifestation of those feelings and that they are directed towards us. What we do not care about is their effect on you. That is of no interest to us because it serves no purpose to us. If you are left anxious, unable to eat or sleep then all we care about is that your anxiety is shown to us. The impact on your health and well being is of no concern to us because that does not provide us with fuel. It is not our role because of the way we are to make you feel better (unless of course that is required in order to obtain further fuel) but it is our role to make you feel so you give us fuel. We have no interest in the day-to-day or long-term effects of how you are feeling just so long as you can keep showing your emotions to us and giving us fuel. We have nothing to gain in alleviating your sadness. We have no interest in offering solutions to make your pain and misery go away. That is the brutal truth.

Don’t say however we do not understand how you feel. We most certainly do because we have to know this in order to exploit your feelings further. Indeed we often make you feel that way on purpose so we know exactly how you feel. We need to know the best way to pull on your strings and this means understanding how you will feel and react. So that is empathy for you indeed. Who would have thought it? Empathy from the devil. How ironic.

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40 thoughts on “Empathy and Irony”

  1. OH HG such an intellectual man, but you have missed the vital roles of empathy. It’s not to obtain any gain for yourself it’s all about the other person helping them feel better, letting them know you Genuinely care, to try and help steer them in the right direction, to listen. I have no doubts that you do listen and care how we feel as you say that’s your pay out of fuel. But with empathy the only gain should be knowing you’ve helped that person I emphasise again its not to hurt anyone you want them to smile not cry. So HG what you have us the evil twin to empathy you have apathy. Just like your title of today’s gem empathy and irony it’s really ebony and ivory. You have the dark side we have the light.

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      1. How about praise, admiration, frustration and fear? Will those manifest or do you think you can keep maintaining the positive fuel flowing in my direction?

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    1. There is not a drop of irony in the post
      Just a flat two dimensional & slightly angry defense.
      Irony depends entirely on empathy, it cannot be switched off or performed long term.
      I’ve seen a happy narcissist, it is possible in moments but it’s a childlike joy, they can’t connect to others or communicate let alone support anybody else’s needs (other than short term).npd lack growth and loyalty, they have no clue about empathy or why it is the force of life.
      It’s about soul & energy, otherwise why get up every morning ?

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  2. HG spot on! How can the predator pursue unless he or she understand the thinking and movements of the prey? I think this is one of the hardest things for empaths to empathize with….Narcs may know full well how they make us feel and do their things anyway. The coldness is in the emotional response to the pain they cause. Not much guilt. We empaths can make so many excuses for them to avoid the cogntiive dissonance of understanding that they know how they hurt us.
    Thank you as always.

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  3. Great blog HG! I think it’s exactly this reasoning that drives empaths crazy. We put ourselves in another person’s ‘shoes’ so to speak and feel the same emotions as we’d expect them to feel. We let that influence how we treat that person. As you say, an N understands exactly what their empath is feeling, but does not let it affect them beyond gathering the fuel behind the emotional response.
    When we’re being manipulated, we think and say ‘How can you NOT understand how that hurt us?!’, the truth being the N does understand, but the emotion is ours not the N’s and all that really exists is the fuel being gathered.

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  4. As always, very interesting read.

    I’m interested though, I love the humour in your article, is empathy for you on a cognitive level only

    Or

    is it that you do actually understand how the other person would feel because you would feel the same if someone else did them to you, but you just don’t care ?

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    1. It is on a cognitive level. I know how you will feel if certain things happen to you because I have observed them happen before. Let’s say I deliberately leave you out of an invitation to which others are invited you may feel annoyed, someone else may feel upset or hurt by not being included. If that happened to me I would be furious as it is a criticism of me. I would not feel upset or sad. If I call you horrible names you may be upset, you may argue back or you may look frightened. If you do it to me I like it because if you shout those names at me you give me fuel. If you called me names in a level-headed manner you are criticising me so again you will ignite the fury. I do not feel the same range of emotions are you and I certainly don’t care what those emotions do to you.

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  5. I will explain this: for empathy to exist there has to be two components, i.e. cognitive empathy and affective empathy. These inhumans posses the cognitive part, which is knowing how the other person feels however they lack the affective part, which is actually doing something about it. Without the two of them there is NO empathy, the very trait that makes us humans.

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  6. What happens when the victim becomes aware of the game, and refuses to play, to provide you with supply? Can they in turn manipulate you? I played this game with a Sociopath for 5yrs but I stopped. Your kind, as you so eloquently put it, merely act according to their nature. If I repeatedly climb into the bear pit and get mauled every time, is it my fault, or the bear’s?

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    1. Hello Mark,if the victim stops providing fuel we may try harder to extract it from them or we will turn to our secondary sources of fuel whilst we hastily find a new primary source of fuel. I would not so much regard it as manipulating us as just turning off the tap.You raise an interesting question as to fault. Naturally, we always regard everything as your fault in order to further our aims. Looking at it objectively you have no clue what we are for a long time.Even when you realise the behaviour is toxic it is so bewildering that you are at a loss as to what to do and say. One cannot regard the victim as being at fault. What if later you have some idea yet you are subjected to the powerful hoovers and return to the environment? Again, the golden period is promised and reinstated so it is understandable that people return. After that, well, it depends on your perspective. Some may argue that returning time and time again raises some contributory culpability whilst others would suggest that the extent of the manipulation and the effect on the victim is such that the victim can never be regarded as being at fault. What do I think? I set out my observations in a forthcoming book Victim or Volunteer?

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      1. Thank you for that insight. I am of the belief that knowing now what my son’s mother is, a Sociopath, that if I were to return then the fault is entirely mine. I however know what she is, without a doubt, though as you say, I struggled to comprehend what I was dealing with for many years and she is a master of planting seeds of self doubt. I am unaware if she knows that I KNOW and any interaction between us is shrouded in a mask of indifference that I have perfected. It is a work in progress. For years I raged back but all reaction, be it positive or negative, is supply. That set me free but she has a world of eager, hopeful, supply, waiting for her attention. They are not my concern. Again, thank you for your response.

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      2. You are welcome and thank you for expanding on your situation. It of course raises interesting, almost philosophical questions. If you know your son’s mother is a sociopath and you return for the sake of your son, are you willing volunteer or a martyring father? Is it right that you put your son’s needs before you own, even if this subjects you to harm? Are you actually risking harming your son by exposing yourself to behaviours which may (and probably will) affect you capacity to care for him and would he be better served by you remaining our of the bear pit ?Or does that leave him with too great an exposure to his mother?

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  7. Going back is not an option. I was never one to understand Martyrdom. It makes no sense to me. No, I play the long game, I have learned from my abuser and I provoke her to rage, to spilling her vitriol, and I document and withdraw. I only initiate, I never actively participate. Well that’s not strictly true. I engage without emotion. I push buttons. I document and one day I will destroy her utterly, but not now, not yet. I am far cleverer than she’s aware of and it suits me to play possum for now. I intend to take my son from her and I will succeed. I am delighted to have had this interaction with you by the way. We are utterly different in terms of our mental processes and I find the insight to be extremely interesting. We are what we are and such is the way of the world. Thank you for your time and attention.

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      1. Would you like that strategy to be applied to You ? this is what I do what M said to my husband. ..

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  8. Hg.
    I have finally caught on and logged in to WordPress w a user name and everything.
    I am now findinglife11
    Previously, i sent comments before i set up a WordPress account only under my email

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  9. HG I found the empath stuff on your site is there anyway for you to do a check list of questions ha ha I don’t want much !!
    Have you ever dated a narc ? I know you wouldn’t want to as that wouldn’t serve your needs but have you ever dated someone then realised they were one ?

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  10. Interesting post, indeed.

    “One of my killer lines of seduction is to declare “I don’t [know] where you end and where I begin, we are merged into one.”

    You took that from ‘Anna Karenina’. How cruel to use this line without being sincere about it. Do you know its true meaning?

    I will enlighten you: a newly wedded couple, he is half an hour late, she is waiting anxiously and flies into a jealous rage when he returns home. His instinct tells him to defend himself, but he realises that it would drive her further away. By hurting her he would hurt himself because they have become one. And he did not fight back even though he was in the right: because his love for her was bigger than his ego. That’s what it means.

    So, next time, you use this line, you will know its true meaning… and what a mockery you make of it.

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    1. Is that where it is from? Never read the novel or knew that those words come form it. Is it an exact quote? It occurred to me as a good line to use to convey the concept of merging and so it proved. I have never had anybody pick up on it being from that novel. Of course it will come as no surprise to you that I do not care if my use makes a mockery of it what matters is my use and the effect it causes.

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      1. I know, I know, that you do not care. BUT I DO. It irritates me that you are doing and saying things which have MEANING to us, deep meaning, and you desecrate it. That’s why you will be told off. 🙂

        Yes, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I read the book *because* of this one line. Well, it was written in Russian, which means you get slightly different results depending on the translation you read:

        “But directly she opened her mouth, words of reproach, senseless jealousy, and everything else that had been torturing her during the half-hour she had sat motionless waiting at the window, burst from her. Then it was that he first clearly understood what he did not realize when leading her out of church after the wedding: that she was not only very close to him but that he could not now tell where she ended and he began. He understood this by a tormenting sensation of cleavage which he experienced at that moment. For an instant he was offended, but immediately knew he could not be offended with her because she was himself. For a moment he felt like a man who, receiving a blow from behind, angrily and revengefully turns around to find his assailant and realizes that he has accidentally knocked himself, that there is no one to be angry with and that he must endure and try to still the pain.” (translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude; first published in 1918; part V, chapter XIV)

        A more common, modern translation is: “He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” And it only just occurred to me that the wording is flipped here (*he* ended/*she* began). How odd!

        You must have absorbed it at some point without realising. It is a most memorable line and it surely works its magic for you. Arrghhh!! If anyone was ever so foolish as to quote this one, or other lines I recognise, I would challenge him on the origin of those words he so confidently uses and SHRED him with delight as he most probably had no clue. 😀

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  11. HG,
    First time I seen this post. Well done. Do you think it possible that narcissists could learn the affective part? Do you think it is possible that empaths exhibit cognitive dissonance? If so, do you think it makes them slide further to the narc side of the scale or do you think that they can be super empath, empath, co-dependant and still display cognitive dissonance?

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  12. Worth considering:

    Narcissism is a pathology of perspective more than neurology, a derangement who’s predilection may be structural but can easily enough be remedied.

    The narcissist is less impoverished of faculty than of wisdom, inevitably. If you’re ‘with it’ enough to BE a narcissist, you’ve got everything you need to get right with your environment and still enjoy your maniacal laugh, maniacal LAUGH, MANIACAL LAUGH!

    The narcissist can feel, but simply lacks the inclination to feel what others feel. Not for incapacity of humanity, but solely by virtue of native ignorance. Psychos are people too, y’all. They just got issues,and they’re still working some shit out. Damn!

    There is no true evil, but only ignorance. Dig it.

    Ignorant of the full extent of the causal matrix that governs our moment to moment existence (see “Theravada karma”), the narcissist does not prioritize genuine empathy until doing so becomes the clear profit motive. Once clued in, once the narcissist is engaged in a tactical application of genuine empathy, the narcissism can simply subside, despite any remaining physiological roots of disruptive behavior.

    The narcissist is best served by balancing stillness, silence, and release, which inevitably leads to auto-amelioration of the narcissistic pathology, and all retrievable personality disorders.

    The Truth can only be observed, not made, and therein only lies the grace of salvation.

    A narcissist is basically just being a punk, except when the world says “Yo, chump-nuts, stop being such a fucking punk, come back to the party”, the narcissist simply can’t. Well I can’t lift 300 pounds on a bench press at the moment, but if I train for it I’ll get there in less than two years. Transcending narcissism is basically just training up to the herculean task of not being an asshole, and quite frankly that’s training everyone should have in their toolkit (everyone has the capacity for narcissistic behavior).
    Even if you find yourself to be the WORST, you always have your choice, and if you resolve to see this experience for what it is, you will naturally normalize as soon as you see enough to get the BIG big picture. It’s better, trust me.

    Peace bitches.

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  13. You say this: I am letting you see my worldview for your own protection.” How does this make sense if you do not care about people’s suffering? I would understand if you were doing this for money, accolades, fame, etc. but not to protect people…?

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