“As empaths, our high level of sensitivity means that we are prone to feeling like eternal outsiders who are in the world but not quite of the world.”
― Aletheia Luna, Awakened Empath
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.” 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 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 an empath is supposed to mean, you are about to find out.
Here is a list of 13 qualities that a real empath has:
These traits are innate and not learned. You are either an empath or you are not.
1) They are highly sensitive
Empaths 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.
2) They suffer from chronic stress and fatigue
Empaths 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 these withholding of emotional vent, manifests itself through physical symptoms like headache, body ache, extreme fatigued, 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.
Empaths need 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 valence and working on it will help the empaths 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 of imbibing the feelings of others and projecting it on to them 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.