The Seven Sins of the Empath´s Self Doubt


In the beginning you are resourceful, confident and independent. Those attributes are there with no need for brazen displays but rather they exist in an understated and quiet manner. Then we arrive. The imposition of our manipulations is designed to bring life to these seven sins in order to leave you susceptible to our further machinations and control. These doubts will enable us to hoover you, draw fuel from you and maintain that connection we rely on to further our own ambitions.

  1. Is it actually my fault?


We will have you asking yourself and pondering whether what has happened is your fault. Did you do something to attract someone like us? Did you miss some sign which you ought to have seen and therefore it is your own failing which has caused you to be exposed to our control and abuse? We will have you analyse your behaviours as you become burdened with guilt. We are the experts in shifting the blame and through the repeated application of denial, deflection and projection, we will avoid any and all culpability for our actions, leaving them to impact on you. It must be your fault if we are so adamant that it is not our fault. The conviction by which we pin the blame on you will have you questioning yourself. It is natural for you to always reflect on your own behaviour, that is central to who you are and we know this. Add to this our incessant blame-shifting and this steady drip drip drip of the accumulation of blame will eventually take its toll and you will start to accept the blame and regard yourself at fault.

  1. Did I love him enough?


How many times have you been told, “You would do it if you loved me,” or “You wouldn’t do that if you actually loved me like you say you do”. You face the ultimate in supposed love through our love bombing and it sheer scale of apparent passion, affection and love would cause anything else to pale by comparison. You will always have this thrown in your face as we tell you time and time again about how much love we have shown for you, how we have loved you beyond anything else and nobody could love you any more than we do. Is it any wonder when faced with such repeated assertions and the behemoth that we are of love that you will query whether you gave enough love towards us? Perhaps we behave the way we do because we feel that we love you more than you love us? We will certainly tell you that and because you are such a devotee of love you will feel obligated to try to match what you have received. You cannot do so because the love we exhibit is smoke and mirrors, easy to conjure up, easy to say and what you understand as love takes more effort, but this will not stop you always wondering whether you do enough and whether a little more love might just be the solution that is needed to make everything perfect again. Thus, we keep you hanging on and trying all the harder.

  1. Was I wrong to leave?


This nagging doubt has to be created by us on order to keep alive the prospect of hoovering you. We know that you possess a near indefatigable spirit that causes you to stay and try to make things rights. So often it us that brings about the cessation (albeit temporary) of our relationship and we discard you. On the rare occasion where you decide that you have had enough and make a break for the border, to free yourself of our poisonous influence, we know that you will have reservations about doing so. You do not like to give up on people. You like to succeed. You desire for success is not the same as our self-centred drive for achievement but rather your success sf for other people and we know this. We know that you want to achieve resolution, that is why we lead you around the houses and up the garden path with our circular arguments. We know that you prefer to achieve an outcome, hence why we never fully answer questions, deflect and deny. This desire for a conclusion means that should you ever walk away from us we know you will be plagued by some guilt that you should not have done it. What if he could have been helped? What if he could change? What if he needed your help? Such doubts will manifest and mean that when we loom large as we seek to hoover you, this desire to leave nothing hanging (along with a host of other manipulative methods designed to get you to return) will leave you susceptible to being hoovered back into our twisted world.

  1. Should I have given him another chance?


Maybe if you had given us another chance (to add to the dozen or so that you have already given us) then the outcome might have been different? You invested so much and you gave us so many chances, perhaps you have cut loose too soon? Maybe one more chance was all that was required and now you are left wondering if you have made a mistake and lost the opportunity to help us and resolve our problems. Perhaps you had better try again and give that further chance? It would be such a shame not to do so, especially after all the effort you have put in? This might have been the point at which everything clicked and we finally made the changes and gained the understanding and insight that is required to return to a permanent golden period. You want to see good happen, we know this and therefore we know that you have that nagging itch that if you just gave us another chance this might be the one that is required to get us past the post. It won’t be, but we like to engender this hope in your mind so that you succumb to this doubt and return to us to try again. And again. And again.

  1. What if someone else makes him happy?


Have I been too hasty in making my escape? What if he finds someone else and she makes him happy? It shows it can be done and I let him go and now someone else is going to get the benefit of that wonderful golden period and she might get it all the time. Why should she get this when you have endured both the black with the golden? You are entitled to receive the golden period again surely? Perhaps it was something you had done and now she knows what to avoid because he will tell her what you did in the relationship and she will avoid making your mistake and reap the reward. How is that fair? Why should she benefit from the pain you have endured? It is your golden period and you want it back because it felt so wonderful. In fact, having checked his Facebook page for the sixth time today there seems to be a lot of mutual liking of one another’s posts between him and some new lady, whoever she is. What’s going on there? Has he found someone new already? Could she be the one? You had better act and do so quickly to avoid someone else getting the golden period for good. Why not ring him and arrange to meet up? Head her off at the pass? Yes, we instil such doubts in your mind in order to have you come back to us once more.

  1. Maybe I didn’t help him as much as I could have


There was something clearly wrong with him but maybe he could not help doing all those things. Perhaps something terrible once happened to him and this is why he behaves in such an abhorrent manner? Surely you should show some compassion and understanding in order to help him be free of whatever demons that plague him, after all, are you not a kind and considerate person. This is what you do isn’t it? Help people. You should not run out on him now, he needs you and you are the only one who can save him. Just be understanding, help him, give him what he needs and then together you can overcome whatever it is that has taken hold of him. You have seen him bleed, he is human just like you and it is help that he needs not condemnation. Yes, what he did to you was terrible but what if that could not be helped, what if he was trying to ask for your help and did not know how to ask for it? Now you have walked away from him, right when it is his hour of need. That’s not very empathic is it? That isn’t who you are. You are kind and caring, a healer. Go back and apologise and help him. Submit to his demands and help him walk through his personal hell, surely it is the least you can do, yes?

  1. Did I deserve it?


You spoke out of turn too many times so what did you expect him to do? He is a proud man and it was inevitable he would lash out. If you had not been so weak, you would have not annoyed him. Perhaps if you had done more of what he wanted, gone along with his demands just for the sake of quiet, things would have been drastically different? If you had not been so stubborn or had tried to change him? If you had not tried to mother him? If you had tried to mother him? If you had been someone else? If you had stayed true to yourself? If you had been more like his mother? Less like his mother? More like her? Less like her? You did try but somehow you always seemed to rile him and then the insults and assaults would fly. Maybe if you had kept a civil tongue in your mouth it would have turned out differently? Perhaps if you had tried to look at things from his perspective more often rather than thinking about yourself, then the outcome would have been better? You wish you were stronger and you needed to be stronger for both you and him, but you weren’t and that must the reason he treated you the way he did. Your weakness irritated him. Maybe if you had not been so pathetic then he would have continued to love you like he once did. Perhaps if you had not fought back when he was despondent he would not have felt the need to put you in your place. Maybe you just did not do enough of what he needed because you were too busy focussing on how you felt and that is why it all came tumbling down? Maybe you failed to understand him because you were too wrapped up in yourself? Maybe, just maybe, you got what you deserved?


28 thoughts on “The Seven Sins of the Empath´s Self Doubt

  1. Liz says:

    I have to disagree on one little thing. I did pick up many traits from him. My best friend asked me if I became a narcissist. Of course I did not. I still care and help, I can not lie, ok that’s a lie but there’s one thing that scares me more than anything else. I can not love anymore. The emotional sea has been crossed. I replenished my lost friends and gained new ones. But when it comes to loving I finally see it from his point of view. He never did or could. I can’t either since escaping him 3 yrs ago. I keep people around for what I could gain, although they beg me to love them, but also I’m ready to drop them in a second . Although honestly I don’t mean too. I have no emotional ties any longer. To him or anyone else. Once you said they want to steal your love. Is this what’s happening to me HG Tudor? Or is it just a defense mechanism to protect myself?

    1. Cyn says:

      I remember thinking I must have become a narcissist. I was looking at mine and feeling nothing, other than glad he did helpful things around my house and propert, good in bedroom, and paid the energy bill in winter if it was way too high. I felt dead inside. But too tired and too wrapped up in the business of my regular life to deal with the drama of trying to leave so may as well keep him for his usefulness. But I think the numbness with others now is just empathy fatigue and defense. Much healing to do; maybe then there is a logical love? I don’t trust others really to do things for me because there is then an obligation at some point and I feel that the tables are turned, scale tipped in their favor. I have pretty much always been that way. Maybe I am a narc/empath too!

    2. Cyn says:

      @HG sorry I answered in your spot not sure where to discuss her thread…

    3. HG Tudor says:

      You do not pick up traits from the narcissist. You have narcissistic traits yourself and your empathy becomes eroded owing to external factors (one of which is commonly the behaviour of the narcissist) which then results in your narcissistic traits becoming more prevalent. This has been misunderstood as picking up traits from the narcissist or that awful phrase “narcissistic fleas”.

      Assuming you are not a narcissist yourself, your capacity for love has been diminished by your experience, but it will return.

      Yes we steal your love, because we take it through false pretences, but if you are an empath (and most likely you are) you have plenty of love to provide, it is diminished for the time being.

  2. Sisty says:

    So, empaths, I noticed that all but #6 have a shift at the end of the paragraph where you get to see what the narcissist is really thinking. Number #6 is the one that would be most likely to bring me down.

    What sentence or two would you add to the end of #6 to reveal what the narcissist is really thinking? “Of course, the exit gates to our personal hell are right in front of you — until we pick them up and move them, again and again and again. But that’s what you’re in this for, right? The long haul. The goal is just up ahead…..”

  3. FoolMe1Time says:

    I have learned first hand how resilient children can be. Please stop blaming yourself for what you should have done and instead look at the now and all you have accomplished in such a short amount of time! Those children have the best Mother any child could ask for. You went through this together and they will remember that, as they become older they will know who was truly at fault. One day when they are adults they will surprise you with the things that they say just as mine did. My daughter who is the brightest most intelligent young woman and an absolutely amazing Mother, said to me a few months ago, “ He is my father, I don’t hate him. I also don’t blame you for not leaving when we were younger. I would not be the person I am today if I did not live the childhood that I did, and Mom I like the person that I have become!” So you see my friend, it doesn’t get much better then that. As for your oldest, you will find a way to reach her and when you do, you will hold onto each other and never let go. Be good to yourself, take a few minutes to look at all you have done and be proud of your accomplishments. You did good girl!! 😘💞

  4. santaann1964 says:

    Awesome posts. Thanks Empaths

  5. Veronique Jones says:

    These self doubts plague me sometimes but I am definitely getting better at understanding it’s my emotional thinking and pushing the thoughts out of my mind I have also stopped fighting against the hoovering I don’t want to give him or his minions any fuel

    1. Kim e says:

      Are you still out there? I know this is from an old thread but I wanted to asked what you mean by “I have also stopped fighting against the hoovering….”.
      Thank you

  6. AR says:

    “You have seen him bleed“- i wish i didn’t have emotional empathy that time. I didn’t want to feel anything. Too much pain.

  7. Tanya says:

    I knew he was awful the minute I first met him and I ignored it until the end. Gr8 post, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you

  8. Sisty says:

    So, I notice that #6 is the only one in this list that you don’t resolve by showing us the narcissist’s hand at the end. Number Six is the one that is most likely to pull me under. Could you please take us through to the resolution on that one, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I do not offer resolution with regard to any of the seven sins, I point out the way the narcissist regards you.

  9. cogra002 says:

    Right on point, as always. For me #1, 3 and 7 have been sticky points.

    #1 I do think some of this was my fault. I didn’t read the signs. And I had sidestepped douchebags many times.
    When I did know I should go, I didn’t. I have tried, but ultimately I stayed.

    #3 It was hard when I went no Contact, and I dont want to be tortured by this feeling

    Here on the east coast its not just emotional seas, but hurricane seas. Our turn is coming up.

  10. Lorelei says:

    Cyn—wouldn’t it just be easy if they were all dirty and (I presume) smelly like Russell Brand as discussed on another thread? There is no way I could have a Russell Brand so the problem would solve itself. I couldn’t comment under that thread so I’m taking my angst out on the fact that some of them are so deceiving. It’s my prolifically elegant thought for the day!

    1. Cyn says:

      Yes. It would also help if they had squeaky voices and couldn’t ^~#*%|~*%*!

    2. Cyn says:

      I think with all of them there were signs I forced myself not to see. In fact with narc 2 I brought them up to my mother and others within the first few weeks of seduction and they said to just let myself be treated well for a change, that I deserved it. I remembered telling friends that I felt weird about him taking over moving my stuff and not accepting help, getting furniture built, doing all kinds of things for me. They told me not to worry, that some people just find it rewarding to do things for their partner. There were other huge red flags even before then. I even told him a few times in the beginning he was over the top and made fun of some of it and he told me he was different and just give him a chance, have faith lol.

      1. Lorelei says:

        Funny you say this Cyn—re, other people suggesting behaviors as innocuous in nature. Well meaning yet unknowing certainly and I’m grateful “narcissism” is becoming more talked about, however, the information isn’t “complete” or entirely accurate as it is here. It sets some people up quite readily for a false sense of confidence and they end up ensnared again. I can think of two examples just recently—I see it and they have zero clue. These were individuals I met in the “recovery circuit.” One male ensnared by a woman who plays the victim domestic abuse “empath” and one girl local to me that is enthralled with a police officer who sends her shirtless photos and has her hating his ex wife. If a guy sent me a shirtless pose I would vomit but anyway..

        1. Cyn says:

          Yep! I have a friend from high school who has had a slew of horrible relationships and in fact survived a violent marriage with a narcissist who of course alienated her son, had money and got custody and her son is also a narcissist. She has found the love of her life, perfect man and they have been together for almost 2 years, handsome dream come true who had a horrible ex wife. They will be married in 2 weeks. I am terrified for her. If it seems to good to be true it usually is. However I have seen them go through some devastation and remain together, she doesn’t have money, nor does he, in fact his wife ended up with it and his rental burned in a fire and he lost everything last year. They have gotten a new place together recently. I hope them the best and that this is real. But I don’t trust it. I don’t trust anything really.

          1. Lorelei says:

            I hope so too as is a friend of yours.

          2. Cyn says:

            I did meet a man who found a happily ever after partner the other day. We had been talking about his 13 year WTF marriage and I discussed with him that it sounded like she was a narc and directed him to HG. He said it made perfect sense. His girlfriend of 6 years is empath(her father a narc) and they have a solid and wonderful relationship; nobody feels crazy, conflicts resolved without damage. So maybe there is hope.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you for doing so

          4. Cyn says:

            You are quite welcome! I’m glad he can examine his past from a current space of happiness and get some clarity that no, he was not crazy.

          5. Lorelei says:

            I’ll pass on hope! I agree with what HG has written to this point. Hope allowed me to permit my children to witness abhorrent behavior (especially my oldest who had her childhood destroyed because of my inability to deal with the situation) and dampened my senses that there was something incredibly dysfunctional occurring. I am entirely culpable for not getting them away from my former spouse and have to live with this. I’m not dealing with it well at times and a happily ever after is a fairy tale I’m already capable of alone. I always forget not to use the word hope after I think of it and here is another good example. I’ll rephrase and say I hope they both compliment one another’s needs!

  11. Cyn says:

    Yep! Unfortunately I carried some of these right into my relationship with my next narc, trying even harder. But this time when I left I knew I had done my best and no longer had a single doubt. It had cost me most of my sanity, my heart, pieces of my soul, relationships with friends and family, financial stability, and trust in my reality. But then I found enough of myself to stop doubting. My promise to myself when I got hovered one last time was that I would not second guess myself again. So when the devaluation began within just a couple months, and I knew it, I remembered. I remembered that self doubt is the thing that made me ignore the very first red flag.

    1. cogra002 says:

      Cyn, same here. Unlike the first few cycles when I didn’t know wtf was going on, now I dont think I deserve it when he’s a d**k, and when he gaslights I think and often say “that has nothing to do with me.”
      Yet , back to #1. I didn’t leave yet.

      1. Cyn says:

        I am free of both. Well the first one I have a child with so I am tethered by the courts but have implemented some really good no contact and have already detachedly observed him try to finagle a boundary to no avail. I felt nothing but amusement. In regards to my healing and work on my son it will take time to overcome the CPTSD and my son already has ASD and now some behavioral traits like his dad. But at least there is hope and in process of getting behavioral support in home to turn some of it around now that I’m not constantly assailed by his father’s attempts to engage. I made all the mistakes going back to narc 2 already and he is also a distant character from a movie. A sad one. But one I hold no illusions about. Not a single memory that isn’t tinged with blackness. I hope his children will fair better. I do miss them. But I can’t save them either. I left the girls with some empowering words and hope they will remember when they realize they are with another version of their father. I hope you get out too. As I said to mine, it’s much better to be alone than to be abused. I like my own company.

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