For so much of my life, I seemed to have the same traits that I could not deny, nor shake no matter how much I tried to fight them. Many that have known me have often teased me, or tried to ask me why I can't seem to have only 1 dog, or why I always seem to cook for 30 people, even if only 4 are coming to dinner. Why is it that I can be in a room with 100 people and certain individuals in that room will be drawn to me, and instantly tell me their life stories, confess personal, intimate details to me, and often, become close. longtime friends. Also, in other occasions, I can be in a public place, and another person can be next to me, and I will almost instantly feel very uncomfortable and need to move away, move closer to my husband, or want to get up and leave. I will feel like I am in some kind of danger, or nauseous, or my skin will begin to itch. I have often been so confused by this, like something is very wrong with me. I have been introduced to people, and liked them almost immediately, knowing very little of them. Then again, there have been others, and I have known right away that I don't care for them, that there is something about their character that is very wrong, and I will be quiet, and know that no matter what, I simply cannot, and will not trust them. I do not like these feelings, and for so long I have kept it to myself.
Then, I found this article, and read it, and it really was like the person who wrote it was speaking directly to me. It was surreal, and at the same time, comforting. I was reading it and saying, "Oh my hell, I do that all of the time" and, "Is that why I feel like that?". Then, I sent it to my husband, and told him to read it. He sat there, and kept looking at me. He kept pausing, asking if the author knew me personally. It was amusing, but also a huge relief. It is almost like having an epiphany, or a moment when you first realize that you have figured out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Not as profound maybe, but to finally make sense of things that have happened to you, and have validity attached to them, well, it does indeed have a wonderful emotion that can't really be described.
The following is the article that was sent to me from a friend.
30 traits of an Empath (How to know if you’re an Empath)
What is an empath?
Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. You either are an empath or you aren’t. It’s not a trait that is learned. You are always open, so to speak, to process other people’s feelings and energy, which means that you really feel, and in many cases take on the emotions of others. Many empaths experience things like chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities, or unexplained aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences and not so much yourself at all. Essentially you are walking around in this world with all of the accumulated karma, emotions, and energy from others.
Empaths are often quiet achievers. They can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes. They are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times quite frankly. They may have few problems talking about their feelings if another cares to listen (regardless of how much they listen to others).
However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. They may even appear ignorant. Some are very good at “blocking out” others and that’s not always a bad thing, at least for the learning empath struggling with a barrage of emotions from others, as well as their own feelings.
Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.
Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. The thoughts and/or emotions can eventually becoming explosive, if not crippling. The need to express oneself honestly is a form of healing and a choice open to all. To not do so can result in a breakdown of the person and result in mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.
Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and may have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another’s ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.
You will find empaths working with people, animals or nature with a true passion and dedication to help them. They are often tireless teachers and/or caretakers for our environment and all within it. Many volunteers are empathic and give up personal time to help others without pay and/or recognition.
Empaths may be excellent storytellers due to an endless imagination, inquisitive minds and ever-expanding knowledge. They can be old romantics at heart and very gentle. They may also be the “keepers” of ancestral knowledge and family history. If not the obvious family historians, they may be the ones who listen to the stories passed down and possess the majority of the family history. Not surprisingly, they may have started or possess a family tree.
They have a broad interest in music to suit their many expressive temperaments, and others can query how empaths can listen to one style of music, and within minutes, change to something entirely different. Lyrics within a song can have adverse, powerful effects on empaths, especially if it is relevant to a recent experience. In these moments, it is advisable for empaths to listen to music without lyrics, to avoid playing havoc with their emotions!
They are just as expressive with body language as with words, thoughts, and feelings. Their creativity is often expressed through dance, acting, and bodily movements. Empaths can project an incredible amount of energy portraying and/or releasing emotion. Empaths can become lost in the music, to the point of being in a trance-like state; they become one with the music through the expression of their physical bodies. They describe this feeling as a time when all else around them is almost non-existent.
People of all walks of life and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of one being empathic, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!
Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!
Here are the listeners of life. They can be outgoing, bubbly, enthusiastic and a joy to be in the presence of, as well as highly humorous at the most unusual moments! On the flip side, empaths can be weighted with mood swings that will have others around them want to jump overboard and abandon ship! The thoughts and feelings empaths receive from any and all in their life can be so overwhelming (if not understood) that their moods can fluctuate with lightning speed. One moment they may be delightfully happy and with a flick of the switch, miserable.
Abandoning an empath in the throes of alternating moods can create detrimental effects. A simple return of empathic love–listening and caring compassionately without bias, judgment and/or condemnation–can go an incredibly long way to an empath’s instant recovery. Many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them. They literally have no idea that another person’s emotions are now felt, as one’s own and reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed, alone, etc. The need to understand the possibilities of empath connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around them.
Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind. This can certainly prove beneficial for others in their relationships, in the workplace, or on the home front. Where there is a will, there is a way and the empath will find it. The empath can literally (likely without the knowledge of what’s actually occurring) tap into Universal Knowledge and be receptive to guidance in solving anything they put their head and hearts into.
Empaths often are vivid and/or lucid dreamers. They can dream in detail and are inquisitive of dream content. Often they feel as though the dreams are linked to their physical life somehow, and not just a mumble of nonsensical, irrelevant, meaningless images. This curiosity will lead many empathic dreamers to unravel some of the “mysterious” dream contents from an early age and connect the interpretation to its relevance in their physical life. If not, they may be led to dream interpretations through other means.
Empaths are daydreamers with difficulty keeping focused on the mundane. If life isn’t stimulating, off an empath will go into a detached state of mind. They will go somewhere, anywhere, in a thought that appears detached from the physical reality, yet is alive and active for they really are off and away. If a tutor is lecturing with little to no emotional input, empaths will not be receptive to such teaching and can (unintentionally) drift into a state of daydreaming.
Give the empath student the tutor who speaks with stimuli and emotion (through actual experience of any given subject) and the empath is receptively alert. Empaths are a captivated audience. This same principle applies in acting. An actor will either captivate the audience through expressing (in all aspects) emotions (as though they really did experience the role they are portraying) or will loose them entirely. Empaths make outstanding actors.
Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. What may initially start as, “Oh, what a coincidence”, will lead to the understanding of synchronicities as an aspect of who they are. These synchronicities will become a welcomed and continually expanding occurrence. As an understanding of self grows, the synchronicities become more fluent and free flowing. The synchronicities can promote a feeling of euphoria as empaths identify with them and appreciate the connection to their empathic nature.
Empaths are most likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. NDE’s (Near death experiences) and or OBE’s (Out of body experiences) can catapult an unaware empath into the awakening period and provide the momentum for a journey of discovery. Those who get caught up in life, in society’s often dictating ways, in work etc., can become lost in a mechanical way of living that provides very little meaning. All “signs of guidance” are ignored to shift out of this state of “doing”. A path to being whole again becomes evident and a search for more meaning in one’s life begins.
These types of experiences appear dramatic, can be life-altering indeed, and are most assuredly just as intensely memorable in years to come. They are the voice of guidance encouraging us to pursue our journey in awareness. Sometimes, some of us require that extra assistance!
For some empaths, the lack of outside understanding towards paranormal events they experience, may lead to suppressing such abilities. (Most of these abilities are very natural and not a coincidence.) Empaths may unknowingly adopt the positive or negative attitude of others as their own. (This, however, can be overcome.) Empaths may need to follow interests in the paranormal and the unexplained with curiosity so as to explain and accept their life circumstances.
Here are 30 of the most common traits:
1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath.
Empaths are having a particularly difficult time at the present time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emanated into the world from the populace.
I have spent the better year and a half in a great deal of pain. I was in a job that required a great deal of physical work, and dealing with the public as well. After sometime, I was coming home almost completely stiff, and not able to move. I would pull up to our driveway, and not be able to get out of the truck. It was like my body would just shut down. I went to the doctor and they took a series of xrays which showed that my spine was turning severely to the left after the middle of my back, and that my hips were almost a full 2 inches off. The pain was truly excruciating. Eventually, I had to leave work, and wound up on FMLA, where I have been ever since. After reading the article, my husband was convinced that at least a small amount of my pain was from the job. The stress from the environment was horrific, and still is for my co workers that are still there. I know stress is truly awful for anyone, and sometimes I do wonder if it was a contributing factor to my condition. I do also know that I have had to come to some very difficult decisions over the last few months, and have had to put some distance between myself and some people that have drained me of my energy and emotions. This, has been the most difficult for me.
Most of my family is quite dysfunctional. On both sides, paternal and maternal, it has been very sad for me, because this one talks to this one, but this one never speaks to this one. This Aunt likes this Uncle, but this Grandparent disowned this cousin, and we are never allowed to bring up the ex husband around Grandma, or Uncle, let alone speak about my Mother. Then, it takes hours to even explain to most people my parents, and the extremely horrible relationship, or complete lack of relationship that I had with them my entire life. I learned to come to terms with it, but for the most part what I have had difficulty dealing with is overcoming the shadow of my Mother. She had very strained relationships with many, and because of that, I have often been judged immediately as "Snookies daughter" or "Tareys kid" so automatically, I am no good, evil, or of course, I will be just like her.
I am not at all like my Mother. I know that I look like her. Of course, I look like both of my parents. I know that I laugh like my Mother. I know that I have been told that I have a very similar singing voice as she did, love music, and history. It ends there. I don't have any pictures with my Mother. For that, I am very sad. She was very sick before she passed, and no matter how strained our relationship, I never wanted her to suffer. I went to see her while she was in the hospital. She smiled, she chatted with my kids, laughed, told stories, was interested in my tattoos, what they meant, why I got them, to my surprise, and when I had to leave, asked me to please hug her goodbye. As I went to hug her, she began to cry, quite uncontrollably, and even though I knew this was probably the last time I would see her, I was very calm, and I quietly said, "Its alright, its okay, no crying. I am not mad. I am not angry at all. I love you." She said, "I love you very much. I always loved you. Your father.....your father." I said, "don't worry, it's alright". And, in that moment, I felt no sadness, no anger. I was calm. I often wondered why I didn't cry. I think that I was meant to be calm, for her. Not to cry, but to be quiet, and strong, so that she would know I was alright. That I was not broken.
Empaths run in my family on my Mothers side. She knew. She knew when I was little. My Grandmother knew. Many women throughout time have known, but it is often explained as "womens intuition" so that others will not be frightened. People are so afraid of what they do not understand. Also, it is very easy for a label to be thrown at you that is not only wrong, but ignorant, childish, outdated, ridiculous, etc. I have had people ask me what it means to be and Empath, and until I read this article, I never clearly understood it myself. I have dreams, and I have never had anyone who could guide me or teach me how to properly interpret them. I have sensed things, or "felt" certain things, but again, I never had a guide, or "tutor" if you will, to help me along. When I was younger, I had a few conversations with my Grandmother during some of her visits with us, and she had explained some things to me. I was not so fortunate to have as much time with her as I would have loved. My father was in the Air Force, and we moved around. She had so much knowledge, so much I could have learned.
My Aunt was another family "well" that I always wanted to be able to draw from, but again, being that we lived abroad, then in another state, I didn't have the opportunity. When we did move back, the strained relationship between her and my Mother made it very difficult for me to be able to visit, talk, anything. It remained this way for years. Due to situations completely out of my control, and quite frankly, that had absolutely nothing to do with me at all, I pretty much was cut out of any chance what so ever of learning or even discovering a very interesting and intricate part of my heritage that is also a significant part of my everyday life. Its difficult not to be upset over it. Its difficult not to be hurt. Its easier to understand why my Mother felt like she had been left out as well. She only spoke of it once to me.
It is a very common, but incorrect, theory that my Mother hated her sister. She did not. Did she have built up anger and resentment? Yes, indeed. Did it grow to be worse and worse over the years? Yes, absolutely, and it was unbearable to live with and tolerate, from both of them, from my Aunt, who still cannot let it go, to this very day, even though my Mother passed away 4 years ago. My Mother felt left out, passed over, she had resentment as well. I don't hate my cousin. I don't hate her at all. I adore her. She is adorable, hilarious, loving, intelligent, brilliant, talented....never has done anything to me, in anyway, that could make me dislike her. Does it hurt me every time that my Aunt tells me that she is a "legacy" of my family heritage? Absolutely. Does it enrage me that my Aunt insists that a family heirloom belongs to my cousin because she "sat on it" in my Grandmothers kitchen? Yes, especially because I was there, myself, in England, the very day that we picked up both of them, 1 for my parents, 1 for my Grandmother. I have no idea where my Grandmothers went, but my parents never left their home, from the time we left England, moved to Missouri, moved back to Vegas. My brothers have confirmed this as well. We used to move it up and down to the basement when we had tornadoes. Its not jealousy, it is feeling like being completely cast out, like having no voice, no vote, no say, without even having a chance to speak. A decision about this was made, even though I wasn't even consulted, asked, thought about, spoken to...nothing. My blood runs with my ancestors blood and life, and actual traits, yet, I was written off, and their legacy was passed along to another, because of a family feud that I had nothing to do with.
Being empathic means that you feel when others are sad. You sense when those around you are tense, angry, nervous, etc. If someone is upset, and you ask, and they say they are fine, you know they are lying. It can make life very difficult. I know it has for me. I have had to remain quiet with many around me, and they think I am being antisocial. I am simply trying to deal.
I recently had to make some changes for myself. I had to block, or more or less, place a wall around myself. Somewhat of an emotional wall of protection. Empaths can be a sponge that will draw in the energy and emotions of those around them. I needed to squeeze all of that out, and let it go. Even for some of the people I love so dearly, I had to ask that they give me time to heal. Time to be strong, to relieve myself of this pain, and regain some clarity. My thoughts are clearer now, and my dreams are not so scattered and disturbing. I am not having too much insomnia, just a few nights here and there. I still wish I had the time to learn from those that could have taught me, but since I wasn't afforded that, I will be strong on my own. One thing that I do know, and that I am very certain, is that some have been very mistaken by underestimating me. I am not afraid, and I am not confused, nor am I weak by any means. I do not need reassurance, or the constant adoration either. I know, in my heart, nothing can be taken from me and given to another. It belongs to me, it has always been here, residing in my heart, my soul. It was just resting, until I had the time to work for myself. <3