If you know the word ‘EMPATH’, chances are it’s because you’ve done your research to find out why you feel like an island in a world full of people. Empath, also referred to as ‘A highly sensitive person’, defines an emotional type with personality traits many people may not relate to. In relationships, it takes a certain type of friend, to truly accept an empath for their emotional tendencies and quirks, for even the empath may not fully understand themselves at times. Anxiety attacks, depression, an unhealthy relationship with food, drugs or alcohol, can all be inflicted upon the empath while trying to escape from ‘feeling’ too much. Despite the emotional pitfalls however, an empath is both unique and blessed being among a small percentage of deep feelers in the world where passion for causes and change prevail. Are you an empath? Read the following 14 traits to find out.
A porous sponge doesn’t discriminate between what liquid is clean and what is dirty, it simply absorbs. This is a similar trait of an empath, who soaks in the energy around them, be it positive or negative. Often overwhelmed, an empath is said to take on the weight of the world and due to their naturally sensitive nature, can experience bouts of sadness for no apparent reason. Seasonal change, a woman’s ‘time of the month’, or experiencing a loss of some kind are all ‘obvious’ reasons for the blues, but in the day to day life of an empath, emotional fatigue can suddenly set in like a freight train and they may believe they are going through a depression, causing them to close up and shut off.
Empaths have a knack for attracting the emotionally needy. Because they are so compassionate and such great listeners, strangers gravitate to them out of the blue and random people spark up conversations, sharing their life stories. Ideally when they want their quiet time they would wear a sign that reads ‘not open for business’, but unfortunately as an empath, they are a dumping ground for problems and a magnet for people with emotional baggage. Thank goodness they exist; who better to share their situation with than a person who is a nurturer by nature.
Despite being a softie at times and perhaps accused of being a pushover, kind-hearted, tender and sympathetic are the underlying roots of who an empath is. While most people walk past the homeless in the street, they are the ones who stop to lend a financial hand or apologize for not being able to. They acknowledge those in need and find it impossible to coldly go about their business while the world as they know it, is suffering. As a humanitarian, charities, foundations and other causes that are close to their heart are passions and they make an honest effort to make a difference.
Due to the pure unconditional love of pets, an empath cannot help but be drawn to these incredible creatures and often prefer to be in the company of animals over humans. Animals are drawn to people of such a sensitive nature as they themselves are highly intuitive and can feel the love being returned. Empaths are equally enamored by the innocence of children and nature, and can get emotionally lost in a wildlife surrounding while interestingly enough, is exactly where they may ‘find’ themselves. They are unexplained deeply connected to nature, plants, forests and anything not made by the human hand.
It is almost impossible for a true empath to be fully content in a loud, boisterous, city surrounding on a regular basis. For this reason, quiet ‘time outs’ are not only necessary but essential for keeping them grounded and mentally sane. An empath may find themselves alone often by choice as they keep their feet planted in the soil, feel the sunshine on their skin, smell fresh flowers from the earth and take full breaths of fresh air. It is not unusual for an empath to take nature trips alone and away from emotional turmoil as they may have trouble concentrating when others are around.
Street parades, events, parties and other uncontrolled surroundings may sound like fun to most people but not to an empath. Large crowds are a challenge as they can pick up the energy of the people around them. With a bit of a recluse reputation, most empaths feel disconnected in these situations and do not fit in with certain environments. This does not mean they will not make an effort to attend these functions if asked, but would need a guaranteed escape plan in advance. Most empaths would choose to take their own vehicle so as to leave when they are good and ready.
An empath often asks random unrelated questions and has a lot on their ever racing mind switching from topic to topic frequently. They are deep thinkers, creators, inventors, and problem solvers. Because they are always onto the next big thing, they may have a hard time finishing what they started be it a sentence, or a project. This unfortunately gives their mind little rest adding to their emotional fatigue. They tend to get bored easily, and if disinterested, can zone out in minutes and daydream about what they would rather be doing instead.
With unpredictable mood swings, an empath may not initially understand their emotional personality type until they have discounted all possibilities of being bipolar or depressed. Up and down like a roller coaster, they attract physical non-verbal energy and if approached for a conversation, are open targets for people to express their saddest and harshest stories. This means experiencing various feelings embedded in the stories being told. The ultra-sensitive empath feeling a sense of responsibility to listen, tends to soak in the emotional pain and in some cases, absorbs the physical symptoms the other person is having as well.
If there has ever been a person in the cinema blocking their ears from a violent scream or covering their eyes from the gore of a cinematic death, chances are they were an empath. Empaths hate war, fighting and anything that is fueled by negativity. They have a difficult time watching anything to do with violence, listening to aggressive music and even reading the daily news can be tough. Negative stories about problems around the world have a greater effect on this highly sensitive empath and they would sooner go without owning a television than to have world catastrophes play on news coverage several times a day.
Let us call them ‘truth seekers’ because empaths are excellent at separating the truth from the lies. They can see an insincere person coming from miles away. Without being told the full story, their energy sensitivity allows them to ‘feel’ when another person is being honest. If they play the role of being friendly to the person they do not trust, their inner gut feels uncomfortable and they find they are not able to fully be themselves. While nobody likes to be lied to, an empath in particular knows when someone is lying to their face, and they become guarded.
Empaths are very well connected with their intuition and use it as a filter to interact with and experience the world around them. They have a keen sense of knowing things about another person’s feelings, before they are told, and are highly attuned to their spiritual side. The first impression they get of a person is rarely, if ever wrong and if they do not trust their inner gut feeling, find themselves feeling regret. They may receive messages through dreams, strong undeniable feelings, predictions for themselves and those around them, as well as other phenomena that have guided them in one way or another.
Empaths are vivid ‘sleep’ dreamers and daydreamers and can stare into space for hours on end envisioning other worlds and experiences. They are wonderfully imaginative and are attracted to anything where pure expression is involved. Be it through music, dancing, poetry, photography, painting and other forms of art, empaths find themselves drawn to many forms of creative expression which allow them to be authentic. They are sensitive and tender hearted by nature and feel trapped and imprisoned when they are not able to verbally, physically and artistically express themselves.
It sounds almost impossible to feel heart pain miles away from your closest friend who is suffering a heart attack, but that is the life of some empaths. Sympathy pains can be experienced by an otherwise healthy empath who is so deeply connected with the energy around them, they begin to get colds or suffer from symptoms of those around them. Random Aches and pains ‘for no apparent reason’ can get very disheartening for an empath who doesn’t realize they have this ‘gift’ which can sometimes feel like a curse.
Big hearted empaths are vulnerable and givers of love who require love just as much as anyone else, although they can give the impression that they are independent and have a wall up or their heart caged in. When an empath is wounded from the energy suckers around them or from past relationship hurts, it may be harder to heal. Because they genuinely appreciate their personal freedom to travel into nature, creatively express themselves and resort to solitude when necessary, it takes them longer than the average person to commit.