10 Traits of an Empath.

Do you find that you are more attuned to other people’s emotions? More so than they are? 

If so, you might be an empath. The term empath comes from the word empathy–the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. While most of us can be empathetic towards someone, empaths absorb and live in the emotional milieu of that person. This strange superpower has its pros and cons. Even though empaths can absorb emotions, they cannot control which emotions they open themselves to. Hence, they are likely to feel distressed or overwhelmed. 

If these points sound familiar, here are ten signs that you might be an empath.

  • You are sensitive.
George Gvaslia via Unsplash

You might feel more sensitive to stimuli, be it emotional or sensory. Emotionally, you are open, nurturing, and unfathomably kind. You have often been told that you are a good listener or a loyal friend. This is most likely because you feel deeply and put your heart into everything you do. However, this can sometimes comes with backlash. Other people’s comments can affect you more than you would like and as a result you feel easily hurt. Growing up, people may have often told you to “toughen up.” 

Because your antenna is always receiving information, you may also sensitive to environmental stimuli. Suddne sounds are jarring and strong smells bother you. Additionally, if you are feeling particularly sensitive, environmental stimuli can also affect your emtions– often triggering memories or strong reactions.  

  • You are good at reading people.

Empaths are great at reading people. This means that you will know more about a person and what they are likely to do in a situation. It can be a bit scary for someone who just met you, but it is probably because you are able to quickly gauge their emotions

  • You might feel like you do not fit in.

Though you are great at understanding others, you sometimes feel misunderstood. Because you are a bit sensitive, you do not open up easily to others. Also, if you were to open up, you wouldn’t know how to accuarately explain what is going. Hence, like many empaths, you choose to keep your feelings to yourself. Many empaths are private and reluctant to share their intuitions, and you might too. 

  • You seek to maintain harmony. 

If you feel like you are an empaths, you might actively avoid conflicts. Or, try to solve them. You might find conflicts to emotional minefields– situations filled with negative energy. You often avoid conflicts not only because of the negative vibe but also because you might get unecessarily hurt. An off-handed remark of critique may feel too personal.  

Additionally, conflicts are even more distressing because you are likely absorbing the emotions of others. 

  • You are creative.
 Jr Korpa via Unsplash

Not every empath is inclined to be a creative, but some of them are. Because you are relcutant to open up to others, you tend to understand and express yourself through a creative medium. Whether it is painting, writing, or singing, you feel more comfortable transcribing your emotions onto something rather than confronting them with someone.

Additionally, many empaths gather inspiration from the outside world and combine their unique perspective on ideas to create things that others might not have thought of.

  • You take relationships slow. 

This does not mean that you are incapable of having an intimate relationship. It means, that for some empaths, being in an intimate relationship can be overwhelming, so they prefer to take things a bit more slowly.

Because you are tuned into what your partner is feeling, you might fear losing your identity or becoing engulfed with someone else’s needs. For an empath, that is a real and valid fear. However, do not let this fear preclude you from having a healthy relationship. Set some personal boundaries and talk to your partner about what you both want and need from the relationship. Having this conversation will help you both figure out how to navigate your relationship.

  • You are daydreamers.

Although empaths are great listeners, they are not good with small talk. You often zone out and daydream during small talk. For example, a friend could be talking about their workday, and you are internally going through an old conversation or trying to figure out the meaning of what someone told them. Also, if the conversation turns boring, you drift off into your own world. 

  • You need alone time.

Most empaths coincidentally are introverts. Since empaths are receptive to other people’s emotions, being around too many people is emotionally exhausting. In these situations, you feel overwhelmed in a noisy and crowded environment especially if there is a diagreement happening somewhere. These sensory and emotional overloads can sometimes cause you to feel physically sick. If you ever find yourself that situation, go somewhere quite

Empaths take solace in their own company or in the company of a select few, so large parties are a no. Never feel pressured to do something that you know you will not enjoy.

  • Empaths love and respect nature.
 Andreas Gücklhorn via Unsplash

A place you might really enjoy is nature. You feel at ease in nature and therefore may have even developed a pseudo-spiritual relationship with nature. Empaths take refuge in the presence of nature because it allows them a chance to connect with themselves and enjoy the quiet. The bustle of everyday life is overwhelming for empaths. Nature helps restores you, so you try to find any opportunity to be out in a quiet area.

  • You are free-spirited. 

You find routines and rules debilitating and much rather prefer to go with the flow and do things at your own speed. Most empaths prefer a job that is stimulating and makes them feel like their input is valued. Droning on eight hours in a cubicle will feel like the opposite. Career wise, you might be attracted to jobs where you feel like you can express yourself and it provides you freedom to do what you want.

Against the waves of emotions and energies, it easy for an empath to feel overwhelmed. However, there are self-care tips that can help. Setting boundaries and limits on people who drain you, meditation, and going out in nature can help you center yourself and take yourself. 

If you are an empath, remember to honor and meet your needs before you care for anyone else. 

Additional Sources:

  • BrainyQuotes. “10 Traits Of An Empath – Signs You Are A Highly Sensitive Person.” YouTube, Brainy Quotes, 24 Feb. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm0fdMv-lQE.
  • Dalia, Suzan. “These Are The 10 Traits of An Empath You Should Know About.” MindFullfillmentality, 25 Sept. 2019, www.mindfullfillmentality.com/2019/09/these-are-10-traits-of-empathic-you.html.
  • Orloff, Judith. 10 Traits Empathic People Share. 19 Feb. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-freedom/201602/10-traits-empathic-people-share.
  • Raypole, Crystal, and Timothy J. Legg. “15 Signs You Might Be an Empath.” Healthline, Healthline, 24 Nov. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/what-is-an-empath.

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