I believe the Light attracts the Dark. No, it doesn't mean you are meant to help them.
The people you should help are yourself (save yourself from mean and negative people!), those you know and love, friends you like, or people you instincively feel the call to help - those who need your help temporarily maybe and who intend to do something with your help other than suck it up and spit it back out at you.
Don't waste your energy on people who will only waste you.
It may be your vulnerability and tenderness is attracting them, or your kind open eyes. But some bad types will take advantage of us wherever and whenever they can. I attracted them for years, too. It sucks.
Bare with me I went off on this one.
Well I am usually the 'go to person' and since I became more in tune strangers and colleagues ask me about stuff and find me more comfortable but that hasn't always happened to me being an empath. I think it can depend on the personality of the empath a lot. Someone who seems confident will attract someone who is very anxious because they will seek comfort, or will scare people who are anxious. While an empath that is anxious may repel people a lot easier. Actually when I am anxious I noticed that people stay away a lot more. An empath projecting kindness in abundance I think would attract those sort of users the most, a calm one that is not hostile as well. From what I have read online the abundance of abusers seems to be very high in the West compared to other places with different cultures.
Empaths can be very independent and charismatic from what I have understood, once they develop their abilities well, while the ones who aren't as good at processing a lot of emotion may seem erratic when under excessive stress. The lifestyle of an empath can lead them to become very tough mentally, since they are constantly receiving mental stress. Empaths are also recognized for their high, in cases even abnormally high tolerance and this may be due to the fact that certain empaths develop their abilities as a means for survival. People in abusive scenarios could not afford to be unaware of the emotions of their abusers because one wrong move could mean trouble, so they unconsciously use their emotional sensors to survive easier. This can also mean that someone in a less abusive, but perceivably 'bad' situation like being used for something trivial would not defend themselves and the user would become a 'regular customer' for free service at no fee. When you look into it it is sad because the emotionally abused person is abused because they were emotionally abused while the ignorant abuser may have no such awareness, or worse, may not even try to understand that far.
Empaths are just very trustworthy which is why they are an easier target. I have to find out how to be hostile at times to prevent someone trying to manipulate me, but it is so annoying. Good is repaid with bad and empaths have to be alert around their own damn species. What is worse is it is because they project a prosocial aura, and social structure is what helped people survive for many years. The biggest threat to humans are humans and it pisses me off, and I am sure it does others, to the point of aggression, but rather than entertain it I am caught in a loop trying to find a solution, and I realize anger is just stressful and unproductive when not used well. Why should kindness be restricted at all? I went off on a tangent there but I felt I had to express it. I got irritated.
I read one of your replies and it was along the lines of 'if I moved somewhere else there would still be abusive people' and I don't think that is the case. I don't know where you are, but here in the West with this subtly pro-psychotic influence/social frame I think you could find many of those kinds of personalities in unsuspecting places, though I have read online that someone was in a place and people were very respectful but when they took post secondary in the West they were just being used because of their generous nature.