20 signs that indicate that you're an empath

Anne-Kathrin Walter
20 signs that indicate that you're an empath

Do you sometimes wonder if you are an empath, or maybe even a super empath? These 20 signs indicate that you are a true empath!

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What is an empath?

According to Dr. Judith Orloff, empaths are people who feel and absorb other people's emotions and/or physical symptoms. Furthermore, they are deeply-caring, kind and sensitive souls who follow their intuition and find it hard to rationalize their feelings. As a result, they often feel misunderstood by the less empathic and sensitive members of our society. In fact, studies indicate that 15-20 percent of the world population are highly sensitive and many of these highly sensitive people carry empathic traits as well. However, data in relation to how many people in the world are empaths is still not validated by research.

Super empaths

Although there aren't many studies confirming the exact number of empaths in the world, one study found that approximately 1 to 2 percent of the world population are super empaths. In fact, super empaths are empaths who literally feel the touch on their skin when they see that someone else is being touched. This phenonemon is called mirror-touch synaesthesia. Are you wondering if you are an empath, or maybe even a super empath? These 20 signs indicate that you are!

1. Empaths absorb other people's emotions

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you went to a social gathering and went home completely drained? You were out of energy and didn't understand why. Chances are high that you listened to other people's problems and unconsciously absorbed their pain. Perhaps, you mirrored their feelings and felt their pain as if it was your own. Consequently, it can be tough to let go of this when leaving the person. You literally take their pain home with you. In case you recognize this, you should try to do a 'cut the rope-ceremony'. For example, you could try this ritual.

2. Empaths are incredibly intuitive

Another trait that empaths share, is that they are highly intuitive. Whenever something is off, they listen to their gut. When they neglect what their gut is telling them, they usually end up unhappy. However, when an empath is in tune with his or her intuition, he or she is able to use it as a radar in life. In this way, an empath attracts the right people and manages to avoid toxic relationships and energy vampires.

3. Empaths attract energy vampires

Have you ever hear of the term energy vampires? Energy vampires are people who have the idea that the world revolves around them and their feelings. In fact, they need to be listened to, they need to be cared for, they need to be understood, it is all about them. Most likely, everyone has at some point been in touch with these kind of people and empaths seem to be magnets for energy vampires. Due to their caring, sweet nature, empaths are the perfect energy source for energy vampires. Therefore, it is important for empaths to be aware of this and to protect themselves from energy vampires.

4. Empaths give too much

Empaths are some of the sweetest, kindest people you can meet. Often, they put the needs of others above their own. Accordingly, they have a tendency to be people-pleasers and go the extra mile for the people they love. Unfortunately, this isn't always returned, as not everybody experiences this intense need to care for others and ensure other people's happiness. Therefore, empaths often give more than they get back. 

5. Empaths need to re-charge more frequently

Because empaths are overwhelmed more easily by other people's emotions and pain, they need to re-charge more frequently. Due to the fact that empaths carry around more than only their own feelings, they use more energy during the day to process all the input. Whereas a less empathic person can go days without feeling the need for self-care, empaths can feel the urge to re-charge their energy after a day of socializing.

6. Empaths are more intrigued by bad news or intense movie scenes

Empaths have a tendency to react strongly towards intense movie scenes, bad news on the tv or shocking accidents. Because their capability to read other people and their emotions are strongly developed, they experience the abovementioned input as extreme, upsetting and intense. Consequently, it is not rare that an empath starts to cry during such intense situations due to the emotional overload. 

7. Empaths get overwhelmed by crowded places

Not only highly sensitive people, but also empaths have a tendency to get overwhelmed in crowded places. Even more, they prefer to avoid these places if they can. Due to the fact that they absorb everyone's emotions and feelings, they receive too much input in these places. In consequence, they get very exhausted in crowds and prefer to withdraw to more quiet places.

8. Empaths know when people lie

As mentioned, empaths are highly intuitive. As a result, they are aware of the tiniest signals and vibes that people send out when they are talking. Therefore, they can identify rather quickly whether someone is lying to them or not. Consequently, this can cause empaths to feel upset at times, because people usually don't admit that they lied and prefer to make the empath look like a fool/liar. In these situations, it is best for an empath to distance themselves from this type of people. Most likely, they are energy vampires anyway.

9. People dump their problems on empaths

Empaths experience frequently that somebody walks up to them and tells them their entire life story within 10 minutes. Most likely, this happens because empaths send out a positive vibe and caring energy. People with problems are in need of this energy and sense that they can talk with you about their problems. Consequently, the empath becomes an unpaid shrink on a rather regular basis. It is important for empaths to protect their energy field before leaving their house. In this way, some of the energy vampires might be blocked.

10. Empaths experience strong mood swings throughout the day

Empaths have a tendency to have strong mood swings during the day. For example, after a day of interacting with many people, empaths may struggle with feeling all the feels. In this situation it is important for empaths to be aware of which emotions are theirs and which emotions belong to others. For this reason, it is recommended to try to rationalize what you feel multiple times throughout the day, even if it is tough. Therefore, reflect upon what happened to you before changing mood. Most likely, your mood changed after getting in contact with other people. Ask yourself whether these are your emotions or those of others.

11. Empaths get energized from nature

Empaths are truly in touch with nature. Accordingly, they use it as a source to recharge their energy. For example, actitivies such as walking in the forest, going to the beach or sitting in their garden while watching the stars are pure medicine for empaths. Furthermore, it is a wonderful method to empty their minds and get grounded. Consequently, being nature is of high importance for empaths in order to function properly.

12. Empaths understand people, even when they have a hard time expressing themselves

Sometimes, people try to tell how they feel and where they are coming from, but struggle to word their feelings. Whereas less empathic people may struggle to understand what the person is trying to say, an empath is able to sense what the other person is trying to say. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, this is one of the core traits of being an empath. Consequently, empaths are perfect listeners for people who struggle with expressing their feelings.

13. Empaths are natural healers

It is very common for empaths to pursue a caregiving career. Due to their extremely well-developed capability to emphasize with others, they are perfect teachers, psychologists, nurses, doctors and healers. Moreover, people feel comfortable around empaths and dare to share how they feel, what they experience and open up. For the simple reason that empaths can sense what they feel, they know that empaths are the right people to talk to.

14. Empaths strongly dislike arrogant and selfish people

For the reason that empaths have the strong urge to help others and at times put other people's needs above their own, they strongly dislike people who don't do the same. As a consequence, empaths don't get along with people who are selfish, egoistic and arrogant. Moreover, people who are showboats and think too highly of themselves compared to others are avoided by empaths. Although empaths are good at emphasizing, they struggle to understand how a person possibly can be and act this way.

15. Empaths don't like a chaotic environment

Because empaths experience 'peopling' so intensely, they prefer to live in a clean and simple environment. In this way, they come home to a calm space where they can re-charge. Often, empaths love minimalism and try to buy consciously. In fact, this is something that they have in common with highly sensitive people.

16. Empaths attract narcissists

Many empaths have been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist. However, this is a dangerous combination; the narcissist gives the empath the idea that they can be helped, and the empath falls for it and tries to heal the narcissist. Because empaths help and give without expecting much in return, they are the perfect prey for narcissists, who are not capable of being that sensitive, compassionate and empathic. 

17. Negativity overwhelms empaths

Unfortunately, empaths struggle to deal with negativity. For many empaths, negativity is lost energy and they prefer to stay in their happy place. Moreover, negativity takes up space in their energy tank. Space which they need to be able to both take care of themselves as well as others. When too much negativity is loaded upon an empath, he or she will feel empty and unable to function properly. In these situations, it is important for empaths to clean their energy. For example, this meditation is useful in order to clear negative energy:

18. Empaths know stuff without being told

Because empaths have strong intuition, they have a tendency to know stuff even without being told. Consequently, when an empath is truly in tough with his or her gift, this capability will become stronger. Accordingly, they can use this gift as a radar in life and help others with their advice.

19. Empaths feel other people's pain

As mentioned, this study stated that there are so-called super empaths, who are able to mirror the touch of others. Accordingly, there are also empaths who feel the pain of others as if it was their own. Consequently, when somebody they care for is in deep pain, they tend to take on that pain. However, this can be tough for empaths, who wish that they could take away the other person's pain, but are unable to do so.

20. Empaths feel a strong need to be alone

Although empaths love people and care for them deeply, they feel a strong urge to be alone rather often. However, this has nothing to do with the people around them, but with their need to recharge their energy tank. As a result, empaths are interested in various self-care methods that they can do on their own, preferably in touch with nature and the spiritual world.

Anne-Kathrin Walter
Written By

Anne-Kathrin Walter

Co-Founder of HiSensitives
Anne-Kathrin Walter is a writer, social media expert and the co-founder of HiSensitives. HiSensitives is a personal growth brand for highly sensitive people and empaths. Many highly sensitive people and empaths still see their trait as a weakness, and HiSensitives wants to change that. Therefore, Anne-Kathrin and her partner Riny have made it their mission to make the world a better place for highly sensitive people and empaths. With HiSensitives, they want to inspire HSP's and empaths worldwide to invest more time in themselves and their personal growth.