What Is an Empath? An Ultimate Guide to These Wonders of the World

Are you constantly feeling drained by other people and their problems? Do you have a strong sense of what others are feeling, even when they try to hide it?

If so, there is a chance that you're an empath. Empaths have the ability to feel what others are feeling without being told about it or seeing anything happen.

This can be both an amazing gift and terrible curse, but either way, this article will help you understand more about this strange phenomenon!

Table Of Contents

What Is An Empath?

An empath is a person who has the ability to feel other people's emotions, physical pain and suffering.

They are often thought of as "sensitives" because they can pick up on subtle signals that most others don't notice.

There are many ways in which an empath will react differently from those around them - such as tiredness or feeling drained after being surrounded by negative energy for too long.

This usually leads people with this trait to withdraw socially or even avoid interactions altogether if their job requires it due to overstimulation caused by empathy overload.

Most empaths have high levels of self awareness and intuition since this helps them survive when dealing with so much information coming at once!

Empaths may also be prone to depression, anxiety, and addiction.

If you're an empath, it's your responsibility to take care of yourself as much as possible in order to not get overwhelmed.

Empaths just pick up on other people more than those who aren't empathetic. If you're wondering if there are different types of empaths out there- then yes! We'll cover the 9 types of empath later.

Empaths are highly sensitive, which means they react differently from those around them- such as feeling tiredness or becoming overstimulated after being exposed to negative energy for too long.

This usually leads people with this trait to withdraw socially or even avoid interactions altogether if their job requires it due to empath overload.

Judith Orloff has said this about empaths: "We empaths are walking around in a virtual reality, feeling the world through other people's emotions and energy.

This can lead to burnout or depression as it is too much for us."

At the same time, empaths are guided by their own intuition and can often sense what is going on with others without being forceful or intrusive.

This makes them natural counselors who are in tune with those around them as well as themselves- making feedback loops of mutual understanding easier for both sides.

Empaths also tend to be caretakers due to a need to make people feel better about themselves when they do not understand why they feel so drained after an interaction.

They have such a strong emotional resonance that it feels like empathy from another person, but this does not always mean there is someone else hurting nearby.

This trait also means empaths will take anything personally even if it has nothing to do with them too!

intimate relationships

Where Does The Term Empath Come From?

The term empath is derived from the word empathy, which is defined as "a deep understanding of and identification with another person's life experiences." While some people may think that an empath can feel what others are feeling like a psychic would, true empaths don't have any special abilities.

Am I An Empath? Questions To Ask Yourself If You Think You Are An Empath:

  •  Do you have a strong emotional resonance?
  • Can you feel the emotions of those around you without being in their presence or even knowing them?
  • Do people say that they feel an aura coming off from your body but cannot pinpoint what it is about themselves that triggers the feeling?
  • Do people tell you that when they are with you, they can sense how something feels to them before telling you about it?
  • Do I seem to be called highly sensitive, or emotional?
  • When a friend feels hurt, or overwhelmed, do I start to feel it as well?
  • Do my feelings get hurt easily?
  • Am I drained, both physically and emotionally by crowds?
  • When drained, do I need time alone to recharge?
  • Do I cope with emotional stress in destructive ways?
  • Am I afraid of becoming completely overtaken by intimate relationships?

If you answer "yes" to 1-3 of these questions, then chances are you're an empathetic person. If you answer "yes" to 3 or more of these questions, then chances are you're a highly sensitive individual.

32 Signs You May Be An Empath

1. You experience an inner sense of knowing.

This is what allows empaths to "just know" things like whether or not someone has been truthful in their words and actions, the weight of a heavy heart, the guilt they feel for doing something wrong.

An example sentence which shows this sign:

I just knew when you were lying - it's my gut instinct! It happens all the time; I can't even count how many times it's happened."

This was written by one woman who felt people coming into her home without warning before she heard them knock at her door.

super responders

2. You’re an effective listener and communicator. 

Empaths have a natural ability to listen and communicate well. They can be very attentive, actively listening without interrupting or trying to steer the conversation in another direction.

On occasion they may even forget themselves so much that they’re able-to know what their listener needs before it is said out loud.

An example sentence which shows this sign:

You are often willing to offer others advice when asked but not sure how helpful you actually will be because you don't want people feeling worse than they already do."

This was written by one woman who felt like she had always been sensitive since childhood; it's just something that has been ingrained into her for as long as she can remember.

3. You feel easily overwhelmed in public places.

This is because empaths are highly sensitive people and sometimes can be so aware of other people's feelings that they're able to know what their listener needs before it is said out loud, or even offer them advice when asked but not sure how helpful you will actually be since you don't want people feeling worse than they already do.

An example sentence which shows this sign: "I've never been good at working with others."

This was written by the same woman from the sentence above. She mentions feeling drained after being around a lot of people or trying new things because there is a lot of energy around.

crowd large group

4. You feel others’ emotions, pains, illness, and stresses.

Empaths are very sensitive people who can feel what others are feeling. This is because empaths have the ability to read other people's emotions and pick up on their pain, illness, or stress without even being told about it first. That means that sometimes an empath will know when someone else needs help before they ask for it - whether emotional support, a listening ear, or some advice in how to handle a tough situation better. 

5. You experience mood swings and can come across as unpredictable / needy.

Empaths tend to feel mood swings and can come across as unpredictable or needy, but this is because they are reading and picking up on the emotions of others.

They may become overwhelmed by these negative emotions or positive ones if there are too many of them at once, so the empath will try to pull away from society until it dies down a bit for their own peace of mind.

6. You’re sensitive to TV, movies and real life chaos.

Empaths can even read the emotions of others they’ve never met, and this means that sometimes an empath will know when someone needs help before they ask for it - whether emotional support, a listening ear or some advice in how to handle a tough situation better.

This sensitivity also makes them highly sensitive to TV, movies and real life chaos so their moods may be unpredictable because they are constantly picking up on other peoples' feelings without realizing it.

7. You’re prone to illness, disease, and physical pain. 

Empaths are people who feel things on a deep level, which means that they’re also prone to illness and disease just as someone with heightened senses would. They get worn out easily from the overwhelming feelings all around them, so it's not uncommon for an empath to be sick more often than other people - or worse yet, to stay in bed recovering when one of their emotional wounds is affecting every part of their life.

This same sensitivity can lead an empath into physical pain because if they're suffering emotionally then chances are that we'll notice some aches or soreness even though there isn't anything physically wrong with them. It doesn't make sense but this type of person will always have something going on in the body.

8. You embody a magnetic pull of trust.

Empaths are people who seem to have a certain magnetism when it comes to life, and that can manifest in multiple ways.

One of the easiest ways for an empath's personality traits to be seen is through their ability to create deep connections with others very quickly - because they're able-bodied enough within themselves, they give other people permission and space to do the same.

In this sense, empathy means being highly sensitive or attuned towards someone else’s feelings so as soon as they start showing any sign of distress about something you'll immediately get drawn into feeling whatever that might be too.

It could make things feel like your emotions are heightened just by how much another person shares with you, but what really happens is that you're so in-tune with them that you're able to pick up on things they can't quite articulate.

9. You are constantly fatigued. 

For empaths, this is often because they're trying to balance and process so much emotional information that it's a lot for them. They'll feel things from people around them, in their environment or even themselves - which can be very taxing on the mind and body.

This means that some of the signs you might see are: feeling like an energy vampire as they take in other people’s emotions; being drained by crowds or large groups; low immunity due to giving out too much of their own personal resources; constant fatigue.

All types experience these different symptoms but there will also be some who don't suffer with any at all.


10. You are prone to addictive behavior. 

An empath who is escaping from what they are bombarded with, or trying to feel connected and listened to, may display addictive behavior.

Their sensitivities often don’t come with awareness of the best way to deal with it, and so they will adopt addictive tendencies in order to drown out, numb and distract themselves – such as drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, taking drugs; when this happens their sensitivities can become even worse creating a greater issue.

11. You are drawn to healing and holistic health and wellness.

Empaths tend to be drawn to healing and holistic practices, as well as people who are just happy.

This is because they need balance in their lives and don’t want the negativity that surrounds them all the time.

In a way, this person becomes like a sponge for other people's feelings – good or bad (but usually it’s negative). They take on these emotions by default with no choice about it; when you avoid things your sensitivities will lessen so if someone wants an empath to stop feeling what they feel then they have to try not taking on those energies themselves.

12. You are inherently curious and a seeker of truth.

Empaths are seekers of truth. They want to know what makes people tick and they’re not afraid to ask because it seems like a taboo topic for many people in society.

The more you're able to figure out about how things work, the better able you'll be at handling life's challenges that come your way (and there will always be something coming your way). 

13. You are interested in spirituality.

Empaths are interested in spirituality. They want to know the meaning behind things and why people do what they do, and that’s where their interest lies as it also helps them process information about themselves too.

Spirituality isn't just something you practice on a Sunday morning or evening either; it's an everyday journey for empaths which leads them down paths of enlightenment (and sometimes despair).

As long as your curiosity doesn't harm others then be curious away! 

empath spirituality

14. You are drawn to ancient / indigenous cultures.

Ancient and Indigenous people often live in harmony with nature, the land, and their surroundings because they rely on them for survival (as we all do).

Empaths feel more of a kinship towards these people than anyone else because empaths understand what it is like to have everything be your responsibility when you grow up without any help from others.

Indigenous communities also emphasize living simply so that more resources will go around for everyone; this resonates deeply with empaths who want nothing more than sustainability as well as peace on Earth.

15. You are interested in your ancestral lineage.

Empaths have a deep, instinctual drive to know about their ancestry. Why?

It all goes back to the whole being connected with nature thing: empaths don't want any more harm coming from their family line because they usually believe in some form of karma and that everything will come around eventually.

In addition, many people are curious about where they came from so it's only natural for an empath to be even more drawn into finding out the answers than anyone else would! 🙂

16. You are a quiet achiever and / or a strong leader.

This resonates deeply with empaths who want nothing more than sustainability as well as peace on Earth. You find yourself being the glue that binds people together, so you're always looking for ways to make sure everyone is comfortable and at ease in social situations.

If you know this about yourself, then it's likely an innate trait not learned behaviors: meaning empathy comes from deep within our core rather than something we've been taught over time-perhaps even before birth!

The signs of being an empath can sometimes be wrongly interpreted by others when they think your sensitivity means weakness; however, anyone who knows how valuable these people are would never take them for granted because without them the world would be in even more chaos.

17. You are creatively talented.

This sign of being an empath is often confused with people who have been taught to be creative or artistic over time, but it's actually something that comes from deep within us. We're always on the search for ways to make everyone feel comfortable and at ease in social situations-maybe this trait has even come before birth! 

18. You have a love of nature and animals. 

Nature is a huge part of being an empath because we take it all in. The love for animals is also something that often appears with this sign because they can sense our emotions and need to be comforted too.

nature animal animals

19. You believe in the cleansing powers of water.

In the same way that we need to cleanse our spirit, water can also be used for this purpose. We clean up both spiritually and physically by spending time in or near water.

20. You need solitude.

We need time to recharge our batteries and be alone with our thoughts. This is when we are being the most empathic because it's only then that we can take everything in without any distractions from external sources.

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21. You are easily bored or distracted and frequently daydream.

Empaths are highly intuitive people. This means that they process and understand the emotions of other people in their environment without having to be explicitly told about them. They may also experience negative or overwhelming thoughts, sensations, feelings and memories from time to time because of this increased sensitivity.

One way that empaths can deal with these strong emotions is by daydreaming; as a form of escape it allows them peace for a bit so that they can then go back into reality refreshed or more prepared for what lies ahead.

The one thing about an empath's ability to tune in on others' emotional frequencies is that sometimes it might feel like you're fighting against yourself--in order not to absorb everything around you (as much as possible), many empaths have developed their own way of allocating energy to manage it well. 

22. You seek adventure through travel or spontaneous acts.

Another sign that you may be an empath is seeking adventure wherever it can be found.

This is because empaths need to feel connected with the world, and they don't always have that feeling at home.

Some people may like adventure because of a sense of curiosity about what lies around the next corner. But for an empath it's an essential part of their connection to life in general - even if that means just going into town or meeting up with friends on short notice.

Empaths are also drawn toward spontaneous acts as ways to stay centered when things get too routine-or monotonous. The idea is not only that these types of behavior help them connect better with people, but also make themselves more available for interactions.

23. Your sensitivity to energy flow makes you sensitive to clutter.

Are you sensitive to clutter? This may be because of your high sensitivity to energy flow.

In order for an empath's ability to work, they need a clear and open line of sight into people's thoughts and emotions. If there are too many other things taking up this space, the person may not be able to read you as well.

This is why it can sometimes feel like clutter or negative emotional overload when trying to explain how being sensitive impacts them in their day-to-day lives – any extra stimuli that comes with crowds, busy environments, sensory overloads (some people have more than one type) makes life difficult at times. 

24. You are a rule breaker.

Someone who is an empath doesn't always follow the rules. They often do what is necessary in order to get people out of bad situations or emotional states as fast as possible - even if it means breaking said rule.

25. You demonstrate great enthusiasm and appreciation of life.

Empaths are people who demonstrate great enthusiasm and appreciation of life. They get a lot of energy from being around people, so they're typically social butterflies! 

26. You are a humanitarian, a peacemaker and a meditator at heart. 

The world could use more people like you. You are compassionate, giving and understanding with a deep commitment to the betterment of humankind.

For empaths, it is not just about themselves — they care deeply for others around them and make every effort possible to help those in need without ever looking for anything in return.

They're often misunderstood because they express their thoughts so openly, but that's what makes them such great listeners: empathy comes naturally to them. With all your heart dedicated to being helpful rather than destructive, this may be a sign that you're an empath!

peace empath

27. You value antiques (vintage or second-hand).

The reason this group of people value antiques is because they are often able to feel the energy of items that have been owned or touched by people before.

For example, a vintage dress may still hold the vibrations from when it was worn decades ago - and these feelings can be passed on through an empath to someone who is sensitive enough for them.

The same thing goes with antique furniture; many people find themselves feeling inanimate objects even if they're not aware of their ability to do so at first.

This sensitivity allows empaths more insight into what has happened within an object's life span than most other people would ever know without second-hand information sources like books or documentaries about antiques.

28. You are prone to lucid dreaming. 

This is because someone who has empathetic traits will be more in tune with their subconscious. They will have a heightened intuition and awareness, which is expressed through lucid dreaming.

29. You are a lover, not a fighter.

And this is one of the most important traits that an empath has.

Empaths are not fighters, they are lovers. They prefer to make peace and love rather than take someone down in a fight or brawl. There is no need for them to put themselves through all that drama when it's possible to avoid it! 

30. You are a visionary, an entrepreneur, and / or a problem solver.

Someone who's an empath is usually usually creative and can get really excited about new ideas.

They have the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective that other people might not be able to do so easily.

31. You are forgiving, sometimes to a fault.

No surprise here, I think.

Healers such as empaths usually have a rather extreme capacity for empathy. It is possible that the empath has spent their life trying to make up for other people's mistakes and so they have learned how to forgive, even when it may not be deserved.

32. You have trouble standing up for yourself.

Something I’ve seen is that empathy has a lot of ties with boundaries.

It can be hard for empaths to know when and where they should draw the line between themselves and other people because, in many ways, they consider us all as one.

Sometimes it feels like there's no boundary at all — just pure oneness.

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The 9 Main Types Of Empaths

Now, let's go over the 9 main types of empaths as well as how they can use this information to help other empaths in their lives.

1. The Claircognizant Empath

The Claircognizant Empath is someone who sees both the future and past whilst in their physical body. These people are often able to see what will happen before it does, but they can also view events that have already occurred. They're usually highly intelligent as well as being extremely creative individuals with excellent memory skills.

It's worth noting that not all Claircognizant Empaths see the future and past. Some only receive visions of what has already occurred, while others can only see what will happen in the future. 

2. The Emotional Empath

An Emotional Empath is someone who feels the emotions of another person. They do not have to be in physical contact with someone for an Emotional Empath to feel their pain, they just need some form empathy from that person.

An emotional empath is a wound healer because when they are feeling others' joy and love, it heals them as well.

3. The Physical Empath

The Physical Empath is someone who has a lot of empathy for the physical world. They're sensitive to changes in climate, natural disasters, and even other people's pain.

Physical Empaths are often drawn to careers that give them an outlet for this part of themselves such as teaching or nursing.

4. The Fauna Empath

The Fauna Empath is an empath that can feel the pain of animals. They are often found in animal shelters and rescue organizations, where they work to make sure every animal is treated well before being adopted out into a loving home.

As a Fauna Empath, you may find yourself feeling guilty when eating meat or wearing any type of clothing made from fur or leather.

5. The Geomantic Empath

The Geomantic Empath is also known as an Earthbound because they are so connected to nature and their environment. These individuals often feel it difficult or impossible to live in large cities and prefer simpler, quieter lives in rural areas with a lot of natural beauty around them.

6. The Medium Empath

The Medium Empath is also known as a Transmitter because they can transmit energy from one person to another, and has the ability to tap into their own thoughts or feelings. These individuals often experience depression due to being constantly bombarded with other peoples' emotions.

7. The Psychometric Empath

The Psychometric Empath is someone who is able to feel the emotions of people and objects through touching them.

This means that if an object belongs to a person with anger issues, you may be feeling some residual feelings when holding it in your hands or examining it closely.

They are also highly sensitive to other's moods as well-- they can usually tell what others are thinking because their sense of empathy extends beyond just physical touch items too (emotional-touch). 

8. The Precognitive Empath

The Precognitive Empath is a rare type of empath that has the ability to sense future events. For this reason, Precognitive Empaths are often called “psychic” or "seers".

It is difficult for a person with these abilities to have 'normal lives' because they know things before they happen and can't avoid it.

In addition, sometimes their visions show them terrible things like murders and natural disasters that may make it hard for them to stay in certain areas. They usually spend time trying not to get involved so as not to change what's going on - but one could argue all precognitive empathy does is simply serve as an early warning system from something bad about come up, anyway.

9. The Telepathic Empath

The Telepathic Empath is one who can both read and send out thoughts to others. This is not an easy task, as it takes a lot of energy for them to do so, but they often feel like their minds are full at all times with other people's thoughts.

This type of empath has the most difficulty regulating their own emotions because they're constantly bombarded with everyone else's energies too.

Therefore, this type needs even more time for self-care than any other in order to avoid burnout or shutdowns from feeling overloaded emotionally.

The Main Struggles You May Deal With As An Empath

Some of the most common struggles you may have to deal with as an empath are:

  • Being overwhelmed by negativity

  • Experiencing extreme empathy and compassion, which can be exhausting for your body to handle

  • Struggling with depression as well as anxiety because of these feelings. And it's always hard not to let them effect every aspect of your life including work, relationships, or school.

  • You might also struggle with addiction if you get too anxious when trying to avoid certain people or places that make you uncomfortable. It becomes a vicious cycle where everything is so intense all the time and there's no way out from underneath it all.

  • The conflicts in emotions may lead an empath into self-destructive behaviors such as abusing drugs/alcohol and overeating while they constantly search for a way to feel better, or escape their own thoughts.

  • It's not uncommon for an empath to get sick from the physical and emotional pain that someone else has been carrying.

  • In order to heal, empaths need things like self-love and a space where they can just be themselves.

  • It's also important to empaths that they understand where the other person is coming from, and why things happen in their lives.

How To Protect Yourself As An Empath

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself as an empath:

  • Make sure you are not overextended and that your energy levels are healthy.

  • Protect yourself with grounding exercises every day, especially when feeling overwhelmed or being surrounded by negative people/energy.

  • Create a protective bubble around yourself to shield against negativity: imagine it as an eggshell of white light surrounding the outside of your body from head to toe, holding in all positive energies while repelling anything else entering inside.

    Fill this bubble with only love and peace so nothing can touch it; make sure to not include any holes, because fear will creep through them into your heart if left open. Once fully encased within the glowing barrier, let go of what is bothering you.

  • Create a sacred space at home to meditate in and escape from the world for as long as you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Empaths rare?

I wouldn't say that they are rare, but it is true that not everyone can be an empath. Empaths come in all shapes and sizes. Some people have a strong emotional connection, while other empaths might experience the world through having a keen sense of intuition or clairvoyance--these abilities vary greatly from person to person, and from empath to empath.

Is empath a personality disorder?

No! But among the other things empaths are, they also tend to be misdiagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder. This is because some of their symptoms overlap with these disorders: heightened levels of sensitivity in certain situations lead to impulsive behavior, mood swings or difficulty concentrating on anything else for long periods (Bipolar Disorder). Others may find themselves more sensitive to their environment, or have a hard time focusing on anything but the needs of others (ADHD).

What percentage of the population are Empaths?

The short answer is that we don't know. There have been no scientific studies to date on the percentage of empaths in the population, because empathy has only recently become a topic worthy of study. However, it's estimated that around one out of ten people are empathic and may even be an empath themselves.

What are the characteristics of an empath?

Empaths are people who have the innate ability to sense and feel what other people around them may be experiencing, including physical or emotional pain. They can also intuitively pick up on any moods of a person in their vicinity, which is why they often appear as compassionate listeners. Speaking with an empath will help you release your emotions and will allow you to feel as though someone truly cares about what you are feeling. 

What Myers Briggs Type are Empaths?

While inconclusive, because more studies on this would need to be done, the most Empaths can be found on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) as ISFPs or INFPs.

ISFP: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving.

They are compassionate individuals who deeply care for the people in their lives and want to help those that they love unconditionally without imposing too much of themselves on others.

INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging.

These individuals have a deep sense of caring for everyone around them but can be shy about drawing other people into their personal space because they're often more focused on what's happening internally than with external situations.

How do Empaths live happily?

They can live happily and peacefully when they have a strong sense of security and confidence. It is important for empaths to have support from their loved ones, friends, and community because they are sensitive individuals who can easily be hurt by other people's words or actions.

In general, it's best if an empath has some form of close relationship with others where the person understands what empathy means and accepts the empath for who they are.

Additional Resources

Dr. Judith Orloff has several resources to provide empaths with any support they may need. You can find her website here.

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