The Carrier Empath


The Carrier Empath. A particular type of empathetic individual who naturally gains the attention of our kind. As I have explained before, our kind are drawn to empathetic individuals who fall within one of the classes of empath. Those classes consist of The Empath, The Super Empath and The Co-Dependent. The Carrier Empath is a particular division of those classes and therefore can be found amidst any of those classes. The Carrier Empath is not a stand-alone form of empath but rather is embodied by exhibiting Carrier tendencies which “bolt on” to the relevant class of empathic individual.

The Carrier Empath shoulders, more than others, the emotional burden. This person rarely talks about themselves, although they have much they could talk about, either as a consequence of their natural intelligence which lends itself to considerable discourse, their ability to connect with people and engage in what could be termed as small talk so people are put at ease or because of their extensive experiences they have much they could share with other people. The Carrier Empath does not see it as necessary to talk about themselves. All empaths are good listeners, it is one of the empathic traits which our kind look for, but the Carrier Empath is a superlative listener. Exhibiting considerable patience, he or she will sit and listen to the woes and problems of others. They do not jump to conclusions, as many people would, instinctively forming a view of the person they are engaging with, within moments of meeting. Instead, the Carrier Empath is able to resist making an early judgement about this person and will listen to what they have to say, so they can best work out how to assist. The Carrier Empath knows full well that sometimes just being listened to is the best thing for another person.

Those with Carrier tendencies are work-like in their approach, reliable, organised and effective when facing pressure. They regard it as their role to take on responsibility for others and struggle to determine the boundary of when they should not do so. They are unable to avoid taking on other people’s issues and problems and feel a need to assist but to do so through actions and a practical application of their compassion, honesty, decency and understanding.

The Carrier Empath is not a person who overflows with emotion but is certainly not devoid of it. Their emotion does not appear in surges and spikes, histrionic reactions as a consequence of the situation which they find themselves in but rather as a steady and reliable provider of fuel through their evident compassion and supportive nature. Whilst caught in the dizzying devaluation, some empaths will find themselves despairing and having up days and down days whilst they experience the push and pull behaviours, the Carrier Empath adopts a stoic approach. Inside he or she may be churning but they do their best to maintain a brave face as they seek to remain dependable and forging forward. This person is solid and dependable. They are not a dullard, but they do not shine and glow like other empathic individuals. They are grounded, practical, pragmatic and excellent problem solvers.

The Carrier Empath is unable to leave responsibility with others. They regard it as their task to be responsible for other people and they rarely judge the flaws of others, but rather see it as an opportunity for them to shoulder the burden. They will remain with those who suffer from addictions, seeing it as part of their obligation to remain and fight the fight on behalf of the afflicted. The Carrier Empath readily takes on the problems of others and will do so even when this becomes a drain on his or her resources, such as time and money. They may have somewhere they need to be but if the telephone call is continuing because the caller needs help and assistance, the Carrier Empath will continue to listen.

There is a strong sense of obligation on the part of the Carrier Empath. Whilst empaths as whole feel obligation, the empath will assist because they feel good about doing so, in a way, they gain a form of their own fuel from helping others. The Co-Dependent will usually help because he or she has to do so, being of a  giving nature in order to find validation for themselves in terms of their place in the order of things. The Super Empath relished the challenge that is presented and regards it as an opportunity to exhibit their powers. Layer the Carrier Empath onto any of those classes and you add a complexion of obligation – the relevant class of empath does it because that is what should be done, that is the right thing to do and they have an obligation to care. They will recognise that the task in hand may be difficult, they will note that it will drain them but their fearsome sense of duty causes them to be the first to volunteer and the last to give up.

This division of empathic individual is certainly compassionate but approaches matters in a practical manner rather than “hearts and flowers” and whilst they will certainly use words to comfort, to support and to show empathy they prefer to rely on actions. If someone is suffering, rather than hand out tea and sympathy, the Carrier Empath will assume the mantle of the problem themselves and tackle it head on. They are especially apt at standing in the shoes of somebody in order to absorb the blast on behalf of someone who is struggling or wants their help. They are the proverbial person who would take a bullet.

Such individuals are prized by our kind, but by certain narcissists in particular. There is the provision of fuel, that has to always be there, but it does not always fountain from the Carrier Empath. Greaters tend not to choose those with Carrier Empath tendencies as a primary source because the gushing appreciation is not the style of the Carrier Empath, furthermore, the Greater tends to be more resourceful and therefore has less need of this element of the Carrier Empath. Instead, the Carrier Empath is desired by the Lesser and Mid-Range schools and especially so by the Victim Narcissist.

The Victim Narcissist derives fuel from the provision of care and compassion. His less impressive countenance is not one which results in gushing praise and over-the-top appreciation. Accordingly, the exhibition of care and compassion gives him the fuel he wants plus the residual benefits he requires and this is always preferable to the empath who gushes with praise but does little in the way of practical care. Thus those with Carrier tendencies are more suited to the Victim Narcissist.

Furthermore, the Carrier Empath comes with considerable residual benefits in terms of the provision of caring for someone with poor health, dealing with chores and problems on that person’s behalf, providing food, shelter, money and such like and therefore this raft of residual benefits appeals to Lesser Narcissists in particular and naturally the Victim Narcissist from the Lesser School.

The Carrier’s capacity for “taking the bullet” results in them also having appeal to the Mid-Range Narcissist. The passive aggressive Mid-Range Narcissist who finds that he is not able to get his way with a third party will invariably turn to the Carrier Empath to step up on his or her behalf and get the problem sorted. If weakened from a lack of fuel and potential criticism from this third party, the Mid-Range will turn to the Carrier Empath to make everything alright again and the Carrier Empath will dutifully attend to his.

During devaluation the Carrier Empath is wounded and confused by the manipulations used against him or her, but their sense of duty carries them forward and they will often fall victim to the narcissist’s capacity to blame others. Accordingly, if the narcissist blames his outburst on being overworked, the Carrier Empath will accept this explanation and will look at ways of alleviating the load on the narcissist, by taking more on him or herself or even going so far as to challenge the boss of the narcissist to secure a reduction in workload. The narcissist knows that with a Carrier Empath he can in effect point that person in the direction of a problem and the Carrier Empath will march into battle on his behalf. Again, this is why the Greater has less of a need for those with Carrier tendencies and why those of a Lesser or Mid-Range school have more reliance on the Carrier.

Devaluation causes those with Carrier tendencies to battle on in the hope of resolving the narcissist’s problems. The Carrier is less inclined to blame themselves. They do not see themselves as the cause of the problems which the narcissist alludes to during devaluation, but rather only blame themselves for not resolving those problems. The Carrier is blinded to understanding that there is no fix, but regards every problem as having a solution which will, with the right application of energy and resource, eventually present itself. The worse the narcissist becomes during devaluation, the more those with the Carrier tendency will apply themselves to trying to sort the problem out and usually identifies an external source (wrongly) as the source of the problem and is ultimately sent on a wild goose chase trying to tackle this external source whilst the problems continue unabated.

If the relevant narcissist does not have a primary source with Carrier tendencies it is likely that one will be recruited as a secondary source. This is more likely with the Greater who will prefer the primary source to be fountaining with fuel (rather than providing a host of residual benefits) and to have a secondary source who can be turned to as and when required, perhaps at moments of crisis, to be utilised for their Carrier traits. Whilst the Lesser and Mid-Range narcissist and especially the Victim Narcissist cadre of those two schools will want a Carrier Empath as a primary source, the Greater will position one as a secondary source since they make excellent Lieutenants.

It is common to find that the scape-goated child of a narcissist, if they avoid becoming a narcissist  themselves, tends to exhibit strong Carrier tendencies because they realise that by getting things done, having to attend to their own needs because the narcissistic parent has abandoned their duties at an early stage and also having to parent the narcissistic parent, is the most effective method of surviving. They care but do so without “showiness” and deliver in a practical and dependable manner.

It is also worth noting that as some narcissists age they will gravitate more to securing a primary source who is a Carrier Empath. Though fuel remains important, the need for the residual benefits becomes increasingly important for those narcissists who see their looks fading, their mobility decreasing and therefore suffer a reduction in their ability to charm and attract. Of course, this is not applicable to all of our kind, since many become distinguished with age, have the magnetism that comes from financial power and their innate charisma and sharp mind remain undulled. However, for those that see the waning of their powers, the Carrier Empath becomes more attractive to them.


22 thoughts on “The Carrier Empath

  1. Jenna says:

    I certainly have some of these qualities, but not all.

    I listen more than i talk abt myself. I don’t form judegements early, and i always try to assist practically, or at least lead the person to a practical solution.

    However, this part does not apply to me:
    “The Carrier Empath is not a person who overflows with emotion but is certainly not devoid of it.”
    At times, i can overflow with emotion.

    This does not apply either:
    “The Carrier Empath is unable to leave responsibility with others.”
    I can leave it with others, if i do not know the person well. If i know the person, and esp if he/she is asking for help, then i will do all i can to help.

    Omg this:
    “They may have somewhere they need to be but if the telephone call is continuing because the caller needs help and assistance, the Carrier Empath will continue to listen.”
    How many times have i gone thru this?!

    “The passive aggressive Mid-Range Narcissist who finds that he is not able to get his way with a third party will invariably turn to the Carrier Empath to step up on his or her behalf and get the problem sorted.”
    Yes, i have done this many many times!

    Hg, can one have carrier empath traits but not be a carrier empath? I feel some of these qualities apply to me, but not others, eg. I do fountain with fuel often.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Jenna says:

        Thank u.

  2. Yolo says:


    Are you Michael Steele? Accept my apology if the question is an insult.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No I am not. He is a lot older than me and I am also white. I did not know who he is and had to look it up.

  3. Diva says:

    “The Carrier’s capacity for “taking the bullet” results in them also having appeal to the Mid-Range Narcissist.”

    This sentence made me laugh because the midrange I knew (short term) used this line on me and used to give me names of individuals who would take a bullet for him. (More triangulation no doubt.) I laughed (as usual) when I heard this statement and said……I am pleased that you have so many such individuals to rely on, as you would be very foolish to bank on me for that role….”

    However, I should point out that there is no doubt, that much of the above article would be applicable to my character……and I would indeed take a bullet for someone, but only if I truly believed that they would take one for me……..and I always realise at some stage along the way that the narc I am dealing with never would. Therefore I only remain in that narc firing line for so long……..granted some longer than others…..Diva

  4. J says:

    Spot on! One might call this “the big sister” empath or “the mother” empath.
    Just to add some complexity to the discussion. I have long wondered how narcissists from collectivist cultures might operate or perceive differently from those from individualist ones. From this post, I think pursuing this kind of empath may be a stronger tendency among N’s from collectivist cultures. (Collectivist cultures being ones in which: The individual views oneself and one’s identity deeply embedded in how one operates within groups and the degree to which one skillfully fulfills expected roles within said group.) I would suggest that those two things in a collectivist narcissist would cause him to “acquire” people who fulfill very particular roles, like someone filling out a collection of spoons or stamps. “Ah, I don’t have a ‘big sister’ in this context. I should get one of those.” The aim is no less objectifying or destructive or fuel-focused, but its operation is a little different I think.

  5. Cathrine says:

    And I got it wrong.. Carrier Empath, not the other way around;)

  6. Cathrine says:

    Really informative and interesting. I read a book some time ago about women who love too much, referring to all kinds of dysfunctional relationships, and I seem to remember that it usually came down to these women having grown up in equally distorted homes, therefore choosing a partner that needed their help, being absorbed with a need to help, to rescue their partners.
    I did grow up with a narcissistic parent, and a bonus one in the shape of a grandparent, but I never thought about saving my narcissist in that way. Sure, I listened attentively to his problems, felt sorry for him of course, believed his stories of stress at work and such, but it didn’t cross my mind that I should help and in any way sort him out. So I guess I’m not an Empath Carrier. Lucky me;)

  7. Salome says:

    The Carrier is realy boring!
    I imagine very low libido, no sense of humour, etc…

  8. Diva says:

    “Of course, this is not applicable to all of our kind, since many become distinguished with age, have the magnetism that comes from financial power and their innate charisma and sharp mind remain undulled.”

    Who could you possibly be writing about there??????? I don’t see many narcs fitting that statement when I read the readers letters or comments……although I know of one personally……anyhow don’t worry HG, keep popping the pills, slapping on the moisturiser, pumping in the botox and dying your hair…..(if you have any left)…..and then you will be alright for a few more years yet……..your mind is still sharp if a tad skewed, especially with your choice of music and movies, but the charisma is still there…..sort of……Diva

    1. HG Tudor says:

      That will be because you do not frequent the circles these individuals move in.

      1. Diva says:

        Not any more (thankfully) and only ever on the fringes of it looking in, …. those kind of circles can run rings around you…… matter the financial power, the sharp mind doesn’t remain undulled forever, but the charisma and the narc traits never fade, until they can no longer breathe unassisted…….Diva

  9. Alexissmith2016 says:

    HG I read in one of your comments that you beleive one of your doctors is an N but is unaware of what they are.

    This is really interesting. So would that make them a mid ranger or a greater who has just not recognised the characteristics in themself yet ?

    Is it possible for someone of this calibre and to have this degree of intelligence never be able to recognise what they are ? Especially when they are (I presume) a trained psychiatrist ?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      Such a person may otherwise be a greater and know what they are but mask it or be of a different school but be unable to recognise it by the very nature of what they are. It is akin to cobblers with holes in their shoes in a way.

      1. Alexissmith2016 says:

        Thank you this is soooo interesting ! and making me rethink some of the interactions I’ve had. Excellent !! Thank you HG

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  10. Maria says:

    HG, I’m going to keep this one forever. And as always, I love love love the art that is chosen for each of your writings. You have helped me so much. I’d never be this far in my post narc journey without your insights. I’m fascinated with the level of detail you are able to provide..and just when I think there can’t be any more light bulb moments, blink and the lightening flashes from your articles ….no contact is a hilly journey, but not as mountaneous as it used to be.

    1. Maria says:

      But that’s right…you are a Greater so of course U have all these insights!

    2. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  11. K says:

    This cadre sounds like me. Damn it all to hell. However, I like the idea of a marriage between the cadre, Dirty Empath, and the school, Super Empath, which would result in being a “Super-Dirty Empath”. Now, that sounds wicked cool.

  12. Windstorm2 says:

    This one starts out very much like a description of me, until you get to the words,
    “The Carrier Empath is unable to leave responsibility with others. They regard it as their task to be responsible for other people.”
    That is the total opposite of me and my philosophy. We all have to be responsible for our own problems. Dealing with our problems and learning from them is what makes us grow. When someone steps in and solves problems for you, it often causes more harm than good.

    But I wonder if I didn’t use to be a carrier. It was my FIL who taught me not to try to fix people’s problems and why that behavior hurt all of us and that was in my 30’s. I am the scapegoated child of narcs. I remember many years of my life where I was always the responsible one, the one who took care of all the day to day problems of everyone around me, no matter how much it hurt or drained me.

    I guess that just goes to show that we can change. We don’t have to stay stuck in maladaptive behavior just because we were mired in it once upon a time. As we learn and grow we can understand what doesn’t help us, release it and keep moving forward. Feeling very upbeat now! 😊

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