I believe everyone, to a certain extent, is sensitive to the energies around them. We hold different levels of empathy. Some may have little while others may have an unbearable amount of empathy. We are affected by what surrounds us, whether it was intentional or not. An empath is defined by the ability to replicate or absorb another person's mental and/or emotional state. This can become overwhelming for one who does not know how to protect their energy from others. Here are some of the characteristics of an empath:
- Sensitive and nurturing .Empaths are phenomenal caregivers with tender hearts. They tend to put the needs of others first. For better or for worse, they always put in their best effort to help others in need. At times, empaths can easily get hurt. It is not because someone offended them, but rather, they take on the pain others feel around them.
- Emotional and overwhelmed .Empaths tend to take on the emotions of others, no matter what the feeling is. Whether its the surrounding people feeling jubilant, exuberant, despondent, furious, agonizing, etc., an empath replicates and absorbs all these emotions. Some may notice that these feelings do not belong to them, yet they still feel what others feel. The intense amount of emotions one feels all at once may become overwhelming, hence, breaking down from all the pain and pressure in their hearts.
- Listener and advisor . Empaths tend to be patient with others and listen to what they have to say. Others emotionally pour their hearts out as empaths take this upon themselves to listen and figure out solutions. They can be great advisors, providing suggestions that can remedy the situation.
- Understanding and able to detect if something is wrong . Empaths can notice if others are feeling upset. Many may attempt to hide it, but there is no fooling an emotional empath, especially when it comes to a person in dismay. They don't usually judge, but rather take a moment to step in the other person's shoes. Empaths can easily connect with others on an emotional level; hence, people may feel comfortable expressing themselves around them.
- Healer and the desire to help. Empaths can calm those in distressed. They are emotional healers who cannot pass a person in dismay without attempting to help them. The main disadvantage this can have on an empath is taking the emotional burdens from others and placing it upon themselves. Most of the time, this is unintentional, but cannot be helped. Empaths are naturally affected by this, hence, they must learn other means to help others whilst protect themselves.
Those with empathy have trouble dealing with intimate relationships and listening to tragic stories, whether it be on the news, in history, a movie (fictional and non-fictional), or stories. They can also feel their environment, and whether they feel safe standing in that area. In relationships, empaths can sense everything their partner is feeling. They give so much, but those who do not hold the same heart will return little. This applies to friendships as well. Empaths can give their entire world with a loving heart to their lover and friends, but none may return the same, especially if they are not as empathic. With tragedies, empaths feel what other people and characters feel. The pain, both physically and emotionally, empaths can feel. From a broken heart to watching someone get into an accident, an empath can feel all of this. With the environment, they can sense if something feels off. The negative energy that lingers makes them feel very uncomfortable. Empaths have a weakness with children, animals, and pets. Their reaction towards them is a more exaggerated version of jubilation and effervescent overtaking their emotions. In actuality, anything that looks cute and endearing can cause an empath to have these exaggerated emotions.
Being empathic can be both a blessing and a curse. The ability to see through other's facade and noticed their pain is a gift, but being overwhelmed by emotions and energies can wreck an empath's mental state. I advise empaths to protect themselves before helping others. If you are not well mentally and physically, how could you help others in distress? Remember that both your physical and mental health correlates. If one part falters, the other part will eventually follow. If you, or someone you know is empathic, it is very important that one learns to ground themselves. Meditate and visualize a shield around you, protecting your energy from the energies of others.