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?


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

  1. cogra002 says:

    #1,3,4, 5, 7
    They haunt me

    1. Kim e says:

      cogra002. Wish there was an unlike button. Go gentle on yourself. It is not, none of it, your fault. Nothing you could have done differently. Nothing you can now fix…except you. Fix you. We are all damaged from our experiences with our N’s. Our greatest revenge is our healing ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. Lorelei says:

    I think my biggest thing relating to this is what the hell is wrong with me to have allowed someone to treat me so nuts. Like I didn’t even make it hard for him—it happened so slowly I didn’t know what was happening so I recognize he didn’t walk in and just smack me in month two. It’s still very upsetting and I’m deeply disappointed in myself for not getting rid of him before it caused so much devastation. Is that self flagellation at its finest?

    1. FoolMe1Time says:

      Indeed it is Lorelei and I’m glad you are finally realizing that is what you are doing. Now that you know, knock it the hell off!! 🥰

  3. AnneB says:

    Looking back, perspective, the bigger picture… grief, circular pain. After 4 months, in the early stages of devaluation-to-respite cycle as I now understand it, I walked out on exsusN at a house he was house-sitting over that Xmas/New year period. It was late eve and he was doing something, saying something, behaving or holding an attitude towards me that was hurting and confusing me emotionally. More context and what details will come back with time but there was coldness, indifference maybe even contempt. It was early in Jan and I walked out and walked a couple of kms home as we had arrived at the house together in his car. Number 3 saw me initiating discussion within a day or two and back (with him) by the end of the week. But for a day or two I battled with myself because I loved him but I knew even then, somewhere, that I needed to stay away, that there was something very “off”, he was going to keep hurting me. The GP was fresh (I did not know about the GP or the whole cycle I was enmeshed in). No 2 was not one of my doubts. And I cannot envisage a time when I will be able to say I never loved him, because that simply is not true. But I do strive towards reaching true acceptance that he never, never, never loved me, ever. True acceptance that does not exclude grief but excludes the circular pain – the ET I suppose that clings to denial, dissociation or whatever. When I walked out, and tried to get through the the next days, I remember being conscious that what I was trying to do was best for me, but I couldn’t face the grief. So then my ET said to me should you have left? and spiralled from there.

    Don’t think I haven’t thought bad decision as I sit here almost three years later

    1. E. B. says:

      Was that Xmas/New Year period you wrote about the neutral period – Stranger Zone – between GP and Devaluation as described in ‘Why does the narcissist seem so odd’?

      1. AnneB says:

        Hi E.B., Great question. Thank you.. I have had thoughts about him and stranger period before but forgotten all about it.. I remember several times when I had experienced him as ‘flat”, memory prompted after reading HG.s stuff on that. The feelings evoked in me were neutral at those times. This guy could be subtle, could also give present silent treatments that were devaluation because you sense the desire/need/unconscious intent to provoke or punish but don’t know why. The night I walked he was devaluing me through some sort of complicated combo of underhand comments, present silences, coldness…I want to remember more, the triggering comment or behaviour but it’s not coming back yet. On the other hand, when he was in stranger mode I felt calm, no fake intimacy and no coldness either. At least what I mean is that the coldness was not directed at me when he was ‘strangering.’
        On reflection, when he was ‘stranger’ was likely when I felt safest. I know now that stranger mode meant the bad stuff was coming.

        Prior to the incident described, between Xmas and NY he had definitely provoked, behaved to draw negative fuel, on maybe a couple of occasions – one lasted for an afternoon. Thinking about the incident I described above, which is the only time I walked with the intention of breaking off, I think that I had probably not been affected to the point of no return (I guess that means I was not yet living with ET daily corrupting my thoughts, feelings and behaviour, not yet overwhelmed by manipulations).

        Is it possible that there might be a cycle after devaluation commences, after the GP is done, that goes -stranger to devaluation to respite to stranger to devaluation to respite etc until disengagement, or escape (how I wish)? Or is that already how H.G. places the SP, or one of its manifestations?

        I can’t remember there being a time of note when he was ‘stranger/flat” post GP but prior to devaluation. But I remember interactions with him, chunks of time of varying lengths , within the deval-respite cycle that definitely felt like the stranger period H.G writes about.

  4. FYC says:

    NM! You are not a fraud, you were frauded. You were you before you met the N and you are the same wonderful you after the N. The only thing causing this self-doubt is the cognitive dissonance between what you wanted to believe at the time, and what was actually happening instead. Don’t be hard on yourself. No one is prepared for such insidious manipulation. Think of it this way, you have the same heart and love, but now it is protected by logic and weaponized through knowledge. Also, if you can, stop the resentment. It is a useless practice that only hurts you (adds insult to injury). You are so much more than useful. You one of a kind and valuable, and always will be. Never forget that. Forget the N and his cruel manipulation instead, and remember all you learn here.

  5. Kristin says:

    Thank you HG, this is an amazing post. Self doubt is my biggest hurddle right now and I am literally going to print this out for daily reference.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Welcome Kristin. You’ve been conditioned to doubt , but if you keep reading here, your logic will win out and have your confidence regained.

      1. Kristin says:

        NarcAngel, I am taking your comments to heart and I am becoming more aware each day just how narcissistic abuse has affected me and so many others. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: The Seven Sins of the Empath´s Self Doubt ⋆ NarcTopia
  7. Notme! says:

    Oh dear, this is so me! I don’t wonder if someone else would make him happy or if I should go back, although I know I would have done if I hadn’t found HG’s work, but…I’ve got so much invested in my intuition, my assessment, understanding and analysis of people and their interactions being accurate and insightful that I feel so diminished by what has happened. My narcissistic trait of pride has been triggered so badly. It’s like if I couldn’t see what he was, how can I do what I do? Still be me, and be useful? I feel like a fraud and I’ve lost so much confidence in myself and my abilities.Missing an illusiory relationship is one thing, this is doubting my self, who I am and what I thought I was. I resent that sooooo much

    1. FYC says:

      Sorry NotMe! My reply to you is above.

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