Traits of an Empath.

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I am an empath.

I have always known I was quite different to many of those around me. Discovering more about the empath personality type has led me to discover a good understanding of myself, and also my relationships with others and the world that surrounds me.

For so many years I felt like an alien on this planet. I often used to say, “I am not of this world.” I didn’t know many people who were like me, who felt things the way I did or who could relate or resonate to things in a similar way to which I did.

The most striking thing for me about being an empath is the way I feel the physical, mental and emotional pain of others as though it were my own. This can be and has been emotionally and physically crippling and it has caused me to suffer tremendously. It is often described as being similar to a sponge, absorbing every emotion and piece of energy around me, and then becoming weighted down by it.

Learning about the empath personality type helped me greatly, as not only do I now understood myself better, I have also learned how to protect myself and not allow outside toxic energies, emotions or behaviors to affect me negatively.

Rather than absorbing all other energies, I now observe them. This prevents me from becoming overwhelmed, exhausted, suffering mentally or physically and being overly emotional.

An empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy and emotions emanating from people, animals and everything that exists around them. They have the ability to scan other people’s auras and souls and can intuitively pick up on past, present and even future thoughts and feelings and can quite accurately determine another person’s emotional, mental and physical state.

The saying “never judge a book by its cover” would ring true for an empath. Never would they trust the outer appearance or deceptive superficial exteriors; they will always sense what goes on behind the masks, if they trust their own judgment.

Unfortunately all too often an empath is led to believe that these paranormal type skills do not exist in today’s world and their words are criticised, disbelieved and are told to be wrong. Downplaying an empath’s intuition, will benefit someone who may be trying to manipulate or use trickery, or someone with very little faith that these abilities exists.

It is vital that, to thrive, the empath personality type needs to work towards learning to trust their own judgment and intuition so that they can be at one with the inherent superpowers they have been born with.

If an empath does not have a good understanding of themselves and how to work with energy rather than pushing against it or absorbing it all, not only can this be emotionally debilitating, it can also result in physical illness with depression, stress and anxiety taking a toll on the body and a very high chance of suffering from the effects of burnout.

Like with all things, there are variations of the empath personality type. Some people will identify strongly, others will only recognise themselves in a few of the following traits:

1. Feels calmer when alone, and, in relationships, requires distance and regular periods of solitude.

2. When in the company of others an empath struggles to work out whether they are feeling their own emotions or the emotions of those around them.

3. Struggles to remain present as the chaos of emotions around them pushes and pulls on an empath’s own thoughts, feelings and emotions.

4. Often says yes to others without thinking of their own needs.

5. In relationships or friendships, very often puts other people before themselves, as though everyone else’s pleasure and happiness is more important than their own.

6. Relationships can often move too fast and can become intense very quickly as the empath connects on a deep, intimate level very quickly due to the ability to absorb other people’s energy and emotions.

7. An empath will often take full responsibility for how others treat them and for anything that goes wrong in relationships. They have a great amount of compassion and can clearly see other people’s emotional baggage and so they make many excuses for why people behave as they do, and this is very often to the detriment of an empath.

8. Tends to connect with people who are suffering and often wants to heal others or try to make the world a better place for them.

9. Can find themselves taking on and absorbing other people’s problems and being used as a sounding board or dumping ground so that others can offload their emotional baggage.

10. Instinctively knows when someone around them is not being truthful.

11. Sometimes empaths just know things, without having any idea of where they gained the information. When trying to work out the truth from a lie it can seem as though the information has been presented forward so that it can be used to help make a decision. The empath should only trust the information if they are highly skilled at reading themselves and others accurately and if paranoia or other information is not clouding their judgement.

12. An empath’s mind is an inquisitive one and they are constantly searching for answers and theorize and philosophise constantly.

13. An empath who is highly in tune with themselves and skilled at reading others will often be able to pick up on someone else’s thought processes even if they are thousands of miles away.

14. Connects very strongly to the animal kingdom and identifies very easily with the emotional and physical pains that animals go through.

15. Is often most at peace and feeling harmonious when spending time with nature and roaming around the outdoors.

16. Can feel the energy surrounding physical things and will often choose clothing or material purchases based on the energy that has attached to them.

17. Very creative and highly imaginative, writing, art, music, painting, dancing, acting, painting, building and designing are a few of the traits that empaths very often are passionate about.

18. An empath will likely get distracted easily when they are doing things they don’t enjoy and will quickly zone out or day dream when placed in situations where their mind is not stimulated.

19. Can struggle to fully relax in the company of others and really let their hair down and have fun, unless they are extremely comfortable and at ease with those surrounding them.

20. Prefers their living space to be clutter free and minimalistic; chaotic surroundings make for chaotic minds for an empath and they have enough inner sensations happening without cluttering their psyche further.

21. Finds it very difficult to be around people who are egotistical or enjoy putting others down to make themselves look better. Empaths will often come to the defense of those that have been rejected or bullied in any way.

22. Crowded places are emotionally overwhelming and downtime is required after social gatherings.

23. Highly sensitive to sounds, smells, bright lights and the feel of certain fabrics.

24. Regularly suffers with fatigue and can feel drained following interactions with others.

25. Can become shy and withdrawn as a method of self-protection. This can result in empaths becoming introverts as a way of avoiding the emotional and physical pain that often stems from interactions.

Other people may see empaths as moody or loners due to the amount of alone or downtime they need. Others may struggle to understand that these things are just part of the personality type and feel comfortable and the most natural ways to exist for an empath. Empaths do like connection, but they need to balance that out by creating a safe space for themselves to exist in alongside it.

Supermarkets, bars/clubs, family gatherings and any crowded event can all be energetically overbearing. Frequent downtime or escapism to a garden, bathroom or kitchen will occur to temporarily break away from the intensely high energy that occurs when many people are close together in the same venue..

Empaths may have an addictive personality and can pick up habits such as drinking alcohol, playing online games or excessively indulging in a particular interest as a form of escapism to blot out feeling so much pain.

Listening to or watching local or worldwide news can be traumatic as the pain or violence the people or creatures involved experience is often transferred onto the empath as though the pain was theirs.

Empaths are free spirits, adventurers, life-seekers, rule breakers, they live outside the box. Often it can seem to others as very unconventional or unorthodox lifestyles. However, these lifestyles often suit an empath perfectly and feel to them the most natural way to live.

As empaths learn more about themselves, many of the traits above can become a thing of the past, or a new way of dealing with them is discovered so that they do not have negative side effects. While many people may recognise themselves in the traits above, there will be some who who see a lot of these things as how they used to be before finding ways to combat or work towards understanding areas so that life becomes less painful.

The key to thriving as an empath is to recognise each of the traits and then spend time thinking about each one and looking at how it may be negatively impacting or hindering a certain part of life. When we have a good understanding of how a certain characteristic affects us, we can work out ways to turn any trait that may have negative side effects into positive ones.

The easiest way to look at the empath type is as though the personality is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing to have the ability to feel and experience life at such a highly sensitive level, so the joy and love around them will feel like constant electric pulses beating through them. However, the curse is that the lows are felt at an equal intensity.

When empaths learn to protect themselves by becoming consciously aware of how they are allowing outside energy to penetrate them, they are then in a position to turn the curses to blessings so that the painful and toxic energies are not absorbed within the psyche/soul. Empaths must be sure to surround themselves with others whose energies vibrate at a similar frequency so that they are not vulnerable and exposed to energy that can cause them harm. Self-protection is vital. I will cover all aspects of self-protection in a follow-up article.

Being an empath really is a beautiful way to live and to experience life. Finely tuning our frequency so that we keep our energy levels high and refuse to take on or absorb anything that will harm us is the simplest, harmonious and magically unique way to exist.

Bonus: The introvert/extrovert myth?

 

Relephant Reads:

The Practice of Peaceful Abiding.

~

Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: sistasilverfox at Instagram; Unsplash

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.

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anonymous Apr 9, 2016 7:59am

I am an empath w/ a narcissist for a son in law. My daughter & i were very close until he manipulated things so she hasn’t spoken to me for a yr, nor have I seen my grandchildren. 11 yrs ago he told me ,@ my daughters 30th bday party, he could take her & their girls from me & i would never see them again. I didn’t believe that could ever happen, but he meant what he said… Don’t know what to do….heart broken in Az

anonymous Mar 16, 2016 10:04pm

The toxic relationship between an empath and a narcissist describe my 20 marriage very well, and like some other people in the comments I also came close to loosing my life because of it.

The tragic bit is that I am attracted to narcissists. I’ve had two brief attempts at romance over the last 8 years. I ended one because she was also a narcissist (I was sure the relationship would be destructive), and the other because she was not (I was not attracted).

anonymous Mar 15, 2016 12:36pm

I totally relate to this description with the exception of grocery shopping or other outings not being a big deal. I would point out that the “empath” and INFJ personality type are essentially very similar if you happen to buy into the Myers-Briggs personality type model. It’s an amazing relief to realize you are not alone in a harsh world.

anonymous Mar 3, 2016 10:23pm

Im going to be honest and say at first i thought this empath stuff was true, but its not its simply anxiety my friends. In modern society where there is little to no danger in everyday situations we are honestly at a huge loss. We were meant for a much simpler time we are hunters,protectors and survivors. We get stressed, anxiety or even panic attacks in large crowds because we are naturally always on edge and are constantly looking for visual or audio ques to sense for danger and that leads to us getting worn out. When we sense anxiety(using visual and audio ques) from others we in turn get anxiety because we know that there is danger, think about it if someone was going to murder you he wouldn't be calm would he? This is my opinion in the matter anyways it seems much more rational to me and i believe it. I suggest going on a healthy non-inflammatory diet fish oil is essential, lifting weights/running regularly and if you must take prescription medication, after all we our at a severe disadvantage in this world.

anonymous Feb 14, 2016 1:00pm

I always thought I was just too super sensitive.. and being brought up by a non-nurturing, narcissistic mother… I have spend most of my adulthood 1) trying to understand who was at fault & why etc and 2) undoing all the hurt… almost at the cost of my life on many occasions.

Is it worth mentioning that mother manipulated & encouraged sibling rivalry between us 4 kids.. it was rampant and really really ugly… no reprieve from any corner!

So thanks for this insight to Empaths, great to put a label on something like that, my journey continues!

anonymous Feb 12, 2016 10:03am

I had no idea how the dynamic of me being an empath and married to a narcissist would affect me, but now I know. I see myself in just about every one of the 25 traits you listed and always felt there was something really wrong with me. I just about lost my life due to letting a narcissist in my life and it was only because I had my daughters to save from him was I able to escape. Now I’m remarried but still very alone.

anonymous Feb 8, 2016 5:01am

I read your article about a narcissistic relationship with an empath. I was in one for 12 years, almost lost my life because of it. When reading your article it sent shivers done my spine because you were reading my 12 lost years of my life. I have been alone for 5 years since that 12 have not dated since. I have put my trust in God now and my life is happy. Thank you for writing this article so it can help those who are still in those relationships. I wrote a book about my 12 year relationship with this narcissistic person and I haven’t published it but hoping to in the future.

Thank you again

Linda

anonymous Feb 2, 2016 5:19pm

Thank you so much I never realised that there were other people on this earth like me. 50yrs old and I read your article and it felt like coming home, everything you described as traits of an empath is me. I have said I feel like an alien, that I am too soft for this world and that I soak atmospheres up like a sponge. I have spent so many years holding myself responsible for everything around me, the automatic internalising and self blaming. Typically I only read up about empaths through a link about narcissists , I have just escaped from the narcissist in my life , it is all going to become clearer. Its hard being an empath and big hugs to all those fellow empaths out there. I am no longer alone in this world thank you with all my heart

anonymous Dec 24, 2015 2:26pm

6. Empaths will always love their NPDs or at least so I think. It's been 15 months since I have seen her and I am finally at peace, mostly, with the fact we will never be. But I get her and she knows I get her. With my background in mental health and I do consider myself expert I though I could help her. I was wrong. At least so far. I'm 58 now and just realized I am an empath. I, when treating mentally ill patients I would 'salt' them to my taste. That is I would adjust their meds till I liked being around them. And it worked. One day the person from the pharmacy said that my ward at that time (long term chronic schizophrenics) used less controlled substances and less seclusion (lock up) than any other unit in the hospital.
I thought my 'gift' was due to being hypervigilant due to my abuse as a child. And I have always been able to figure when people had hidden adjendas when working in primary care. And I use to tell myself I am so hypervigilant that I'm almost like an empath. well early this year I was walking into a grocery store on a Sunday morning and I felt aweful. I have bad arthritis in my ankles from playing basketball as a kid (I could dunk until I was 40 YOA) and I felt BAD. I walked into the store and I suddenly felt GOOD. Happy! I looked up and saw three people just out of Church happily talking and smiling and looked over at another group and they were doing the same. And it hit me, I actually am an empath. Literally.
6. I believe NPDs trueselves are empaths at their core. Which is why they had to build the falseself, they had no choice. NPD is NOT caused by parents giving their kids too much stuff. It results from cognitively brilliant, super sensitive kids going through relentless, capricious abuse. And the fact that the falseself has access to the locked up empath trueself explains why NPDs are able to read others so well while at the same time give no reciprocation other than false empathy. Or is my belief. The first time my NPD and I had sex I realized our hearts were beating exactly in time. So to sum up, I believe….
7. NPDs have a perfect defense and it is foolish to try to help them. They have insight eventually and rarely WANT to change. My NPD is still attached to me which is strange. I write music/songs on the guitar and have them up on my facebook page. I have 12 vids up currently and my NPD watches them all at least 3 times daily. ALL of them. For over a year. So we DO have some kind of connection. But she has to change/seek help not me change for her. She is somatic type which means sex addict. She is lost.
1. NPDs are at least 120 IQ
2. The false self is created at the age of abstract thinking
3. NPD is a consciously created type of fugue state. BPD and HPD are similar, HPDs are smarter. NPD is a totally different, perfect defense.
4. The DSM is not correct.
5. Intervention at an early age might be possible.
6. At a NPDs core is a bitterly hurt empath.
7. You cannot help an adult NPD. THEY have to seek help. Until they do stay away. I thought, with my mental health background I would be safe. Worse year of my life. Stay away.

Post: I have kept the predatory instincts, I have always seen how I could use others I just choose not to, it is much better to help, not hurt. Heal, not destroy.

anonymous Dec 24, 2015 2:26pm

Hi. I'm an empath. I'm also a nurse practitioner and worked in-patient mental health for about 15 years with seriously mentally ill persons and also worked with in-patient addicts for about 3 years. Where I worked I was independent (had my own wards) and I also did out patient mental health for about a year. I'm really good at it. My father was a surgeon and badly physically abused me from about ages 10-13 I got the crap beat out of me about every 3-4 weeks. As he was a MD and we lived in small town and was treated like a 'God' no one did anything, even when he pounded my head on the floor, busted open my face and took me to the hospital and put in 5 or 6 stitches without using lidocaine. He often said, "I brought you into this world and I will take you out anytime I like." I believed him. I was an extra sensitive kid as empaths are and I have always said, much as the author of this article, "These are not my people" speaking of those others I see on the planet.
At about 12 or 13 I put on the armor, I became NPD. I started telling people I was the greatest con-man that had ever lived and where I had once cared about others I started to see how I could pushpull levers to get people to do whatever I wanted. Then something unusual happened. My mother got in between my father and me and he hit HER. Out the house he went and was gone almost a year. And yes, it is not lost on me that she should have put him out long before but it is what it is. My father was NPD and my mom is an empath. So there are some insights I would like to share.
1. People that become NPD have to be at least 120 IQ. The false-self is much like the clinical self health providers are TAUGHT to create to protect themselves working with the sick, injured and dying. Of course the clinical self is built by adults, the NPD self is built by new abstract thinkers.
2. Due to brain growth babies are born with the brains as fully developed as possible and still stand a chance of getting out of mama when born. Children build the connections for abstract thought between 10 and 13 years of ago. So I believe that is when the child is able to create the false self. In my case I realized I was going to get beaten no matter what I did but if I got caught lying it happened sooner than later. So I learned to become the best possible lier I could be. Delaying a beatdown for a week is a big deal to a kid. So I learned to extract that part that could not be revealed and rehearse the lie till I had NO hesitation or affect that would give it away. But still I would get beat. So it was a good,but not perfect strategy. NPD protected me totally. I depersonalized and watched it happen to someone else, it was not me.
The false self is a complex abstraction like adults make to work in emergency room type work areas. A 12 year old has to be really smart to build the false self. Kids that are not that smart become either BPD or HPD.
3. BPD, HPD and NPD are defense strategies. NPD is perfect, HPD and BPD are imperfect strategies but their true self is still present. HPD is more cognitively capable than BPD. BPDs require lots of repetition in therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually very effective with HPD. Therapy with NPD rarely ever happens as they really are as smart or smarter than their therapist. All NPDs are bright if not brilliant.
4. To me NPD is like a fugue state. A fugue is when someone forgets who they are and ends up somewhere doing things and have no memory of whom they were. NPD is like that to me. When I went NPD I consciously chose to be a different person. I was no longer the kid getting beaten, that happened to someone else that lived in my body, I could not be hurt. I always remembered that time and how malicious to others I felt and wondered what it was about. I knew there was something really wrong with my father as he would have mini-psychotic episodes. If were discussing some point of fact and I said the correct fact and he supported the mistake he would look up the information, no matter what the discussion and if the reference stated what I said he would say he had been saying the correct thing all along and I had been saying the mistake. And he BELIEVED it. He was what Sam Vaknin calls NPD cognitive type. but my dad was not in the DSM.
4. The DSM is written in committees and based on observed behavioral traits so it is not medical model. The DSM does not correctly describe NPD.
5. How I 'escaped' a predatory, shallow life. Luck and LOVE. My father was put out of the house for almost a year. My maternal grandmother, whom my father said was the smartest woman he had ever met, noticed my change. She had never hurt me and I use to call her my 'every day Santa Claus'. She told me she was ashamed of how I had changed and as I had only been NPD for a few months, and the fact she had never hurt me, I felt ashamed and dropped my falseself.

continued….

anonymous Dec 1, 2015 7:44pm

Empathy and introversion is not necessarily aligned. These two might often accompany each other, but they do not absolutely coincide. I’m an extrovert: I get my energy from socialising, not being alone, although I also enjoy my time alone. But I am ALSO an empath. I also am highly sensitive, sucking up the feelings of a room of people from the atmosphere, and I have great difficulties separating my feelings from other peoples. I feel like I need to fix the world. Perhaps that’s part of my being an extrovert – I often LOOK for happy feelings in order to help me be happy, and as an extrovert, I WORK at changing an atmosphere that feels negative by pushing out positive energy.

Please be careful how you present such things. The article above basically suggests that the two MUST align, since it doesn’t separate the two at all. This is a fallacy! You need to overtly ensure that the two are not presented as an all encompassing package, as if one has both or none. And you need to ensure that people don’t get the two confused. Introversion is NOT the same, nor does it necessarily coincide with empath traits. This article does not at all separate and explain these two very separate traits well.

anonymous Nov 27, 2015 12:18am

Thank you for an excellent writeup Alex. And goodbye Michelle, I wish you only the best. I always did.

anonymous Nov 25, 2015 11:10pm

100 percent me………………..I have somewhat learned to leash the energies of others but there are times I am not able to..I find myself tending to self much more than I use to. Many around me have noticed and my intuition tells me that I am very misunderstood by many….

anonymous Nov 10, 2015 8:33pm

Thank you so much Alex. The way you phrased this touched me beyond tears. I can't quite put my finger on it. I've read many articles before on this subject , but this one touched me.

anonymous Nov 10, 2015 7:59pm

Oh my. I am crying. I thought there was something wrong with me all my life and trying to explain the way I feel got me stares of not understanding. Agh!

anonymous Nov 10, 2015 11:24am

I’m sitting here in AWE at how much this article describes me.
There is so much to process and ponder from this. Thank you.

anonymous Nov 6, 2015 8:38am

Thank you for this article. For years I had known I was different growing up and when I was about 23-24 I realized what I was but did not know how to protect myself. I had much trauma in my early life and it created the person I am today. Most of the descriptors in this article suit me but you articulated them more eloquently. I am not ADHD but do have bi-polar depression which can present with ADHD type symptoms. Finally, at 50, I have learned through years of therapy, professional and self, that I cannot fix someone or heal someone so I make a conscious effort to fix the only person I can, me. I have quit accepting blame for things that I have no control over and have chosen consciously to not be responsible for how another chooses to act. I will no longer take the blame for how another chooses to react to something I say or do, it is not my responsibility to interpret for someone the meaning of what I say. I am no longer holding myself responsible for another’s happiness, only my own. I still and and always will be an empath that will never change. What I I can do is choose to not let that side of me rule the way I live my life now. The last 50 years have not been an easy road but I am rewarded knowing that I have helped those who truly wanted help and were not just energy vampires and make the conscious choice to avoid interacting with those people as much as possible. I even rarely will shake hands with another person anymore upon meeting them and I allow myself to not feel bad about that choice. I do not think I have turned into a narcissist, I have just learned to deal with people differently now and now protect myself from being a negativity sponge. If I meet someone and immediately know they need ‘saved” I will stay as far away from them as possible. I cannot fix what I did not break so now I no longer try. The longest relationship I have had is with my daughter (25 years) and my second one is my husband whom I have been with for 15 years and difficult years they have been.

I will now no longer fight against what I am or feel like I need to fit a triangle peg into a round hole. I will be happy with my differences and be happy being blessed that I care about the world around me but at the same time not let that world control me. I will help when and where I can but will not be sucked dry by the irreparably damaged people I cannot “fix” and realize I did not break them. I would not change being an empath, it made me the person I am today and I finally love me and accept me as I am. I now know myself and I’m a pretty good person to know.

anonymous Oct 31, 2015 1:44pm

Some of this may true but much of what is described is also codependent behavior when it comes to relationships. As someone healing a codependent pattern after a relationship with a sociopath, i would be remiss to chalk it all up to empathic nature. I am an empath and I also have unhealthy relationship patterns. Those have to be healed first. And simultaneously I will be better at managing my sensitivity and the necessary boundaries.

Perhaps there is a correlation. If you grow up as an empath and do not get proper 'training' and support to protect yourself and really understand the sensitivity than you become a very good target for narcissist, Borderline person, sociopath, etc… and to fall into codependent patterns.

Food for thought.

anonymous Oct 30, 2015 11:38pm

This is me all the way…right in the beginning about feeling like an alien I can completely relate to that feeling but never knowing how to explain it…now that I know more about all of this it's like a weight has been lifted

anonymous Oct 20, 2015 10:31am

I love this article as well as almost everything Elephant. 🙂 I have always felt different growing up, feeling the physical pain of others at times. So, not only do I know that I am an Empath, but the man I am in love with, unofficially engaged to, also has all of the traits of an Empath. Initially, I thought this would be extremely romantic and lovely. Two Empaths, in love with each other, and it is!!! I have NEVER experienced such a deep, intense affection for someone, and knowing that he feels the same way. We are carefully trying to navigate our emotions without hurting each other. It is exciting, overwhelming, blissful and terrifying all at the same time. We are new in our relationship. We’ve been together for 10 months. We want to make sure that we do everything possible to keep our relationship healthy and forever.
Any advice on how two Empaths can live and love until death do us part? BTW, he is 10 years my junior. If that has any significance.
Thank you in advance.

anonymous Oct 15, 2015 7:10pm

I have discovered I'm an empath, I also have a lot of co dependent traits. I have a son who is an alcoholic and drug addict. I really struggle at times. I really believe I will find some relief and knowledge at this site. Thank you

anonymous Oct 1, 2015 5:53pm

I have always believed that I am truly an empath. There are days when I wake up really happy in the morning but if I feel that someone around me is sad that immediately takes me down. I also have like a super power that let's me know when people are not being honest with me. What I really want is some kind of remote control to turn this off.

anonymous Sep 20, 2015 8:39pm

I can agree with most of the traits listed in the article, having had them since childhood. I knew I was different than the rest of my family, and faced all the negative comments, such as being highly strung; a daydreamer; too sensitive; and as I have come through my adult life, I too, like most of the commentators found it impossible to say no to anyone. I was also diagnosed with ADD for the first time this year, and it explained so much about my whole life up to now.

I could particularly identify with @Deborah’s comment above. Her words are also me all over. I am now working on myself and my own happiness, and the only way to do that is to stay out of other peoples businesses, and not go on making their problems mine when in truth they are not. So far it’s working. Thank you all for helping me to understand and accept myself and my life, and for arming me with the means to ensure it remains a blessing and doesn’t return to being a curse.

anonymous Sep 11, 2015 2:39am

Interesting read

I am an empath who used to do everything in his power to help others now

I’ve locked myself up to hide from most of it. It still gets in I still can tell their feelings and their stance or truthfullness which hurts a bit.

I also have the bad habbit of staying friends with a person who constantly comes to be for help and never saying no to her mental troubles.

anonymous Sep 10, 2015 9:59am

This is a amazing article. I always knew I had the blessing and the curse….I want it to be more of a blessing as I a majority of the time only see the light/good in people…but can sense the bad and haven’t learned how to say no and get them out of my life before they drain my life force. I’m 38 with my one and only daughter who is 3…she is already showing signs of the gift. I need to make sure I help her so that she doesn’t have the major struggles I went through as a kid and adult. I want her to blossom and be my Starshine in such a dark world. We are seerers of light and goodness as I am a country girl in the city. I need her and I grounded to the earth. I need help tuning in on how to protect myself from allowing others to steal my light….I’m a healer and a reader. So balancing is hard…especially with add/ADHD. Please help me as I’ve been drained but have been spending time in nature restoring my soul. Looking for a group in Lafayette Indiana to meet up with.

anonymous Sep 10, 2015 3:44am

T H A N K S !
I'm an empath with narcissistic mother and sister and egotistical father! And life is preventing me from having money and stand on my own feet! I don't know why is this happening to me! I'm ready to leave them but life is preventing me from earning money! 🙁

anonymous Sep 4, 2015 11:40pm

This explains a lot! I’ve been looking for something to explain why I was able to know things without being told. So many times I thought I was going crazy. I once had a horrible experience I couldnt explain: I was working in a convenience store and a coworker had introduced her daughter to me , the little girl had to be 3 or so, anyways when I went to shake her hand I had a terrible feeling that someone was hurting her. Scared I instantly pulled away from the little girl, thinking what the heck was that. I couldn’t wrap my mind about what I had felt so I ignored it thinking ” I was crazy”. A week later I get a call from my co worker who is crying and telling me that she won’t be able to come to work because the school had called her. It appeared that her boyfriend had be violating her daughter. This was what I felt this was what this little girls energy was telling me. I be had so many experience of knowing things and NOW I know why. Thank you

anonymous Aug 10, 2015 6:30pm

This was very insightful. I am an empath…never really knew it, but the descriptions given were on point.

anonymous Aug 10, 2015 1:23pm

This article is amazing. Thank you.
It is an awesome gift. It is extremely hard at times.

anonymous Aug 9, 2015 8:51pm

At 42 i have known since 3 that i was kinda different to many in my circle of life………
I am lead vocalist in a band and followed my dream at 38, even though this was my dream, it takes so much out of me to do! the next day after a gig, my comedown is hard, i have to shut myself away for a day or two, to ground myself and feel my energy levels come back to normal, i now understand everything, i have always been this way….. the pain in my chest and my heart that i can feel of someone elses, scares the shit out of me…because its intense and overwhelming and i dont know quite what to do… animals, people, places and situations can leave me exhausted days after………. i feel the older i get, the better i am handling situations, but i still get scared…. this is all me, every bit written about being an empath has been my journey for a very long time. im ok with it……now 😉

anonymous Jul 14, 2015 5:28pm

How about psychosomatic effects? I'm an empath. I have most of the traits. My life is a rollercoaster of feelings, and when they're intense (both happy or sad) my body pays the price. I had serious eczema when I first fell in love and had a long-distance relationship. Whenever I saw my boyfriend, I was so excited my whole body would burst with eczema, even on my eyelids, and it itched so much I couldn't sleep for days. My face was a disaster zone, but everything would disappear completely in less than 12 hours when he left. If I'm upset about something, my wrists start itching for example. I've come down with fever and diarrhea for several days after experiencing intense feelings. I've lost my period for several months because of stress, guilt, responsibility. And I'm pretty sure I suffered from acne aged 21 (my skin was flawless until then) as a form of solidarity to my best friend, who had been struggling with it for years.
Do you think this could be related to being an empath? Thanks.

    anonymous Sep 8, 2015 4:54am

    Alice, I suffer from Rosacea. Like you, I have break-outs after experiencing intense feelings. I'm on and off medication for it. At the moment, I'm struggling to keep it under control, but I have been experiencing intense feelings. Someone that I cared for passed away at the end of June. I've been completely knocked off centre…all my barriers that I have to protect me, from the energy of others, aren't working anymore, so hence the skin flare-ups.

anonymous Jul 11, 2015 2:17am

I think you can add to the list that we are great gift givers, and almost always dislike getting one 😉
two days later and i’m still thinking about this article.

anonymous Jul 9, 2015 1:30pm

Oh my, you just turned my world upside down. never knew i am "something" let alone an empath. thank you for teaching me something new about myself, and understand.

anonymous Jul 6, 2015 12:44pm

These articles are all EYE openers.
It is strange, because I fit perfectly on both sides of the coin. I begin to believe that I was originally an empath who now has turned into a narcissist. My parents were extremely abusive (emotionally/physically), also my 1st boyfriend was the same. However I was a bully in high school, I still consider myself as a horrible person. Heaven knows I am a narcissistic parent, I really could be a better mother. And wife… But the empath description really resonates my inner self and calling. I have started a self healing journey 6mths ago and started meditation. I started practicing buddhism again last year, since my childhood. I forever pray for a better self… although I really believe I am truly a narcissist, because I have an unruly temper (exactly like my father’s). Because of the horribleness I present now, I am not sure if I can revert to my empath self. I am currently in the middle of deciding to leave my family, because they don’t need the negative energy I consume them in. But everyone I have spoken too believe I can heal without deserting my love ones. To be honest, I truly fear their safety and livelihoods if I am to stay with them… my husband and I don’t want to go down the road of counselling again. Because I believe we need to fix our individual selves first before addressing the relationship. My life right now, there is war within me. And I need to overcome these hurdles now, because I am missing the best years of my childrens growth! Most importantly, they need a healthy mother!

    anonymous Jul 9, 2015 1:27pm

    I wish you all the best, i think you're more than half way there because you're very much aware. one little step each day. good luck.

    anonymous Jul 28, 2015 10:51pm

    Drawing from my nature and life experience, I'd like to share my impressions with you. The first thing I see are the debilitating labels you've placed over your head. Abusive parents insert this programming into our psyche and it becomes an autofill response when we look to understand ourselves. If you can see that you are reenacting on yourself the same injustices inflicted by your parents, perhaps you can stop the perpetuation of their destructiveness. By assuming the descriptors of narcissist and horrible, you deny the right of your own humanity by dismissing all the relevant elements you are actually comprised of.

    While immaterial to my larger point, you are clearly not a narcissist; the point of acting horribly would never enter the conversation much less prove troubling to them. More likely you are preoccupied by your own desperate needs for reconciliation. That does not mean you are a narcissist or horrible, it means you are human, which by the way is an okay thing to let yourself be. Abusive parents tell us otherwise in every action they take against us. It can become so ingrained in us that we don't even think to consider its implications. The harsh demands and critiques you've made on yourself seem to point to this and serve to exacerbate your overall sense of chaos. I can't imagine though, how it could be possible to move forward without first giving yourself permission to be human. Then with a sympathetic eye toward the vulnerable and fragile nature of our beings, you can approach yourself with a more compassionate understanding that will allow for the repair and healing you so desperately need. The exercise of compassion creates a place of peace where we can find a calm that will allow us to breathe. The repair process and subsequent healing will take place over a long span due to its far reaching impacts, but in itself does not require a war. I think the war takes place between who you innately know yourself to be and the image projected on you by people who weren't very good at being human. Recognize and acknowledge that you deserved so much better and commit yourself to that higher standard.

    Through my own experience as a mother, I found catharsis in giving my child the things that I never had yet so desperately needed. Part of each gift I offered, was its invisibility, coming only as her human right to be loved, supported, secure, and treated with dignity. I have a sense that you are around my daughter's age and perhaps that comes into play with my deep hope that there's something I've offered here that might serve to lighten your load. I may have read this all wrong and done nothing more than project my own experiences onto you. Either way it turns out, just know there's a soul in the world who's name is Cindy, and she really cares about you.

    Peace.

anonymous Jul 5, 2015 5:28am

I know exactly how to feels to be controlled by a narcissist. Almost 20 years of marriage, 2 kids(he had a “just us” mentality, always hated me giving any attention to them unless he wanted private time away -alone), some highs, a LOT of lows (verbal/physical abuse), his adultery (beginning with private intimate conversations with other women to boost his ego) apparently from day one…
I WANTED the marriage to work so even when we separated I believed we would work it out. He was already moving onto his next victim while convincing me:
1) he was in therapy. [He was seeing other people, just not a counselor like he insisted. ]
2) I was the problem. [Despite years of his cheating/my getting past it, there was always doubt/trust issues. He blamed me for bringing up the past, not himself for the actual act of cheating.]
He also charmed others so well that they believed his story despite knowing me. That left me feeling attacked/violated again.
[Ex: his best friend actually told me to get over it/move on/leave him alone because of the lies my ex told him. I’d believed we were working it out yet his best friend had introduced my ex to his new girlfriend weeks earlier after being told by him it was over. He told his best friend but not me! He kept me hanging on instead of just saying “I’m a selfish douche and will never get this out of my system”.]
I’m in the middle of divorce (left him in March) trying not to be bitter. But I cannot deny the truth. He is narcissistic &used me (&our kids) for his supply. I’m better off because I have been depressed/confused/angry for YEARS trying to understand what I did wrong.
What I did wrong: trusted the wrong man & let him mean too much, let it drain me when there was no hope he was a better man.
To this day he flaunts his new relationship all over town while still married yet denied her in court. She herself is married& claimed they were just friends. I hope she enjoys the hell she walked into& lied to achieve. I know for a fact he still continues his “cheating” with a few others(addicted to it). And her young children will be a huge problem for him soon.
It’s really hard not to be bitter. I’ll just wish them the karma they’ve earned.
*Research narcissistic personality disorder & start healing.
I cannot LOVE these other comments enough as they validate the hell I survived. Oh the freedom of no longer walking on eggshells.

anonymous Jul 4, 2015 7:33am

I am just leaving a relationship with what I perceive to be a narcissist. I am in a state of confusion. I was thinking I was the narcissist. He has blamed me for everything that has occurred in the relationship, and I accepted it. I actually believe that I am the cause of our marriage ending, though I can’t truly understand it. I love him even though he had called me names and said other ugly things. I excused it because I thought I hadn’t said the right thing, or done the right thing. I blame myself for his anger because I did end up becoming physical in arguments. I can’t believe the ugliness that came out of me! I spent the rest of the relationship apologizing because he wouldn’t let me ever forget that I did, no matter how long ago it may have happened. I need help!

anonymous Jul 3, 2015 9:55pm

Wow, I’ve considered that I was an empath a few times before. But I had never been able to articulate the deeper reasons of how I knew; this article really heightened my own self-awareness! I fall in every trait from 5-25, except for about 2 of them and that is because I am also a strong strong extrovert. So I use the energy and emotional intune-ness to build my relationships with other people. I have even chosen a career in the service/community engagement world, especially relating to disadvantaged youth. Thank you so for this concise and poignant article AND list.

anonymous Jul 2, 2015 12:41pm

I just happened across this article and others on elephantjournal.com … This “Empath” personality type describes me and what I am “suffering” with to a T! I had not been able to figure out why I feel the way I do (all you describe above…) … I want to read more. I want to understand more. I want to strengthen my life so I am not overcome by all my sensitivities. Thank you!

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 3:10am

    You need to find a reason other than personal balance. Have a cause or goal in someone or something that will thrive when you gain control. I am ready to show mine off and be strong finally. You don't need to read more you are full of knowledge already you just needed to know your not alone. I over read and it distracts me to other sufferers. Guess what I found out my son has autism at 2 year s old he cant talk or express emotion and its sensitive to all senses. I can now anticipate with confidence what he needs I will find a cure. any suggestions? or do you have a cause to help?

anonymous Jul 2, 2015 7:07am

Thank you sooo much for this article on Empaths it is one of the best I have ever read. I am a born Empath also, I often felt different on many levels and wondered for years why I would just cry for no reason or was so sensitive. I found out why finally about 15 yrs ago. I was a born Empath. I see myself in everything you said about being an Empath. I even know when someone dies by going into a debilitating panic attacks. I really wish I could speak with you more because I know there is so much more I can be doing with my gift. I have actually turned into an introvert like you explained above, which is often very lonely but I don’t fell comfortable around people for very long. I used to do things and then slowly locked myself away. I do love being an Empath though. Blessed Be

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 3:02am

    When someone dies explain please what happens do you know who dies? I do this but with births. I do feel like I'm living backward and forward same time. I anticipated Robin Williams death

anonymous Jul 2, 2015 4:41am

Thank you, your article has ‘turned the lights on’. I have been involved in a relationship for the last 5 years with a narcissist unknowingly. Everything makes sense now and as well as a huge weight being lifted from me I’m also saddened as I let go and as I realise the relationship and love that I thought I had not was there , did not exist and was a sham.

anonymous Jul 1, 2015 8:30pm

When I read this article, I get mad at myself. I was not always like this. I was strong & outgoing. As I turn 55, my life has no joy. I have a boyfriend who fits the narcissistic trait, but I cannot believe I would allow this. I am strict, a rule follower. I go to work every day. I am tired of being a pathetic loner.

    anonymous Jan 17, 2016 7:49am

    Get rid of the guy…they're emotional vampires. You need to read articles written by narc survivors to give you the tools to help you. I wish you luck x

anonymous Jul 1, 2015 10:23am

Wow! I always thought I was too "codependent", however, as I read this article, I realize this is me all the way. I tend to make excuses for other people when they are rude or uncaring, with empathy for their situation, rather than care about how I was treated. I tend to be too nice, or sweet to people at times, even when it is not reciprocated. My goal this year was to disconnect, and not try to fix everything, because, honestly, I can't. I do a good job of making my way in the world, and if I see something that works well or makes life easier, I tend to want to tell everyone…..to help them. I want to stop doing that. Keep it to myself, don't worry so much about everyone else. Thank you for writing this. It was very enlightening for me, the empath…..and I look forward to reading your follow up as well.

anonymous Jul 1, 2015 5:30am

Though a little too broad or simple in places, the article is most on the money, describing me to perhaps 90%. There are other problems that arise with this characteristic. For example, I no longer watch news precisely because of the raving insanity that now gallops across the face of the earth into nearly every corner. It is a nightmare, the world of humanity, and while I steel myself against it, the wickedness of it all builds, even if only in small increments. At some point, something must give with all this storage of the world's horrors that manage to touch me no matter how well I work to insulate myself. That is when I will have a bad day… or week. That is when I see the nightmare for what it is, and that is when I see my life not as something to be lived, but as a thing to be endured as I wait for the peace of non-existence to repair me from this madhouse where the patients are in charge.

I live in the country on a small farm and carry a firearm with me everywhere I go – not just to defend against possible attack, which out here is less likely than being stricken by lightning – but to administer mercy to animals mortally wounded by people, most often by way of vehicular collision. I have shot a fair number of deer, cats, and even turtles who were suffering terribly after having been hit by cars. I will on occasion hunt for meat, such as deer, but part of me hates it to no end. I do it because the other side of me demands me be honest in how I obtain such sustenance. I do not enjoy removing life from anyone. I feel reticence even to kill the ticks that I find on the dogs, but do because of the terrible things they carry. But even those acts build within me that poison of the horrors of the murder of innocence, as my mind perceives it.

I admit that I will be relieved when the time comes to shuffle off, precisely because I seek to be relieved of the horrors of the world. I feel the joys of it as well, but rarely feel at my leisure to enjoy them with the same durability as I experience the other side. The evil that men do always malingers with me. I am better at dealing with it than I have been in the past, but I cannot say I am "good" at it. But slowly I am growing older and take some solace in the knowledge that this life will not last forever. If such things are possible, I will never again return to this nut-hatch world. I have no interest in the evils of men and feel I have experienced enough of them for a trillion lifetimes.

    anonymous Jul 3, 2015 3:25pm

    Wolf ,
    I also have felt what you felt and had wonder and ponder about not existing in this world. When i thought about leaving i knew people like me are ment to live here in this world because the people who do not see or feel what we do will create a world without our thoughts or views. Although the idea of returning seems tortchure the idea of letting the world live without us is unimaginable. I would live a thousand lives if god wanted me to because i know people need people like you who will eas the pain of those animals when suffering and people like me who help others see several points of views so that everyone gets along and much more that we have to offer all of us. Stay proud of what you do and take in some more negative ions to help regenerate the exaution we often feel. Earth itself is trying to heal us so go outside lay on the grass collect the neg ions from the earth. Well get through it were stronger than most.
    Love,
    Shadow

    anonymous Jul 10, 2015 10:49pm

    Thank you. You've articulated my experience of this life so vividly and yet so succinctly at the same time. I wish I had the courage and integrity you have when it comes to the animals whose suffering you have alleviated. Thank you so much for that I don't get this life, and I find myself looking forward to the peace of nonexistence as well. It's just nice to know there are others out there who get the world and life the way I do-even though I have compassion for them because the overall experience is best demonstrated and expressed through a long deep sigh.Much love to you, Wolf

    anonymous Sep 9, 2015 3:16am

    Wolves, you write beautifully, are you writer? The way that you write feels familiar to me.
    I hope that you can stay strong.
    Love, Firefly.

      anonymous Dec 22, 2015 2:57am

      Exactly I feel like you do. I couldn't keep my eyes off his story it was like I wrote it I already knew how the mood and next feeling was going to be what words would come next. I cant look at road kill I have to block vision/

    anonymous Jan 18, 2016 11:37pm

    Wow. Your pain has touched me deeply. I share it, the deep grief that you carry for humanity. If I may, two books which are remarkable to recommend. One is a biography of a man who died in 1973 and endured one of the darkest periods of human history, yet, this book brings hope. It's many short, true stories of people's sufferings and how they overcame them via the strength of this man. YOU can also use this gift of compassion and genuine love in your heart for all of humanity to bring light. Please read, Father Arseny 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father.
    The second book, though academically and stifling in the reading but containing a rich resources of knowledge, The Mountain of Silence, by Markides.
    I believe these two books will provide immense support and a door to a new way of thinking.

anonymous Jun 30, 2015 3:51am

So wait… this sums me up better than any personality type test I’ve ever taken. This ability serves my acupuncture work. I can often times know where my patient is suffering based on these emphatic vibrations. I am learning how to distinguish between empathic pain and my own. Seems to be a matter of being able to quickly clear internally.

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 11:59pm

I can’t believe what I just read! I am 46 years old and have spent 46 years thinking I must be crazy and not being able to talk to anyone about the things I think and feel and know. And, OMG, I am NOT alone! There are others like me! What a beautiful, wondrous thing! Thank you!

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 2:49am

    I am so glad I feel like you and I want to be mad at myself that I'm 36 and now feel almost in control and excited. I love to know if after this things got more beautiful for you. I almost want to be stingy with gift now. But guess what I just found out my son has autism at 2 years old do you know how much my gift is perfect for him! I love your explanation points that is so me!

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 10:28pm

I totally understand what you are saying and I definitely agree it is supernatural. I am definetly the same as you iI wonder if you have ever heard of the happy intercessor book by beni Johnson this really helped me to understand more about my gift bless you Sheree

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 4:41pm

Thank you for sharing. This is a very good article, one that I strongly relate to. I had no idea that my personality trait was an empath. For the longest time, many of these traits I kept to myself, for the same reason that you mentioned above. This article is so enlightening.

thank you

JC

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 12:45pm

I'm curious about how to not become co-dependent as an empath? any ideas?

    anonymous Sep 8, 2015 10:44am

    Try The Human Magnet Syndrome or Codependent No More. Both speak about being codependency.

    anonymous Sep 16, 2015 9:13am

    Become empathically-unempathic

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 10:17am

Wow, I'm sitting here in awe because 90% of this applies to me. I too, from birth have felt different, but not in a bad way. I am easily drained by peoples energy, although I love to be around them at the same time so it's always felt like a battle. As I've gotten older, I find myself wanting to be alone more and more and the thought of having a child or a pet terrifies me because of my strength of empathy. I've always considered myself an escapist but I believe that has kept me balanced in my day to day life. Overall, I feel like I benefit from the strong connection I feel with people, animals and the earth. As much as it can be overwhelming at times, it also brings me great joy.

    anonymous Jul 4, 2015 4:00pm

    Actually living with animals has a positive affect on empaths (actually for all humans). Particularly cats as well as dogs, because they help us process the emotions and energies that run through our bodies. Cats like to feel your heartbeat. There is much written material out there regarding the benefits of living with animal companions. I suggest visiting some animal shelters periodically maybe even volunteer to spend time with one or two. You might find a soul who is waiting to connect with you on a regular basis.

anonymous Jun 29, 2015 2:06am

Ha you forgot # 26. Empaths very likely also have ADHD.

Adhd meds have helped calm my anxiety ridden racing mind so that doing things like the dmv, grocery store, hanging out with friends etc. don’t leave me feeling SO DRAINED I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE MY HOUSE EVER AGAIN 🙂 ADHD meds help calm my thoughts so that I can logically think straight.

    anonymous Jul 3, 2015 7:28pm

    It takes at least 3 hours to get back to my "normal", after walking to and from the Walmart, near my home. The noise and lighting, the hoards of people, eeeek! I'm needing to make a trip to the DMV, and have tried twice, on the bus, but each time, my intuition "tells" me to forget about it, for that particular day. Yesterday, the plan was to do that, but, just went to pay my rent,instead, and that ordeal is still affecting me, today. But, I also have RA, so heat, stress, etc, bother me. Drs have diagnosed me with anxiety. Though on tests, I score high on ADHD. I was the daydreamer child in school, made straight A's, without studying, and frequently skipped school, to go to the creek, to relax- since my parents would be up fighting all night, and I would be exhausted in the morning. Hate mornings, when I'm expected to "be" somewhere, early, and when making appointments, always try for an afternoon appt. Had hoped this anxiety would abate, when I grew older, but so far, nope. I'm 68, and still learning to cope. Oh, also diagnosed with PTSD, and loud, unexpected sounds, scare the stuffing out of me. Have been told that I'm overly sensitive. No, really?

    anonymous Nov 10, 2015 1:31am

    I have to agree with you. I have ADHD and realizing I'm also an Empath. ..on such a high level its ruining everyones joy around me. Omg…. I don't know how to turn this off and I'm basicly loosing my frikkin mind. No life, just finding ways to avoid pain and extreme exhaustion. I just want to be normal. Adderall isn't helping any more, it started to make me over focused and way to detailed. How are you coping with both? Just ADHD meds? Anyone have suggestion to alternatives to adderall.

      anonymous Nov 11, 2015 5:52am

      Janette, a very affective natural way to replace drugs us called Cucumin. Buy it in a highly concentrated capsule, gel or tablet form.

      anonymous Nov 26, 2015 7:46pm

      Totally agree!! I’m so happy I finally read this article. This is me to a T. But the overstimulation is a huge problem and seems to be getting worse with age. I’m considering therapy and/or medication because the ADHD and depression are getting to the point where it’s really effecting my quality of life. I also worry about my two young boys.

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 12:31pm

I resonated a lot with that. I'm a trained counsellor and am thinking of starting up a free private support group for empaths. If you're interested, please visit http://goforself.me/resources/#empaths

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 8:45am

Wow! You nailed it on the head. As a child I had 7 brothers & sisters. It was chaos. I knew I was special, different. However, he messages I got were damaging. So instead of being helpful I got extremely frustrated, and often lost my temper. I ended up marrying a narcissistic alcoholic. I eventually went to al- anon, which allowed me the anonymity I so needed. Because of that. I also learned how to love & protect myself. This is a divine gift. Use it well. Blessings to all who read this.

    anonymous Sep 8, 2015 4:37am

    Robin, when I was younger I also married a narcissistic alcoholic. I thought that I could 'fix him' by loving him. I was very naive. I read this quote recently: "Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended." I've made this mistake a lot in the past. I feel the feelings of others so intensely that sometimes I think that I am in love with the people that I'm trying to fix. I isolate a lot to protect myself.

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 2:42am

    Me too I finally found the right word narcissistic alcoholic w/schizophrenia. I found a book on the curb trash pick up day that said why we choose the men we do and choose them again and again. funny title I know It was perfect.

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 3:49am

Amazing piece – thanks for that. I am an empath – it's a weakness as much as it is a strength 🙂

    anonymous Mar 24, 2016 2:16pm

    true, loved reading the article… I am an empath too and lately learned not to take other people's pain

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 1:40am

Hello

Thank you for your article it’s been very helpful. I am wondering if you have heard of Human Design? According to human design there are four different aura types, one of which is called a projector and also a variety of different ways that the energy centres one which is what they describe as the solar plexus functions. For example if on a persons body graph which is deciphered by astrological influences, the I Ching to name a couple the solar plexus is described as open the person is said to have many qualities that describe the empath. The person will take in emotional environments very intensely and even amplify it. Just thought you might find it interesting 🙂

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 2:39am

    Wow. Is there a way to test this theory or prove? I had a autism adult of 24 tell me she could read colors on people she feels it. I was a stranger with a child also with autism at 3 just diagnosed. She said she liked me and wanted me at her bday party.

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 12:22am

100% me, all packaged up in a nutshell. Much to ponder… will certainly be working more on fine tuning Me for Me, and not holding onto to everyone elses pain, Drama, issues “outside energy”.
Thanks!

    anonymous Dec 22, 2015 2:33am

    no not 100%. In no way should you consider yourself packaged up but everything surrounding that is hidden and invisible greatness. You are the sodium nitrate no one sees that preserves the nuts to be able to survive in that package fresher and to last. Without you the nuts go bad quick. I'm sorry but please work on tuning yourself and still make a impact in others, nature and animals. The world needs us whether it will be appreciated it's a gift to share to release or addiction could happen. Tuning yourself and pushing others away and watching others suffer will not work I know. I refuse to let it be a negative thing anymore or a reason for others to twist and walk away leaving me guilty. I will present my gift as a service and give instructions to others of how to utilize it with a mutual time frame and consequences of hurting me. I want control of this so bad. I cant watch another person suddenly be struck with a bad incident shortly after hurting me. Sickness, car accidents and bodily injuries. I need to accept I cannot keep bonds with friends but provide a service and tip jar it feels so much better to even say it that way. Those who walk away it will be because they have succeeded in a goal or don't need nothing to do with what I did. I can't look at road kill, I cried when Rhonda Rhousey was getting hit, I save the crickets and big roaches at work before others step on, I try and save things stuck in webs before spider comes back, when my daughter coughs at night I wake up each time, the girl at work coughed and coughed I went to the store grabbed cough drops and brought to her I couldn't concentrate from pain she had, I anticipate when people get hungry and look thirsty, I make people feel like crap because I'm too good I was told so don't want to be around me, I never cuss they hurt me inside when I hear them, bright lights don't get me started workplace I'm made fun of cave woman, Elvira etc., It hurts when I see people litter, if a kid is getting spanked I have to leave quickly, I cant eat at chicken express because the chicken on the sign looks afraid and bout to fly in hot grease or the barbeque place with the pig is happy wearing sunglasses he is not happy I know and they are rubbing it in. I don't like it when people break branches or take leaves off trees. So much more cant wait to get control now that I ready to accept and this is real condition. My son was just diagnosed with autism at 2 years old and finally this all has prepared me and makes sense. He cant tell me or express pain or emotions but guess what his Mommy already knows!!!

anonymous Jun 22, 2015 2:22pm

This is a great article. I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up article.

I've being wondering, for a while, if being an empath can have an influence on your dreams/nightmares? I experience the emotions of others in my dreams as well as my waking life. Sometimes before the event has even happened. I've looked for articles to see if this is linked to being an empath, but I haven't found anything. Maybe that is something different and isn't related to being an empath at all.

    anonymous Jul 8, 2015 7:51am

    I have the same concern. I have dreams/nightmares about people and it ends up to be somewhat true in a way. Like someone getting sick the next day or someone feeling sad or troubled. I experience the sensing people's aura/energy and mood too but the dreams, are a bit scary to think about.

      anonymous Sep 8, 2015 4:24am

      Hi itstartswithj, This is what happens to me, and yes, sometimes, the dreams are too scary to think about. Although, the dreams, I have, seem to come in riddles. I struggle to work out what they mean before an event. Usually it is after an event that I realise the significance of the dream that came before.
      A few weeks ago I dreamed about death. I was standing with a man that I had never met. He was showing me a diary entry, but it was playing out in front of us. There was a funeral procession going up a hill. The date 9th June and 29th June were important. The man that I was with was pointing at the hills in the distance.
      I thought that the dream meant that something was going to happen on the 9th of June, and that the funeral was to do with this man. It turned out that 2 important things happened to him on the 9th. Then on the 29th of June, someone close to me was on her own and dying. The man that was pointing at the hills in the dream wrote to me soon after. He told me to keep looking at the hills.
      This happens all of the time. I keep a dream diary now.

    anonymous Dec 2, 2015 11:03pm

    Oh dear lord – the nightmares I have. They are about saving/helping people, but unceremoniously sacrificing my position, as in I literally let someone pull the grate from underneath me to help them, to cling on the side of a building to ease them to cover. I mostly hate being an empath. I'm grateful that I am a compassionate being, but there is so much suffering. My nightmares are about serial killers, airports, trying to figure out how I can help stem the awfulness.

anonymous Jun 20, 2015 7:00am

Interesting! Thank you.

anonymous Jun 20, 2015 6:58am

Interesting. Thank you.

Maria D Motsumi Feb 18, 2017 5:01pm

Thank you so much for the article. I can relate to most of the things said and can attest to it. I just want to know if this is related to astrology or dominated by a certain star group because of the elements they have? I'm a virgo.

Sampson Smith Feb 17, 2017 1:18pm

I'm Sampson Smith I need to understand having an empath personally trait