10 Signs That You Are An Empath

signs that you are an empath

If you are an introvert who is highly sensitive, you might also be an empath.

Empaths are highly sensitive individuals who deeply feel the emotions of those around them.

Both introverts and empaths are likely to feel overwhelmed by crowds and loud noises. They are also prone to feeling drained and completely exhausted to the point of fatigue. For introverts, feeling drained is usually due to overstimulation. For empaths, it is related to the stress of constantly feeling other people’s emotions.

Although highly sensitive introverts and empaths share many traits, there are several characteristics that distinguish empaths. Read on to discover 10 signs that you are an empath.

1. Creative Expression

Most empaths express themselves creatively in a variety of ways. From singing, to painting, to dancing, empaths have a strong creative streak that can’t be denied. They are also highly adept at expressing their emotions through body movement. For this reason, empaths can make exceptional dancers, actors, and musicians.

2. Reading People’s Emotions

Empaths have a deep sense of knowing when it comes to understanding other people’s emotions and motives. They can usually tell if a person is lying or being inauthentic. They are very observant of the subtle messages other people send through body language and facial expressions, and thus, can easily read people like a book.

3. Peacemaker

Most empaths abhor conflict and disharmony. In the face of conflict, an empath will either completely avoid the situation or seek to resolve the issue immediately.

Empaths are also very sensitive to violence and aggression in the media. They are deeply affected by the news, movies, television and movies. They may be moved to tears or even feel ill from watching violence on television.

4. Love of Animals and Nature

Empaths are drawn to animals and nature. They may feel the need to be outdoors often in order to neutralize negative emotions they take on from others. It is common for empaths to feel a great deal of love and compassion for animals. They often have more than one pet at home.

5. Moody Recluse

Many empaths who are unaware of their empathy will resort to disconnecting from society in order to avoid being overwhelmed by other people’s emotions. They are also susceptible to extreme mood swings because they are so deeply affected by the emotions of others.

6. Can’t Do Things You Don’t Like

Empaths have great difficulty doing things that they don’t enjoy. If an activity or conversation is not mentally stimulating, they will quickly switch off and daydream. Likewise, if a lecturer is speaking with little emotion, an empath is likely to drift off into imaginary worlds.

7. Free Spirit

Emapths are, at heart, free spirits who find rules, and routines debilitating. They like to feel free to express themselves in the world in their own unique way. They are often drawn to adventure, travel and freedom.

8. Problem Solver

Empaths will search relentlessly for answers to a problem. Their motto is “there is always a way”. And thanks to their persistence, they usually find it.

9. Magnetic

Empaths often attract people into their lives like magnets because of their gentle compassionate nature. They might, however, choose to switch off this innate gift because they find other people’s emotions too overwhelming.

10. Eclectic Taste in Music

Empaths tend to listen to a broad range of music genres. Their music preferences are influenced by their varying emotional states. They can be deeply affected by the lyrics in a song. For this reason, they should be especially mindful of the messages in the music they listen to. Sometimes no lyric music is preferable for empaths.

Advice For Empaths

Many empaths struggle with their ability to feel other people’s emotions. If they are unaware of their empathy, and how to manage it, they may resort to addictive substances in order to cope. But there are better ways of dealing with empathy. I have listed a few tips below:

Spend time in nature everyday – a place where there are no other people around is preferable

Explore chakra and energy healing – many empaths are drawn to the metaphysical, so this might be something you were already interested in

Learn to say ‘no’ – empaths tend to place the needs of others above their own. Turn some of your love and compassion inward by saying ‘no’ to commitments that don’t feel good to you.

Get in the water – many present-day and ancient healers believe that water has powerful healing and neutralizing properties. Submerge yourself in water at least once a week in order to cleanse the negative energy and emotions you have picked up from other people. Natural water is best, but pools, and even the bathtub, will do.

michalea chung

 

 

michaela chung

50 Comments

  1. Woah…well this explains a lot… What does an empath mean though?

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    • A person who is highly sensitive, feels the emotions of others deeply, and exhibits several unique traits, such as the ones I mentioned in this post. 🙂

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    • I can relate to this article and appreciate the insight of the author. It’s very difficult for me to follow rules if presented continually with them in an extreme or condescending manner. I innately know what’s best for me and am able to take constructive criticism. The world that we live in, unfortunately, seems to have a difficult time understanding empathic free spirits but loves to use and over-abuse us. Fortunately, many are appreciated and recognized for their artistic and/or intellectual pursuits. Others, are tormented by those that can’t see things any other way but their own. I also wonder if this trait is passed genetically or more likely, from the spiritual bond that may also be incorporated genetically. Thankyou for this useful and for me, accurate, information

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      • I too question this. I just discovered I was an empath today. I had never heard the term prior. I saw a post and read it and have been tenaciously immersing myself with as much information as possible. All I know is everything I’m reading about empaths describes me wholeheartedly and I’m completely lost. 40 years old and I’m still making new discoveries about myself. Is it inherited? Is it a curse or a gift? Can I control it? What do I do with it? So many questions.

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  2. I can identify with many of these signs. I learned a lot about myself from this,thanks Michaela.

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    • You’re welcome Lu! Glad you can identify. 🙂

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  3. Oh! If there is something I know about myself is this. That’s why it’s very difficult for me to be surprised for example. I can tell when someone is acting off or is question me about things they won’t usually do sorry…I just “know” you’re not being your usual self!!. Also true about music. I don’t thing there is a song I like that is not very moving to me. From guns’n roses to Pavarotti. As always great things can be learned about myself by reading you. Thanks!

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  4. I seem to attract needy people and the non-stop talkers. I spend too much energy either hiding from them, lying, explaining that I’m not interested, and saying no to invitations, over and over. I never answer the phone. Normally I build a secure fence with locked gates around where I live with lots of screening and I can work and relax in total bliss. For the summer I rented a cabin in the woods and had hoped for continuing blissful solitude. Not so. I’ve resorted to leaving the bathroom fan on and hiding to discourage unwanted interruptions. Without gates and fencing I feel like a sitting duck. Any suggestions?

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  5. I, too, attract people who need me, but when I need someone, I am suddenly alone. I am sympathetic, empathetic, cry easily, and feel everyone’s pain…first to arrive, the last to leave…make sure everyone is caught up before I sit down…work alone a lot as no one will help me…I am given the hardest tasks as they know I can handle it.

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  6. “Sometimes no lyric music is preferable for empaths.” by the time I got to this point I was like “wow”

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  7. I identify myself with this except in the metaphysical and pseudoscientific points (chakras? energy? purifying water? really? :S). And I prefer the lyrics, always. But I think the rest is pretty accurate and very helpful to understand ourselves, thank you! 🙂

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    • You’re welcome! I’m glad you can identify with some of it. 😉

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  8. I identify with a number of these. I guess i am a disconnected empath. I used to love to be around people but now I prefer my four walls. I was just goggling… “why do I have being on the phone so much” and I came across your page. I am gonna bookmark it. I find it interesting 🙂 Thanks

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    • I’m glad you stopped by! Yes, a lot of people find my website through that post. 🙂

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  9. I pretty much fit all the above categories, up till now I identified as a highly sensitive introvert. Is empath the same thing? For me, it has not been an easy road through life, I’ve always been far too emotional and sensitive, and due to a less than ideal upbringing, I suppressed my natural feelings and empathy, which caused a huge amount of anxiety and depression. Thankfully I have a wonderfully supportive husband (and two gorgeous sons) who is also an introvert but with a fantastic sense of humour and he is my rock. I still struggle at times but have learnt through much trial & error how to avoid stress (not always avoidable!) and am now on a personal journey of understanding who I am truly am. When I am happy and not stressed, I am sociable and friendly, but when things go wrong emotionally and I don’t feel understood, I become the moody recluse and avoid people. I hate it and the logical side of my brain knows I am not acting rationally, but I get overwhelmed and can’t stop it. Your website has really connected with me and is helping me a lot, thank you!

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    • You’re very welcome! An empath is a bit different than a highly sensitive introvert, though I think most empaths are highly sensitive. The main thing is the ability to feel other peoples energies and emotions.

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      • I think I can feel emotions and whether someone is being inauthentic, but usually when I call the people closest to me out on whatever I’m sensing, they tell me I’m wrong. Am I just making these strong sensations up? Does anyone else have the same problem. It’s all very confusing.

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        • People around you don’t like to be read like a book, especially since most of them aren’t able to do the same with you! They will often lie when you tell them you know what they’re feeling. I can’t blame them, everyone wants to be stealth and “play their cards under cover”; it is more than legit. Sometimes we do get it wrong, but if I can give you my advice, ALWAYS trust your instinct more than any other thing or person. If something inside you tells you something isn’t right, even if it goes against your own logic, it’s likely that something isn’t right. Trust your inner self. 🙂

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  10. A really good read, however, I just wanted to add that Empaths are not solely Introverts. I am a fiery Extrovert
    but I shall admit, since 35 years, (I’m now 40) I became calmer and craved peace and quiet. I even suffer now from generalised anxiety, although I do have this under control. Maybe introverts are more aware of their empathic gift at an early age but as an extrovert, for me, I was surrounded in craziness, noise and chaos for years, ignoring the signs. I now consider myself introvert/extrovert. I love the calmness of being introvert but I don’t want to lose my extrovert fire

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  11. A really good read, however, I just wanted to add that Empaths are not solely Introverts. I am a fiery Extrovert
    but I shall admit, since 35 years, (I’m now 40) I became calmer and craved peace and quiet. I even suffer now from generalised anxiety, although I do have this under control. Maybe introverts are more aware of their empathic gift at an early age but as an extrovert, for me, I was surrounded in craziness, noise and chaos for years, ignoring the signs. I now consider myself introvert/extrovert. I love the calmness of being introvert but I don’t want to lose my extrovert fire

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  12. I possess all of these characteristics except the love of animals. Oddly enough in my 43 year journey to “figure out what’s wrong with me” I instinctively began doing many of the suggestions mentioned in taking care of myself without consciously knowing it.
    It took some time but I learned to embrace my “eccentricities” and view them as a gift and not a detriment.
    After a little bit of education the people closest to me realize that the activities required to take care of myself are a necessity for my benefit and their’s.
    I view being an empath as a gift and began to fully realize and accept it as that when I stopped comparing myself to the status quo.

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  13. This…would explain quite a bit actually. My friends and even my mom coming to me for help, (the ability my friends LOVE pointing out-)to just start a conversation with anyone I walk up to, even getting complete strangers to open up to me about their problems before I even know their name. (Yes this has happened.) I’m not the only empath in my family though so I don’t feel alone. Thanks for the explanation!

    *Coal and I wave our “paws” in greeting*

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  14. We’ve learned to experience another outlet to recharge. My wife and I are naturists (commonly known as nudists). We used to belong to local nudist resorts, but found it overwhelming, in that, we’re exhausted after a weekend at the resort…too many people. So, we have been able to spend free time in nature, as it was intended. Clothes can smother as well as extroverts.

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    • Thanks for sharing that. I’m all for trying out different lifestyles to see what works for you. 😉 xo

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  15. Thank you I had no idea they had a name for this side of me it feels so good to identify this and use and nurture it. Thanks!

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  16. A week ago had my first “date” with meyer briggs test. I stayed about 4-5h in my car after work, crying incontrolabil, trying to keep reading all my unspoken world’s, Al my thoughts, ideas, unexplained behaviour/tendencies in INFJ/INFP forums, fb, comm…
    A week ago is still freak my out how accurate are most of them.
    No, I’m not an empath, but we share something (even like infj/infp, even just like a weird person).
    What make me comm here is about drugs :
    Not cchemicals. ( try that, to see, explore, but 100% not again).
    But I smoke… I smoke also weed (lately most weed, cos I want quit smoking, but not weed (cooking I hear is relaxing :-P)).
    What is with weed :
    Don’t like the corporal, body tipe, just those…Mentally…to smoke and just stay lost in my world (extroverts will say). But just to be able to create, to understand to analyse events, conversesions, behaviour….It’s just….. Addictive. It’s about how easy how fast I can process everything. I never could answer back to anybody in my life life + usually after a few h event days, I will find an…..continuation to what u said.
    It’s hard to express myself.
    33y I thought I need a psiho ( I think everyone needs one), now I’m sure I need more then 2.

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  17. I have always described myself as a human sized feeler. I’d try to explain how it’s almost unbearably painful to watch the news or hear about others pain. I’ve stood next to people i’ve never met and have felt intense hurt or sadness. I’d walk away and be fine? Then I’d notice others anger would take over my thoughts. I wasn’t mad nor did I have any reason to be mad so why was I seething? I have always had the uncanny ability to read people. Like I had a mind reading device. I know when i’ve been lied to and I know when someone is being fake. Why? Because I could feel it…this unmistakable feeling of disingenuous B.S. comes over me. Being an introvert I run from people who are fake and I never look back. I’m highly susceptible to being taken by emotions that aren’t mine, and though this can be painful it can be helpful too. Why? Because you can feel insincerity. I’d rather share inadvertent sorrow than insincere interest!

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  18. It is funny how you don’t seem to know yourself, even after all the soul searching, until you read about yourself online. Add in the INFJ personality and every post seems to resonate. It is nice to know that I am not an anomaly and alone anymore.

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    • You definitely are not alone Grace. I have known I was an INFJ for a while but I think I am finally coming to a place in life where I am finally comfortable with that. We face a world that truly doesn’t know us or understand us. We are such rare birds that we are very seldom in the same crowd with one another and we would never find each other even if we were. The internet is a blessing for us in that it allows us to reach out to one another without getting in each other’s space. We learn that we are NOT alone and that we are NOT weird or abnormal. There may be fewer of us in the world compared to other personality types but we are armed with self knowledge and hopefully self acceptance and can go forward to help ourselves and others that are in our lives.

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  19. The most overwhelming empathic experience I’ve had involved an encounter with a young lady who had hit my mother as she was crossing the street. I had no idea what the encounter was doing to me until later as I stopped the car in my driveway and was suddenly trembling and groaning involuntarily from the sheer ragged and raw emotion of it all. The experience convinced me of being an empath because when I followed up by double-checking the things that I somehow “knew” to be factual about the event, it turned out it was all dead on target. But the music aspect described above was new to me. Guess that explains the 4-terabyte music collection of rock, religious, easy listening, country, classical, soundtrack, easy listening, jazz, folk, blues, R&B, Indie, alternative, etc.

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  20. Great article.

    I am an empath, along with my mom and brothers.
    We had a good chat about empaths, and the connection between esp last night which brought me to your website.

    I have a question in hopes U might shed some light.

    I have been overly sensitive to people’s needs throughout my life. I am currently 25 years old and as of 3 years ago, I have completely shut down the ability to care for others, to listen to their needs, their worrys or to even have a desire to want to help anyone. But I’m very good at pretending.

    This is not because I’m not an empath, it’s because I’ve taken on too much over the years and to see so little come from my advice, or to see the same people repeat the same things. It has been emotionally draining so I blocked out every bit of it in order to get my life together. Now I have a beautiful condo a living boyfriend, my dog who is like my own child to me, and great paying job with long hours. “The perfect life” and yet, I’m so empty.

    The thing is I’ve found not only did I block my instincts and feelings of other people, I’ve blocked my focus and ability to learn has become increasingly harder over time.

    I’m wondering how To open myself again… Even with the breakdowns and depression that follow it, Since I’ve blocked everything up I can’t find my compassion, my thirst for knowledge, nor a point for life any more. Do not mistaken the last sentence for sucidal, it’s just more of a big empty void… Like I’m missing a huge piece of myself – like that ability to be so tuned in means more than my house my car my everything.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how I can start reopening myself? How do I heal?

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    • I suggest you to go on YouTube and search for Infinite Waters. He is a psychologist and an empath who gives really good advice.

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    • Google ‘morning pages/the artist’s way.’ Doing them at least 3 times a week made all the difference. Good luck. Hope all goes well.

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      • I love The Artist’s Way, and do the morning pages often! 😉

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  21. How Can an empath say sorry to someone whom he has hurt unintentionally? Is being silent s the way to go or need to make a creative gesture?

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  22. Wow. So much learning. Thank you.

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  23. I recognize everything! Except…. I am also extraverted. Which makes everything VERY interesting. This is the thing I sometimes still don’t understand about myself.

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  24. i’d like to suggest to all empaths or highly sensitive introverts, a supplement (herbal) titled ashwagandha. It has helped me cope especially in public areas. Its possible that it might dampen the abilities, but helps me non the less.

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  25. A Highly Sensitive Person and Empath may not be the same thing. An empath can’t necessarily turn this off because it’s the way they are wired while a HSP may be able to. Also it’s a little bit more complicated too. I think a HSP can feel people’s energy very easily. An empath will actually embody it themselves, to the point where they are more often than not unaware if these feelings are theirs or someone elses. And it can actually manifest itself physically. Where if they have a deep connection with someone aND even when the person is far away and they get sick or hurt…the empath with physically feel it themselves. Either one can also be extroverts. The introverted aspect I think just has more to do with personality. And I think there may be empaths that aren’t necessarily HSP and vise versa. There seems to be Alot of gray area…and people can be bits and pieces of different things. 😊

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  26. I struggle daily with my empath traits..
    Slowly but surely I’m staying indoors more and trusting people less as most people o come across really leave me feeling so uneasy it’s unbelievable.
    I can’t help but help others, even when I know I shouldn’t.. I can’t help but be drawn to people who are weak and vulnerable even tho I myself have so much going on and it drains the life right out of me.

    I suppose it’s something I will have to get used to. Unfortunately.

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  27. Actually, I don’t want to accept that I’m INFJ just because it “helps and feels” people. I don’t to be like that anymore because it makes me so exhausted. I’m afraid to feel exhausted as before so I have shut myself from connecting to my friends’ problems without being fully insensitive of course.
    But now, I hope that step by step, “helping and feeling” people will do me good this time and again. Thanks for all the articles!

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  28. I observed that 6,7 points was likely to me but not all points. Am i empathic? I feel emotions of others easily, i observed people by talking and also could have an idea about their pain and a hidden reason behind some action without someone saying. I felt it for those people for whom i really concern and i like them. I like to be alone most of time, easily depressed and got stress avoid quarrels and bad news etc..so am i empathic?

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  29. I thought I was going mad – I seem to be like tissue paper absorbing my surroundings, other peoples pain to the point that it makes me unwell mentally. I can literally fall apart if someone I care about gets bad news.

    The older I get the harder it is to be made to do stuff that I don’t want to do. I am very creative and love writing but if I am upset or emotionally overloaded, then I can’t write or work on my book.

    I love animals and the book I am working on is about dogs and if I hang out with ‘the right people’ so to speak, then creativity, imagination and humour flows.

    I can’t tolerate noise, strong smells or any strong stimuli and even have to turn the TV off when I am doing my writing – I can’t figure that why I have to do it but I do. When I write my stories I kind of escape in my own head as my stories play out in front of me and I write them as I go along.

    I hate crowds and busy places and the only time I relax is if my husband and I go away in the country where it is just us. As more houses get built around our suburb I feel as though I am slowly suffocating

    Don’t get me wrong, being with the right people can make a huge difference so I am not completely a loner but being with the wrong people can have a massive detrimental effect as well. Laughter is critical to me and when I am with people that make me laugh, I feed off that and my world is brighter.

    I always know when someone is unwell before they even tell me, I know when people are lying to me, I know when things are being hidden from me and I also knew when my Mum had cancer before it was diagnosed.

    I am not sure if being an empath is a curse – I think it is because I don’t know how to deal with it and wish I could switch it off. I wish I could stop looking at people and instinctively know that they are lying to me (I have been proven right on that score) Being so in tune with everything to the point I carry the baggage for it in my head is hard work.

    Thank you for this article, thank you so very much because now I know that I am not alone. Now I just need to sort myself out and try and help myself.

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  30. I know that I am a EMPATH and there are times when I absolutely hate it. EMPATH’s can be very lonely people, regardless if they are surrounded by 100 people. I also hate lies more then anything else in the World and people do not realize it until it is too late. I am there 24/7 if someone needs me but if I need someone, nobody is available. I hate to socialize in big crowds and prefer to be with my 4 rescue dogs…… the only creatures I trust 100%

    We can’t help everybody but yet we try it everyday and it kills us if we can’t help

    And yes, Michaela is my real Name (Michaela (Hebrew מיכאלה) is a feminine given name. It is a feminine form of the Hebrew name Michael (מִיכָאֵל), which means “Who is like God?”)

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    • Nice to meet another Michaela! I used to go by the nickname “Mickey” too. 🙂

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  31. I never heard the word until today. Now I cannot get enough information. This answers everything for me. I finally understand why I am the way I am.

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  32. You certainly do NOT have to be an introvert!! Silly! I am no introvert but very empathetic! I can say I am comfortable within myself and enjoy my time alone but being introverted is NOT a prerequisite to empathy

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  33. I have always suspected that I am empathetic , this really confirms it. I can relate to almost every single thing on this list; except for being magnetic, I don’t feel I am.
    I have always been a natural peacemaker and friends would always come to me with their problems. Only problem with that is that they weren’t there when I needed them for my problems. It was very draining and a reason I’m much pickier when it comes to who I allow in my life.
    If I described how it all fits me so well, I’d probably write a book here.
    What I would like to know is how to recover from hurtful situations and having to be around those people. I have been bullied and taken advantage of, shut out and ignored for years…. All to the point that I have nothing but negative feelings about being around those people. Which I wouldn’t be, except that they are part of my husband’s family, which makes them unavoidable. I become so angry and withdrawn, which doesn’t help anything, but avoidance is the only thing that seems to help.
    How can I be around them (when I HAVE to be) without absorbing their negativity and anger to the point of feeling that way myself and mentally exhausted?

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  34. This so totally explains things I didn’t previously understand or explain about myself. Thank you for putting a name on it. I have a sister who is also an empath and probably doesn’t know it …can’t wait to share this with her!

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  35. This article describes me so much. I just learned about chakra this year and my heart and throat chakras are weakest due to my habit of over extending myself to support others and not speaking up enough. I am ready to heal and become stronger by establishing boundaries and speaking the truth in love. I also noticed that I tend to play more instrumental music so I can relax and focus.

    Reply

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