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The Sensitive Empath





The characteristics of an empathetic person can vary from person to person, but you'll find that most traits of an empath and a compassionate person are similar. I'm confident that some of you will recognize yourself in some, if not all, of the following.


Most of your life, you've been told you're too sensitive or overly emotional, and you wear your heart on your sleeve. You often pick up on thoughts, feelings, and other energy cues that others don't notice. You might also notice that people tend to gravitate towards you, especially when they have a problem or an issue or are dealing with an emotionally charged situation. This is because you can sense and feel their emotions and intuitively help them deal with the situation and feel better.


Have you noticed your sensitivity to others' thoughts, feelings, and emotions? You already know how someone is feeling long before they tell you. You can enter any room and instantly physically feel the energy and mood of the environment. Most of the time, you can adjust to it; other times, you aren't. Especially not when there are raised voices, conflict, anger, and shouting. This tends to send your inside emotions spiraling out of control.


Do you tend to feel physically sick or in pain due to the negative energy around you and crave a more calm and peaceful environment? You may find yourself being a "people pleaser" with no boundaries with your spouse or partner and other family members to keep the peace and keep things calm to keep an undercurrent of negative energy out of your home and away from you. This alone is enough to make you feel anxious and discerned.


An empath's most common trait and characteristic is disliking crowded places because it tends to overwhelm you. You don't care about being in malls or attending sporting events, airports, or any other public places with groups of people. You feel suffocated and overly excited and can't wait to leave. Being in these crowded spaces feels like you're in a vortex of emotions, and it takes real effort to find your center and remain calm.


This is why socializing can be overwhelming, and relaxing and enjoying the social occasion is hard. You feel the energy and emotional vibrations of people, places, and things, and it becomes too difficult for you to tune it out and have fun.


You have strong intuition and know things without being told. You sense what needs to be done or what's about to happen. This is felt in your gut and nearly always proven to be correct. It also isn't uncommon for you to know who is calling before you answer the phone and, most of the time, before the phone even rings. You sense it ahead of time. You will think about someone, and they will call or text you. You have a strong awareness and are deeply in tune with your own body sensations and the changes that occur inside your body. You have a physical response to all your thoughts and emotions.


You pay more attention to the signals in your body than most people. Sometimes, this can make you appear to be a hypochondriac because you unknowingly feel other people's energies. Headaches, muscle pains, burning sensations, and gastrointestinal disorders are common in empathic people. More often than not, these symptoms and concerns are valid and have merit. If someone close to you is sick or depressed, you will develop the same ailments.


You can easily tell when someone is lying. All you have to do is merely look at their face or listen to their tone of voice. You monitor their body language for subtle and unconscious cues and instantly know whether they're telling the truth. You can physically feel their energy and see their auric energy. This can be a very useful trait to have, yet at other times, you find yourself deeply disappointed in some people when you discover they're not as honest and ethical as you thought.


You are a seeker of truth and knowledge. Empaths feel a strong affinity for the truth. This is why those that lie a lot are so abhorrent to you. Anything that feels inauthentic, false, or untruthful to you gets under your skin and makes you angry. Even half-truths and white lies that are innocent seem wrong to you. You always seek to expand your knowledge in your quest for the truth. You want answers to your large and small questions and may spend much time researching and reading to learn more.


You are more prone to having abrupt mood swings due to all of the thoughts, emotions, and other stimulation coming at you. Even after giving all your time and energy to others, it seems insufficient for some, and it's impossible for your mood to remain stable twenty-four-seven. Too much negative energy can cause you to withdraw and return to your cocoon or shell, leaving others to wonder what's wrong with you. It is nearly impossible for you to pretend to feel happy and upbeat when you're in this state of mind. Being in social situations can be tricky for you, especially when the room's mood and energy are off. You are introverted, and being around people and the various energy for too long is exhausting. Being alone and by yourself reenergizes you, which is a must for sensitive empaths. One of the best ways for you to regain your energy is by spending time outside and in nature. GO OUTSIDE. Take a walk in the woods, relax by the ocean, or sit out in your backyard and look at the stars in the night sky. This can bring you back to your center by escaping the high stimulus crowds, city noise, traffic, and technology. This can soothe your frayed thoughts, energy, and emotions and reconnect you with your inner peace.


You avoid negative media coverage and images because you find it extremely stressful and disturbing to watch, read, and hear about. It affects you so much you avoid watching the news altogether. On the other hand, you may feel compelled to watch the tragic events unfold because you feel such a deep connection with those suffering and want to help them.


You attract borderline narcissistic people because of your sensitivity, compassion, and empathic nature and may find yourself in the company of insensitive and selfish people. These types of people often go for the empathic types because they know the empath's sensitive and forgiving nature will serve them freely without giving them anything back in return. To be blunt, they take advantage of you. Being a kind and loving empath makes you feel compelled to give more and more in hopes that you will eventually be rewarded with the same love and kindness you naturally give.


People are drawn toward you and unload all of their problems on you because you're easy to talk to, and you listen to them. You feel compelled to help them, even to your own detriment. It is not until you feel used and completely exhausted that you discover what is actually happening. Your friends and family members may not intentionally take advantage of you, but it feels natural for them to automatically reach out to you for help because you are highly sensitive and intuitive. They value your thoughts and advice, and it also feels natural for you to help them. However, it is imperative for you to know that you must learn to protect your sensibilities and create boundaries to manage your energy.


Speaking of energy, you often feel fatigued, drained, and tired because others tend to take so much of your time and energy from you. With all the demands on your psyche, it's no wonder you're always so tired. Your brain is constantly in overdrive, trying to process everything that is filtering through your inner self. This is why "power-ups" are so important for you. It allows you to recharge your internal battery and nourish yourself. Power-ups relax you, and when you're feeling relaxed, you're better able to tap into your naturally creative, imaginative, and intuitive self. This is especially good for you if you tend to spend a lot of time in your head. Get OUT of your head and stay out. Spending time in your head isn't always bad if you're decluttering your own thoughts.


It isn't healthy to spend so much time thinking about the plethora of problems in the world, yet you find that you're constantly processing them. It is as if you must figure out how to make sense of the world, which often feels overwhelming and intense. You may be involved in the arts or other creative pursuits as an outlet for your active inner world. You have a close kinship with animals, as they share your sensitive and intuitive nature. Spending time with animals is an excellent way to help you focus on being in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness (being in the present moment) does help alleviate all sorts of somatic ailments.


You are sensitive to loud noises, sounds, and sudden dramatic movements of others. You tend to startle easily. You avoid places like restaurants with lots of noise that you find distracting and irritating. You avoid movies that are action-oriented, loud, and fast-moving. You feel overwhelmed by bright lights, rough fabrics, and strong odors and smells. You also notice delicate smells, taste, touch, and sounds more easily. Maybe you can't stand to feel the seams in your socks or the tag on the back of your shirt.


You manage your environment and try to create your living and workspace in an environment that is more accommodating to your sensitivities. You arrange your schedule and commitments to avoid unpleasant, chaotic, or over-stimulating situations. You don't like too many things coming at you at once. You feel rattled and overwhelmed when you have to quickly multi-task. You're already trying to manage the sensory overload of everyday life, and adding more tasks than your brain can handle at any one time is like torture to you. One task at a time with plenty of time to complete is ideal to avoid making you feel rushed.


As an empath, you tend to get bored easily and need to focus on work and activities that stimulate your passions and creativity. You need an outlet for all the emotions you have pent up inside you. This is why your work often reflects what's happening inside you. When you get bored, you resort to daydreaming and doodling; sometimes, you let your active mind ruminate about your deep and sometimes painful thoughts and feelings. However, you're still very conscious and try hard to avoid making mistakes. You're a perfectionist, and doing a good job and performing at your best is part of your value system.


You're an excellent listener, and people always tell you this. You listen consciously and know the right things to say and the right questions to ask to make people feel heard. You don't just listen to what is being said. You pay close attention to the emotional charge behind the words and notice their body language and subtle cues to communicate VOLUMES to you. You intuitively know how and when to respond so the other person feels validated and heard.


As an empath, you might unconsciously fear getting too close to the other person, who is often a romantic partner. For an intimate relationship to work for you, there must be clear boundaries set forth between you and your partner. Your partner also needs to understand your sensitive, empathic traits clearly. The fear of losing your identity is a big deal for you, considering you can easily become enmeshed with your partner's needs and issues.


You aren't particularly fond of overly selfish people who always put themselves first at all times and aren't sensitive to the needs and feelings of other people. Show-off and ego-driven individuals with low emotional intelligence are not your favorite people to be around. You have very little patience for their lack of empathy towards others. You have a huge heart, are compassionate and attentive to the needs of others, and will go out of your way to help them. However, that big heart of yours can drain you of your energy, considering you have a hard time saying "NO." Learn how to say NO.


You tend to tell it like it is and care about other people's feelings - that's your compassionate side. You don't care for pretending. Or intentionally telling lies even if it's more expedient or socially acceptable. This is why people come to you when they want or need to hear the truth about a situation, and you aren't afraid to be honest in your own sensitive way. This is a blessing for some people you encounter, but it might be offensive for others. Most people can't handle the truth, so you must use your strong intuition to discern when to keep quiet about something.


Now that you know a lot of the various traits of being a sensitive empath, you should practice protecting yourself and your energy by mindfully managing your environment and screening out those that drain you of your energy, those that want to take advantage of your sensitive nature and those you feel suck the life out of you. Acknowledge the fact that you have the benefit of feeling positive experiences more profoundly, and accept that your reactions to pain, anger, and over-stimulation are atypical yet not universally understood.


You are certainly not alone as an empath. Approximately one-fifth of the population understands you completely and appreciates you for your special characteristics and traits. People who aren't as sensitive and empathic can appreciate your unique qualities as you share information with them. If you are reading this and aren't an empath, perhaps you recognize someone you know and love. Through understanding and awareness, empaths and non-empaths can work and live together in a mutually supportive way.


One last thing that is very important for you to know and understand. Most, if not all, of the above, typically stems from a direct result of trauma.


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