The Three Strands of Empathy


The concept of empathy can be divided into three types. There are three identifiable strands.

First of all there is the idea of cognitive empathy whereby one can understand the point of view of another person. I am able to understand another person’s point of view but I will rarely accede to it, unless I see some ulterior gain to be obtained from expressing that I understand their point of view. Even where I explain I understand, I am still unlikely to accept it. The Lesser and the Mid-Range are unable to understand that person’s point of view because it will oppose their own, stand in the way of what they want to achieve and frustrate their aims owing to their differing perspective. They lack the cognitive function to address this. Of course, empathic individuals are experts at understanding another person’s point of view but they will go further than this. They will exhibit patience to allow that point of view to be articulated, they will ask questions to draw out this view and they will apply it to their own situation and experiences. Empathic individuals want to understand the other person’s point of view. They not only give it a platform to begin with, but they also allow it to be aired, expanded and applied. It is little wonder therefore that this cognitive empathy bleeds into the empathic traits of patience, needing to understand and needing to know the truth. Furthermore, having such cognitive empathy means that the empathic individual is far more susceptible to the word salad, circular conversations, lies and half-answers that our kind provide. The empathic individual endures these manipulations as he or she tries to wade through the quagmire in order to flex their cognitive empathy so that they understand the narcissist’s point of view. Of course, since our point of view operates from a completely distorted and different perspective, you have little hope of achieving it.

Secondly, there is also empathy concern whereby one is able to recognise the emotional state of another person, feel a need to address that emotional state and therefore exhibit the appropriate concern for the individual. In all three schools of narcissism, our capacity with regard to empathy concern is skewed. The Greater is always able to perform the recognition part of this but has never been created with the sense of needing to address it even though our increased cognitive function means we can work out, through observation and experience, what the appropriate concerned response should be. This means that we can recognise somebody is in distress, understand that they need help but feel no compulsion whatsoever to provide it. We will however, because we have two of the three parts of empathy concern, feign a concern based on our understanding, but only if we see it as serving our interests. This is why, during seduction especially or for the benefit of the façade during devaluation, we can appear that we are concerned that somebody is worried or upset. We do not feel any need to assist them, but we recognise our own need can be served by doing so.

The Lesser is able to recognise the emotional state of another person, feels no need to address it and is unable to exhibit the appropriate concern for the individual. As a consequence, even during seduction, the Lesser will present as blank-faced when dealing with certain emotional episodes and will often vacate him or herself from the situation. During devaluation, he will only see the fuel advantage from this emotional state and indeed rather than be supportive, since he feels no need to, he will just exploit it further.

The Mid-Ranger also recognises the emotional state, feels no need to address it and has a limited repertoire by way of fake concern. Thus in some instances he can pretend that he is concerned and in others he has no answer and will leave the victim to their woe and distress and has enough calculation to state he has somewhere urgent he must be and thus he escapes the demand for assistance and help made by the victim.

Unsurprisingly, the empathic individual has all three elements of this particular strand of empathy intact and in intense quantities. The empathic individual is able to recognise the emotional state of another with considerable ease, even if they are trying to mask it. They absolutely feel and recognise the need to do something when they see somebody else’s emotional reaction. This compulsion is almost irresistible for the empathic individual and they are also fully-acquainted with what they should do by way of response. They will share in the joy, congratulate when someone is happy through good news, console when someone is miserable and hold them when they are heart-broken. The empathic individual is no different with our kind and see our emotional response – albeit from a limited selection – feels the need to address it and also knows how to address it. Thus when we discharge our fury, our hatred, our envy and our antipathy, the empathic individual owing to this concern empathy is always galvanised into action, will rarely shirk the challenge and addresses the issue even at considerable cost to themselves.

Finally there comes the idea of the emotional contagion. This is a deep-seated and one may even regard it as a spiritual element of the empathic individual. This is not just about understanding a point of view or recognising an emotional need and response, this is about feeling the emotion just as somebody else does. Thus if a friend is upset over the death of a parent, the empathic individual is contaminated by this grief and experiences the same emotions as if they were grieving themselves. This not only means that they fountain with fuel which of course our kind will exploit but that they are powered into recognising the need and doing something about even more than would be afforded by the cognitive empathy and concern empathy. The emotional contagion exists in all empathic individuals but is more intense in certain people. Indeed, its intensity may even go beyond being proximate to the person experiencing the emotion. A highly-attuned individual with the emotional contagion will watch a television programme and where the main character is frightened,they will feel that fear also. They will read a moving newspaper article about the plight of an orphan and they will feel that despair as well. It is an immensely powerful part of empathy and causes the empathic individual to have to respond to it.

We have no such emotional contagion. It is completely absent and therefore we have nothing which might cause us to feel something so we act upon it. There is nothing there. The plight of the orphan is not felt by us and we are utterly unmoved. The fear of the heroine on television is regarded with annoyance since our primary source seems more concerned about that person than us. The only time that we regard this emotional contagion as any use is when it serves our purposes when the empathic individual fountains with fuel because of it and directs their empathic traits towards us. We do not have this contagion and we do not feel anything in the way that you would do.

54 thoughts on “The Three Strands of Empathy

  1. abrokenwing says:

    Mr Tudor,

    Your book ‘Chained ‘ was originally published in December 2016 but which year did you write it?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Over a number of years on and off prior to 2016.

      1. abrokenwing says:

        Thank you.

  2. SN says:

    HG, do you agree that one school has to dominate in an empath? Do you think a person could exhibit traits from all of the schools in a golden ratio of ~25 per cent each? Hypothetically.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. SN says:

        Thank you for your kind reply.

  3. Merripen says:

    This post describes so well, so intricately, the dynamic that was occurring between myself and my narcissist. Just reading it has brought back a reverberation of those intense emotions I experienced for him, as well as some of the awful emotions I experienced BECAUSE of him. I am someone who struggles to keep from being overwhelmed by the emotions that crash over me, just walking around in everyday life. Each day is like a minefield, because I never know what the next news story on NPR or Public Television will bring. Hearing of atrocities is awful, but images are especially difficult for me to recover from. I’d never met anyone else who has an “overage” of feeling. Kindred spirit. I remember receiving waves of emotion from him and was blown away that I’d met someone who was like me. I didn’t know that (like everything else that attracted me to him) these were only mimicry, reflections of myself. He was an emotional myna bird and I was, in reality, just alone with myself the whole time. False though it was, this experience with him definitely moved the “being satisfied” ometer way out of the normal zone. I came to be unsatisfied with any of my normal relationships. They all dulled in comparison. What he did to me was the equivalent of emotional masturbation and who wouldn’t like that, right? Nothing else COULD compete with that, because I’m somewhat awesome! (Who’s the narc, now?) In the beginning, it was like being with my soulmate to be with him and I happily took refuge and comfort, both of which turned out to be illusions, too. It has taken a very long time to get my “being satisfied” ometer back into the normal zone. And it has taken just as long to accept that I had fallen in love with a reflection of myself wrapped around an unhealable chasm. I tried with all my might to fill him, but his empty went all the way thru.

    1. K says:

      Is this Merripen from Maine?

      1. Merripen says:

        Hello K,
        Yup, it’s me 🙂

      2. K says:

        Hello Merripen! I was worried that you had gotten hoovered back into the narcissistic cycle. Good to see you back! I missed you.

        1. Merripen says:

          Hello K! I’m sorry you were worried about me. I have missed you too! Though, I’ve actually been here all along, following everyone’s posts, but keeping my thoughts to myself. It became clear to me early on that the intensity and surreal quality of my posts could easily be misunderstood or misconstrued. The last thing I want is to cause confusion or upset to anyone, including myself, so I felt it was better to disengage for a time. But I have missed interacting with this community. As an artist who is heavily influenced by the surrealist movement, I suppose there’ll always be the potential for double-barreled weirdness and the little journey it takes us on. I now believe the risk is worth the experience I get to have with you.

          As for the narcissist, he did reappear, almost a year after his disengagement. Luckily, during that time, HG’s wisdom and insight had taken root, moving the fulcrum away from emotion and into logic. I had the advantage for the first time since being ensnared. (Thank you, again, HG) The pain and longing have begun to fade and morph into something else, not quite sure what, but I’m exploring it with hope and optimism. It’s good to see you!

          1. K says:

            Don’t apologize, you didn’t do anything wrong. I was hoping you hadn’t been re-absorbed and I missed your comments.

            I understand why you would disengage and I am happy that you kept reading, however, I am thrilled that you have been hoovered back in. Have no fear, relish your individuality and enjoy the journey! Right now I am in the “no fucks given” stage of recovery and it is working out quite well. Although, It does take a while for the pain to go away. Ha! That logical thinking really works when they come back for a fuel hit. It bumfuzzles the hell out of the narc.

            Good to see you back!

          2. MB says:

            “Bumfuzzles” Good word K.

          3. K says:

            Thank you, MB! I am a bit of a logophile and that word made me smile so I had to use it here.

  4. Narc Angel says:

    I dont know, but good luck getting all that on a cape or t-shirt.

    1. Lori says:

      Right ? I’m thinking wtf? I have elements of all these except the Carrier and the Saviour.

      I guess I’ll just with my professionally diagnosed Codependent. I’m mean that pretty much tells me what I need to know and I would imagine these assholes could turn any unsuspecting victim into a geyser.

  5. EVB says:

    HG … can a narcissist ever self validate/self love/self kindness & self worth to fill the black hole within them? Could they ever reprogramme their thoughts and reframe their attachment (or lack of attachment) memories/issues to love & care for themselves as opposed to using and relying on others to do it for them?

  6. Kensey says:

    To me it was always like the drawing of a heart 💔they only see one side(half of the heart )when they are mad,raging,berating you to shreds. They are missing Cognitive function (the other half of the heart) which tells the angry person they love the person they are arguing with.

  7. Omj says:

    This is white impressive material HG. I never had empathy explained in such comprehensive details let alone adding the narcissistic POV.

    I am learning so much here , not only about Narc but also about me and about Human being.

    Thank you for feeding my brain with invaluable knowledge HG 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you and you are welcome.

  8. Lori says:

    Oh geez I have the contagion. I cannot watch certain t.v. shows. They will visibly upset me. If it’s something particularly disturbing it will stay with me a wee

  9. T says:

    I always hear empath, including myself, say things like, ” I saw the sacred little boy/girl inside.” Along with being able to see the light inside a narcissist they are unable to see.
    That’s why being empathic, or extremely open person feels like this “gift”, is a curse instead a certain spiritual element. Being with your kind in the golden period, an empath is in their best element. It’s like almost being on cocaine. Even better.
    Then the shoe drops and all hell breaks lose as the high we’re on shatters and we can’t accept it.
    It sends my thoughts, my entire being into a complete frenzy.
    Thank you. You’re helping me to know why.
    And again, it’s a sort of comfort to begin to understand how narcissists think.

    1. Twilight says:


      I have wondered this “I saw the scared little boy/girl in my narcissist” are you sure you didn’t just see yourself? Unresolved pain and show up in strange ways, in my experience that which another sees usually is a reflection of a deeper meaning.

      When I look at a narcissist I see a child and a bridge to this child. Yet the bridge is so overgrown one can not just walk across it anymore. There is a disconnect from the person they are and the person that was. It would be a lot of work for them to clear this path…..the question then would be why?

      1. Well said.

        1. Twilight says:

          Hi Strongerwendy

          Thank you.

      2. T says:

        Wow, yes, I have considered it being myself I see.
        I grew up around narcissists and I did lose much of myself for sure.
        One of the things I’ve been diagnosed with is a dissociative disorder. Missing gaps in my life. I know I pick narcissists because my mind is still trying to work out thing’s from childhood traumas. And yes, it’s a lot of work.

      3. NarcAngel says:

        Just wanted to say hello and tell you that I like what you wrote here.

        1. Twilight says:

          Hello Narc Angel

          Thank you.


    2. Merripen says:

      T, I agree, it’s like doing emotional cocaine to experience the golden period with a narcissist. And it’s a cold comfort, at first, HG’s information and demystification of narcissistic behaviour. But I must say, that over time I have come to take true comfort in the safe & aware place his shared knowledge has helped me reach. I look forward to his posts, because they shore-up my daily decision making and help me move toward the goal of being completely narc-free (turns out my life was peppered with them, but the intimate entanglement was the brightest red string that I pulled on first). Keep reading. It will get better and better, I promise.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Nice to see you Merripen. Not that I didnt hope that you were well outside of here, but I missed your posts and am glad that you have dropped in to say hello.

        1. Merripen says:

          Thank you, NA. I’ve been following every day and your posts always make me smile. I’m feeling much better, now.

        2. Merripen says:

          Thank you, NA. I enjoy your posts very much. You always make me smile. Or take pause. Usually both.

      2. T says:

        Thanks, and glad to know it gets better.

  10. MB says:

    Did I read somewhere that there is a yet to be written article on the contagion empath?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Lori says:

        How on earth can I have all elements of all these empaths. I know I’m codepebdent I have been formally diagnosed but I also see I have elements of Contagion, Super and Geyser? I do not exhibit elements of Carrier or Saviour .

        Is it even possible to be a Codependent, Super, Contagion, Geyser? This makes me tired just thinking about it

        1. abrokenwing says:

          Hi Lori,

          There are four schools of empaths : the co-dependent, the standard empath, the super empath and the contagion.
          Geyser, Magnet , Saviour and Carrier are cadres of empaths which layer on to those schools.
          Accordingly, for example one can be a Magnet Super Empath or Co-dependent

          1. abrokenwing says:

            Savior Empath with elements of Gayser.

      2. Twilight says:


        Codependent, Super Empath and Contangion are schools
        Geyser and savior are cadres.

        From my understanding one can have elements from each school yet one school is dominated which is the school a person belongs to.
        I have traits from each of the schools yet only one is dominated,which is why I belong to that school.

      3. Lori says:

        OK I see. I guess since I’ve been formally diagnosed Codependent that is what I primarily am but I have to say I also have many traits of the Super and the Contagion.

        HG would a middle lesser be most attracted to the Codependent Geyser?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          More likely a Co-Dependent Carrier.

      4. Lori says:


        Yes! I read about the Carrier. His wife is the Carrier. Yep I’m pretty sure this guy is a middle lesser now.

    2. Narc Angel says:

      He claims to be busy with his profession, the blog, Youtube, Instagram, several books, interviews, seduction, dealing with his agent and ball-washing bastard of a lawyer, devaluations, and. various other matters such as plotting and machinations, but I think hes hesitant to write about it in case its contagious and gives him the feels.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Ha ha – the feels, that phrase always entertains me.

        1. Twilight says:

          Let me give you the feels HG…..


          Contagion Empath

          P.S. masks are provided 😉

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Most kind.

      2. MB says:

        ❤️ it! You’re the best NA! We’re all rooting for our fearless leader to catch “the feels”

      3. Bibi says:

        Wait, there’s an Instagram?

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Yes! He sometimes leaves videos that fuel the imagination. Check it out. Im sure by the time you read this you will have.

      4. DUTG says:

        Narc Angel and HG, I want to start planning how we are going to bring HG’s movement forward beyond this blog.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I look forward to your thoughts.

          1. SN says:

            DUTG, NarcAngel and HG, have you seen this: ?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I have. It is the good work of an appreciative reader.

      5. DUTG says:

        NA, you didn’t mention HG delivering the new royal prince in the Lindo Wing this morning!

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