10 Signs You Might be an EmpathJun 18, 2022
Empathy is an incredible way to create connection and if you've made your way here, you know most likely know what empathy is. But... In case you don't - here's a definition for you:
Em·pa·thy (noun) The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
But what is an empath? Simply put, an empath is someone who has the ability to feel the emotions and physical symptoms of others as if they were your own. It’s like having empathy but on steroids. It is incredible and intense.
I grew up not knowing this term, not knowing this was a real thing. To my knowledge, there was no reason I was the way I was. There was no category I fit into. I always felt emotionally different than most people. It felt like I had heightened emotions, or big feelings about most things, even events or situations that had nothing to with me. Because I had no clue what an empath was and there no definition that I knew of … I just categorized myself with all sorts of “negative” qualities for most of my life. Womp womp.
But NOW.... that I know what it is, and I can totally identify with it and recognize that I am, in fact an empath, what a game changer it's been.
I allow space to just be myself. To feel what I feel and not make myself feel bad about it. I can take much stronger charge of my emotions when I need to and I can set the right boundaries for myself.
This is a role that I can now confidently and proudly claim as my super power. I can take advantage of it and put to really good use in my work and my personal life.
Think you might be an empath? If some or most of these ring true for you, then congratulations! You are an empath.
1. You are highly sensitive. I always characterized myself as having big emotions when I didn’t know what an “empath” was. I was told I was too emotional and too sensitive. I had to learn to reel it in. So, I did just that. I’d suppress all those feelings . . . until I couldn’t anymore. Then I would basically lose my mind on whoever triggered me when the lid was ready to blow. (Sorry to those who experienced this lovely display!) Now, I honor my feelings, and I protect my space.
2. Large crowds can be overwhelming. Concerts & huge sporting events stress me out a little bit, and I never really knew why. Ironically, I worked for an NBA team and 2 of the largest music venues in my city, along with running large- and small-scale events during much of my career. HA! There’s a lot of energy that is bouncing around in big crowds that empaths absorb. Energy that isn’t ours to take on. There’s also an insane amount of stimulation. I never understood why it was hard for me, because unlike most empaths, I am very extroverted and enjoy being around people. All I knew is that when I got home (and sometimes it couldn’t be fast enough!) I was exhausted – yet I could never sleep. So again, I thought I was weird. But let me reassure you, if you experience this, you are not weird. You are probably an empath.
3. You get drawn into tragic events in the news. Columbine shooting. 9/11. Sandy Hook. Parkland Shooting. Plane crashes. The beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the US. All events that I found myself completely sucked into the tv for days, sometimes crying. Feeling these people’s immense pain. I had to learn how to pull myself away and refocus or getting out of that rabbit hole would be damn near impossible.
4. You can sense the vibe in a room or a situation. Ever walk into a room of people and get a feeling of happiness wash over you? Kind of like “ahhhh” Or maybe a feeling of UGH sets in. Something isn’t feeling right. You are recognizing the energy and vibration people are bringing to the room. It can be either exciting, refreshing or draining depending on the vibe.
5. You are very intuitive. You get those gut feelings and you just know. You may find yourself doubting your-self or ignoring that intuition, sometimes because it is so strong it’s overwhelming. People questioned my intuition, even well into adulthood – so then naturally I did too. That left me feeling like a hot mess. Making decisions and compromises that were against my own gut. Yuck. No more. I’ve learned that 99 times out of 100 my intuition is right. Maybe 98. Still good odds so I’m betting on me.
6. You crave alone time. I didn’t crave alone time until I started spending time alone or at least in much smaller groups. As an empath, you will understand this. Being alone allows empaths time and space to decompress and recharge, because the world can be a draining place. Not that it’s a bad place, it can just be a lot. Ever since I was in high school and driving whenever we were out, I needed to be the driver. I needed my car with me so that if I felt like I needed to, I could leave. Again, this made no sense to me as a 16-year-old, but it makes all the sense in the world to me now. I’m still usually the driver, and rarely am I the first to leave, but it feels right to be able to go if I need to.
7. You get overwhelmed in relationships. Ding ding ding! I usually found myself losing my identity a bit (or a bunch) with men who “needed”. They needed help, they needed saving, they needed my time, my energy, my attention… and man was I there for it. Empathetic helpful me to save the day! I had weak to non-existent boundaries. Vomit. Empaths also attract narcissists (or at least men with very narcissistic qualities) – so that’s been a really fun new experience let me tell you. This my friends, is a whole other story for another day. It’s coming.
8. You are a good listener and people come to you for advice. This is because you are considerate of others feelings and situations. Rarely are you pushing your agenda onto them, but more so listening to them, helping them feel heard. This is a gift.
9. You are a walking lie detector. Ties back to your intuition. I’ve had multiple instances where I just knew a partner was lying to me, for no other reason initially than my gut feelings. But you may find as an empath you have a sense when someone isn’t being truthful with you. Tune into it.
10. You cannot see pain in others without wanting to help. I wish I had enough time and money and resources to help more people. We see homeless people on the street, or tragedies or other various causes that speak to us and we want to help. Find ways that you can help to satisfy your need. This is a healing quality you hold.
As an empath – you are incredible. You are not weird. You are not overly emotional or too sensitive. You are deep, thoughtful and a healer. This world is a better place with you in it. <3
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