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Emotional Manipulation: The Dark side of an Empath

Some people have a unique ability to manipulate the emotions of other people. To detect feelings within others and discover the reasons as to why they are feeling the way they do.

A woman is sitting alone at the bar. I notice she thinking about something or someone. I sense she is unhappy but I don’t know why. To others she is minding her own business. Perhaps I should do the same. However, I am curious and attracted to her. So take a seat next to her. We start with the small talk. I joke, she laughs, we drink. She reluctantly tells me about her boyfriend. She tells me how long they have been together. She tells me how she feels pressured by him. That he is always wanting her to do more in terms of her career. I tell her, “It would be nice if all had someone who loved and accepted us as we are.” She begins to cry. This doesn’t bother me. I apologize to her for crossing the line, for prying, but she is not upset with me. She later admits to me that she has never told anyone about her feelings regarding her boyfriend. She tells me that she feels a connection with me. She even thinks we may be soulmates. I agree with her, but I don’t feel the same way. Because to me, she just another woman who I have broken down.

The question of morality lies within our intention. On one hand, I helped this woman come to a profound realization regarding her interpersonal relationship. On the other, would I have done it if I wasn’t attracted to her? If I didn’t want her for myself?

This is a simple example. Empaths have the ability to cause significant mental and emotional distress to others and themselves. I don’t feel good about the things I have done. I don’t want to make excuses for my past behaviours. I do want to be understood. If you could do it, wouldn’t you? These things we call Empaths. People who have the ability to feel the emotions of others. People who know something isn’t what it appears to be on the surface. They have tremendous power of others. They can either hurt, help, or do noting. With this power comes responsibility. The moral implications of their actions is an honest awareness of their intent. Its easy to justify an abuse of power, but Kara never forgets. Any mistakes I have made, I have paid for. I have learned that my feelings are just as important as others. While we are not responsible for the emotional fulfillment of others, we are responsible for our own fulfillment, and it is never appropriate to manipulate the emotional needs of others to fulfill our own.

Empaths have a habit of playing the victim. We happily absorb the emotions we desire and project the ones we do not. We hate being projected upon but we fail to recognize our own projections. Responsibility demands we do both. We can protect our energy through detached non-judgment. We can listen, observe, and not absorb. That is the true nature of Empathy. Objective understanding of another emotional state. Sympathy is a subjective understanding of another’s emotional state. Subjectivity is personal. It has desires, needs, and ulterior motives. So be an Empath, not a Sympath.

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