The key attribute of an empath is feeling and absorbing other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because they themselves are so highly sensitive. They filter the world through their instincts, but often learn at an early age not to trust their instincts. Many have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings.
As an empath myself, I know the
challenges and pain of being a highly sensitive person. When overwhelmed by
stressful emotions, empaths often develop panic attacks, depression, chronic
fatigue, or food, sex, and drug addictions/binges, and many other physical
symptoms that defy any conventional medical diagnosis.
As an empathic child life can feel unsafe, extremely painful, and difficult to navigate. Empaths often develop the ability to turn off their intuition and block their emotions, so that they no longer feel pain and sadness. But an empath doesn’t have to feel too much or go into sensory overload once they learn how to center and shield themselves. The first step is to recognize that you are an empath and be open to guidance. When empaths learn to harness their gifts and practice centering and shielding themselves regularly they can become powerful healers, intuitive counselors or coaches, activists, speakers, and entrepreneurs. Here are the top 10 traits of an empath
10 Traits of an Empath
1. Empaths are highly
They are naturally generous with their love and time, spiritually open, and good listeners. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you. They are world-class nurturers. But they can easily get their feelings hurt. Empaths are often told that they are “too sensitive” and need to “toughen up.”
2. Empaths absorb other people’s
Empaths are extremely attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, often very deeply. They take on the energy of others’ emotions whether negative or positive. Excess anger or anxiety can cause severe exhaustion. If they are surrounded by harmony and love, their bodies absorb these and flourish.
3. Many empaths are introverted
Empaths feel overwhelmed in crowds, where their empathy is amplified. They are inclined to be introverted and prefer one to one contact, or small groups. Some empaths are extroverts, but still prefer limiting how much time they spend in crowds or at parties.
4. Empaths are highly intuitive
Empaths experience the world through their feelings and their instincts, but often learn to discount both. It is very important for them to develop, listen to, and trust their intuition and their gut feelings about people and places. This will help them find positive, supportive relationships and avoid energy draining people.
5. Empaths need alone time
As heightened responders and emotional sponges, being around people can physically and mentally drain an empath, so they need regular alone time to recharge their batteries. Even a brief escape prevents physical and emotional overload. Empaths like to drive themselves when they go places so they can leave when the need arises.
6. Empaths can become overwhelmed
in intimate relationships
Too much togetherness can be demanding for an empath so they may shun intimate relationships. Deep down they are afraid of being consumed by the relationship and losing their personal identity. The traditional couple paradigm must be re-defined for empaths to be at ease in a romantic relationship.
7. Empaths are targets for energy
The empath’s sensitivity makes them easy targets for energy vampires, whose fear or anger can sap the empath’s energy and sanity. These energy thieves do more than drain an empath physically. Narcissistic energy vampires are especially dangerous because they lack empathy and are only concerned about themselves. They can make the empath believe they’re unworthy and unlovable. Other energy thieves include The Victim, The Chronic Talker, and The Drama Queen.
8. Empaths become replenished in
The urgency and unending responsibilities of ever day life can be become unbearable for an empath. Getting out in nature can nourish and restore them. It helps them release their burdens and reconnect to their well of inner strength and wisdom. Empaths take refuge in the presence of wild greenery and bodies of water.
9. Empaths have highly tuned senses
An empath’s nerves can get distressed by loud noises, strong smells, or excessive talking. This is especially true when they are not involved in regular self-care measures or they live and work in environments that expose them to such for long periods of time daily.
10. Empaths sometimes give too much
Empaths have big hearts and try to ease the pain of others. A homeless person standing at a busy intersection; a wounded child; a worried friend, a depressed family member. Empaths think it natural to want to reach out and try to alleviate their pain. Unfortunately empaths don’t stop there, instead, they take on the emotional energy of the person they are trying to help. Suddenly they’re the one feeling upset and drained when they felt fine before.
As an empath myself, I have learned that I must use several strategies to protect my sensitivities. If I don’t I wind up paying a higher cost than I can afford physically, mentally, and emotionally. Strong time management, limits and boundaries with draining people, meditation to relax and center myself, and spending time in nature are necessities for well-being. Being an empath is a gift, but I had to learn the hard way that proper self-care is not negotiable. Empaths have special needs. It’s vitally important to honor your needs and communicate your needs with grace and authenticity to everyone in your life.