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You may have heard people describe themselves as an “ empath ” to indicate they’re sensitive, intuitive people deeply aware of the emotions and energy of those around them. These self-proclaimed highly feeling souls are emotional sponges, immediately sensing peoples’ moods, making them natural helpers and healers. But, this excess of empathy is not always used for good. Recently, a new term has emerged in the world of pop psychology: the “dark empath.” The dark empath personality is one who can deeply comprehend another’s mental state, but who also possesses one or more antisocial personality traits that comprise the “ dark triad ”: Machiavellianism , psychopathy, and narcissism . Someone who reels you in with empathy and understanding, then schemes to serve their own purposes, to your detriment. What is a dark empath? According to researchers at Nottingham Trent University who surveyed participants using the Big 5 Model of personality traits , while true empaths experience affective empathy, dark empaths experience cognitive empathy —they can acutely perceive and understand someone’s point of view without actually feeling another’s emotions the way an empath would. Clinical psychologist and author Dr. Ramani Durvasula told Well + Good , “A dark empath may actually be more dangerous than a more cold and unfeeling dark triad type, because the so-called dark empath can draw you in closer—and do more harm as a result.” The dark empath, she continued, looks to “understand what makes (another person) tick with the goal of almost mining data” to […]