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12 Signs You Are an Empath | What it Means and What You Should Do

Are You A Psychic Empath?

Empath Definition The definition of an empath is someone who feels the emotions, feelings, energy and even thoughts of others. Empaths are highly sensitive people, who tend to also take on the emotions or even physical sensations of others due to their high sensitivity.

Empaths tend to naturally view the world through the lens of their intuition. They are incredibly perceptive about the energetic states of others, and can naturally (and often unconsciously) read the energetic states of others and feel what needs to be done to address an issue or feeling another is going through.

Yes … Being an empath is a psychic ability, and with development the next level as an empath is going beyond unconscious perception of the external… to conscious perception from within so you can address what is happening in the external around.

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So Are You An Empath?

Have you ever been in a situation where you've felt overwhelmed by other people’s feelings, their energy, or by the energy of the environment?

This is the biggest sign of empathic ability… And so if you have, keep reading because you are probably an empath!

Read through the top 12 signs of empathic ability as explained in this post to find out whether you’re an empath for sure… Then keep reading to find out what it all means, and strategies for taking your empathic ability to the next level so it can become a gift rather than a curse.

What Does “Being An Empath” Even Mean? 

Quite simply, being an empath means you have the ability to feel other people’s emotions as well as the energy of people and places.

Empaths are highly sensitive, which in and of itself has amazing potential, that when developed and honed, can manifest itself as heightened creativity, deep personal connections with others, psychic awareness, and even profound healing abilities.

Based on personal experience (yes, I am an empath too) I know that being empathic can feel like both a blessing and a curse at times.

Trying to ignore empathic ability can cause all sorts of emotional turmoil as you may unwillingly and unknowingly tune into the feelings of another person, perhaps even mistaking them as your own. This is especially true for empaths who have yet to develop or master their sensitivity.

This is why many empaths feel cursed, because as they go through life being constantly bombarded by other people’s energy, they may feel disconnected from their own truth, not to mention the challenge of inadvertently taking on the toxic emotional energy of another person who is in pain or going through a hard time. Another challenge for empaths is that their heightened sensitivity can trigger unseen stress, manifest as actual physical symptoms, of just overall leading feeling uncomfortable in certain places or around certain people (especially in large crowds where noise, smells, or excessive chatter can trigger a fight or flight desire to escape).

Empathic ability is not all bad though, and through developing your empathic ability you can transform emotional sensitivity into psychic ability and into a beautiful blessing for your life and the lives of others.

Take a look at the signs!

If you feel that a majority of these Empathic Signs apply to you, odds are that you’re an empath! With this knowing, you can then take steps to develop your empathic ability, maintain healthy boundaries, and develop your empathic ability into a mystic and psychic ability.

12 Signs You're An Empaths

Extremely Sensitive to the Emotions of Others

Top 12 Traits of An Empath

Feeling and being sensitive to the emotions of others is the cornerstone sign that you’re empathic, because this is the core of what it means to be empathic.

For the untrained empath, it’s like the emotions of others are contagious, especially for those close or intimate relationships. Highly sensitive people may even tune into and feel the emotions of others they casually come in contact with (like crossing paths on the street).

When feeling the feelings of another person, that energy may either fuel you with joy, enthusiasm and creativity, or it can completely drain you, and bring of a spiral of negative thinking, hurt feelings, saddness, or even depression that is not your own.

If you feel other people’s emotions like they are your own, then you are an empath. This is the first and most important sign, and shortly here we're going to address some strategies for how to manage and develop your psychic empathic ability.

Violence & Cruelty Deeply Affect You

To an empath, seeing acts of senseless violence and cruelty are not only horrifying, but they can crush your spirit and make you seriously question humanity and life in general.

Do you feel strongly affected by negative world news or the challenging events happening in the lives of others?

Do you abhor violence or find yourself unable to separate your emotions from those of someone going through a tragedy?

This is a sign you’re empathic!

The Ability to See People’s True Colors

It’s extremely hard to trick or lie to an empath.

Do you have the acute ability to sense body language and emotions to know when someone is lying or telling the truth?

Empathic ability will allow you to discern whether people are being genuine and honest with you, or when they’re being manipulative, deceptive, or putting on a show.

Seeing the truth in people regardless of what they do, say, or act like is a core sign you have an empathic gift.

Rooting for the Underdog

The pain felt by victims of social inequality, bullies or injustice will evoke a flood of compassion in those who are empathic.

For this reason, empaths tend to root for the underdog. Is this you?

Those who are empathic will more often than not be drawn to and want to root for and support the side that needs the most help.

Being Overwhelmed by Crowds

Do you feel overwhelmed by large group of people, busy locations, and crowds?

As an empath, being in the center of a crowd can leave you feeling like you’re being bombarded with a tsunami of emotions from everyone in the crowd, making you want to run and hide.

Many empaths are quite aware of this and regularly avoid large crowds and public events due to this. With practice you can learn to create boundaries, and avoid taking on too much energy from others, or to at least be less affected by it.

Other People Approach You with Their Problems

Do other people tend to approach you with their problems, and sob stories?

Empaths are often like magnets to the emotionally needy. Both friends and strangers tend to be drawn to those who are empathic, because of your ability to listen, feel, and understand what they are going through without judgement. Part of mastering your empathic nature is having the ability to be there for others, but to set boundaries so you are not weighed down by others emotional turmoil.

Need for Occasional Solitude

Does having alone time recharge you?

Not having a break from others for long periods of time will drive most empaths crazy. Empaths need time alone to reconnect with their energy, and to regain their composure away from the influence of others.

As an empath you may love connecting with people, and spending time with a friend, but having alone time after to decompress and return to your own energy outside of intimate relationships is key.

Relentless Pursuit of Freedom

Would you consider yourself to be a free spirit? Empaths feel into the energies of other individuals as well as into the collective consciousness of humanity. Through this they’re able to naturally feel and know when others are living in their truth, or when they’re conforming or following the dreams of another.

For this reason, empaths tend to boldly live outside of the norm, not needing or willing to fit into a box created by society. Many empaths have fulfilling and rewarding intimate relationships, but relationships that offer plenty of freedom.

Do you love to travel, explore, and seek out adventure to spice things up and keep life interesting? This is a sign you may be an empath!

Love of Nature And Animals

If you love animals, crystals, plants, wildlife and time in nature and near water, it may be because you can empathically feel and experience the connection between you and all these living beings.

Being outdoors and spending time in nature is recharging, grounding, and essential to help keep those who are empathic, centered, and balanced.

But as an empath your connection with nature may go beyond this as you have a deep kinship and connection with the Earth, animals, water, trees, and the natural world.

Feeling Strangled by Routine

Do you feel like variety is the spice of life?

Empaths tend to embrace change, and often become restless with long standing routines and monotonous tasks.

Instead, they seek out new situations and environments to boost their creativity, and to change up and circulate the energy they so deeply feel and experience.

Unbridled Creativity

Empaths feel energy… However, they also have an unprecedented ability to create with energy as well.

Many empaths seem to be bursting at the seams with creativity and seek out new and exciting ways to creatively express themselves. Art, dance, writing, and other creative pursuits are fulfilling, recharging and rewarding for most empaths.

Highly Tuned Senses

Empaths are not only sensitive when it comes to the emotions of others and the energy of places, they're often highly sensitive in general. It's common for empaths to have a highly sensitive physical sense of smell or hearing. Other empaths may be very visually observant… Where they naturally read and take in almost every deal in their surroundings.

Do you tend to pay close attention to your surroundings, noticing little details and subtleties that others seem to miss? Or maybe you find you're easily overstimulated by loud noises, excessive talking, or strong smells?

Having highly tuned senses and being highly sensitive in general is another common empathic trait.

How many of the above traits do you identify with?  

To figure out if you are truly an empath examine the 12 traits above. If you feel that a majority of them apply to you, odds are you are an empath.

If you do learn that you're an empath, don't worry… While being an empath can be challenging, it is also a truly beautiful gift!

How to Thrive

Being an empath isn't always easy…

As an empath your natural intuitive ability will allow you to tune into how other people are feeling, and you can quickly get a sense of people and places just from being in proximity.

But if you’re like many empaths, rather than just noticing and being aware of how others are feeling, you may also tend to take on their energy and emotions. This can naturally cause you a great deal of pain, that is ultimately not required and really, this does not serve you, or the person or situation you're taking on painful energy from.

One of the keys to thriving as an empath is learning how to read and feel into situations without taking on the pain and hurt of another person. In this, you're able to sense when a friend is in pain, and then instead of taking on that pain as your own you can hold an energy of presence and wellbeing. This empowers you to share healing energy with your friend, and to actually help them as opposed to just getting pulled down into the challenges they're facing as if they were your own.

So how do you do this?

Staying grounded and present in the moment is key. Ask yourself: “Is the emotional energy I'm feeling my own, or am I tuning into the feeling of another?”

When you're aware that you are tuning into energy of another, you can then set it down… Release it, and return to your authentic vibration. Consciously choosing to be present in the moment, because from this place you can share guidance, inspiration, or just being there for another without adversely effecting you.

Strategies To Protect Your Energy

If you’re an empath, staying true to your authentic vibration may be challenging with the feelings, beliefs, and emotions of others appearing on your radar (or even coming through louder than your own).

Without practicing clear energetic boundaries the energy of others can easily cling to you and wreak havoc on your emotions, while also triggering physical symptoms, and throwing you out of alignment with your authentic truth.

This used to happen to me all the time. I would unknowingly mistake the emotions and feelings of others as my own. I didn’t know how to keep my energy clear, and so I would take on the pain energy, anger, and frustrations of others. This led me down a slippery slope and into a downward spiral of health challenges, depression, and low energy.

I am not alone in this either. Many intuitive and empaths experience health challenges as a result of their authentic vibration being clouded by the energy of others.

Absorbing Other People’s Emotions and Illnesses

Feeling tired and drained, upset out of nowhere, and experiencing digestive issues, headaches, hormonal problems, anxiety, depression, leg or back pain and more, can all be caused by overloading your energy with the energy of others.

Being An Empath Is a Spiritual Gift

Being empathic is a wonderful spiritual gift… With healthy boundaries, and by learning a few important practices you can protect your energy field, while still receiving an abundance of insight and information through your empathic feeling sense.

If you’re still wondering if being empathic is worth it, I will tell you now that despite my early challenges as an empath I wouldn’t give it up or trade it away.

As an empath you’re able to feel within the realms of spirit, experience the full vibration of angels, guides, and ascended masters, and receive accurate intuitive information in a way you can verify and validate through your empathic sense.

So how do you tune into the benefits of being empathic without having to deal with the struggle?

Here are three tips to Thriving as an Empath!

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Cleanse and Shield Your Energy
  3. Relax and Retreat to Recharge!

Practice Mindfulness

3 Tips For Thriving As An Empath

As an empath, when your thoughts are scattered, and your mind is busy, your energy will act like a magnet for the chaotic thoughts and frazzled energy of others.

A simple solution is to be present, and mindful of your physical body, which will help keep you anchored in your own energy.

For example, if you’re walking down the street or through a shopping mall, instead of letting your thoughts run out of control, bouncing between reviewing past events and wondering about future possibilities take control. Be fully present in the moment. Focus on each step you take and become aware that you are breathing. Be aware of each step you take.

Notice your feet touching the ground with each step you take or you can focus on being aware that you are breathing as you consciously guide each breath you take to flow throughout your entire body.

Walking Meditation: You may also benefit from practicing a form of walking meditation. I learned this technique from Thich Nhat Hahn and it has been incredibly powerful for keeping me in my own energy at times when my mind wants to wander.

As you walk, use a simple mantra that you think or say quietly in your mind with each step you take.

“Yes (take a step), yes (take a step), yes (take a step), thank you (take a step),, thank you (take a step), thank you (repeat)”.

Another sticking point for me was when talking with someone. Naturally, through focusing on another person in a conversation, I would start taking on his or her feelings, emotion, and energy. If this happens to you…

Practice listening to others while keeping a portion of your consciousness focused on your own physical body. Listen to what the other person is saying, but be aware of your hands, and how they feel, or how your feet feel pressed against the ground.

This simple awareness practice will help you to maintain your energy vibration, without taking on the emotion of others.

Cleanse and Shield Your Empath Energy

Even if you’re a pro at practicing mindfulness, if you’re empathic you will likely still take on the energy of others at times. For this reason, a regular practice of cleansing and shielding your energy is essential for all empaths.

A simple and effective way to do this is with white light. In the morning and before you go to bed, visualize a shower of Divine white light flowing all around you. Let the light wash away any negativity, tension, or stress, and let it wash away all energy that is not yours.

Allow the light of the Divine to flow in through the top of your head, down your spinal column and out through the bottom of your feet grounding you to the earth. Let the light flow in and all around you cleansing your mind, body, aura, spirit and emotions.

Breathe, and feel your energy becoming lighter and brighter as the Divine light restores your authentic vibration, and helps you to shine more of your authentic truth.

Use Divine Light

Once you’ve cleansed your energy in this way… Use Divine light again this time to shield your energy.

If you don’t use light to shield, you will likely absorb some of the energy, thoughts, emotions, feelings, and negativity of others that you naturally tune into.

There are many ways to shield with light which you can learn more about here. One of my favorite and the most simple is to just imagine a pillar of Divine light all around you. This light protects your energy and keeps you from taking on the emotion and energy of others while allowing clear guidance, Divine light, and intuition to flow through and reach you.

Unfortunately, we can’t just put a shield on once and have it forever effective and in place… So be sure to cleanse and shield your energy daily… But if you do, it really works!

Relax and Retreat

Many empaths and intuitives are naturally introverts. This doesn’t mean we don’t like people, or that we're socially awkward, it just means that after a period of social interaction, we usually need some time to retreat into our own space.

Empaths tune into the energy of others… So taking a step back into your own private space where you can get clear about what you are really thinking and feeling is a good thing to do.


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If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed energetically… Take a time out for yourself. Cleanse and shield your energy and then go for a walk in nature, listen to a guided meditation, work on a craft or creative project, or do something else you love to regain your balance and return to your energy.

Some time to yourself is a great way to get clear about what energy is yours and if the feeling you’re tuning into is yours, or if it belongs to someone else.

Being an empath can be overwhelming and confusing if you’re getting mixed up what is yours and what is other peoples energy. But being an empath also has a huge number of blessings!

Just be sure to take the time to maintain your energy using the tips above.

With practice and maintaining healthy boundaries as an empath, you can maintain a high vibration, have plenty of energy, and be able to use your empathic gift to positively benefit your life and the lives of others.

Read the following articles for more insight and guidance into identifying, developing, and thriving with your empathic gift! 

Are You An Empath? Channeled Angel Message with Archangel Muriel

5 Empath Types, Which Are You? 

Additionally, Dr Orloff has written several books on Empathic ability, emotional healing and sensitivity if you would like to read more about this topic.

  1. The Empath's Survival Guide by Dr Orloff
  2. Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People by Dr Orloff
  3. Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Dr Orloff
  4. The Empath's Empowerment Journal by Dr Orloff

I hope this is helpful for you! If it was… Please share!

With love, light and gratitude,

Melanie Beckler

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about our creator:
Melanie Beckler

Melanie Beckler is an author, meditation guide, and the soul behind Her meditations, angel messages, and bestselling books, including "Archangel Michael Speaks," inspire individuals around the world to realign with their higher potential, inner light and soul purpose. Her work is rooted in love and compassion, empowering you to shine brightly on your unique spiritual journey of growth and transformation.

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  1. Thank you very much, Melanie. When I began protecting my energy with five different orbs of light every morning, it made a huge difference. The extra orbs seem to last longer and deflect more energies from other people, especially when I use a mirror orb as the outermost layer of protection. A violet orb and white orb are two of the other colors I love using regularly. Sending you lots of love and sparkly light.

  2. I’m not exactly sure. Some traits seem to correlate. There are times when I feel either I’m looking from a perspective of a bird’s eye view in a building at people. There are also times when I try to think of what someone might be thinking, their perspectives, lots of times. I sometimes feel like a mirror reflecting back at them. I also had a bit of an empty feeling but nothing sinking. Idk. Whether or not I believe in it, it was fun to read!

  3. So I am reading about all this and am new to these ideas but I know that I am not the first in my family to be an empath. My struggle now is I teach in a prison and as you can imagine it’s difficult to maintain a wall of positivity when there is so much negativity. Not only that but I am a mother of three and my husband is law enforcement so it seems that it’s a struggle to keep my light strong. Some days it feels like my energy is on empty. What can I do to stay more balanced to everyone. Feeling what everyone feels drains me to the point that I barley have the strength to shower some days. There has to be a way to block it out? Thanks so much , Amy

  4. As I’m reading about how empaths are sensitive to injustice, feel the feelings of others, and who root for the underdog I noticed an ad from a sponsor “Red State” asking people to vote on whether Trump should have the FBI prosecute Hillary Clinton. This ad completely invalidated the entire blog post and potentially your entire site.

    1. Thank you for your comment Shannon and for bringing this to my attention. We have enabled ads on the site to offset our large server fees… And the ads served through this site are through Googles ad network… Not individual sponsors.

      So depending on your browsing history Google displays you different ads.

      Thank you for understanding the ad you saw was not placed there by me and I had no idea political ads were being shown! I have gone in and blocked any type of political ads from displaying in the future so this does not happen again. Thank you for your understanding.

      With love and gratitude.

  5. Your article described me to a T and I am an extreme version of the points you describe. I have know that I have been an empath from the time I was a child. But, here is the issue I struggle with. I can read people like they are an open book. My husband who is very scientific is spooked by this ability because I am never wrong and can provide personal details about people I just met. Here is the problem though– I have a hard time trusting people or finding other good friends. I have friends but always want to meet new people and have trouble relating to what I call the futile and immature needs of others (materialism and harming others for personal gain.) Often I find myself angry when I hear about more violence, harm or extreme materialism. Do you have tips on how to handle these feelings? Because I have a really terrible view of humanity these days since it seems humanity lacks any real humanity. The word humanity is an irony. Anyhow this isn’t good for my wellbeing. How do you handle this ?


  7. Thank you Melanie you are such a great person, now you have let me know who I am I feel like almost all the explanations about empath May GOD bless you,Love and Light

  8. Yes I’m an empath…when I was younger I thought it was …what I called people phobia in crowds too much energy of all those people sucked me dry.Now I know not to put myself into situations where there is no escape.Im currently living with someone who has gotten hooked on BIG PAINKILLERS …I CANNOT BE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THEM ..ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY.Im saving money so my 2 daughters can move.Ive been calling on all Angels to make a way for us.This person with the drug problem is not the same human they were before.We have faith that the best will transpire soon.Love and blessings ?❤️??????

  9. Hi Melanie. I’ve been an empath for as far back as I can remember.. 4 years old. And although I had never heard of it, I somehow knew that I was as well as what it was. It’s not always easy.. At least for me, with others not understanding, and accusing me of just not wanting to be happy.. That’s just ridiculous.. Who DOESN’T want to be happy,!? I’m grateful for this and all of your posts.. It helps me to see things more clearly. Up until kind of recent, I had believed it was a bad thing to be an empath, not a gift, and that was due to a conversation I had with someone. I had told her about it, my being an empath, feeling everyone’s pain sadness happiness and even guilt, and from countries away. This person acted as if it were such a terrible thing and told me she was going to say a prayer for me.. So thank you for reassuring me that it is indeed a gift! God Bless you and keep you always ❤

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