Posted in Empathy on 23. Aug, 2010
By Anna Sayce
What’s an empath?
In short, an empath is someone who feels what other people are feeling. This doesn’t mean you can get an idea for how other people feel just some of the time. Being an empath means you were born with the ability to enter someone else’s aura and explore another person’s feelings and experience of life, on an intimate level. Much of the time this is done unconsciously. On the upside, you know what it feels like to be another person, so you’re often great at relating to others. Empathy is also a psychic gift and you can use it to read other people.
On the downside…well, there are lots of downsides until you learn to get empathy under control. One of them is that you are like a sponge (who is often wet and full of other peoples’ emotions – the conscious one and the unconscious ones.)
It gets tiring. That’s why I wrote this article. Plenty of people are empaths without knowing it. When that is the case for you, you always have the feeling that you’re ‘weird’ – that you have sensitivity issues that other people don’t have. But you’re not always sure what they are. Let’s see if you can relate to the following…
Signs that you’re an ‘unskilled’ empath include:
- Feeling the world’s suffering on a large scale and wishing you could do something to help. Ironically, this makes you less equipped to help, because you feel overwhelmed.
- Finding it difficult to watch the news or distressing images because you feel the pain of the person/people you’re watching – as if you’re them
- Finding it difficult to fully be present to yourself and your own feelings when conversing with other people. This is because you’re busy exploring their aura and responses to life – not your own.
- Shyness – empathy can make you somewhat self-conscious as you’re very aware of the effect your words have on another person and what they’re thinking and feeling in response.
- A tendency to say yes to the requests and demands of other people – almost as a reflex; without thinking about whether you actually want to. When you’re so immersed in another person’s experience of life and what they need – how can you say no? It’s only afterwards that you realize you forgot yourself and your own needs.
- A general tendency to put your needs last, or serve others at your own expense.
- A liking for distance in relationships, and for solitude. This occurs because as an empath, intimacy and closeness is your default. But when you don’t know how to stop yourself from exploring other peoples’ auras, you need some space on your own, where you aren’t around other people.
- Feeling an affinity with the animal kingdom. When you’re an animal empath, you can get a feel for how other species experience life and you are able to relate to animals on a deep level. Some people are plant empaths, so the same is possible for plants.
- Feeling responsible for how other people feel – and going out of your way to help them to feel better (even when it doesn’t serve you.) After all – you feel their emotions so keenly.
- A tendency to let relationships and friendships get too heavy (and too close) – too fast.
- A strange tendency to feel aches and pains, but only around certain people.
- Finding yourself often in a counselling role, where people dump their emotions on you, and being very drained by it.
- An emotional over-identification with characters in novels, films and plays. It doesn’t matter that they’re not real – you can still feel how they felt.
- A tendency to forget to have fun and lighten up.
Empaths are usually deeply spiritual people, simply because the gift of empathy allows you to experience oneness. This in turn gives you an expanded perspective on other people and on life.
If you related to many of the above signs, then did you know you can control whose emotions you feel and explore? Instead of automatically exploring the aura of most of the people you meet, you can turn your empathy on only when you need it. That makes life a lot lighter.
You might like to read my other articles on turning empathy off:
Did you relate to the symptoms and signs above?