Empathy and Irony

 

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Many people state that my kind and me lack empathy. I don’t like that attitude. First of all it amounts to a criticism and I am not to be criticised. Secondly, empathy is regarded by some as the ability of blurring the line between self and other. The handy dose of empathy pictured above underlines this. In fact I am amongst the best at blurring the line between self and other. I am a champion at it. One of my killer lines of seduction is to declare

“I don’t where you end and where I begin we are merged into one.”

If that is not a blurring of the line between self and other I do not know what is. I repeatedly explain that I see people as extensions of myself, they are objects that become subsumed within what I am as I swallow up their identity and use their traits as my own. Blurring of lines? I would argue that that is an obliteration. By that definition I am absolutely oozing empathy aren’t I?

The third reason that I do not like the suggestion that I lack empathy is that empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Again, I understand the feelings of others to a high degree. How can I manipulate those feelings if I do not understand them? Some of our kind instinctively behave in a manner which causes manipulation. They do not have much thought behind the process but they act in this fashion because it is all they know. It is all they have been conditioned and programmed to do. They do not need to consider what they are doing because it just happens and then the manipulation unfolds. Those of us at the greater end of the scale of narcissists do consider what to do in terms of our manipulation. We are always plotting and scheming as we reflect on the best way of manipulating you to do what we want and provide us with our precious fuel. I sit and consider the most effective ways of wielding my devilish toolkit in order to provoke and engender the most rewarding emotional reactions from you.  I work through the schemes and machinations as I dream up new ways of provoking you. I analyse your life, what you do and what you say and then work out how I can then use that material to make you react.If I did not understand how certain things would make you feel, how can I know how best to manipulate you? I understand all about your feelings because I watch you and I observe and I remember. I have done this many times to your type and therefore I have built up an acquired knowledge of the ways that people such as you will react. I sit and consider what I can do to make you hurt, make you cry and make you frustrated. I know you so well I know exactly which buttons to press. I know which emotions to coax from you and because I understand this I know precisely what to do to achieve this. For some of you a cold front of silent treatment will make you pour forth that fuel as you frantically call and cry, worried as to why we have stopped speaking to you. With others a prolonged period of triangulation brings out the emotional response required because you always compete with someone or something that you perceive as a threat.

The fact you show your feelings so readily is joyously received by us. You provide us with a manual from which we can learn. We can mimic your emotions so our fakery continues to draw you in, make you feel sorry for us and have you focussed on us. Your exhibitionism in this regard allows us to understand which emotions run deepest in you and also the ways in which these emotions can be brought to the surface. We have to know how you feel so we can then influence how you will feel. I understand your emotions. That is demonstrating empathy is it not? Would you now say that we lack empathy?

You cannot say that we do not care about your feelings either. We care about them because we need those feelings because they provide us with fuel. We need to know that you will feel and show those feelings to us. We care very much about your feelings as without them we would be denied our fuel and that is fatal to us. We care about your manifestation of those feelings and that they are directed towards us. What we do not care about is their effect on you. That is of no interest to us because it serves no purpose to us. If you are left anxious, unable to eat or sleep then all we care about is that your anxiety is shown to us. The impact on your health and well being is of no concern to us because that does not provide us with fuel. It is not our role because of the way we are to make you feel better (unless of course that is required in order to obtain further fuel) but it is our role to make you feel so you give us fuel. We have no interest in the day-to-day or long-term effects of how you are feeling just so long as you can keep showing your emotions to us and giving us fuel. We have nothing to gain in alleviating your sadness. We have no interest in offering solutions to make your pain and misery go away. That is the brutal truth.

Don’t say however we do not understand how you feel. We most certainly do because we have to know this in order to exploit your feelings further. Indeed we often make you feel that way on purpose so we know exactly how you feel. We need to know the best way to pull on your strings and this means understanding how you will feel and react. So that is empathy for you indeed. Who would have thought it? Empathy from the devil. How ironic.

13 thoughts on “Empathy and Irony

  1. blackcoffee30 says:

    I’ll say it again. They can comprehend empathy, but never understand it.

  2. Asp Emp says:

    “Many people state that my kind and me lack empathy. I don’t like that attitude”.

    Oops.

  3. truthseeker6157 says:

    I do like this article, it makes you think.. It also ties in with something I’ve been trying to work through. I read Exorcism yesterday. I need to re read, there’s a lot to take in, but my view after the first read is that this book should be required reading along with Fuel. In honesty I thought it wouldn’t apply to me due to the largely online nature of my ensnarement, so I didn’t read it at first, even though it was in my library. I imagined it would be about purging items that reminded me of the narcissist, places, mementos, texts, playlists, all of which I had done. It was much more than that. Just as The Addiction Triple Package is groundbreaking, Exorcism belongs in that category in my view. So, if you haven’t read it, please consider doing so. It provided another turning point for me.

    Up until this point I believed I was grieving the loss of a person, ie the narcissist himself. I understood mirroring to be a part of the seduction. I didn’t connect that mirroring could be more than an ensnarement tool though. I do think that we grieve specific elements of a person post escape and that person actually is ourselves. Not ourselves exactly, more, certain abilities that we have as empaths.

    To that effect I have a question. One of the aftermath effects is loss of trust. I would separate that into loss of trust and loss of a confidante. My ability to trust was unaffected. I have never questioned my ability to judge a person’s character before or after ensnarement. I can however fully understand that for many, loss of trust would be a massive after effect. The issue for me is not loss of trust, but the loss of willingness to confide. For me the willingness to confide was never there to begin with. Asp Emp got what I meant there and why. I don’t confide because there is no point for me to confide. People don’t get it. They don’t do for me what I as an empath am able to do for them. So my expectations might well be unrealistic but the end result stays the same. Confiding is a pointless exercise. I wonder if this is felt more by empaths who have an element of magnet in their cadre? This cadre experiences the highest rate of other people confiding in them. Every single day, that transaction takes place. The confidences flowing from normal to empath. So is it surprising then that this cadre of empath / an empath with a magnet element, will find it more frustrating, more of an omission, that people can’t link in to her as she links in to others?

    Then, along came the spider. The narc is more voiced in emotions than the normals. He doesn’t experience the empathic emotions for himself but, he still trades in emotion. He elicits it, reflects it, and more importantly, makes cognitive links enabling him to infer what that emotion feels like for the empath. In this way he does in fact ‘link in’ to the empath as she confides. Empath feels frustrated, this means she will react this way, will need this or that response. What he doesn’t do is sympathise internally. He does create an environment though whereby there is a perceived level of understanding, a ‘ linking in’.

    The normal does not trade in emotion so is not in tune with it to begin with. It’s like knowing the basics of a foreign language. They get the general idea of what’s being said, but really, that’s about it. In my view, the empath is closer to the narcissist in emotional expression and interpretation than she is the normal, even though the narcissist can’t feel those emotions for himself and simply mirrors aspects of the empath’s own character back towards her.

    So the issue, at least for me, is this. If you have spent your whole adult life not confiding, then you spend an extended period of time confiding in the narcissist, where do you go from there? You could equate it to being blind since birth, then when one specific person walks into the room you are afforded your sight. When you leave this one person, you are plunged back into the isolating darkness again. It would be better not to have experienced sight. You didn’t have it so didn’t know you wanted it. But now you have experienced it, you can’t face being back in darkness again, even though you were quite content sitting in the dark before that person arrived.

    Trust and confiding are two branches of the same tree. They have different implications though. I can trust anyone I choose to. The confidante is not so easy to find. Normals ‘just don’t cut the mustard’ for me in that respect.

    I’m curious to know how others feel about this. Do you simply accept that confiding in other people is largely a waste of time, as they are unable to relate in the way that you are able to? Is this the downside of the magnet element within the empathic make up? The need for the empath to confide is after all not one that occurs on a daily basis. Perhaps my original position on it was actually the correct one. Confiding? Don’t bother.

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      I’ll be honest and say I’ve found many people to confide in who I also trusted. It’s a two way street and as much as I’ve been the listening ear for others, I’ve allowed them to do the same for me. I have made myself vulnerable. From what I can see there is a fundamental fear here of making yourself vulnerable, TS. It’s not so much that others can’t relate, it’s may be you do not want to open yourself up to them for support.

      Perhaps you have seen it as your task to be there for others with little expectation that someone would be there for you. Or you have been hurt by confiding in another and making yourself vulnerable in the past.

      It seems you didn’t have this problem with the narc and I wonder if him being at a distance may have assisted in this respect. There is an element of safety in distance and it can be easier to open up because the focus is on thoughts and feelings without the interference of a physical aspect to the relationship. This, I think, generates a different dynamic for sharing and also the depth of sharing. He most certainly knew how to mirror you and your emotions and maybe seeing yourself in him encouraged you to ultimately ‘confide in yourself’.

      I do see an element of healing in this as well. I won’t let the narc take everything away from me, and after showing me who I was through his mirroring, I accept to see myself as that beautiful and amazing person. He was fake, but the image he projected back to me was not. I learnt so much about myself in my time with him. It didn’t go to waste.

      So, perhaps there is a need to confide and find another lovely empath who you are able to do that with. Someone much like yourself. You know you’re out there 😉 Seriously, they are two branches of the same tree and if you are capable of giving and receiving one then I believe you are capable of giving and receiving the other, too. There is a barrier here that needs to be broken down. And I hope you are able to overcome it. We all need someone to confide in from time to time. I do think you need someone of the same calibre in terms of your empathy. But it certainly sounds like there’s some healing that needs to be done <3

      1. Truthseeker6157 says:

        LET,

        I think you cut straight to the nuts and bolts of it there ha ha. There may well be an element of not allowing the vulnerability that comes with opening up. I admit I am very selective when it comes to trust. I don’t trust automatically at all. I ‘read‘ and decide if someone is trustworthy. If not, I’ll disregard. I’m not proud of that but similarly it also serves me well.

        If I do sense someone is trustworthy then ironically I still don’t give much away at the start. That’s when I learn all about them and I’m very content in the listening role. I do think I see my role as the confidante to others and I suppose that doesn’t leave as much room for me to confide even if I wanted to.

        I think you might be right as regards the narc. Distance did play a part I think. Online, late, sleep deprived, plus just the general situation I was in when he came onto the scene. All was conducive to me needing to and having the opportunity to confide for once. His mirroring facilitated that further. His responses and advice demonstrated an understanding of me and my thought processes so the advice was good. He understood steps I wouldn’t take and advised within the boundaries of those I would. So in this respect it all worked. Had he been in front of me from the very start, a physical presence, would I have confided? No. Probably not, certainly not as soon. It’s questionable whether he would even have got past my initial read of him, but I can’t know that for sure. Distance played a huge part and in every respect.

        Is there a barrier from my side? I haven’t really looked at that to be honest. I have moved around a lot since university. Constantly moving. Different counties, different countries, different states. Not entirely conducive to forming long term relationships where you would be more inclined to confide. Lots of change, lots of new people, both of which I really enjoy, but I can also see the downsides of that.

        There is a definite ‘linking in’ that I search for. I can feel it when information is incoming. A transfer of feelings from them to me. I don’t feel it when information is outgoing. My feelings just seem to just bounce back at me, no connection, no point. The narc didn’t cause that, he seemed to fix that. His mirroring was dishonourable and the thinking behind it self serving. I did also get a benefit from it at a time when I really needed it but at a very high cost. Too high.

        There’s a lot of truth in what you said LET. Thank you for thinking about it for me x

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Hey TS, I think we are both ‘readers’ of others and I won’t automatically trust either. It has to be earned, but my own experience has taught me it’s much easier to fall into the trap of trusting in the online environment. And I’m speaking specifically of the targeting the narcissist does of his/her victims. Being one step removed from reality it’s easier for them to con and for us to be conned. Once trust is developed, the floodgates are opened. And it feels good to be able to share on a level you don’t normally share with anyone else.

          That he happened upon you in a vulnerable moment and utilized it is the hallmark of a narcissist (as I’ve come to understand). When you are at your lowest, neediest, most vulnerable, they will take advantage of that. No wonder you opened up to him and let him in. Which is what confiding is – letting someone into your world, your heart, your thoughts and feelings. Very few people deserve that level of insight, due to the fact it does make you so vulnerable and potentially can be used against you.

          Each and every one of us here has let the ‘wrong’ person into our lives, or someone else did it for us (parent). But the ability of the narcissist to convince us to let them in and our own vulnerabilities are what keep this disastrous dance going, even from one generation to the next. Learning about it and the ability to discern between narcissist and empath can put an end to that dance. And that’s why we are here. To make sure the narcissist’s are not on our dance card when the music strikes up again. Your narc may have conned you into a dance, but, like mine, he left you on the dance floor without a partner. Speaking for myself, I am mortified about that. We both need to find someone who deserves the next dance.

          I have also moved around and the cutting of ties at a certain level is inevitable. People’s circumstances change, our lives move in different directions, and with time a lot of that is not conducive to maintaining close relationships. It’s sometimes the case even after months or years you can pick up where you left of with some people, but you need to have had the time to form that bond in the first place. Sounds like you’ve spent more time being there for others when the opportunity presented itself.

          And I’m glad you shared your thoughts, TS, as it always helps others to consider their own and dig a little bit deeper into themselves. One of the reasons I always find your posts so beneficial. If the concern is about confiding, I can say that what you share here is wholly beneficial to others and only for the good. I think you need to see the worth in letting others in as a way of not only benefiting yourself, but them as well <3

          1. Truthseeker6157 says:

            LET,

            You always get me. I read this this morning and thought about it during today. They did leave us on the dance floor without a partner didn’t they? He did help, but he did it for him and not for me. I thought about what it is exactly about the confiding part that I miss so much. If I had a girl friend who played the same role for me now, then left, would I miss her the same? The answer was no. I miss him because when I did confide, when he did support, I thought he cared about me. It’s the mixture of both things I miss.

            He didn’t care though, so I’m missing something that was never there to begin with. Ultimately, whilst I went No Contact in May, I had considered leaving various times before for various reasons but overall, I knew. I knew there was something missing. It would never be what I wanted it to be.

            I do confide more on here than I ever have. Possibly, in part, the same reason as last time. Distance. I confide my thoughts, I just don’t confide the events that lead me to those thoughts, at least not all. The thoughts themselves are unfiltered. I do this because people here understand me and don’t judge, so there is no vulnerability. I think you were right on that. Even when I come off wrong, people here understand what I’m trying to say. That’s quite something. There’s an acceptance here. Even HG, the Ultra, doesn’t judge. It’s a safe place.

            I also thought, some readers will always read and never comment. There will be another on this site just like me who was sucked in just like me and for the similar reasons. There will be another just like you too. They may never show themselves, but they’re here. If reading our comments, watching our confusion and witnessing other empaths grab us by the scruff of the neck and start to haul us back up to the surface, helps that silent reader find her way, then, we win.

            I was really touched by your comment about my sharing thoughts. It made me smile and made me want to be better. To stick to the plan. Keep reading the material, maybe even add to HG’s considerable knowledge through our various comments. You are right in what you say. I think healing others is how we heal ourselves. It’s part of us, we need it as much as the narc needs his fuel.

            We let the wrong one in, we all did, some of us didn’t even get to choose. We just make damn sure we don’t let another narc in again going forward. I’m not being left on the dance floor again and neither are you. Besides, my dress is too nice and I bought those really fab shoes to go with.

            Thank you LET x

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Dear TS, first let me send hugs your way ooo and some empath love as well xxx

            Your thoughts are precious and I always appreciate them. Your wonderful sense of humour always brings a smile to my face 🙂

            My narc was supportive as well, and confiding in a girlfriend would not be the same as confiding in him. The word ‘safe’ I almost added into my previous comment and I definitely linked into to that sense of safety. He and I existed in our own little bubble for all intents and purposes making it secure for the sharing. I miss that, too. It was like he was just there for me and I was just there for him. We were there for eachother. The underbelly of that was he created a situation in which I became isolated (which I inadvertently agreed to and allowed to happen) and which ensured I was staying put for the duration. I thought he wanted me as much as I wanted him, believed in the genuine nature of the relationship, and so didn’t question many aspects of it.

            Looks like we both went no contact around the same time. And came to the same conclusion. I had also considered making tracks (leaving) on a number of occasions and curse myself at times for not doing so sooner. I let him play me like a violin and instead of gathering up my dignity – which I did attempt to do at times – I just ended up falling for his manipulations again. There was a need in me which I now realize goes to my co-dependency. He would say ‘you complete me’ and I would say ‘you had me at hello’! LOL. That movie really got to me. I was Renee Zellweger and he was my Tom Cruise in a manner of speaking. Just come to the realization, jerk, and I’m all yours 😛 Little did I know I was the one who had to come to a realization.

            And the element of non-judgement and acceptance does create a safe place and is healing in itself. It’s what allows us to be ourselves and in light of that we can become more ourselves. We can let down those barriers we often apply on a daily basis because here we don’t have to put on a show. Our misery and our failings as well as our strengths and the progress we are making can be put on full display and others can only benefit from hearing our stories, the way we benefit from hearing theirs.

            And I agree, the silent readers must surely benefit from that as well <3

            We are going to hit the dancefloor again, TS, and trust there will be someone to whirl us around in our fab dresses and fancy shoes. Only this time they will leave us breathless in the right way and not on the dance floor 😉

            I'm glad I could help. It's the least I could do when I see how many others you have been able to help here x

          3. Truthseeker6157 says:

            LET,

            My heart went out to you when you talked about the bubble you both shared. I think the narcs used very similar approaches with us having two very similar personalities. I have to take my hat off to them for their people reading there. Credit where credit is due. It’s a shame they don’t use that ability in a less self serving way.

            Sending empath love right back at you! If push comes to shove we can always dance with each other. I was a late bloomer ha ha. Many a school disco I danced with my girlfriends. Only later I developed my love of podiums!! Nothing wrong with a bit of Old Skool 😉

      2. NarcAngel says:

        LET

        ” I do see an element of healing in this as well. I won’t let the narc take everything away from me, and after showing me who I was through his mirroring, I accept to see myself as that beautiful and amazing person. He was fake, but the image he projected back to me was not. I learnt so much about myself in my time with him. It didn’t go to waste.”

        Such a great thing to note. We ARE still that person they saw and always have been. So much so that the narc wanted it for themselves. We were The One. Their salvation. That they are eventually (an inevitably) unable to sustain the appreciation of those traits and qualities due to their own inadequacies does not mean that we no longer possess them. It is their weakness and the narcissism cannot accept weakness so it tries to make us believe WE have changed. We have not. We are still all of those wonderful things.

        Devaluation of us is really acknowledgement of THEIR failure. Not ours.

        We must always remember that.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          What a wonderful response, NA. I truly appreciate you adding that further insight.

          And it is definitely something to remember.

  4. Jacob says:

    It is an incomplete form of empathy as you explain, sometimes referred to as counterempathy (De Waal) or level 2. Hence there is no paradox. Anyway paradoxes typically stem out from incomplete understanding.

  5. Pamela says:

    You need to laugh more. We should go out in a blaze of glory not petty childishness.

    You think too small. But that’s the life of the narcissist who’s only focused on himself….tho.

    Sometimes you just have to see it burn.

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