Dark Empaths Exist: 7 Signs Someone You Love Is Using Their Powers For Evil

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Charming, persuasive, confident, daring, driving, determined, independent, spontaneous, enthusiastic, and emotional intelligence are intoxicating characteristics.

The more you have of these qualities, the more others tend to find you inspiring.

Recently, the term "dark empath" has been thrown around in the media. There seems to be confusion around what makes someone a dark empath, an empath, a sociopath, or a narcissist.

Often, men are unfairly judged as dark empaths whereas women are dismissed for being one.

RELATED: If You Have These 30 Traits, Consider Yourself An Empath

What is a dark empath?

These people have the ability to lead and succeed in many career fields. In fact, some CEOs, business leaders, and soldiers are dark empaths, and they use these skills to advance innovation or protect the country.

But, the main difference between an empath and a dark empath isn’t how successful they are at performing their job, but rather, how successful they are in maintaining healthy systems. Healthy teams in the workplace and being an equal partner at home are two examples of a healthy system. Another difference is their motivation in socially connecting with you.

The dark empath usually has an ulterior motive: selfishness. As a result, they tend to have more power struggles in relationships while empaths have fewer power struggles than the average person. To avoid this, dark empaths try to establish or maintain a position of power versus fostering equally yoked relationships.

Wondering if you have any dark empaths in your life whom you love? Here are 7 signs to watch out for.

1. They use their emotional intelligence to connect with you the first time you meet.

At first, they do this in front of others.

Over time, they do it one-on-one with you but only when they want something from you.

2. They are persuasive in a physical and emotional way.

For instance, they use cologne or perfume, clothes, physical distance, touch, and eye contact expertly to connect with you and persuade you to help when they need something.

But, otherwise, they are distant.

3. They are moody when you don't give them what they want.

They often get angry, withdrawn, or become rebellious if their attempt to get what they want from you fails. This is so noticeable that it’s odd.

For instance, you may feel like you’re in the middle of a sunny day that suddenly got dark. This emotional withdrawal is meant to get you to reach out and give more than you’d like in an attempt to repair the relationship.

In healthy relationships, this would be a healthy behavior and a sort of give-and-take. In unhealthy relationships, it creates more of a "they take and you give" dynamic that rarely seems to feel fair.

4. They tend to push boundaries, but not in a good way. 

They keep asking for what they want even after you have clearly said "no."

While charming at first and dismissed as persistent over time you begin to realize you feel unheard and disrespected. You also notice others do, too.

The difference between an empath and a dark empath is that an empath will apologize and correct the action as they want you to be comfortable, too.

RELATED: 11 Types Of Empaths — And How To Know Which One You Are

5. They tend to have many romantic or sexual relationships.

Either back to back or at the same time. Often, this is because faithfulness isn’t a core value for them.

Faithfulness demonstrates empathy as no one wants to be cheated on. A faithful partner generally will end a relationship before cheating on you as they want to be fair to you.

A dark empath understands that you will be upset but they stay in the relationship with you because they don’t want to let you go... yet.

The disconnect or confusion of a dark empath is they use their emotional intelligence to stake the odds of getting what they want in any relationship in their favor.

Healthy adults tend to want relationships to be fair. Empaths want relationships to be fair but don’t mind giving more first for longer periods of time as they assume others would do the same.

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6. They are attracted to other empaths.

This balances the overly give/overly take dynamic, which makes them feel comfortable.

Empaths tend to become more discerning over time so as not to get drained by dark empaths, but may still feel naturally drawn to them.

7. They tend to empathize with children or abuse victims who are treated badly.

At first, you think this is true empathy but, later, you realize they are really stuck in their own trauma. They feel bad for themselves and need empathy from you.

While everyone has past scars and even some trauma, a dark empath would have difficulty understanding another’s situation from their perspective versus their own past perspective.

Hopefully, you're able to recognize the dark traits of dark empaths in your life.

The purpose of knowing why isn’t to cut them out as they can certainly also have many great characteristics. The purpose is to help you maintain healthy boundaries for yourself when meeting an empath with dark personality traits. 

This lessens the chances you’ll be taken advantage of and, hopefully, role models healthier relationship dynamics to the dark empath.

Empathy is a skill. The more you use it and the more you experience it, the better the empath you become.

The Gottman Institute recognizes empathy as one of the four predictors of marital success. Therefore, it's wise to practice this skill with everyone. It may even get the attention of the love of your life!

RELATED: Why Empaths & Narcissists Are Attracted To Each Other (And The Toxic Relationship Between Them)

Laila A. Daniel, MA is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Board Certified Tele-Mental Health Counselor in Fayetteville, NC. Visit Rising Phoenix, PLLC if you’re interested in Counseling.