How do psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists identify empaths?
One of the GREATEST descriptions was given by Dr. Paul Babiak, an expert in Psychopathy. I have summarized here (with some of my own interpretation) the game plan they use.
Though most of us read about the three stage Idealize, Devalue and Discard, Dr. Babiak talks about the stages a bit differently:
One. The Assessment Stage. This is where the Predator is determining upon meeting you and trying to interact with you to see if you meet their requirements as prey. They are watching your body language, listening with intent to your responses, asking you many questions, paying attention to your eye contact. The predator is determining what use he can make of you. Good contacts? Sexual relationship? Financial gain, etc. It is like a lion grooming a gazelle.
They will then follow up quickly with gathering your contact information. Social media, phone numbers, etc. and will almost with lightening speed reach out to you with constant, constant, contact. Within minutes, hours or days you will be bombarded with idealization contact from the predator. Immediately having you believe that you have met someone very interested in you and finding value in you.
Two. The Manipulation Stage. This is where the Empath, believing in giving most people a chance, because people have inherently good intentions (NOT!) you are slowly, methodically, put under the trance of the PSYCHOPATHIC BOND. You will find yourself trusting way too soon, breaking your own deal-breakers and boundaries. They may idealize you in words and actions, making you feel SPECIAL. We all want to feel special, so we tend to overlook things that don't feel right or are over the top or moving too fast. We become like sleeping-beauties under a spell, giving the PSYCHOPATH/NARCISSIST way more information than we should. We begin to engage in a dangerous dance in which the Predator is using us, but we fail to see it clearly due to the subtle, well-thought out calculations. They will be very responsive and giving at first. It is a mind-control ploy to make you feel SAFE. Once they have you ensnared in their trap of all wonder, that is when they will play the TAKE-AWAY game and begin the emotional manipulation and abuse. You become their puppet-on-a-string trying to please someone who will never be pleased and never cared to begin with. You were chosen to serve their needs and be their punching bag.
If you stand up for yourself and confront, you will be the recipient of severe punishments such as silent treatments, subtle put-downs and slowly your self-worth will deteriorate. Remember, they seek Empaths because of the high-level of "understanding and rationalization". This should spell RUN, but many Empaths don't until it is clear that this has been a GAME and ILLUSION.
Three. The Discard. This phase is inevitable with all pathological Narcissists and Psychopaths. They either have extracted all they can from you, grow bored of how understanding you were and the GAME is no longer "FUN" for them and they move on. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
If you eventually catch on (and you will) if you muster the courage, you may exit first but not without losing a part of yourself and your innocence.