When you’re an empath you’re an anomaly to most people, even yourself. You see and feel the world differently than others because you’re sensitive to subtle energies and emotions.
Being an empath in the chaotic world in which we live means that you’re often misunderstood. Meanwhile, your understanding of others, including their hidden motives and emotions, is often eerily spot on.
You bring new meaning to the term “reading a room”. You’re not someone who just skims the pages or reads the Coles Notes.
The moment you walk into a room, you are bombarded with energetic information about every living being there. You might not be able to interpret this information right away, but you’ll sense underlying thoughts and feelings.
For example, empaths are often the first to know when someone isn’t trustworthy. You feel it in your gut. You can also sense when someone is genuine. You love to be around other empaths who are kindred spirits. Meanwhile, insensitive, abrasive personalities drain you like crazy.
Even though empaths are beautiful and wise souls, we often struggle to find our footing in the world. Most empaths will relate to the below problems.
6 Empath Problems
1. You struggle with anxiety and depression.
As an empath, you may have struggled with anxiety, self-doubt, and depression. This is not surprising considering all the negative feedback empaths receive for our sensitive nature. Plenty of empaths also grew up in unstable homes, where emotional warfare raged daily. Some empaths resort to addictions to cope with emotional overwhelm.
2. You attract narcissists and energy vampires.
Even though empaths have strong intuition, we can still fall prey to the deceptions of toxic people. You might allow narcissists and other energy vampires to take advantage of your kind and compassionate nature.
It can be hard for you to detach yourself from such relationships. You might not let very many people in, but when you do, you get deeply emotionally attached.
3. You feel too much, but may not know why.
With so much energetic and emotional information coming in from all directions, it’s easy for empaths to get confused. Sometimes, you don’t know what “stuff” belongs to you and what you’ve absorbed from others.
Your moods are also greatly influenced by your physical environment. Even if a home appears lovely, it might spike your anxiety for inexplicable reasons. It just feels ‘off’ to you.
4. You heal others, but forget to heal yourself.
Empaths come to this earth to heal others, as well as ourselves. You might do pretty well with the first half of that mandate, but then completely neglect your own healing. You forget that doing your own inner work allows you to give your patients, clients, students, and loved ones exactly what they need to heal and progress.
5. You have jelly fish boundaries and you get stung.
Empaths hate disappointing others. Because you feel people’s emotions so deeply, just the thought of hurting another person makes your anxiety levels soar. Saying no makes you feel unbearably guilty.
For this reason, you might have jelly fish boundaries that make it easy for others to take advantage of you. The problem is that you are the one who gets stung. You become drained, irritable, and overwhelmed. And then you feel even more guilty for not being able to cope.
6. You have a hard time winding down.
Empaths struggle to transition from high stimulation to solitude. After a busy day at work, or a crowded social event, your brain won’t stop buzzing. You’ll find it difficult to wind down and refocus. This is also why you might feel a strange sense of hollow sadness when you return home from an event, even if you had fun.
If you’ve struggled with any or all of the above problems, know that nearly every empath has felt the same way. There’s no need to be ashamed of your sensitivity. Your empathy brings light to the world—especially when you learn the skills to cope and thrive.
Tips to cope and thrive as an empath
* Hone your intuitive abilities through spiritual and esoteric pursuits, meditation, dream journalling, and quiet reflection.
* Set healthy boundaries by practicing compassion from a safe distance. The sooner you set your boundaries the easier it will be for everyone.
* Learn to trust your intuition by acting on the gut feelings and flashes of insight you receive, even if they don’t seem logical.
* Heal yourself by taking impeccable care of your soul, and allowing others to support you on your journey.
* Do regular energetic cleansing through reiki, sage smudging, massage, yoga, and water emersion.
I hope you found these tips and insights helpful. I’d love to hear your experiences as an empath. Feel free to share your comments below. 🙂
I’ve been in my room with the door shut for a day and a half trying to recharge and block out the overwhelming emotions that just keep washing over me. I haven’t answered texts, phone calls or social media but I feel guilty that someone contacting me may need emotional help and I didn’t make myself available. I tried to sleep but I can’t turn my brain off so I’ve been awake since two this morning. Some friends recently mentioned how weird I am. They still don’t know the real me. I feel too much. I know too much. A year ago I thought I was just crazy. Then I took 7 personality tests and they were all exactly the same. This blog helped me to remember that I’m an INFJ, a highly sensitive empath and I’m just a different kind of normal. There are people just like me and understanding out there. Thank you.
You’re welcome, Chloe! I’m happy that you found us and know you’re not the only one who feels this way. <3
Listen. You have narrated me to the bone. Empaths comprise of 1% of the worlds population if my research is right. You’re not alone. But we are not abundant either.
I feel the same way it hurts not being understood, especially when you help others and they don’t help you. But i can’t express my gratitude for this site and i love that i’m not the only one who feels this way!!!
Wow what a great healing and deliverances this has brought to my life. I have suffer from this almost from my birth over 30 years now and this has caused a lot of damage in my own life.
This was really me.
God bless you in Jesus name.
It was such a relief to read your point (no.6) about it being difficult to wind down from events, socialising etc. I know introverts are supposed to get exhausted from too much social interaction, so I could never understand why spending time with extrovert friends (or groups in general) tends to leave me overstimulated and unable to sleep for hours. I was beginning to think that maybe I wasn’t really an introvert at all!
Yes, Clare, it was a real revelation to me, too! 🙂
I never can thank you enough for these timely posts.
These checklists are amazingly helpful to me. They are like one page instruction manuals for myself.
Glad to hear that, Chris. You’re very welcome. <3
I have a teen daughter who I believe is a highly sensitive empath. Where would I find a qualified therapist to help us navigate boundary setting and other challenges?
I always seem to have to help others, but it always comes at an expensive price for me. I need help myself, so this can be a huge problem for me.
Michaela, this article is outstanding. I have refused to really believe I am an empath so it was both good and shocking to be confronted so neatly with my daily, unavoidable experience. I’ve been puzzling over 5 and 6 for several months so this was timely. It’s so easy to feel isolated and defective, even when I am surrounded by family and friends. I am an older person (INFJ) who is currently recovering from M.E. and will use your suggestions to grow. Thanks also to Chloe and Clare for detailing what I am too tired to express myself.
So much of what you say is true for me. Everyone else knew i was an empath before i realised i was one. I have always been a good listener all through my life and into adulthood. Being an INFJ too heightens the experiences i have with others. That gut feeling is so true too. Learning to take care of myself is the hard part for me. I am getting there slowly though. Thank you for this post Innie friend.
Love this article. I resonated deeply with the points you shared. This would explain why I often experience certain feelings throughout the day. Your article gave me a lot to meditate on. Thanks so much!
Oh, what magic to read about yourself, as if you have written this about yourself, if you could somehow slip outside of your very sensitive skin and overwhelm from everything you take in.
From the guilt and cycle of thoughts , a life time thoughts of thinking you are broken.
I can feel the bullshit in a room, I know when I am being lied too. I can see through people and I can feel people, even if they can not feel themselves.
I have been this way since I was a kid, but, at the same time, very outgoing.
As a little kid, I could sense and feel others sadness and pain and I wanted to help them, and tried.
Now, I am in a disastrous marriage as it seemed no one ever wanted me, the me that I was, not the me that was other girls.
Now, as an adult raising two children, I want to have some hope of living true to who I am, which is not who well meaning others think I am.
I have a little drawing, which is my inner circle. I am in the middle and on the outside are those I am not letting in.
My oldest son is this way, and my heart breaks for him. He doesn’t fit nicely in the catergories at school and constantly is being tested for various labels, that I knew never fit.
I refuse to let him sink, I was left to fend for myself.
For a log time, I have stopped talking, and interacting with world.
If I dare to speak about something troubling me, I am told to be more positive.
It isn’t that I am not positive, is simply that my experiences and people in this life, have crushed the magic of me.
Now, I want myself back. I don’t know how to set boundaries, or when I do, they are walked all over.
I would love to take the course mentioned in another post.
Anyway, thank you for writing this.
when I was a child I had a teddy bear and since I was born into dysfunction that teddy bear became a sponge for my love – the need to love – the empaths blessing – it does not matter if its returned but I did find as a child that as I loved that teddy bear it seemed to come back somehow full circle by degrees. it don’t matter if your understood on this plane of existence – it don’t matter if you get loved back – my belief is – it’s your own soul that is the so called soulmate that will always travels with us – throughout this life and what lives come next. however profound the loneliness might seem at times I feel its like a black hole and at some future NOW all that energy will be released outward into the places where its most needed to feed existence ( we don’t have individual souls – we are individuals particles that exist in one soul) – we are all very tired of the tears but they are the most honest of prayers and say more than any word could manage.
“Empath” I didn’t even know of this label until a few years ago, until someone told me I was one. I always knew I felt things more strongly than others. At times I feel it’s a curse. When family or friends go through tough times I feel sad and anxious and these feelings don’t leave me easily. I want to help them, to fix their pain and it’s not always possible. Just watching the daily news, with the vitriol that’s spewed depresses me. I want to cure myself of being an empath and I can’t. Your article has helped me understand my “problem” Because I want to help myself. So thank you
So many articles just talk about the challenges, few touch on ways to cope. I really applaud you and commend you and thank you for including that second, even more important, half.
This article was so spot on about myself it scared me! Literally every point is true about me, the good and the struggles. It helps me to know that there are others like me and that there are ways to cope with the things I find difficult. I can’t thank you enough for this insight.
Thanks for all your words. You can save lifes whit them e make people feel less lonely on their own.
Thanks very muchhhhhh.
I would love be your friend. You are amazing.
thank you, sister