In this post we look at the question “What is an Empath?” The urban dictionary definition states:
Empath: A person who is capable of feeling the emotions of others despite the fact that they themselves are not going through the same situation.
Empath: The root of the word comes from Empathy. Jane has empathy for Joe as he mourns the loss of his father. Jane may have lost her father in the past but not recently. She is capable of feeling what Joe is feeling. She is Empathetic. Jane is an Empath.
If we look at the dictionary an Empath is defined as “a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual”.
Often Empaths are defined as “sensitives”. This is the spiritual psychological profile for what is an empath. It does not mean people who show sensitivity or are sensitive to the needs of others (although Empaths always display these traits) it means they are also psychically sensitive. Empaths not only pick up on and detect others emotions but they also, often unwittingly and unknowingly, absorb emotions of others.
Empaths are also energy shifters. Like they absorb emotions as a sponge absorbs water they can also transfer energy. Empaths when consoling someone will actually transfer their energy to the other person. This results in the other person feeling a great sense of relief and emotional stability but can lead to the empath being drained and physically and psychically weakened.
It is critical that Empaths are aware of their spiritual psychological profile as they will be constantly affected by other people’s energies. If aware of being an empath you have much better control, or at least understanding of why your innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others feelings has such an impact upon yourself.
What Is An Empath Spiritual Psychological Profile?
As an Empath your life will be unwittingly and often unknowingly influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. This is much more than being highly sensitive and more than just sensing the emotional state of others. Being an Empath brings with it the ability to perceive the physical sensitivities and spiritual urges of others, as well as sensing and knowing their unspoken motivations and intentions (apart from the narcissist – we will explore the empath and narcissist relationship in a further post).
Empath Spiritual DNA
Being an Empath is part of you, your spiritual and physical DNA. You can not learn to be an Empath. You cannot stop being an Empath. You are an Empath or you are not. Being an Empath is a difficult life journey (but in my opinion is one you selected and were born for).
As an Empath you will truly understand how to “feel” and, as is often the case, will take on the emotional state of others around you….this is often due to the Empaths desire to heal, help, cure and soothe…even at risk and disregard to yourself.
Empath Energy Transference
Being an Empath means you are constantly transferring energy, absorbing it from others and transferring it to others. With this comes the likelihood of physical energy transference issues. Absorbing emotion also leads to energy blockages and imbalance of the chakras and subtle bodies.
Because of this many empaths will experience imbalance and blockages in energy leading to “emotional physical” symptoms and illnesses such as chronic fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, unknown stress, anxiety and, if left unchecked, depression.
All of the emotional physical symptoms of being an empath are not likely to be due to personal ill health but due to outside influences. In reality you are collecting “emotional energy baggage” from others.
The Empath Emotional Mirror – What Is The Empath?
Empaths are usually achievers, most often quietly achieving while transferring credit to others. They do not usually like public praise or compliments and if given to them will often respond by pointing out the positive attributes and qualities of someone else.
Empaths don’t usually get a chance to talk about their own personal feelings, those they tend to associate with usually don’t ask, however they can and will usually be highly expressive if asked to discuss any matters of emotion. Empaths when discussing emotions will be very open about feelings, emotional connections and very frank and honest.
In other cases, usually for those struggling with being an empath or if unaware of being one, they can be the polar opposite of our expectations. Some Empaths become reclusive and are viewed as ignorant and unresponsive. This is not a natural part of being an Empath, but it is a natural reaction for an Empath who is struggling to cope with the constant barrage of emotions and feelings being absorbed from others while trying to discover where their own feelings and emotions fit. It is a blockage for self protection.
Externally Focused Empath
Empaths tend to focus on what is happening emotionally outside of them rather than inside of them.
They focus and concentrate on others emotional needs rather than their own. This leads the Empath to taking on the role of peacemaker and looking to soothe tensions and emotions. Empaths are non-violent, non-aggressive and any disharmony causes them great discomfort. Confrontation is not natural and causes distress to an empath so often they will try to settle a dispute quickly, even if it means sacrificing their beliefs and needs.
If an empath loses control and speaks harshly or without thought for the emotions of others they usually try to resolve the situation, often straight away leading to the other person not accepting or understanding the sudden change of attitude. If causing emotional hurt to another the empath resents themselves for their actions and often continues to self punish themselves mentally until assured of forgiveness.
When expressing or feeling Empaths are usually picking up other’s feelings and projecting them back with no realization of the fact. This leads to the Empath not being able to express their own feelings and leads to them bottling things up, not releasing held emotions and putting up barriers to avoid others discovering their inner most feelings and thoughts.
Emotional Release For The Empath
An Empath must learn not to be an emotional mirror. They need to learn and practice releasing their own emotions and talking about their own feelings. This allows the empath to find peace in situations and a stronger degree of understanding about being an empath. This is a critical step of self development as emotional withholding is detrimental to the empaths health. The longer that thoughts and/or emotions are contained and blocked without being released the more emotive power they build.
These trapped thoughts and/or emotions can eventually turn the peace loving empath to become emotionally explosive. As an empath you must learn, as is everyone’s right and need, to express yourself openly and honestly. This is a form of self healing and enables energy to flow naturally throughout our bodies. To avoid expression of our own emotions is mentally crippling and can lead to emotional/mental instability and breakdown or the creation of physical illness and disease.
The External Influences – What is an Empath?
Empaths will be emotionally engaged whenever they see physical or emotional pain being inflicted upon others (adults, children animals etc). These things can bring an empath to tears, can cause physical symptoms such as feeling ill and they will struggle to comprehend cruelty in any form. Even watching these scenes on television news and broadcasts can cause grave emotional reactions within the empath. Empaths cannot understand or accept the suffering they see and feel when pain is inflicted upon others.
This often leads empaths to work with animals, people or the natural world and are recognized for the devotion and dedication shown to helping those they work with and for.
Empaths are romantics, they believe in old fashioned love, romance and commitment. They are gentle souls who have excellent imaginations, inquisitive minds and love learning. This makes most empaths natural storytellers and often are those in the family that listen to others and pass along the family history.
Music And The Empath
Music can play havoc with Empaths…but empaths love music. Empaths will listen to a range of music and have difficulty answering when asked about their favorite style…they usually like it all. This is due to the empaths subconscious changing their desire for the music to suit their expressive temperaments and feelings at the time. Many people cannot comprehend how an empath can be listening to classical Beethoven one minute and then change instantly to Heavy Metal…music matches the mood!
Lyrics within a song, especially if it reminds an empath of a prior experience, can have very powerful and often adverse effects. Lyrics of lost love and emotional pain can cripple an empath. Empaths will become lost in music, almost to a trancelike state. They become one with the music and are often as expressive with body language and movement as they are with words, thoughts and feelings. This leads most empaths to having a love for gestures, body movement, dance and acting.
The Empath and Others – What is an Empath?
Regardless of whether others, or the individual themselves, are aware of being an empath people and animals are drawn to them due to their genuine warmth, compassion and love.
People find it very easy to speak to an empath, even complete strangers, and will find themselves talking about the most personal of things. Before anyone realizes they have poured out their heart and souls without consciously intending to do so. Others subconsciously are aware that the empath will listen with compassionate understanding.
Empaths are the listeners of life. This doesn’t make them bland or unresponsive in fact usually they have very dramatic personality styles. They are often the life and soul of the party, humorous, outgoing, enthusiastic and positively optimistic. They will be a joy to be in the presence of and others enjoy their quirky and at times irreverent humor.
The Darker Side of the Empath
However the empath who hasn’t learnt to understand and express emotions may be subject to terrible mood swings that will alienate others and drive people away. 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 the next second completely miserable. When the empath is abandoned in the midst of mood swings it can be incredibly detrimental to their emotional health and self esteem. The empath could never abandon someone in need and will blame themselves for others leaving them making their ability to express personal emotion even more unlikely.
Caring for the Empath
Empaths simply need what they give to others…empathic caring and someone listening without bias, judgment and/or condemnation.
For those who live with or have close friendships with an empath remember that many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them emotionally at the time. They may have no idea that they have absorbed and are now reflecting the emotions and feelings of someone else.
The empath is likely to be just as confused about his or her mood swings and changes in emotion and will equally question how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed and alone.
It is therefore no mystery why so many empaths end up being incorrectly diagnosed with mental health issues and why so many in the medical profession cannot understand why the empath is unresponsive to prescribed pharmaceutics and antidepressants. These drugs may dull emotions but they do not stop an empath being an empath. To make progress and live a happy and fulfilled life as an empath one must understand the emotional connections involved. Often understanding is sufficient.
The Empath and the Answers!
Empaths are lifes problem solvers. They believe that where there is a problem there is always an answer. They will, often to the annoyance of others, search until they find the answer. This is often to give the empath peace of mind particularly if they feel they have caused a problem. Fortunately the empaths continual search for answers is beneficial to their relationships both at work and at home.
They are seen as a person who always comes up with an answer, even if some time later. They live by the motto…”where there is a will there is a way” and if there is a way the empath will find it. The finding of answers is often due to the empath tapping into Universal Knowledge.
As an empath they are receptive and while they may not know about, or even believe in, universal knowledge and divine guidance they subconsciously are open to it, receive it and use it to seek the answers and solve the problems.
Empaths and the Spiritual – What is an Empath?
Vivid and Lucid dreaming is usually common with empaths. They have highly vivid and detailed dreams and often spend time trying to interpret these. Empaths feel, not necessarily knowing why, that dreams are a reflection or a link to their current and present emotional state. They do not accept that dreams are a mere jumble of irrelevant and meaningless images.
As well as sleep time dreamers most empaths are vivid and detailed daydreamers also. If the present moment in time is not stimulating or of interest to the empath they will find themselves detached and lost in daydreams. If an interesting thought or concept enters the empaths mind they can spent large amounts of time exploring this in a daydream state. For others this may appear to be detachment but in reality the empath is far off, in their own world, exploring the thought and living it as if in reality itself.
Empaths and Exciting Stimuli
When presented with a person or subject that stimulates and arouses emotion within the empath, even if lost in a daydream, the empath is receptively alert.
Empaths are a captivated audience. Should the subject be linked to prior experience or regarding complex thought the empath will be focused 100% and fully engaged.
Empaths frequently experience deja vu and are likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. Research of empaths have shown that they commonly experience OBE’s and are highly intuitive. If aware of their empath nature they will embrace these paranormal experiences and often develop spiritually and psychically.
For those empaths still coming to terms with any paranormal experiences or their abilities to connect with universal energies they may attempt to block or suppress them.
Common Traits – What is the Empath?
Empaths know things without being told. It is much more than just a gut feeling (even though this is how the empath would describe it). The empath is highly intuitive and knows things on a deep level. The more accepting of this gift the more highly attuned the empath becomes.
Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or areas where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with dread. Often empaths will avoid or dislike these types of situations but not know why. The empath is not antisocial he/she is simply filled with the mixed and conflicting emotions of everyone within this densely populated space.
What Is The Empath Absorption Of Emotion?
This is massive for empaths. They feel the emotions of others and take them on as if they were their own. All empaths feel the emotions of others near by and some can feel the emotions of others regardless of the physical distance between them. Highly attuned empaths can even feel when someone is having bad thoughts about them regardless of the distance between them.
Cruelty and Violence
Watching, viewing, listening or reading about cruelty and /or violence is unbearable to the empath. Often, especially as the empath develops their abilities further, the level of empathy felt when viewing scenes of cruelty and violence will become overwhelming and often leads to the empath stopping watching television, listening to the radio and in some cases even reading the newspaper.
What is the Empath Perception of Honesty
Empaths know when someone is not being honest. If friends, family or loved ones are lying the empath knows it. An empath will often not let on they have seen the lie as this may causes the other person embarrassment or hurt…even though catching a loved one lying hurts the empath. Empaths will most certainly pick up and be aware when someone says one thing, but is thinking another.
Solar Plexus Chakra Problems
The solar plexus chakra is the home of emotions. It is where the empath feels the energies and emotions of others. If not aware of this the solar plexus chakra can become weakened, unbalanced or blocked leading to poor digestion, IBS, stomach ulcers…in fact many physical ailments of the gut and lower back. The empath must be aware that any lower back problems or pain is likely to be linked to them not being grounded. For those empaths not aware of their gift they will most certainly have blocked chakras and be ungrounded. Look for symptoms and ailments related to the lower back and the stomach/gut areas and then ensure you develop methods to balance the chakras and energy bodies.
Protector – What is the Empath?
The empath is always a protector and will offer compassion, love and attention to anyone suffering or in emotional pain.
The empath will be constantly sought out by others. Even perfect strangers feel comfortable confiding and discussing complex emotions with an empath. The empath needs to be careful that they don’t pick up and take on the emotional baggage of everyone around them.
Tiredness and Exhaustion
Because of the constant energy exchange, absorbing emotions and transferring energy the empath can often feel drained. Empaths need to be aware of those around them that are energy vampires. They need to also be aware of their own limits and be able to remove themselves from the situation before taking on too much from others. Sleep and rest will not cure the empath if overloaded with emotions from others and unable to release their own.
What is the Empath Addictive Personality?
Alcohol, drug and sex addiction is common among empaths turn to. It is a form of self protection in an attempt to block out the emotions and hurt of others. It in turn leads to self destructive behavior for the empath.
Healing and Holistic Therapy
Empaths are naturally drawn to the metaphysical and have natural talent for healing and can become excellent energy healers. Sadly many who are unaware of their empath gifts shy away from healing as they take on too much from the people they try to heal and can become ill or exhausted. Empaths are naturally drawn to all aspects of holistic healing, the supernatural and accept the reality of psychic intuition and universal knowledge. When an empath is able to understand their nature for energy transference they can be extremely powerful healers and clairvoyants /clairsentients.
Empaths are highly creative and have vivid imaginations. They can be outstanding actors, dancers, musicians and writers.
What Is The Empath Love Of Nature
Empaths have a connection with animals and nature. They love pets and need to spend time outdoors. When lost in nature they feel their own true emotions and are at peace.
All empaths need time alone. While others seek the attention and crave the stimuli of others the empath happily and necessarily seeks solitude to recharge and re energize.
Life needs to be kept interesting for an empath. If they get bored or are not stimulated they will often become distracted and end up lost in daydreams.
If engaged in activities they enjoy the empath will thrive and be highly successful. The empath is unable, and finds it almost impossible, to do things they don’t like. They are open and honest about their dislike and feel unhappy when pressurized or guilt tripped into doing an activity they dislike. An empath is not idle or lazy they just cant force themselves to do something they don’t enjoy.
The empath knows when they are being told the truth and when they are not. An empath will always seek the truth in a situation regardless of the hurt it may cause to themselves. Anything untruthful feels wrong to the empath. An empath may not let on they are aware of dishonesty of others if they feel it may lead to pain or hurt for that person but will still actively seek and find the truth.
What Is The Empath Need For Answers?
The empath doesn’t like unfinished business or not understanding the outcome of situations. They are constantly seeking answers and knowledge: Unanswered questions and unfinished business is highly frustrating for the empath and they will strive to find an explanation. If they have intuition or a feeling of knowing about something that isn’t in the open they will look for confirmation of being correct. The downside is they can alienate others who think they are pushy or overbearing.
What Is The Empath Spirit?
Empaths love adventure, travel and freedom. They don’t enjoy being tied down and can be impulsive decision makers. They seriously dislike routine, rules and being controlled.
What Is The Empath Self Protection?
Empaths often gain weight as a form of self protection. Subconsciously they see the weight as adding protection to stop the impact of absorbed and constant incoming emotional energies. They are therefore prone to weight gain without necessarily overeating.
Empaths don’t often speak about themselves unless its to a very close loved one or friend. However they will listen actively and compassionately to anyone, they love to learn about others, they genuinely care and they genuinely want to help and heal.
What Is The Empath Intolerance Of Ego?
Empaths are kind, generous and tolerant however they cannot be around people with huge egos and who show disrespect or lack of care towards others. Empaths who are not attuned to others or are still unaware of being empaths must be particularly careful that their intolerance of narcissism doesn’t in reality lead them to become attached and involved with the narcissistic personality type. This is all too common and will be discussed in a future post.
What Is The Empath Public Face?
Empaths show their absorbed feelings. If they are surrounded by positive happy people they will take on these characteristics. If they have taken on too many negative emotions they can appear quiet, unsociable and even unhappy.
An empath is unable and unwilling to pretend to be happy when they are not. Likewise an empath is unable to hide delight and happiness. Often when empaths try to hide their true feelings they can become withdrawn and be viewed as aloof or shy.
The Empath is a true “What you see is what you get” when it comes to emotions matching the moment.