Tuesday, May 27, 2014

30 traits of an Empath

Copied from a Facebook Post
I'm posting this because I AM an empath. Not just the standard emotional empath but a physical one on top of it. Meaning not only can I feel your emotions, I can feel your physical discomforts. FYI: I worked in an ER for several years, nothing like sharing nausea, vomiting, heart attacks, and motor vehicle accidents!
1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
A "good" empath won't let on though. The most they're going to do is ask if everything is ok. There's nothing more awkward than having someone tell you what you're feeling. As I said, a "good" empath won't do much more than ask if you're ok but a "bad" empath may try to push the issue. 
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
Empath's are often labeled as "introverts" but this isn't always the case. I find that they are usually moderately extroverted and know when they've had enough. I have been accused of being "too" extroverted and needing large groups of people to keep my energy up. I find just the opposite to be true, with the exception of the large group being close friends and/or family.  
3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.

An unfortunate truth. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between YOUR feelings and those of the people around you. Uncontrolled mood swings can, and often do, happen.
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.

I have not had mainstream TV in my home since before 2001. I listen to public radio for my international news, online newspapers and TV stations for information that pertains or interests me, and my local newspapers to keep me up to date with local information (which is more a gossip column than hard news). I enjoy movies but tend to stay away from horror and psychological thrillers and lean more toward comedies, the occasional feel good action flick, and LOTS of animated movies!
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.

This is most uncomfortable with friends and family but quite helpful in my work. Having worked with me in the afore mentioned ER, my current boss is well aware of my empathic abilities and will often ask me if someone is lying, bending the truth, or being honest. 
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they're closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.

Or, as in my case, you may pick up symptoms of complete strangers. 
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.

I CANNOT STRESS GROUNDING ENOUGH!!
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.

To elaborate more, there is a personality type called "the victim". "The victim" subconsciously seeks out situations that put them in this position. "Victim" personalities tend to seek out empaths to be their anchor. They require great amounts of energy and will "feed" off their empath if able.  
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they're not careful can end up as their own.

As one of my friends once said, "Sue, you just attract the crazies." For some people all it takes is a smile and they're telling me their life story. People will often tell me things that they don't mean to. An acquaintance at work once told me that I was so easy to talk to and that she had shared things with me that she hadn't shared with anyone else. 
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.

ME = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (I do so love authors who expect you to understand medical terminology. I work with it daily and still had to look this one up.) Again, I cannot stress the importance of grounding enough. Regular visits to a trusted fellow empath or energy healer will also help you to clear out the build up of residual energy sludge. 
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.

Not all addictions are so...mainstream... I know many empaths (because contrary to the scientific principle, like attracts like) who are addicted to fantasy: books, comics, LARP (live action role playing), video games. It is a small world in which they can control OR one in which there are strict rules which make it safe. 
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they've studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.

The best healers are empaths, this is well known in healing circles. What is less well known is that the best healers die young often from terrible wasting diseases like cancer. Yet again, grounding before, during, and after these encounters are important. 
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.

No need to elaborate. 
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.

Animals are natural empaths and healers. They lend energy, help to ground, and will often counteract or sever energy draining links. 
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.

I love gatherings, especially with friends and family. However, after two days straight of parties this Memorial Day weekend, all I and my son wanted was to stay home, snuggle with the dog and cat, and lay low. 
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.

Recently my mother told me that if I had applied myself in school I would have had better grades than my sister (who was third in her class, I was around 12th). School was, for the most part, boring. I either caught on to concepts quickly or had no interest in the subject. My junior year in high school I had a teacher that my brother (8 years) and my uncle (5 years) had before. And like the two older members of my family, I napped during his lectures. One day, frustrated with me, he spent several minutes putting a large equation on the board. He barked out my last name and asked me to complete it, which I did in about half the time it took for him to do it then returned to my seat and nap. Apparently, he spent several more minutes attempting to find my error (there wasn't any) and another couple glaring at me. 
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.

The strongest empaths in my aquaintance, myself included, have a difficult time with relationships I believe due to both this and #16. 
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.

This drives my 8 year old nuts! He cannot lie to me even though most everyone else believes him.
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.

Like my searching for what ME meant in #10.
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.

At the same time, they need to know where their roots are. No matter how free they often wander back home on regular occasions. 
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.

Um....partially true...for me anyway. My WORK space must be uncluttered but the rest of my house is fair game. When it gets too cluttered I spend a day cleaning. 
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.

....hmmm....what? I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention.
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.

My son has some autistic tendancies, one is the need for a schedule. *shudder* I often hear, "But you said we'd do X after Y!" 
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.

Yes! So very true. 
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

Also true, though I would personally amend that to a location they trust. If I feel protected I tend to share more about myself. I'm more likely to talk about myself in my office than in a store.
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.

One I feel strongly about. I have NO patience for people like this. When someone calls my office demanding to see the doctor NOW I often remind them that so do others and they will have to wait their turn, if they don't like it there are other health care facilities they can go to.
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.

Last Wednesday was a Monday. I don't care what the calendar says, it was energetically a Monday. 
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.

I COMPLETELY disagree with this one. I HATE new houses! They're...empty. No matter how much stuff you put in it, it's just a big empty building. If a house was filled with love that love remains as long as the house stands, and sometimes long after it falls. The same goes for negativity. I often buy used. I've never owned a new car. My house is about 150 years old. None of my furniture is new. Many of my magickal tools are used. Why? because their energy was good. Because when I touched it my hand warmed, happy images filled my head, and love filled my heart. We are sensitive to these energies and will stay away from places that are full of negativity but be drawn to those that are positive. 
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.

I do know some empaths like this. I have a more practical outlook. Having been raised on a farm I understood the circle of life at a very young age. In my philosophy eating meat is what we do, we are omnivores. Our bodies were designed to ingest meat in order to live.  I know, not very New Age-y is it? I got into a HUGE fight during one of my undergrad Alternative Med courses because some of the students told me that I was unhealthy because I ate meat. I let them have it! Eating meat was less healthy than binge drinking 3-4 days a week and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day (an abbreviated version of what I said). By the time I was done they were all looking shame faced and the teacher was applauding. 
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.

Funny, my boss and I JUST had this discussion in the past month. 
If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath
Empaths are having a particularly difficult time at the present time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emanated into the world from the populace.