The truth is many empaths don’t even know they are empathic. They think of themselves as sensitive, perhaps emotional, probably intuitive– but they may never have heard the word empathic. I’ve been this way my whole life and yet I was 29 or 30 before I even discovered that I was one – and later, that there was a word for it. When I did realize this was how I was made, boy did it bring a lot of things into question for me. Like, “Who am I anyway if much of what I’ve been feeling and thinking has come from outside of me?” I quite literally spent a year pretty much alone just to figure that out.
I didn’t really see the big picture of what I was doing at the time– a process that I now refer to as “clearing the docks.” I didn’t know my main purpose in being alone was to thoroughly and completely experience just myself so that I could perceive, hear, and know what was me and what was other. I just knew I had an overwhelming urge to be mostly completely alone. I still hung out with my friends from time to time. Although a good girlfriend still remembers how I traveled quite a long way to see her and then on a hike together announced, “I have to just meet you at the top [of the mountain].” To this day she still makes fun of me, lovingly, for it! During that time I also rarely answered the phone and when I did return phone calls it was in my own sweet time, especially to my mother. Because my mother was the most connected to me for the longest time of my life, I felt like I really needed distance from her in order to truly ascertain my thoughts and opinions from ones of hers that I might of just happened to be picking up FOR YEARS.
That was a formative year for me. It taught me to hear myself. It taught me how to manage my empathic ability and it taught me very clearly how to tell what was me and what was other: an imperative skill for any empath. I also learned ways to turn on and off my empathic perception, so that I could live just with my own thoughts and feelings when I chose to do so, and not be flooded with other perceptions.
Most of us don’t necessarily have a year to spend on our own. I wouldn’t now. I get that. That’s part of the reason I developed my Empath Intuition University– to teach other empaths the techniques that I discovered and implemented for myself during those first few important years after understanding my ability. In essence, I learned how to live easefully– not being ruled by my empathic ability (and the challenges that can come with it)– but learning to manage and control it, so that I could live happily as one. I didn’t want to be at the whim of every emotion that I happened to come across. And I certainly wanted to be able to ascertain what I thought about things.
So this article is for you if you suspect you may be empathic but you are not really sure how to tell.
Being empathic means you are naturally keyed into the human emotional sensations going on around you. But more than just hearing it, and understanding the language so to speak, you actually feel it in your own skin.
You are like a walking radio receptor for emotional information. And once you pick up on it, your own station starts broadcasting it immediately. And pretty much, unless you have some training, you can’t help but do this.
For the non-empathic person it’s like, “Oh that person over there is having a rough day.” For the empath it’s more like, “Wow, I feel super bummed all of the sudden!” When they try to identify why they feel bummed they can’t. That’s because the emotion doesn’t belong to them; It’s just the emotional radio station they are picking up by being in proximity to it. The more intense the emotion, the more penetrating or overpowering the sensation feels for the empathic person, even going so far as to block out the empath’s own feelings and sensations.
Sound confusing? It is.
You either are or you aren’t empathic. I am. My husband is not. That doesn’t mean he is not aware of what other people are feeling. What it means is that he doesn’t process this information through his own skin.
Here are 10 signs I’ve noticed frequently signal a person who is naturally empathic.
You have a very clear sense of another person’s emotional state and energy even without ever having spoken to the person at all. If you are in conversation with someone and that other person is crying or laughing, you can bet you will be doing so right along with them!
Without the ability to control your gift you often feel drained by crowds.
You have the ability to know when someone is lying and usually also understand the reason behind the lie.
You have a very strong sense of either being naturally repelled or drawn to someone.
You can be easily confused, especially when you are in proximity to others who don’t share their same opinion. It takes very little for you to “believe” another’s point of view, because you can also feel it in your skin while being exposed to it. This can make it hard for you to discern your own thoughts and feelings on a subject.
You are a deep feeler. When you experience even your own emotions, it’s a no-holds-barred situation. You don’t just feel sad over something, you may bawl about it for hours. And truthfully it is best for you to process emotion on a deep and whole body level. It is important to your health and well-being. It’s how you keep things moving through your body and prevent emotional debris from getting stuck and weighing you down psychically.
You often appear very sparkly. I don’t truly mean you have sparkles coming off of you—but there is a manner in which you just accidentally and naturally catch the attention of others. People notice you—especially when you are not depleted.
Frequently, but not always, empaths are gifted healers in their own way. Your ability shows you instinctively what is needed to heal or harmonize a situation– whether that is smoothing ruffled feathers between friends or the actual physical healing others– you are a natural antidote maker.
You usually want to help and will do so! For the same reason mentioned above; and because you feel the suffering of others (even animals) in such a profound way you are naturally committed to helping ease it.
It’s not all love and sparkles to be empathic. 🙂 Truly it can be challenging. But knowing you are one is a super big step in the direction of getting your ability to work wonderfully for you! If this article helped you discover you’re an empath I consider it a success– and if you want to you can let me know that below!
P.P.S. If you are empathic you’ll likely enjoy my Empath Resourceswebpage. It’s filled with links to my other articles related to empathic ability. Such as:
Hey, Empaths: You Don’t Have to Save Everyone
Empaths and Jealousy
How Global Upheaval Affects Empaths
For the Empath with “Social Anxiety”
Hey Empath! Now Is a Good Time to Shine.
Through her Empath Intuition University program Aimée Cartier teaches other empaths how to manage their gift, instead of having it manage them. She teaches them the tools they need to not only live happily as an empathic person but to also to use their ability to uplift themselves and others which she feels is one of the great natural perks of being empathic. Aimée’s empath program starts twice a year (September and January) and accepts a limited number of students each time. Sign up to hear to receive details. BE SURE TO CHECK THE LAST BOX “EMPATH OFFERINGS.” Or, sign up to see her longer list, “44 Signs You Are an Empath.” For more on Aimée Cartier and her work go here: www.AimeeCartier.com.