The signs of being an empath

This list is what many people may experience if they are highly emphatic. You may not experience them all, but some do. This list is not inclusive.

  • You may be very sensitive to noises. They may not be loud, but they feel like they go right through you.


  • You are sensitive to harsh lights, strong smells. The energy of these things can actually induce a state where you are experiencing strong feelings triggered by them.


  • It’s a real trial being at places such as parties, nightclubs where there are so many people that you can barely move, and the noise is so loud that you try to leave your body until it’s all over and you get to leave. An empath will often try and leave such places as soon as it’s politely possible. They cannot understand how people can go to these places night after night, or even how they could be enjoying themselves.


  • You may also hate crowded places such as shopping plazas, train stations or just too many people in the same room. Normally it’s a place where there is chaotic energy, and the people around you are stressed and just want to get what they are there to do over and done with.


  • You may experience periods of anxiety for no apparent reason. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to let it go, or get over it, and you have no idea why.


  • You are clinically depressed, or feel depressed for no apparent reason. Once again, no matter what you try, you just can’t ‘get over it’.


  • You carry a lot of guilt, even if it’s for another’s action or for something you have done that has been received in a way you did not expect or desire.


  • You feel over sensitive to whether people want to be around you or not. Indeed, if you sense that you are not welcome somewhere or by someone, you will hastily make the quickest retreat you can or become ungrounded.


  • You feel ungrounded. That is, you are all in your mind, rather than your body. When you are somewhere where you do not feel comfortable, or are bored, or just do not wish to be there, you will often retreat into your imagination, and travel to far off and distant places. Anywhere but where you are.


  • You can always tell how someone else feels, even if they tell you something else. This is often taken personally, though generally, it’s just the other person having issues, which have nothing to do with you. The closer you are to someone, the more you will fear it has to do with you.


  • You tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. You make extremely sure that someone has been given every chance, and more, before you act to stop them from doing something that may be hurting or putting you under pressure. Even if this person is acting like a complete jerk, you’ll still try to give him understanding and compassion. Sadly, in this current world, doing such things are often abused, or worse, you end up being the bad person.


  • You feel a great connection to animals and things of nature, including plants and trees. Indeed, you may sense the energy of an area very strongly, be it positive or negative.


  • If you see someone in distress, pain or who is suffering, you will automatically feel bad along with them, in order to show they are not alone. You may even feel their physical pain and certainly feel their emotional pain. You may actually feel guilty if you do not empathize with such a person and will often put aside your own needs, even if you happen to be feeling good. You cannot abide another’s suffering.


  • You may have an overwhelming desire to help, heal and save others from themselves. It is important for the empath to not jump right in and try to ‘fix’ someone who they perceive to be going through a rough time. This is a trap many empaths can fall into, but often their help is not always welcome, or worse, their help is abused, and the empath ends up being used and drained of emotional energy and resources. An empath has a way of discerning if they should be helping someone or not. I call them ‘Soul Calls’.


  • You have an inbuilt lie detector. Someone can be telling you a bare-faced lie, but you will know if it’s not true. The interesting thing about this is that you may not know right away, but you will know, and often quite soon. People will often have a window to try and fool you, but once you’ve had time to consolidate all those feelings, you will always know if someone is trying to lie to you, or manipulate you.


  • Many empaths are natural healers, and have the ability to heal others either with the laying of hands, or from a distance. Empaths are generally drawn to healing, or a profession that aids others in some way.


  • If someone find something funny or sad, or has a strong opinion about a certain subject, you may find yourself agreeing with them, in order to match their energies. Then you may find yourself doing it with the next person who comes along. You always find yourself in agreement with who you are with and you only feel your true feelings when you are along. This doesn’t mean you are wishy-washy or weak, it means that you are tuning in to who the person is and what they are feeling, and allowing their energies to overwhelm yours. Many empaths do this because they feel it will help build a rapport with the other, but all it really does is invalidate who you are, and no one thanks you for it either. Standing in your own space and power can be quite challenging for an empath.


  • You don’t feel like you belong to this world. Indeed, the empath will often feel like a fish out of water, and honestly believe that they don’t belong here. That’s because the behaviour of others are so strange and alien to them, they just can’t relate.


  • You may feel overwhelmed by too many people, energies or emotions happening all at once. Being an empath is like being a psychic sponge. If you do not have control over your abilities, and know how to purge, you will eventually go into toxic overload, especially when there is so much psychic pollution out there. Sometimes having a cleansing shower can work wonders.


  • You and others consider yourself a highly sensitive person. Even the smallest change in moods can be picked up by you. It can be very disconcerting.

46 thoughts on “The signs of being an empath

  1. I am trying to find out if I am an empath or not. In my past, I’ve identified with many of the traits that would identify an empath. From a young age, I knew that I was gifted with an incredibly high understanding of emotion. I empathized with people who experienced things I’ve never been through, but I could feel every emotion as if were my own. When I didn’t know there was a term for it, I told myself I had a “travelling heart” because I could put myself in other people’s shoes even though I’ve never had the experience myself. And after reading an article, I’ve learned that I’ve been getting soul calls all my life. I unfortunately got sucked into the hole of desperately trying to heal all my loved ones that were suffering and in the end it took a huge emotional toll on me. So large, That I almost don’t feel empathic anymore or at least, far from the scale that i use to feel. This is what makes me doubt myself as an empath.. I don’t think it could be “turned off”, but I still feel like I’ve lost it or more likely, am strongly surpressing my empathy. Could i still be an empath experiencing “recovery time” in my life as I try to be vulnerable again? Or is this totally different?


    1. You are an Empath, however you are overwhelmed and have ‘shorted’ out. (You would need the Bach Flower Remedies Oak and Elm for starters) which could help pull you back.

      You can find full details in the Empath Guidebook plus an abundance more information on coping with being an Empath.


  2. Lots of individuals be claiming to be an empath when they are not. If you have a wonderful life, great family and friends, jobs, good doctors, have no fears. Then you are not an EMPATH. Empaths have basically no one, have very rough lives. They tend to want to ball up in the corner and never come out. Empaths basically have no one. Friends and family are barely around. Empaths are ignored most of the time when asking for help so they feel left out. They tend to think about the world alot. They want it to be a better place. Empaths have a hard time going out into the world cause bad energy attacks them as soon as they step outside. They feel more comfortable staying at home. They can be very lonely individuals. Empaths don’t go around bragging about being an empath. Empaths can have their moments too were they misbehave,they tend to have attitudes due to all the bad energy but when they do hurt someone. Its hurts and pains them dearly. They hate evil and feel love is the most important things in the world. Empaths are individuals looking for answers and they are very special.


  3. Every since I can remember I have always had the ability to feel the emotions of others, and I’m not talking about simply feeling them because they vocalized them, but feeling them as if they were my own. I am able to feel a complete strangers emotions and feelings without talking to them, but by simply being within a few feet of them. Lately however it seems to have developed into something I don’t quite understand, nor do I have the ability to control it so to speak. I’ve noticed I am now feeling the physical pain of others, and instead of just feeling their emotions slightly, it is hitting me like a ton of bricks and I can feel every ounce of sadness, happiness, anger, bitterness, guilt, and everything in-between. For example: I was taking the bus to work yesterday morning, and this gentleman in a cast boarded; I immediately began to experience the pain of my arm being broken. Then another gentleman boards a few blocks up and all of a sudden I had the most incredible sadness and heartbreak unlike anything I have ever felt come over me. I had to resist the urge to not sit down next to him and give him a hug because lets be honest, I can’t think of many people who would appreciate a total stranger putting their arms around you without either knocking them out or questioning his/her mental health. I am also hearing tid bits of thoughts, yet I am unable to make them out or understand them; the best example I have to clarify this is imagine reading long a text message with no spacing and no punctuation, written in very small print with almost no distinction between the background color and the text color. I wondered for a brief moment if I hadn’t in fact gone around the bend and questioned whether I needed to check myself in to a mental health facility; but after some research and some reassurance from my husband and my sister that my sanity was intact. My sister also reminded me of how when I was a child, the day before our father fell off of a roof while doing construction on a house, resulting in him breaking his back, I had mysteriously become unable to move anything below my torso. Our mother rushed me the emergency department, and they found nothing wrong. Within a few hours my body was fully functional again as if nothing had ever been the matter. The next day is when we got news that our dad would never walk again, he was paralyzed from the waist down. I’m unsure of how to dampen the messages, or turn this off when needed because there is a time and a place for everything, but when I’m at work waiting tables isn’t the best time to experience this, not to mention it is beginning to take a toll on my own self. When I’m at home with my husband at the end of the day is when it seems to “turn off” yet I find myself beyond exhausted physically and emotionally. I apologize for the long comment, but I’m hoping someone out there has some advise, or some tips on how to dull the impact. I know I have this gift for a reason, and I’m looking for ways to use it to potentially help others so I don’t want it to go away, but I would like to be able to manage it so I don’t feel so overwhelmed and so drained at days end. Thank you, and again I’m sorry for this incredibly long comment.


  4. I have only now come to the conclusion that yes i am! I may not be a very good one but throught out my life its been dotted with incidents that this would explain.I feel bad because if I had realized this at an earlier age,maybe some benefit would have come from it.How do you relate this to others without being downgraded or ridiculed? What I do know is it seems to feed off the emotions we all experience in life.I have had funny situations,like the older gentleman that visited me in my new house.Boy was he confused.He came to me in the early morning.He opened my bedroom door and stood at the foot of my bed.He appeared to be from the early 70s era wearing a tan and brown style trench coat.When he realized I was not his “FRIEND” you should have seem his expression! I screamed “UNLIKE A MAN” and probably scared this lost soul into another dimension! Its funny now but was terrifying then.I have had the most frightening experience with the “HAG”.She visited me in a motel in South Dakota.I was lucky to survive this encounter being that I was in excellent physical condition and just being out of the military.I dont think I could survive a revisit.The Hag I believe “NEEDS” your fear.She consumes it.The attack happens while in semi sleep when you at your most vunerable.She floated above me with her hands around my throat cutting off my air.Sheer terror is only way to describe this.I wonder if you HAVE to be an empath to meet up with her?This may be a reason to study this more indepth! I have had the occasional run in with a pet owner who gets jealous when his or her pet shows me abnormal affection,and yes they do get jealous! I do stray away from the crowds.This is sensory overload for me.I have always been this way!I recently made contact with a woman who was murdered in a park near here.I was so determined to do damage to her killer I asked her if she wanted me to try to sent DARK energy to punish his soul.I know I am not suppose to do this and now I feel guilty because I know how much energy it takes for the spirit to make contact.She did and I feel really humbled and selfish.She came to me in a dream state and told me NO! She then explained why but I dont remember what she said.A square stone then appeared but it had a vine growing from the lower left to upper right which made the inscription unreadable.I do not know what this means.I think some things are hidden from us for a reason! If any one would like to reply,please do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s never too late to start. As for relaying information, just be matter of fact about it. Don’t make it into something mysterious or special. It is what it is and when I mention it, I just discuss it like I discuss the weather.

      And don’t feel guilty. Things are already accounted for and often anticipated.

      Thanks for sharing.


      1. Thanks for the reply Gary!I have been told by several persons in the past week that the correct tag for me should be an SSE,Spirit,Sensitive,Empath.I guess this seems correct.I didnt know there were different kinds.


    2. I came to the conclusion about 5 years or so ago that I am. I am from the deep South ( Mississippi), , and was born at home . ….during my birth, my face emerged COVERED with a ” cawl ” , or a piece of the bag of waters over my face. It is a belief among the “old-timey” folks down South that when a child is so born, that child will have one or more para-normal abilities. ( More commonly called ” the sight” ) To make a long story short, I can sometimes tell what has happened concerning an object by touching the object. I SMELL the oders of colognes and perfumes that those who have passed over have used….. when that cologne IS NOT ANYWHERE AROUND (My sister also SMELLED the order of our dead mother’s cologne , and it had been out of productioN FOR 20 years)

      All of these things are trying to one’s sanity, but what is most trying is the feeling upon entering a room , and KNOWING that there is something OFF about someONE , or a group of people in a room. The KNOWING that someone is almost unbearably tense ( I ALWAYS feel. that and absorb like a sponge, whether I know the person or not ) The KNOWING that someone is lying. AND, GOD, a feeling of true darkness around some people..

      I DO SO VERY MUCH hope you all do not think me crazy.
      I very much believe in Heavenly Father and in the gifts of the spirIt, which is what I believe the gift of being an EMPATH to be….a gift of the SpirIt. I just wish I knew of a way to rid myself of all this negative energy ( oR emotions or whatever ) it is that it is that I soak up like a sponge. OR…. is there a way to shield yourself, I wonder?


  5. Hi, this is a long shot but is there anyone who may have an answer for me.I will give you a quick run down on myself and see if you may be able to help.I first tried to leave home at the age of six, pushing a pram down the road with my clothes in it.I have never felt compelled to make close friends as I get clouded with anxiety with their problems and we all have our own to deal with, well I don’t really but I always feel like I do.I don’t like and have never liked crowd’s, I feel so on edge around them and am drained when I get home.I cant stand where I live, I moved into my wife’s place 10 years ago from living in an old shack on a farm where I was at peace with my dog and have hated it here as I feel like it’s superficial I’m not sure why I feel like that but I do.I have always been able to write emotional poetry and it takes me two minutes to write a poem, it has always only taken me an instant to write poems.I feel so strongly connected to the universe, almost like it’s so stupid that anyone doesn’t know where the true power is, and it annoys me that I cant live my life the way I want which is by the natures way, out bush in a tent or cabin, open fire, dam or river near by and singing and writing poetry each day and night. My wife is a very strict non believer in anything and thinks im stupid or on drugs every time I mention my beliefs or my wants. Many people who know me including my own mother want me to get out and do my own thing but the pain I feel in the thought of leaving, isn’t my pain, it’s hers. Even it’s just a passing moment in time, I cant stand the thought of inflicting this type of pain on anyone because who am I to tell someone how to live, we are all made of different beliefs and virtures, her’s happens to be money and stability which is great if that matters to you, where as me, I believe in love laughter and being honest and living to try to help and make those who need it happy. As a child and through my life even now, I can be seen rescuing ant’s from puddles,[Stupid I know], I don’t know why. I hate any cruelty to animals, it makes me really sick and brings tears to my eyes,at 47 and being in the security industry this shouldn’t be, should it? I have never been able to control those feelings. I get a sick feeling or like a shot of adrenalin through my body when I see someone on TV or reality fall over or have an accident, does any of this sound familiar to you? I am a strong believer in the magic of our universe and am from a strong Highland Celtic Family, born in Australia but my mother is Scottish. I lie awake for hours at night, it take about 2 or 3 hours to fall asleep every night, and now im having dreams that im actually acting out in my sleep, I remember all my dreams, and when I close my eyes at night to try to sleep I cant turn my imagination off, it just keeps showing faces or shapes or lights always something or daydreams about anything that has happend, there has to be something to this. I had always thought I was part psychic or something or maybe just losing it, can you please help in finding an answer maybe. There are many other incidents in my life that I wont go on about yet, but being chased by a huge black dog in a mining town, when I say big I mean bigger than a great dane and it vanishing or a time when three times in one afternoon I was millimetres away from a death accident involving myself and machinery but moved within seconds of the fatality happening and walking across Australia a few times just to be alone and breath nature.

    Can someone tell me who or what my problem is, if I have one.


    1. Hi Jamie, I do not think you have a problem at all, continue to stay in complete harmony with yourself (soul, heart, intuition and values)…


    2. Silly question, but why are you with someone who doesn’t support you for who you are?

      You sound like a very high level Empath who is connected too everything and has yet to define their own boundaries.

      Respect for all life is fine (I will leave things be as long as they don’t try and attack me) but also remember that we are also best leaving things be, unless you get a direct call to assist.

      Controlling your abilities means healing yourself and being grounded. The key to being grounded is self confidence and healing for the Empath can be done using Bach Flower Remedies (which are an Empath’s best friend, believe me.)

      Not sure what to make about the dog. I know there are certainly being of those kind out there. I’d like to know more about that.

      Generally, you’ll find many answers in my blog, or in the free Empath Guidebook ebook.


      1. Hi Gary, Thankyou for the reply.
        I understand the need for looking after ones self, but if this means to create pain and suffering for another, does this not make me just as bad as that of someone who doesn’t value the unity of the soul and being of others.
        You see this is my dilemma,
        I know my problem is being stuck in a relationship with someone who can not see or believe in anything that they can not see nor touch and it can be ended by me leaving,
        But that being said, I also know that because there is no other belief in her mind other than what she has grown up with, then me leaving her for my beliefs would not make sense to her and therefore create confusion, pain and anger which I was hopefully trying to avoid.
        I know that this is impossible as I do Have to leave as I am feeling as though I am stuck between two plates of glass, I can see where and what I should be doing and going but I can only see them and not go there if that makes sense.
        These have been my thoughts for a few years now, it’s easy to sacrifice your own needs if your also fulfilling one by keeping peace.


        1. Well, the one thing I’ve learned over the course of this lifetime is that people need to take responsibility for their own actions and own reality.

          You can’t make someone feel a certain way. That is their responsibility.

          Those same people you care so much about probably wouldn’t think twice about doing what suits them the moment it suits them to do it.

          Unless you can look after yourself, you can’t really help others. So I recommend you doing so. There is no gain in you sinking in the the quagmire of depression and despair.


    3. Hi,

      I would like to answer your question about the fact that you cant handle being where you live.

      For years ever since I was a kid I have had the same feelings about where I live. I always knew it was the place I lived, something never felt right at all, it’s something about the land that I would say “poisoned” in a way. What was worse is the college that I was going to was really bad, a few negative things where there that agitated the students or making them do stupid things, I got horrible feelings from not only just being up there but passing by. So I got fed up and went to a different college (since I’m young and cant move to my own place yet, otherwise I would have) ever since then Ive felt a great change in my life, only problem is that I have people I know that bug me that live in the same town. I think what you should do is leave the place that you’re at, if you’re not happy there you need to find a place where you feel at peace. But if you can’t I think you should try to go to open spaces (hiking, protected parks etc) and just spend your time there a few times a week. I understand how you feel about nature and the feelings you get from them. You don’t have a problem and you’re not crazy at all, sometimes I ask myself if I’m crazy (haha) I also have to agree with Gary, you should be with someone who supports you for what you’re experiencing..or you could sit down and have a talk with her about what you’ve been going through. I did that with my boyfriend even though he didnt believe in what I was experiencing and he finally agreed to understand.

      I would like to know about the dog chasing you in the mining town, where you exploring certain places that were abandoned? Or near them?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. G’day Twix, I thankyou for your reply, unfortunately I can not go to these places because if and when I get spare time I get a list of things that have to be done handed to me and if I was to mention that I was going to go and do the park or nature, it would start world war three.
        There is no compromising with someone who can not and will not budge on beliefs on this matter.
        So as stated before there can only be one outcome which will also affect me negatively as I try to avoid hurting people.

        regards Jamie


        1. I see and I understand that, I’ve been around those types of people. I’ve meet a lot of different types of people, one of them is people who are selfish, they only care about themselves, especially when it conflicts their beliefs(even when they know they are wrong).

          I understand the issue of “trying not to hurt people” but what good is it for people to hurt you? It’s not healthy (trust me on that). If a person really loves you(friend, family, wife/husband etc) then they’ll try their best to understand you even if they dont believe in something.(unless it’s something thats not good for your health) You’ll continue to get hurt if you stick with that person, if you keep up you’ll stress yourself out until you go completely insane, dont make things one sided, like Gary said people have their responsibility, they’ll regret when they realized that they made a big mistake. And dont think that things will hurt you negatively when you’re trying to create less stress and positive outcomes for yourself, you got to learn how to take care of yourself.There’s always another option, never just one.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks Twix , I know what you mean. This is the first time in my existence I’ve actually spoken to anyone about this and I’m 47.
            Because of such a lot of things happening to me at present I thought of letting out a few thoughts and you guys have helped.
            The feelings I have not just as an Empath that has been described by yourselves but also for some reason I have other weird thoughts like another being inside myself who is the one who writes the poetry I write because when I write it I write words that I never use and it reads like a scripture from eons ago, I know that sounds weird but if I’m getting it off my chest then why not express that part as well. I never pre plan a poem or a verse, I just start to write I would write something like ; Unto that to which we live and die we wander into the abyss of all, we come as a thought and go as a memory for all who shall whisper our names ever after. Now that just flowed out as I was writing.
            It is always as though there is a little man sitting at a desk in my head that writes and I copy, how weird is that. But the weirdest thing is I use the words, Thou, Thee, Tis this, Tis that, and other words that I never use in normal speech or I would be looked at like a freak. Any thoughts ?
            I think next week when her parents move in with us fulltime because they had nowhere to go when their rental was sold, [unfortunately my idea of them moving in], but where else could they go. I think it will be the key ingredient for my departure because although they can speak English they never do and all three sit around all day speaking German which is ok for them but myself not understanding a word and when I say speak English im told to get over it or I should learn German to join in. So I think it could be the push I need. I look forward to packing my 4×4 and trailer and just drift up the Queensland coastline working in the Harvest trail and sleeping under the stars in my tent, slowly making my way over to W.A. to see my kids. It excites me just thinking about it.
            Regards Jamie


        2. No problem,

          As for your writing situation, I believe you could be tapping into your past life. (if im not wrong)
          And I think it is best for you to move out, with attitudes like that I do feel that you will have a difficult time, it wont be pleasing and it’ll just be highly frustrating.
          And I know how you feel on some issues, I’m 22, I had weird things happen to me since I was a kid, it got worse 2 years ago after that things calmed down, this site(and it’s owner) helped me understand some things.


    4. Hi Jaimie, I read your story and really felt it.. It’s been awhile since you posted.. I have the same problem soooo Lmk if you read this..:)


  6. And here I’d thought I was just bipolar……it’s amazing how much the qualities of an empath overlap with those of a BP. This opens up a whole new world. Thank you for the follow! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This totally makes sense to myself now I didn’t realize it. For myself certain people i get
    around it makes me feel so much energy from them and most of the time i feel they have a high energy field around them. I think a lot of the feelings i pick up on are emotional pain that radiates from them even many times when i dont even talk to them. I have extreme times being around certain peoples energy field it just wear’s my emotions down and it takes time to get back to a more normal state. Now I realize how long distance running helped my energy field.


  8. Personally I prefer crowded places over more intimate settings because what I pick up might be overwhelming at first but after a short while it becomes white noise an I’m free to just have fun and be and feel me, instead of everyone else


  9. Sorry if you cover this in another post but was just wondering – who first coined the term ’empath’? Is the main difference between that label and a ‘highly sensitive person’ the healing aspect? Also what you are describing above sounds a lot like Kazimierz Dabrowski’s (Polish psychiatrist) sensual, imaginational and emotional Overexcitablilities.


    1. That’s a good question, but I don’t have an answer. I’ve been using the word since around 1997 and it was something that me, and my then partner, knew. She said she was an empath, and I knew I was one and others around me knew it, too.

      It was just one of those words that I knew, and did not need any definition.It had no source for me, other than verbal, and there certain was no information on the web about the terrm. There was no real ‘aha’ moment for me.

      It always astounded me on how many people had never heard it before, though and did not know what one was.

      The trouble with HSP is that it doesn’t really explain anything. All it does is suggest that someone is very sensitive, and that can be misunderstood as people act as though it’s a choice. You’re too sensitive. Get over it!

      Thanks for the question.


Got your own experiences or comments? I'd love to see them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s