Looking at the signs, triggers, & types.
How to be the best version of yourself if you are an Empath.
So how do you know if you are an empath? In recent years I have realised that this is a trait in my own personality. I always knew I was a caring person but I didn't understand the true meaning of an empath, nor did the word itself ever enter into my thought process. It was only later on in my own healing journey that I started to hear about empaths and all the attributes connected with them. I first remember the signs of stress and burnout within me in my late teens and I continued to struggle with this up until my 40's, when there was a definite shift in my thought process. It was at this time that I started to hear about 'Empaths' and realised that I myself fitted into this bracket. Its not a simple bracket but an encompassing range of traits of which you may have a few or many.
In my practice I come across many people of whom I can see the traits of an Empath. It's such a beautiful personality trait, for it helps us connect with others. We see people as fellow human beings with hopes, dreams, and fears, just like us. It can be an assistance in resolving conflicts peacefully, not just seeing someone as an adversary, but as another human being who is deserving of respect and understanding. It helps to build strong relationships. Empathy can make the world a better place when used mindfully.
Empathy is the ability to connect with and understand the feelings of others on a deep level. You put yourself in their shoes and can see things from their perspective. You feel 'with them' not 'for them' (this would be considered sympathy). It is really a deep emotional connection.
Empaths not only sense the feelings in another, they can also read their intentions without the other showing any outward clues. They see beyond 'a mask', knowing more than people reveal..." - Diane Kathrine
So What Are The Signs?
So how do you know if you or someone else is an Empath? Well there are some signs that will help you recognise these people. I'll keep this section concise and simple (I'm sure you don't want to be reading through reems of stuff!!). You may recognise a few, a lot, or all, of these traits in yourself or in others.
You feel everything deeply
You cry when others cry
You pick up on vibes instantly
Friends often ask you for advice
You worry what others think of you
You feed off of others energy
You have many highs and lows
Social situations leave you physically drained
You are highly sensitive
You are a natural healer
You treat your pets like humans
You put others needs above your own
Your emotions have made you physically ill
Your love is over the top
You are a human lie detector
You prefer deep conversations over small talk
You overthink everything
The news is painful to watch
You absorb emotions
Commercials make you cry
You're a great listener
So what situations do Empaths not like to be in? Below are just a few situations that Empaths will want to avoid.
Other people's extreme pain
These situations can be overwhelming and stressful for Empaths and personally these situations have often made me react in various way. I have experienced panic attacks. I have retreated into a shell and hid for days/weeks. I have lashed out and attacked in a state of heightened adrenaline, bringing forward our basic 'fight or flight' response. Ultimately all have upset me, but understanding that these are triggers for an Empath have helped me understand and acknowledge my own personal needs and also not personally flagellate myself for blowing a fuse and upsetting someone. Nowadays I have a better understanding of my own needs and boundaries and find I can handle these triggers in a much calmer manner.
Types (The 6 you should know about!)
While doing a little reading on the different types I have discovered that many people have different thoughts on this. From a simplistic point of view there are 3 types - Physical Empaths, Emotional Empaths, & Intuitive Empaths, but personally I have to say I like the list of 6 below as they broaden the scope just a little bit more and somehow I relate to it better. There are some who suggest that perhaps there are more than 6. You might want to do a little more research on that but for this blog I wanted to keep things pretty simple!
The Emotional Empath - Absorbs the emotions and sorrow of others as if it was their own.
The Physical Empath - Feels and absorbs pain and symptoms of others physically.
The Geomantic Empath - Has fine attunement to physical landscapes such as a place, house, or country.
The Earth Empath - Is closely connected to Earth and Nature and feels when things such as weather and ocean's tides change.
The Intuitive Empath - Is in tune with their inner state and lets their intuition lead the way.
The Animal Empath - Is able to feel and understand the emotions of animals.
I have to say I know at least 1 person for each of these types. Can you see these types in yourself or anyone close to you?
How to be the best version of yourself if you are an Empath.
Personally for me its all about 'Protection'. We must learn to protect ourselves and our energies as Empaths. But before that we must heal. By our very nature we have absorbed so much energy from external sources and often there are years of hurt and trauma that need to be brought forward and processed. A lot of Energy Healing Modalities talk about 'Cellular Memory', where at a cellular level we remember, and store, hurts, traumas, pain, etc. We need to work on ourselves and heal to increase our 'Life-force Energy' so that we can come from a better place within ourselves to cope with and deal with life circumstances. When we are coming from a place of positive vitality and energy it is easier to have the strength to consider ourselves and our own personal needs.
At times Empathy can become a curse, and lead to burnout and exhaustion, if you are not acutely aware of your own personal needs. And along with this awareness you need to be strong enough to implement your personal needs. This strength very often comes from having walked a path of personal healing.
Being an Empath means that you feel other people's energies and moods. Empaths are highly intuitive and have a great ability to help others. When someone takes advantage of them and drain their energy it can be detrimental to their wellbeing.
Empaths do have trouble fitting in but are not necessarily reclusive. They rather be in the company of those they trust. After large social gatherings they need time to reenergise and recover as they tend to absorb the energies of the room.
Empaths are sensitive people and are acutely aware of the following;
Know when you are lying
Can feel toxic energy approaching
Are very connected to their partners emotions
Need lots of time alone to recharge
Are extremely hard to manipulate
It is so important that we recognise and understand our personalities. Know what makes you tick, know what (or 'who' sometimes) triggers heightened emotions, and be prepared for them all coming up for you to face. We are all happy to know the positive aspects of ourselves and our personalities. The negative aspects of ourselves are harder pills to swallow. I recently discovered Enneagram personalities (very interesting and I would recommend you looking at these). I read a book detailing the personality numbers, and knowing my own personal number I took a look. It showed the positive and the negative. I will admit the negative was a tough read. Who wants to know all the negative traits about themselves!! But it was also a hugely helpful read to help me accept and deal with these traits to improve on those things I was definitely guilty of. It provided me an opportunity for growth and self development. At this stage in my life it was what I needed to understand myself and my needs and to develop further by seeing the empathy that I have as positive and not the curse that I so often felt it was. It was now a positive, as I realised, that I could have empathy without depleting myself energetically.
So now I come to protection. In order to prevent my own energy depletion I have had to be mindful of myself and tune in to where I am at. Obviously this changes regularly, but this has become of huge importance, more so when energetically I felt I was depleting. I have started to recognise this and set boundaries for myself. Almost like a shield of protection. I try to do this in the most loving way. Some individuals are unaware I am doing this whereas others do notice. Sometimes it is done in a direct way that can't go unnoticed. It may surprise individuals as they get used to the new boundaries I set but I trust that those who understand, love, and respect me will accept these changes and see them as a positive for me. Something I need to do for my own personal wellbeing.
Many who know me well know that I connect greatly with the Angelic Realms and for me this offers a wonderful aid in providing energetic protection for me both personally and professionally. I trust my Angels deeply and know that they have my back. I connect to receive messages and I have never been misguided. You can, of course, also connect to the beautiful Angels and Archangels that surround us. They are always waiting for us to ask for their assistance. You can ask for them to surround you in a bubble of protection, keeping you safe energetically. If you connect with a particular Archangel you can ask for their assistance. I will share my own Prayer of Request for Protection from the Angels but it is only a guide. Do what resonates for you and feels right for you. You cannot do it wrong.
"Angels and Archangels, surround me in a bubble of protection of Golden White Light. Deflect any negative energies that may be directed towards me, off the mirrors you have placed around me, sending them to the Light to be healed. Thank you."
You may also like to wear Crystals of Protection on your person and place them around your home. My home is full of them and I also have a selection of Crystal Jewellery and wear them as I feel drawn to. The piece I wear may differ from day to day but I trust my inner knowing that everyday I will select the correct piece or pieces to get me through my day. Again there is no right or wrong. Do what feels right for you.
Some crystals I use for Protection are;
Labradorite (my favourite crystal)
Shungite (EMF protection)
Hagstone (technically not a crystal but great for protection)
Positive Affirmations are powerful in working with your thought process and the subconscious mind. It is well proven that the subconscious mind will believe everything you tell it and then feed it back to you as fact. Fill it with positivity, so that it feeds you with positivity. Fill it with methods to self protect so it reminds you to self protect when energetically necessary.
Here is a beautiful Empath Affirmation that really resonated with me.
Empath Affirmation - "I will protect my energy around draining people. I will learn how to set healthy boundaries. I will learn to say "no" at the right times. I will listen to my intuition about relationships that are nurturing for me". - Judith Orloff, MD. The Empath's Survival Guide, page 128.
And so... A final few words.
I am by no means an expert on personalities and these are just my own meandering thoughts and opinions about Empaths (with a little help from Google!). Like everything in life it's important to form your own thoughts and opinions on any matter. There is a wealth of information available, from experts, if you would like more information. I hope you have found this blog both informative and helpful. I wish you all peace, happiness, and love. Namaste.