I remember an instance when I rang the cable company to ask about upgrading my service. After some time had passed, the man I was speaking to had basically poured his heart out about his wife’s battle with cancer.
I never found the information I was looking for, but it wasn’t that important any longer. I had given someone comfort and reassurance- even if they had no idea why they felt the need to tell me this stuff in the first place.
“As much as we notice, consciously or subconsciously, there are some things you’ll notice about us too.”
A very similar situation happened when I was out at a restaurant with my niece. I ordered my drink and the next thing I knew, our waiter was asking me how to handle leaving their spouse. There are countless stories like this for me, but I want to know how many you have.
Marshall Rosenberg, author of Non-Violent Communication, defines empathy as this:
“In empathy, you don’t speak at all. You speak with the eyes. You speak with the body. If you say any words at all, it’s because you are not sure you are with the person. So you may say some words. But the words are not empathy. Empathy is when the other person feels the connection to with what’s alive in you.”
With empaths, as much as we notice, consciously or subconsciously, you’ll notice a few things about us too.
1. We are accused of being “too sensitive” or “too emotional.”
Empaths are not “too” anything. They feel things deeply- both positive and negative. They are in touch with their emotions, and yours. Though it might be harder for an empath to operate in a world designed for less-sensitive people, being an empath has several positive aspects.
2. We can’t stand being lied to
All it takes is a simple glance in your direction to know you are lying to us. A lot of people don’t realize this, but being lied to really sucks for an empath. We feel it ooze into every aspect of the relationship…and it usually ends them.
3. Negative media images directly affect us
It’s hard, almost impossible, for an empath to “unfeel” something. We avoid the news, and if we see something upsetting, our emotions are a mess for quite a while. Imagine feeling overwhelming sadness and suffering every single time you saw something violent or upsetting on the news. That’s what it is like for us.
4. Crowded places overwhelm us
Empaths exist in all personality types, including introvert and extrovert, but even the outgoing ones are easily overwhelmed in crowds. The sheer force of energies and feelings you absorb is exhausting. You might like going to concerts and sporting events, but once there, you can’t wait to leave.
5. We love to heal
Empaths want what is best for you and your wellbeing. Of course, as with all of our advice, it is only helpful if you actually implement it in your life.
6. We are sensitive to stimulants and medications
Coffee, certain teas, energy drinks, soda- anything with caffeine makes us more anxious and agitated than the rest of the world. And, when it comes to medications, we try to avoid them as much as possible because of the myriad of side effects we experience.
7. We can only be us
As far as honest people go, empaths are the truest friends you could ask for. We know who we are and we embrace it fully. It’s other people who seem to have an issue with our sensitive nature and honest attitude.
8. We experience what you are experiencing
If someone we are close to is ill, depressed, or agitated, we display those same symptoms. We are so connected to what you are going through, that we go through it with you.
9. We don’t like animals, we LOVE animals
Empaths don’t have pets, we have family members. When we see an animal in the wild, we see a soul…perfect and pure. We talk to them in various ways just as you would your best friend, and guess what…they talk back.
10. Tired, exhausted, and fatigued is normal for us
Because we absorb so much from others, we don’t just deal with our own emotional and mental drains, we deal with everybody’s.
11. If we give advice, take it. If we take the time to listen to your dilemma, and give you heartfelt advice, just listen to it. We know what we are talking about and if you ask for our advice and ignore it, well, let’s just say it kinda annoys us to no end.
12. We are easily distracted
Perhaps it is due to our heightened sensitivity to everything around us, but empaths are easily distracted and tend to lose focus. It’s not a bad thing, we are simply enjoying all the small things you might not notice.
13. We can’t stand narcissism
If you are head over heels in love with your reflection, your money, and your ego- just stay away. We really can’t roll our eyes any harder.
14. Certain sounds really bother us
But it’s not just sounds. Certain textures, fabrics, bright lights and loud noises can really get to us. The polar opposite is true as well. Soft sounds, gentle caresses, and delicate tastes are also highly noticed, but in a pleasant way.
15. We are great listeners
It’s true. You can tell us anything and everything about your life and we will listen. We will take that journey with you and experience all the highs and lows contained within. And what’s even better, is that we hold no judgement over what you tell us. We are there to help you, not to hurt you.