Is it easy for you to pick up on other people's emotions? Do you know what they are feeling even when they don't tell you? If yes, you could be an empath.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 11, 2020. It has since been updated.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the sights and sounds when in a crowd? Do you feel the emotions of the people you speak to? Do you feel emotional and physical pain you can't explain? It could be because you're an empath.
An empath is someone who can feel and absorb the emotions and, or, physical symptoms of other people since they are highly sensitive human beings. These people have an intuition that is off the charts but they have a hard time putting it into words or breaking it down. It is easy for an empath to become overwhelmed with all the stimuli and they could experience panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, or other physical symptoms that can't be diagnosed medically.
Dr. Judith Orloff, the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, says that empaths can take on the physical pain of others. They can pick up on the experiences of those around them. While some might dismiss it as a "new-age" concept, there is truth to this, but you would have to learn to acknowledge your experience as an empath first.
If you are still not convinced, here are six signs that show you're an empath:
You intuitively know that someone has negative energy, but your sensitivity makes you an easy target for energy vampires. Their fear and rage is a drain on your energy. They are not only draining your physical energy but also making you feel unworthy, according to Psychology Today. When you deal with energy vampires like narcissists, incessant talkers, drama queens, and the like, they could belittle your experiences to draw attention to theirs.
Dr. Orloff said that empaths can feel the effect of their physical environment in their bodies, according to Bustle. They affect your physical health too. When you're in nature it recharges you. It helps release the burden of the overwhelming city life. The ocean and other bodies of water and wild green spaces reenergize you so you should try to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Spending too much time with one person is hard for you so you avoid intimate relationships. You understand other people's emotions very well so you fear that you would lose yourself in their emotional needs. Empaths are happier in relationships when not in a traditional relationship. As long as they can have their freedom and space, they would be comfortable to be themselves.
Your intuition is so strong that people are hardly ever able to get past you. Even if you were deceived by someone, you probably knew deep down they were dishonest. Your gut instinct is very strong. An empath is capable of minute social cues without rationalizing it in great detail. They gauge it by scanning people and their true intentions, according to Highly Sensitive Refuge.
Your loved ones seek you out for your advice, support, and encouragement. You are good at observing and listening. You patiently listen to people and understand them even before they complete their sentences. Your advice comes from a deeper understanding of the world. You are so in tune with your surroundings that you can gauge the person and the situation they are in easily before giving advice.
Since you are good at nurturing people, you know when someone is in trouble. You are also attuned to other people's moods -- positive and negative. You can just be near someone and know if they are happy or sad. You can feel the anxiety, euphoria, and all other extreme emotions that people feel. However, being so in tune with others makes you feel frayed. It is important to retreat from time to time to feel better.