Do you feel immensely influenced by the people’s feelings near you? Are you overly sensitive and feel emotions more than others? You can probably be an empath.
How do I know that? Well, it’s because I happen to be an empath too. I didn’t know that term much until one of my friends casually said: “Peter, you’re such an empath.” Then it hit, am I really one?
As I said, I didn’t know what it meant, so I dug out its meaning, and then everything fell into place. I got all my answers of why I feel too much of others’ emotions, feelings and why intimacy stresses me sometimes.
Who Is An Empath
An empath is a person who gets high attuned to the emotions and feelings of those who are around them. Their feelings about others can go beyond empathy. It extends so much that empaths feel the same level of emotional stress. They feel what another person around them is feeling even more profoundly and emotionally.
Some people consider it as just a term overly sensitive people use to justify them. Though scientists are divided whether or not empaths exist, some describe them as having more mirror neurons than usual.
Do you ask what mirror neurons are? These are the neurons that promote the feeling same emotions as others around. Empaths have more mirror neurons and therefore feel others’ emotions more intensely.
How do you know if you’re an Empath
You have a lot of empathy
The word empath itself is derived from ’empathy’. Empathy is the ability to infer the feelings and experiences of others outside your own experience.
For example, if anyone close to an empath has lost a loved one or relative, they can sense their emotions even though they haven’t gone through the same ordeal.
Empaths, take things a bit more personal. They can sense emotions like they are a part of the ordeal and have had the experience of it. If I define it in simple words, you feel others’ pain or happiness as your own.
Intimacy and closeness can get overwhelming for you
For empaths, close contact, either physical or emotional, can be a bit too much to handle. This makes their relationships rocky and would end up on a bitter note. It happened to me many times until my wife understood who I am and how I feel.
An empath does not run from developing relationships. They even crave a lasting partnership but spend too much emotional energy on that or with anyone who brings them stress. Intimacy can get on their nerves.
Empaths can experience extreme sensory overload during intimate contact. You might notice them flinching, being uncomfortable, and not feeling themselves if a person is excessively touching or talking to them. They also end up hurting their partners or themselves, because they feel their sadness and disappointments on a deeper level. What an irony!
What helps empaths feel better about romantic relationships is to set boundaries. If a person loves an empath, they would know how to deal with them.
You have an impeccable intuition
Have you ever felt a strong git feeling about something being off without apparent reasons? If you’re an empath, most of your intuitions become truth. People ask how does this happen? It’s because empaths can pick subtle cues that give them a clear insight into others’ thought processes. Empaths can pick on lies or dishonesty easily. They can quite easily tell if the other person is being truthful or is blatantly lying.
Others might tag empaths as impulsive, but they put a lot of faith in their intuitions when making important decisions. They trust their instincts which guide them to the choice that is usually right for them or others.
Nature is your ultimate comfort
Spending time in natural settings can be serene and calming. Nature is the best stress reliever, and no one can deny that. However, for empaths, natural settings are their happy places. They are more drawn to nature and connect with it emotionally. It’s because nature brings them calm, a space to unwind from the overwhelming emotions, sensations, and sounds.
Empaths, when surrounded by nature, don’t even need company. They would feel fabulous hiking alone in a beautiful hilly area or watching the sea waves crashing the shore. Even a simple stroll in a garden or sitting under the trees may lift their spirits and help them calm their nerves.
You avoid crowded areas
Empaths absorb energies, both positive and negative, more quickly than others. They can sense if a person is exuding positivity or giving negative vibes just by being around them. When they are in crowded places, this sensitivity towards the energy amplifies double fold, and it eventually becomes unbearable.
In crowded areas, empaths can get easily overwhelmed. As they can sense the emotions of others readily, the ’emotional noise’ in crowded areas becomes too much to handle.
Positive energies and happy emotions are easy to handle, but when a person experiences a load of distressing feelings or emotions that too come from others, they can physically make them unwell.
This is why I and other empaths like me are the most comfortable in our own company or with just a few people. No, we are not introverts; we are just unable to handle a load of emotional stress coming from our surroundings.
‘Not caring’ is never your trait
As an empath, I can say that I not only feel for someone, but I feel their emotions ‘with’ them. It can be burdening as you’ll have to constantly battle with the emotional influx that can be both good and bad.
Empaths connect and feel others’ feelings and emotions so much that they instantly try to help them. We aren’t overly involved; we just want to help. Sometimes helping others isn’t that easy, and it would disappoint an empath so much.
They have this natural inclination of sorting others’ emotions or feelings, even if that means absorbing themselves.
One may say that it’s a good trait; caring and helping others is always a sign of generosity. For empaths, this caring for others can make them overshadow their selves. They find it hard to save the emotional energy for themselves.
You can have a high sensitivity to smell, sounds, and other sensations
The sensitivity of empaths is not just related to emotions. They are generally more sensitive to every factor surrounding them. This could mean that:
- Odors and fragrances affect them more;
- Physical sensations and loud noises can be a greater nuisance to them;
- They prefer to get information by reading if listening to media at a very low volume;
- Certain sounds can significantly trigger their emotional response.
You need time to get recharge
Feeling extreme sensitivity comes with extreme fatigue. Feeling others’ pain to a deeper level can be emotionally draining and physically stressful. Therefore, empaths may often feel fatigued and require more time to recharge than others.
You might think negative feelings and sad emotions are draining. No, that’s not it! For us empaths, a load of positive feelings can be overwhelming too. They need time more than others to reset their minds to be able to feel themselves again.
Emotional overload can lead to burnout, and therefore winding up now and then is essential for empaths. If they don’t give themselves time to relax mentally and physically, they won’t be able to function properly.
Because they need more time to let the stress out of their system, people consider them introverts. Let me tell you, empaths can be extroverts, too.
But our irony is the more we love to spend time with people, the more it gets emotionally draining for us. We need to make the right balance between spending time with people and restoring our mental capacities.
You often feel you don’t belong or fit in
Despite being emotionally attached to others, empaths have difficulty relating to people.
The main issue for them is that people can’t really understand why they feel tired or exhausted more quickly than others. They may feel their emotions aren’t ‘normal,’ which can affect them on a mental level where there are already plenty of emotions. As a result, empaths can be more private. They avoid talking about their sensitivities and intuitions to others.
As an empath, I would say that being able to feel so deeply for others is a divine feeling. However, it can be emotionally draining, which could take a toll on empaths’ mental and physical health.
If you are an empath, you need to keep your boundaries intact. You can’t let emotional overload affect your overall personality. Feelings for others mean you have a good conscience, but feeling for yourself is should always be your priority. That’s all from my side. What about you? Share us in the comments.