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? Have you ever taken an empath test out of curiosity, just to understand yourself and your thought process a bit better? 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.
13 Traits Of A Real Empath
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.
5) They are highly intuitive.
They are highly intuitive in nature, and they have experienced the entire spectrum of emotions. Their levels of understanding are way beyond that of the non-empaths. It helps them to efficiently distinguish farce from genuineness. They need to learn to trust their own intuition and gut instincts when it comes to people so that they can avoid energy vampires.
Since empaths can easily take on people’s emotions, it is extremely important for them to be careful of the kind of people they associate themselves with.
Their intuition works as an advantage for them. Their gut instinct can be an excellent filter mechanism to keep energy vampires at bay. Their intuition can help them to find their tribe and they can enjoy positive and uplifting relationships.
6) They need a lot of alone time.
They have highly heightened senses and they can be easily overwhelmed by the demands of situations and people around them. They need regular considerable alone time to refill their drained energies. Even a five minutes break can help them to calm down and prevent emotional overload.
It is important for empaths to create self-soothing rituals that provide them an opportunity to replenish their psychic energy like mindful meditation, walks in nature, reading books, practicing yoga, writing journals, gardening, etc.
7) They can feel completely overwhelmed in intimate relationships.
Since they can take on moods and energies of people around them, being in an intimate relationship can be overwhelming for them. They need space to breathe.
Too much clinginess can suffocate them and their partner has to understand and respect their need for regular alone time for the relationship to flourish. Deep down they fear that they will not be understood or their feelings will not be equally reciprocated with the same fervor.
8) They can be easy targets for energy vampires.
Empaths can be very easy targets for energy vampires. Some people are incapable of understanding the emotionality of other people. They drain you of your positive energies as vampires would drain you of your blood.
They are bound to feel threatened, bored, irritated, hurt, attacked and disrespected by these individuals. The anger, fear, insecurity or grief of the energy vampires can host on their physical, mental and emotional energy.
They are also highly prone to becoming easy targets to narcissists who can use them as their narcissistic supplier and leave them feeling empty, worthless and devalued.
Being able to use their intuition in this instant will help them stay away from these people.
9) They like to spend time in nature.
The fast pace life can be too overwhelming for an empath. They like to slow down every once in a while and head to nature to recharge themselves. The soothing power of Mother Nature helps them to overcome the burnout caused by social interactions.
For them, gardening or a silent walk among the lush greenery is more desirable than going to the bar to hang out with friends. From time to time, they like to disconnect themselves from human contact.
10) They can’t stand lies and manipulators.
They are gifted with very strong gut instincts to identify lies and deceptions. They literally work as human lie detectors.
Empaths are very kind-hearted and helpful but they do not want to waste their gifts on people who are liars and manipulators. They seldom get aggressive or violent, never the less, they strongly detest dishonesty. They can’t stand people who subterfuge to achieve their ends.
Once they find out your deception or lies, they would just walk way and there’s no looking back.
11) They avoid confrontation.
They are generally peace-loving people and they believe in peaceful coexistence. They do not like to get into unnecessary fights or arguments. They have awareness of what emotional interactions do to them. They are hugely motivated by peace-promoting actions and like to maintain a harmonious relationship with fellow beings. If they ever become slightly aggressive while defending themselves, they will readily apologize for it.
They would avoid confrontation of all kinds as far as possible. But this does not mean that they support injustice. Their sense of value is appreciable. They are courageous enough to stand up for justice and fight to establish it.
12) People are attracted to their wisdom.
They have experienced all sorts of emotions under the sun. Especially because they absorb cosmic energies like a sponge over a varied range of human interactions, their wisdom is fine-tuned.
They are not only wise and mature beyond their age; they are also great and patient listeners. They will listen to your problems and even respect your perspective instead of implementing their own ideas on you. On top of that, they are nurturers and healers.
People are attracted to them for their philosophical wisdom and ability to understand. They are kind-hearted and generous; seldom say no to anyone who turns up to them for help. No doubt, they are an angel in disguise.
13) They are extremely kind and always give away too much.
Empaths have huge hearts and try to ease the pain and suffering of everyone around them. This is because they are greatly stirred by human suffering.
Be it world poverty, hunger, or any other epidemic, empaths can feel the pain of the entire world. They are highly compassionate and want to relieve the pain of the world in whatever way feasible for them.
Most often, their compassionate nature is a source of opportunity for other people to make use of. People misjudge their kindness for weakness and devalue them. Sometimes they give away so much of themselves that they have no energy left to cater to themselves.
Empaths need to learn to set boundaries, have fierce time management skills and the art of saying no to energy draining people.
“Empaths did not come into this world to be victims, we came to be warriors. Be brave. Stay strong. We need all hands on deck.” – Anthon St. Maarten