Do you feel like you absorb people’s emotions like a sponge, whether those emotions are positive or negative? Does it leave you feeling exhausted? Or do you maybe feel like you have a strong grasp of the general “vibe” of a room or a gathering of people?
These are but a few traits of what we call an empath. If these traits are familiar to you, read on to learn more and see if you are an empath yourself!
First, what exactly is an “empath”? We can describe empaths as people who “absorb the world’s joys and stresses like emotional sponges,” according to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Empaths are folks who are more sensitive than is the average. Their wellbeing can be affected by environments and personalities. When it comes to giving to the outside world, they have a lot of love and care to pass around because they feel so intensely.
Here are a few traits and signs you might be an empath yourself:
1. You feel emotionally drained quite often
Because empaths are so closely connected to the emotions of others, they often carry emotional loads that they soak up like sponges. This can come from other people or emotional events, such as funerals or weddings. This tendency to “absorb” emotions can take a toll on empaths, which often leads to a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality, and heightened stress overall.
2. You are known for your great emotional support
On the upside, their ability to connect on a deep emotional level means empaths are excellent providers of emotional nourishment. Empaths are known for being good shoulders to lean on because they pick up when a person is sad, lonely, or mad faster than most around them. These traits allow empaths to offer deep and healing support to the people who they care for.
3. You have a strong love for the smaller of us
Do you find yourself full to brim with love when you see animals or babies? Then you are likely an empath! While universally loved, babies and animals seem to have a much stronger effect on empaths. This is likely to do with babies and animals’ loving if helpless natures.
4. You can find closeness overwhelming
When there is close contact and intimacy too often, empaths can get overwhelmed quickly and suffer from stress, anxiety, and sensory overload. People who aren’t as understanding of your nature can feel hurt by this need for space, which leads to misunderstandings and frayed love connections.
5. You can tell when people are lying
Nobody is fully safe from being deceived, but empaths have a higher rate of telling when somebody is lying. This is thanks to their strong connection to their “gut instincts” which lead to a heightened sense of social awareness. Even the tiniest of social clues are picked up by an empath!
6. You find crowded places overwhelming
The empath’s ability to absorb vibes just by being in proximity of someone can be a gift, but it can also be a bane! Empaths often find crowded places overwhelming due to the presence of so many emotional energies bouncing off of one another. This is why empaths are known to be more in tune with nature and prize solitude.