March 8, 2011

Characteristics of An Empath

Empaths are loving, caring, kind people who want to help others. They are often found doing volunteer work and may serve others through emotionally-demanding careers as childcare givers, medical professionals, hospice workers, midwives, and such. Most empaths came in with a mission to heal people, animals, plants, and the planet. As healers, many have taken on so much external energy that they spend most of their time trying to clear unwanted energy and recuperate from the last episode that “blew their doors off.”

Here are a few characteristics of empaths who have not learned to filter out other people’s emotions or manage their own energy:
  • You constantly feel overwhelmed with emotions and you may cry a lot, feel sad, angry, or depressed for no good reason. You may be tempted to think you are crazy for having random mood swings and bouts of unexplained fatigue. If you are a woman, it’s like having PMS all the time! Unrestrained empathy can cause a person to manifest symptoms similar to bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.
  • You drop by the store feeling great, but once you get in a crowd you start feeling down, angry, sad, or overwhelmed. You feel you must be coming down with something so you decide to go home and rest.
  • If you’ve found that you can’t be in public without becoming overwhelmed you may start to live the life of a hermit. But, even at home, you get depressed when you watch the news and you cry while watching a movie. You feel horrible when a commercial for the Humane Society shows animals that need a home. You may rescue more animals than you can possibly care for.
  • You feel sorry for people no matter who they are or what they have done. You feel the need to stop and help anyone in your path. You can’t pass by a homeless person without giving him money—even if you don’t have it to spare.
  • Many empaths are overweight. When they absorb stressful emotions, it can trigger panic attacks, depression as well as food, sex, and drug binges. Some may overeat to cope with emotional stress or use their body weight as a shield or buffer. In Chapter 9 of Yvonne Perry’s book, she shows how to use light as protection.
  • • Most empaths have the ability to physically and emotionally heal others by drawing the pain or ailment out of the sick person and into their own bodies. For obvious reasons, this is not recommended unless you know how to keep from becoming ill in the process.
  • From chest pains and stomach cramps to migraines and fever, you manifest symptoms without contracting an actual illness. Later, you learn that your “ailment” coincided with the onset of a friend or family member’s illness.
  • No one can lie to you because you can see through their fa├žade and know what they really mean. You may even know why they lied.
  • People—even strangers—open up and start volunteering their personal information. You may be sitting in the waiting room minding your own business and waiting your turn when the person next to you starts sharing all kinds of personal information. You didn’t ask them to and they never considered that you might not want to hear about their drama. People may feel better after speaking with you, but you end up feeling worse because they have transferred their emotional pain to you.
  • Some empaths don’t do well with intimate relationships. Constantly taking on their partner’s pain and emotions, they may easily get their feelings hurt, desire to spend time alone rather than with the partner, feel vulnerable when having sex, and feel that they have to continually retrieve their own energy when it gets jumbled with that of their partner. They may be so afraid of becoming engulfed by another person that they close up emotionally just to survive.
  • The ill, the suffering, and those with weak boundaries are drawn to the unconditional understanding and compassion an empath emits without even being aware of it. Until you learn how to shut out the energy of others, you may have a pretty miserable existence in which you feel like you have to be entirely alone in order to survive.
It’s easy to see why being an empath is often very draining. No wonder that over time, some folks shut down their empathic ability. And, with that, they also shut down a vital part of their divine guidance system. Learn how to manage the amount of info-energy you receive and hear more of what is really important.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PURCHASE paperback book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings,and Energy of Those Around You at http://tinyurl.com/EmpathAmazon. The e-book version is now available for Kindle, iPhone, iPad, and other digital reading devices.

29 comments:

  1. I can totally identify with this, great work!

    I have found that learning to recognise your own emotions, working with them and managing them helps enormously. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar/manic depressive when I was 16. I am totally healthy apart from dealing with childhood trauma...learning protection also helps, I visualise a merkabah around me, glowing with light.

    Much love, light and endless blessings to you,

    Tracy x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing, Tracy. Before I learned what it meant to be an empath, I thought I was bipolar. It's an easy misdiagnosis due to the similarities in mood swings. Knowing whose energy you are carrying certainly helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Yvonne, yeah I really thought I was too, then an honest therapist said 'Oh, I don't think you are' so then I was just thinking, well what is it then? So I carried on working on myself and it became clearer and clearer. I found some info about being a lightworker; realised I'm an empath from there and from likeminded friends, my angels guided me toward the knowledge I needed.

    I volunteer at a drop-in counselling/crisis listening place and training to be a counsellor and psychotherapist begining this year. I'll then train in energy therapies. Really looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a beautiful story about how this gift can be used as a blessing. Having understanding and knowledge makes a huge difference.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is something that I can really relate into. I like this post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. this is true fact, when you come to another shoes, you will come to know what is empathy

    ReplyDelete
  7. ... i knew i was an empath but i didn't realize that that caused my bf to break up with me. "You don't act like a gf. You just stand next to me while i talk to my friends. You always look alone... I think you being with me is bad." is what he said. He has depression and is bi polar..... yah:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a person has no understanding of what being empathic means, he or she cannot support you on your journey. I hope you find someone who does understand your sensitivity and that you can move forward in learning how to manage energy.

      Delete
  8. Being an empath is not easy.. I feel like everyone is always relying on me, be it family, friends, or complete strangers. I am often told by folks, "Oh, I called you because you are always understanding or MY issues and unbiased." Its annoying to me, but I just can't turn my back on others. However, I am becoming resentful and would like to learn how to set boundaries so that I'm not the one who feels ill all of the time. HELP!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chapter 10 of my book, Whose Stuff is This?, is all about setting boundaries. Empaths tend to be codependent martyrs who put others' needs and wants ahead of their own. I'm always reminding empaths to put the oxygen mask on their own faces before trying to help someone else. You can help anyone if you don't care for yourself. Not trying to sell you anything, but my book deals with these very issues. And, I offer coaching if that interests you. http://weare1inspirit.com/services/coaching/

      Delete
    2. I have felt others pain, both Physical and emotional in my own body since I was a child. People have always come to talk to me about their problems even total strangers. My drive has always been to help others, but I have at times become emotionally exhausted and find myself retreating to a secluded place, usually near the ocean where I can find peace. More recently I am secluded a good deal of the time. It helped me tremendously when I realized that I am an Empath and it explained what had been going on my entire life. Like you I have trouble saying no to people in need, although at times I can "sense" when someone is a fake and trying to 'scam' other people. I have also known things that were going to happen before they do. It is a blessing and sometimes not so much. But it is wonderful to understand why

      Delete
  9. Being an empath as a child is tough. Not knowing why you are having all these feelings made me feel isolated and scared. I would pick up on my mother's feelings the most.
    I started blocking these feelings because I could not handle them, to the point I have a hard time expressing myself anymore. I blocked feelings coming in and my own.
    I also have feelings for inate objects...for instance stuffed animals. Today as I was putting away my Christmas decorations I was worried about them being lonely! It was like I was feeling this from them. I laugh it off...
    Being an empath is so hard to explain to other people. I am glad I came upon this blog. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow! I also had (and still have at the age of 41!), a sensitivity that my stuffed animals could 'feel' ... I remember being aware of this sensitivity at quite a young age, too, and that I felt 'different', in a positive way ... It's so neat to know that others have felt this way about innate objects, as well! Thanks ... :)

      Delete
    2. That's too funny! To this day, I still think stuffed animals (and live animals) speak to me, and photographs for that matter! And, rocks, trees, plants, you name it, they reach out to me. Glad to hear that others share this ability to tap into inanimate objects.

      Delete
    3. I picked up on my mothers feelings too from a young age. Even when things happened that we were not close, I could 'feel' what she was feeling. I tried to shut things out when I could 'Feel" things that were going to happen, but came to a point in my life that I want to further develop this ability.

      Delete
    4. One of the hardest things for an empath to learn is to take time to pull away and care of their own bodies. This means setting boundaries both energetically and physically (saying "No" and meaning it) with people and entities. If you have a copy of my book, Whose Stuff Is This!, you may want to re-read chapter 10.

      Delete
  10. Our feelings come to us as guidance, but when we let them control us to the degree that you describe, it can be damaging. I would be happy to give you some tips on how to manage energy without shutting down. Want to do a free 20-minute evaluation call to see if coaching might benefit you? http://weare1inspirit.com/services/coaching/

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm an empath. I have, since I was a child, not only felt EVERYTHING that others feel, much to my own physical and more times, mental detriment, but I inexplicably attract people who are having problems. Because I have overwhelming guilt with not helping somebody, I am constantly inundated with other people's feelings, which are usually sad. I can't overcome it, and worse yet, the people whose sadness I feel, resent me when I am sad, or have needs of my own. They initially are grateful to meet somebody who instantly understand them (I swear, I actually attract these people like a magnet. It's inexplicable. My husband, who believes in nothing, even finds it uncanny) But they tend to resent PR alienate me no matter what I do. I can provide insight, but people who are depressed rarely want that, so I try to just show understanding. But most seem to subconsciously recognize that I cam provide insight and request
    And even demand it. Unfortunately, I provide an answer they feel, but don't want to, and then... Well, who wants to hear what they already know but don't like and ignore.
    I had always thought this was inherited from my father, who was, by all accounts, extraordinarily "sensitive" overly compassionate, and overly giving. He also was an extreme alcoholic who was absent from my life since I was 6. But I am beginning to think that both of my parents were empaths but handled it to extremes. My mother has had difficulty with agoraphobia, is sought out regardless of her circumstances, and has hardened to all expressions of emotions to the point of resentment. I feel constantly sought out and simultaneously ostracized because of this, and I am seeking some actual help and guidance. I don't have the money to seek out somebody who can help me with this, but it has been alienating. I inadvertently end up being a mirror of the things people try to bury inside. I don't mean to. To stop it, I come across as cold, or bitter. Worse, is that I clearly feel the negative things that people feel toward me, which always seems to supersede anything positive. It's awful. Help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know why the airlines tell you to put the oxygen mask on your own face before trying to help your child or another person? Because if you are unable to breathe and be healthy, you can't effectively minister to anyone else.

      Untrained empaths are typically co-dependent to the point of being martyrs of their own emotional health and physical well-being. Self-love and a good dose of "NO" will provide amazing results in restoring your personal happiness.

      It's really none of our business what others think of us. Helping can become enabling if it keeps someone else from taking responsibility for their own lives, actions, choices, etc.

      I don't mean to sound harsh, but isn't it about time you moved past worrying about others and stopped neglecting yourself?

      Delete
  12. Thing is, even thinking that you are an empath might make you an empath. Those with the ability of the ajna chakra, which is to realize how thought affects reality, will understand what i mean.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can absolutely identify with these attributes. I have been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder as well as borderline personality disorder(which sounds much more frightening than it actually is). I have seen many spirits and feel energy all around me and the feelings that i get from other people drastically effects my mood. I feel exhausted all of the time and I don't know how to protect myself. I have adopted so many animals and tried to take in people as well. My husband and I have 9 rescue cats! And if i don't get to recharge myself(that's the only way i know how to describe it)i become frustrated and moody and cry. I don't even watch sad movies anymore. I just can't. They practically destroy me. I don't know what to do or how to stop being so extremely sensitive. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem many empaths have is the inability to distinguish the line between where they "end" and another person "begins." In other words, boundaries. We think it is our responsibility to help everyone regardless of what toll it takes on us personally. This means saying no to people, animals, and spirits when necessary. It means taking time to recharge and making that a priority even if someone else gets upset.

      Your gift of being sensitive is a tool for discernment and guidance. It's when this sensitivity causes us to take on other people's problems, illnesses, and emotions that it does us in. Many empathic lightworkers who have learned to manage energy are able to use what they feel in their own body, to "diagnose" what part of the body of their "client" to send energy to.

      The first step for you, Kasey, is to start distinguishing between what is yours and what is not. Then, to learn how to clear what is not yours. There are at least a dozen exercises in my book to help you learn to manage energy. Also, read some of the articles on this blog for additional help, and check out Empath Connection on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Empath-Connection/134926033194344 for a support group.

      Delete
  14. I am crying with the relief of having found this site - and you. I'm 55 and only came to the conscious realization that I'm an empath yesterday. It is so obvious I am amazed I've kept it from myself. I also had that relationship with my stuffed animals - I haven't been able to throw out my first dog's toys since he died even though I have no room at all for them. The reason I'm writing you is this - I was sexually abused starting as a young child by my father. I repressed it for many years and lived from the neck up until the memories flooded about 15 years ago. Since then I'm flooded most of the time with other people's stuff as well as my own. I've retreated now to the point of agoraphobia and really want to change that. I had uterine and ovarian cancer 6 years ago and my husband left me for another woman almost 4 years ago. I've not shut down since the memories came (I have done a lot of healing around that) and I am strong in good ways but I'm getting worn out by others' feelings (I still connect to people by phone). I haven't been able to heal losing my husband and still cry every day because I miss him so much. I truly don't know how to let go. Both my parents died fairly young - my Mum was 54 and my father was 65. Can you suggest what might help me move on and start having a life again? I'm so lonely - I have no family left.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Camabelu e, I am so thrilled that you found this site and gained help from what you read here. Your story holds a thread common to many empaths. If you have not read my book, Whose Stuff Is This?, it would be a great place to start. There are more than two dozen exercises in chapter 9 that have proven helpful to energy-sensitive people in learning to clear and maintain your auric field and personal vibration to keep away unwanted energy.

    As far as being lonely, I think getting involved in some social groups might be helpful. If you are on Facebook, there is a group https://www.facebook.com/pages/Empath-Connection/134926033194344 that you might join to help you process your empathic experiences. Also, look for Meetup.com groups in your area. Even if they are not empath-specific, they may offer spiritual friendship and a chance to get out and socialize with people who have a higher vibration that will not detrimentally affect you. I find that being around spiritual awakened people is very uplifting.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I always knew I was sensitive but I tried blocking it out an it worked for a while till I clinicly died an was brought back an it was like all the walls I built came down.I never quite understood what it was why I would cry an feel so much pain watching commerials about sick kids or animals or why my moods would change so drasticlly an so fast.when I realized what I was that I was a empath I haven't told anyone cuz the few times I tried to explain it people acted like I was crazy.I can feel things people don't an I have had spirts show them selfs to me an even follow me when I moved.I just can't seem to build my walls back up an I can't tell if what I'm feeling is something from me or from someone else.also if I concentrate hard enough I can take migraines an thing from ppl but I become ill an feel it instead of them.I feel so drained an I don't know how to recharge again. I just can't seem to build the bountries any more. I have gotten into a lot of trouble too trying to help people an no one understands y I help some of the people I do but I can't say no them I feel the pain an desperatetion like a plea in my head an heart an all the pain an sadness hurts so much an I feel like I have to try an make that better for them. I don't know what to do..I barely leave my house but I live with family so its just draining. If I try hard enough I can block people out for a short time but its like I block my self out too I become the oppisite of who I am I become very cold..is that normal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please listen to the replay of our latest "Empowering Hour with Empaths" and plan to join us next group call with highly sensitive people: http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventID=48749115

      Delete
  17. What you have described here is typical for an empath who is giving more than they are receiving. it is imperative that you take care of yourself, your body, and your own emotions. Be attentive to your needs and nurture yourself by pulling away as much as you need to in order to raise your own vibration. Get into meditation and focus on what is RIGHT about you and your life. No need to worry about what others think--you have found a site where you can connect with people who DO understand you and can help you process through this journey as a highly-sensitive person.Please join our mailing list (http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/p/subscribe.html) so you will get notices about the monthly group calls "Empowering Hour with Empaths."

    It is common for psychic gifts to manifest--almost like a portal has been blown open--after a near-death experience, surgery, suicide attempt, dark night of the soul, or other life-changing event.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm losing my mind. People from friends to people i've met once or twice come to me and they all say i just have something about me that they know they can tell me anything and i wont judge them. And i I help 5-10 people a day. I can't say no. I have always been this way. I've just started to notice that when i can't sleep after a stressful day of helping others that i feel sad that there isn't someone helping me the way i help others, It's hard to block out others emotions but i have yet to master a way to do so. It's killing me at this point. I love making others feel better and let them know they aren't alone.. but i feel completely alone. I also often avoid plans if it has to do with large crowds because i can't handle it. I've gotten to the point i rarely leave me room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can say no. You must say no and take care of yourself. Boundaries are necessary for any empath to really use their gift without causing harm to themselves. Please get my book and read it. I'm not trying to sell you anything, but there is information there that will help you. I do not have time to retype the info here--thus, my taking care of myself. If you want to chat, I would be glad to offer you a free 15-minute call to see if some one-on-one coaching with me would be helpful to you.

      Blessings!

      Delete