People say I’m highly sensitive, but am I an Empath?


empath122One of the most common things I see, when people e-mail me for advice is: Am I really an Empath?

They have looked at all the signs and can relate too many of them. They don’t always fit all the traits of an Empath. There are very few who do. However, they certainly fit many of the major ones, including being told that they are just too over sensitive or highly emotional.

HSP or Highly Sensitive Person is a signature trait of being an Empath.  It means that you react with a heightened sense to everything that is going on around you.

If something bad happens, your reaction will seem to be over the top to others.

It might be something along the lines of having a bad day at work. You believe you’ve made an error and now you feel very guilty about it.

Maybe someone reacted in a way to something you said or did that you didn’t think was positive and you feel bad or even guilty about how you made them feel.

Perhaps a partner or a friend is having a hard time and you can’t enjoy yourself around them because they don’t feel happy. You feel obliged to make yourself miserable so you can empathise with them.

You might even be cautious or afraid to let others know your true feelings because you don’t want to come across as uncaring or indifferent. You will make yourself feel unhappy because that seems to be your best option.

The Empath will feel obligated in some sense to react in a way that allows others to see that they are not alone and they have support.

This is generally unhealthy for all parties concerned because it simply feeds the negative energy rather than healing or helping anything.

As I said, it’s common for an Empath to be highly sensitive.  They take on the pain and discomfort of others around them, no matter if it’s human or animal or even plant.

Generally, if you ask yourself if you’re really an Empath, the very act of asking is a good indicator that you are. Non empathic people won’t ask and won’t even care. They will dismiss it out of hand.

Chances are high that if you ask the question, you are an Empath.

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7 thoughts on “People say I’m highly sensitive, but am I an Empath?

  1. one more before I hit the hay….I BELIEVE in my HEART they there are two types. One is a Highly Sensitive person that was traumatized by childhood. They end up with personality disorders mainly in the cluster B category, Many falsely ASSuME they are Empaths, but they’re not. I don’t know much, but to me a True Empath is OOZING with LOVE whether they came from traumatic upbringing or not. They are born with LOVE inside their souls and they will not stand for any type of injustice. They LOVE everything moral. They LOVE music, they LOVE nature/animals/plants. They would never intentionally hurt anyone or deceive them. For this reason most get shit on by people. Used and abused because they “give the benefit of the doubt” They KNOW there is something up there whether you wanna call Him God or Universe, or whatever, they just KNOW. I am tired and I am worn out looking for someone on my wave length. I am almost giving up hope. I am so beat down, WHY do I keep getting up? I just met someone 2 weeks ago that I ASSumed was NOT a liar. She put on a really GOOD act. I, like the foolish, EMPATHIC one, thought she was real, but alas, once again I reflected back her own issues to her. UNCONSCIOUSLY. How the hell am I suppose to know that what comes out of my mouth, innocently, is actually striking nerves with the person in front of me? Its NEVER A PERSONAL ATTACK, but they sure as hell take it that way. I am tired of being an empath. I am so lost, confused and fed up. I cant think straight most times…..I need to hook up with you, face to face soon before my body gives up…GoodNight

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I also feel that the reason Empaths are so abused is that they find it hard to find others who can relate to them, and they have a desperate feelings and fear of being or ending up alone. Doesn’t stop them from loving, though.

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  2. I agree with mainlyblue. I wish I’d have known more about Empaths much, much sooner. I remember purchasing the book The Highly Sensitive Person years ago. I still have it, but for some reason never read it! I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t feel up to it. Yet…I can’t bring myself to get rid of it either. It’s like having it around gives me some comfort. I spent so much of my life trying to normalize my emotions, and struggling to hide them. It’s basically been an exercise in futility, obviously, but tried none-the-less. I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and have taken medication for years. The one I currently take is the only one that has worked to the point I felt “normal” in terms of my emotions. After finally accepting that I was an Empath, I have attempted to go off the medication, but find life much too painful to endure without it! I’m still emotional, still cry A LOT, but not all the time like I used to. If I’d have felt more confident in myself much sooner, and understood why I always felt like I didn’t fit in or inferior around other people, I could have enjoyed life much more. I have spent more time “faking it” so people wouldn’t say, “You’re too sensitive!” than I’ve spent simply being me. Living life behind a mask, as a “persona” rather than a person is exhausting. I much prefer living life as Jen — and making no apologies for it. I finally can be OK with being me, flaws and all. Some days its harder to do than others, but it’s still easier than trying to be someone else, or who I think others think I should be! 🙂

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  3. I realize now looking back at my ..gut..feelings….just knowing things …feeling out of place and insecure about it …etc. for as long as I can remember is my normal…I am still training ….myself and with the help of my husband ….he now comes to me before we hire a plumber , electrician etc before hiring them I meet with them and give my husband my thoughts which I can feel up to what kind of boundaries they have…do I trust them….I wouldn’t talk with, pay or be around a guy my husband used to cut the grass …he gave me the creeps…found out when he came , he had an escort and he lived in a halfway house……I could feel his intentions…..so yes I feel better . …more confident and less like a freak…I have been diagnosed with depression an anxiety disorder . …fibromyalgia and other dx….I am now on disability . …I am saddened that if I knew sooner things wouldn’t have mentally and physically debilitated me. I worked for 35 yrs….and had to stop I didn’t have the energy and am in too much pain. But I also feel now I have a gift and this is the way things were meant to be.

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  4. Interesting discussion here. I know a few people who probably qualify as empaths. I do have a question – you mention that highly sensitive people are often empaths. I find myself often overwhelmed by noise in crowded places, is this related to possible empathy?

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