Do you find yourself often tuned in deeply to the feelings of everyone around you? Do you feel comfortable in crowds? Would the people closest to you describe you as a sensitive soul? If so, you are likely an empath.
A pioneer in the field, Dr. Judith Orloff, describes empaths as “emotional sponges” because they absorb the stresses and joys of the world.
In her book “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” Dr. Orloff suggests that empaths lack the filters most people use to protect themselves from excessive stimulation.
In other words, empaths can’t help but take in surrounding energies and emotions, whether bad, good, or something in between.
Telltale Signs You are an Empath
Want to know if you are an empath?
Below are some telltale signs to look out for:
Telltale Sign 1: You have a lot of empathy.
You are right if you think the term empath comes from empathy.
Empathy is the ability to fully understand the feelings and experiences of others, even those outside of your perspective.
For instance, if a close friend has lost their beloved dog of 16 years, empathy allows you to fully understand and feel your friend’s pain even if you have not had or lost a beloved pet before.
However, they take things a step further.
They can feel and sense emotions as if it is their own.
In other words, the pain and happiness of others will also become your own.
Telltale Sign 2: You are overwhelmed by intimacy and closeness.
Most empaths will find frequent close contact difficult.
This makes romantic relationships with them quite tricky.
While empaths want to develop lasting partnerships, spending too much time with someone can overwhelm them.
Most empaths are also concerned they would lose themselves in the relationship.
Empaths also tend to experience “frayed nerves” or sensory overload from too much touching or talking.
The problem is you can also absorb the hurt feelings of your significant other and can end up feeling more distressed.
Telltale Sign 3: You have great intuition.
Do you have a strong gut reaction?
Do you feel when things are off?
Can you easily pick up on a lie, or do you feel it in your guts when something seems like a bad idea?
This is your empath trait at work.
Empaths can effortlessly pick up subtle cues that can give them an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others.
Their intuition can also tell them if someone is being truthful or otherwise.
Telltale Sign 4: You love nature and take comfort in it.
While many people love spending time in nature, empaths are naturally drawn to nature and other remote areas and locations.
Their love for nature can be attributed to their love for calming sounds, surroundings, and other sensations.
Many empaths feel totally at peace hiking alone in sunlit forests or watching waves crash against the shore.
Hours sitting under trees or a quiet walk through a garden might also help lift the spirits of empaths and allow them to relax.
Telltale Sign 5: You are not comfortable in crowded spaces.
Amazingly, they can absorb negative and positive energy by being around people.
This sensitivity can become very magnified when they are in busy or crowded places.
For most, this can get to the point where it becomes too unbearable.
Empaths can also get overwhelmed because they can feel everything more intensely.
If you can sense how others feel, you will also have a difficult time managing the emotional noise from the crowd over an extended period.
When they pick up on the negative energy, emotions, and physical distress from people, they can become stressed and overwhelmed.
In many instances, empaths can feel physically unwell.
Telltale Sign 6: You don’t like conflict.
Most empaths either actively avoid or dread conflicts.
Higher sensitivity means it becomes easier for others to hurt their feelings.
For empaths, even offhand remarks can cut more deeply.
Empaths also tend to take criticisms more personally.
Fights and arguments can also cause more distress for empaths since they are dealing with their reactions and feelings but that of others as well.
Over to You
Being an empath is a good thing. However, it also comes with challenges that are difficult for many people to navigate. If you are an empath, you must observe good self-care practices and set healthy boundaries. It is also important to remember that your feelings are just as important as that of others.