In recent years, being an “empath” has become somewhat of a buzzword.
A lot of people have been claiming they are empaths to manipulate others.
Sometimes, they even feign a kind, compassionate facade, or even avoid accountability by posing as an “empath.”
There are so many of these people that I’m sure you’ve encountered at least one of them.
But what does it truly mean to be an empath?
In order to understand what an empath truly is, we must first look at the feelings empaths feel.
Think you might be one of them? Read to learn more!
1) Caring deeply about others
Have you ever been described as caring and compassionate?
If so, you might be an empath.
Empaths care very deeply about others, often too much.
Whether it’s a loved one, a stranger, or even stray pets in the street, they just can’t help but feel a very deep caring to the world and everything in it.
Be careful, though: caring too much about others can also hurt, especially when you realize it’s not reciprocated.
However, even if people don’t reciprocate the type of caring that you have for them, you find yourself unable to hate or even dislike them.
This is due to empaths having a profound understanding of other people.
2) Profound understanding
As an empath, you are unable to feel feelings of hatred or dislike towards others, even if they’ve done you wrong.
Even if you want to hate them, you just can’t, which can often feel incredibly frustrating.
But why is this?
Because you understand the motivations behind their actions.
Maybe you even take into consideration the trauma that they’ve experienced in the past that led them to behave badly.
Whatever it is, you never fail to try to understand the factors that drive people to behave the way they do.
3) Overwhelming emotions
Being an empath is both a blessing and a curse.
While it is truly a blessing to understand others on such a deep level, it can also be a curse to always have to feel other people’s feelings, including their pain.
The word “empath” actually came from the Greek word “pathos” which can be translated in English as “passion” or “suffering.”
And being an empath, more often than you’d like, often results in suffering.
Because you feel everything so deeply, these emotions can often be overwhelming, especially since you don’t only feel your own emotions—you feel that of others, too.
This means when they are suffering, you also suffer.
When they’re in pain, you, too, are in pain.
When they are struggling, you also carry the burden of their struggles.
This can often lead to you feeling emotionally drained.
4) Tendency to feel emotionally drained
Empaths have a tendency to feel emotionally drained.
This is because you absorb the feelings of those around you, including their pain and suffering—almost like an emotional sponge.
When you take into account how deeply you feel the feelings of those around you, this is not really surprising, isn’t it?
It’s why being an empath can often be a curse, as it can also damage you emotionally.
However, it can also be a blessing in disguise, because being an empath means you have an overflowing amount of love in your heart.
5) Overflowing love
For you, loving is as easy as breathing.
You have a lot of very close friends because you never fail to let the people around you know just how much you love them.
Sadly, this might be because you know how it feels to feel unloved, which is why you give that much love to others.
But on the bright side of things, you know it’s never really wrong to give love to others.
After all, it’s love that makes the world go round!
6) The desire to help others
Because you feel the pain and suffering of others so deeply, you also have a great desire to help them get out of that suffering.
Other than the fact that you feel the struggles of others as if they were yours, you desire greatly to help others because you know how it feels to be in pain and have no one around to help you.
How helpless you felt when you were at rock bottom but no one was around to help pull you out of it.
Rather than feeling spiteful towards the world for not being able to help you when you were struggling, you feel the opposite.
You don’t want others to ever feel the way you did, which is why you want to help others to the best of your ability.
7) Dislike of conflict
Conflict entails misunderstanding between two parties, and usually a tendency for both parties to detest the other.
And you really dread conflict. In fact, you probably avoid it as much as you can.
Of course, conflict is an indispensable part of life and can actually be healthy sometimes, but you just don’t like it.
This is because as an empath, conflict stresses you so much.
And because you’re more sensitive than most people, you also easily get hurt.
It’s just so complicated to be in the middle of something that has so many feelings involved, because you’re not only dealing with your own feelings—you’re dealing with the feelings of the other party, too.
And it can cut deep when your intuition tells you they hate you.
8) Strong intuition
Do you feel like you can tell what a person is like just by looking at them? Or how a situation will turn out before it even happens?
This is because empaths usually have strong intuition.
Your strong intuition helps you see when someone is lying, because you can easily pick up on the subtle cues that suggest that they are, in fact, lying.
It also helps you understand others and offer proper advice to others when they’re struggling, because your intuition helps you understand how they’re feeling.
However, while it makes you feel special to understand the feelings of others the way no one can, it can also make you feel lonely, because no one can understand the way you feel the way you do.
Empaths often tend to feel very lonely.
In a highly individualistic world where most people only care about themselves, it can feel quite isolating to be the only one who cares for others.
You care so deeply about others, but who cares deeply about you?
This is why when an empath meets another empath, it can feel quite magical—as if it’s the two of you against a cold, uncaring world.
10) Preference to be alone
Crowds can be overwhelming for empaths.
A room full of people, busting with different feelings and emotions?
No, thanks! You’d probably rather be alone.
While you believe it is your purpose to help others as an empath, most of the time, you’d really rather be alone because crowds are overwhelming.
Living as an empath
Being an empath can be both a blessing and a curse. While it is special to be blessed as an empath, what do you do when it feels like a curse?
Here are some tips on how to deal with being an empath.
1) Set clear boundaries
Yes, you want to help everyone to the best of your ability—but remember not to do this to the point of self-destruction.
Helping others is noble, but remember that taking care of yourself and putting yourself first is just as important.
After all, how can you help others when you can’t even help yourself?
How are you going to change lives if you can’t even change your own?
This is why it’s so important to spend time on your own, too.
2) Spend time by yourself
If crowds and people overwhelm and drain you, it is important that you find time by yourself.
Having time on your own can replenish your energy and protect you from the feelings of others.
Spend time doing your hobbies, watching your favorite shows, and reading your favorite books.
Taking time for yourself for at least a couple hours every day can prevent you from feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
3) Carefully choose who you spend your time with
As an empath, it is vital that you carefully choose the people that you allow in your life.
This is because with your ability to absorb the feelings of those around you, it is important that you don’t spend too much time with people who have a negative outlook in life—because you will feel that way, too.
By choosing people who are empaths like you or those who have a positive mindset, you’re protecting yourself from negative energy, too.
4) Remember that feeling empathy is a blessing
As humans, it is important that we’re all able to feel empathy.
It helps us understand the needs, desires, and wishes of each other.
But being an empath means you feel this so much more than the average person—and that is a very special thing.
Being able to feel and understand the feelings of others on such a deep level is something not a lot of us are capable of doing.
So while it may be difficult to be an empath sometimes, remember that your abilities make you a very special person.