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Busting the Empath Myth—“I seem to attract negative energy.”

“I seem to attract negative energy,” I had an empathic woman say to me recently.  She was describing what happens to her when she and her girlfriends go out dancing. Because she often felt a lot of negative energy she came to the natural conclusion that she attracts this type of energy.  I’ve heard other empaths say that before.

PC: Bruce Mars

I had to break it to her though – that’s not really true.  Empaths feel the emotions of others inside their own skin as thought it is happening to them.  Empaths can feel all the energy.  You notice the bad stuff because it sucks you down, doesn’t feel good, or derails you- and so you recognize it.

The day that I discovered I was empathic I don’t think I would have really noticed what was happening if the person next to me hadn’t been having a hard time.  Her joy would have just amplified my own.  But because it was the opposite—her sucko mood seemed to swipe away my good one—I noticed.

If the energy in the room is predominantly negative that’s what you’re going to feel the strongest for sure.  And certainly in this woman’s example– when you are standing in a nightclub which is likely rife with insecurity, doubts, and negativity about self or others—you are going to sense that.  However, an empathic radar does not filter and sort by emotion—only giving you what sucks! You just don’t necessarily notice when you are buoyed by the positivity that you may also feel around you!  That’s because, it’s really no big deal.

Empaths are amplifiers. You pick up and amplify whatever emotions are going on – you essentially do that by broadcasting back out whatever you are picking up.  When you suddenly feel more joyous you’re not like, “Holy cow where is this coming from—I’ve got to STOP this!”  You’re just– happier!  No biggie!

My favorite example of this has happened with one of my sisters who loves to cook and bake.  I, for the record, do NOT like to cook.  When I’m sitting next to her and she is perusing cookbooks —for a moment I can feel, “I’d like to try that recipe too!  It sounds fun!”  I am effected by her outlook.  The reality is that as soon as I walk away from the situation I am going to be very clear that I am not going out to get those ingredients because I don’t actually like to cook.  I will simply lose my enthusiasm for the idea.

I don’t really mind sitting next to her and soaking up her effervescence though.  I’m may not even be totally conscious of the fact that her feelings are eeking into my space at the time—because I’m enjoying the feeling of her enthusiasm.

In contrast, if she was sitting next to me talking about something that she absolutely loathed, or an emotionally fraught experience—I would have absolutely noticed those feelings coming into my being.  That’s because they are uncomfortable.  Like the negativity this woman senses in the nightclub, or you do wherever you are when it happens.  You notice it taking you down because it does.  My sister’s joy is not uncomfortable—it’s fun—and so is the other joy you come in contact with—so much so that you might not even recognize it’s happening.

When I talk about how to distinguish between your energy and energy that is coming from elsewhere in my Empath Intuition University classes– I usually get the question “Should I be blocking positive energy too?”  (I teach my students how to set a naturally boundary for themselves so that they are in charge of what comes into their body.)  So they are curious—should I be filtering out the good stuff too?  I always say- “Not really- you don’t have to if you are enjoying it.”  As a general rule I don’t see any need to squelch the feeling of joy—even if it originates elsewhere.

PC: Max Andrey

Personally I love it if I’m picking up a positive vibe in the room or from someone.  I think it is one of the boons of being empathic—you can deeply experience things from time to time that have never happened to you– but are amazing— for example, a songwriter singing her heart and soul written lines on stage—you feel it—you get it—you know what it is like to be inside of that song for a moment.  It’s lovely.

If you’re picking positivity then great!  Enjoy it! Yippee!  Feels good!

It’s important to be able to discern what is yours and what belongs to another.  And of course if for some reason (though I don’t remember this ever happening to me!) someone else’s joy is taking you off your own game—then yes, you probably need to create a boundary.  But if you’re feeling a good vibe then personally I don’t see any reason not to let that in.  I consider it one of the perks of being an empathic amplifier.

One of my students recently had a great example– she told our class how she was in a room with someone who was stressed out and depressed and she started feeling the same.  Then she got a phone call from someone who was jubilant and as she hung up the phone she noticed that she was still feeling high on the positivity of that person.  It was the juxtaposition with the other person/sensation that helped her notice the difference.

So in a nutshell—what I’m saying is, as an empath, you don’t only attract negative energy.  You just simply notice it more than the other!

Here’s hoping you’re exposed to some really gooooood vibes!




Aimée Cartier is a psychic guide and the founder of Empath Intuition University.  She teaches empaths who are tired of being at the whim and mercy of anything they come across how to gain control over their gift—so that not only do they not have to be constantly derailed by the experiences of others; they also know how to use their empathic gift to add positively to this world. Check out her Empath Resources page and sign up to be on her Empath Offerings list  and get these kinds of posts directly to your inbox.  If you are in Seattle, you can find her monthly at East West Bookshop teaching an “Understanding Your Empathic Ability” evening.   Don’t know if you are empathic or not?  Find out here.  More about her and her work can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com.






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