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Am I An Empath Signs That You May Be

Updated on June 19, 2014

What Is An Empath

I used to think that I was just too sensitive. I could go from extremely happy to depressed and crying and not really have a good reason for it. I thought I was bipolar or crazy. I now realize I'm none of those things. I have discovered that I am an Empath.

When people tell me their problems, I literally take on the feelings that are associated with whatever they are feeling. I don't just feel sorry for them, I truly feel the sadness they are feeling. I can't stop thinking about it for days, and it can become overwhelming. Conversely, when someone is upbeat and happy, I feel the same.

When my kids were young I spent most of my time with them, so I thought it was just a motherly protection thing. When you have 4 kids you know there is a lot of drama around you. When my kids would have problems with friends or school, I would feel so sad for them, I really just thought all mothers feel that connection with their kids and to some degree they do. But it is more than that, I feel it so deeply that I can't distinguish their feelings from my own. I can become so sad and depressed that I can't function.

From what I have read an Empath is someone who takes on other peoples feeling as their own. We are like a sponge, soaking in all the energy around us, both positive and negative.

An Incident I Experienced

When my son was in Middle School, a female friend of his and her little sister were struck by a car when crossing the highway and killed. They were members of our church and my son was pretty close friends with her. I really didn't know the girls personally, except to see them running in the halls of church, or the older one sitting with my son on the front lawn of school or church. When we heard about it, everyone in town was quite upset, but my son didn't seem that upset about it. I couldn't understand why it didn't bother him more. I couldn't stop thinking about it and how devastated their parents must be. I felt physically ill for quite a while, as if my own kids had died.

A few months passed and I hadn't thought about it for a while. One day I was painting my kitchen and suddenly I started thinking about it again and I just broke down. The feelings were so intense.

The family had put up 2 crosses where it happened and I had to see them every time I went to town. I had to see their faces in my mind all over again. It just made the feelings come back every time I passed those crosses.

When I Realized I Might Be An Empath

As my kids got older and began to get out and do their own thing, I started to make more friends and spend more time with people other than my kids. I gradually began to notice that I was doing the same thing with my friends, that I had done with my kids. Their feelings began to become my feelings.

Now that I am associating with more people, I have noticed that not everyone is empathetic. I have began to see that other people can hear your problems and not be affected so dramatically. The majority of people can have sympathy, without being devastated the way I am. I have even noticed some people have no reaction at all. That is when I started to realize that maybe there was something different about me.

I don't enjoy being like this. I feel too many emotions that I can't explain. I can go from feeling sad, depressed or angry to happy or ecstatic and don't even know why. For a while I thought I was bipolar or something, but after much research, I have come to the conclusion that I am an Empath. My emotions are controlled by the people around me. So if I'm with someone who is in a good mood, then I am in a good mood. If someone is depressed, I am depressed. Maybe that's why when I was younger I would just have a few close friends and often just wanted to spend time alone. I felt better when no one else was around to share their feelings with me.

The problem is that I am so busy feeling everyone else's feelings and emotions that I neglect my own. I spend a good majority of my time trying to solve other peoples problems because I need to make them feel better, so I can feel better. I didn't know that this was not normal, I thought most people felt the same.

Traits of an Empath

  • Good listeners
  • Neglect their own needs
  • Somewhat loners
  • Emotional, cry easily
  • Tend to be very open with others
  • Empathetic to animals, plants etc
  • Usually drawn to nature
  • Sensitive to sad or violent movies or songs
  • Feel overwhelmed or exhausted in crowds
  • Sensitive to excessive noise or talking

Types of Empaths

Protecting Yourself From Other Peoples Energy

We all know people who make us feel drained when we get around them. You aren't always sure why but certain people just tend to take everything out of you. You may find yourself saying "I just don't have the energy to deal with them today."

Stay away from people who drain your energy. People who are always complaining, criticizing or gossiping can share all that negative energy with you making you feel depressed, anxious, angry or emotional.

You probably also know people who just make you feel good. A person who is always happy and upbeat, will leave you feeling energized and happy. Those people who go around with a great attitude and a positive outlook on life are the ones we should be spending more time with. They will share their positive energy with us.

It's not always easy to stay away from negative people. Sometimes family members or close co-workers can have really bad energy and we are forced to be around them. That is when we need to shield ourselves from their bad energy.

There are some things that I have learned to do that can be helpful.

Visualizing an energy barrier around you can be very effective. I close my eyes and visualize a white energy field around my whole body. Give it movement, like it's encircling your body, keeping any other energy from penetrating it.

Controlling your breath can also be very helpful. As you inhale, visualize that you are breathing in good energy. Feel it going all through your body and pushing the bad energy out. As you exhale, visualize that all the bad energy is exiting your body.

When someone starts gossiping or talking negatively, try countering what they are saying with positive responses. This will usually stop them or make them move on to someone else that will let them share their bad energy. This is probably the most helpful thing you can do to protect your energy field.

Burning Sage to Get Rid of Negative Energy

Smudging Can Rid Your Home of Negative Energy

Smudging is a ritual used by many ancient cultures to get rid of negative energy. Smudging is done by burning certain herbs that are bundled and made into what is called a smudge stick. The most common herbs used in smudging are White Sage and Sweetgrass. White Sage seems to be the most popular. You can purchase them online at Amazon or Ebay.

The smoke from the smudge stick clears the negative energy from your body, home or any other area that might have negative energy. Reasons you might want to do a smudging are:

  • Moving into a new home. To cleanse the negative energy that may have been left behind by the previous tenants.
  • When you or a family member has been ill.
  • If your feeling sad or depressed.
  • If someone visits you that has negative energy.
  • If certain rooms in your home give you a bad feeling. You should smudge that room.
  • If you have had a altercation with someone in your home.
  • If you bring second hand items into your home, they should be smudged before you bring them in. To remove any negative energy form the previous owner.
  • If your automobile is in an accident, you should smudge it to remove the negative energy.

Making Progress

I have only just begun to apply these suggestions to my own life. I am trying to be more observant of the type of energy people are putting out. In the past, I wasn't paying attention to where the feelings I was having came from. I just thought all my feelings were mine. Now I know that we can all share our energy with those around us. I hope that what I share is positive energy.

It seems pretty easy to read people, if I just pay attention. If I notice people are negative I am trying to keep my distance, or at least try to protect my own energy field from being penetrated. I feel like I am making progress. I am just glad that I now realize which feelings are mine, and which ones might be coming from someone else. I don't feel so confused and I no longer think I'm bipolar or Crazy.


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    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Hmmm...very interesting...I think I might be one!

    • Setab profile image

      Setab 4 years ago

      Thanks, it was very enlightening to realize I was not the only one with these feelings.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 4 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Hello Setab:

      Very interesting article about Empath. I might have to look into smudging the next time that I have visitors with negative energy that drive me crazy