Empaths: Is being an empath a superpower or a super-stressor?

“Empath: You deserve to be fly. Don’t let others mistake your sensitivity for someone who will settle, or live a small story. It’s actually the opposite. You are here to soar”
– Angela Li
The biggest stressor for an empath?  Toxic people, energy vampires and people who swing from one emotional extreme to another.  If you’re naturally sensitive to the emotional and energetic swings that other people experience, you’ll find yourself drained, overwhelmed and incredibly unbalanced.
Many empaths in our community report struggling with GENEROSITY – or a desire so deep to help, save and support other people in our orbit, that we actually end up in an endless loop of disappointment, and feeling let down (often by folks we love most)
Sound familiar?  If so…check out 21 signs you’re an empath.  A short, accurate and fun personality quiz for empathic personality spectrum.

With that out of the way…..welcome, empath! If you’re ready to learn a little about your spiritual journey let’s take a look at 10 types of empaths and see if we can find YOU anywhere on this list below. 

But let’s also talk about what so many empaths in our own community self report as the most challenging elements of their experience as a spiritually sensitive person.

So what do empaths find emotionally challenging that the rest of us seem to handle just fine?

  1.  Empaths tend to have a much higher startle response than “average”.  What does this mean?  Loud noises, crowded places and suffocating spaces are like kryptonite to a spiritually (or emotionally) sensitive person.
  2. Empaths also tend to eschew self absorbed personalities FAR more than most.  While your garden variety narcissist doesn’t really bother most folks, an empath feels the depth of their duplicity, and the stench of their self absorption in a visceral way.  This can lead to headaches, to nausea and a sense of spiritual suffocation that is hard to describe, unless you’ve experienced it.
  3. Empaths (especially those of us with some psychic or precognitive abilities) also find the news, or current events, overwhelming.   (most notably, in difficult times like the ones we’re living through now)  Some empaths can FEEL the future in a way that is hard to describe….and this can lead to feelings of overwhelm that lead many of us to retreat to safe spaces where we can process and absorb what we see….alone.

Then, if you see yourself (or a loved one, friend or family member) in the description below, tell us more in the comments below! (alternatively you can get an empathic life reading here, which will help clarify which of these light worker traits is most prominent in you)

1.Feeling empaths. (emotional sponges, you find other people’s emotions easy to absorb)

2.Introverted empaths. (you feel “lived” and owned by your own emotions, moment to moment, which leads to withdrawal)

3.Dharma driven empaths. (you feel the need to heal the world, to share your gift and to wake up the world with your work)

4.Dreamer empaths. (your strongest skills tend to come out when you sleep – often in lucid dreams and dream visitation experiences, often with loved ones you’ve lost, who have crossed)

5.Bohdhisattva empaths. (you feel the pain of the world, absorb it and seek out solutions to solve the BIG problems we all face together. Your motivations are generally spiritual and selfless – and there is very little “me” focus)

6.Inspirational empaths. (your motivation is generally to cultivate a community and transform a tribe of peers. You are a leader, and others flock to you naturally)

7.Introspective empaths. (you tend to keep your gift to yourself, and think deeply about problems – both your own – your friends, family and even strangers…..YET, other than your close knit soul circle, no one would know the depth of your sensitivity)

8.Energetic empaths. (you pick up on the energy of others, but not always, their emotions. You may feel sleepy – or speedy – simply by being in the presence of others whose bodily energy you absorb)

9.Aura empaths. (you may have all of the traits above – or some of theme – but you see, feel, or even taste the aura’s of others. You see, feel; and even speak in “colors”. (you may also  show signs of synesthesia which is the ability to , hear colors, taste sounds, and other blending of senses that only a very small percentage of people will ever understand.

10. Spiritual empaths. (you are a medium – or have the innate ability to feel, sense or see spirit. (note – for those of you who are natural empaths but want to accentuate your “medium” muscle, we recommend “how to talk to spirits” by renowned gifted medium, Michael Martin.

 New: Self Discovery prompts, quizzes and exercises for light workers, empaths, healers and spiritual seekers.

NEW: A crash course for empaths, healers, and spiritual seekers ready to wake up the world with your words…and work. Join us, here!

So what do empaths find emotionally challenging that the rest of us seem to handle just fine?

  1.  Empaths tend to have a much higher startle response than “average”.  What does this mean?  Loud noises, crowded places and suffocating spaces are like kryptonite to a spiritually (or emotionally) sensitive person.
  2. Empaths also tend to eschew self absorbed personalities FAR more than most.  While your garden variety narcissist doesn’t really bother most folks, an empath feels the depth of their duplicity, and the stench of their self absorption in a visceral way.  This can lead to headaches, to nausea and a sense of spiritual suffocation that is hard to describe, unless you’ve experienced it.

For some more resources on empathic traits from around the web, check out some of the other links below.

Has anyone ever told you that you are too sensitive or too emotional? You might belong to a special group of people known as empaths.

Empaths see the world much differently than most.  Empaths tend to absorb the atmosphere, and the energy, of where ever we put ourselves in the world.    Do you have a lot of angry, stressed, anxious people in your life?  If you’re an empath…..the truth is, you’re going to feel their pain.  Quite literally.

So what does it mean to be an empath?

What are Empaths?

Empaths are highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling. Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense. However, the term empath can also be used as a spiritual term, describing an individual with special, psychic abilities to sense the emotions and energies of others. This particular article will focus on the psychological aspects of being an empath.

There are many benefits of being an empath. On the bright side, empaths tend to be excellent friends. They are superb listeners. They consistently show up for friends in times of need. They are big-hearted and generous. Empaths also tend to be highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent.

However, some of the very qualities that make empaths such fantastic friends can be hard on the empaths themselves. Because empaths quite literally feel what their friends are going through, they can become overwhelmed by painful emotions, such as anxiety or anger. Empaths have a tendency to take on the problems of others as their own. It is often difficult for them to set boundaries for themselves and say no, even when too much is being asked of them.

    1. Olytitan

      You don’t need to stick yourself into a box. You grow and change over time and your gifts may as well. Just recognizing what you have is a big step.

  1. I am many of those. I have been told that I am Heyoka Empath .
    Being an Empath is a huge gift and even bigger pain in the arse. Meaning as you all well know…. emotional, mental and physically a drain.
    Thank you for letting me comment.

  2. Riana

    Hi there.
    Thx for this great article .. 🌹
    I know that im an empath, also an energy healer .. found that out as times went by and by always trying to better my knowledge about my gifts .. was alsp told that i have phsycic abilities although i dont work on developing them … maybe due to a lack of knowledge or mentorship .. however the case may be i love the fact that im different than others .. way different .. 🌹❤
    Most of the time i am the following; nr. 1, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – where does ot put me? Do i fall under a specific group or does ot maybe open another door for me on this spiritual journey …?

    Thnx in advance and love and light i send your way. Stay Blessed.


  3. shelly

    my 19yr old daughter has struggled for years with depression, anxiety and etc to the point I was literally thinking of hospitalization just recently. I was talking to a friend of mine today that i havent spoke to in years. I was explaining what was going on with her and he started telling me all these things about empaths, light workers and etc. I never heard of this before and explains so much for her and myself. I am definitely an empath but she is off the charts. my question is how does she go about dealing with this? it is horrible to watch her get so drained, withdraw, just feel so much. how does a full blown empath cope?

    1. Olytitan

      Read what you can and teach your daughter. She is old enough to read those things as well. You could look up “3 key elements” on YouTube. There are several clips on empaths. You can learn a lot for free and he tries to explain how to set your boundaries of thought own energy and recognize things so you don’t let it all in and overwhelm you. Just knowing that everything you feel is not your own can help… Then learn to let it go… Pass. Don’t hold onto it. It’s not always easy. I was sick to my stomach for months off and on over world garbage and human trafficking until I finally got control over it. Some if it is a decision to NOT let the dark affect you. Look up “3 key elements empath”. It’s helpful.

    2. Pam

      Look at crystals that will help block negative energy. I wear a bracelet every day and sometimes add more if I am going to be in a large group. Place protective crystals in her room and around the house.

  4. I don’t know where to start I have so many of these signs I’ve always felt like an different I’m always so understanding and good at solving problems getting along with almost everyone it’s crazy like people can’t lie to me I always pick it up especially people that are close to me like my gf for example I even get weird feelings when things ain’t right in my relationship are when they about to go side ways and I always wonder how but now I’m sure I’m different from most

  5. Well I am an empath and I do identify with a lot of these explanation,. But when you start seeing spirits and feel a need to share that with others and they look at you like you just lost it, well you tend to keep much to yourself. I thought I was losing my mind.

    Thank you

  6. Karen Freeman

    I had no idea until reading this that I am a empath from a child. I am always drained especially when I am in large groups of people, I have been a caregiver from youth and I am 60 now.
    Have always felt that need to do what was needed even when I am exhausted.
    I love working with my hands and very artistic, love nature and animals.

  7. Sarah

    It, now explains what I am, and not weird or antisocial or as others say I’m living in a bubble… I feel so much better about myself because I too started to believe I’m not normal. Thank you for this article.

  8. it sucks when I can hear invisible words before they are spoken feel inner vibes see inner actions before time good senses tells me to be quiet or beware or lit it be all is good when common sense applied

  9. Michelle Cruz

    When I was a young child I would cry every now and then not realizing at the time but I was mourning the deaths of my Aunt and my grandmother both related to my mother. Now I know that I was absorbing my mother’s pain. I have always been extremely sensitive. I find myself moved to tears of joy as well as being heart broken over the darkness in this world. Now that I have a name for what I have been living my whole life I know that other people experience what I do, there is comfort in that. I can refine my gift and diminish my suffering by reading the huge amount of knowledge I am so grateful to have discovered.
    Thank you for this article.

    1. Sheyla

      Yes I am an Empath, definitely.
      Yet now stop it I wanna push all my qualities only on Myself cuz I deserve it.
      & stop the Others.
      Stop it.
      Fk it, whatever.
      Yes FK it. Aha yes since I got my power.
      Done . Done and even too long YEARS.
      Thus now Stop it, empathy& free gifts to others,
      time Done.
      THank You World.

  10. Mia

    I am a 1, 2, 7, 8, and sometimes 9. I’ve always felt I was different and just marked it up as somethings wrong with me. I’ve never really felt like I fit in to society norms. When I started learning more about empaths and hsp’s, is when as if a great weight had been taken off of me and I didn’t feel so alone. There are others like me out there in this world? Awesome! I still find it very difficult to go out in public or even family functions. It’s not about not being loved. I know my family loves me. I just don’t know if they understand what I go thru emotionally and physically on a daily

  11. Kori H

    As a very young child, I saw visitors not realizing others didn’t. Finally asking Grams one day why the lady in the corner was never offered coffee, she explained that was her mother ,who I was named after actually, but she was visiting from the angels and only seen by sensitive people. The world has always been draining even when nobody else around, the grass distressed when walked on or when being cut. Water always soothing. Others feelings can easily overwhelm. I learned to use music and reading etc to escape/distract.
    My grown sons struggled growing up with many of the same issues, and many new ones as they are more sensitive, are slowly finding their ways and escapes

  12. Sandra

    I’m for sure 1,3,4,5,6,7,8, still working on this. My abilities have kept myself and loved ones out of danger, which I’m thankful for. More to learn, thanks for the information.!

  13. I’ve always known I was very different, It’s only been in the last 2 years I found there was a name for what I am I used to think I was just crazy . Ever since I can remember I dislike being touched yes I am aware if someone lie’s to me but if they touch me I become physically ill I have all but 1 of the traits of an Empath . I s it a curse ,? Or a blessing ? I’ve learned to embrace both sides.

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