Mateo Sol beautifully explains who an empath is. He describes an empath as a being of immense depth, wisdom, and compassion. He further says that they are a pioneer and trailblazer of humanity, a model for others on how to be sensitive and powerful. “All the strength and love they need is already within them, waiting to be discovered.”
An empath is essentially different from a person who is empathetic. Therefore, while empathy, as Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, explained in a piece on YourTango, is “The experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from his or her point of view.” An empath is not just a person who is empathetic towards others; instead, they are also highly sensitive souls that often act as an angst-absorbing sponge in different interactions with people throughout their lifetime.
Have you ever felt an instant mental connection with an absolute stranger? Have you met strangers who have absolutely no reason to trust you with their personal information yet they reveal it all to you? Have you noticed people dumping their struggle stories at your feet? If the answers to these questions are ‘yes’ then you might be an empath. If you are not familiar with the term and wondering what it’s supposed to mean, you are about to find out.
Here is a list of 13 qualities empaths have. These traits are innate and not learned. You are either an empath or you are not.
1) They are highly sensitive.
They have the innate ability to intuitively sense and perceive others. Being an empath surpasses being just too emotional. It isn’t just about being emotionally inclined towards everything and everyone. Other people’s thoughts, ideas, and moods, unconsciously influence these people to a great extent. They can easily process other people’s emotions so in many cases they introject the emotions of others. They are nurturers and healers. Helping others comes naturally to these people.
Though they always stand for people through thick and thin, they find very few people who can reciprocate to their level of care and affection. They are often told that they are too sensitive and need to toughen up.
Related: The 5 Powers Of Empaths
2) They suffer from chronic stress and fatigue.
They can literally sense the energy of the room they walk in, they can soak up the energies and emotions of people around them – mostly the negative energies. They are so affected by the sufferings and pains of other people that they bottle it up in themselves. This often leads to the diffusion of their self-boundaries into that of others.
No wonder this withholding of emotional vent, manifests itself through physical symptoms like headache, body ache, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems. It is no wonder that they also suffer from chronic stress because they face an onslaught of emotions and energies from all ends. Over a prolonged period of time, their health significantly deteriorates.
They needs to learn how to center themselves and distinguish between their own emotions and other’s emotions. They should learn to set a clear sense of self boundaries and stop themselves from spreading themselves too thin.
Learning to prioritize one’s well-being and working on it will help them avoid burnout.
3) They absorb other people’s moods and emotions.
Empaths not only empathize but they can literally absorb other people’s moods and emotions. This means that they can actually, to the truest sense, experience the same emotional torment that the other person is going through.
It is not like they are voluntarily empathizing; it unconsciously and uncontrollably comes to them. They have a tendency to imbibe the feelings of others and projecting them onto themselves without being aware of their origins. Therefore they tend to feel everything to the extent of living the other person’s experience as vividly as they do. They might undergo the same biological changes as you go through when you feel a particular emotion. They are as affected as you are.
4) They are usually introverts.
Empaths can feel overwhelmed in crowded places. They prefer one-to-one interactions or small group meetings instead of large crowds, and most of them are introverts. They are so overwhelmed by their exploding inner world that the buzzing external environment seems to be too clamorous for them.
Even if they are extroverted, they like to limit their time in social gatherings to make peace with their inner turmoil.