What It Means to Be an Empath

For years, I could not figure out why I felt so uncomfortable when going out and being in large crowds. For the longest time, I was told I just had social anxiety. But it turns out I didn’t. When looking over everything – how I feel, how sensitive I am, how I can pick up on the feelings of others, how the mood of others affects me – it turns out I am what many refer to as an empath or sensitive. Now that I know this, I can better understand how I feel and better handle the unexpected emotions I often experience.

When someone suggested this to me, I immediately started researching it, and everything suddenly made sense. It is incredible the amount of information available – not just online – on the topic. The more I researched, the more I found, and ultimately, the more I wanted to know.

Empaths are often referred to as emotional sponges because they absorb all the emotions and energy surrounding them. It can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you do not realize what is happening or why you suddenly feel so emotional. Because empaths are susceptible to their surroundings, they can become overwhelmed when around others in a highly emotional setting. I refer to this as “sensory overload.”

Empaths have good intuition. Many call this gut instinct. They can easily pick up on a person’s personality, including personalities of spirits, ghosts, and other entities. They also can feel if something good or bad is about to happen and change their current plans or activities.

Most empaths find themselves uncomfortable in crowds and around negative people. They are most comfortable in nature. The further away from people, the better. Being in nature is refreshing, freeing, and the perfect place to meditate. Nature is also where empaths feel like they fit in, as they often feel like they don’t fit in when around people.

Though empaths often feel uncomfortable around some people, people are often attracted to empaths. It is incredible how many people, even some I just met, want to share everything with me. Good and bad. Because of this, many empaths avoid contact with people if possible. Many empaths have difficulty saying no to someone and don’t know how to end the conversation politely. They especially avoid conflict with others.

Many empaths have claimed to be highly sensitive to sounds and smells. For example, loud noises easily startle me, and I can pick up on scents others around me cannot. So being more sensitive to smells and sounds may be another sign you are an empath.

If you feel overwhelmed often, chances are you might be an empath (or overworked) and need some time to recharge. That’s okay. We all do. Empaths prefer isolation. Get away for a bit. Go out in nature and meditate. Ground yourself again. If you do this often, you will see a change in how you feel.

Remember, you are unique if you have experienced any aspects of being an empath listed in this post. You can see the world in a way that others cannot. Embrace it. You must learn to set healthy boundaries and ignore your inner critic. Also, don’t forget always to love yourself!

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