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3 Quick Ways to Get Control of Overactive Empathy

You know when you get a glimpse into someone else’s emotional experience or their pain?  You can really feel it for a moment and sometimes it might bring you to tears or motivate you to help someone.  That’s empathy.

Overactive empathy, on the other hand, is when you have that experience of opening up to someone else’s emotions and experience, but then instead of coming back to yourself afterwards and being centered in your own needs and feelings, you remain ‘out there’ – absorbed in everyone else’s ‘stuff’.  In social situations, you can sense what everyone else is feeling and thinking.  Even walking past people in the street, you can feel and sense what is going on with them.  Physical empaths can even pick up physical pains and aches that aren’t theirs.

(If you want to find out more about the symptoms of overactive empathy, read this article: Is Overactive Empathy Ruining Your Life?)

The Downside of Overactive Empathy

While your energy is ‘doing the rounds’ and picking up on what everyone else is doing and feeling, your life becomes charged with emotions and pain that aren’t even yours and it becomes difficult to maintain a state of focus or centredness.  Meanwhile, what you feel and need can go completely neglected.

Overactive empathy can lead to people-pleasing, self-sacrifice and self neglect.  It can also lead to co-dependence because when you can feel other people’s emotions to such a degree, they become yours and you want to help more than is appropriate.

This is one of the things a lot of psychic and spiritual people struggle with.

If you experience overactive empathy, you need to learn to turn it on and off at will and become more centred in your own experience.  And the good news is that it is entirely possible, and when you learn to do it, it makes your quality of life 10 times better.  I say that from experience.

In a prior article, I wrote about how to overcome overactive empathy.  In this one, I’m going to give a few practical tips. You can start doing it now just by utilizing these three tips.

1. Pay Attention to How YOU Feel

To overcome empathy, you need to tune back in to YOU. In order to get centred, you need to check in with yourself emotionally at least once a day and tune in to how you feel. Make a log before you go to bed of how you feel and why.  When people ask you to do something, before you say yes, check in with how you feel about it.  Don’t just feel their need and then respond to that.  Take time to become centered and for your feelings to come through.  Sometimes your own feelings about things take time to come through when you’re too tuned in to everyone else’s.

Meditation can also be a good centering tool if you do it regularly and imagine recalling your energy back from other people and feeling complete again. When I feel like my energy is ‘out there’ and ungrounded (especially after I’ve been working on the computer and internet all day) I often do a visualization where I see my energy coming back to me from the internet sites I’ve visited, the people I’ve talked to, the spirits I’ve spoken to and the clients I’ve worked with. A visualization like that just sets the intention to bring your energy back to you and can be very helpful.

2. Get into the habit of asking Source to take away energies that aren’t yours

When you feel overwhelmed with emotion, or like you lost yourself in interactions with other people, try taking three deep, long breaths, then saying this little prayer:

I now call on the power of Source/God and the Archangels to remove from my energy field all energies that do not belong to me.  It is done, it is done, it is done.

You can make your own little prayer or memorize the one above.  It doesn’t need to be complicated or long. As you can see, the prayer above is short and simple. Calling on source/the angels is very powerful for clearing out energies and it works.

3. Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself

Most empaths are not having fun in their interactions with other people.  They often have the attitude that they are here to help others who are suffering.  They often feel dutiful and feel responsible for other people’s feelings – they feel they are there to help others to feel better.

To remedy this, focus on having fun in your interactions with others.  In social situations, if you’re not having fun then don’t engage so much with the person you’re talking to. When you’re talking to someone who is draining your energy, intend to pull back.  Put your enjoyment first in social situations and pay less attention to other people than you would normally.  This may sound incredibly selfish but the fact is that many empaths need this change in approach.

I also wrote another article to help you to diagnose where empathy might be running you:

Is Overactive Empathy Ruining Your Life

I hope you found this article helpful.  If you have comments or questions feel free to leave a reply.


  1. Thank you Anna! I felt a bit tearful reading this, so it definitely chimed with me. I think empathy can be a dual thing for me – both a duty (to understand and help) and satisfaction of curiosity about what the next person is feeling. Not sure if satisfying that curiosity can at times be almost unethical (prying into someone else’s business)? And yes, have fun! So simple and yet so true – will try to focus on that a bit more. xxx

  2. Thank you so much for your articles on overactive empathy and Rose Rosetree’s books.
    That’s me. And although I’ve always known I’m sensitive, and have been accused of being ‘too sensitive’ I didn’t realize it was a case of being an empath, not just being too much of something and not enough of something else.

  3. I have always been able to walk into a room and know the current feeling of the person in the room. Sometimes going to a party is wonderful and other times incredibly draining. It wasn’t until last week when a Psychic told me I was very empathic that I even knew what to call this thing I have been able to do all my life. Thank you for this article and I know the little prayer will help so much. Nothing like having to hide out in a bathroom for 10-15 minutes at parties, family or work.

  4. Hi Debbie,

    Your comment made me chuckle. When I used to go to clubs (discos) I would escape to the bathroom for 10 mins because I couldn’t handle the energy in there. I thought I was the only one who did that!

  5. I was very open armed so to say and did and do like to relate and be with people but hard way had started to learn to put boundaries. But because Not all people are as free spirited and sensitive and one does not want to lose this sensitivity oneself i have notise that that have made me sometimes withdrawn from others and or be much more alert with or around people or thinking twice before answering yes to invitations. Truthfully I do not want to pull myself back actually but that what do happen nowdays a bit. With good will in heart one can be little naive sometimes, even if one is seeing through the situation or people. Anyhow thanks for the article, nice to read other people wisdom and understanding on the topic.

  6. Thank you for sharing this article…woke up this morning after 23 years and decided to google why the heck people always come talk to me about their problems why I’m able to give great advice without ever stepping foot into that same situation…and Facebook has me going crazy now with all the info about the Wars and all…. :( lol thank you


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