Empathy is the gift of being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel things as if you were them. Empaths are those in your life who are the healers, the nurturers, the highly sensitive lovers that give, and give, and give, often to the point of exhaustion.
Though considered rare, empaths actually make up 15-20% of the population, meaning that there is a chance you yourself could be one.
What Is An Empath?
Empath (n): a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
Empaths are deeply sensitive individuals who are highly attuned to the emotions and energy of others. They can easily take on the emotions of others as their own. This can be a challenge when they have porous boundaries and end up absorbing the pain and stress of others.
Empaths are sharply intuitive and are adept at reading people and situations beyond just surface-level impressions. Due to their giving nature as well as their keen insight into the human psyche, they tend to be natural healers.
“Being empathetic is when your heart goes out to somebody when they feel joy or sadness,” explains Judith Orloff, MD, psychiatrist and author of The Empath’s Survival Guide. “But being an empath means you can actually feel their happiness or anxiety in your own body.”
While most of us have the ability to empathize, Dr. Elaine Aron (1991) discovered that highly sensitive individuals make up approximately 15-20% of the population. So, if you have ever felt like your personality almost continuously attracts those who need guidance and help in life — you may be an empath.
The Main Empath Traits
- Highly sensitive
- Good Listener
- Easily Overwhelmed
Am I An Empath? Questions To Ask Yourself If You Think You Are An Empath:
- Am I often called highly sensitive, or emotional?
- When a friend feels hurt, or overwhelmed, do I start to feel it too?
- 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, such as overeating or promiscuity?
- Am I afraid of becoming completely overtaken by intimate relationships?
If you answer yes to 1-3 of these questions, you are partly empathetic. If you answer yes to 3 or more of these questions, you are a highly sensitive individual, and you have found your personality type.