What does it really mean to be an Empath?

What does it mean to be an Empath?

There is a lot of information out there about Empaths, sometimes referred to as Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s). To make this a little more confusing there are labels out there such as Psychic Empaths, Super Empaths, Empowered Empaths, Nature Empaths and so on.

But what does it really mean to be an Empath? Well having empathy is not the same as being an Empath. People are able to empathise with others, meaning they can understand why someone is feeling the way they do and imagine what it might be like to be in their shoes. Being an Empath however, takes this one step further, whereby they can actually feel what that person is feeling - as if it were their own feelings.

I’ve heard both positive and negative comments made about Empaths. Some of the negative comments suggest that people feel infuriated by Empaths because they don’t like being told how they feel, or that the Empath is blaming them for feeling sad/angry or whatever they are picking up on.

I have to say I find this very difficult to get my head around because I am yet to meet an Empath who would even attempt to make someone else feel bad because of what they’re picking up, let alone try and tell them how they feel. This is why I’m writing this blog because there is so much confusion out there about what being an Empath really means.

I know there’s a big majority of Empaths that don’t even know they’re picking up other people’s feelings (through an energy exchange) and just internalise them as their own feelings. While some have an awareness of it but don’t trust their own sense of knowing or intuition enough to do anything different. These are the sorts of clients I work with to help them understand themselves a little better and how they are interacting with others energetically.

Here are 5 signs of being an Empath:

  1. You may have been told you’re a sensitive person and can be easily influenced by your environment and the people around you.

  2. You are usually drawn to helping others and work that helps, advises, counsels, assists or heals others. Even if this isn’t your profession, you’ll be the person others will go to for advice or the one they turn to for help.

  3. You’re intuitive and can often see what’s going on beneath the surface. This isn’t because you’re reading social cues or have expert knowledge about non-verbal communication. You can just feel what the person is really feeling even when their words are telling a different story.

  4. You may struggle being in a group of people or large crowds and often feel overwhelmed in these sorts of social settings. You might also find it difficult to see/watch/hear anything violent or negative - for example watching the news or a horror movie might not be your first choice!

  5. You may have food intolerances or allergies. This is very common if you’re an Empath because it’s not just about your emotional sensitivity, it’s also about your physical sensitivity.

You’re the one making all the effort!

As an Empath you’ll be used to making the effort energetically with someone else, meaning it’s usually you asking them if they’re ok, or maybe you’re treading on egg shells around them or saying something that you think they will like. But what you’re doing with your energy in the process is extending it out towards them. And so you’re opening yourself up to them taking it from you, which they can do in core to core exchanges (from your solar plexus).

If the person is stressed or angry you will naturally step in to help and often take on that person’s stress or anger, not on purpose or consciously but almost as an automated response. This of course can make you feel exhausted.

Your energy can be drained by others

What is happening energetically is you’re charging up the other person’s life force energy by giving them yours. The way this works is by the other person making you feel shameful, guilty, worried, anxious, responsible or accountable for their problems. It’s important to note that healthy energy exchanges are a normal part of our day to day lives and so exchanging energy with others is a normal healthy thing to do - it’s how we interact with the world around us. It’s only when the interaction becomes negative on a regular basis that the problems can start.

What can I do to help myself in these situations?

So there are a few things you can be doing to help if you feel this description is accurate for you. Firstly, know that you’re not crazy or imagining anything or that you’re wrong - especially if someone has gone out of their way to tell you you’re wrong. If you’re in a relationship with someone who constantly leaves you questioning your actions or that makes you feel that you’re to blame - step away. Take a few deep breaths and place your hands over your stomach area (this is your solar plexus chakra) and just think about feeling centered and connected and focus all your energy back into this area - as if you’re gathering it all up and placing it back within you.

Also take some time out to be in your own company - even if you feel lonely or isolated. Taking time to be present with yourself will help you gather your internal strength and keep you focused on your needs and feelings. This then helps you address them more effectively by being more mindful of them instead of the focus being on how others feel all the time.

Can I harness my natural gifts as an Empath?

Yes absolutely! More often than not, Empaths are awakening to their gifts whilst trying to understand more about setting healthy boundaries and offering themselves the same kindness and compassion that they do others. I’m talking from first hand experience here! Being sensitive isn’t always seen as a gift, but you can learn how to use it as one. The other gift you will most likely have is being intuitive. Again if this isn’t fully understood it might not feel like a gift and can feel a little scary. I’m here to tell you - don’t be scared of this gift - you have it to do good and to help you and your loved ones.

You can try a free Awaken Soul Practice that is offered when you sign up for more information, advice, support and help after completing the Soul Type Quiz. I also do channeled readings and healings for Empaths either via zoom or in person (Derby based) to help you really understand more deeply, the relationship dynamics at play in your life to help your energy align, flow and become unblocked (especially if there are influences from people around you that take your energy!) and gain the insight and support you need.