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.

22 thoughts on “The Ten Obligations of the Empath

  1. Lisa says:

    Is it true that a narcissist will behave differently with different formal partners HG? I don’t mean be cured or not be a narcissist but will adapt their behaviour accordingly ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Oh yes.

  2. slc000918 says:

    Yes, to all of the 10 obligations that an empath possesses but there is a limit. Only those who are strong enough to leave, do leave. Changing these obligations are absolutely vital, from becoming a victim to becoming a surviver.

  3. Matilda says:

    “You feel a need to have done your best”

    This is true… applies to everything one does (private life, job, hobbies)… not healthy at all! Usually, it takes a major incident to make you re-think your priorities in life and focus on what’s important to you… what you really want out of this life, for the limited amount of time you’re here!!

  4. Mona says:

    And the greatest fault of the empath is to base self-esteem and the feeling to be lovable on the strict obedience of those obligations. Then the empath is in a lifelong trap. To remain the rest of their self-esteem and the feeling to be lovable they stay in an abuse relationship for too long. Change your attitude towards these obligations and you are free. I will give up, when… I will do my best until… I will abide to my standards until… Fill up the rest of the sentences with boundaries and say: My self esteem will be based from now on on the obedience of certain boundaries, that no one will cross without consequences. I am proud of myself for my new attitudes. If someone crosses those boundaries, it is his fault and responsibility. I respect /love myself for being a lovable person with good traits and boundaries. If persons do not abide your standard of good behaviour, send them away. You are worth more. Recognise the manipulations because you are trained here and then go.
    Do not blame yourself for not seeing some manipulations and comfort yourself with the knowledge, that even psychopaths are manipulated by others. If that would not be able, there would not be so many psychopaths who confess their crimes after being grilled by police. The police uses their weak points too, for example : swagger…

  5. Me says:

    Me in a nutshell!!! So many regrets and so heartbroken because he is what he is … and now with a new supply …
    is it bad of me to want it to fall apart? I’m not taking out revenge but so wish for karma to kick his ass!!!

    I’m also experiencing damn energy and feelings coming my way from him. It’s not the first time and I did all the Hokus Pokus … cutting cords and burning ceremonies and crap… it diminished for a while but the other evening it came hard and strong. Call me crazy but it’s not fun to actually just sit and minding my own business when I get overwhelmed with his crap… and trust me I was in a happy place when it happened. Suddenly he is “here” and draining energy away! I’ve got the feeling he was either talking about me or had massive anxiety… either way it was crazy. I know he has trouble sleeping and only does so for a few hours every night (like a true Narc) … and it came right about the time he’d be alone and thinking….
    Anyone follows..: please don’t write me off a a crazy person because I’m truly not.

    1. Mary says:


      I don’t think you sound crazy at all. For one thing, ceremonies and rituals are a way to have closure, especially when there isn’t any true closure from the situation or that person. Whether the energy is coming directly from him OR from ever presence or something else, it hurts you and anything you do in your own space to have peace is valid and empowering!

      I did something that many would consider crazy.. LOL Near the end of things with my narc, when things got really twisted and I didn’t know which way was up, I actually paid a psychic to tell me about my online narc’s intentions. She had nothing to go on other than a pic of him and a tarot reading. I know to take readings with a grain of salt, but this was was so astoundingly accurate, I had to take it as further confirmation that this guy was truly mind-fucking me.

      First of all, his card was the Devil card. She said “he isn’t evil necessarily, but he makes you say things, feel things, want things you wouldn’t normally want. Like the devil, he is good at luring you in.” And she said he wants to dominate women mentally, that he uses words to manipulate them for sexual gain. That he will act like he cares more than he actually does, and he will deliberately “say things to get you attached.” She said if I don’t get attached, it could be okay, could be a friendship with benefits. I asked her if she got any vibe of him being any type of predator, and she said yes. She didn’t think he would use physical force because his ego needs my consent, but that he would get me to agree to things I don’t feel good about. She said he only cares about what’s between my legs and how it feels to control me. I don’t make decisions based on readings alone. This one really took my breath away though.

      I still question if maybe I let that reading and a couple worried friends impact my perception of the guy. Worrying that maybe I wasn’t really listening to my gut and that ending it wasn’t really my decision. Those doubts creep in all the time, but people don’t generally consult with others unless their gut is already gnawing at them about someone.

      1. Me says:

        Thank you… I feel less crazy now

    2. ajo says:

      You are so not crazy!! I didn’t go 2 weeks without seeing my ex-narc and we live in a really big city. My spiritual teacher told me I am a manifester so because I was wanting to see him, I was drawing him in. Even a a concert where I honest to God didn’t think he would be at, he was there! 8000 people there and he walks right past me with his new girlfriend. Mind you he is a midranger and didn’t want to see me because I went after him to ruin him and he is terrified I’ll interupt his new supply.
      I encourage you to go through some prayer in breaking off soul ties with him. It helps a ton! It’s been over a month now and I haven’t seen him nor do I get those waves of anxiety that ruin my day like they used to.

      1. Me says:

        Thanks … I’m on it!!!

    3. Readyforchange says:

      I feel you are me exactly. And this article….I can ticked off all 10.

    4. Twilight says:


      You are not crazy!

      There are empaths that are more sensitive in different areas. “Feeling” them is but one.

      Energy or ever presence it really doesn’t matter which, you are experiencing these emotions and they are very real to you. Heartbreak can cause “real” pain. So I do not believe you are crazy, just hurt, confused and in pain. In time with understanding what type of person you were entangled with, this will ease and become a memory and you will be stronger and wiser.

      May I suggest reading Exorcism, if you have not already.

      May I ask do you know which of the empath descriptions resonance with you?

      1. Me says:

        Thank you twilight! That book is my bible and I have read about 10 of HGs book, all posts and all comments, other sites as well and on my way to real recovery for sure. I just made a huge progress, major changes in my life for the positive after my Post traumatic stress syndrome have subsided a bit. Stupid enough I thought the man I once knew and lived with was back and a closure was coming (today I both cry and laugh because he is a textbook). Not sure what type I am .. this is my first encounter and absolutely the only one that will mess up my life as this person has. Perhaps HG can give a hint to my “diagnosis” since I had the pleasure to talk to him a few times now.
        Thank you for responding and I’m much more clear in my view and understanding of what he is today.. it still hurts and I do wake up in the middle of the night saying WTF!!! Where is he and why can’t he talk to me … he is a coward and have done this so many times .. and I should have understood the red flags (in fact I had a gut feeling the hole time) with so many crazy ex…. I’m written off as one now!!!
        Thanks …

        1. Twilight says:


          I am so happy to read you are working through things!!!!
          I am positive HG knows which category of empath you are. He impressed me when he told me which I was, considering which one I am, I knew.
          That man there knows his stuff.
          You are not stupid to think closure was coming. Self talk is the most damaging and dangerous for us once we get to this point.
          Keep reading, HG knows his stuff. He is the only one that has ever been accurate on what I have observed through out my life, that was enough to tell me he is the real deal.
          Trust in yourself, we empaths forget to do this first and foremost!

          Best wishes to you and your recovery!


          1. Me says:


  6. Narc affair says:

    I think a lot of these we do to make it work bc its easier than accepting that this person is disordered and responsible for themselves and having to end it. There are empaths that are empathetic and there are empaths that are empathetic and codependant. They use their empathetic traits to lie to themselves into staying in an abusive relationship rather then walk away knowing it will never improve.

  7. Sniglet says:

    Out of the 10 maybe 1 applies to me. I certainly do not feel guilty or responsible to/for any man. And no way do I feel I owe anybody anything. Maybe to my parents and sibling who have helped me. The rest of the world? NO WAY! NEVER!

  8. ajo says:

    Spot on! But, no more!!! It’s too damn exhausting!! I can’t tell you how refreshing it feels to not have to take care of another adult. It’s been 13 years of it. I feel so much lighter!

  9. Pam Bergner says:

    Hi HG,

    The line about our, ‘solving a problem like Maria,’ was great. That earned you my reply.

    Tk you for explaining alot of my unhealthy behaviors. I need to keep working on myself. You continue to point out more weak areas on which I need to focus.

    Your columns teach me what ‘red flags’ in behaviors (and words) to look for and avoid in others. The information you give about the how and why of your thoughts, goals, and behaviors, allows me to validate myself when I deal with the ex-narc and he does something “narkey.”

    This validation decreases my anxiety. As a result of decreased anxiety, I am able to observe and retain the narc’s realtime methods and examples of manipulation, insecurities, and verbal abuse.

    Due alot in part to your instruction, I can also observe that the narc is not interested in my opinion, stories, thoughts, or feelings whatsoever. I no longer take that personally. I DO observe, his insecurities eat up all of his awareness, and I do feel sorry for him.

    I have also learned that feeling sad for, and/or feeling sorry for someone, is not the same thing as love. Feeling pity for someone is a putdown toward that person.

    The reason I will never give up trying to improve myself is for my own life’s betterment. The other reason I will never give up bettering myself is to be a role model for my children. I never want them to give up improving themselves. Also, the healthier I become in my thoughts and behavior, the better role model I can be.

    We empaths want our children to have a better life than we have had. We want them to be able to live their dreams, and to have a healthy, mentally healthy, and stable life.

    Living with them through the years of abuse at the hands of your kind, leaves them in a one-down position at the dawn of their adulthood. We have done our very best during their childood, to teach them to grow beyond their scars.

    Those of use who have experienced self-growth, have learned we can’t change your kind. We know your treatment during your early childhood is what caused your empathy, love, compassion, and conscious neurons to remain stunted, and as a result fail to grow (be pruned.) We know it wasn’t your fault.

    At the same time, due to our own self-growth, we know that it becomes our own job to fix our own selves, as soon as we become aware something we are doing is hampering our self-love. We like to, “fix the problem, not the blame.”

    H.G., we know you don’t believe your kind have any problems. There is nothing anyone can do to change that.

    Thank you for letting me share.

    Thank you for your help, H.G.


    Pam B.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome Pam.

  10. Curious says:

    HG – If I am an empath why do I find some of the things you do to your ex’s funny? I laughed out loud when you gave Lesley the blue ray DVD of It. Do you think abuse could make victims lose their sense of empathy?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. I am witty and amusing ; and
      2. It is a coping mechanism on your part.

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