I still remember staring out my window ten years ago, a heavy sadness weighing on me as I realized how much suffering there was in the world.
Or when I could tell something was wrong in my relationship just by the shift in emotional energy in my ex’s behavior.
Or when I soaked up my friends’ grievances like a sponge and drowned with them instead of leading them to fresh breath.
So the trials and tribulations of being an empath are.
And you? Are you so empathetic that you wish you could turn it off one day, while the next day you appreciate the emotional richness of empathy?
Let’s find out. If someone does these 9 things, he or she is probably a true empath.
1) They notice the slightest changes in a person’s energy
Some of the most observant people I have ever met were empaths.
Because reason and logic can only take you so far.
Of course you can learn all the ins and outs of body language or the secret meanings of commonly used words, but if you also have great empathy, you automatically gain extra observation points because you can better feel the emotional energy around you. You.
If someone is withholding information from you, if they’re upset, if they’re trying to put on a brave face, or even if they’re slightly hurt by something you just said…
If you are empathetic, you can tell. You have a sixth sense of spells.
2) They absorb the emotions of others as if they were their own
And how can empaths guess how other people are feeling, so to speak?
One reason is that they are so attuned to the emotional energy floating in the air that they unconsciously soak it up like a sponge, allowing it to influence their own feelings.
I used to be exactly like that.
Every time one of my friends got upset or irritated, I couldn’t help but feel tense too. I couldn’t watch nature documentaries because I empathized too much with the animals. Whenever someone confided in me about their problems, a feeling of deep sadness stayed with me for days.
This ability to feel for others is both a curse and a blessing, because it all depends on how you use it.
For example, I learned to set emotional boundaries, which helped me a lot.
And speaking of borders…
3) They have difficulty setting boundaries and ending toxic relationships
When someone hurts you, you may instinctively feel wronged, upset, and hurt.
In that case you don’t think about the other person’s motivations. You don’t think about the background that makes them who they are. You don’t try to understand where they come from.
There is only your pain. And it’s so loud you’ll drown in it.
Let’s just say that empaths experience these situations a little differently.
While they acknowledge their pain, they also automatically take into account the motivations and feelings behind the other person’s actions, and use these as explanations to “devilize” the person in their eyes.
The problem is that there is an explanation for almost every type of behavior, and if you confuse explanations with excuses, you can easily forgive everyone, set very weak boundaries, and have difficulty cutting off people who are not good for you.
It’s good to understand where people are coming from, even if they hurt you. But that understanding does not necessarily make way for forgiveness. At least not right away.
Repeat after me: an explanation is not an excuse.
4) They are very sensitive
According to the psychiatrist and specialist on empathy, Judith Orloff MD, empaths share many of the same traits that highly sensitive people (HSPs):
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- A need for time for yourself
- A low threshold for stimulation
She says: “Empaths take the highly sensitive person’s experience much further: we can sense subtle energy (called Shakti or Prana in Eastern traditions) and actually absorb it from other people and different environments into our own bodies.”
Therefore, it makes perfect sense that empaths tend to be highly sensitive to individuals who experience their feelings strongly.
When a negative or positive event occurs, most people will quickly move on, their emotions returning to their baseline levels, while empaths can carry that experience with them for days or weeks.
It sounds kind of horrible, but if you’re an empath, I want you to remember that sensitivity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, it is actually an amazing power because it allows you to experience the world in all its richness – both the good and the bad.
In fact, this is exactly what shaman Rudá Iandê talks about in his free masterclass Free Your Mind. He says that the things we consider “bad” can actually be incredibly useful, and the things we consider “good” can cast shadows of which we are unaware.
His masterclass helped me reprogram my mindset when it comes to negativity and positivity, and thanks to his lessons I no longer view sensitivity as a weakness.
I cherish it as a strength.
You can watch the free masterclass here.
5) They are relationship-oriented
All the empaths I know have one trait in common: they place enormous value on relationships.
Because we are very emotion-based, we connect with others through shared experiences, feelings and conversations.
Honestly, there’s nothing an empath would enjoy more than having a deep conversation at 2 a.m. about someone’s biggest dreams and fears.
Things like that drive us crazy.
Since then says research While our relationships play the most important role in our lives when it comes to our physical and mental well-being, it’s amazing that empaths have their priorities right from the start.
We want deep and long-lasting connections. Quality over quantity. Always.
6) They have a strong bond with nature and animals
Speaking of building strong connections with others, another sign that you are a true empath is that you absolutely love animals and nature.
Of course, most people are like that. That’s why there are so many videos of kittens on the Internet.
However, empaths usually go the extra mile.
For example, I can’t imagine life without pets. The simple idea of having a canine companion fills me with so much joy and peace that a life without dogs seems incredibly empty to me.
An empath’s affection for animals makes sense when we consider that humans’ empathy can extend beyond their own species.
Like the BetterHelp team writes:
“Our level of empathy is not related to species. Rather, it has to do with perceived helplessness and vulnerability. This may also have to do with the human-animal bond that many of us feel, as they require our attention, help and care. The natural affection we feel for animals can be compared to the affection we feel for our children.”
7) They love to decompress in quiet solitude
If you absorb the emotions of others day in and day out, feel strongly about everything you experience, and are extremely sensitive to your emotional environment, it probably comes as no surprise that you just need a break every now and then.
This is precisely why many empaths enjoy spending time alone and communicating with no one but their own minds (and possibly a cat).
Time alone gives us space to process everything, separate our own feelings from those of others, and reconnect with our sense of self.
Personally, I like to go for solo walks every now and then. No screens, no people, no work – just me, nature and a quiet sense of peace.
I feel great just thinking about it.
8) They get overwhelmed by the crowds
If you’re empathetic, I’m sure you can relate to this.
Large groups are simply not our strong suit.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that only introverts are empathetic. There are plenty of extroverts who are true empaths.
But even if you’re an extrovert, you can still suffer from emotional overwhelm if you spend too long in a crowd or at a party.
Add heightened sensitivity to the mix, and let’s say you might want to take a few days for yourself after a big event, just to get all the emotions out of your system.
9) Their intuition is very loud
Ah, intuition. The quiet voice that points you in the right direction if you dare to listen.
If someone is a true empath, chances are they tune into their feelings.
When they encounter someone with bad intentions, the uneasy feeling that spreads through their body tells them that something is wrong.
If they are in the wrong relationship, their dreams and doubts will scream so loudly that they will eventually have to listen.
Our sense of intuition is often underestimated – even by ourselves.
Well, it’s time we give credit where credit is due. Your intuition is important. And if you’re an empath, it’s probably stronger than you think.
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