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.

6 thoughts on “The Ten Obligations of the Empath

  1. Perseschoolofhardnarcs says:

    When your vehicle has been purposely disabled, and you have no friends to help, but you manage to move out anyway, but they stalk you, break into your apartment, threaten your landlord, and take whatever you have managed to move, back to “his” house, yeah, you kinda feel broken and give up.

    For awhile, anyway.

  2. ava101 says:

    is it your belief that (in your case) any victim could in fact leave any time? Physically? That it is their own world view, psychological make-up, hopes, etc. that keeps them under your control? That it is their own weaknesses that makes them susceptible and allows them to be harmed (emotionally, mentally)?
    Not saying that this would justify any insidious, harmful actions. But you say yourself that they work best with certain people.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is always an option to escape. The option may be difficult and unpleasant, but there is always an option. People see an obstacle (sometimes it is not actually an obstacle but this arises through lack of understanding) and they give up too easily.

  3. RealitySetsIn says:

    so I was just reading extensively about borderline personalities and narcissistic disorder and I am so amazed at what I have learned….ok so the reason I was reading about this is because I have dated a narcissist and I believe also a borderline personality disordered individual as well…at first I thought the borderline was a narcissist however there were differences…..the borderline did not cheat…he was very loyal actually as I myself am…..he did have a great fear of abandonment however as I myself also have….but the differences I read between the borderline and the narcissist are
    1. the borderline can feel deep love and emotions towards family and intimate partners..however the borderline switches rapidly to devalue and manipulation due to their rapidly shifting emotions…and distorted sense of identity…where as the narc does it for different reasons..
    2.borderlines can feel love for others but quickly revert back into hatred and disgust for them…its called slitting….the narc however his version is a more emotionally detached devaluing and discarding…but the reasons for the borderlines are his quickly shifting deep emotions and distortion..thats different
    3.borderlines can engage in chronic manipulation of their loved ones using jealousy, control or threats to avoid abandonment only to heighten the risk of abandonment….due to to clingy, needy and controlling behaviors….
    4.they both share an emptiness and a void……
    5.they both share deep rage
    6.however the main differences here come from different motivations…the borderlines out of control deep emotions and the narcissists gross lack of real or deep emotions aside from rage and envy…point being the behaviors are the same but for different reasons…
    7. the borderline can feel empathy when not in a heightened emotional state…whereas the narc cannot ever….

    now all of that being said….both disorders are hard almost impossible to deal with in an intimate relationship…there is however more help for the borderline then the narc unfortunately….but I am convinced that one of my exes whom I thought could be a narcissist is indeed borderline as he has all alll alll of the symptoms….and my other ex was definitely mid to greater narcissist no doubt….but it can be very confusing and I myself can relate a lot to the borderline individual as I too have a lot of those symptoms in relationships myself….I once worried I might be narcissistic but I am more borderline….as I have a conscience and can experience empathy and very deep emotions….but also have the narc or borderline traits as well….just wanted to share this in case there are others out there wondering why their intimate partners have some of the signs of narcissisms and some of the same behaviors but not all of them…hope this helps….but no matter what even if the intimate partner is borderline and not narcissist it can still be almost impossible to keep up the relationship without help from professionals….as with the narcissist the prognosis is way harder no matter what you do…

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