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 in 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 right. 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?


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

  1. Eternity says:

    I did all these things for so long , but not anymore. I am getting out and starting a new life.
    They are not worth it and we only live once.

  2. Lucija says:

    Been through all of these, multiple times during 13 years I was with the father of my children. Until a year ago, it didn’t even cross my mind he may be the problem, I blamed myself. Funny thing, how someone so intellectually inferior can make you doubt yourself in all sorts of ways and feel dependant on their approval. Never thought of myself as an empath before consultstion with HG, never thougt of these “doubts” as flaws…

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      It’s funny how they have you convinced you’re the problem Lucija. And it’s only when you get out of the fog of the relationship and the narcissistic dynamic you are able to see that a little more clearly. The doubts are flaws only because we have allowed the narcissist’s perspective to invade our own minds and thinking. I don’t think they are flaws in and of themselves. The narcissist uses these thoughts to keep us entangled.

      I’m glad you’re not doubting any more and by the sounds of things are moving on. That means you are headed in the right direction <3

  3. Fiddleress2 says:

    “5. What if someone else makes him happy?”
    Funny, this is a question I never asked myself. I really don’t give a sh*t about this, and never have. Never did, even before I learnt that it can’t happen because they don’t do happy.
    I’d be curious to know why that is, if it is a usual question to ask oneself as an empath. All ideas and/or personal experiences of this are welcome!

    1. Witch says:


      You probably don’t have a very strong envy/jealousy trait so it’s not something you think about.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Relevant observation.

      2. Fiddleress2 says:

        Hey Witch, you are right: my EDC showed I have next to 0 jealousy/envy.
        I actually wondered if it was because I was so big-headed that I thought “Ha! if they’re not happy with me then they’ll never be happy”, haha!

        1. Witch says:

          I don’t think about that either.
          I think it’s a mixture of low envy trait, and high vanity trait so exactly that, “if they’re not happy with me then they must have issues.”

          and I also think that I myself am not happy with them either so the feelings mutual and therefore we are both free to move on.

          Out of all the 7 I get more caught up in “is it my fault?”
          Then I have to verify with others to find out if I’m actually the crazy one or not.

          1. Fiddleress2 says:

            Haha, well, yes: just had a look at my Trait Detector and Vanity is the second biggest!
            I hear you on “is it my fault?”. And I usually find it must be. Until someone else tells me that I am actually crazy for thinking so – and then I think: “Pardon me? You mean I am not all powerful?? Pff…” haha!

      3. lickemtomorrow says:

        I never thought about that being a trait, and if it is one it’s not one I scored highly on in the EDC.

        If that’s the case, I think it was more about triangulations applied during my relationship.

        Which is probably why it didn’t impact me at the time of disengagement.

        Good to know, and good information to have, Witch.

    2. lickemtomorrow says:

      This one was a constant, even during our relationship. Because he always made me feel insecure. Although I have to say when things came to an end I would have said “you can have him!” I wasn’t the least bit concerned if anyone else could make him happy. It was good riddance from me, and still is. Now that I know what he is and can see the level of manipulation he applied. But while in the midst of the cognitive dissonance of the relationship I did wonder. And I desperately wanted to be ‘the one’. He had all of me and the thought that someone else could provide what I couldn’t was tortuous. Thankfully, that torture is over now and I know no one will every make him happy. Glad you asked the question, Fiddleress.

      1. Fiddleress2 says:

        LET, indeed I understand how being made to feel insecure destroys all your sense of self-worth and that is when you begin to doubt that what you have to offer is of any value. How horrible. I did feel this way too, but only in relation to myself, not a potential other. Had there been a someone else (and maybe there was, and maybe more than one!), if I had known about it, that would have put an end to the relationship immediately – that is the one thing that turns me off completely.
        But I understand, and I am really glad for you that as you say, that torture is over (torture is certainly the right word).

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Hey Fiddleress, you’re right. Feeling less than does destroy your sense of self worth. And that is the aim of triangulation. The triangulation does not always necessitate the actual involvement of another, though that will often be the case. Such things can be eluded to in order to create anxiety. Subtle moves can be made to shift those sands beneath your feet causing you to never feel secure.

          Consider the narcissist’s lack of accountability and sense of entitlement. He’s not going to tell you necessarily where he is going or where he has been. A reasonable person would likely log all these things with you and you’d have no need to question them. A narcissist isn’t accountable to you. And he is entitled. So he takes himself off without explanation, shows back up when he wants to and doesn’t consider your needs. He is creating an enormous amount of space for concerns to be raised with regard to his commitment to the relationship and also showing a lack of regard for that relationship. In that space can fit multiple options for triangulation and ways to generate insecurity and therefore jealousy.

          The best part is my narc would express feelings of jealousy to me which he would then use to further isolate me, but somehow my expression of the same feelings was like water off a duck’s back to him. You know, the “she is just a friend” whitewashing that is prevalent.

          The subtle, unproven possibilities will often keep us in place. And even the proven ones sometimes, too. I’ve only ever dealt with the unproven kind, but they are just as damaging.

          1. A Victor says:

            LET, thank you for this excellent description of exactly what this behavior looks like. Sometimes, for me, it is difficult to pinpoint what is “wrong” in the situation, I just know something doesn’t feel right. The narc I was involved with did exactly what you described, he was in the process of setting up the future to be exactly the future you describe, had our relationship continued. Seeing it like this makes it easier to let go of the relationship, showing just how sick it really was.

          2. Fiddleress2 says:

            I can totally relate to the “subtle, unproven possibilities” that are just as damaging. I had a knack for stopping myself from recognising what I felt in the instant (cognitive dissonance), so I guess I managed to blind myself to quite a few things.
            When you are out of that crazy dance, you really wonder how you could have put up with it all. Well, it is easy to say now I guess, with everything I have learnt since. As far as the last one is concerned anyway, I have even overcome the slight embarrassment I felt at having been conned by him. No he is just a never ending source of mirth!

          3. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi AV, you are welcome. I’m often just processing my own thoughts in relation to others thoughts and HGs articles, so I’m glad if that helped you. It helped me to get further to the bottom of things as well. It is a sick dynamic and extremely damaging for the individual caught on the other side of it. You are being made to feel insecure – no ifs, buts or maybes about it. It is intentional, even if the narcissist is unaware of why they are behaving this way. It is another way of asserting control for them and the less certain we are of ourselves, the more dissonant, then the greater the level of control the narcissist can apply. Once they put you in a spin, you lose your bearings and then you have to rely on them to hold you up. It’s extremely effective.

            And seeing it for what it is definitely makes it easier to let go, AV. You and me both x

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Ah, Fiddleress, the amount of times I’ve taken ‘the high road’ and blinded myself to the realities! Seriously, I couldn’t count them on more than two hands. There aren’t enough hands …

            You do wonder when you out on the other side of it how you didn’t see it, why you put up with it, and so on. It’s a source of never ending fascination on a good day, and a source of much wailing on gnashing of teeth on a bad one. It can go either way, but sounds like you’ve moved past the bad days which I’ve been very happy to hear <3 I look forward to the more mirthful days which haven't come my way yet, but I know they will. And hopefully I will be able to laugh at myself as well. That slight embarrassment at being conned, which still feels much more like a devastating humiliation at times to me, is something I greatly look forward to overcoming. And you have given me much hope again today that is still possible xox

          5. Fiddleress2 says:

            Lickemtomorrow, I am so pleased if I have given you hope.

            What you wrote made me realise that embarrassment was the last thing I felt in relation to that person, and that I had actually forgotten (!) how utterly ashamed I had felt before that, at having been conned by him. Now there is nothing left, I feel nothing. But I do enjoy laughing at his grandiosity in particular!

            It was more difficult to get over my daughter’s father – another narcissist – when I left him 12 years ago, without HG’s work then. The memory of that relationship does not make me laugh even now. But it is over, and I do not have to coparent with him any longer.

            I get the distinct feeling that you are doing better and better since arriving here, LET. I think you got here about two months after I did, and your fighting spirit comes across more and more strongly, and that is fantastic!

          6. lickemtomorrow says:

            You have given me hope, Fiddleress, and while I can’t yet laugh at my narc, I can see how pathetic he is in so many ways. Unfortunately for me as an empath that just makes me feel sorry for him. Going to have to dial down the compassion on that one. It’s a double edged sword. He hurt me, but I can still feel his pain. I don’t want anyone to hurt, even the narcissist. I have to remember his hurt occurred a long time ago and the defenses he’s built mean that he is only on a trajectory now to hurt others. His empathy is long gone, and he doesn’t need me to feel sorry for him.

            The humiliation is a product of two things.

            1/ Partly an element of what I have suffered from the time I was a child and that rug being pulled out from under me where there was a design to humiliate and subsequent pleasure on the part of the narcissist in doing that. It’s a childhood wound and the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to the narcissist.

            2/ I waited a very long time to get involved with someone again. To think I walked into exactly the same trap in some ways has been devastating to me. The fact that when I finally did open my heart again it was only for it to be crushed again. And I allowed that to happen, even unknowingly. But he rubbed it in in the end, and despite the stand I took, it still feels like he got the upper hand. My narcissistic trait of pride has not coped well with that at times. At the same time I comfort myself with the realization that he will never be a winner. In spite of what he might want me to think and feel.

            I hear you on your previous marriage, and I can’t even begin the list the ways my ex-husband designed to humiliate me over the years. His total lack of empathy shone through and I cut all ties about 7 years ago. Even though the need for co-parenting wasn’t quite done, I was. At that point the children were about 5 years removed from direct (in person) contact with him. He still had and does have more indirect contact.

            Let me tell you a little story about the narcissist’s sense of entitlement.

            I moved far from my ex-husband with my children to get them away from their father’s direct influence. One year after doing that there was a knock on my door a week or so prior to Christmas. When I opened the door, guess who was standing there?! Not a thought for the children who were attempting to make their way in a new situation, and not a thought for me in terms of just showing up with no notice and no plan in place. There had been no discussion, not even a hint of his intentions. And suddenly I had to scramble to work out how to put the children first in that situation. My middle daughter stuck to me like glue. She was very affected by his sudden appearance.

            At that time I was still in contact with my family and my sister cried when I told her. I think she thought it would be all over and I would end up taking him back. I assured here that wasn’t going to happen. It was traumatic for all concerned, but not for him. His thinking was he was entitled to see them and there wasn’t a thought of the impact on any of us. I couldn’t turn him away (he probably knew that) as I had to determine what would be more impactful on the children, so I worked to protect the children as much as possible in the situation. Of course, he was going to look the great dad to everyone else for his Herculean effort to see his children. I wonder did any of those people think how damaging his unexpected visit could have been? Probably not. They would have felt sorry for him and thought it was great for him to have contact with his children. The facade remained intact. And it would not have been possible to explain to the children this sense of entitlement. At the point in time, I had no idea of narcissism and the sense of entitlement that goes with it, but I knew he was entitled in his behaviour. How can you explain to children that their father’s thought wasn’t really of them, but his sense of entitlement to them?

            Anyway, that is a long response to your reply and there’s no doubt this latest entanglement has put me squarely on the road to becoming weaponized.

            I am definitely doing better, Fiddleress, and will continue to do so with the right information to hand, as well as the support that exists in the space as well. We connected here very early on and I remember that time with much appreciation. It’s obvious we are both moving from strength to strength and hopefully will keep doing so xox

    3. Eternity says:

      Hi Fiddleress, I also asked myself the same question and I can honestly say I don’t give a crap either. She will probably suffer the way I did and will probably see it one day. I will be more that willing to direct her to the blog ,but I dont want to get involved.l feel sorry for her, but it is his business in the end.

  4. NarcAngel says:

    Atta girl (although they do prefer to fuck themselves haha).

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      Haha, NA, so true and maybe I should send him a spare sock with some talcum powder for the anniversary date (of sorts) 😛

      1. Asp Emp says:

        NA & LET – I am glad you two have ‘kissed & made up’. It’s good to see. You both are strong-headed women! You both contribute to KTN in your own ways and so invaluable to everyone else. It was not necessarily pleasant to see your ‘cat-fight’ and I was actually (admittedly) upset to see how it was progressing. Both you silly moos (I’m being ‘me’, sniggering) – don’t change who you both are and it’s great to see you both moving on. And getting on. NA, I really admire you and I have not really been that upfront about it. You and I are very different. Yet, our ‘aims’ are the same. Respect to you both x

        1. NarcAngel says:

          No catfight to my mind – just a robust exchange of differing views. I am as appreciative of LET’s contributions here as I was before (what I would characterize as) the discussion. After it was established that LET found “differences can be quite a turn on” we agreed it was best to shut it down for anyone looking on. You’re welcome haha.

          P.S Stop reading me in mad font! My blood pressure seldom moves from perfect.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Get a room you lot!

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Hilarious! It’s entertainment at its best!

          3. Asp Emp says:

            “differences can be quite a turn on” – LOLOL.

            We are all perfect in our own ways and if need be, hang up the dirty laundry outside 😉

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hahahahaha, NA 😛

            I think that’s by far my favourite comment of yours so far!

            LOL to the ‘suggestive’ nature of my comment on differences … it’s amazing what can be pulled out of the hat here for the purposes of entertaining the onlookers 😉

            HG feel free to join us …

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          That is very sweet of you, AspEmp, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts around that x

          Strong women abound here and it’s wonderful to see. Sometimes that will end in the occasional ‘clash’, and I will only speak for myself here when I say that may happen as we seek to understand our own situations better and deal with our own emotional thinking.

          I’ve seen a great deal of magnanimity displayed here, which NA displayed admirably again in the circumstances, and I have to thank her for that. While we had our disagreement, and I’m sorry if it impacted negatively on others, it is possible to meet on the other side of that with greater understanding and greater strength. I’ve seen it before here and I’m sure I will again.

          It’s also important to see that issues can be resolved, even if a strong stand has been taken on both sides. I have to thank HG again for facilitating the exchange by allowing us to express ourselves in the circumstances.

          While “silly moos” is a label you could apply, and one I could just as easily apply to myself, AE, your respect is appreciated and returned. We often don’t see ourselves from the outside (obviously), so having another’s take on things is always be worthwhile xox

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Ah, bless you LET. HG has encouraged us (by moderating comments on this site) – to learn more about ourselves and each other. The uniqueness of this blog goes far beyond ‘narcissism’ and that in itself, is what also makes KTN site special. It does seem, for now, everyone is contently purring, quietly licking their claws clean (hope you’re smiling at this, Ladies). Good to see you back LET xx

    2. Asp Emp says:

      see my response to LET…..

  5. Jaana says:

    1. No it wasn’t my fault
    2. Yes I loved him enough
    3. No it wasn’t wrong to leave
    4. He already had a chance
    5. He’ll no
    6. You can’t help someone that doesn’t want the help
    7. Of course I didn’t deserve it, that’s why I left

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      <3 <3 <3

      Three big love hearts for that response, Jaana.

      I like how you did that 🙂

      And congratulations on your escape x

    2. A Victor says:

      Jaana, this is a good way to look at it, thank you.

  6. December Infinity says:

    There is no winning here. All I can say is from my own experience I didn’t deserve the horrific treatment I received from the narc. He said he had a bad life, which is a cowardly excuse for using and abusing someone. As for helping him, that is all I did. He took advantage of me in every way possible. There is no pleasing someone like that ever. The narcissist will never be happy. I like to think of the head of a narcissist to work like an Etch a Sketch – you never know what you will get at any moment. All you have you to do is turn the knobs on the Etch a Sketch to illustrate what nonsensical gobbledygook the narcissist is about to go on about since it makes zero sense anyway, then shake the Etch a Sketch to clear it (as many narcissists blank out when trying to express emotions LOL) and then once again, turn the knobs to create an image of narc nonsensical head garbage 8)

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I like your Etch a Sketch analogy.

  7. Asp Emp says:

    Ehem….. who’s sinning?

  8. lickemtomorrow says:

    Happy to say I am currently not suffering any of these elements of self doubt.

    Much as some things have crept up on me again lately, he can go fuck himself.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      “he can go fuck himself” – loving it LET. LOL. Way to go!

      It actually reminded me of something that I read years ago – and I find it absolutely hilarious…… when someone is being so fkg difficult – I’m laughing….. (god!)…. you should state “When the aliens visited you last night, they left their anal probe”….. ah, that’s definitely, DEFINITELY, an Empath’s Riposte Grenade…. HG, PLEASE, add this as number 11……. that has got to be the one and final Grenade if all the others don’t have an impact (ah bless, LOLOLOL)….

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Love it, AE! Mine actually believed in aliens, so that could definitely work on him 😉

        Thanks for the encouragement, too <3

        1. Asp Emp says:

          LOLOL. You’re not supposed to keep the narcissist excited or retain their “attention”! I am sure he can manage using a probe by himself 😉 (I’m laughing so much LOL).

          No worries, stay strong & keep moving forward xx

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Haha, AE, no I was thinking he would actually believe me if I tried that line on him 😉

          2. Asp Emp says:

            LOLOL. He’s not very ‘bright’ then 😉

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