Sins of the Empath : The Listener

SINS OF THE EMPATH- THE LISTENER

Many people are poor listeners. It takes concentration and effort to listen for a sustained period of time. Many people lack the discipline and rigour that is required to be such a person, their minds wander, they are busy thinking about what they want to say, the point which they wish to make or even wondering what they are going to have for dinner. Staying on point with regard to what somebody is saying takes focus and effort.

Being a good listener is one of the traits which belongs to the empathic group of people. You are blessed with the ability to sit and exhibit considerable patience as you allow somebody to talk to you. At its simplest, you allow a person to tell you all about their plans for decorating their house. Such a topic might be regarded as mundane but not to those from the empathic group. You take an interest in what you are told and this combines with your preparedness to allow others to have their say. Your stance is that if the subject matter is important to that person, then it is important to you as well. You will not trivialise the commentary, regard the conversation as banal or consign the observations from the speaker into the file in your mind marked ‘Trivial’.

It is not the case that you will necessarily sit like some wall flower as this person talks, but you are able to regulate your responses so you do not interrupt them. Instead, you coax people to share, not so you can elicit information to use against them, but rather to aid your own understanding with a view to being able to respond in a more effective and helpful manner.

Your capacity to listen is not confined to allowing somebody to tell you what they think of the latest Tom Cruise film or how their Greek Island hopping holiday panned out. Your listening skill finds its forte when you engage in listening to people talk about their hopes, their concerns, their problems and what is causing them anguish and anxiety. You are skilled in adopting a pose which allows that person to offload about anything and everything to you. You deploy silent visual cues which demonstrate that you are paying attention and that you are processing what you are being told in order, at the appropriate time, to provide valuable feedback, observation and insight.

This segues into the fact that not only are you a brilliant listener but you also know when to speak and when to remain silent. You will not interject unnecessarily, but instead you will be able to gauge when you should speak. You can hold on to information, flag a point and store it, assimilating the steam of facts and opinions that are being spewed in your direction until there is an apt moment for you to respond.

You empathic nature as a whole combines with this ability to listen to create a safe environment wherein the speaker feels able to trust you. He or she almost has a compulsion in your presence to want to confess, spill their guts, confide and explain. You generate an environment whereby the speaker knows they can tell you what is on their mind and that you will not be judgemental. They feel assured in your presence, confidence that not only are they being listened to but they are being heard.

Indeed, the skill of being a good listener, as an empathic person, is the anti-thesis of our kind. We are generally poor listeners, save when we identify the need and only then it is because we have seen that there is a benefit which can be accrued from listening intently. More usually, the Lesser will find that his chaotic thoughts appear in a haphazard fashion and he has to release his comments as if he does not do so he might be poisoned by keeping the toxic words inside. This means that his thoughts are all about what he is saying, about to say and he is not listening to you. The Mid-Ranger appears to be listening, he can at least create the image, but he is not. He is too concerned to ensure that what he has to say will be listened to and responded to. When you are speaking he is not listening to what you have to say, he finds your words are getting in the way and, like all of our kind, all he hears is the fuel element of what is being said. If you are shouting about how annoyed you are with him, he is not hearing the content but rather enjoying the fuel being provided and thinking about what might be said next to keep this flow glowing. As for the Greater, he is contemptible of what you have to say, how can anything you say be of interest to him unless it is about him and it is providing fuel.

You may find with our kind that you realise you are repeating yourself as you see that we appear to be somewhere else. Furthermore, there will be instances where we will deny the you have told us something and our denial is adamant. You know that you told us and at the time we responded confirming what you had told us. Yet, here we are now denying that you told us what time to meet up or where to go to in order to collect a parcel. Of course there will be times where we have heard you and we then deny what you say in order to maintain control and frustrate you (usually the preserve of the Greaters) but on many occasions the Lesser or Mid-Ranger will actually not remember what was said and the denial is based on their genuine belief you have not told us something, because they were not listening and absorbing what was being said, because they had no interest in what you were saying at that time. They may have been considering what they wanted to say, who else they wanted to speak to, what they were going to do next and many other factors, which all result in a complete failure to absorb what you have said. Accordingly, the denial and a strenuous one at that, arises at a later time.

Your ability to be a great listener means that you also expect others to listen return the same courtesy to you. That is not to state that you are demanding and haughty about being listened to, far from it, you are content to allow others to speak for longer and more often than you. You do however expect that when you speak you will be listened to and our repeated failure to do this becomes a repeated source of frustration and upset for you.

The fact of being an excellent listener becomes your sin because we treat you like the sounding board, save we are not interested in hearing anything back from you. The Mid-Range of our kind and especially the Greater revel in the imposition of lengthy monologues where we espouse our views (often stolen from listening to others) for the purposes of ensuring you bask in our brilliant rhetoric. Speeches will be made from our armchairs as if we were delivering the Gettysburg Address. You will listen because that is what you do and we seize on your capacity to listen and then listen some more as a captive and appreciative audience. Your smile, your occasional nods and wide-eyed appreciation (when we deign to look at you) are confirmation of our standing and our effective grandstanding.

You are expected to listen to us dominate the table at a dinner party and nod with enthusiasm, make appreciative noises and be supportive and you will do so because as the excellent listener you feel that it is only right.

You are expected to laugh at the anecdote which we have told a hundred times before and you will dutifully do so. You believe that it is fair and right to allow us our stage and we exploit that willingness on your part to the full. Your sins manifest through allowing us to rant at you. You believe we are entitled to say our piece, no matter how vociferously and you will not interrupt, even though we can see the fear and hurt in your eyes. Your capacity for listening means that you will be regularly exposed to our vitriolic words and compelled to hear them, listen them out and respond, even though all we want is your fuel by way of response. You will become frustrated, even though your try to hide it, at our failure to listen to you, our lack of interest in your opinion and the way we interrupt you and talk over you.

We want you listening, attentive and admiring. We want you listing, hanging on our words even as we berate you. You have a deep sense of obligation to do so, feeling that we may finally make some valid point, tell you something that provides a breakthrough and gives a moment of clarity through this long-winded spiel.It never comes. It is a waterfall of words as we talk about ourselves, talk about our brilliance (greater), woes (mid-ranger) or anger (lesser). This cascading oratory and your obligation to listen begins to take its toll as you worn down by our selfishness, our narrow-mindedness and the savageness of our comments when they are directed at you.

Some suggest that to speak is to sin.

In the world of the empath, listening is worse.

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42 thoughts on “Sins of the Empath : The Listener”

  1. HG,

    I love to mix it up, but I also like to fly under the radar. So this may be a “quiet moment” to ask you a few questions, if you feel it’s okay.

    I am staying far away from your recent post re: the Super Empath/Supernova (for a variety of reasons)…but as a “listening empath” (that’s my subtle – but weak – transition), may I please ask you 2 questions:
    1) Can you be a Super Empath if your personality is more like a bubbling brook (filled with resilience/optimism/confidence) – but a body of water that gently, serenely flows through quiet woods/shrouded by trees of privacy — but a stream of water that *will* unexpectedly rage forth and erode the outskirts of land – *should* it be necessary)…can you be a Super Empath if you’re not a more daily, forceful, ocean tide that gallantly pushes forth (which is how I view several “diagnosed” Super Empaths on this site) and
    2) Can you discern (from my traipsing through the site) *what* I am (classifications)? Is it obvious to you – or would you need more info, with a consultation?

      1. OMG, you are such a little doll, Jasmine. I love ya! I don’t care much “what” I am, for me…but I’d love to know IF knowing helps understand more/helps me fend off this intense narcissist on my tail! 😉

      2. ❤ ditto girl. I love reading your comments XO and that’s a very good question! It’s been on my mind too.

        HG – do y’all change your approach, tactics, machinations, etc, depending on the *type of empath?

      3. Depends on the school of narcissist. Some have little scope for adjustment and variation which results in different outcomes. Others have a range of different manipulations etc and thus yes we will change the approach in varied ways. ‘Sitting Target’ will tell you more about this.

      1. Little Narcy Angel,

        “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay…
        I was a naughty Empath this day”…

        Kisses.

      2. Caroline

        I am not self-“diagnosed” as some, but rather confirmed by Mr Tudor in a proper consultation. I think it does matter to know. It helps you to establish where you fit in on the spectrum as far as Co-d, Empath, or Super Empath and then further into the bolt-ons such as Magnet, Carrier, Saviour etc. It confirmed for me for instance that although I have many and higher narc traits than some, that I also have empathy and therefore am not one (you will often see people ask HG if they are a narc because this confuses them as it did me). Also that I have a pattern and why I behave as I do. You will learn what traits you have that attract you to the narcissists in your life, what type you are dealing with, and your best course of action. There is much more discussion required to make these determinations than can or should be discussed on the blog and it is professional and private. Up to you but you know you want to know.

        Anyhoo…off I go forcefully pushing forth like the ocean tide………

      3. Oh, I see now why you made the original comment! No, I really was not thinking of any individuals in particular… was taking in an overview of those who consulted with HG and had brought it up on various threads, and reflecting on them and some of their comments/perceptions… that’s what I *meant* by “diagnosed,” as in HG’s eval.

        🙂

      4. No, it’s just the truth, NA. Can’t tell if you’re kidding around or not – sometimes hard to tell on here.

      5. I know you weren’t speaking to me, but thank you for the information Narc Angel! I REALLY need his grace’s lessons in spying them, but knowing how we’re viewed seems it could be helpful too. Much obliged for your input. Xx

      6. Jasmine

        This is a public blog with no personal lanes or threads so we are really always speaking to everyone who reads our comments. Wouldnt be much of a blog if thoughts and ideas were not exchanged-thats how we learn. Im glad you found something of value in my post and hope that you consider a consultation if you have not already had one-the information is invaluable as Kimi has as well confirmed. You are most welcome to add your thoughts anytime.

        NA

      7. Thank you NA. I’m still learning the lay of the land, so feel free to knock me upside the head if I step on anyone’s toes 😉 I do enjoy your comments, they usually make me laugh, or stop and think. (Which is a good thing! )
        I have had a consult but foresee another in my near future.

      8. I agree Narc Angel!

        “Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
        Sun Tzu

        HG confirmed, through consultations my Empath classification and that of my Narcs. I concur. I had identified my Narcs (Somatic MR), but really had no idea as to what type of Empath I am (Carrier Contagion). The knowledge gives me clarity and perspective, as well as a strategy in avoiding future entanglements.

  2. HG, a quick question if I may. Why would the middle mid ranger narc tell his shelved secondary source about his IPPS’s issues like her feeling insecure in their relationship while appearing very supportive and reassuring of her?

    1. To demonstrate what a good person he is as part of facade management and to provoke a response from the secondary source.

      1. Wow. You’re a good teacher, HG… because I was just thinking those 2 exact reasons, when I read IL’s question to you.

      2. Thank you, HG! To provoke a response of what kind? Does this indicate the IPPS is likely to be in the golden period?

  3. “What big ears you have, little Empath,” said the big, bad Narcissist.
    “All the better to hear the lies you tell,” replied the little Empath.

    My ability to listen, pay attention and retain information, helped me a great deal. Therefore, I don’t view it as a sin but as a strength.

  4. HG, sorry for jumping into the discussion between you and Caroline but I am confused. First, you say your kind need to be in control, expect compliance, and hate being challenged, which in fact may result in devaluation and disengagement. Now you are saying challenge is part of the attraction. Would you please explain?

    1. It depends on the school of narcissist. The upper echelons relish challenge because it means more puffed and the conquering is all the sweeter.

      1. Oh I see! So with a middle mid ranger, compliance then would be more valued than challenge, correct?

      2. Hmm. That explain why the last narc said early on “I like how you push back at me” when I would disagree with something he said. I guess he wasn’t used to it.

      3. Dear Mr Tudor,
        My friend strutted around like a peacock, his chest puffed up like a balloon, I challenged him on everything. My fuel must’ve been like honey to him, constantly dripping. 🍯🐝
        Haha

  5. Eh……yes and no.

    I will listen, but if you talk to me incessantly about your Tupperware collection, celeb gossip or God forbid…sports…you will find my mind wandering the neighborhoods of El Salvador.

    Anything but having to listen to sports. My brain will go anywhere else. Just shoot me.

  6. The nex would never listen to me. It didnt even -bother- him that he didn’t care. God forbid if I tried to talk about something that was important to me, like how his treatment of me made me feel… he would just look at me.. blank. Nothing. And those were the good examples. Often he would dismiss me, walk away, or get mad, turn it back on me.

  7. I beg (not literally, no such fuel here), to differ. My beautiful empathic traits are who and what I am, always. I am learning, daily, how, when, and with whom to utilize them, to their fullest, with. But, they are mine and I embrace them. These traits embraced, knowledge and wisdom acquired, utilizing MY appropriately use of the word NO (contact), equals F.R.E.E.dom.

    1. I see what you did there, although since I am writing to you, you are reading not listening. You’re welcome!

      1. Yes, but technically, reading *is* a form of listening… uh… am I really going to argue with a Greater (especially HG)? No, no I am not. I shall be on my merry way now…and thank you! 🙂

      2. (fingers gripping my device – resisting the urge to debate HG further)…

        LOL.

        You can see why my narcissist had a rough time controlling me + how he got extra challenge fuel, whenever needed.

      3. From a linguistic perspective, it could be argued it is a listening skill – in addition, the voices in our heads are active when we are reading, ergo, we are “listening” in our heads (*ducking and running away now!) *smiling*

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