Empaths: What Does it Mean to Be an Empath?

empaths and empathyHas anyone ever told you that you are too sensitive or too emotional? Do you feel drained when you spend time around certain people? Can you tell when people aren’t telling you the whole truth? Do you feel anxious in crowds? When a friend of yours is feeling particularly happy or distressed do you find yourself feeling these same emotions? If your answers to these questions are yes, you might belong to a special group of people known as empaths.

What are Empaths?

Empaths are highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling. Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense. However, the term empath can also be used as a spiritual term, describing an individual with special, psychic abilities to sense the emotions and energies of others. This particular article will focus on the psychological aspects of being an empath.

There are many benefits of being an empath. On the bright side, empaths tend to be excellent friends. They are superb listeners. They consistently show up for friends in times of need. They are big-hearted and generous. Empaths also tend to be highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent.

However, some of the very qualities that make empaths such fantastic friends can be hard on the empaths themselves. Because empaths quite literally feel what their friends are going through, they can become overwhelmed by painful emotions, such as anxiety or anger. Empaths have a tendency to take on the problems of others as their own. It is often difficult for them to set boundaries for themselves and say no, even when too much is being asked of them.

Additionally, it is common for empaths to feel drained after spending time around people. Empaths are usually introverts, and they require a certain amount of alone time in order to recharge. A study from 2011 suggests there may be a link between highly empathic individuals and social anxiety. Crowds can feel particularly overwhelming to empaths, who are often highly sensitive to certain noises and incessant chatter. They often feel their best when they are surrounded by nature.

Am I An Empath?

Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, offers this short quiz to evaluate whether or not you are an empath:

Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
  • If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
  • Are my feelings easily hurt?
  • Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
  • Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
  • Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
  • Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?

According to Dr. Orloff, “If you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding ‘yes’ to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type.”

“Recognizing that you’re an empath is the first step in taking charge of your emotions instead of constantly drowning in them,” Dr. Orloff says. Once you begin to understand your empathic nature, you can learn to take better care of yourself emotionally.

How to Manage Your Empathy Without Getting Drained

Set Healthy Boundaries

Being naturally caring and concerned for others, empaths have a hard time saying “no.” This can lead to problems as you overcommit and drain yourself emotionally. Dr. Orloff suggests, “Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say ‘no.’ Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.”

Practice Mindfulness

Because empaths tend to get caught up in what is going on around them, it is particularly important for them to set aside time to tune in. Practicing mindfulness can help you reconnect to yourself. Focusing on your breath, for insistence, quiets the mind and centers you in your body. It can be helpful in meditation to practice “non-identification” with others, try to see yourself and your emotions as separate from anyone else’s.

Ignore Your Inner Critic

The Critical Inner Voice is like a nasty coach that lives inside our heads, waiting for any opportunity to criticize us. Empaths, being sensitive, are vulnerable to these self-critical thoughts. They may think things like, “Why do you feel so much all the time? What’s wrong with you?” or “You’re just too sensitive.” However, it is important not to believe these self-attacks or act on your inner critic’s bad advice. You can read about how to overcome your inner critic here.

Practice Self-Compassion

While it is easy for empaths to feel compassion for others, it is often difficult for them to feel compassion for themselves. Self-compassion is the simple (yet challenging) practice of treating yourself like a friend. It is called a practice because it is something that you get better at over time. According to Dr. Kristen Neff, there are three components to practicing self-compassion:
1) Acknowledge and notice your suffering.
2) Be kind and caring in response to suffering.
3) Remember that imperfection is part of the human experience and something we all share.
You can find self-compassion exercises on Dr. Kristen Neff’s website.

Spend Time in Nature

Nature has wonderful healing effects for all humans, but particularly for empaths. Essayist John Burroughs said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” Because empaths are highly sensitive to the people (as well as noises and environments) around them, time in nature is the optimal way for them to relax and recharge. Whether you live somewhere that allows you to walk on the beach, hike through the woods or sit in a park, it is important to make time to rejuvenate in a beautiful, natural setting, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or emotionally depleted.

At the end of the day, it is important to recognize both the blessings and challenges of being an empath. In a world where so many people struggle to identify and express emotions, empathy can seem like a superpower. Embrace yours!

About the Author

Lena Firestone Lena Firestone is a writer and new media specialist. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine. She currently works at PsychAlive.org and leads private writing workshops in Santa Barbara, CA.

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52 Comments

kastina moore

I can relate to this article. I ask a lot of questions when someone is venting or what I have been told ” you make me feel so comfortable to speak. ” I’m not being noisy I need more details to empathize and I get a sense of who people are.

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Denise

I am and it is exhausting! Anxiety, heartbreaking. And have been taking advantage of many times

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Chidimma Clare

I can totally relate to your feelings as such is mine current emotions now. I can use a friend now that understands how I feel cos those I have around do not understand.

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DEEDA131

I am already a ‘living miracle’ 61 yrs old now……….
my 1st cerebral hemorrhage was January 2000. I lived with the pain,limited vision and only able to crawl when I finally allowed my mom to call an ambulance (6 days after my traumatic headache which occurred at 615 am almost a week earlier). I was just visiting them in Ventura county and I live in LA. I have always been ‘overly’ sensitive to friends/family pain/joy/and depression. I now know who/what I am and my rare sensitivity – sometimes wonder if that is why I have had/have survived 4 brain aneurysm surgeries – I should have died when the 1st one was misdiagnosed to just be a ‘migraine’ headache.

Etta bernal

I feel everything you are feeling too I am homeless with a mental hanicap for a year now. My big problem is I help others that take from me and lie to me I don’t know the word no to people so I haven’t at the end of moth lefted

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Jack M

I feel you. It is life controlling. Yet, sometimes I envy someone who simply doesn’t give two hells about another’s emotions or mindset because they can’t even see or feel it. They “take care of themselves” much more efficiently. Sometimes outside looking in, it looks so appetizing. 🥺

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Gina

Extremely EXHAUSTING!! In emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects! I’ve had to really pull away emotionally from others, because it is well, TOO OVERWHELMING! I hurt to the point of not being able to function, but not for myself, but for others. That just isn’t good. The energy I absorb is unreal, but I don’t even think about it. It just does what it does. I guess the only positive, is, I can adapt to who is in front of me. I can feel their energy, and I can conform, in order to try and communicate better. Don’t know if that makes sense. At the same time, those gut intuitions/energy, have been ignored, because I chose to believe in WORDS. I have been badly traumatized because of this ….

It’s a REAL thing !!!!!!! I can feel the atmosphere changing in the room, usually to a negative. I immediately start praying to Jesus!!! I’ve experienced things in the spiritual realm, that I never want to experience again !! I don’t understand how “some people “, are drawn to these things. I didn’t in any way, ask for it !!!

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Stevo John

Gina,

Now I know why I love people so much & desire love that’s never received. I just found I was an Empath & now I fully understand why I’m STUCK & completely ZAPPED from energy. I know better but I still choose to love people who use me & lie. I keep attracting narcissistic people who take take take …

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Kris Werkheiser

I sometimes feel so overwhelmed. I have lost myself and I’m so tied up with my family. Thinking about myself is non existent. I need time to recharge but I can’t find the time. I am truly exhausted.

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Tim

I’m positive anyone who has googled this, but also feels compelled enough to post their connection to this is someone like me. I know so much about myself and the world, yet I’m at a roadblock…. I never really believed in mystical stuff (and still don’t) and am not religious, but I feel like if I had a twin to help me or someone just like me to help me break-though I so desperately need.

Ok, So really really don’t believe in astrology or horoscopes, but I have been more curious about the history of it—Now I understand the whole concept of cognitive dissonance and all the other psychological reasons people buy into these things, but—long story short—I end up looking up my horoscope and while I still don’t believe in it the way General society does, I do think mine describes me (or empaths) exactly: https://cafeastrology.com/articles/piscesmanlove.html

I know, I feel insane for even reading that, but it does a good job of generally describing me, regardless of astrology AND i’ve interest in reading daily horoscopes written by baby boomers (or millennials) trying to sell magazines, papers, read their blog….but that one page describes me really well—and I’m going at I from a scientific perspective, but that also includes ideas that there are things in the universe we still don’t fully understand….

Some days I just wish I was more of a psychopath or narcissist, because the world as it is right now seems to reward those people and they are able to get things done without emotions getting in the way, yet then again, the last thing I want in the world is to be one of those people….

I don’t know..I’m all over the place with this post. it’s 2am , so i’m too tired to write it all pretty, yet I’m so sick and tired of being an empath….it used to make me so creative and special, but certain events led me to a bad place 5 years ago and I don’t know how to get my life balance back…

I don’t know, I have the tiniest hope of finding someone, maybe here—maybe someone like me who has found their secret out of an emotional void as is willing to post here and eventually reach out…I’m such an empath that even in my despair I hope its a mutually beneficial relationship that helps both of us get past a problem that each other has the solution…

Anyways —here’s to hope…

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Em

Well that’s just scary. That same site described me to a T! Unfortunately, I do not have much help for your circumstance. I am in the same boat, my soul searching for someone who just “gets it”. Who gets me, accepts me, without judgment. I will say that being in therapy (CBT for anxiety) has revealed some tremendous breakthroughs for me. Just this week we really nailed down the fact that I am an empath. Having an answer for why I do certain things led me to accepting this personality trait which is already leading to my no longer feeling a need to “fix” myself. There is nothing wrong with any of us (at least not intrinsically just because we are empaths, LOL!). Perhaps therapy would a place for you to start as well… xoxo

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Nikki

wow… you even talk like me. all over the place but so dead on. I never in a million years thought if ever respond to anything like this I found on the internet but I looked up empath trying to better understand myself and while reading came across your post. I rather you reach me through facebook instead of my email if that’s possible. just look up nikki kenworthy. I have a couple facebooks one that I cant get into anymore so maybe message them all with something brief and I’ll see it on mine.. if you want

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Mariesa

This is not only enlightening to read but hilarious in the sense that I think this sounds exactly like me also ! I’m sitting here like “whoa did I just stumble upon the others?” haha. To this day and time, I have also never responded to a single Internet forum/whatever you want to call it,such as this. And Tim, I think those certain events you mentioned were just tests and the usual daily nonempath attempts at destroying your peace of mind. We can easily lose ourselves and when we let it spiral too far , we become further away from our empath traits which make us so creative and special. But it can and will come back with repeated self care and introspection! (In my experience).

Vicky

You are so not alone even though you feel you are at times. I’m two days in to acknowledging that I’m an Empath. It’s like a mysterious closed door in my life has just been opened…..the journey has just begun. Big hug to all you guys out there.

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Stevo John

I now know why I wake up to achieve but can’t move past being overwhelmed. I also feel like damn, here is the answer why you care about Others more then you care about yourself, my dad told me on his death bed, the only issue I have is that you do more for others then you do for yourself & you need to STOP. Problem is I can’t stop my heart won’t let me. I fully understand it all, it took 44 years to find out WHY! I have a heart of gold & keep attracting the same people over & over.
Instagram: @mattirouse

Teresa

i am an Empath as well. i didn’t know until i read about it recently. it can be very draining if you don’t find balance. i tried over correcting with narcissistic thoughts but found that just made me unhappy. i thought this is nuts, what is wrong with me? well nothing is wrong with me or any one else here. being an Empath is a gift you can use. first find a way to recharge, i use meditation. there is an app called Calm it works well. then pull yourself up by the boot straps a realize your gift. you can…
you can imagine yourself in someone else’s situation which means you can see things from another perspective. this is a useful tool in solving problems. it also means you are able to connect with a diverse group of people, reach across gender and racial barriers to connect emotionally and anticipate their needs, this is what turns a leader into a great leader or a speaker into an inspirational speaker.
you do have to protect yourself from negative people, groups and situation but the trick is to see the negative coming and remove yourself. surround yourself with positive and for your sake RECHARGE!

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Connie Clark

YES!! So often I feel as though I’m functioning like a robot, give 100% to family, employer, customers and friends (which I have very few of)

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Randall

I have a lot of these qualities with picking up on people’s radar, as well as seriously picking up on their emotions. I also have problems with my family members with trying to express myself do I share this ability with them or will it be used as a weapon against me, this is my fear

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Lisa

Yes this is definitely me. I can’t bare going into London or large towns. I hate Being in busy pubs it’s almost painful. Can’t bare loud noises and I’m a great listener always Trying to help people so much so I feel used and unappreciated or that’s just how I sometimes feel.

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Kevin

Hi everyone! I’ve been learning more and more about this incredible gift (curse?) that we all share. First and foremost if you are an empath, feel blessed because you truly are. I know alllllllll about the anxiety, depression, overwhelming feelings, difficulty saying no, the $$$$$$ spent on counseling, the seemingly non-existent boundaries….and oh yeah the vicious and seemeingly never ending cycle of abuse that we find ourselves all too often consumed by not to mention that we attract it like nothing else. But, when we see our true selves and that we were born to bring love into this world, we are an unstoppable force for good. Most if not all of us have discovered this gift because of abuse and being caught in it. Is it hard? I’m laughing at myself even thinking I could answer that one because it can be so painfully hard. But the world needs us, especially in this day and age when the world is more corrupt than it has even been and by and large many people seem to think that hate is justifiable and vengeance brings inner peace and the love that every single person is longing for. Fight the good fight (meaning fight for honest love). Give it all you have. But before you do that, fight first for the right to truly love yourself. Become educated on the matter. Seek out others who understand this gift. The worst thing we can do is isolate, shut down, and not share this gift with the world around us. You see….we can’t live any other way. Embrace it. It gets better.

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K

Thank you I’m glad to know I am not alone. Being an empath feels extremely lonely at times.

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Kanye Shrug

Thank you for the reminder. Its so easy to get lost in it all and forget why we’re really here.

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Amy F

Thank you! Wow! 🙌
After my entire day being spent on the edge of bawling my eyes out because of the “feelings” that have taken over my entire being, I find myself here, reading your words, and again I’m reminded how incredibly blessed I am to be an Empath! So, Thank You Kevin for sharing your raw emotions and truths to help each and every one of us on here searching for the answers.

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Mariesa

This is amazing. I resonated with every single word so clearly. Thank you!!!!

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Brandy

You are 100% spot on! I have been abused both sexually and physically since age 5, abandoned, used and mistreated. But I have also felt the pain and suffering of others which I was not a part of. Having the personal experiences along with literally feeling the emotions of those around me to the point of tears and emotional paralysis I still continue to love with all of me. I know it is my purpose but it can be hard to channel sometimes. I struggle with boundaries and self acceptance as the ‘inner critic’ is always talking! I have been on a journey of self love most recently and very intently. And part of my self love is ACCEPTING ME FOR ME! I know this can be a burden, but as you said it is more-so a gift. I give that to others I encounter because I know even the smallest gestures of love and kindness can and WILL make a difference in someone’s life and ultimately for all man-kind! So to all the Empaths reading this, God Bless you and KEEP BEING YOU! You are special and you are a gift to this world! Your love and energy will not only elevate yourself to a higher dimension but it will spread like wild fire to those around you. YOU are a strong soul with a purpose! Embrace it!

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Connie Clark

Have been bartender 41 years, still working at 69. Often feel I am where I am because I’m supposed to make sad people happy, downtrodden people-hopeful. I am a hugger and people seem to absorb my hugs. Lonely people seem to gravitate towards me, Confused people come to me for comfort. But it’s so DRAINING

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Connie Clark

I am so confused! I have been told that I’m an empath a few times. I do have a lot of the personality traits describing an empath, yet I still question whether I am or have I just become who I am because of the circumstances of my life? I don’t want to make this into a full blown novel so I will minimize as well as possible. Born to highly intelligent, socially powerful women who was extremely abusive mentally and physically. Taught us we were not worthy of being loved. Yet my grandparents and siblings loved me so why not her. F4 tornado blew me away from her and my senior year, living with grandma, I felt happy and loved. Married a man from a loving family who turned out to be just like mother. 4 beautiful children, my whole purpose for living. Worked so many hours and missed so much of their lives ( husband didn’t like to work) I knew someday they’d realize how unworthy I was and they’d quit loving me too. At 16-my son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. After he died, I ran away, got divorced, met 2nd husband, LIVED, was loved, learned not to be afraid!! 5 years of greatness!! Car accident, his passenger was killed, went to prison. Next 5 years I visited every weekend. He died there-in my arms. SO-do I feel things so deeply because I’m an empath or because I can associate with so much pain?

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Beth

Reading your post hit me to my core. Read it three times because I recognized how much this is me, my feelings exactly on not being religious and all my thoughts. I feel like an old soul in a materialistic world full of selfish, self serving and cruel people. Being a Libra fits me perfectly because I’m all about balance. Not having family or true friends leaves a void in my life. I have learned to be okay being alone with myself. I’d much rather have a true friend, partner and love to share the journey of life with. Having someone else who understands, cares and shares openly to *grow with what we *go through. Been taken for granted, used, stepped all over and verbally abused by a narcissistic man. I felt so stupid when I found out what I’d gotten myself into with this man. He wasn’t the first, he was just the worst. It’s hard to accept the fact that I started going to therapy to find out what was *wrong with me* I went secretly to a therapist because I felt so mentally exhausted wondering why I couldn’t do anything right. I gave my all monetarily, physically, emotionally and even pleaded for him to tell me what I needed to do to “fix everything.” I wanted to fix myself so everything would be right. Lesson learned and on the bright side, I have learned to love myself and how to keep myself in check mentally, emotionally and physically. If I could only find someone who relates to being an empath.
Hanging onto hope…

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Thinking of ending

How do
U balance it
I
Am so out of tune
Overwhelmed
Can’t
Get control
Picture
This
Your with family friends crowds LOVER
AND YOU FEEL what they won’t say or u don’t have to hear what there saying cause u feel it
Lust,hate, contempt, manipulation ya da Yada
And one day u can’t manage Anything
You learn your families true feelings,mainly selfishness and greed.Always looking to take advantage and wondering Wth is wrong with her” me”
Relationship pfffft I’m a narcissist magnet or CONARTIST

IAM RELIGIOUS
It took a long time to
Realize people don’t think
It feel like
I do
Yeah this is so screwed grammatically and more but the
Tears and snot are
In my way who
Care at my end

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Connecticut

I do!! 💞

The ultimate empath does too, Christ! Our only hope! We are called to greatness! Go empaths!!!!!!!

Signed ~ One empath to another

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Linda

Hi Beth,
I am a empath also I find myself always trying to help people especially kids, old people, handicap, dying people and animals. I find that people are drawn to me in need and I to them. However it seem that I’m always viewed as having some ulterior motive. I meet up with a lot of peoples vultures when i’m tying to help them and wind up in situation where people feel threaten that the individual i’m helping is getting to attach to me, which makes them feel threaten if there is some type of financial gain to be gotten. Also I feel what people are feeling. I can walk into a room in feel energy. I can tell weather I’m welcome or not. I can also be around a individual and feel what they are feeling. I can tell if they like me or not. Must of the time I try to dismiss it and continue on. I use to think I was tripping but not any more. Although I still find myself trying to ignore what I know is the truth, because sometimes I don’t want the truth to be true. It’s still a struggle and still a learning process. Sometimes I know things and try to share them with a individual, but I can’t because there is know physical proof, so I stopped. I may suggest a warning and stop. When I go further it always back fire on me in some kind of way. Some times I watch and when whatever it is happen. I stand by in support of what I knew.

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Leslie R

Thank you for this article.

And for those that posted in the comments that are struggling with being an empath, I want to provide some of my experience…

Being an empath can be incredibly rewarding but you must protect yourself. It can be so draining. I spent decades depleting myself, feeling cursed or like something was wrong with me. Through acupuncture, meditation, yoga and guidance from some transcendence books, I have found ways to keep my energy up and still have more than enough to share.

The hardest thing to do is to learn to let go. To surrender to your empathetic abilities, to let other peoples energies simply flow through you and out of you, including your own thoughts and emotions.I don’t always have a lot of time, but meditation can fit anywhere, I do it on my way to and from work. I simply pay attention to my breath, any thoughts that enter my head, I just let them fall away. I don’t label them, I don’t agree or disagree with them, I don’t judge them, they’re like a cloud and I just let them float away. Return to simply being aware of my breath. When thoughts start appearing again, I noticed them but return to paying attention to my breath. I do this while standing in line at the grocery store, walking down the hallway at work, or any place where I can just simply pay attention to my breath even if it is only 5 to 10 breaths. Meditation can be that simple. It keeps me grounded. For an empath, this is so important, we get so lost and so overwhelmed. These simple meditations are like filling up your gas tank along your journey.

Some of the books I’ve read are “The Power of Now”, “The Four Agreements”, and “The Untethered Soul.” These books guide you on how to let go and restore your energy. Another important lesson I learned was to not take things personally. Being sensitive people, this is probably the hardest thing to do. Learn to let go of other people’s judgments and opinions, let other peoples problems and emotions flow through you and out of you. You can be there for them, and take on their energies which is helpful to them, and then you just simply let it go, do not hold onto it otherwise that energy can consume you and deplete you.

It amazes me how many empaths are out there, and yet we still feel very much alone. Take care of yourself. You are an amazing soul born with an equally amazing gift.

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Richard H. C.

Yes I try to focus on that wonderful

Empathic energy e.g. Hope is sometimes
The thing that is greater than Fear.
Thank you

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Sensitive child of 49

Our society needs more like us. I still weep for deaths that occurred decades ago. How can u get thru life w/o an understanding therapist, counselor or coach? (a trained or experienced person, not from your inner circle) It took me almost 50 yrs to realize this! I also realized I had Cluster C personality traits (avoidant / fearful & perfectionistic). As a “warm” child in a “cold” family my feelings weren’t acknowledged, deepening these traits. At work (public health), it hurts (& angers) me to realize that some co-workers (thankfully, few!) who don’t care. People who judge quickly or listen poorly (e.g., family members, friend, colleague) might misperceive my anxiety & panic in times of personal (or family) crisis as “selfish” when my distress is due to deep feelings of pain & insecurity (or grieving & compassion for others ). My cry for help or understanding backfires! I may withdraw for awhile, but seem to become even more sensitive towards people (I know or can just empathize with) who are hurting or suffering a loss, even if their situation is completely different than mine. P.S. When someone says, “You’re too emotional”, an authentic response may be, “No, I just feel very deeply”. –> If anyone has a different response, please share!! (Thank you.)

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Laurie Reynolds

I’m glad I found this article. This has described me perfectly. I have always known I was different. I was not very accepting of this in the beginning but now I cherish it. Because of my ability to sense feel and interpret a another person’s mental and emotional feelings so intensely has changed me for the better. I use to think I was unable to connect with anyone on a higher level. Only after surviving a traumatic and near death event did I begin to truly understand, embrace, balance and share this beautifully intense gift. I have also learned a more effective way to explain what my life is like on a daily basis. I simply express that my life would be best described as an emotional rollercoaster that I was afraid to ride and left me completely helpless of ever making sense of it. Though now I’m embracing the most overwhelming beautiful chaotic sometimes devastating intensified yet calming cluster of emotions that make it worth feeling like a beautiful disaster. I have been blessed with meeting others like myself that leave me feeling complete and one with this courageously spiritual quest better known as life. I am also a very intense and overly expressive speaker. That’s of course when I meet someone willing to stay the course and let their soul connect with mine for a minute yet additively enjoyable ride. The few who withstood my storm of emotions have always come back to just enjoy things on a level few can only experience through one perfect experience of levels most could not even fathom. I enjoy who and what I am. I am a being unable to ignore or take for granted life in grandest sense. Thank you for allowing me to share a little about my life living outside the box. Inner peace is the ultimate freedom.

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Connecticut

Oh my, I just met myself. Who could describe oneself better?! Amazing share! Thank you for your courage, insights, and bless…ed gifts!!! Wow!

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Bradley Robertson

It’s a blessing and a curse! A blessing because I know I have enriched the lives of others and a curse because the people who know me the best , my family use it to hurt me in ways like no other! I would not change this part of me but I’d not wish it on anyone else either! My nephew in so many ways is like myself and this is yet another example of how! It’s hard to know this child will have a beautiful, yet tortured life beyond his control!

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Kristinn

I was at a pre Canada gathering last night and after about half an hour I felt like crying but I didn’t. I was in a cafe watching all the people and tried to distract myself by looking on the Internet instead but I was drawn to the people and sat outside and just watched …and felt and it was too much .too many people. All of them seems joined by lines or cables leading to me. Some were so angry and hateful while others were enjoying themselves and I focused on those ones but one angry man walked up and past me and that did it. I left, went home and felt relief but tired and napped. I still see the lines and people though .that was the first time for the lines . Usually if I encounter someone it’s just 1 person.i can handle them if they are calm but…lately I feel a need to touch them to tune in or get inside them more. Angry people I need to stay away from.its like being physically hit when they are near.

I’m getting close to 60 and this feature or mine is growing.
Soon I wont be able to be around anyone.
But I have my bicycle, parks, Internet and an amazing imagination I’m told.

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Kristinn

“What’s it like to be an empath?”

Brutal and lonely. People have such troubles and they are wide open books.
In about 3 years now I’ve only met 2 people I could be around for a few minutes without discomfort.
One actually had such a good ‘inside’ that she comforted me unknowingly.
In 9 years only 3.
Due to my unease with people I pushed them away .it’s a habit . A lifelong one.

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Rafael Ortiz

So how do you know or rather determine when your own feelings are being detrimental to your well being?
Since empaths are based upon their sense of feeling it just seems like it could cause some major psychological damage if left unchecked. Please give me some clarity on this. Thank you.

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Allyson

For years, I have wondered, “what is wrong with me?”. I have these feelings of worthlessness because I’m constantly belittled or have my niceness taken advantage of, or unappreciated. This leads to depression and a sense of unimportance. I was attending a church where I could really feel the emotions of others and would come home crying because I could sense the lack of love and compassion among the congregation. I had even began having panic attack’s. I left and found a church that is the most loving place ever! The only problem is that it’s a church with a large congregation and being in a crowd is often unpleasant but it allows me to often move about relatively unnoticed. Being unnoticed is probably the best thing about it. I was googling the definition of empath and found this group and I’m glad I did. After reading everyone’s post, I’m more confident.
Thanks for posting.

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