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Can You Spot the Empath?

Updated on February 1, 2016

You May Be Surprised

Think of your average day walking through the mall or public park. Consider those you walk past, the categories in which you may place them upon first glance. We have many terms we apply to the physical appearances of others: from preppy to trendy, goth to punk, hippie to nerd. The list goes on and on.

Now think about the first image that pops into your head when someone says the word empath.

The Stereotype

I remember many years ago, sitting in a Denny's diner for a regular evening out when our teenage waitress approached our table. She was dressed in gothic attire which looked closer to an Abercrombie and Fitch version than a Hot Topic type, leading me to believe she was aiming more towards upsetting her parents than anything else. She adorned herself with crystals, wore overly dark eyeliner and symbols unbeknownst to me painted on her perfectly manicured fingernails.

Through taking our order, she informed us that she could clearly see the colors of each of our auras and went on to give us life advice based on said colors. Anyone educated about auras beyond what they may have seen in an episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch would have been quietly giggling under their breath as they listened to her assessment.

In our very brief interaction, there was certainly quite a bit of information that told me she didn't have an empathic bone in her body, and yet, those unfamiliar with the true empath may call to mind exactly her and the image she portrayed.

The Reality

But what if I told you this wasn't always correct. What if I told you that the strongest empath you may ever know is just a normal looking person, in fairly common clothing, working a 9 to 5, sitting beside you in church, never once drawing your eye?

Empaths are people who take on the energies of those around them. Each empath is attuned to different energies and at different strengths. Some feel emotions of others deeply. Others can take on physical ailments. Some are acutely aware of energies of places and objects. While some still can communicate with animals and plants.

It isn't voodoo. It isn't witchcraft. It, in fact, is basic science. Everything in existence is energy and gives off waves. Empaths are merely magnets for those energy waves, some feeling small crests while others live bombarded with tidal waves.

But the interesting truth is that they absorb energy more than give off energy, making them hardly noticeable to the average person.

Emapthic Quirks

The traits that many empaths exhibit are usually lost on others. They tend to be written off as ticks or quirks, often associated with negative attributes or personality flaws:

- The empath you speak to daily brushes a pressure point or frequently rubs the side of their hand. What looks like a simple mode of releasing stress or perhaps a nervous tick is, in fact, an Emotional Freeing Technique that helps them get through an otherwise overwhelming day.

- The woman you speak to after your Sunday service seems distant and confused, often unable to carry on a basic conversation. While you may think she is socially inept, possibly rude or overly shy, perhaps she is so bombarded with the energies of the crowd that she can hardly hear your words over the feelings screaming at her like voices.

- How about the man in front of you at the grocery store who seems fine one moment but then suddenly shifts to a limp, becomes irritated and impatient or even just walks right out of the store. You write it off as a strange momentary tantrum or outburst, when in fact he may be overwhelmed with pain from the person who just entered the store with the broken leg or received an intense headache from the cashier at the next lane.

- That strange person in your carpool who is acting fine one moment then wanting to call out sick the next. They may seem overcome with a strange illness or pain or even overwhelming grief. You think they are moody, lying or perhaps lazily looking for ways to get out of work. In fact, the car just drove past roadkill and they are feeling the pain and emotion felt by the seemingly insignificant squirrel in its last moments of life.

So Can You Spot One?

The point is, the empath could be someone in your daily life. They could be a stranger passing by. Or they could be your very average-looking waitress or mail carrier. They carry immense knowledge and struggle day in and day out to get through social gatherings. To you, they may just seem quirky but you may never know exactly what they are dealing with.

It is time to rethink the stereotypes associated with empathic people. Rid your mind of the negativity that may accompany the word. Release the fears of what you do not understand. And begin to consider that we are all around, just trying to get through the storm of daily energies.

So the next time you walk through the mall or lounge in a public park, look around. Observe. Look at all types and faces and ask yourself:

Can I spot the empath?

Are you an empath?

Are you an empath?

See results

Can You Spot the Empath? - Tell us your thoughts

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    5 years ago

    Myself, my fiance and his twin (we were all born on the same day mind you) are all empaths on different levels. I can sense stress and negativity and take it as my own, my fiance can feel emotions and actually help others release their bad emotions (take them on himself) if he can handle it, and his sister can feel someone's emotions, but is best at feeling someone's physical pain.


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