What is an empath anyway?

Drawing by Anneli Rufus

What is an Empath?

It’s been asked before and will be asked many times again. What is an Empath?

In short, an Empath is someone who picks up on the emotions and / or feelings around them. It may be the feelings of someone they are close to, or general feelings in a room. Many Empaths will even feel when there is a very strong emotion around the world, such as fear.

I believe that we are all empaths at some level, but it seems the majority are low level so that they aren’t aware of any other feelings but their own. They might be considered the lucky ones.

The ones who are prone to problems are what I call High Level Empaths. They are the psychic sponges of the universe, absorbing the emotions and any psychic pollution that is around them. Most of the time, they don’t even know they are doing this, and do not understand that the feelings they feel are not always their own.

For instance, you may be feeling pretty good, then suddenly, for no apparent reason, you experience a drop in your mood.

This may be due to someone, maybe a friend or partner, dropping in their emotions and you are picking up on this.

This is a sympathetic attachment, and it’s not unusual for someone to feel when another is down or depressed. It may even be a complete stranger.

If they are anxious, the Empath might feel anxious. This goes for heartbreak, pain, guilt and any other emotion.

In any case, it’s not healthy for the Empath to be this way.


The Empaths that are psychic sponges also have a tendency to be ungrounded. This means that they do not wish to be here in the ‘now’, so they try and leave the body. As this doesn’t work, they are stuck in a no man’s land, where they can’t escape, but also can’t be here.

The key to being grounded is self-confidence. When you feel as though you are out of your element, or that you do not belong somewhere, the tendency is to leave.

This becomes a vicious cycle, as the more ungrounded you are, the more negativity you tend to pick up, and the less you wish to return to your body.

Grounded people are rarely swayed by another’s feelings, even if they do feel them. Because of their confidence, they have a strong sense of self.

Clinical Depression

Empaths often suffer greatly because they do not understand what is happening to them. They are not aware that their feelings are not their own.

They do not understand why they feel depressed, anxious, desponded or full of guilt, and rarely will they connect this to what someone else is feeling.

Because of this, many High Level Empaths might be prone to clinical depression.

They may even feel the desire to take away the pain of another, though this is not wise as it rarely works out well for either party.

Many are driven by feelings of guilt. For example, they may feel bad if they are feeling good, while others around them might be having a bad time.

Because of this, they may attempt to match their moods in order to show solidarity and sympathy, however, this ends up making things worse for both you and the one you are trying to console.

Being an empath doesn’t have to be bad, though. It can be a very powerful and potent tool for connecting with others and helping them to heal. It can also bring an incredible amount of joy if you are able to control it.






7 responses to “What is an empath anyway?”

  1. Corri Coaching Avatar

    Dear Gary Leigh, Have experienced being an Empath all my life. Only in the past 5-6 years have I learned to navigate it to work for me, rather than against me. I now see it as a Gift, rather than a curse.
    There are many tools one can use to navigate this Gift. I have developed an Empath Group Coaching program to serve this. There will be 6 of us in the Group. If you know of someone who would do well to join this program and feel that support (as I know you are already supporting people with your book, your forum, and your private support here, please feel free to send them my way.
    Here’s is my Post with the details. See what you think:


    1. Gary Leigh Avatar

      Thanks. Looks very interesting. Feel free to post it to my Facebook group if you like.


      1. Corri Coaching Avatar

        Thank you so much, Gary. Am fascinated by your posts, will be sure to be checking them out. You have inspired me to go another step further. Just purchased membership to start a NYC meetup group and scheduled a first one the week before Valentine’s Day. It’s called : The Gems Of Who You Are as an Empath. A jumpstart.
        Look forward to checking out all of what you are up to.
        Blessings, Corri

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gary Leigh Avatar

          I’ve been thinking of doing something similar online. In any case, it’s needed. More than most would know. 🙂


          1. Corri Coaching Avatar

            You’re spot on Gary. People are suffering with this as I did years ago. And with what is going on in the world, and things changing so quickly, it helps to learn to utilize this skill set to know one’s next right step — in many different ways, while having a balanced, healthy, and also joyful life. All the best to you. Please feel free to contact me thorugh my website if you ever want to email each other — we could exchange emails.
            If I can ever assist you in any way, please let me know. All the best, Corri


  2.  Avatar

    Même chose pour moi et je peut dire que nous ressentons même les émotions de la nature, la vie et la quête du cosmos qui est super profonde comme jamais personne ne le saura, comme je le sais.


  3. JMM Avatar

    Je suis empathique . Je prends les émotions , les douleurs , les maladies , même les blessures , des autres , je les libère , j’ éponge , et après je transmue le tout en Lumière divine . C’est un travail de chaque instant . Si je vais à une réception ou meeting , concert ou autre , il faut que je me protège si je veux passer une bonne soirée . Je fais attention de ne pas fréquenter n’importe qui . et ou je vais et ce que je fais ; Pas drôle mais c’est ma vie , alors je continue . JMM


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