These 9 traits of an empath will help you understand whether you’re attuned to reading and absorbing the energy of other people. Being an empath is a lot more common than people may think. The reason why people don’t consider themselves as empaths is that they didn’t know such a term exists – not because they’re not aware of their high sensitivity.
What is an Empath?
Being an empath means that you’re very sensitive to the energies of other people and also of places, situations, or even the past.
Thus you can feel energy which isn’t yours in your body, and you think that it is you.
All of a sudden your mood can completely change without any logical reason. The worst places for empaths are places with a high concentration of people – shopping malls, airports, tourist places, but it can also be big office spaces, etc.
What happens there is that you take in energy and also problems from others and you feel it in your body, thus you think that it’s YOU who feels bad.
But this isn’t true.
These thoughts and emotions aren’t yours. You can just simply feel what other people feel.
If your moods change unexpectedly, know that there is nothing wrong with you. Absolutely nothing.
But I know how easy is to blame yourself when your mood changes abruptly. Your friends or family can think that you’re too sensitive and moody and they can make you feel guilty. Especially if they aren’t empaths themselves, it’s easy to misunderstand each other.
Yet I’d like you to think about your sensitivity as a gift.
How to Use It As a Gift?
I like to think of being an empath as having a sixth sense. When you know how to take care of your energies, it becomes much easier. You can read an article about 12 ways how to protect yourself as an empath here.
With this gift, you don’t need to count on what people tell you. You don’t need them to explain to you anything because often you can read them better than they can read themselves.
So you can immediately tell if someone lies, manipulates, or controls you. This is especially useful when you deal with energy vampires (you can read about how to protect yourself from energy vampires here).
Or you know which places to avoid as the energies are not beneficial and may cause you to have negative thoughts as a result (the negative thoughts are the result of picking up the negative energy and thought patterns of a certain place).
But how can you tell with certainty that you’re an empath?
These are the 9 Traits of an Empath
1. What do your friends say about you?
One of the traits of an empath is fast swings in mood. If you’re an empath, then it’s very likely that your family or friends call you too moody or too emotional.
They may even make fun of you and tease you. As a result, you feel like there is something wrong with your sensitivity. When in fact, you need to learn how to stabilize your energy.
2. Are you a lone wolf?
Do you prefer to spend time alone regularly?
Searching for time alone is a natural effect of taking in too much energy from other people. When it gets overwhelming, you need to be alone to clean it. Otherwise, you feel easily irritated, sad, or overwhelmed.
You do this unconsciously without realizing that you’re protecting yourself.
But you can judge yourself for not being social enough or being an introvert (although this doesn’t have to imply that you’re an introvert).
3. You feel like no one understands you
One of the key traits of an empath is feeling like an alien. Often you feel like an outsider and completely lonely. Many empaths feel like aliens among others.
Often, it’s true that other people don’t understand you. But you need to know precisely why they don’t!
The reason is that you unconsciously take in so many energies, traits, behaviors, thoughts of others that you’re like multiple personalities in one. This is difficult to read for people who don’t experience this at such a big scale.
They feel confused by your behavior as you let outside energy take over you which can alter your behavior.
So don’t try to make them understand you but instead try to understand yourself first. Think about who you are (without the outside energy).
You have to become your best friend and walk yourself through the process of mastering your gift.
4. You experience many negative patterns
This trait of an empath can be a slippery slope as everyone experiences family and social conditioning which leads to creating patterns of behavior that are often painful.
But from being an empath myself and working with many others, I’ve noticed that empaths experience very severe negative family patterns.
It’s not uncommon that they take in the family problems so they can assist in healing them. This is done unconsciously of course.
An interesting fact is that many people don’t heal because they want to help their parents. Even if you ask them, they don’t want to let go of their issues because they believe that by sharing the pain they can make it easier for people they love.
On the one hand, this is true that they can make it a bit more bearable for others. On the other hand, the only way how to help someone is to heal yourself, and then the common patterns may get lighter for the other person as well.
Sharing pain often creates more suffering which is something challenging fact to accept for many people. As we misinterpret healing ourselves first with being selfish. When indeed it’s the least selfish thing to do.
5. Your friends take you down easily
When you meet your friends who are cheerful, it’s effortless for you to feel good too. But if you see a friend who has experienced some pain recently – let’s say a breakup – you feel much worse after you leave.
Before meeting your friend, you could have had a good mood, but as you talked about all the negative things they’d been through, you feel miserable at the end of your conversation.
It’s also very likely that your friend tells you that they feel much better now and that it was good to talk. Yes, it was for them but not so much for you as you took in their negative energy.
I don’t suggest you stop meeting people who aren’t happy as this is impossible and not needed. But it’s very crucial that you learn to balance your energy so that it doesn’t affect you.
You can still help people, and your capacity with balanced energy is much greater, but it shouldn’t take you off your balance.
6. You get easily sick
As an empath, you can also take on illnesses – or shadow illnesses as I call them. You can recreate similar conditions in your body as someone else has. Or you can take it their diseases entirely, so they become miraculously healed while you feel sick.
With the shadow illnesses, you can have the same symptoms as another person, but the doctors tell you that they haven’t found any cause. Well, they can’t because you’ve created the symptoms by the power of your mind.
I used to be sick very often since I was little. Anytime I heard about someone’s disease I would soon develop similar symptoms. I thought that I had poor health until I realized what I was unconsciously doing.
Since then I’m very rarely ill and even less so since I have my own business as a coach. I’d still pick up other people’s health issues when I was working in an open space.
I also know many empaths who aren’t aware of the fact that they’re empaths. Very often, they have angina despite the fact that they eat healthily, have a balanced lifestyle, and exercise regularly.
I don’t say that there aren’t real and severe illnesses, but as an empath, you’ve probably been ill repeatedly without any apparent cause.
7. Other people share their problems with you often
Other people know intuitively that you’re an empath and that you can understand them and relieve their burdens.
So they come to you whenever they have problems. And it’s tough for you to say no. Actually for an empath, saying no and prioritizing themselves is something so challenging that many never learn it.
It can also happen to you that certain friends contact you only when they feel down. But once they’re fine, they don’t need you anymore. Thus creating healthy boundaries is crucial for you.
8. You’re interested in spirituality and healing
Every empath has the natural ability to become a good healer (not just physical but any kind of healer depending on the individual). Therefore you feel drawn to healing and reading about spiritual things.
But on the other hand, only a few become healers for the rest of their lives as you take it the energy of others which can become too much if you’re in everyday contact with issues of other people.
You’re also keen on self-help books, metaphysical studies, philosophy, and just anything which can give you more answers about the purpose of life and yourself.
9. You need constant change
You easily get bored, and you dislike routines and commitments. You feel like stability and doing the same things weighs you down.
Therefore you have also problems respecting people who try to impose their will on you. Although you do very often what they tell you if they make you feel guilty by labeling you as selfish or troublesome.
You often dream of doing new exciting things or visiting new places. This is thanks to your creativity and having high levels of energy generally.