Empathy is a gift that makes you a special person – one of the true healers of this world and a part of a much greater whole.
What Is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to connect with other people on a deep level. To feel their feelings, see what they see, and look at things from their perspective. Empaths can see someone in pain, and they can immediately feel their pain if it was their own. Empaths are also very in touch with their own feelings, and they have high emotional intelligence.
Empathy is the ability to feel what others feel, to walk a thousand miles in their shoes, and understand how they got to where they are. As much as this gift is a blessing, it can also be a curse that can drain you out.
And just like with any other gift, it all depends on how we use it that will make the difference between a blessing and a curse. However, what matters is that empathy is an exceptional ability, and it is the recipe for our future as humankind.
There are people who can see someone suffering and do nothing about it. They even act hostile and are indifferent towards them. On the other hand, empaths can never see someone in pain and not do anything about it. On the contrary, they will do anything to help them and heal them, at least minimize their pain.
Empaths are very good listeners, so people open up to them and tell them their problems. They are also thinking about how others are feeling and whether people feel comfortable in their presence. Others rely on empaths for advice and consoling energy.
Moreover, empaths have a strong gut feeling, and their intuition is never wrong. They can spot a liar from miles away, and they can always tell whether someone is a good person or not.
Empaths also have a problem setting boundaries with other people because they care deeply about others and want to help everyone who is in trouble and suffering. That is why they often get overwhelmed and exhausted. (1)
There Are Three Types Of Empathy That A Person Can Feel:
This empathy occurs when the person has a physical reaction as a result of seeing someone in trouble or pain. There are people who can physically experience what others are going through. For instance, if they see someone crying, they can start crying too. (2)
This type of empathy is an ability to understand what a person is going through and their mental state. It is an awareness of someone else’s thinking process in a given situation. It is thinking about what the other person is thinking. (3)
This empathy is an ability to feel what the other person is feeling. An ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective so that you can help them in the right way. It is being genuinely concerned about another human being. (4)
What Are Empaths?
Empaths are extremely sensitive people, able to feel what other people are feeling and think what the others are thinking. However, they are more than that. They are also very spiritual individuals with many psychic abilities in hand. They can sense and absorb the energies of others as if they were their own and thus transform their lives and help them on their path.
Empaths are also great friends. They are compassionate listeners, and they always, always show up for anyone who is in need. Their hearts are golden and big, and their soul is generous and pure. Their intuition never fails them. It is always on point and helps them stay on the right track in life. They are also very emotionally intelligent, and they always consider the feelings of others before making a decision as they don’t want to hurt anyone.
But, these extraordinary qualities that empaths have are the same that make them feel exhausted and depleted. Due to the fact that empaths feel everything that other people are feeling, they can often become overwhelmed with emotions, especially bad emotions, such as anger and pain. And because empaths take the problems of others as their own, their own life can feel difficult to them as well.
Moreover, with their intention to help anyone, they are not able to set boundaries and say ‘no’ whenever someone asks too much of them.
Are You Born An Empath?
Genetics is the first factor that can help you determine whether you’re born an empath or not. If your parents or other family members are empaths, you might be an empath as well since some forms of sensitivity may be transmitted through genes. For example, extremely sensitive parents can have children with the same inborn traits.
Then, the second factor that determines whether you’re born an empath is an inborn temperament. Some babies show signs of empathy the moment they come into the world. For instance, they are way more sensitive to touch, temperature, light, sound, smells, and movement. They’re very alert. Such babies are newborn empaths.
How To Know If You Are An Empath
If you are an empath, know that you are not alone – many are being born empaths, and more are becoming powerful empaths with each passing day. Empaths are born healers – they can feel the pain of the world, and they are here to mend it.
The curious thing about empaths is that they have a unique set of characteristics that others do not possess. It may seem strange to those who have not developed their empathetic side, but for empaths, these 11 characteristics are something that comes naturally.
1. You Are Overly Sensitive
If you hear people tell you to ‘toughen up’ because you are ‘too sensitive,’ don’t listen to them. You are sensitive for a reason. Some movies make you cry, and the news on TV is something you cannot stand because of all that negativity. Seeing pain makes you feel pain.
This is very natural for an empath, and there is nothing wrong with it. No matter how much people tell you that you need to be tougher, they will never understand that your sensitivity is the cure for this world that has become too tough.
2. You Absorb The Emotions Of Those Around You
Perhaps this is why crowded places may seem too much for you. It is because you tend to absorb people’s emotions like a sponge. You feel what they are feeling, and you cannot control it. Sometimes you may even be confused about whether these emotions are yours or someone else’s.
People feel comfortable speaking to you because you genuinely understand how they’re feeling and what they are thinking. And it is no wonder. If only the world could be more sensitive the way you are. Wouldn’t it be a much better place?
3. You Are An Introvert
All the sensitivity to the energies around you makes you want to stay away from many people. It is simply because you do not always have the energy to cope with all those emotions.
Instead, you tend to look for more quiet places, people to who you can relate, or just being by yourself for some time. This loner attitude is something that helps you to recharge and muster your strength for the next emotional challenge.
4. You Possess High Intuition
Your empathy does not only mean that you can feel people’s emotional energy, it means that you can sense all energy around you. It is just that people’s emotions usually radiate with the strongest intensity.
However, your ability allows you to truly listen to the energy around you, and this activates your intuition. You know how things will turn out; you know if somebody is lying or trying to manipulate you; you know the things your intuition shows you and only you can understand them.
5. Intimate Relationships Can Be Overwhelming For You
When you connect to someone on a deeper level, you start absorbing so much of them that you may feel like you are losing touch with your identity. You suddenly see yourself reacting the way they would, feeling the things they are feeling – and it can all be too much for you.
However, this ability allows you to truly understand your partner and show genuine care and devotion to them. They may not be aware of what you are going through when you are near them, but they know that you understand them perfectly for the people they are.
6. You Are A Magnet For Narcissists (And Vice Versa)
You are a healer, and narcissists are one of the most emotionally damaged people out there.
Don’t be afraid of the notion that you are drawn to narcissists. You have the ability to spot manipulation from a mile, and you can also peer deeply into one’s true nature.
This does not only give you the upper hand over narcissists, but you also have the potential to bring them back to the genuine and beautiful self hiding beneath their monstrous masks. So, trust yourself, and if you love someone, never give up on them.
7. Nature Is Your Cure
If you offer the cure to those who need it, nature provides that cure to you. In fact, when you look at the way you function, you are like nature. You feel unconditionally, you give unconditionally, and you understand unconditionally.
That is why your sanctuary is in nature, and nature is your best teacher. So do not forget to visit nature regularly and nurture plants in your home. Being in touch with nature means clearing off any negativity you may have absorbed and learned lessons that only you can understand.
8. You Have A Heart Of Gold
If everyone could be named after the strongest characteristic they possess, your name would be ‘Emotion.’ Your emotions are always sincere and pure; you give them unconditionally, and you always try to help people heal.
People will try to take advantage of your golden heart, as many think this is a weakness. Trust your intuition and your empathy, and you will easily read their intentions like a children’s book. Protect yourself as much as you try to protect others.
9. Sometimes, You Cannot Tell Your Feelings From Those Of Others
This usually happens when you are emotionally drained. You start experiencing the feelings of others, and you think they are your feelings. It takes practice to tell your feelings from those of others, and it takes energy too. So, don’t forget to recharge.
In some cases, empaths are even known to mirror the emotions of others. These empaths are also known as Heyoka empaths, and they are considered to be one of the most powerful empaths out there.
10. When You Are In Public, Sometimes You Feel Overwhelmed All Of A Sudden
Whenever you are around a bunch of people, you feel overwhelmed because you sense their energies and absorb them. You may suddenly feel so overcome with emotions that seem to come out of nowhere.
Therefore, it can be a challenge for you to go out in public and be around people. Plus, you will need extra time recharging and recovering when you come home after being out because of the intensity of the experience that leaves you feeling drained.
11. You Understand Where Other People Are Coming From
Empaths have the ability to feel what other people are feeling. They have the ability to walk in other people’s shoes and see life from their perspective. That’s why they can understand where other people are coming from and why they are doing what they are doing.
Moreover, empaths can also sense intuitively what other people are thinking, and as a result, they can understand them and connect with them on a deeper level, which makes empaths one of the best people to be around.
12. You Feel Triggered By The “Vibes” Of A Room
You can pick up bad vibes in a room and get immediately triggered. You are extremely sensitive to how you are feeling when you enter a room. Therefore, when you are surrounded by calm and peace, you feel positive and happy. On the other hand, if you start feeling annoyed, negative, and bitter, you know that you need to leave quickly, or else you will get disturbed.
That’s why a walk on the part, quiet gardens, warm baths, or rooms that feel peaceful have a transforming effect on you. They recharge you and bring positive energy into your life.
13. People Ask You For Advice
With your insight, intuition, and your ability to see a situation from every perspective, it is no wonder that people go to you whenever they need advice, support, encouragement, or just a listening ear.
They know that they are safe with you. They know that you will always be honest with them because you always speak from the heart.
14. Not Only Do You Feel Other People’s Emotions, But You Also Feel Their Physical Illnesses Too
When a person is injured or sick, you can feel it. You can feel the injury as if it is happening to you. And this doesn’t mean that you only show empathy for their pain and what they are going through. It also means that you’re actually feeling the pain as if it was your own. Your body physically hurts.
And you probably don’t see this trait as a ‘gift.’ However, this is why you are such an exceptional caregiver and healer. Without this gift, you wouldn’t be able to connect with others on a deep level and get them what they need to help them ease their pain.
15. Intimate Relationships Overwhelm You
Relationships can overwhelm you and become a challenge for you because you can sense every change of mood, you can almost hear your partner’s thoughts, and you know what they are feeling at any given moment. You also know when your partner is lying.
Moreover, when you and your partner start living together, sharing the environment can also be a trouble for you. Having another energy to cohabit with can also be overwhelming and challenging for you because your home is your sanctuary from the world, it is your safe place where you recharge and recover. That’s why it is important to find a partner who will respect your boundaries and need alone time.
16. You Can Spot A Liar From A Mile Away
You are a walking lie detector. Of course, there may have been times when someone managed to deceive you, but that happened only because you were ignoring your intuition and your gut instinct that screamed to get away from that person.
You can spot and process even the tiniest social cues, and therefore, it is almost impossible for someone to hide their true intentions from you.
17. You Have The Power To Heal People
You have an energy that calms people. People go to you for advice and healing. They sense your aura and they want to be around you because you make them feel good. And it is true that whenever someone is in trouble or pain, they always go to their most empathic friends for comfort.
You can heal people with your energy and your good heart. You are always there for them when they need you the most, and sometimes it is all it takes to mend their broken heart.
18. You Just Can’t See A Person Suffering Without Wanting To Help Them
Being an empath, you can’t walk past someone who is in pain and having a problem without trying to help them. There is no way that you can just walk away when you see someone suffering.
And that is why empaths are considered the healers of this world. They are the blessing of the human race. They are the brightest star in the sky, always trying to light someone’s way and guide them on the right path.
19. You Need Your Alone Time
You can get easily drained and exhausted when you are around other people. That’s why alone time is very important to you. You need to be alone to recharge your batteries and clear and replenish your energy.
20. You Are A Target For Energy Vampires
Your sensitivity often makes you a target for energy vampires i.e. people who feed off your energy and leave you feeling depleted.
Empaths are especially targets for narcissists who lack empathy and compassion. They use other people as scapegoats to manipulate them and abuse them in order to feel like they are in power.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Characteristics Of An Empath?
Empaths are highly sensitive and giving people. They are like sponges who absorb other people’s emotions. They are highly intuitive and introverted. Therefore they need their alone time. They can easily be overwhelmed in romantic relationships due to the extreme emotions they feel. Empaths are targets for energy vampires.
Is It Rare To Be An Empath?
There’s a much-divided opinion on the subject of whether empaths are rare or not. Some people believe that real empaths, i.e., those who experience empathy and are able to sense and absorb other people’s emotions and energy all the time, are rare. It’s believed that only 1 to 2 percent of the population have this ability.
Others believe that many people are empaths, but they are not aware of it.
And there are others who believe that we can all become empaths if we practice consciously, work on ourselves, and learn how to be more receptive to sensitivity. In fact, many empaths share this belief too. They are known to try to teach other people how to be more aware of and sensitive to other people’s feelings. They’re known to teach others that everyone is born with the gift of feeling empathy and that this gift needs to be nurtured.
Answering the question of whether empaths are rare or not is also difficult because it depends on what qualities you believe an empath should possess. For example, some people think that feeling and absorbing other people’s emotions and energy makes you an empath.
Other people believe that one needs to possess many other abilities so as to qualify as an empath. For instance, they believe that true empaths are highly intuitive and sensitive and can read people’s minds, spot liars, and heal other people’s emotional wounds.
You might agree with the first definition more than the second or vice versa, but all that we can say is that both are true in their own way.
Do Empaths Cry A Lot?
Yes, empaths do cry when they are overwhelmed with emotions. Empaths are extremely sensitive people, and they can feel everything so deeply. They can also feel what other people are feeling, and it is because they are very compassionate and intuitive.
Therefore, whenever empaths get triggered by bad news or by weak people who are in deep problems and misfortunes, it can be difficult for them not to cry because they want to help them as quickly as possible.
Are Empaths Born Or Made?
There are factors, like genetics, that can reveal whether a person is an empath and to what degree. Scientists believe that when a person is born, they will have mirror neurons in their bodies if they are an empath. Plus, they will be highly sensitive to the vibrations around them.
In certain circumstances, empaths can be made from experiencing trauma. Any traumatic experience from childhood through adolescence can make a person highly intuitive and aware of what is going around them. They can also develop deep feelings and get in touch with everyone.
Who Are Empaths Attracted To?
Empaths are attracted to narcissists. And this is because they have a lot of empathy and compassion, something that the narcissist lacks, and they feel an immense need to help them and cure them. On the other hand, narcissists want someone to worship and idealize them.
Of course, this is not a good match because narcissists tend to hurt people mercilessly, and empaths tend to forgive them. This is why the empath keeps getting broken and betrayed by the narcissist, but they stay, allowing the narcissist to create even more drama and chaos in their life.
What Should Empaths Avoid?
Empaths should avoid watching violent news on the media, being around narcissistic and critical people, spending time in overcrowded places, and being around negative people. All these things can make an empath feel anxious, depleted, drained, and used.
What Is A Dark Empath?
A dark empath is a person who can be the most emotionally dangerous, even more, dangerous than a narcissist. Why? Because a dark empath will draw you close to them and thus be able to inflict more harm as a result. Dark empaths can only understand someone’s emotional state without the willingness to help them.
Dark empaths also have dark humor, which means laughing at someone they think is inferior to them. They can be very malicious and conniving. They are also adept at guilt-tripping others.
Can Empaths Sense Evil?
Yes. Empaths can sense evil. They can feel immediately when something feels off or disturbs their energy. They can also sense when someone is angry or upset.
Are Empaths Selfish?
Empaths do prefer their alone time. However, that doesn’t mean that they are selfish and self-absorbed. On the contrary, if the empath feels a need to go silent and retreat into a quiet environment, it means that they just need that peace for the sake of their own well-being.
Are Empaths Good In Bed?
Yes. Empaths are known to be good in bed because of their giving qualities. They always tend to put other people’s needs ahead of their own and make everyone happy. Plus, the hypersensitivity of empaths is well known. Empaths are extremely sensitive emotionally as well as physically, which makes them able to give and receive ultimate pleasure.
What Is Special About Empaths? What Power Do Empaths Have?
Empaths are known for their power to feel what other people are feeling and sense what they are thinking at any given time. Moreover, they can put themselves into any person’s situation and see it from their perspective. And that is what makes them so special and unique.
Why Do Empaths Attract Narcissists?
Narcissists see empaths as giving and loving people who are always there whenever they need them. And this trait attracts narcissists because they want people to be obsessed with them. If, however, empaths stop doing things their way, the narcissist’s mask of generosity and goodness will fall off, and they will get cold, distant, and punishing.
In the beginning, the narcissist will get attracted to the empath and their good qualities. However, once the narcissist finds the empath has a flaw, they will immediately start detesting them because the narcissist hates everything that is not perfect.
Additionally, empaths always try to fix narcissists by giving them more love and doing more for them. However, when the empath treats the narcissist this way, the narcissist becomes, even more, mean towards them. Empaths need to understand that they can’t heal someone who doesn’t want to be healed.
Do Narcissists Think They Are Empaths?
The covert narcissist is a special type of narcissist that is perceptive and hyper-sensitive. The covert narcissist is aware of their insecurities and the childhood trauma they carry with them. They also know that they can be hurt.
This type of narcissist usually invests a lot of time and energy in making themselves look intuitive, generous, loving, compassionate, and caring. Covert narcissists can also boast that they have psychic or spiritual superiority over other people. But the problem is not that they try to make themselves look like real empaths or claim they are empaths. The problem is that many people tend to believe them.
So, to prevent yourself from getting manipulated and deceived by a covert narcissist disguised as an empath, in what follows, we’ve presented 3 methods to check if you’re dealing with a true empath or a covert narcissist.
1. Observe How They Behave When You Get Angry With Them
An empath will immediately try to think about why you’ve gotten angry or frustrated with them. They’ll try to understand you and help you. A covert narcissist will likely try to imitate the behaviors of an empath, but you’ll be able to feel that they don’t really understand or care. You’ll likely feel that they’re not really trying to help you or that their “attempt” to help you doesn’t benefit you in any way whatsoever.
Even if the covert narcissist is very adept at mimicking the behaviors of a true empath, they’ll gradually become impatient and upset by you being frustrated. They may even try to blame you for being “too dramatic or sensitive,” making them feel frustrated, or playing the victim.
All you need to do is listen to your gut feeling. It can tell you whether you’re dealing with someone who feels true empathy for you or someone that is pretending to feel sympathy for you and taking you for a ride.
2. Set Clear Boundaries
Another effective way to tell whether you’re dealing with a true empath or a covert narcissist is to set clear boundaries. For instance, begin disagreeing with or saying ‘no’ to them, especially in front of other people. An empath would get embarrassed and think about whether the way they behaved towards you was wrong. Rather than denying saying or doing something wrong or changing your mind, they would try to understand you and see why your point is valid. On the other hand, a covert narcissist would try to disagree with you, embarrass you, or intimidate you.
In addition, a covert narcissist would never accept your ‘no.’ Instead, they’d try to push you to do things you don’t want to do or want to do at a slower pace. So, if you notice that you keep having trouble maintaining your boundaries, despite them being caring and thoughtful, this is a telltale sign you’re dealing with a covert narcissist.
3. Ask Them Specific Questions About Their Purpose On The Planet
Empaths are aware of their purpose on the planet – which is to help and heal people. And they won’t be hesitant or ashamed to state that fact. A covert narcissist will also say that they have the ability to help and heal others, but there’s one big difference between these two types of people. If you ask an empath what their purpose on the planet is, they’ll likely tell you about their own healing path, i.e., how their abilities had helped them get where they are now in life. In addition, they’ll likely mention that they can’t help or heal EVERY person.
On the other hand, if you ask a narcissist the same question, they’ll likely exaggerate their past successes. For example, they might say that they’ve helped and healed thousands of people. They might even claim that they have spiritual powers. Moreover, to avoid answering this question, they may also try to interrupt you, change the topic of discussion, or create a different drama. One thing is for sure; it won’t be long before you realize how shallow they are.
Do Empaths Cheat?
Yes and no. No one could say with certainty that empaths are cheaters or not. They are human beings, after all, equally prone to mistakes like other people.
Empathy is a very powerful trait, and being an empath is as demanding as it is beautiful. If you are an empath, know that you are doing humanity a great favor by helping it heal from the bitterness and coldness we’ve all learned to love dearly.
Never try to change who you are, as you are highly appreciated among your close friends and among those who truly understand your role in this world.
Let everyone know who you are!
Don’t forget to share.
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.