The Ten Obligations of the Empath



In order to manipulate you and control you, we rely on certain behaviours which cause you to act out of fear. Fear of injury, isolation, financial ruin, loss of your home or loss of your children. We also rely on your deeply embedded sense of obligation. Owing to your honesty and decency, you feel need to do certain things. Your sense of obligation is greater than normal and we exploit this in the following ways:


  1. You feel responsible for us

So much of what we do is of our own doing. In fact, next to nothing is caused by you when looked at through your worldview. From our perspective you are responsible for everything. It is always your fault and we repeatedly project and blame-shift in order to condition you to feel responsible for us. You already have a sense of responsibility towards us. You feel a sense of responsibly to nearly everybody because of the fact you are caring and compassionate. This increases when it comes to us because we are your intimate partner and you believe that it is the intimate partner who ranks amongst the highest who deserve such responsibility. This increases again when you realise that we have certain flaws and you feel a need to take on responsibility for them. Indeed, combine this natural state with the conditioning that we cause and you become someone who is over-responsible for us.





  1. You feel that you owe us

Once again this is a combination of the natural and the condition. You have been given such a wonderful time during the seduction period, given so much both material and emotional that you feel you do owe us. You are also a person who is polite and well-mannered and you feel a natural desire to return favours, thank people for what they do for you and a sense of paying the debt that has arisen. We also believe you owe us for everything we gave you during the seduction and accordingly you are obliged to repay us for the rest of the relationship and beyond. Combine these two elements and a powerful obligation of owing us is created which we are then able to exploit to our advantage.


  1. You feel sorry for us

That natural sympathy people possess is available in spades with someone as empathic as you. You never regard someone as weak or pathetic but rather feel sorry for them. You would not regard a homeless person as a stain on society but rather feel sorry that they find themselves in such a situation and you consider how they ended up where they are what might be done about it. You realise our behaviours are abhorrent but rather than always feel angry about it, you feel sorry for us that we behave this way. You feel sorry that we cannot explain ourselves, that we lash out and behave in such a destructive fashion. Your exuding sympathy not only fuels us but it creates an obligation on your part towards us.


  1. You feel guilty

Even if you know that a certain course of action is for the best, you are assailed by the guilt that you might be hurting someone, stopping them what they want to do or upsetting them in some way. Tough love is not a concept you want to embrace as the guilt at seeing someone else hurting, as a consequence of something that you have done, is too great. This sense of guilt forces you down different routes, often doing things which are not the best for you but nevertheless you feel obligated to do out of this considerable sense of guilt which looms large which someone empathic like you.


  1. You feel a need to fix us

You are a problem solver. You enjoyed the Sound of Music when you were younger and you always felt that if you had been given the chance you would have solved a problem like Maria. You regard it as your role to heal and to fix. You are of the unshakeable mind-set that everybody can be fixed. Everyone can be made better and when you experience the broken elements of our machinations and manipulations you do not shirk from them. Instead, you remain in situ and work out how you can resolve them. This obligation to make things better and to heal is a central part of who you are and is readily exploited by us since we know you are unlikely to go anywhere despite how bad things are.


  1. You feel it is your duty

You have a strong sense of duty. Duty to be an excellent parent, supportive friend, caring son or daughter, hard-working colleague and all round decent human being. Most of all you regard your duty to your intimate partner as one where no matter how difficult things might be you are not going to walk away. This duty is often compelled from the vows that you have taken and a strong religious undertone to your personality.

Duty is paramount and from that rises the obligation.



  1. You feel a need to abide by your standards

So often the world appears to have lost its moral compass and therefore it falls to a diminishing group of people to right the wrongs, stand up for the vulnerable and defend the weak. You often see that people are ruled by those twin gods of sex and money and this causes people to forget who they are and the standards they once adhered to. This is not for you. You do not do this to be lauded by others but do so because you cannot lie straight in your bed at night if you do not uphold these standards for yourself and in your daily dealings. This translates into treating people with patience, understanding, compassion and empathy, no matter how difficult it becomes. Some might suggest that you are making a rod for your own back.


  1. You feel a need to maintain appearances

This is not done for your own benefit. You are not like us creating an image to show the world. No, you do this to maintain appearances for the sake of others. It is keeping the family together for the sake of your children so they are not upset. It is appearing to get along with your difficult brother for the sake of your fragile elderly parents. It is taking one for the team in order to maintain an appearance so that you deal with the pain and aggravation so others do not. This need creates an obligation in you which we are content to exploit as we know it will keep you around and stop you from speaking out about what we do.


  1. You feel a need to never give up.

You are not a quitter. You do not give up at the first bump in the road or black cloud. You keep going, you are tenacious. You are indefatigable and you persevere. You plough forwards and feel that it is only right to do this because you know that the just reward will come at the end of it. Anything worth doing is worth doing properly. Anything worth having takes effort. We applaud this desire to stick at things.


  1. You feel a need to have done your best

When everything is added up and evaluated, at the end of the day, you want that satisfaction, just for yourself, to know that you did your best and you could have done no more. You always consider whether you could have done something a different way and more effectively. You are self-critical and behave like this in order to fulfil your chosen role as a good person. This obliges you to try and try again.


These empathic obligations result in your remaining with us longer, enduring more of our abusive behaviours and forgiving more of what we do than an ordinary person. We know these obligations exist and we exploit them.

25 thoughts on “The Ten Obligations of the Empath

  1. sendoshi says:

    Wow. Thank you for this. This article accurately describes the situation I had to endure for years…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome Sendoshi.

  2. Amy says:

    …and yet I have ice packed around my heart. Still waters run deep.

  3. Maddie says:

    No no no….I don’t

  4. None of the above for me, I’d like to invite you Mr. Tudor to write an article about codependent OBLIGATIONS and borderline personality OBLIGATIONS. Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have made a note GG.

  5. Ami says:

    And still all that isn’t enough to satisfy or make a narc happy.
    The above points are beautiful human qualities that you would think would bring out the best in a partner.

  6. ann94063 says:

    I used to be all of the above, until I worked on my boundaries.

    1. nikitalondon says:

      Yes good point Ann.. I am also doing that.. The one about the standards is difficult because I go by my beliefs no matter what the situation..

  7. 1jaded1 says:

    Many of these. Care to know which? Awesome repost.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do tell.

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        I already reveal too much.

      2. 1jaded1 says:

        9 is one….gah! I need that tape from your other post. Happy Nemoralia.

  8. nikitalondon says:

    Same here Alex.. All of the above .. Specially No. 9… ❤️

  9. Dragoncreeper79 says:

    Just imagine, if we attracted the right guy we might truly have ever lasting love…but no, the narcs can smell us for dinner from miles away. That’s very unsettling and instead of us changing it is almost better if we just keep our distance from men (or women) all together. We can place our heart and souls into ourselves, our loved ones (providing they aren’t fuel sucking narcs too) and what truly makes us happy! <3

  10. randym86 says:

    Yes, I am all of these…yet, if I ignore my impulse to do any of these behaviors, am I not comprising who I am?. Damned if you, and, damned if you dont. Correct?

  11. Poetic_Me says:

    With the exception of feeling sorry, I instead feel empathy, compassion and devotion. Plus, I never felt I owed him. As I did and gave him more, then He did for me. Plus, love isn’t a debt to be repaid. Narcissists feel that way.

  12. Alex Zangriles says:

    All of the above😩

  13. Sharon says:

    WOW!!! This choked me up! As an Empath, I have never heard myself described so factually and brilliantly! This blog describes all that I am and all that I have ever been in my life, especially to Narcs. Luckily for me, but always way too late, I am able to get to a point where I know I did all I could. I know I have given “my all”. When that time comes that’s when I’M DONE! I know I give way too many opportunities for things to change, but ultimately I need to, for me. I know, at the time, what I’m doing isn’t healthy for myself, or you, and it certainly has NEVER helped me or any of my Narcissistic relationships. However, when the time comes where I know I’m done, I’m able to walk away a little easier and more at peace because I know I did all I could. I know by the time it’s over fo me that it isn’t my fault. I can’t help that you want to live in misery.

    Believe me, it wasn’t easy when my Narc discarded me, but because I had confidence in knowing that he knew I was going to stick to my deadline of leaving, he chose to end it before I could. Even with all the pain and suffering I went through spewing all his venom from my soul, I knew I would never contact him again and I knew I never wanted him back the way he was. But, how was I to know he’d ever change? I didn’t. All I knew was I needed to change me. That’s when I began researching anything and everything on what could have possibly went wrong. I discovered it wasn’t “what went wrong”, but who. I discovered I went wrong and now I had no choice but to fix me.

    So, the end result for me (and always a work in progress), is to never stop educating and loving me. By taking care of me, I become much wiser, much stronger and much healthier.

    Thank you so much, HG, for opening my eyes to who I truly am. You have given me a gift and I plan on using it to my greatest advantage.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for your post Sharon and you are welcome.

  14. Stephanie Hodges says:

    1) no, I do not
    2) no, I do not
    3) perhaps not
    4) no, I do not
    5) I need to fix me…….not
    6) no, I do not
    7) standards, what standards
    8) I look good regardless
    9) I feel the need to WIN.
    10) do your best or go home.

    Hmmm, interesting self analysis.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am sending you an application to join Narc Club.

      1. Amy says:

        Your kind make the revolving rules for “dealing” with YOUR kind HG.
        This Vegas girl knows you can’t beat the house, so the “empath hand book” goes out the window once my kind encounters YouR KinD. Never under estimate the alility of a highly intuitive person to know exactly how to drive YOU absolutely insane. …. Not being a sweet little victim does not make a narc, it makes YOU the victim of your own game. It really is awful when those tables turn, it’s the stuff giant tantrums and straight jackets are made of. Xoxo.

  15. Fool me 1 time says:

    Sooooo very very true! But then again, you never lie do you HG?? Xxx

  16. Fool me 1 time says:

    Soooooo very true!!! But then you always tell the truth!!! Xxx

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