Empath – Do you often feel acutely aware of the emotions of those around you? Do crowds make you feel uneasy? Do you think of yourself (or those closest to you) as a sensitive person?
If that’s the case, you might be an empath.
Empaths, according to Dr. Judith Orloff, a pioneer in the discipline, are “emotional sponges” who absorb the world’s joys and worries.
Empaths, she claims in her book “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” lack the filters that most people use to shield themselves from overwhelming stimulation and can’t help but absorb the emotions and energies around them, whether good, terrible, or somewhere in between.
“Empaths have a higher sensitivity to outside stimuli such as sounds, strong personalities, and busy situations,” says Kim Egel, a therapist in San Diego. They bring a lot of heart and concern to the world, and they have a strong sense of what is going on.”
Does this ring a bell? Here are 15 more indicators that you might be an empath.
You have a great deal of empathy.
Empathy, or the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of one’s own perspective, is the source of the term empath.
Let’s say a buddy recently lost their 15-year-old dog. Even if you’ve never lost a cherished pet, empathy is what allows you to appreciate the kind of suffering she’s going through.
However, as an empath, you go a step farther. Emotions are sensed and felt as if they were a part of your own experience. In other words, someone else’s suffering and joy become your suffering and joy.
You may be overwhelmed by closeness and connection.
Empaths often have difficulty with constant personal contact, making love relationships problematic.
You want to make an impression and form a long-term relationship. Spending too much time with someone, on the other hand, might lead to feelings of tension, anxiety, or fear of losing oneself in the connection.
Too much chatting or touching can also cause sensory overload and a “frayed nerves” feeling. When you try to communicate your need for alone time, though, you absorb your partner’s hurt feelings and become much more distressed.
However, according to Egel, establishing healthy, clear limits might assist to alleviate distress. “You have to know how to conserve your energy and emotional reserves,” she explains.
You have a keen sense of intuition.
Have you ever had a strong gut reaction to anything that seemed off? Perhaps you have a keen sense of deception or simply know when something seems like a good (or poor) idea.
This could be an example of your empathic personality at work.
Empaths, according to Barrie Sueskind, a Los Angeles-based therapist who specialises in relationships, are able to pick up on tiny indications that provide insight into others’ thoughts. “An empath’s intuition can often identify whether or not someone is telling the truth,” she explains.
You find solace in nature.
Spending time in natural environments can be beneficial to anyone. Natural places provide a calming location to recuperate from overwhelming sensations, sounds, and emotions, therefore empaths may be even more drawn to nature and secluded areas.
When you’re alone in a sunlit forest or watching waves smash against the shore, you might feel fully at ease. Even a simple stroll through a garden or an hour spent sitting beneath the shade of trees can improve your spirits, calm your nerves, and help you relax.
In crowded environments, you don’t do well.
Empaths, according to Susskind, may absorb both positive and negative energy just by being in the company of another person. This sensitivity may seem amplified to the point of becoming practically unpleasant in crowded or bustling situations.
“Empaths might quickly be overwhelmed by feeling things more vividly,” Egel says. If you’re easily affected by other people’s emotions, you’ll have a hard time dealing with the emotional “noise” from a crowd, or even a small group of people, for a prolonged amount of time.
You may become overwhelmed or physically ill if you pick up on negative emotions, energy, or even bodily distress from those around you. As a result, you may choose to spend your time alone or with only a few individuals at a time.
It’s difficult for you to be unconcerned.
Empaths don’t just feel for others; they also feel with them.
When you take in other people’s feelings so strongly, you may feel compelled to act. “People who are empathic want to help,” Susskind explains. “However, this isn’t always achievable, which can be frustrating for empaths.”
It may be difficult for you to see someone suffer and act on your innate desire to help them, even if that means suffering their pain yourself.
People are more likely to inform you about their problems.
People that are sensitive and empathic are excellent listeners. Your loved ones may be calmed by your presence and turn to you first when they are in distress.
Caring passionately can make it difficult to communicate when you’ve reached a point of overwhelming. However, striking a balance is critical. Unchecked compassion and sensitivity can lead to “feeling dumps” that are too much for you to take at once if you don’t set boundaries.
Empaths are more susceptible to manipulation and harmful behaviour. Your sincere desire to assist those in need may cause you to miss indicators of toxicity.
You might have a better grasp of the anguish that’s driving their actions and wish to help. However, keep in mind that you can’t do much for someone who isn’t ready to change.
You’re extremely sensitive to sounds, smells, and sensations.
The greater sensitivity of an empath isn’t limited to emotions. Empaths and extremely sensitive people have a lot in common, and you could find that you’re more sensitive to the environment around you as well.
This could indicate:
.You are more sensitive to scents and fragrances.
.You may be more affected by jarring sounds and physical sensations.
.You prefer to consume information by reading or listening to media at modest volumes.
.Certain noises have the potential to elicit an emotional response.
You require some downtime to re-energize.
“Attended sensitivity to other people’s grief can be taxing,” Susskind writes, “thus empaths may find themselves quickly exhausted.”
Even an overabundance of good feelings can wear you down, so take the time you need to recharge.
You’re more prone to develop burnout if you can’t escape intense emotions and rest your senses, which can have a detrimental impact on your well-being.
You are not always an introvert if you require alone time. Empaths can be introverts or extroverts, and they can be found on any spectrum. People may energise you — until you reach a point of exhaustion.
Extroverted empaths may need to be more cautious about striking the correct balance between socialising and recharging their emotional batteries.
You despise conflict.
You probably dread or deliberately avoid conflict if you’re an empath.
When you’re more sensitive, it’s easier for someone to hurt your feelings. Even innocuous statements might sting, and you may take criticism more personally.
Arguments and disagreements can add to your distress because you’re dealing with more than just your own feelings and reactions. You’re also taking in the feelings of the other people involved. Even little arguments might become more difficult to deal with when you want to alleviate everyone’s pain but don’t know-how.
You frequently feel as if you don’t belong.
Many empaths struggle to relate to others despite their acute awareness of others’ feelings.
Others may be perplexed as to why you are so easily weary and stressed. You may find it difficult to comprehend the emotions and experiences you experience, or you may believe you aren’t “normal.” You may become more private as a result of this. To feel less out of place, you can avoid discussing your sensitivity and expressing your intuitions.
You have a tendency to isolate yourself.
Isolation can help empaths recover from the overwhelming, so shutting out the rest of the world may appear to be therapeutic. However, prolonged seclusion can have a negative impact on mental health.
Isolation comes in a variety of forms, some of which may be more restorative than others. When you have the opportunity, go outside and meditate in a peaceful park, walk in the rain, go on a picturesque drive, or garden.
Consider getting a pet if you find that people drain you easily. Empaths may have a stronger affinity with animals and derive great comfort from it.
Setting boundaries is difficult for you.
In all relationships, boundaries are crucial.
If you’re an empath, you could find it difficult to turn off your ability to feel and impossible to stop giving, even when you’re out of energy. You could think that setting limits show that you don’t care about your loved ones, but the contrary is true.
Boundaries are even more important for empaths because other people’s experiences have such a strong impact on them. They assist you in establishing boundaries around words or acts that may have a detrimental impact on you, allowing you to meet your own requirements.
When you find yourself unable to distinguish your own feelings from those of others, it’s important to talk to a therapist about how to set appropriate boundaries.
You have a distinct perspective on the world.
Your intuition may be fueled by a deeper emotional awareness, and you may notice things that others miss or draw connections that aren’t obvious to others.
However, having a stronger link to the rest of the world can have drawbacks. Environments that don’t allow for much emotional expression might stifle your creativity and sensitivity, leaving you uninspired, disengaged, and unable to thrive, according to Egel.
You may find it difficult to cope with sensory and emotional overload at times.
According to Susskind, empaths find it difficult to protect themselves from taking on other people’s feelings.
Self-care and healthy boundaries can help you protect yourself, especially from negative emotions and energy. When you don’t have the tools to regulate the emotional “noise” of the environment, though, it can create severe distress.
A therapist can help you learn to create boundaries and uncover useful self-care practises if you’re having trouble managing overstimulation on your own and it’s affecting your quality of life or keeping you from relationships or other personal goals.
What is the best way for me to receive my results?
A number of websites provide their own versions of the Big Five personality trait test. The Big Five inventory is one such choice. Your reaction to roughly 50 short statements or phrases is used in this manner.
On a scale of 1 to 5, you’ll be asked to agree or disagree with each phrase. Your results will show you where you fall on a scale for each trait based on your answers. You might, for example, have a high level of conscientiousness but a low level of extraversion.
What are the five personality qualities that make up the Big Five?
Your personality is one-of-a-kind and integral to who you are. It encompasses your interests, demeanour, and actions. These can have an impact on your friendships, relationships, profession, and hobbies when taken together.
There are a plethora of personality tests available to help you better understand yourself. They are available in a variety of formats and are based on various models. One famous personality model is the Big Five, often known as the Five-Factor Model (FFM).
If you have a high conscientiousness score, you are likely to:
.maintain everything in its place
.Arrive at school or work prepared.
.are you goal-oriented?
If you’re a diligent person, you might stick to a routine and have a knack for remembering things. You probably think about your options and strive hard to reach your objectives. Coworkers and friends may perceive you as a trustworthy and honest individual.
You may have a proclivity for micromanaging circumstances or projects. You might also be wary of pleasing others or find it difficult to do so.