The 7 Sins of the Empath’s Self-Doubt


In the beginning you are resourceful, confident and independent. Those attributes are there with no need for brazen displays but rather they exist in an understated and quiet manner. Then we arrive. The imposition of our manipulations is designed to bring life to these seven sins in order to leave you susceptible to our further machinations and control. These doubts will enable us to hoover you, draw fuel from you and maintain that connection we rely on to further our own ambitions.

  1. Is it actually my fault?


We will have you asking yourself and pondering whether what has happened is your fault. Did you do something to attract someone like us? Did you miss some sign which you ought to have seen and therefore it is your own failing which has caused you to be exposed to our control and abuse? We will have you analyse your behaviours as you become burdened with guilt. We are the experts in shifting the blame and through the repeated application of denial, deflection and projection, we will avoid any and all culpability for our actions, leaving them to impact on you. It must be your fault if we are so adamant that it is not our fault. The conviction by which we pin the blame on you will have you questioning yourself. It is natural for you to always reflect on your own behaviour, that is central to who you are and we know this. Add to this our incessant blame-shifting and this steady drip drip drip of the accumulation of blame will eventually take its toll and you will start to accept the blame and regard yourself at fault.

  1. Did I love him enough?


How many times have you been told, “You would do it if you loved me,” or “You wouldn’t do that if you actually loved me like you say you do”. You face the ultimate in supposed love through our love bombing and it sheer scale of apparent passion, affection and love would cause anything else to pale by comparison. You will always have this thrown in your face as we tell you time and time again about how much love we have shown for you, how we have loved you beyond anything else and nobody could love you any more than we do. Is it any wonder when faced with such repeated assertions and the behemoth that we are of love that you will query whether you gave enough love towards us? Perhaps we behave the way we do because we feel that we love you more than you love us? We will certainly tell you that and because you are such a devotee of love you will feel obligated to try to match what you have received. You cannot do so because the love we exhibit is smoke and mirrors, easy to conjure up, easy to say and what you understand as love takes more effort, but this will not stop you always wondering whether you do enough and whether a little more love might just be the solution that is needed to make everything perfect again. Thus, we keep you hanging on and trying all the harder.

  1. Was I wrong to leave?


This nagging doubt has to be created by us on order to keep alive the prospect of hoovering you. We know that you possess a near indefatigable spirit that causes you to stay and try to make things rights. So often it us that brings about the cessation (albeit temporary) of our relationship and we discard you. On the rare occasion where you decide that you have had enough and make a break for the border, to free yourself of our poisonous influence, we know that you will have reservations about doing so. You do not like to give up on people. You like to succeed. You desire for success is not the same as our self-centred drive for achievement but rather your success sf for other people and we know this. We know that you want to achieve resolution, that is why we lead you around the houses and up the garden path with our circular arguments. We know that you prefer to achieve an outcome, hence why we never fully answer questions, deflect and deny. This desire for a conclusion means that should you ever walk away from us we know you will be plagued by some guilt that you should not have done it. What if he could have been helped? What if he could change? What if he needed your help? Such doubts will manifest and mean that when we loom large as we seek to hoover you, this desire to leave nothing hanging (along with a host of other manipulative methods designed to get you to return) will leave you susceptible to being hoovered back into our twisted world.

  1. Should I have given him another chance?


Maybe if you had given us another chance (to add to the dozen or so that you have already given us) then the outcome might have been different? You invested so much and you gave us so many chances, perhaps you have cut loose too soon? Maybe one more chance was all that was required and now you are left wondering if you have made a mistake and lost the opportunity to help us and resolve our problems. Perhaps you had better try again and give that further chance? It would be such a shame not to do so, especially after all the effort you have put in? This might have been the point at which everything clicked and we finally made the changes and gained the understanding and insight that is required to return to a permanent golden period. You want to see good happen, we know this and therefore we know that you have that nagging itch that if you just gave us another chance this might be the one that is required to get us past the post. It won’t be, but we like to engender this hope in your mind so that you succumb to this doubt and return to us to try again. And again. And again.

  1. What if someone else makes him happy?


Have I been too hasty in making my escape? What if he finds someone else and she makes him happy? It shows it can be done and I let him go and now someone else is going to get the benefit of that wonderful golden period and she might get it all the time. Why should she get this when you have endured both the black with the golden? You are entitled to receive the golden period again surely? Perhaps it was something you had done and now she knows what to avoid because he will tell her what you did in the relationship and she will avoid making your mistake and reap the reward. How is that fair? Why should she benefit from the pain you have endured? It is your golden period and you want it back because it felt so wonderful. In fact, having checked his Facebook page for the sixth time today there seems to be a lot of mutual liking of one another’s posts between him and some new lady, whoever she is. What’s going on there? Has he found someone new already? Could she be the one? You had better act and do so quickly to avoid someone else getting the golden period for good. Why not ring him and arrange to meet up? Head her off at the pass? Yes, we instil such doubts in your mind in order to have you come back to us once more.

  1. Maybe I didn’t help him as much as I could have


There was something clearly wrong with him but maybe he could not help doing all those things. Perhaps something terrible once happened to him and this is why he behaves in such an abhorrent manner? Surely you should show some compassion and understanding in order to help him be free of whatever demons that plague him, after all, are you not a kind and considerate person. This is what you do isn’t it? Help people. You should not run out on him now, he needs you and you are the only one who can save him. Just be understanding, help him, give him what he needs and then together you can overcome whatever it is that has taken hold of him. You have seen him bleed, he is human just like you and it is help that he needs not condemnation. Yes, what he did to you was terrible but what if that could not be helped, what if he was trying to ask for your help and did not know how to ask for it? Now you have walked away from him, right when it is his hour of need. That’s not very empathic is it? That isn’t who you are. You are kind and caring, a healer. Go back and apologise and help him. Submit to his demands and help him walk through his personal hell, surely it is the least you can do, yes?

  1. Did I deserve it?


You spoke out of turn too many times so what did you expect him to do? He is a proud man and it was inevitable he would lash out. If you had not been so weak, you would have not annoyed him. Perhaps if you had done more of what he wanted, gone along with his demands just for the sake of quiet, things would have been drastically different? If you had not been so stubborn or had tried to change him? If you had not tried to mother him? If you had tried to mother him? If you had been someone else? If you had stayed true to yourself? If you had been more like his mother? Less like his mother? More like her? Less like her? You did try but somehow you always seemed to rile him and then the insults and assaults would fly. Maybe if you had kept a civil tongue in your mouth it would have turned out differently? Perhaps if you had tried to look at things from his perspective more often rather than thinking about yourself, then the outcome would have been better? You wish you were stronger and you needed to be stronger for both you and him, but you weren’t and that must the reason he treated you the way he did. Your weakness irritated him. Maybe if you had not been so pathetic then he would have continued to love you like he once did. Perhaps if you had not fought back when he was despondent he would not have felt the need to put you in your place. Maybe you just did not do enough of what he needed because you were too busy focussing on how you felt and that is why it all came tumbling down? Maybe you failed to understand him because you were too wrapped up in yourself? Maybe, just maybe, you got what you deserved?


12 thoughts on “The 7 Sins of the Empath’s Self-Doubt

  1. windstorm2 says:

    HG, I had an “ah ha!” moment this morning, thanks to what I have learned from your blog! Think maybe it would fit in this article.

    I have long been able to spot narcissists and put them into my own categories: dumb, obnoxious, intelligent and dangerous(which would fall into one of the previous three as well, depending on how they were dangerous).
    Everybody else was just either someone I was comfortable with or someone who made me uncomfortable. But I never understood why some of these people naturally made me uncomfortable and some did not until this morning. The ones that make me feel uncomfortable are “normals.”

    All my life almost everyone I knew was a narc or some type of empath (which makes sense if you think about it). Naturally these became my conception of normal. The rare times I got to know a non empath who wasn’t a narc creeped me out because they just acted wrong.

    They weren’t nice enough or thoughtful enough. They just didn’t care enough about everyone around them. They would eat the last cookie without ever thinking about if someone else might want it. They would see someone who was sad and not even talk to them. Sure if something really bad happened they’d show empathy, but the rest of the time they just focused on themselves. This would have made sense if they were a narc, but they weren’t!

    My son in laws parents are both this way. They have always made me uncomfortable and my exhusband never enjoyed being around them. Now I realize why – they are normal people. While they’re good, honest people who are kind to animals and small children, they just don’t have enough empathy to make me feel comfortable or to provide him with fuel.

    This may sound stupid to many of you, who know lots of normal people. And I certainly don’t want to offend any of you all who are normal. But it was an epiphany this morning to suddenly realize how few normal people I actually know and how I always just naturally thought they were defective in some way. God only knows what they think of me!

    I can sense that my son in law’s parents are uncomfortable around both myself and my exhusband. I don’t think they understand us any more than I understand them. I imagine my exhusband has always understood us all! I won’t risk his ridicule of my stupidity by informing him of my morning’s epiphany.😄

  2. Anouska says:

    Before we met,apparently 20yrs before he did a bit of porno shooting. Our relationship was text book narcissist love bombing triangulation, blame,turning things around promises.only I didn’t know it was classic narcissistic behavior. Bottom line Sunday I descovered he s bk on the porno industry. You know like a man like that can leave you insecure broken etc?
    I now feel like a wasn’t dirty enough.I went along with swinging party.I did everything I could but I am not porno star.anyway few minutes after I discovered the full face under the mask I lost it.I took an overdose,but didn’t work the neighbour called the ambulance and they took me to hospital. Not even suicide I could do properly. I m now in couceling while he s having his cake and…I just don’t t get why a man who enjoys that level of dirtiness would seek in boring old me.that I really don t get that

  3. Indy says:

    Oh, I remember this self doubting fog. I am guilty of these sins for sure, though I am getting better at not hanging on as long and leaving more quickly. In the past, I put all of me in the relationship, too much in fact, as I wanted to be sure I gave it all. 6 years too long on average. The more recent “adventure” was 2 years, with HG assistance in his books, far more shortened. It gave me the confidence I needed that I was not wrong and it was abuse and it was time to give the one finger adios.

    Hoping that I now can spot it all on the first hand full of dates….or even in the first hour (fingers crossed). I have a goal to dip my toe in the dating pool by the end of summer.

    Collecting my HG sword and shield!
    Where is my faithful steed?

    1. Mary says:


      You have made major progress and are brave to venture into the dating pool and practice what you have learned here! If and when you encounter a red flag, if you have any question at all about it (doubting yourself for thinking it’s a flag), I hope you will bring it here or to HG for clarity.

      Loved your faithful steed comment!

  4. Mary says:

    I say or think 1, 5 and 7 all the time! In my marriage I constantly wonder if it’s all me, if I am the reason we aren’t happy and if I were a better wife, maybe he would not go into so many rages. And he is so sure of himself that I think he must be right. And maybe my being such a crappy wife is why he won’t have sex.

    With the online narc, I often felt this way too. I so often thought he seemed a bit vulnerable, even hurt if I asked if he was playing games, when he would say “after all this time, don’t you know my character by now?” And I constantly thought I had to be wrong, because he seemed so straightforward about certain things, so surely he wouldn’t be bullshitting me the entire time. I mean, what adult man would do that?

    It is because we are self-reflective, which overall is a good quality, that they know we will question ourselves if they introduce just a hint to make us doubt ourselves.

  5. Nat says:

    There is also one more self-doubt that’s been on my mind…

    Which mask is the true one? This wonderful gentleman that he puts one for others? Or the bad guy shouting and name calling for no reason? Sometimes I don’t know which side is true. Is he really a Narcissist? Or do I demonize him? In times of struggling, I come here to assure myself there was something wrong with him, not me.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No no no. This is why I have to practice objectivity on a daily basis. It’s easy to pull wool over your own eyes when it’s about your own life, whereas if it was someone else’s life, you’d be much more objective. “What if someone else makes him happy?” – more like what if he makes someone else happy. I know I made no mistakes at all, I’m sure he would disagree but I have enough confidence to know that I’ve done what I could, and even more than I should have.
    I do go through these damn phases where I’m sometimes worried that I’m slowly going insane (I exaggerate). I guess it’s all part of the regular recovery. Right now it’s the phase where I wonder if he’s really a narc but then I always remind myself of everything he’s done (the 23% that I know) because for some odd reason I keep forgetting, and then I’m like “ok, Anonymous, stop being stupid, of course he’s a narc”. Then I go about my day until these insane thoughts enter my head again and so it goes on and on.

  7. MsSevyn says:

    This kicked my butt years ago when the appliance after me stayed in the relationship for years! I started to wonder if it really was me, since he maintained this LT relationship. After he had her removed from his home, the truth came out. She didn’t want to support herself, so she held on as long as possible and became a raging alcoholic in the process.

  8. Fiona says:

    This post affirms for me the inherent sexism operating for the narc. For the male straight narc, women are objectified simply as fuel providers. Every woman is considered only as a potential source. I understand that the narc sees everyone as a fuel source, but the derision and contempt assigned to women is particularly demeaning – just because we are women!

    1. Anon says:

      It stems from hating their mother, I believe.

  9. Sandra says:


    I am a Dirty Secret and a Carrier Super Empath to a MRVN. My fuel is not special because clearly I am not special…but I know a carefully considered hoover is in my future. I have taken the ruthless Post-Escape steps (both to me and to him) to stay out of the 5 spheres. Until now, No Contact has been a relative breeze.

    I escaped this narc while he took a family vacation. Little privacy, little data access to address a damning email to another Dirty Secret that I found and sent back to him with only the brief message that “I have no words”.

    My birthday is in two days. I know 6th sphere unavoidable. He has returned from holiday and will seek me in his low fuel times.

    My treatment by him during my tenure was largely painless. Any erratic or petulant behavior was always rewarded with my own special brand of
    Silent Treatment. 80% of our dealings required him to seek me out…I rarely gave chase. I have miraculously maintained a productive life. I am surrounded by well regarded friends and I believe I will be hard to smear.

    I guess I’m hedging to ask two questions:

    1. If I am The Dirty Secret and smearing me exposes his own nefarious activity, is that also a deterrent to my Hoover?

    2. I have also considered that the email was a gamble meant to be found by me to create a scenario of contrast for his fuel if successful at keeping me bound to him. Is this plausible?

    Regardless, I am tired. Tired of the lies of omission; tired of my guilt; tired of being played like a puppet. What I had was “peace” and I called it “boredom”. What he gave me was “drama” and I called it “excitement”.
    I can focus on restitution to myself and to my family if I can enforce No Contact.

  10. Anne says:

    YOU GOT WHAT YOU DESERVED! NOT MY FAULT! THATS ON YOU! Heard it all! Perfect head game!

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