The Dark Empath: Traits & Telling Signs

Are you interested in the dark empath telling signs? Then this guide is for you!

Simply put, empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empaths can effectively feel the emotions of others whether they’ve experienced a similar situation or not.

It’s possible for anyone to increase their empathy for others with attention and practice. However, true empaths are considered to be sensitive, compassionate, and nurturing.

They can actually feel what others are feeling and experiences emotions very deeply.

The Dark Empath

Consequently, there’s a belief that some empaths may be more self-serving and are secretly narcissists. These people are referred to as dark empaths.

Whether or not true dark empaths exist is an area of contention among researchers.

If these self-serving nurturers are real, they could be some of the most dangerous of all the personality types out there.

It would be like using their innate abilities for evil rather than good.

An empath cannot control his or her ability to feel the emotions of others.

Some believe that a true empath values human connection and relationships, so is unlikely to damage others for his or her benefit.

That’s where the dichotomy lies. It’s almost like an oxymoron for someone to be both truly empathic and narcissistic simultaneously.

Rather, some think it’s more likely that someone who is considered to be a dark empath is a narcissist who has highly developed empathic traits that he or she works on to get his or her way.

Even though a dark empath is not a true empath according to some definitions, it’s a term that’s gaining popularity and simply refers to another type of narcissism.

According to recent research, it is possible for a person to exhibit both empathic and narcissistic traits, making them dark empaths.

Traits of the Dark Empath

What makes a dark empath different from a true empath and a narcissist? A dark empath exhibits dark traits, like narcissism, and empathic qualities.


Empaths can be either extraverted or introverted by nature. Dark empaths, however, are truly extroverted. They enjoy spending time with others and truly care about the human condition.

Dark empaths can connect with others emotionally, though they may seem cold and uncaring at times.

These individuals are very open and can readily express how they feel to others. They do well in social situations that require connecting with those around them.

Unlike typical narcissists, dark empaths don’t have a fake persona to present as they’re authentic in their contacts and relationships.

They’re less likely to exploit others to achieve their desires than typical narcissists.

Consequently, you’re still likely to notice a high level of grandiosity with dark empaths as they believe they’re worthy of praise and success.


As typical narcissists have a need for power and control, dark empaths have this same desire to a certain extent. They truly enjoy leadership positions.

However, they also like those around them to participate as well.

Dark empaths will work to bring out the best in those who are under them rather than trying to control everything like typical narcissists.

They encourage others to commit to the common good for overall success.

Although dark empaths don’t want to follow someone else, they also don’t want to lead all the time.


Under the majority of cases of narcissism lie vulnerable people. While you may not see this trait with typical narcissists, dark empaths are very easily hurt.

You might say they’re very sensitive to what others think of them.

Dark empaths are also likely to exhibit various levels of neuroticism, often experiencing a wide range of feelings.

They’re also prone to developing emotional conditions such as depression and anxiety.


Although dark empaths appear to have many desirable traits, they still have manipulative tactics that are often easy to spot. They are highly skilled at manipulation.

With dark empaths, you may or may not easily spot this manipulation. It can seem more like persuasion rather than direct control over others.

This, of course, can be problematic to those close to dark empaths. Whether or not these individuals choose to use their empathic abilities to reach their own goals is a choice dark empaths must make on a daily basis.

It’s important to note that dark empaths are highly likely to use what they know about others on an emotional level to their advantage.


While dark empaths generally have a great sense of humor, this, at times, can be malicious in nature. These individuals have no problem making jokes at the expense of others, especially if it will get them what they want.

Because dark empaths feel that they’re superior to others, much of this malicious humor comes in the form of making jokes about those who they feel are beneath them in some way.

The humor used by dark empaths is destructive and is often used as a way to make them feel better about themselves, lifting themselves up at the expense of harming someone else in the process.


Like other narcissists, dark empaths don’t like being told that they can’t do or have something. They can’t take rejection very well.

When they feel pushed aside, dark empaths can become more aggressive than empaths. They can act more selfish and hurt.

However, the aggression of dark empaths is more indirect than what you’d experience with typical narcissists.


Those who are dark empaths are very talented in certain areas. They have an innate drive that helps them to keep reaching for their goals even if it takes some time and effort.

Their abilities to connect on an emotional level with others allow dark empaths to arouse others to rally around a cause.

Their minds work quickly, allowing them to make split-second decisions in tough situations.


Like other dark personality types, dark empaths are excellent at making others feel guilty. Causing guilt trips is one of their main tactics to get what they want from others.

Since dark empaths are so good at reading and even feeling the emotions of others, they use this knowledge to make others feel bad if they don’t agree with them.

Additionally, they have no problem using their emotional prowess to get others to do their bidding. They can gradually woo a person to their side by using that person’s feelings against them.


With both positive and negative personality traits, dark empaths are still somewhat of a mystery.

They can be compassionate due to their empathic nature while still using this as just another tool to their advantage.

Whereas the typical narcissist must put on a show and must learn what the emotions of others can do for them, dark empaths have an advantage that they can wield at the drop of a hat.

Fortunately, dark empaths generally desire the greater good. They enjoy connecting with others for social and personal pleasure, but they risk using this understanding for their benefit.

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