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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Are You an Empath?

Are you an Empath?
What does it mean to have empathy?
A huge thank you to KateS for her article suggestion!)

Are you an Empath
What makes one an Empath?
What is the difference between being an Empath and just being a really sensitive person?
Simply defined, empathy is the capability to share and understand another’s feelings and emotions. You are capable of putting yourself into another persons’ shoes.

To be Empathic takes this to another level. If you are empathic you actually feel the emotions and feelings of another person strongly.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one and feel badly for them, understand their emotional plight and can see how they are feeling on a logical level you are having feelings of empathy.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one and feel badly yourself for knowing this, have some of the same symptoms of mourning that they do, and feel the need to comfort them or help them through their emotional time you are more likely an Empath.

Empaths have a difficult time being in crowed places.

Have a very difficult time attending funerals.

Often times become overwhelmed or disoriented at large gatherings.

Watching anything sad or disturbing on the television is too difficult for you.

People discussing death, illness, any horrible situation makes you terribly uncomfortable.

You feel the physical ailments and pain of others.

You develop symptoms of illness when around others who are ill.

It is difficult for you to sit in the doctors office, the hospital or especially the emergency room.

Are you very aware when you are being lied to?

Do you always know what someone really meant to say but said something else instead?

Do you suddenly, out of nowhere have severe mood swings for no explicable or medical reason when in public? 

Do you find that people are just naturally open with you and want to tell you all about themselves?

Do you feel that you can heal others emotionally or physically?
You find yourself being frustrated with others for having their own feelings and emotions. 
These are common symptoms of being an empath. 
I do hate calling them “symptoms” however. It is not a disease to be empathic. It can be very difficult to live ones live as an empathic though, especially if you are unaware of what is happening with yourself. Knowledge is power however and understanding what you feel and why you feel it is the first step in harnessing and working with your gifts.

Lets take a look at each “symptom” in depth: 

1. Being in crowded places: This one is especially difficult because you can go into the mall or the store feeling a-okay but suddenly you feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, or anger or illness out of no where. You may feel your stomach cramping up, you face grows flush, your energy becomes very weak etc. I have known people who are empathic but not yet under control of their gifts who have walked right out of a store leaving a full cart of groceries behind because it was simply too much to take. 

2. Going to a funeral is almost impossible. Even the idea of going is too much for you. Even if you were not close to the person who has passed, if you do go you end up weeping in an uncontrollable way the whole time, unless it is the kind of funeral where they are “celebrating life” and it is a bit more upbeat, but even then you are picking up on not just the one who has passed but all of the energy of every person in that room and everyone reacts differently to death. So the swirling vortex of emotion you are taking in is too intense to describe. Getting out seems to be your only recourse. Usually an emapth who does manage to make it through a funeral does not make it to the dinner after. 

3. In a large crowd, such as a party, or sporting event you find yourself unable to maintain focus. Everything around you becomes foggy and you are feeling an overwhelming sense of urgency. You get light headed and dizzy from all of the energy from the people around you who are usually very excited and over working their own energy. This can result in you feeling dizzy, nauseous, nervous, and unable to enjoy the event. 

4. You are sitting there watching a movie and you just feel the intense desire to shut it off. This can ruin a few family nights or dates! Being in tune with the energy of the situation, knowing that people really do experience such things even if those on the television are just actors. Your mind no longer is on the program but on the idea of what people have to struggle through in life, how difficult it is for some people to live happily, how someone else out there is hurting while you are cozy and watching a movie. There is guilt that comes up and you are no longer in the moment of your own enjoyable life.

5. When people discuss a car accident they witnessed, or an animal being run over, or a person dying, you immediately want to turn your ears off. You do not like hearing about such things because something in your mind triggers your whole body to cringe and you feel in your being this pain the animal or person has suffered. You are highly sensitive to pain and can feel it by hearing about it. 

6. When you are around someone who is hurt or ill you can pick up on their symptoms and feel their pain and illness. If someone around you has a headache you may not feel an all out headache yourself but you will have tension around your head neck and shoulders or a feeling like a weight on your head. The extent to which you feel certain things can vary but you always seem to know who feels well and who does not when they are around you. 

7. You may take on symptoms of others who are ill around you. Being around someone who has frequent allergy symptoms may cause you to develop a cough or watery eyes. You may have noticed at times looking at someone who is sneezing and has watery eyes from allergies makes you instantly break into a sneezing and watery eyes spell of your own. Once mastered an emphatic that has this specific skill can more easily develop their healing abilities. 

8. Going to your own doctors appointment can be a real challenge. You may cancel appointments often and not even know why you just refuse to go! You have the time, you set your schedule to make your appointment, you got up early enough but there is just this feeling of dread about going. Emergency rooms and hospitals make you feel a pit in your stomach. The idea of these places simply does not sit right with you and you avoid them when possible.

9. You know exactly when someone is being honest with you or not. You do not always chose to call people out on their lies, and sometimes they are just little white lies but you just know that they are not being honest with you. Often you have to catch yourself from making a strange face at them or letting onto the fact you know they told a lie. Especially when the matter does not concern you or the lie is not being told to you. This can get us in trouble at work because perhaps it is a co-worker or boss who is doing the lying and there is simply no way for you to prove what you know, but none the less you do know they are lying. 

10. Sometimes people get their words mixed up and are misunderstood. Do you often find you are the one having to clear the air between others and make someone understand “they didn’t mean it that way” and end up explaining how the other person really meant to come off? Do you find yourself being able to just “get” people without really knowing them, little or no information and being able to understand them better than their own friends and family that is yet another gift of the empathic person.

11. Sometimes when you are out and about running errands or just enjoying your day you are suddenly hit with the feeling of an emotion? You started out just fine and dandy, happy go lucky, singing along to the radio, you pull up to the red light and bam, you feel like someone just kicked you in the gut. These sudden emotions “out of no where” come from others near you even if not in the same room or car.

12. The people at the check out counters are always so friendly to you. They talk and talk and go on and on to the point you are thinking “OMG BAG MY GROCERIES ALREADY PLEASE!” okay maybe that’s just me lol but I’m impatient at the store. People just feel so at ease with you. They can bend your ear, tell you things they would never tell some of the people they know let alone a stranger. They even themselves think after you walk away, “wow why did I just tell that person all that stuff?” 

13. Do you find that if you concentrate your efforts and energy you can ease people who are suffering or hurt? Have you experienced a time when you felt you had healed them in some way? Empthics are the best natural healers and can often times help heal those who are sick or in pain. With work and education you can develop this gift! 

14. Do you often get upset or angry with someone you know and love for expressing their own feelings? This is a common but often misunderstood sign of being an empathy. Empaths are some of the nicest people you will meet but we all have our wall we hit especially when we do not have our gifts harnessed and under control. Especially the person who is just learning they are an emapth. They tend to lash out at those they love when it is the worst possible time to do so, when they need them to BE empathic! Empaths who do not have their gifts in check become especially overwhelmed when it is their own loved one who is hurting! They just can not deal with the intensity of the emotion and lash out in anger which is usually anger that is at themselves not the person who needs to lean on them for support. They become frustrated because between their loved one needing them to help and their own intense onslaught of emotion they are feeling both from their loved one and their own feelings of wanting to help they just implode then explode. This of course totally confuses their loved one and makes the empathy feel horrible. 

So what do you do with all of this? If you feel you are an empathic the first step is to accept that you are going to have to deal with it and learn to get it under control. It is no different than balancing anything else in your life but now you have an added and important thing about yourself to keep balanced. I cannot stress enough how much meditation helps in this process but yes it takes time and energy and focus to do that and you have to keep at it. Its like a diet, it only works for you if you work with the program! 

There are amazing books you can read on the subject. There are advisors who will help you through projects, lessons and live chat sessions to discuss what you are going through. You may be able to locate a local support group, if not start a meet-up group in your area. Meet Up Groups 

Being able to identify when you are having an empathic flash and when your emotions are purely your own is a huge step to take. You have to learn to separate what you feel from what you are receiving from others. Once you learn to do some daily focus via meditation or grounding exercises, keep your own emotions in check versus what you are picking up off of others and knowing what our limits are you are on your way to being an empath that really can help others. Will you always then be perfect? Heck no, its just like keeping balance in your regular life you have to work at it.

See This Article here:  
Finding Balance in a Topsy Turvey World

Do you have to use your abilities for the good of others?

Nope. You can keep your ability all to yourself but from my experience I have found that others and myself cannot help but use them for some purpose. Otherwise they just seem to sit there and fester. Of course not everyone is going to want your help or for you to reach out to them. You have to use good judgment on that unless you are also psychic.

However, you will have honed your skills to the level of being able to determine with your empathic abilities, if they are open to help or not by the time you are out there putting your skills into practice. 



  1. Great article...really hits the nail on the head, and provides much needed understanding to get it under control (control in a good way :). Thank you Azz!!

  2. :) thank you love I knew this one would resonate with ya!


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