Do you consider yourself an empath? Are you highly aware of the emotions of those around you? Can you sense what other people need emotionally? Do you sometimes mistake other people's emotions for your own? Consider the list below to see whether you are an empath.
1. You Absorb Other People's Emotions
Benefits: As an empath, you have highly sensitive mirror neurons in your brain and can read emotional cues, body language and tones of voice that other people miss. People likely feel deeply heard, seen and understood by you, and will often seek your support.
Challenges: As an empath, you feel other people's painful emotions as if they are your own. This can lead to over-helping people who are suffering as a way to help yourself feel better.
Absorbing other people's emotions can also pose a challenge when going into public spaces such as shopping malls, concerts, clubs and bars. You can find yourself overwhelmed by intense emotions "out of nowhere" that are not your own.
2. Your Environment Matters
Benefits: Because you are sensitive to your surroundings, you need to spend time in beautiful spaces that are calm, quiet, balanced and uplifting, such as in a beautiful garden, an inspiring work studio, or a peaceful bedroom.
Challenges: You find it hard to be in some places and spaces in the world. Spending time in environments that are messy and disorganized, or that are filled with depressing or chaotic energies will be disturbing and dysregulating to your nervous system
3. Your Intuition is Strong
Benefits: As an empath you are able to intuitively sense what someone is trying to express even before they get all the words out. You will also be able to sense when a person is lying. You feel it in your gut.
Challenges: As an empath, you might be tempted to override and ignore your gut instincts about people. Much of social relating involves falsity as most people are fractured into different hurting personality parts.
And, many empaths that I meet talk themselves out of other people's selfish intentions because they intuitively see or feel the person's soul (true essence) standing behind their human dysfunction.
4. You See and Hear Others Deeply
Benefits: Because you have intuitive insight, you are frequently sought out for advice, support and encouragement. People enjoy how you listen and how you respond from your heart. Because you seek to understand people, others feel deeply seen by you.
Challenges: Your connection with friends and family might feel one-sided. People see you as a helper, caregiver, and support person only. It might not even occur to them that you need to be reciprocally seen and heard too!
5. You Feel Compelled to Help
Benefits: You want to ease suffering with all your heart and soul. You can see who is hurting, and you want to play your part in the healing of the world.
Challenges: You find it a struggle to "turn off" your concern for others, and you often put others first. This can keep you busy trying to save and serve other people when you need an equal balance of self-care and self-reflection for your own emotional well-being.