What Everyone Needs To Know About Being An Empathetic Person

highly empathetic person eye

The life of a highly empathetic person is shocking. And it isn’t just about the super-powers that we empaths have. There are gifts and curses of being a highly empathetic person.

I used to wonder why I’m so sensitive. Why I am a highly empathetic person.

I used to wonder why I’m cursed with high levels of empathy. And I used to see my heightened empathy and compassion as a bane.

Perhaps you’re in the same boat with me, constantly feeling other people’s pain and wondering why you’re so much more sensitive and emotional than everyone else.

But here’s the good news.

Your heightened empathy and sensitivity is the result of superior intellect.

Because of those heightened feelings you’re going to end up soaring high, going from one success to another.

Once we get a grip on empathy, we can start to use it to our advantage

The importance and value of empathy was scientifically proven in a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership [1]. The study investigated 6,731 leaders from 38 countries and concluded that empathy is positively related to job performance. This is especially true for managers. Managers with heightened levels of empathy are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses.

That’s just one of the advantage of being an empath.

There are many more, as I’ll share in a moment.

But first you might be wondering, just what is an empath? What are the pros and cons of being an empath? And how can you make use of your empathy and tune into your intuition.


What is a highly sensitive empath

Empathy is that state where you can feel people’s emotions.

“Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain,” says Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empaths Survival Guide.

“But for empaths it goes much further.

“We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”

empaths survival guide book


The definition of a highly sensitive / empathetic person is “an individual who is acutely aware of the emotions of other people.”

You’ll know if you’re a highly sensitive / empathetic person from the following signs:

  1. You sense the feelings of other people.
  2. You have insight into what’s going on in the inner world of people
  3. You often feel isolated because you exist on an emotional plain most people never reach.
  4.  You share the pain of others–“Empathy moves us to share in another’s pain, to really see the world through their eyes,” says David R Hamilton, PhD. 
  5. Overall, it is as though you can psychically feel what other people are feeling.

Note that this is different to simply being a highly sensitive person.  Let’s take a quick look at the differences between a highly sensitive person and a highly sensitive empath.


Highly Sensitive Person VS Highly Sensitive Empath

Being an empath is not the same thing as being a highly sensitive person.

The key difference between a highly sensitive person and a highly sensitive empath is that HSPs (highly sensitive people) are sensitive to things pertaining to themselves.

Highly sensitive people:

  • take jokes personally.
  • are easy to offend.
  • feel mostly for themselves.

A highly sensitive empath, on the other hand, is someone who is keenly aware of the feelings of other people.

Regardless of whether you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP) or a highly sensitive empath (HSE) it’s worth taking a moment to consider the root cause of your sensitivity.


Reasons Why We Become Empaths

Upbringing is one of the main causes o being an empath.

“Research has demonstrated that exposure to conflict and violence in the home can shape children’s neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses,” says clinical psychologist Rick Nauert.

The environment we’re brought up in changes our neurological pathways and alters both our recognition of, and response to, the emotions of other people, leading many to heightened levels of empathy.

When we are born, we have psychological defense mechanisms that prevent us from being too easily influenced by other people’s emotions.

The more emotional pain or abuse we are subjected to as children, the more this defence mechanism breaks down. That’s why people who are born into abusive families often become empaths.

Once this defence mechanism is worn down, we become hypersensitive and hyperaware of other people’s emotions.

This can be a problem.

Most empaths, seeing the emotions of others, will try to solve the problems for the other person.

This is why empaths are often the targets of emotional manipulators. Other people pretend to be upset or hurt because they know that people like you and me will immediately rush to their aid. They use gaslighting techniques to take advantage of us. Why? Because they’re selfish. Why? Because they lack empathy where we have too much of it.

My personal story:

I have always been extremely emotional because I had, for many many years, lived in a turbulent and explosive environment. There was a lot of arguing in my home when I was younger and a lot of emotion. Because of this, I essentially became conditioned to think that any minor issue would lead to a full blown argument and a lot of emotional suffering. That mindset made me incredibly sensitive to any negative emotions. I learned to immediately recognise other people’s emotions. It is a self defense mechanism.

If you too are highly sensitive, then there are a few important factors to be aware of.

There are some complications of the HSP personality that you need to know.

The truth is that while highly sensitive empaths are vitally important people they are also prone to some issues.



Empath Problems

Highly Sensitive / Empathetic people are extremely valuable individuals, but they are prone to issues.

“When empathy goes into overdrive, people put themselves at risk for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and physical complications such as heart disease and high blood pressure,” says David Sack M.D.

Many people (especially clairsentient, sensitive, intuitive and lightworker types) can suffer from problems of overly active empathy.

If you’re one of them, you may have noticed that you do everything to make sure other people are happy, and it’s rarely requited.

You care more than other people.

Then you wonder why other people don’t care as much as you do.

This sense of caring-for people but not having people care about you can lead to to a sense of isolation.

Why highly sensitive empaths go through hell

Aristotle said: “To perceive is to suffer.”

When you’re  a highly sensitive empath you are more perceptive of other people’s emotions, and this can lead to suffering.

Taking up other people’s emotions leads to a lot of emotional weight on your shoulders.

This is why you may sometimes struggle in social situations.

“There is physical evidence within the brain that proves that highly sensitive individuals respond especially strongly to social situations that trigger emotions,” says Dr. Aron, a Research Professor in Psychology at Stony Brook University [1]

Highly sensitive empaths soak up other people’s emotions, and then those emotions come pouring out of them.

That’s a lot of emotion to run through one person.

Your perceptions give you strength. But they also cause you suffering.

In fact, many empaths are so tired of the emotional strain that they have developed a serious health problem: adrenal fatigue.


Empaths At Risk Of Developing Adrenal Fatigue

Empaths are at dangerously high risk of developing adrenal syndrome and insomnia.

Studies show that empaths are at dangerously high risk of experiencing a sudden onset of adrenal fatigue syndrome. If you have ever experienced a sudden and unexpected crash in energy levels, it might have been the result of heightened levels of fatigue, according to the latest research.

When empaths are in contact with emotional individuals, and particularly individuals with lots of negative energy, it can sap away at the empath’s mind, leading to a severe draining of energy.

When empaths spend too much time around other people they can experience emotional exhaustion. This can lead to mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Negative emotions and painful thoughts can cause a weakening of the immune system leading to devastating consequences.

If you’re an empath, you need alone time

When exhausted, empaths must be left alone so they can recharge their energy.

Time alone gives empaths an opportunity to release the thoughts and feelings they’ve absorbed throughout the day.

Practicing meditation is particularly good for empaths as it helps them to release that stored-up emotion.

When we are unable to distance ourselves from other people, and when we absorb too much emotions, thoughts and feelings keep us up at night. This results in sleep deprivation, which can lead to insomnia. The side effects of insomnia include anxiety, depression, stress, and a weakened immune system.

Not only is it hard to get to sleep at these times, we are also likely to experience light sleeping/ We will wake up often. And when we wake we may be troubled by the emotions of the people we’ve been hanging around with.

Restlessness is an all too common problem for empaths.

We are hypersensitive to the emotions of others. This can cause information overload, but not in the usual sense. This isn’t information overload from TV or the internet. It’s a spiritual kind of information overload. It’s psychological. It’s being overloaded with too many emotions, thoughts and feelings.

These thoughts and feelings consume the mind. And it isn’t easy to get out of the trap. It’s like a Chinese finger trap. The more you fight the more stuck you get.


Adrenal Fatigue is a serious threat to empaths

The Mayoclinic defines adrenal fatigue syndrome as, “a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.”

The adrenal glands are responsible for creating hormones that are essential to our health. Insufficient production of these hormones occurs in Addison’s disease. [2]

You might have Addisons disease if:

  • You have hair loss
  • You experience aches and pains
  • You have rapidly lose weight
  • You are experiencing loss of body hair
  • High levels of fatigue

The main cause of adrenal fatigue syndrome is stress, and for the empath this can be caused by too much emotional information entering the mind.

When experiencing any of these conditions, spend time alone and relax.

When we experience these dips in energy we must take proactive steps to get our energy back in healthy ways.  Give up on sugar, coffee and smoking.  Use some techniques to stop feeling tired instead.  Junk food, sugar, and other easy but unhealthy options are not going to help in the long run. Exercise, healthy food, meditation and relaxation.

How to stay healthy as an empath

There are ways to keep the adrenal gland healthy in empaths.

When we start thinking positively we create a defense for our minds, preventing them from getting overrun with other people’s negative emotions.

Mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy is also a powerful way of keeping the mind free of stress.

As with most things, prevention is the key. It is vital that we be aware of the mind and body at all times.

We must monitor our stress levels and emotional levels.

We must have a point at which we say “enough”, a point at which we stop what we are doing and prioritise our health. When we start to feel overwhelmed, we must find solitude and unwind. This is being compassionate for the mind and body.


3 Ways Empaths Can Prevent Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Use these 3 methods to stop adrenal fatigue syndrome. Consult your doctor first.

1: Eat a healthy, balanced diet:

Include all essential vitamins and minerals and make sure to eat at a healthy time and in a healthy way. Eating mindfully is one good way of improving digestive health.

The best book for developing a healthy diet that will help support your adrenal glands (and help you lose weight too) is Alan Christianson’s The Adrenal Reset Diet.


2: Get a good night’s sleep:

Sleep is vital to… everything. And it can have a profound impact on your adrenal glands. Getting to bed early, getting a good night’s sleep, and waking up with a positive attitude will all have a positive impact on your adrenal glands.

3: Get away from negative people 

For empaths, one of the primary causes of stress is negative and overly emotional people. They sap our energy away and leave us emotionally and physically exhausted. We naturally want to help other people. We need to help ourselves too. The key is to seek solitude when we need it.

4: Recite a relaxing mantra to help you sleep.




10 Power Tips For Empaths

“Empathy is the most precious human quality”— The Dalai Lama 

It is a challenging life, being an empath. But as Bruce Lee said:

“Pray not for an easy life, but for the strength to endure a challenging one.”

As an empath, you already know what it feels like to have too much emotions. You know how difficult it can be to focus on your own needs and to not get overly involved in the emotions and needs of others. You know what it feels like to see a person cry and to immediately feel the pain in them.

Many empaths struggle.

Statistics from Google show that thousands of people every month search for “Empath survival tips” or “How to cope with being an empath.”



You’re got to be kidding me.

Sure, being an empath can be a challenge. But personal mastery means making the most of what you are. And if you’re an empath, like me, you’ve got to take advantage of it.

What’s good about being an empath?

There are lots of benefits of being an empath.

Judith Orlaff, M.D  says, “We empaths have many marvelous traits. We have huge hearts and the instinct to help others in need or who are less fortunate. We’re dreamers and idealists. We’re passionate, deep, and creative, in touch with our emotions, compassionate, and can see the big picture.”  

So how do we make the most being an empath?

These 10 tips for empaths make the world of difference for me!


How To Succeed As An Empath 

1: Indentify drainers  

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room.

As empaths, we naturally want to help everyone. The idea of distancing ourselves from negative people (whom I call “drainers”) makes us feel a little bit sick in the gut, doesn’t it? Feels selfish. Feels wrong.

Well guess what?

Your emotional needs matter every bit as much as everyone else’s!

You value other people’s emotions. You hate it when other people are hurting. But you should hate it even more when you yourself are hurt.

Drainers are the main reason why empaths suffer.

We need to change that.

So here is our first tip for empaths:

Tell one negative person in your life that you are distancing yourself from them. Do this right now. After all, momma always said to “strike while the iron is hot”.


2: Indentify energisers. And be grateful for them

The problem of being an empath: you absorb other people’s emotions.

The benefit of being an empath: you absorb other people’s emotions.

Spend time with positive people and you will absorb their positive energy. This is the gift of being an empath. And it is probably the absolute best tip for empaths.

Appreciate all the positive people in your life. Express gratitude for them. Spend more time with them.

Want another tip, empaths?

When you want to spend time with drainers, find situations in which they give out positive energy. Your drainer will exhibit positive energy in certain ways. Make use of that.


3: Create an energy shield

Your painful past wore down your mind’s defences.  Good news: you can build them back up again.

The best way to rebuild your mind is by using your imagination.

One potent technique is to imagine an energy shield that prevents negative energy from entering your mind.

Around negative people? Imagine an energy shield surrounding you, preventing their negative energy from entering your mind.


4: Be mindful of your thoughts

Mindfulness is a wonderful gift for empaths. With the right mindfulness techniques, we can boost the mind and we can learn to manage both positive and negative energy.

Mindfulness makes you more aware of your thoughts and feelings. And once you are aware you will have control. So practice being mindful.


5: Forgiveness

The negative energy that has built up like a well in your soul can only be emptied with the gift of forgiveness [Read: Ultimate Tutorial On Forgiving].

As empaths, we are more likely to suffer than most people. We experience heightened emotions. This can cause scars. And scars take time to heal.

The key to healing emotional scars is forgiveness.

Who can you forgive today? What negative energy can you release from your spirit right now?


6: Let go of emotions

As empaths, we aren’t just more aware of other people’s emotions, we are more aware of our own emotions too. And we sometimes cling to those emotions like corral on rock.

We must let go of our emotions.

The key is consciousness.

By being consciously aware of our emotions, and then imagining those emotions flowing out of our souls, we can cleanse our spirits of build-up emotions.

Practice letting go or old emotions. And embrace the new. 


7: Create inner peace with meditation

Inner peace is what most empaths crave. We have been through emotional pain. You likely know full well what it is to suffer. And the idea of inner peace seems like a distant dream.

Dreams are possible futures waiting to happen.

We can make inner peace happen for us.

The key is meditation.

My book Journey To The Buddha Within You shows how to create inner peace using the power of traditional meditation techniques. Take a look at that link. It will empower you to control your mind and to create inner peace.



8: Face the fear and say “No” anyway

We empaths are the nicest people around (and the most valuable). We live to help other people.

Reality check: we need to know when to say “No”.

As empaths, we know what it’s like to be taken for a ride. I bet someone has taken advantage of your empathy at some point, right? And they probably didn’t even say sorry.

We need to change that.

Make it a habit to say no to any unreasonable request.


9: Bathe your spirit in nature

Nature is the greatest gift. Especially for empaths.

As an empath, when you are out in nature you probably feel a tremendous sense of relief. You feel relaxed and tranquil. You can feel positive energy flowing from the world into your own spirit.

Empaths need to spend more time in nature. It is the best way to release pent-up emotions and to restore positive energy.


10: Change your perspective

Most things in life come down to perspective. Empathy is another one of those things.

Change your perspective on emotion and you will change your life as an empath.

See the good in pain.

See the many life lessons that people gain through suffering.

Then, you will be less urgent to stop pain when you see it.

Pain is often the pathway to enlightenment. Do not be too sad for people when they are down. It might be end up being the most important lesson they ever learn.

Reflect on your life. Is there anywhere you need a change of perspective?


Being an empath is a gift. We feel more than other people feel. Life is about feelings, about emotions, about experience. And as empaths we experience more, feel more, and understand more.

Don’t just survive as an empath. Own it.

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