The Dance – Sociopath and Empath

I am an empath, which to me means I have talents others don’t have and I also have weaknesses. I honestly can’t decide whether or not it’s good or bad to be an empath. It certainly makes me unique! I have experienced things like telepathy, mind reading, psychic visions, etc. without much effort. I can feel people’s emotions and I can relate to them and help them through it. These are all great things and I am grateful that I have these abilities. However, being an empath is also a burden. The world around us is NOT quiet as we are always picking up on something. Even if it is not a conscious thing, there is emotional chatter and energy all around that we FEEL. The worst of the burdens that comes with being an empath is how our emotional energies and abilities make us prime targets for the ruthless sociopath.

empath eyes

People who haven’t been exposed to what a sociopath is may have a wrong impression about how to spot them. In fact, I would say that it is ONLY the empath that SEEs them. Others just don’t SEE it, and that is because sociopaths are MASTERS of manipulation, lies, deceit and they know how to maintain ABSOLUTE control. Sociopaths do not look like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” Sociopaths are usually physically attractive men or women who put on a good show of being kind, caring, popular, fun to be around and sometimes charismatic. They don’t have feelings, but they KNOW how to pretend that they do. By watching others, they pick up the gestures, the expressions, etc. to make others believe that they can FEEL. This is how they fly under the radar and this is how they get away with really REALLY bad behavior. To the rest of society they appear to be quite great people to be around.

Having encountered a few sociopaths in my life, I can easily describe what “the dance” is like. Fist comes RECOGNITION. An empath recognizes the sociopath on some level. For me, this recognition has manifested in a variety of ways. Upon first meeting, I have had psychic visions of things ending badly, I have also experienced an internal voice telling the person to “stay away.” Since I work with energy healing, etc. I’ve also felt fear when I connect to their energy, especially through their eyes. There is no emotion in their eyes! But, before these types of radar signals happen is REALLY when the recognition happens. The reason empaths know a sociopath is because they have NO emotional energy or chatter around them. It’s QUIET. This stillness is what raises the alarm bells.

emotionless eyes

The second part of the dance is the PUSH/PULL. The empath instinctively tries to avoid the sociopath, yet on some level they are also drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Every time I’ve met a sociopath there has been some weird behavior on my part where I find myself trying to stay away from them without having a solid reason why. At the same time, however, I usually feel some form of longing to be with them that doesn’t make any sense to me. This causes a lot of internal turmoil and confusion. Why would I avoid and want to be with a person at the same time? The reason is this. An empath wants to be with a sociopath because it’s QUIET around them. It feels like a VACATION from the chatter. So peaceful, so amazing is the feeling of stillness, they are so just drawn to it. The feeling is different and they want to know WHY it’s different – it feels special in some way.

moth to a flame

The reason this becomes a dance is that the sociopath is also attracted to the empath. Since sociopaths don’t have emotions they don’t feel whole within themselves. There is a gaping hole inside and they want to have the emotions that others have to fill it. They want to feel love. They want to feel sadness and happiness too. So, when the sociopath spots the empath, they usually find themselves attracted. I think this is because they instinctively know they NEED whatever the empath has. They start their manipulation by luring the empath in. They use body language, mannerisms, subtle gestures, eye contact, etc. to lure the empath in. And, empaths are unfortunately suckers for this because of their attraction to the QUIET, SPECIAL feeling.

After the sociopath feels they have adequately yet subtly hooked in the empath is when the ATTACK happens. Sociopaths are often waiting for the perfect moment for this. Some are more patient than others, but when a sociopath sees their opportunity they take it without thoughts for the consequences. They are quite impulsive people. A lot of them use even stronger levels of seduction to draw the empath in even more, make them feel like they love them. I think they do this because this is their way IN, their way in to feeling some of the emotions themselves by stirring them up strongly in the empath.

ready to pounce

A lot of empaths who enter into relationships with a sociopath find themselves completely exhausted because the sociopath instinctively feeds off their emotional energies, subconsciously (although in some cases consciously) trying to fill the hole within themselves. It is often said that sociopaths are very closely related to emotional vampires or energy vampires. Since empaths are full of positive life force energy, this contributes to why they are extremely attractive to the energy vampire or sociopath. Energy vampires get a huge boost in energy from an empath, like no other person they can siphon energy or emotions from.

energy vampire (Movie: Lifeforce)

The next phase is usually GASLIGHTING which involves the sociopath discarding the empath once they’ve gotten what they wanted. Gaslighting is one of the worst experiences you can live through because it’s so confusing and makes you question your sanity and self worth. This phase usually involves some extremely staged behavior on the part of the sociopath to manipulate the empath, the situation and everyone around. And the empath is usually too innocent to know what’s going on immediately and falls for it all too. The empath feels rejected, humiliated and confused. Didn’t that person like me before? And, what did I do to deserve this? This is the phase that is so completely ENTERTAINING for the sociopath. They LOVE to watch their empath target squirm. They LOVE to watch as they manipulate everyone around them into believing it’s all the fault of the empath. They LOVE the feeling of absolute CONTROL they have over all the unsuspecting souls around them. It’s always quite masterfully pulled off like Machiavelli himself.


Next phase is the BIG REALIZATION after the empath looks back at everything and puts the puzzle pieces together they always realize how ruthlessly they were manipulated. Often, they try to tell others about what happened, but no one believes them because they have been fooled by the sociopath’s behavior. This contributes to the empath losing their sense of sanity. Now it’s not just the sociopath that is against them, it’s EVERYONE. Something has to give at this point and it is ALWAYS the empath who has to pay the ultimate price. They have to quit their job, leave their gym, cut back on interactions with the sociopath for their own levels of sanity.


This leads us to the end of the dance where the SOCIOPATH WINS. The sociopath always wins. AWLAYS. There is no way to defeat them, so strong is there desire for control, their impulsivity, their lack of fear exhibited in hurting and deceiving others. They will do anything to win. The empath is not like that at all, so it will always ALWAYS happen this way. And, the sooner you accept this, the sooner your mental anguish will fade. You just have to let it go.

So, what is an empath to do really?

The only thing we empaths can do is recognize the signs of a sociopath, follow our guts, STAY AWAY. We need to get VERY good at this and NEVER let our defenses down no matter what anyone says. We also need to understand how we are drawn to a sociopath and WHY. And why they are drawn to us. Don’t be fooled, don’t be drawn into the quiet and stillness or their seductive behaviors. This is not a love affair that needs to happen, it is a FATAL ATTRACTION that will always end in your demise.

36 thoughts on “The Dance – Sociopath and Empath

  1. Wonderful post, filled with sublime insight and telling truths, the truly great thing is that no evolving empath falls into a sociopaths trap again, especially once graduating through the entirely sick, yet utterly predicable and torturous experience. The first one rocks us to our core, the second one may hurt us so deeply that we feel we’ll never recover and so the pain goes on whilst diminishes all the while until we’re able to stand firm within our own personal power. Seeing those self serving monsters for what they really are and from a hundred yards too. Indeed a turning point in our own evolution where we choose never to allow such sick aliens into our life again, or those who refuse to heed our advice about the same, for forewarned is forearmed and I wrote an article about that some time ago, the result of the very last sick sociopath who will ever impose their sick agenda upon my overall well being. That said very big thank you for sharing your insight and a high five for learning your life lesson so well, albeit the hard way, sincere regard Barry

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  3. No. The sociopath doesn’t win. The sociopath is empty inside and always will be. I don’t call that winning. While an empath can learn to build healthy walls to the world around them, and still keep the positive traits of empathy ; ).
    The empath may be hurt by a sociopath but ultimately ends up realizing how empty inside they are, then moves on and continues living and loving. There you go but that’s life and getting hurt and deceived happens to everyone, empaths not excluded.

    • Agreed…the most recent sociopath to infiltrate my life is gone, and I truly believe I’m stronger and more aware. However, this experience, has led me to isolate myself. I’m sure that will wear off when I head the calling to break out and serve with love again. :)

    • Wow this article really hits home with me! It all went down for me like this and I’d never heard of anything like this prior to this devestating experience of being gaslighted and losing many a supporter because they went along with the sociopaths . That part of the people who turn a blind eye and turn their back on you when they had liked you before was another so painful. It was almost more painfulthan the sociopaths demeaning treatment. Even though Im doing really well now this helps me to understand it wasnt about me at all. Sociopaths I think flock together and have other weak willed kinda crummy cronies to back them up and eitherparticipate in their sport or intentionally look the other way. Sort of a built in divide and conquer winning strategy and leave your concience at the door mentality . All I can say is take the experience as a learning teaching moment to allways surround yourself with high quality people with good morals and a loving heart. Don’t hang around defective people and think your love and kindness will rub off on them. It wont but their evil ways may rub off on you or try to destroy you.

    • True I dont think they win where it really matters. They may have some loyal side kicks but their own actual life is usually a wreckage or they dont have much of one. Ive also read that as they get middleaged or older their schemes usually dont work as well and they tend to be found out more and more. Eventually all the failed relationships and dysfunction pile up and show a life not lived well. But theyve got no one to blame but themselves and they know it or at least they should.

  4. I grow weary of all these sites suggesting we coddle and skirt around the sociopaths, narcissists, ad nauseam. I say expose them for what they are, show them no mercy, break them down and destroy them.

    • There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself and coming back at them swinging. Letting a few trusted people know what was done to you and warning them is good too. I definatly dont advise coddling them or keeping their nature a secret. Trust me they aren’t keeping your secrets to themselves. I would just say eventually a person needs to let it go and not let the betrays and backstabbing rule your existence and free yourself to be happy again with people who are good people and who truely love you.for you. Let karma do the rest. But I agree one does not have to be a passive victim and sometimes it helps to give them a taste of their own medicine and those who participate with them knowing its wrong and not caring enough to stop it. I agree with you and I was not able to take it completly lying down and I fought back .

  5. I am having no contact with my last spath. I do miss the quiet though. I can only sleep when he is here. I have another spath that is older, says he means me no harm, says he is a “protector.” I can only sleep around him to, but the silence with him is scary. The 1st doesnt know, or is not convinced he is an spath, the 2nd knows and is diagnosed.

  6. This article is spot on. The six stages of the dance sum up perfectly what I went through with ‘my’ sociopath. In the end I had to leave my home town and relocate elsewhere for 7 years.

    But now I return home & my sociopath is up to his old tricks again. It’s like when we first met! I have changed tactics and I am feeding him false information in order to keep him at bay but I need to know how to DEFEAT him!

    • Boundaries Cathy “Safe People” by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend. They have other books too, one on how to say “no” etc. The main thing is honor yourself, don’t do things you don’t want to or feel comfortable with, say no and mean it, don’t allow fear or intimidation to rule you, see the manipulation for what it is and say things like, “I don’t like what you are trying to do” he/she will say, “what are you talking about?” or argue with you, just say, ” I’m not going to argue with you and be done with the discussion. Don’t feed him/her by getting upset or expending energy in a unnecessary disagreement.

      • That sounds like excellent advise. In trying to be too kind youre not being kind to youself by allowing someone to treat you poorly and doing nothing about it. Or being too fearful of asking for what you need and want and riskingthe truth about sosomeone’s real intentions will only harm you in the long run. In other words you cant need people too badly and must be strong

  7. Interesting, but I disagree, I think an empath would have a more chance of winning if they used their brain, they have those too, you know. Empaths can read the lack of emotions I think the way people build love is by emotions. I don’t understand how an empath could be deceived by someone who they feel are putting on an act. I think sociopath loose because the empath knows what they are.

    • hello, my name is Lacey! I hope I can kind of answer the question on how can an empath be fooled if they really feel other people’emotion yet cannot detect or discern the narcissist psychopath sociopath name your poison personality basically I believe its never ever quiet everywhere we go we’re bombarded with all of this information and now you meet someone that has no emotions so when you’re around them as long as they’re not fighting evil at that very second because there are no emotions there sadly because there is no emotions it’s quiet and therefore we take that as some kind of Strange inept quizzical huh n pull and we don’t understand why were wanting to hang out with that person but I know her answer is correct I’ve been with him 20 years and I’m telling you seems it is just so so true but the evil times are hell on earth but remember you don’t feel the stocking or evil or plotting against you or disloyalty backstabbing and deception until that stage which is after the bondingbecause it’s when you fall in love with what you don’t know is not a peaceful person its just nothing and nothing To an empath can be like heaven at least for me anyways. ..I’m almost totally become agoraphobic

  8. What about the other sociopaths? The ones who aren’t quite so evil. Sociopaths aren’t vampires and they aren’t spiritual and supernatural the way empaths claim to be. They aren’t impulsive either, every move made by a sociopath has been thought over and over. The same conversations have been rehearsed internally differing slightly each time. By the time of the actual conversation or action, what seems like extreme impassivity is actually a practiced adaptability made to appear random with a dash of clever acting. I ask about the sociopath that uses their powers for good, if inadvertently. The sociopath you speak of is lower level, lower planning and small scale. The type you’re most likely to see. I’m also not saying “good” sociopaths are necessarily smarter either. I’m saying, NO ONE IS LOOKING FOR THEM. Try the decorated military general who has celebrated years of service and made harsh decisions in the line of duty with not so much as a batted eye. He’d say it was his duty, that he was always a righteous man. In truth he may have joined the military on a whim as a young regular sociopath but adapted to the rigid rules and climbed socially. That’s what we do, adapt and climb. We know right and wrong too, we understand them as social constructs. Meaningless and ever wavering as they are, they hold power so long as they prevail in the social consciousness. Only a stupid sociopath would think the ruled don’t apply to him. An intelligent one, which I don’t claim to be necessarily, has a firm grasp on the rules both written and unwritten. As the adage goes learn the rules before you break them. Even that doesn’t quite fit though, bend more so. A sociopath is not evil, they are opportunistic and contrary to popular belief we do not serve to look out only for our self all the time. At least not as straight forwardly as you put it. We look out only for OUR GOAL. It’s the availability bias that leads to the misconception, most people can spot a selfish person, a narcissist. Sometimes that’s not quite that cut and dry. For instance, my goal is to do nothing. To do whatever possible to live a life where I worry the least and work the least and enjoy my life the most. Unfortunately enjoyment is extremely fleeting for me. I get bored quickly of everything. So my goal is to leave, get as far from my family as possible. Long distance relationships with everyone, friends too. Now you’re saying “worry, friends, enjoyment” this isn’t right. Sociopaths do feel emotions. When we want to. We are human, we can just distance ourselves from emotions when they get too bothersome. By worry I guess I mean scheme, it’s hard and time consuming. I do it all day, I’d rather not but I need to to keep my life comfortable. Friends keep my life comfortable, provide me with new experiences, information, connections, knowledge and even support. My schemes fail sometimes, I’m not infallible and I need people who will give me new options when that happens, people to do work on my behalf as well. As for enjoyment, this is what makes people think we are so simple and rash, and admittedly why we can be; we can only truly enjoy things in the moment. It’s why we often discard people soon after use. That’s short sighted though. People are interesting things, multifaceted, multi-dimensional. If they are tools, then each is a unique Swiss army knife of utility. As for being a good sociopath, I think I am one, not because I care for people, but simply because I don’t ever believe that a person could be utterly useless. It’s the difference between planting your crops on the same land year after year until the land goes dry of nutrients and letting it fallow for a season so you may harvest and feast again. Now that I think of it, I do sound like a vampire. Well there are plenty off good vampires too right? At least on TV.

    • Hidden, that was very well put! I consider myself an Empath but always want to understand the sociopath as I don’t see them necessarily as my enemy or advisory. More like a teacher. Its as if Empaths and Sociopaths are two opposite sides of a whole trying to some how balance individually so we can come together collectively… Thank you for sharing!

  9. This article is spot on. I met someone whom I had amazing chemistry with and he was the most charming sociopath. He hurt me so badly, it took me more than 2 years to recover and get myself back together. I was emotionally drained and had to quit my job and take time off. However, if one survives this experience they will feel like a new person and be better and more balanced. I am a survivor. I feel joy every day…

  10. The sociopath does have empty eyes and lacks emotion. They are opportunistic and evil. Anyone that sets out to hurt another person is evil and by using others to hurt others is evil. The sociopath doesn’t win. They’re weak and lack any ability to love or live. They’ve lost then and there. Manipulates and forms fake relationships to get what they want and to coerce others to hurt and harass others. This is not an existence. I’m glad to be an empath that has true and valid relationships that are loving and have meaning. I care for people. A sociopath will never experience this – what a shallow existence.

    • You can sometimes catch their reptilian stare. But alot of times something eventually reveals itself that shows their self serving cruelty even though they will try to present themselves as very kind and giving. It takes me awhile to see it although to be honest I usually have a feeling in my gut. We tend to want to override that gut feeling when it wars with a charismatic or engaging charming persona thats reaching out to be your friend. When I was seperated from my husband I attracted these types like crazy male and female. I think thats the case whenever a person is lost and searching. A strong sense of self and I might add a loving watchful spouse is a great defense mechanism. I cant see myself now as being much use to a sociopath now. Thank God!

    • Boy you said it well! People who do this or support and participate in this are sick and twisted. Of course they’re not happy. Happy well adjusted peoole dont act like this. It would be a foreign concept to say the least. These are people who are damaged and defective. They deflect by damaging the reputation and charecter of those they have targeted and harmed. But eventually it all catches up with them. When their looks and vitality starts to fade they are left with nothing. No love, no self respect, no respect from others, no more people to use and demean. Its all over and nothing to be proud of or to have and to hold. On the other hand those of us who can love have real substancial relationships and famlies to love us back and be there for us. We dont have to rely on manipulation and winning because we have allready won.

  11. I resonate most with being a NPD but I find that narcissists are similar to sociopaths in a lot of ways. However I would say that I to can read thoughts of others, much like the empaths. Ive had many experiences that reflect the ones you listed above. Also, I am most attracted to those who label themselves as “healers” or empaths. My experience suggests that empaths and NPDs are equally manipulative in concerns to each other. The tactics may look different but they, at their root, are the same. The empath is just less likely to admit it because they are more afraid of how others perceive them.

    • This is so spot on. I’m an Empath and I’m a master manipulator. Learned it from the sociopath actually. I just use my manipulation for good. To make someone realize they love/care about me, or to heal them and lead them in the direction that I know is right.

      I don’t just admit it anonymously either, I will let it be known. I’m an Empath after all, which means I’m trained and alright with how people perceive me now. It took a while to get to that stage but I finally got there. The people close to me just see it as an innate ability that is very useful but do not like it being used against them. I always work with them if they feel I might be manipulative.

  12. I think I am at the end of one of these relationships. I feel so comfortable in this persons presence all the time, but have an uncomfortable feeling just before seeing or talking to him. The thing I don’t understand is the sensitivity with crying that he displays. Is this all a lie and can sociopaths fake that? He only does this when he drinks. I was very centered before I met him and now am all jittery and anxious. I am now in the process of breaking away from him. Will he let me go if I initiate it, or will he make my life more miserable before he does?

    • Sociopaths train themselves to mimic emotions, so yes they can fake crying if they’re good enough, but most of them aren’t. In fact, a lot of them suck at faking things which is why they target weaker people.

      It’s hard to answer your question. That all depends on your ability to break away from him. It honestly sounds like you can not if you plan on keeping him around despite feeling so awful.

      To me it’s this. If you don’t feel right, GET OUT. My advice on how to do this with a sociopath is just END IT. I don’t know what your case is but a good example would be to not argue things out and do what you know is right with something like “Listen, you don’t make me feel good and it’s just that simple. It’s over and I don’t want to ever see you again”. They might get mad, flip out and if they’re not the type of bloodlusting sociopath they’ll probably stay away from you. This person tries to get to you, DO NOT LET THEM NEAR YOU NO MATTER WHAT. If you’re positive this person lacks a conscience and is a sociopath, call the police. If you know this sociopath well enough to know they’d never risk any shit like that (because deep down, they’re really cowards), then by all means do it. That being said, I’m not sure I’d want to be near my sociopath at her highest anger over me. I am the only one that can effect her like that, and I don’t want to know the results so it will never get that far.

      If things were meant to be, they will happen and you will feel GOOD, not BAD. Feeling bad when they’re not around is, well, bad. If you can’t escape the feeling they leave you with (the i don’t give a fuck about you feeling we all know from sociopaths), then you need to break away for your own health. The reality is, they do give a fuck about you in their own way. Depending on where you feel the relationship is is how they feel about you on a hierarchical scale like; Girl #1, 2, 3 and so on. You know you’re close, you’re probably girl #1, 2 or possibly 3. I can live with it honestly, it does both me slightly but I know that since my sociopath might desire me wholly, I can play with her. Which is fun and creates an insanely romantic dynamic. (DISCLAIMER: not all sociopath relationships work like this).

  13. My mother, sister, and I are empaths. My mother us a very strong empath. She gets visions, strong feelings, those “voices” telling when to stay away or go on. My sister is also strong, but with a few rough edges. And then there’s me. I guess I’m the weakest of us, but it’s not that I can’t read people as well as my mother and sister. It’s that I always, ALWAYS try to “fix” the person I’m drawn to. Guess who I’m drawn to most often? Sociopaths. Guess who I’m in a relationship with right now? Yeah. I don’t know what to do about it. My mother says I need to get away, now. She says he feels empty, and that no matter what he’s telling me, he’ll always be empty. But I really… I don’t know. I don’t know what to do :( I know his “love” is false, I know he doesn’t really feel emotion, I know he’s manipulative, but my inability to read him, to tell his thoughts or feel his emotions is what keeps me attracted! I need another opinion.

  14. I think my mother is a sociopath. Everything I am reading and everything I have experienced points to this and why ‘it’s’ not stopping, and why I can’t escape. I am leaving my hometown and moving to another country and I’m frightened for the first time in my life because I am alone now, with no family, thanks to my mother. I pleaded with her to tell me what I’ve done to her and I think I’ve come to realize that it’s hopeless. I have never ever experienced such limitless darkness and I have felt crazy thinking and feeling like she wants to kill me. This is a reality that is so impoverished and destructive. I just need to know that it’s impossible to fully drain an empath, because this has shattered me. And I need to know that it’s actually not me that’s the sociopath. I am just now starting to realize what’s happened and I have been too innocent, thinking her heart just needed to know my pain for us to move on, instead of her just having no love to give. That, I can feel compassion for, but why hurt someone so deeply, over and over again?

  15. Wow this article really hits home with me! It all went down for me like this and I’d never heard of anything like this prior to this devestating experience of being gaslighted and losing many a supporter because they went along with the sociopaths . That part of the people who turn a blind eye and turn their back on you when they had liked you before was another so painful. It was almost more painfulthan the sociopaths demeaning treatment. Even though Im doing really well now this helps me to understand it wasnt about me at all. Sociopaths I think flock together and have other weak willed kinda crummy cronies to back them up and eitherparticipate in their sport or intentionally look the other way. Sort of a built in divide and conquer winning strategy and leave your concience at the door mentality . All I can say is take the experience as a learning teaching moment to allways surround yourself with high quality people with good morals and a loving heart. Don’t hang around defective people and think your love and kindness will rub off on them. It wont but their evil ways may rub off on you or try to destroy you.

  16. I am so relieved to have read this article. I think I just had this very situation happen to me. Absurdly dead on. I am an empath and for that very reason I have drawn exactly these types of people to me, especially almost always a man. I have just finally gotten over the emotional turmoil, anguish and self questioning… Three long months of absolute pain and hell. NOW I KNOW, thank you do much.

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