Signs That You’re An Empath

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 a few downsides until you learn to manage it better.  One of them is that you are like a sponge (who is often 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 might have the feeling that you’re ‘weird’ or unusual, in 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 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.

Are you an empath who feels like your empathy gift is more of a curse than a blessing? If so, I invite you to download the free preview of my book The Empath’s Toolkit: A Guide to Recovery for the Overwhelmed Empath below!

Intuitive Experiment Worksheet

Download the Free Preview
of Anna’s Book The Empath’s Toolkit…

…Packed with Instructions and Tips on How to Come Back
Into Balance with Your Amazing Empath Gifts.

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. David

    Second the movies and books. Never thought about that either, but I tend to get sucked in to the point of the fiction taking over reality. In part as a way to escape I think.

    I can also relate to the shyness and not being present to my own reality. My main concern though seems to be to not hurt other people, to the point of rather hurting myself than others, of course especially those I feel more strongly for.

    Also it reflects in my body as slumped posture, not opening up my chest and heart. In a sense denying myself, as a way, I think, to avoid feelings because my sensitivity makes them too strong.

    Funny how these things play out on so many levels. And also how changes on one level affects the others. For example how working on your posture and body-sensing affects the feeling of self-worth and groundedness in your own reality, or vice versa.

  2. Peter

    Yes, oh my, I can relate to the symptoms. 😀

    I noticed it especially when I was watching TV, and there was a scene where someone did embarrassing things. I had to turn the TV off or had to switch channels, because it was too much for me.

  3. Kara

    Very interesting…I think I was a hugely open empath for my entire childhood. I was mostly in emotional pain all the time, particularly around wounded animals. I think that I was so much like an open wound(ing) that I was forced to shut it down to a large extent. On the other hand, I think I also learned healthier boundaries and coping mechanisms as I matured into an adult.

    Also makes me wonder if it is possible for me to re-open it more to be more intuitive. I’m guessing I already have, only I can now do it more selectively, in a healthier way.

    Are most empaths somewhat overweight? Just wondering if the weight helps an empath “feel” less….


  4. Kara

    Oh yes, and also still as a adult with the movies/novels, like everyone else here…

    I’m now off to tell my husband that I’m not just overly sensitive (“But honey, it’s only a movie, it’s not real….”, but that I’m an official EMPATH.



  5. David

    Kara, overeating sounds like one way (among others) of dealing with it – literally pushing down emotions and adding insulation. The only person who can really tell if that is your case, however, is you.

  6. Jen

    I can really relate to this too Anna. I feel like much of my lifes lessons are around setting boundaries and taking care of my own feelings as well as other peoples. I’m getting better at doing that with age! 🙂

  7. Syl

    I totally agree! Setting boundaries is a must for an empath too. It’s hard but it’s also a real relief 🙂

  8. Catriona

    And me too!

    I think I was like this as a child and young adult. I am fairly extrovert in manner, but would hide myself away whenever I had the tiniest hint of negativity from my friends, interpreting this always as being down to me. Quite a few of my friends have suggested over the years that I’m over-sensitive. With time I decided that I’m just more aware of certain vibes and emotions in other people (and that I’m not making it up!), but that I don’t need always to dive in there and try to find the reason in my head – it’s okay to observe and take practical steps to help if that’s necessary. It’s weird now to be walking down the street and see people suffering, but not to dive in there and try to feel what they’re feeling, but really, what was the point if I wasn’t actually able to do anything practical to help them?

    For quite a long period later on I was so caught up with work and stress and my own thoughts that this was a barrier to excessive empathy. When I came out of that stage, I suddenly seemed to have become even more sensitive overnight – I’d walk past someone in the street and be overwhelmed by their sorrow or negativity – not good. Since then I’ve read Anna’s articles on the subject (thanks Anna!) and taken her recommendation to read the Rose Rosetree book, which I have found exceptionally helpful – a quiet revolution for me!


  9. Anna

    Funny how you guys really feel fictional emotion too, like in films and books. I only noticed this recently with myself.

    Hi Kara,

    The weight issue might be to protect oneself from others’ emotions or it could be for grounding too. I have heard that people who don’t like to be in the lower chakras often bring their weight into the lower body for that reason.

  10. Lindsay

    I blogged about this exact same subject the other day. I am an empath and it wasn’t until very recently that I knew there was a name for it. Before that, I was just used to people telling me I am “too sensitive”. Bah!

    Thanks for spreading the word. 🙂

  11. Ronni Hall

    For years I was an unskilled empath. I remember as a teen having panic attacks in malls way before I knew what I was doing.
    Today, I find that I don’t necessarily turn it off as I narrow my focus. That seriously works as does much stronger walls. Thanks!

  12. Jessie

    I just recently realized, at age 30, that I am an empath. Every point of distinction that you raised is a hit with me, to the point that I hardly have any friends and barely leave my house. The childhood shyness – I alienated even my family. Movies, books, people, plant and animals – I cannot control my sympathetic emotions even now. I’m so glad to know that I’m not just overly “sensitive” or whatever…

  13. sarah

    i related to every one of those symptoms im 17 and i have always had panic attacks and big headaches and been over emotional in crowds and im shy always the last to speak my mind i rather be at home alone reading a book or watching anime i find myself getting so caught up in it though its hard to put a line between real life and fiction my friends always tell me im over sensitive and that im only reading a book watching a movie animne ect. so theres no reason to get so emotional i find it hard to stop my self from doing that though…

  14. Ashley

    Wow it’s nice to see that there are people like me. Also the name helps. I usually call myself an emotional reader/feeler. I’m very good at controling it but aprox an hour ago I had a traumatic experiance. Excuse my spelling I’m still shcaking. I went outside on my ranch to get my cat and I heard a strange noise. Sounded like one of the cows was stuck in something. I treked out to the pasture to investigate. One of the baby calves (Not much baby more like teens now) was I don’t know. Just standing there staring at the wall of the barn wasn’t injured or hurt but I could feel Panic, Feer, Pain the poor dear even charged toward me when I tried to sooth it with my voice. It was so horrible I don’t even know what’s wrong with it. It looked fine but I know. I know something terrible happened to that calf. I can still feel it. The calf followed me all the way to the gate I can feel the…. ache in my chest still. I’m totally freaked out. I’ve never had an incounter that strong before. Most of mine have been more of knowledge of what’s wrong with an animal or person. This I could feel that animals fear. I’ve tried tuning it out I’m not inexperienced but there something wrong I can’t. My adreniline is in high gear, My heart feels like it’s racing but it isn’t I’ve checked my blood pressure already. I need help with this one I can’t get these feelings to stop. I don’t know how soon someone will respond but I could use the help of someone older and more knowledgable.

    • Anna

      Ashley, I’m sure that animals feel a lot more primal fear than we humans do. Perhaps nothing bad had happened to the animals but it got freaked out? And you as an animal empath felt that.

  15. France

    Oh Gosh, thanks for this I was never sure about whether I was an empath. I do know the two people I spend the most time with seem to drain me. I cannot feel totally relaxed until I am alone. I tense up when I know I have to deal with either one of them because to be honest I have to be mentally prepared. If they surprise me I tune out because they tend to bring drama to my environment. I hope that makes sense. It’s like I love people but not when they get too close. I always feel judged by the majority of people because my personality is more young or almost naive. I have always been that way its just me and most do not accept that. I adore animals though I have not yet had a real chance to have one with me. For many years I felt afraid of them but once I realized why they were drawn to me I discovered a new love for them. The exceptions are spiders I can’t get over them wanting my attention YUCK.

  16. Soos

    I am astonished and have almost had an epiphany over this newsletter! I spend too much time pushing others to do the things they dream about that I don’t have anymore energy left to make my own dreams a reality. I think I have been searching for similar types of people my whole life and have always ended up at the brink of a nervous breakdown because other people can be so cruel, just because you want to please. Over the years I have built a hard resistance to people who don’t understand me and try to destroy me and this comes across as being over confident and “hard” when quite the opposite is the case. I share the emotions of people who are suffering, I can relate to all aspects of human behaviour except for cruelty and feel what the victim is feeling. I cry if I see an animal dead in the road I feel as though I am all alone in my feelings and that if I share them (as I sometimes do when I think I can trust someone) I find that I am ridiculed and treated as a bit of an office joke! I often try to seek solitude because I offer so much of myself I don’t have anything left for me and that leaves me weak and at risk. Although there seem to be rather a lot of people who are also Empaths and Sensitives, they don’t seem to be plentiful in my life and I feel quite alone at times although I have people around me. I now think I may have given you all the wrong impression of me. You would never know, to look at me and to talk to me, that I have any issues at all – I feel it would be great to be able to speak to others who feel the same way and have to act the same way to fit in.

  17. sarah(kitsune)

    My mom has been worried over me i can feel it when i asked why she said she is afraid i wont ever be able to get through school or get a job i just cant be near people its to many emotions flowing through me i dont know what to do though i need to get through school somehow the one year i got so over whelmed with others emotions that i fainted and hit my head off of the wall!!! i was told to stay out of school until i didnt faint i ended up missing the rest of the year and failing and sometimes it still happens now how am i going to get through school? not to mention relationships when im in them how do i know i love the person if i only feel love because they love me? i dont know im just very confused even being around my animals i get emotions i can tell arent mine! what do i do?

  18. Jessie

    I feel like you and I can identify with eachother, each being from a professional background and having similar experiences and reactions to them.
    I think that I can help you get to a point where you can function better in life.
    I wouldn’t mind if you two would email me, for mutual support.

    (Edited by Anna – Jessie I have taken off your email address. When you publish an email address on the internet you get bombarded by spam messages. Soos if you want to get in touch with Jessie, contact me via the contact form and I will pass it on to you.)

  19. Ashley

    Thanks I never thought of that! People lost that Primal feeling ages ago. I guess I’ve never experianced such intense fear before.

    @ Kitsune I had trouble in middle school for a while. But I was watching this tv show sorry I can’t remember what it was called, but it was a Scienze fiction type show. One of the characters I’d say was an Empath definitely and she described in an episode how one moment she could seem so wrapped in another persons emotions and the next not be conflicted with them. She used the words “Turning it off or on like a light switch.” I like that cause I started to imagine that if I didn’t want to feel someone elses feelings that I could turn off the light switch. But sometimes I like to have it on too because well I like being able to help others or even if I’m just enjoying a show or some music. I wasn’t able to turn off my switch right away I had to do a lot of meditating in order to figure it out. Sometimes I can’t even turn it off (like my primal fear experiance) But after a while it get’s easier to flick that emotional switch.

  20. sarah(kitsune)

    thank you all for replying im really sad right now though i feel as if i just died but yet im still living my one year old puppy just died in my moms arm and all i can feel is pain and i cant stop crying its not fair he died in pain and he was to young to die… i knew he was sick but we have no money my mom was just fired the vet told us to come in on monday he didnt think it was serious minutes later he was gone from me …

  21. Annie

    Thank you, Anna! I am definitely an unskilled empath! I have stopped reading true sad stories books long time ago because after each book, I get really sad for days into weeks. Fictional books have started to affect me in recent years and I have totally stopped reading sad endings altogether! I also have to switch channels or run away from TV when someone is about to get caught or did something embarassing!
    Now I am beginning to understand myself more clearly…a very overwhelmed individual is a truly an unskilled empath! Thank you for helping people like us who doesn’t know how to turn off this overwhelming feeling! God Bless You!

    • Anna

      Hi Annie,

      Welcome to the blog! Glad to hear that you’ve solved your puzzle and realized you’re an empath (and not just overwhelmed!)

  22. Debbie

    Great information!!! thanks

  23. Diana

    I used to joke about having empathy as a psychic ability when I was younger, but I actually do experience every single one of those ‘symptoms.’ It’s so draining! Thank you for posting this. I’m glad I found this article–hopefully I can try to work on closing myself up so that I become less miserable when I read the news!

  24. Lola


    Is it possible to turn empathy off during sleep? Sometimes I wake up exhausted with people’s energy, even though I only dreamed about them.

  25. Deanna

    I remember telling my best friend that i feel like when we are talking that i know what she is feeling or what she is meaning to express.Sometimes it’s so strong that i can’t wait for her to verbalize it herself , and i feel the need to blurt it out to save time lol!I get too far ahead in the conversation and emotion that sometimes i say too much in effort to help & council . The boundaries of my personal thoughts & how she feels get mixed up. This happens with everyone. everything on the list resinates with me .I’m not sure about feeling aches and pains when others are around ( i have a little arthritis LOL)!

  26. Susan

    Anna, thank you so much for your website. I am finding it a wonderful source of information and more. (Love the psychic exercises with the photos!!)

    I am new to the psychic world, but am exploring it after having been told that I am clairsentient. This article rang very familiar for me, especially when I was young. Having learned a little bit about psychic protection, now, when I have a physical pain in my gut (where I feel just about everything), I take measures to brush off other people’s negative energy from myself. Quite often, I am finding the pain goes away in a minute or two.

    Looking forward to developing and learning more about my own intuition; and energetic healing.

    • Anna

      Welcome Susan! Glad you are enjoying the blog 🙂

  27. Nicole

    So ever since i was little ive always been sensitive to things one of my earliest memories are asking my mom who was a gut in the doorway only no one was there we still about it and when my grandpa was sick well i knew it was more the a cough the thing about books i often find myself isolating myself from the world and use them as an escape and after i feel this emotional connection to the characters in the book i also drain myself when i comes to friends emotions and i never have to hear that somethings wrong to know there is i cry during commercials about poeple that are hurt or homeless or sick and i broke down crying at the commercials were they show hurt animals the only time that i feel i can truly relax is when everyone in the house is asleep because for the most part things are come i dont feel my moms stress or worries or anger and when im in large crowds i find myself wanting to leave in withdraw so badly i go through times when i want to just be alone and for everything and everyone to disappear because i feel so overwhelmed by emotions i also read an article about how empaths can feel others pain like physical while healing the others i feel this most when i give my family messages because at an early age i was very good at it but then i find myself feeling the pain they described im only 18 and dont really have anyone that know much about it to talk to

  28. mel

    Well I was wondering why i was so sensitive. I can read how people are very well. they try to hide what they are but i can always tell. I really don’t have any friends. I have had trouble with my jobs. and relationships. I have felt other peoples pain because i worked in the medical field. My teeth started hurting one day when someone was getting work done on theirs. this is all new to me and I had no idea i was like this until i was telling my sister about my experiences and she said i was a empathic. I thought there was something wrong with me.

  29. rachel

    this is exactly me ! my mom was looking up stuff so its the only reason i found out about empathy i was scared about what was happening cause im not only this i see images in my head and then it happens in real life and its scary , i told my mom but then she changes the subject

  30. raven

    I was always told I was sensitive, and withdrawn, but Until recently I just assumed I was weird. When I’m around someone I can feel their emotions almost to a point where I can tell what their thinking, and because of that I find it hard to be around others for long periods of time without crying. Animals are always drawn to me when I’m walking for instance dogs, and cats tend to follow me home.. at first I thought it was because I gave them attention, but after random animals started doing it it became harder to shrug off. I thought I was crazy I’m 20 and never even considered I could be an empath so I want to thank you so much, and I do hope I learn to control it so I can have a somewhat normal life

    • Anna

      Hi raven,

      Sounds like you definitely need to learn to turn that empathy OFF!

      I highly recommend you check out one of those books (‘Become the most important person in the room’ is the best) and work through it. Your life will become easier if you do.

  31. Natalia

    I dont understand why do I feel empathy when watching TV series. There are just characters, not real people feeling real emotions…

    • Anna

      Hi Natalia,

      When an actor/actress gets into character, they undergo a process whereby their aura actually morphs into the aura of the character they’re playing. OK, so a character doesn’t actually have an aura but when the actor ‘becomes’ the character, their aura transforms into the aura that the character would have if he/she were a real person.

      The best actors are those who can completely transform their aura to match that of the character. The more complete the transformation, the more convincing the acting.

      So it totally makes sense to me that you have empathy with characters on TV shows. You’re probably doing empath merges with the aura of the character.

  32. raven

    Thank you my boyfriend introduced me to meditation it’s been a little help actually. I’ll read the books you suggested as well thank you so much.

  33. H. Geovanny.

    I guess my empathy is far more advance that many people, unfortunately. I have been to hospitals all my life suffering all kind of pains, which, the doctors could never found something wrong with me. Ironically, I always used to find out someone else had an illness with the same symptoms I had.
    I try avoiding touching people, because I always suck their pains and symptoms, and they feel better in a matter of minutes. And also when I touch someone I can do spiritual readings involuntarily, and most all the time I don’t need their permission to do it. When I see someone’s picture I can do it too. The weirdest thing is that I can do spiritual readings when the other person is just thinking about someone else sort of like mind/spiritual reading. Most all the time I know when someone is lying to me, or when they have any issues. I always have prophetic dreams that become true.
    I’m a loner because I haven’t found a woman that can stand me. Imagine yourself living with someone who knows how you are feeling all the time, good or bad.
    Well that part of my story… I can do spiritual readings and cleansing too, but I avoid doing them. I always get stuck with the Bad Mojo from others, and it takes me a while to get clean again.
    By the way I have learned to send back bad energy or put it on others when they get me mad, and they get sick. I try not to do it, but sometimes my spirit doesn’t care.
    Bye bye.

  34. Joseph

    I have related to all of these at one point or another in my life, and still do with most of them, especially the ones related to agreeing with or getting too close to other people.

    However, some of them aren’t quite as strong as they used to be. When I was younger I had no idea what I was feeling, so instead of shying away, I deliberately overexposed myself to things that would trigger it (violent films, intense pornography, dark/depressed people) in an effort to just “suck it up” and “get over it” like a teenage boy is usually told to do with problems like this.

    I’m now very desensitised to a lot of the more intense things, and as a side effect I can also “turn off” my consciense at will. (It’s a mixed blessing, and has its uses, for example when I had to put our horribly injured dog out of her misery.) I don’t know if this is another side effect or if it was already there, but contact with animals now either triggers a feeling of affection, or one of intense irritation.

    On the other hand, as far as I know, the exposure hasn’t left me with anything weirder than I already had – depression, violent tendencies, or the like. I can talk for hours with random strangers about their lives – they open up to me in an instant and I could listen for hours. I love hugs and physical contact in general.

    *cough* Long reply, I know.

    After some realisations and help from some hippy friends, I’ve been aware and in control for a while, but recent events have been driving me crazy, and grounding is nigh-impossible. I can’t focus to save my life anymore.

    I was recommended to this site through a friend, and am desperately hoping that the articles on turning all this off can help. 🙂

    • Anna

      Hi Joseph,

      Welcome to the site! In addition to the articles, you might also like to check out my list of recommended books on turning off empathy.

  35. wendy salcido

    My bestfriend just had a spiritual reading done she recorded it and I listened to it. My bestfriend was told she was an empath, curious I did some research on the internet and come to find out empath describes me almost to a T. I have always felt things before they happen and know how people feel. For lent I wanted to give up watching the news because it affects me so much. I too can’t watch embarrassing things happen to people in movies, and seeing people suffer hurts me. Knowing this information now , I feel like I can now seek the help I need to live a smoother life. I always knew there was something going on with me but.could never pinpoint what was going on. I will be looking into and learning more about this. Thank you for posting this:)

  36. Mary Baker

    Thank you Anna, my heartfelt gratitude for your kindness and your comments.

  37. Kelly

    I always knew I was a little different – probably “little psychic” but I’ve never seen a description listed out like it is here. Now it all makes sense! I’m empathic!! I was extremely shy as a child, and that started to wane a bit by the time I reached my late 30’s. I was labeled shy and a loner because of my need to isolate myself on a daily basis.I could always feel others’ (friends, family) emotions but now I understand why sometimes I would feel completely out of sorts for no apparent reason – that I’m probably picking up the emotions of passersby! Oh!!! Well, duh, Kelly!!! 😀 I cannot bear to hear or see anything that involves an animal suffering. I won’t even watch Bambi! I will turn away when I see someone on tv about to embarrass themselves. And my romantic relationships have suffered in that my need for isolation is difficult to explain. I’m quite tired of being called a “hermit” though I am not. I do love people, but only a few hours at a time. When a close friend talks with me about her relationships, she’s asked me….”where do you come up with this….stuff”? I tell her, I don’t know, it just pops into my head. I’m not ready at all to come out and tell her – ‘I think I’m a bit of a psychic’. I’ve got a lot of work to do to learn how to use this correctly before I have a coming out party. 😀
    Anna, thank you for your site!! And your “insight”! 😉

  38. mimi

    Thank you. It’s nice to know what’s going on. I always felt different and didn’t know why :)I could tell what other people felt and thought, sometimes I couldn’t put it in words, but I could feel it. And books- I could see and feel everything!
    TV and the news- I had to stop watching. I felt so overwhelmed.. I want to save the world, but do nothing- I feel helpless about it.
    Thanks again- now I know I’m not crazy 🙂

  39. mimi

    ..and one more thing- I have to take a nap everyday to recharge…
    or, spend a lots of time alone. That helps, but it makes me feel isolated 🙁

  40. ella

    I think I might be an empath. Can you be highly sensitive and not be an empath? Or are they one and the same?

    I too have problems watching TV. If it’s a sad story line, it makes me cry or I feel all this emotion that won’t leave me alone. If someone is about to do something embarrasing, or someone is about to get caught, I cringe or have to look away, or need someone in the room to watch it with me (how mad is that?). Like for instance, in one soap many years ago, they set up a video camera to catch a thief and of course viewers knew who the thief was, but the rest of the soap cast didn’t. So as everyone was sat around someones living room, the camera was aired on the tv. And the viewers knew what it was going to show, that person who did it and it made me feel so uncomfortable and I had to look away.

    I can’t read or watch the news because of all the negative terrible stuff and when I heard about 9/11 and other disasters which have hurt people, it hurts me terribly and these feelings of pain are still floating around in my mind for many months or years after. If someone has been tortured, I feel the pain of their suffering too.

    Whenever I see anything bad that has happened to someone, I have to imagine it for myself. Can anyone understand this? It’s like my way of dealing with it is imagining myself or my loved ones in that situation and then I know exactly how the poor person has suffered and then it makes me worse, not better! Does this mean I am an empathic person?

    I remmeber seeing a cat lying on the side of the road many years ago on the way home from a day out with my family. My parents noticed and said poor cat and that it must have got run over. Whereas I couldn’t stop thinking about it and kept wondering how much pain it must have gone through and if it could still be saved, even though it wasn’t moving when we went past it. It was very late at night in a remote area and we were all tired and it was only when we were way past it that we knew it was a cat.

  41. myilanna

    I am really not sure if i am an impath but alot of my traits are listed above

    i have this crazy connection with animals they are always around me it could be a mousing running from the some wooded area right in front of me, i had a small bird fly in my car and i could feel its wings fluttering against when i was little i had a bird and the bird would not let anybody touch it except for me i love dogs the dog i have now i seem to communicate with him without words

    i also have a weird connection with small kids btwn newborn to like 5 or 6 one time i was walking in the mall and a little boy i had never seen grabbed my leg and hugged me and was soo happy little kids go out of their way to say hi to me they make funny faces at me if i am behind them in line or they will have the biggest smile on their faces even whan i was 11 or 12 the little 5 year old kids would still want to play with me

    i am shy and have always been no matter how much i try to shake it i cant i get so nervous around other people that i literlly forget what to say so i say nothing and it makes me not want to interact at all

    i cry at everything on tv that is emotional i hate the news all the bad news gets me depressed

    i always try to make other people happy expecially if i can relate and i usually sacrafice myself for others my family or friends but because of this i am always struggling and alway getting taken advantage of i just feel that if god can forgive who am i not too if god give second chances who am i to refuse a person in need and i am never satisfied in my life no matter how much i have or how little i always feel as though i am missing something i am never happy with my life now i dont know if i am an empath or not but i just feel weird i hate that i am never happy

    i have always been shy and

  42. Rene

    Hi Myillana, I can relate to what you say especially the kids and animals part also the feeling others pain. I live thousands of miles from my parents/family because their pain/challenges/anger/attitude is too much for me . I can encourage you by saying if you find something you enjoy then pursue it; it will make you happy whether or not you are alone. I was lucky enough to find writing and even though I am not making money at it I am enjoying it because I have been able to share it with others who also enjoy. Most importantly my time that I indulge in the writing in JOYOUS for ME!!It makes up for my critics voices. YOU have to find something to cling to so that you won’t feel you have to apologize for being YOU!! You are NEVER wrong You just be yourself. 🙂

  43. Kessa

    I too am an empath. I refuse to watch the news. I’ll watch the weather, but no news. I stay at home with my children and really do not want to go out of my comfort zone. I usually end up talking to people and helping them when they need to. My emotions are usually all over the place. I would much rather hurt than have someone else hurt. I still have not learned to turn this off fully so I can just get a break. It makes me feel as if I am insane. 🙂 My youngest daughter, (she has autism) I believe is an empath too. She cries at movies, books and when she hears certain types of music, ( classical and Celine Dion) She always just says “It’s so beautiful Mommy”

  44. Rich

    I believe I am an empath in some way. I will have very very powerful “visions” of painful situations for others. I have had them for such things as the Andrea Yates murders and other high profile and obscure things. I feel haunted by these sometimes. These “visions” are more than visual to me. I feel the emotions. That’s the scary part of the whole thing. I have never considered myself to have any psychic abilities. But I cannot explain why I have these things. They are vivid and terrible almost nightmarish.I also have a tendency to assume other peoples problems. The funny part of the whole thing is that I am a policeman.

  45. Caleb Mullen

    thank you for you beautifully written post.

    its always great to read stuff about it, especially since you worded everything perfectly.

    i wanted to add feeling the emotions put across in music and art. im a traditional artist and its great being empathic and painting. because you truly breath try emotion in your artwork. but i am attempting to transition the truly renaissance way of painting and bring new life to it in modern style artwork. such as life size paintings of celebrates or people i feel connected with for some reason. and put true feeling in there eyes.

    but, A Prayer by Kid Cudi has made me break down with his imagery in the song, it is as if he is truly speaking out to ask to be lifted from this planet. its at the same time of the song too

    but to other inexperienced empaths. crying to music is a good way to let out built up exhaust. you enter their realm and can release emotion with them.

    if someone could email me on here if it is normal to know what a girl wants you to do when you are around her, but its something almost forward and it seems like it would weird them out. cmullen1990(at) like you can understand what they want you to do, or how to act. or what to say in a way. but it could be something you wouldnt think normally to say

    im 21 and still learning to control the aura interactions. but since i know what the girl im around is feeling, it feels as if they are ever longing for me to move forward on them. and i truly feel thats what they want. or i feel someone wants me to go talk to them. but i am still early with the whole knowing about it thing.

    so should i go forward with the almost…. unspoken requests of others? i have been told i look very german and serious, and that i am intimidating because i stand tall and commanding. but i do not know if this is true. anyhow, ive been told that i in a way would brighten up someones day to talk to them. but i cant think of what to say..

    im rambling now.. anyways, thanks for listening.

    email me with your thoughts, i would love to connect with you all on here. i can really tell this is a group like myself from the comments.

  46. Kessa Smith

    @ Caleb Mullen. A great band to listen to, to help with crying about your pain and anger is a band called HURT. Try them out. They’re amazing.

  47. stephanie

    I have read the article and believe whole heartedly that I am an empath. Every symptom describes me to a tee. I realized I was an empath when I was at a bar and a woman walked in. I could feel everything about her, it was so strong. She was on drugs and was so sad that she wanted to die. I could literally feel death around her. I had to leave. It effected me for days.

    Now as I am married, I have had great relationship trouble. We have been separated before. I love him but need separation from him. We are together now and I am still needing to “get away” from him. It is worse now because he is medically disabled and is incredibly depressed and it is reflecting off him and I can feel it and I am having a hard time dealing with it. I am looking forward to learning how to turn it off.

  48. MPath

    Sometimes it feels to me more like ‘Em-pathetic’!! I am already the 3rd generation of Empath and my poor grandmother did not know what she was. And all of a sudden it all makes sense to me. She left her husband and children because he was too austere – at the time it was a huge scandal. Later she became a recluse and would listen to the radio incessantly ..the characters on the radio became her reality. I, too, started feeling things as a child – a park for me was not a ‘Playground’ it was a place full of lonely people. I avoid bars as I feel the desperation of people … I avoid the school like the plague (strangely enough) Before I understood who I was, I too was having problems in my marriage – just wanting to be alone !! The MINUTE I understood that I was an empath, all the pieces fell into place. Now my husband takes the children away on a holiday and I literally take a MUCH needed ‘Away from People Holiday’. If I am overloaded I can not go to a hotel because hotels are full of people. My marriage changed once I was able to speak to my husband about this.
    Some people also mentioned the weight thing before – Empaths feel everything more – all their senses are heightened and for me food is pure enjoyment !!! BIG SMILEY FACE …
    @Rich – I too had visions and mine were related to my life and job just like yours seem to be related to yours.
    I also through the years noticed that I would have an extreme bout of heavy emotions which was CONTRARY to my normal self. Later I was able to look back and saw that these ‘Emotions’ pre-empted an event. So a very, very dark feeling and all my emotions whirling inside of me … then the phone would ring and it was the school telling me that one of my sons was sick or something … and in that instance the cloud lifted.
    Others were clear visions or dreams …
    The reason I feel Em-Pathetic ??? I would be amazing working with animals – if I stepped foot in Animal Home – we would then have every dog in our home !!! I adore children but wouldn’t be able to deal with children suffering …
    I have sometimes seen the news and have no idea how a policeman can ‘arrest’ a man for abusing children and professionally ‘take him in’ … I would not be able to do this …
    I have had to distance myself from needy people – simplify my life and focus on the most important people around me …

  49. Joe

    This empathy thing is really almost impossible to escape. I find it encouraging
    to read here that this isn’t a psychological problem. I’ve had these sensitivities al my life. They are impossible for me to manage. The movies, books, and other such make me turn down volume, change tv channel, and generally resist anything which might put me in a position to cause harm. My parents were forever dismayed at my inability to detach from people, places, and things. Two really good examples: Just last night I was watching a documentary about the development of electricity from its early days to the present. I almost cannot write this! The imagery is a horrifying one which still feels like a hard slap. The show disussed the history of the electric chair capital punishment. To fine tune the volt charge to do the job the show rolls film of animals being electrocuted! This pains me, even as I write this. The only animal shown being “attached” with electrodes was this majestic elephant. The elephant followed a man he loved to his place of his death! I suddenly knew this animal had no idea of what was going on! Elephants are deeply loving some say even more so than us. That poor animal was a happy incredible creature not worthy of what was done! This breaks my heart. There are many other examples!

  50. Lucia

    Oh my God, yes! So sad I didn’t learn about this before. These, especially, I have never heard anyone else articulate as a problem:

    “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.”

    I once had a psychologist who told me that she could never “find me” in my experiences when I told her about them. Apparently I only ever talked about the other people involved and she said that wasn’t normal – people always talk about themselves in the experience.

    “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.”

    So this isn’t normal either?? I always thought I was normal. But when I got into my 20’s, I began to think other people were really stupid, because they couldn’t read me the way I thought they should have – especially my mother irritated me, because she couldn’t see what I thought had to be plain as day, in terms of “emotional intelligence,” regarding both me and other people.

    “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.”

    I always do this too. I only became consciously aware of it as a problem once when I received a phone call that was the wrong number. The man on the phone said my voice was much nicer than the one he had expected to hear and he asked me out and I said yes. Hung up the phone and then realized what just happened and went into a panic. But it was too late – he was on his way already.

    I’ve never heard anyone else talk about having these same problems :). I feel like someone who’s been mysteriously, even delusionally sick all her life and has finally received a diagnosis–and found out she was not delusional like everyone made her believe.

    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.

  51. Suzy

    Hello, I dont know how I ended up on this website. But the things I read here basically highlighted my reason for doing research. For example with it says about getting sucked into novels or thinking twice about watching the news described exactly my reaction.

    Some people call me bipolar because my mood changes all the time but I cant explain to tell that I didnt choose to change my mood, it just happen. I guess what I am trying to ask here is whether or not this is normal? I mean somehow I can always sense when someone is lying to me, but I dont know how to deal with the mood swings, the depression and many more.

    While I can relate to 98% of the signs that I read above, I really do not know to deal with them or control them for that matter. So if any one could relate, I would really appreciate a comment or suggestion.

  52. Matthew

    Yeah my mom was watching greys anatomy and literally as the patient was dieing I started to feel pressure on my chest which is why I hate it when I watcht that show but as soon as the episode stopped I felt much better. Thank god she was watching it on netflix otherwise I’d have to sit through the commercials too. I am a bit of an empath but not that big of one but that was the weirdst empathic expierence I have ever had.

  53. Matthew

    see they died from lack of blood which affects the heart Oh boy that was odd

  54. Erin

    I can only relate to a few… but I’m really looking for a case where (this is real, form my experience), you and your best friend feel the same thing at the same time. Like she’s feeling depressed, and I do too. And then she feels better, and we both feel better. Also things like getting headaches and stomaches in sync, feeling if the other is energetic or tired. I’ve only been able to turn it off while dancing or swimming, other than that I feel everything.

  55. Erin

    I just realized that the only ones that didn’t apply to me are the ones that have;
    – you don’t easily trust people
    – you’re fine with being alone
    – you don’t get close in relationships
    I generally tell my friend everything and hate being alone, but I soak in everyone’s feelings and have things like visions that mean something that happens later on…

  56. Esha

    I noticed those signs in me too. A bit of ’em I mean. But I can’t be ABSOLUTELY sure. The ones that relate to me are:

    # 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
    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.
    # 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.

    Anna, your site is SIMPLY AWESOME btw!!! I LOOOOVE it. And, I’ve become a regular visitor. Your story is also awesome! 🙂

  57. TJ

    I am EVERYTHING listed above! Do you think its possible to be all three types of Empath (animal, plant, human) because I believe I am. I always feel weird about walking on the grass, and most times just follow the brick path even if it takes longer to get where I’m going. With animals, I feel bad about killing flies or spiders and centipedes even and 99% of the time I go out of my way to put them outside in a safe place. In regard to relationships, I have had several boyfriends because I am so compatible with everyone, but after awhile I start to wonder why I’m even with that person! I feel its because I feel wanted by them and return that emotion even though its not my own. I’m highly protective of others, and animals, and take extreme caution when handling plants. I worked on a vegetable farm in green houses and always felt happy in them. I love animals to no end and sometimes its like I can calm them or make them feel less afraid. Im good with people too and always cater to others needs. Being an Empath is the greatest gift and life purpose I have. I’m only just now realizing that I am an Empath and I want to meet more people like me to discuss it and help one another!

    Find me on Facebook : Timothy Hasley / TJ Hasley
    Email me :


  58. Estelle

    Most of these signs relate to me. I’m pretty sure that I’m an empath.
    One of the strongest things for me is when I’m around sick people or even watching them on a fiction TV show. If someone has a cold for example, I start feeling kind of like I have a cold as well. And the other day I was watching this movie, and the main character was being dragged along a very dusty ground, getting dust in his mouth and throat. Even after that scene was over, I felt as if I had dust in my throat. It can be very annoying.
    I’m also very shy and I get scared talking to people that I don’t know very well. (I hate it!)
    I’m not sure if this is a coincidence or not, but I just spent several days living with my friend. In that time I felt very sad…now I am with my dad and I don’t feel as sad. Also I’ve noticed I’m acting a little like my friend. Would you say I’m an emapth…?

  59. Islandcross Gabriel

    I got all the symptoms/signs of being an empath. So, what do I do now? Any guidance or advice from you guys, is it a path to being a skilled psychic?

  60. Lorna

    Most of the above applies to me. All of my life my friends have dumped their problems onto me and I have always tried desperately to help them, with very little concern for myself on my part or theirs. I have been treating people with electro-acupunture and reiki for the last couple of years. At first I found myself developing some of the illnesses I was treating them for. I have to work at letting the energy flow through me and not using my energy to help others, or let their energy flow back to me.

    It is just in these last couple of years that I have realized I had any psychic abilities, though when I think back I would have feelings that I should call someone and when I did they were in distress. I also would think I saw a person over and over knowing fully well that they were not in this part of the world. Finally I would call them to find out if they were OK and they had been praying for me. My sister has done this as well. I think many people have these abilities but just never recognized them.

  61. Danielle

    I fit with most of these, but not all. I am trying to figure out what I am and how to control it. I do put my needs last, and it seems like I can feel animals emotions, I feel responsible for other peoples feelings and everyone over shares with me. I actually read books to feel better becasue while I am reading and get to feel like I am actually the characters. Where I am having a problem is that when I talk to some people who are always angry or upset I start to feel that way too, and recently I have found myself getting physically ill from it. I just dont know what to do anymore I am a happy person when I can tune out everything else, I have been suddenly getting an overwhelming sense of saddness for no reason lately, even reading forums where people are negative I start to cry and feel sick.I talked to my doctor and she just wants me to take anti-anxiety meds. If anyone has any suggestions I would love them.

  62. Jenn

    These apply to me fortunately/unfortunately.. I have been wondering for years if I was just plum psycho lol.. I remember watching TV when I little and either trying to hide my face because I felt the embarrassment the person had , laughing with happy tears for them, or breaking down and crying and feeling a sadness that stuck with me for days. I hate hate hate crowded rooms.. I can be in a great mood, walk into a crowded room and feel a hundred emotions go through me. I don’t understand why but my husband here lately can walk into the room and I feel completely drained.. If I am by myself I can usually stay in a happy uplifted mood unless a feeling about a family or friend hits me. There are so many things that go on with me that I just don’t understand.. The one thing that doesn’t apply to me is I am a very outgoing person.. I try to not let my feelings take me down and not many people know that I feel this way. I do feel when these feeling hit me that they are directed at me even tho they are not… Am I nuts or is this truly empathy.

  63. TC

    I have known for some time now that I am an empath. It’s strongest around animals. This past week I have befriended a stray cat who had kittens under a neighbors porch. She growled and hissed at me the first two times I fed her but now she meows and wants me to pet her and sit on my lap. I am trying to earn her trust so I can take her to the shelter with her kittens. It is really overwhelming me. All of these emotions I can’t shut off. She is going to feel so betrayed when I close the cage door and lock it and drive her to a shelter. She’ll be all alone in a strange, cold environment with her kittens taken away from her. I can already feel her pain. She will be worried about her kittens. Her kittens will be so scared. I feel it all so strongly and everyone else around me couldn’t care less about them. It is very hard to shut it off. feels impossible. It hurts. I have never had to do anything like this before. After it’s done I am still going to worry about them. This empath business sometimes feels like a curse.

  64. Katie

    I am an empath as well but have taught myself how to bubble myself. It is a huge relief but fails at times. Very helpful.

  65. Brock

    The movie thing for me has always been the case and it goes for happiness, excitement, embarrasment, etc. A powerful scene in a movie can reduce me to tears of joy or sadness. Can anyone else “know” the truth and emotions of someone? I don’t mean the outward facade, but their real and true inner emotions that they want to hide. This happens all the time for me. It’s to the point where I can tell a person’s true motivations instead of what they want people to believe. This whole thing kind of freaks me out.

  66. Linda F

    Okay I always thought I was crazy until I read your article. I related to cats extremely and when they are sick I feel their pain. I go into deep depessions after their passing. I also seem to know if a person is going to get sick. Strangely enough I work for a doctor. Ever since I was young I felt I could feel the pain of animals. Now I know I’m not crazy. By the way I am spiritual to a degree if Paganism counts.

  67. kathy

    Does anyone feel that they are feeling emotions from someone that is not even present and may or may be far away and may not even be someone they know?

  68. Melissa

    Oh my goodness!!! It wasn’t until reading this article realizing all these traits are connected. I’m so delighted to have come across this site allowing me to recognise how gifted I am …its all of the above tenfold…PLUS some ( when really focusing I know what there thinking!!) . It’s seems as with the last couple years its intensified with just recently learning to control what I absorb…thank goodness!!! Bit is that tough and exhausting!! Also its helped ne build a great clientele as a hairdresser with communication of their desired results. It would be awesome to share these gifts another way to help people in many ways . Thank you much for your informative article!! 🙂

  69. Alli

    I found out that I was an Empath a few years ago from my Reiki teacher and I never knew it but once I found out it made me realize why i had so much anxiety in school and hated going when I had so many friends, because I felt everyone’s emotions and feelings and it overwhelmed me and I couldn’t tell what was my own feelings and emotions and what wasn’t. As I got older and explored more I found out about such things. 🙂

  70. Zak

    I’m only 14 now and i figured out that i could tell if someone is lying or telling the truth, how they feel on their life, and how they feel about other people like crushes and that stuff. I don’t feel that pain of other people by watching TV or movies but I get kind of a rush i guess if something good happens. My body starts to shake and i get goose bumps. I’ve been able to help some friends who used to cut, stop because i was able to get inside their head a tell what they were thinking about their life. I have had parents tell me that i should be a psychiatrust because of this. This article was major help to let me know that im not the only person in the world with this.

  71. Shannon

    So…I identify with all of these symptoms. Every single one. Like, when I’m reading a book, I become extremely invested in the main characters emotions. If something bad happens in the book, I can’t shake that feeling of dread for hours. But I don’t understand how to turn it off. It seems like it’s only gotten worse these last few years. I know there are some benefits to it, and I know it is a part of who I am, but it’s getting to the point where I am considering depression medication, or anti-anxiety medication to try and keep my emotions under control. I don’t want to become medicated, but I can’t keep letting emotions rule my life so harshly.

  72. Fiona

    That makes a lot of sense! I just realized recently what I can do has a name. The women through my mom’s side have been known to be sensitives (mostly through dreams and spirit stuff) but unlike them, I can also feel what others feel, whether they be living or dead. I know if a stranger will be a friend or if I should stay away from that person or place (I can tell when something bad has happened in places). I’ve never been wrong. I find out facts later, but I always listen to that! I’ve always been teased for being shy but people come to me to make them feel better and for advice (even strangers) somehow, I know what people need. I can’t watch movies or read books where horses get hurt or die (I grew up around horses so that’s probably why) and I avoid the news as much as I can. When I’m home for the holidays, I can’t sleep if my mom is up worrying about others. I’ve had to tell to her to stop thinking so loud in the middle of the night. I just told my dad that he needs coffee and he asked me how I knew. I can always tell how wired he is and then I feel when he’s about to crash. I can’t be around him when he’s extremely wired because it’s very draining. I still need to learn how to turn this off! I find that meditation helps enormously or doing something creative like playing music. I also know if I have met someone in another lifetime and they usually know it before I say anything. Sometimes I just get too overwhelmed and I have to tell people to shut up or I leave the room, which I’ve had to do multiple times to stop people from telling me all their emotional problems.

  73. Ana

    Hi Anna,

    I’m so glad I came across your web site. I have been struggling with something and would really love to share it with everyone. I feel that my psychic abilities result in obsessive compulsive disorders. Whenever my cheek burns I start picking it or pinching it because I know that when my left cheek burns, then someone is criticizing me. If the right cheek burns, then someone is praising me. It is embarrassing that I’m so concerned about how people feel about me, but I cannot stop for example, asking my husband silly questions cuz I felt my left cheek burn after I say or do something and I can feel that there are thoughts that he isn’t saying outloud. I developed this after carrying stones on me that opened up the chakras. I’ve also done a lot of meditations…

  74. Lisa Watson

    I know that peoople come to me, often, and unload. They feel better, but then I need to go to bed and sleep. I prefer to be alone, away from people, because I get so stressed. If someone is angry and I walk in a room and they are there, I get an instant headache even if I haven’t seen them yet.
    People seem drawn to just unload everything, even strangers.

    I don’t like to be touched, and I can’t seem to shake the overwhelming fatigue easily when I have spent the day with family and friends, listening to them.

    I know what people will do before they do it, and I know lots about their personalities even before getting to know them. I wish I could turn this off. I hate the phone ringing, because I often know who it is, and that it will be a draining conversation. I tell people that I need rest, tha I need them to not tell me their problems all the time because I can’t turn it off. I don’t tell them I am intuitive or an empath, just that I take their problems to heart and it is overwhelming and I need them to respect that I need a break at times. I wish, they could learn more respect for my boundaries, or attempts to set them.

    I tend to be a hermit. I don’t like gatherings, or crowds, because I always seem to pick up on peoples negative feelings, and I get stressed or ill. I just tell people I have social phobia. It’s not really true. I would love to be a social butterfly, but I spend so much time feeling like I am walking through an emotional chaos, and I feel the need to keep things calm, soothing, that I get tired. When at home, I can’t watch those shows where people get embarrassed, I can’t watch violence to animals or people, and when visiting friends, I can tell if they haven’t paid attention to their animals.

    People don’t really listen when I tell tham what I know. After the fact, they will tell me I was right, and they should have listened. But the very next time, they will ignore me again and I feel frustrated. I feel they want a dumping ground, but not to really find a solution or feel better if it takes work on their part.

    Anyone know a cave I can live in? LOL I am not completely unhappy, and some friends are amazed when I tell them what their loved one will do next in reaction to a situation. Or I will profile someone and be correct. I’d much prefer to be blissfully ignorant though, sometimes.

  75. Rahul

    Me too… …
    Almost all of the above conditions are applicable on me, i guess.
    I dnt know wethr this is good or bad for me… But yes sometimes it becomes too hard to control my emotions.,especially when i am seeing some movie or reading a novel. When da story ends on curtain it then starts in my mind and i keep thinking of it… da story, hero, what would b da future if da sgory continued, what would i do if i were the hero.. . Et etc.. ..
    Sometimes this continues for a week or so…
    N look i just came to knw why i m so… . Tnks to the author
    Any suggestn for me deeply welcmd.. .
    (plz ignore the spellings) 🙂

  76. Rachel

    I’m not that old but I could feel that my big sister was sad I felt her sadness

  77. Sam

    I never realized before that what was happening was some kind of psychic ability! I have often found myself pausing/turning off the tv or shutting a book and leaving it for half an hour until I think I can handle the emotions. I also am unsure about this but is taking up a non-physical trait such as a minor personality trait of a person your around a good amount a sign of being an Empath?

  78. Karen

    This is def me! I’ve always known there’s been something abit different with me.
    I need help though, I suffer great anxiety and depression that I’ve stopped going out and more or less stopped seeing friends and family. I feel lost and don’t want to go out as I know beforehand how I’m going to end up feeling.
    I need to learn how to switch off and learn to put myself first for a change before my life has passed me by and I fear I’m going to end up alone as its got to the stage where I’m scared to meet someone new cos of all these feelings… finding it just all too hard and scary to cope with. Please help me!

  79. Hanimpie

    Dear Anna, I cannot watch the news; try to choose the movies I watch very carefully, even some music videos can get too heavy; listen to music at work to stay away from the conversations and emotions around me to be able to work. I tend to be alone and stay away from people often, even from people whom I love but had no idea why. This was very helpful thank you. Now I understand myself beter.

  80. Meg McCredie


    Im meg and im 14 years old. I know im young but i could really relate to every single one of those points. Ive always known i was a bit different…

    i especially find that i can relate to the one about people dumping their emotions on me and the one about not telling others my emotions.
    people always tend to come tell me their problems… maybe because i am just a really good listener. but they would tell me, get my help, then leave, as if i never did anything for them and as if i dont even matter…

    also, all of my friends “coincidentally” have had hard pasts. do you think, that i seemingly have bonded with people who are going through or have gone through difficult times because the empathetic side of me naturally “chooses” them? or maybe im being guided toward them by a higher power? God? i dont know… but i am certain that im an empath.

    thanks so much for this article! i really appreciate the time you put into writing it and i hope you continue to write such great advice!!!

    ~ Meg 🙂

  81. Animal lover

    Not sure if this has anything to do with your article but I have never found anything on it. Since I was a very little girl I was always a huge animal lover. The only problem is if an animal near me got hurt or died I could feel it and sense it and would often go following the sense till I found, a sugar glider on electric power lines, birds died on the ground, a goat with its horns stuck in a fence, a bird with a broken wing stuck in dangerous surf. To name a few.
    As I got older my friends started noticing I had this weird ability and payed me out enormously to the point I had to try and ignore the feelings and pretend they never happened. Now after years of ignoring I feel like if I concentrate on it sometimes I still feel things but I can also quite easily ignore it. I feel like it’s such a shame if I truely have an ability of some sort that I’d chose to ignore it then use it. Do I sound like strange or have you heard of this existing.

  82. Earl

    I have known I was an empath since I was 15. I have used certain practices to help me control and monitor my own aura and psyche. These may help others who are feeling over whelmed.

    1. Find and empty spot. An empty spot is a place you go to relax, release and process your emotional collective. To maintain balance you have know your null zone. The first time you release see which emotion pops up first, this will tell your emotional strength side so you understand where to focus as you overload.

    2. Give emotion feelings a sensory. Some emotional draws make you feel temperature or sense color types. Its your body’s or mind’s attempt to give category and validation to what you are sensing in your psyche. Use this to give criteria to the different emotional draws from other people you feel. Doing so will help set up barriers and limits.

    3. Captivate a happy memory. This memory can act as a shield you can hide behind. The memory must be impactful to your life so that it becomes something you consciously overload your thoughts with as people overwhelm you with their emotional triggers.

  83. Pamela

    Oh yeah, I can relate to these! I recently came to terms with the “name of what’s wrong with me.” I’m in the process of exploring what it means, and how it affects my life. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is the same way, so we are able to support each other. I’m learning what this means for my life, and gradually learning to control it. This article was really informative. Thank you!

  84. Ron

    All right, I’m not sure where I may fall in to place. A good number of the “signs that you’re an unskilled empath” I can certainly relate to. Yet I have other “things” that I have experienced since my youth. In my early teens I have dealt with spirits, ghosts, whichever you would care to call them. I lived in a home that had its share of activity where things would happen. I could sense the entities in the house, I knew they were there but could never see them. In my mid teens my family had gone out of state for the funeral of my great grandmother. I did not get the opportunity to see here before she passed. When we returned home, I was in my bedroom typing on her typewriter, that was given to me, when I got this overpowering sense that someone was in the room with me, standing behind me and I could smell the perfume that mt great grandmother wore. The feeling was so strong that I had to leave the room because honestly it scared me. I have had circumstances that looked as though they would be detrimental but would work out after a while in my favor. I have always had a sense about me that allowed me to get a feel for someone during a first meeting, I could tell if they were good or trouble, I always said that I got a vibe or I read their vibe and more often than not I was correct in my thinking. In my mid thirties I began having terrible anxiety/panic attacks from out of nowhere, they came on after I had suffered through a long illness I felt that I would never get over. I began having problems dealing with large groups of people, going too far out of my comfort zone. My sensitivity to spirits/ghosts seemed to magnify. I would feel that I was not alone in my home. I would hear footsteps down the hall and they would stop right at the entrance to the kitchen. I knew that someone was there, every once in a while I would see this young girl child standing there out of the corner of my eye, over time I would see more and more of her for longer periods. She never came any closer than the entrance to the kitchen and she would stare at me then just leave. There was also an old lady, mean, grouchy woman, that was the sense I got from her and she would appear sometimes right when the young girl would and she would shoo the child away then gaze quickly at me and be gone herself. My own daughters as well as myself would witness shadows, fairly large ones, going across the ceiling in the living room. This all went on up to the day we sold the house and moved. My sister lived in a house behind ours and I would see shadows in her home out of the corner of my eye. I could sense a presence but what that presence was I couldn’t say, I just know it never felt very pleasant. Here just as recently as this past Sunday I was out doing vehicle work for a customer of mine and the entire 6 hours I was there working I was overwhelmed with a need to keep looking behind me. Something kept telling me to look behind me, sometimes there was nothing there, sometimes it seemed that there was something, a few times when I turned around I would see someone. Once it was a man, fairly tall, scrawny, in denim pants, a dirty button up shirt wearing what looked like it would be one of those old hats farmers would wear out in the field, another time I would see a woman dressed in a long off white I guess dress wearing some type of a bonnet. I would see them, I would blink my eyes and look again and they’d be gone. But they would be there just looking my way and not moving. I couldn’t see any features of their faces. It was a very stressful time for me there seeing this, feeling what I was feeling, and just experiencing all of it. The feeling gradually wore off towards the evening. There are some days I feel so connected and other days I feel a great disconnect as if everything is somewhat off kilter. So, my question is simply this: Empath or Sensitive? All my life, I am now 55, I have had what I refer to as a 6th sense, I get powerful feelings of gloom and doom, I can wake in the morning and feel if something is wrong, not exactly right or all is well and good with the world. I can’t read minds but I am good at picking up what people are feeling. My last relationship failed miserably because I rushed in to it, I could read her easily, her feelings were always out in front of her if you know what I mean and I got too involved and too overwhelmed by the onslaught of her emotions that her frustration and anger that she felt from situations in her life came to be mine as well and one night there was an argument during a video chat and I let loose hers and my frustration from inside me upon her. It ended our relationship. Empath or Sensitive or something entirely different. I can no longer just treat what I have been experiencing as some sort of quark, I need to harness and develop whatever it is and put it to good use. Open for suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  85. TJ Meneses

    I said yes to all the bullet points up there but i’m still not convinced that i may be an Empath, and it’s because of the fact that i’m not really sure if i feel others’ emotions or feelings as my own. is it possible to not be aware that the emotions you feel aren’t yours? . i mean i kinda do feel like i’m not myself most of the time. before, i just thought that i’m just a very sensitive person, but now i have a feeling that i may be an empath oh man, help me guys. i don’t want to bother anyone but i just want answers cause it’s really frustrating already to not know what you are and who you really are.. i just want a confirmation that i may really be an empath.. thank you so much guys ^_^ i’d really appreciate it ^_^

  86. Barbara

    I first read the word “animal empathy” on your page. I’m not sure of exactly what it means or if I am one; but I’m trying to find the “word” for when you feel what animals feel. I do that, and it is getting stronger as I get older. Just the other day I saw a pic on twitter of 2 dogs that had been skinned but still alive…I can’t say further because the remembering has made my skin tingle/crawl and I’m feeling enormous fear; however, I am also feeling a rage at the abusers build inside me sort of as to protect me from the fear. I have to erase it from my mind again now, or it will drive me nuts!
    When I see/meet with animals, I first look into their eyes, and I can see/feel how they are feeling. I will ask the owners if their pet is friendly, and they will say, “Oh yeah, go ahead and pet it.” But, I will look into the pet’s eyes, and I will know whether or not the animal is “comfortable” with me petting it. I just KNOW.
    Now my mom loves animals as much as I do, but she doesn’t seem to “feel” the animal’s feelings as I do. I “feel” whether an animal is afraid, uncomfortable, shy, in pain, and numerous others.
    What does it mean/what is the word, for someone who actually “feels” what an animal is feeling?

  87. Alyssa

    I can relate to all of these traits, though I have not exhibited all of them. Since I was young I have struggled with mental health issues, and for the past few years, I have been sent to counselors and psychiatrists for displaying a LACK of empathy, and I thought they were right. It took a very special person in my life to speculate that I suffered from quite the opposite. I had been a vegetarian since I was 12, and even before then had been very passionate about nature and animals. I was also highly impacted by negative comments and actions, regardless of their scales or who/what they were directed at. I am now beginning to think that the reason I displayed such a lack of empathy was a coping mechanism to cover up the fact that I was easily so overwhelmed by injustice and cruelty, and I was not willing to open up to the way I felt and reacted. Has anyone else ever had experience with something like this?

  88. Wacko

    Thanks a lots today,i find i m laughing at myself as i m reading some of comment i feel tears on my eyes.

  89. Judy Kanary

    I was wondering why I felt other people’s feelings. I didn’t have any idea. Where my family will be watching a news station where someone was injured I have to leave the room. If one of those commercials come on for the abused dogs to get money for the humane society I have to turn the channel I even feel the dogs pain. It is very overwhelming. When I am talking to someone who has an accent I find my self talking like the person in conversation to them. My daughter makes fun of me all the time. I had no idea why I would change the way I was talking. I can tell exactly when someone doesn’t feel good when someone is having problems at home. When I confront the people and ask them what is wrong they look at me like how in the world did you know that. Another thing that has been happening lately and I am wondering what this is if anyone knows. For instance the other day I was walking by my neighbors apt she was on her patio watering her tomato plants. I started singing the song One ton tomato it was a one ton tomatoe. Of course that is not how the song really goes but the song words sound like that and people just sing on ton tomato. So after I got back to my apt I got on facebook and was randomly looking at video’s on some of my friends timelines The next thing I see is an original video in black and white with the spanish lady singing the correct words to the song. what were the odds just an hour ago I was singing that same song to my neighbor as I passed by then get on facebook and accidentally found a video with the original spanish song. Another time my sister gave me a ride to the store she had mentioned I needed to find a cheaper car insurance I told her I would look into it. I get home and go and check my email and there are advertisement for insurance in my gmail. Not only that but a insurance company that wasn’t that popular was there to and while I was looking at me gmail a commercial just then came on tv with a commercial of that same insurance company. This is happening all the time. Sometime it is really scary. I am trying to think of some more coincidences but I can’t right now there are so many. I just do not know when it is going to happen If that isn’t enough now I am seeing the numbers 111 or 333 all the time. If I look at the microwave or my clock radio in my car any thing digital. I passed by an apt last night checking my mail and just happened to look up and there was apt 333. I am wondering am I fixing to die? What is going on. I could sorta handle the feeling others thoughts and moods. I could even handle the coniencidences. But now the numbers. Does anyone know what is wrong with me. Am I fixing to die are something.? please if you know could you please please let me know what I am having.

  90. natasha

    I’ve always known that I’m an empath. People always say that I’m overly sensitive and too over reacting but deep down inside me I know things that the other person might not be aware of themselves. Recently, I met a bunch of friends, and somehow , I was able to read the aura of two of them.. It’s too painful to know yet I can’t bring myself to talk to that person about what I know and as for the other person, I know how vicious and vindictive that person was. I Just can’t handle her hypocrisy and lies and in the end , I choose to leave them all.

  91. Christine

    I am 27 and I have recently came to understand I am an empath. Actually, it’s quite weird how I came to know it. I have been experiencing all of the symptoms above except from shyness my entire life and I have always had great ‘intuition’ and ‘hunches’. However, I recently started to experience physical conditions, such as strong heartbeat and even sexual desire in the proximity of certain people. I was confused why I would feel like that for these people all of a sudden, they are dear to me but only as friends or coworkers (I have a happy family) but then I realised that this is how they feel about me (after a couple of clear hints that even non-empaths would understand). It is really hard to control it, especially since I don’t have to be physically close to them to experience strong sickness (to the point of throwing up) just in the moment before I receive a message from some of them. I often experience pressure in the chest and sickness, shortness of breath and strong heartbeat and chest pain. The problem is that I care for these people and I feel their aching and longing – it’s driving me mad, I feel sad for them and I feel their sadness. So now I have a problem, I cannot always really separate my feelings from theirs. Does this make sense? Has anyone experienced these physical conditions and how do you deal with them?
    Also, I do sense when others are comfortable or uncomfortable with what I say or do, but I cannot predict how someone would feel, so I often feel horrible about myself after I have said something and realised how it affected others.
    PS: Understanding I am an empath really put the things into perspective for me. For example, it is only after reading this blog that I understand why I tend not to finish reading books and watching movies which seem to be going to end in a bad way or just before someone is about to die…I have always attributed this habit of mine to lack of patience.
    Similarly, I often had some uncomfortable feeling after hanging out with certain people, as if I have done something wrong. I would rewind the evening in my mind hundreds of times not being able to understand what I had done. Now I see these people felt intimidated by me as a person.

  92. Vonna Hicks

    I know I’m an Empath but I have also felt a flow of energy (one felt as if the flow was a circular motion and the other was a gentle flow that came directly to me… Both flows were welcoming and soothing) from 2 people and have seen one man appear to glow. What does that mean?

  93. Linda Winchell

    I have been an Empath since I was a very young child. However, didn’t realize it way back then, but now I do. I can almost see what a person is experiencing, colors, location of pain in their bodies when I touch them, also have become ill myself when there seems to be some kind of interceding.
    I have even seen faces and names of friends that have passed when meeting someone. I am VERY spiritual and have had many miracles that have changed my life forever!
    At one time thought I was losing it! But came to find out that it was who I am and what God has gifted me with in order to help others through troubled times.

    Thank you for your posts. In Christ, Linda Winchell

  94. Cyndi

    I am so glad that I found your website. I have all of the symptoms listed above of an empath. Have had them, that I am aware of since early childhood, but I honestly thought that everyone was wired this way. I knew such a thing existed, but never really understood exactly how many areas of my “being,” could be affected. Maybe I just never had a strong enough reason to do any research. However, at this time, I find myself isolating way too much. I have become so overloaded that I wish I could find a deserted island to escape to, so that nothing could creep in and I could “decompress.” I have always tended to avoid social situations, because I find them draining and overwhelming. I am much better with very small groups and one-on-one interactions. I literally feel like I weigh a ton. I am glad I found your site, so that I can learn to take control.

    There have been times in my life where I so desperately wanted to avoid interaction with even sunshine or the wind, to such a degree that I would not only close every window and door and curtain, but I would obsessively stuff towels in any cracks in said doors and windows, to avoid any type of outside-ness from reaching my being. Sounds crazy I know…feels crazy too when I get so overloaded.

    I particularly have the most trouble “finding myself in a counseling role,” and having friends or loved ones dumping their emotions on me, and finding myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. I also have trouble with my intuition, because I can literally feel a loved one’s emotional or physical pain, across the miles, even before they confide in me. It is especially hard when that person tries to deny what they are going through to spare my worry, so to speak. Sometimes I don’t know how to handle those situations. So, I particularly would like to learn techniques to manage both my intuitive and empath gifts.

    Anyway, so relieved to realize that I’m not going off the deep end and there are methods to regain control.

  95. tJ

    My dog is very intuitive and can pick up when I am frustrated. Likewise, if I am around someone who is upset, depressed, you name it, even if they are not displaying outward, blatant signs, I pick up on it, feel their emotions and feel guilty – like somehow, I am supposed to be able to fix it. As a child, I would always feel guilty when someone was sick – guilty like I caused it (I clearly knew that I didn’t); guilty like I should have their illness instead of them, guilty that I was well and they weren’t, and that I should be able to fix it.

  96. Patty

    I’m sitting here in tears as I read these comments. I have always been told that I’m over-sensitive but I knew being over sensitive does not allow you to feel the pain or thoughts of others. I can’t pass an deceased animal on the side of the road without my mind racing: omg, poor animal..scared, lonely not realizing whats happening to pain….I feel the same with people – but have tried to distance myself because…this is too much..way too much. My first thought in anything he/she or it is feeling..then my mind is flooded with thoughts….

  97. Kaitlyn Chapin

    Yes, I can relate to these things. I can really relate when someone close to me is sad or hurting because I just have that feeling and then I ask her and she says my ankle or something hurts. And then I’m like, that’s where this pain is coming from. Watching TV and movies will do it to me too.

  98. Melissa Lewis

    I’ve spent most of my life in my house, by myself. I’m an only child. I’m agoraphobic, which has gotten out of control in the past five years or so. I’m always being told I’m too sensitive, too emotional, dramatic, etc. I feel as if I’m caring and tuned in, and mourning for a very sad & cruel, emotionless world. I am always focused on bad situations in my life that I can do nothing about, but that are negative and harmful to me. I feel I can make them better or make people feel better, such as my son who’s in a horrible relationship. His gf also hates me for no reason. Of course this will not change. Others have given up long ago. People say simple things like I can’t control him, etc. It’s not even on that level, but I can’t explain that. The state of the government makes me physically ill. I can’t watch news. Right now, I’m so depressed, I just stay on my couch. I watch shows and movies over and over, esp those with “heroes”. I predict things and am strongly attached to Civil War Era, esp Gettysburg, which is approx 21/2 hour drive. From about 7 years old, I’ve been part of Gettysburg, not in the popular Ghost Detective way, but authentically. I wish I could find a way in which to deal with this. I’m wasting my life away hiding in my house. Melissa

  99. Kathy

    I am 65 years old and can remember these deep feeling since childhood. I am just today learning that it is real and has a label. Both my parents have passed in the last 8 years and it feels like I carry their last days of pain with me and can not get over it. I’m this way with all losses of people or pets. Since retiring and watching TV more, I have noticed a lot of hosparus commercials and cancer commercials and I started having panic attacks and depression /anxiety because I take on the emotions of those situations. At least now I know that I am not crazy. Thanks for all of the posts.

  100. Kryton

    Nice to have found this place on the net! I noticed i could feel sadness from certain people, but now I can feel happiness when people around me are happy in a genuine way and, believe it or not I can feel the sensation when they are horny excited hahaah, it’s very embarasing, and they are not horny or happy because of me, but just are because of their lifes, so .. hahaah
    Apart from that I think that almost everybody has this ability when I started playing an online role game and I could feel sensations of other players and in my body too, even if they were miles away in the other part of the world, and then they told me they could feel me too hahaah that freaked me out but made me happy at the same time because many people are like this looks like.
    I haven’t learnt how to turn it off but i will keep on reading this page.

  101. Kitty

    I got a little confused when i started getting weird moments when I felt emotions that were so different from my usual feelings. I always almost felt the pain the victims went through on TV when i watched criminal minds. After I got a really bad shock of sadness ( it felt like my heart was being shredded) I looked this up, and boy was i surprised! It kinda makes sense why I feel other people’s emotion and pain slightly now, thank you! I must say, the physical pain is a lot less prominent than the emotions for me, but it still is there.

  102. Kenneth yuji yuse

    May i ask some question being an empath is that natural that your always having a migraine? Or an headache? And i feeling weird about what i feel that’s why i search about it then i saw this article and I can relate to it. But I’m so curious about empaths can read other people? But how?

  103. Natalie

    I read somewhere in the comments about feeling emotions of characters in books and movies.
    This is a big one for me as I also feel their physical pain as well as emotional. If a character that I’m hang up on while watching a movie/drama starts to have a panic attack for example, then I also find myself not being able to breathe as I’m gasping for air with tears welling up in my eyes. If a female character is having a morning sickness due to pregnancy, there I’m being sick right with her. I always end up sticking through it though because if I don’t then I’m afraid I’ll stop watching everything altogether.

    The worst thing though is the feeling of not being able to help everyone, be it a person or an animal, that really brings me down.

    One thing I do enjoy is reading people as in only few short looks/moments I’m able to read their immediate emotions as well as where they are in life at the moment, their desires. Although I have to move on very quickly otherwise I’ll get stuck on them and will think about them all day and how I “could help”.

  104. Kathy

    Natalie – I know exactly what you mean about feeling bad when I can not help everyone. It’s like it’s my job to help. Also, I carry peoples fears and sadness around with me. Being an empath is a blessing and a curse. But mostly a blessing. Thanks for writing!

  105. Lisa


    I am a middle aged woman who sees for the first time a new perspective on my life. I have been fortunate that I have a husband that although he might not completely understand how I foresee people’s futures and feel someone’s emotional pain and experience it as though it was mine, will at least listen to what I’m feeling or seeing in the moment. It provides some sort of release. I must say though because of the extreme nature of my empathy it at times put a strain on our marriage. He says I become so consumed in the moment. I also find that I do get taken advantage of quite a bit. I always tell myself that being a compassionate giving person will come back positive two fold. I can tell you that I too feel drained daily by others feelings and what situation they are in that I feel, however my life seems pretty boring in comparison. I find clicking with people is really difficult and if I do force myself to socialize, I will at least once tone in on a emotional experience or an illness of some kind with people that I am socializing with. I can only deal with the situation a few hours and will rethink the experience for a couple of days. Is there any advice that can help with at least not acting on what I am feeling? Are there others that find comfort in communing with others that are empaths? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  106. Loc

    I’ve known this for most of my life however never really knew a label for it. At first thought I was just overly emotional because I was a cancer but as I matured into an adult male it is such a heart wrenching burden. I don’t want it but can’t stand the idea of not being this way. It feels like I’m a broke and broken homeless man with the burden of raising children. The worst part and the only reason I’ve looked into these characteristics/symptoms is that I now know my oldest daughter has this curse as well. I know that my lifespan isn’t going to be very long and I don’t want her to have to deal with this alone like i did. I also dont want anyone else in the family to know that we are like this.

  107. Kekei

    My feelings are a little different, I do feel other persons emotions to the point of no control. However there is an even deeper connection with my mother, even when I am miles away or even in another country I can sense her emotions. I will be sitting down relaxing then tears will suddenly role down my cheek and in that moment I know to give her a call. It is a very unique feeling I must say, one that I have gotten use to.

  108. Amr

    Funny thing I found this Article by googling “I love feeding from people emotions” sounds scary, but on the good side it makes me feel more strong when i watch people emotions live ex. X Factor Emotional & Inspiring, I deeply cry watching those moments like a full movie is running and feel every tear drop, the more i watch the more i get better and fed up, I also feel the pain of my g/f when shes in trouble and it killing me like i can’t take it anymore and i cant just stop it or control it. When it comes to “Animal in pain” its even more worse than my g/f, It rip my heart apart and i feel responsible some how although it wasn’t me who did that , I also had some connection to someone from a different country as I can feel and know exactly whats the next word she’s going to say and how she feels it was incredible & unbelievable feeling like you’re floating on the air and there is no time everything is paused.

    Overall, most written on that article i had experience it, and i’m glad is has a meaning

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  109. clint

    We should all just express what we are feeling, after all it would be with love…you know what i mean don’t hide it…we’re the connectors

  110. NitaNan

    I came across this while Googling extreme empathy. While this description comes closer to what I deal with, I still haven’t found the answer to one recent experience. A documentary showed medics rescuing soldiers by helicopter in current Middle East conflicts. One young man was too severely injured with the loss of both arms and a leg and died in the helicopter. As I watched him I could feel my body chemistry changing as if I were dying with him. My MD says there is a term for this but I haven’t been able to find it.

  111. Bettina

    I have known for sometime why I was different. Overly emotional or sensitive as outsiders would label me. I came to this page by looking for ways to help an outsider feel or get just a glimpse of how I feel. Like a understanding that not everything in life is supposed to make sense. It’s not always just the brain that controls you butt the heart and spirit. I cried the whole time I read this page. Couldn’t help it never thought control was possible. Thought the only way to have any control wad to just shut down. Even that is almost impossible and had a negative effect. Makes me edgier and more likely to snap at my outsider. I would love help learning to control this and have others understand and except my difference.

  112. Amanda P.

    I am so glad I found this article and the postings. Thank you. It’s been one heck of a road for me and this – to the point where I hated touching people because I would get their feelings and react to them. Me and how I feel? Not so much. I’ve gone to professionals, no help. However, when I look back, I also feel that I’ve been taken advantage of because of what I am -when someone finds out. I don’t tell, they just feel they can unload and it has been “family” mostly. Now that they are all dead, and it’s just me, I’ve crawled into a shell and I’m very afraid to get close to anyone, it’s that bad. So I can understand how many people feel. Can we all adapt, get over it? Reign it in? Not being seen as crazy people? Well, your article helps A LOT and is a good start on how to control this. Thank you for the information.

  113. Kendra

    This really helped me understand myself more, but my empathy goes deeper. When I hear about someone dying in a bizarre way or in a way where they suffer, I immediately feel how they felt when they realized they were going to die. And it plays over in my head for days after. It keeps me up at night for a few days and makes me feel so sad

  114. Bettina

    I was also wondering if anyone has ever experienced the left over emotions of a spirit? I had one such run in where she was so scared and died in such a terrible way. I literally relived her death. Not something you ever forget, it was so overwhelming and I didn’t even know anything about the house’s history. Has anyone else ever had this?

  115. Joe Lewis

    I have never heard it explained so well. I commend you on such a thorough description. For so long I possessed such a gift, for many reasons i used it for the wrong reasons. Until i learned that there was so much good that could be done, I changed from that point on. Sometimes the load gets really heavy and I wish i could turn it off. I tell my friends that it is a blessing most of the time, but there are times it feels like a curse. I have yet to learn how to turn it off.

  116. Bryan Larose

    I too am glad I have found this page. Thank you. From the time I was a boy, I was able to not only feel emotional pain but physical pain from humans and animals. I spent a lot of time feeling so sad and crying at the suffering I’d see in others and in the world.
    I would end up acting out as a child in negative ways because no one seemed to understand what I was feeling.
    I have felt overwhelmed many times by not having the means to help every situation where there is suffering. Is this a gift or is it a learned behavior? While on one hand I am pleased that I have an enormous amount of compassion for all living things, I’d certainly enjoy learning how to accept that I can’t save all living things on the planet who suffer.
    Are those of us who feel these feelings unique or are we simply overly sensitive?

  117. Sam Almu

    This is the first time, I’m talking about this. It’s funny that I’m posting it here rather on Reddit. Maybe it’s because I know some people just won’t believe it.

    I don’t know when it started, but my earliest experience that I remember was when I was 12. When I am in deep thought, trying to get into the true root of a “moment” I get in a trance/hazy state, and my heart starts pounding, tears pouring, while my breathing gets heavier and heavier. All this happened simultaneously while I was experiencing this emotional painful “thing”, I was begging to God to please make it stop. I feel PURE relief after I get moments like this. Makes me understand emotions and people. I don’t understand why people don’t have these experiences, only some.

    Keep in mind, I only experience this when I am in the right state of mind. And I can’t control it, I get it only 1-2 a year.

  118. Bethany

    It is very overwhelming. I’ve been dealing with it since I was a kid. There have been times when I couldn’t decide if whatever it was is a gift or a curse. It got to a point where I let so many others emotions and their lives consume me that I lost myself completely and ended up sick. I’m glad that I saw this today because now what is going on with me and I can figure out how to control it without letting it control me.

  119. William W in Tacoma Wa. 12/5/17

    Hello fellow empaths: I have always wondered why I was so emotional… I also have many of the traits previous people have described such as the inability to watch the news, I simply refuse it’s too exhausting, also the unexplainable attraction that animals, as well as young children, have to me. I have always had relationship difficulties as I find them exhausting at times as well, I try not to be a recluse but sometimes I just need to recharge with a nap or just some alone time with my favorite music. I have been like this as long as I can remember, I don’t have many friends but the ones that I have I desperately hang on to because I feel a deep connection too them. I would have to say that I can relate to about 98% of what people were saying they experience, so much that I actually wept at times, I want to say thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences with this truly amazing but terribly exhausting gift, I am 52 yrs. old now but never understood a lot about the way I am but after reading what people shared I’m beginning to see the light and am going to research this further. Thanks to Anna for this wonderful blog and site I am going to say until next time for I don’t like goodbye.

  120. Nicholas S. Garrison

    I am a medium that discovered this thread by Googling “feel what others feel”. I never knew what to call someone that feels plants, which strangely happens all the time to me. I woke up to feeling everything around me and realized it was my neighbors. Your article has helped me put a name to feelings that I could not describe. Thank you. ????

  121. Aisha

    Maybe I need some help…
    So, I have always been interested in psychological and paranormal stuff. And generally look up on it on the net. That’s when I came to know the term ’empath’. I don’t know why but I felt so drawn to it and searched its meaning and all.
    And I could actually relate to it. Like my ever so occurring mood swings. Sometimes I would be feeling normal and the next moment I will be sad and thinking I might have depression. I could actually feel as they described ‘aura’. Once I entered the room and my family members were sitting like normal. I felt something was wrong and could actually get a ‘tense’ type of vibe. I asked if anything was wrong and they denied and instinctively I could know they were lying. I left them alone but after sometime voices of them shouting at each other can be heard.

    I compared all the traits to myself and the majority of them matched but I couldn’t believe it and still can’t. People influence me a little too easily and I could actually tell if the person means what he says or actually interested in a conversation. And a few days back, I was travelling through my daily path when a person walked by at a suitable distance from me. And I looked at his face and just ‘knew’ he was in some kind of trouble. A real strange feeling I had then. But maybe it is just my mind playing tricks on me… cause I read about the whole ‘being an empathic’ stuff.

    But what happened today, it got me thinking. I had a severe chest pain (which lasted for less than a minute) and instinctively I thought of my grandfather as he has complicated heart problems. Later, I got to know that he had a chest pain due to stress. And it was around the same time, I experienced it. It can be coincidence, right? Or am I going insane?

  122. Rhonda Webb

    Is this why I can’t handle funerals, I get so overwhelmed with grief from others grief that I fall apart like they were my best friend even if they were a stranger and I never knew them ?


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