Psychologists say that one in five identifies as an Empath. This is someone that senses the emotional state of others. We’ve put together answers to the common questions about this subject. Find out if you are one and what you can to make life easier with this gift.
We’ll start by defining the terms and then go to the most asked questions. We want to see how they are similar and how they differ. Then we’ll answer some most asked questions like is there an accurate Empath test?
Life As An Empath
This is a person sensitive to the feelings and energy of others. Some also feel the energy of places and objects. They can feel such a deep connection with others that they feel emotional and physical pain. Energy sensitivity is a function of awareness. It has nothing to do with personality or instinct. People from many backgrounds can have this gift.
You have a one in five chance of having some level sensitivity that would fit the Empath Definition. If this is you, then you will want to know how to handle this function of awareness. It is natural to curious about how it works.
You’ll want to know if you can increase your abilities. You will also want to know how to shield yourself from unwanted sensitivity. Being able to shut it off is just as important as increasing the bandwidth. Your curiosity about this ability it what draws you to things like the Empath Test.
This is feeling and expressing your own emotions. For instance, feelings of loss or pain might prompt you to act with concern for the wellbeing of others. Similarly, positive emotions like love, harmony, or agreement may also spark your good deeds.
Empathy is being able to relate to the emotions of others. You can have Empathetic feelings for one person. Or, they can expand to include groups, places, or things. The Eastern idea of Oneness is empathy felt for everyone and everything. This is the reason empathy is so important. We need people who care about others. Global problems need people who care enough to find solutions. Empathy is the key to maintaining healthy relationships.
So, even if you don’t identify with the Empath Definition, you will probably relate to this feeling. Everyone with a healthy sense of compassion and social awareness empathizes with those who suffer. Those narcissistic personality disorders are unsympathetic to the pain of other living things. Emotionally healthy people will have sympathy and empathy for people and the planet. This differs from those with the gift to feel the actual emotions and physical pain of others.
The Empaths Frequently Asked Questions
If you identify with that one in five who have the gift of energy sensitivity, then you probably have questions about what it is and how to deal with it. Awareness is an interesting thing. It is hard to explain the parameters of emotional sensitivity to those who don’t have it. And, it is mysterious to those who have it. It comes in varying degrees. Above all, this gift or ability makes life interesting.
Are Empath abilities Paranormal or Supernatural?
Are these abilities of supernatural or paranormal? The short answer is that depends on how you define paranormal. However, our society uses these labels to make people with this gift undesirable. This is an attempt to demonize. It wants to make these emotional skills socially unacceptable. Doing so prevents people from exploring them.
The fact is, our empathetic ability grows as we expand our awareness. The growth of our awareness is a wonderful thing. As we become more aware, we use common sense and logic. Use these and you will see the inconsistencies and fallacies in our culture. Then you’ll start questioning the cultural narrative. And, the dominant culture does not want us to question their message.
The principal force in our society comes from Western organized religion. Even if you aren’t a follower, you feel the effects of its control of the culture. Its principal concern is financial profit. Its primary product is the afterlife. There are no customer complaints with this product. It is an effective war-proof strategy.
For this reason, the culture doesn’t want people to be awake and aware. Awareness leads to more empathy. And, this leads to more kindness and compassion. These traits break down the barriers it works so hard to create. So, it wants to make the abilities of empathy off-limits. So, that’s why it projects the message that these abilities are supernatural or paranormal.
Is There an Accurate Empath Test?
No, sorry we have not found a valid test for determining this type of energy awareness. It is important to realize that these empathic abilities are a function of awareness. And, our awareness fluctuates during the day. If you have the emotional sensitivity that fits the empath definition then you now emotional energy is fickle. It changes based on our mood and the mood of others.
So, if there was a test then it would only measure your awareness at a specific date and time. Several factors affect our awareness. For instance, when we don’t get enough sleep, thinking is foggy. Also, awareness can alter with drugs. That’s why people drink coffee or other things. Similarly, mental and physical health are major factors affecting awareness.
However, if you are still interested in an Empath test, you’ll find several online. We have found that these are just lists of generalized traits. These traits apply to almost everyone.
As far as we know, they have not developed an accurate test that would identify this partition of awareness. By all means, don’t pay to take a quiz. Some ask you to choose pictures. These tests may be fun but they are not accurate.
Can You Learn or Increase Empath Abilities?
Our empathetic ability will increase or decrease in direct relation to awareness. So, yes, there are tools to enhance this natural ability.
Our DNA holds these gifts. Accessing these gifts is a central focus of many ancient cultures. And so, we can benefit from generations of their research. These methods for expanding awareness are what we call spiritual exploration. We use them in our blended learning process.
Also, these tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable processes that allow us to reach higher states. We can measure the unique physiological properties of these states. They differ from our default settings of waking, sleeping, and dreaming. For the most part, these tools come from Eastern cultures. This probably because they focus on developing human potential.
Are Empaths likely to be a certain personality type?
Are some personality types more likely to be an Empath? No, this does not appear to be the case. Also, they don’t appear to identify more with one instinct. These findings come from over 20 years of research gathering data with the Enneagram.
We use the Enneagram of Personality in our workshops and research. It’s the best tool for learning about our Ego. Even among the feeling Tri-types, you’d expect there to be a larger number of Empaths. However, this is not the case here either. They appear in the same numbers across all aspects of personality and instinct. So, this gift of sensitivity does not to our personality or instinct. Where could this sensitivity reside? Ever hear of our sixth sense?
Is the sixth sense the same as being an Empath?
The sixth sense is the ability to perceive beyond the five senses of hearing, taste, sight, smell, and touch. Because of this, some refer to it as extrasensory perception (ESP). We’ve already discussed energy sensitivity is an unusual type of awareness. So, perhaps that feeling someone or something is watching you will extend this ability?
This is not uncommon. It’s something we share with many animals. It’s a proven psychological phenomenon. Studies with people who have significant visual impairments are aware of people observing them. They sense being watched even though it is physically impossible to see. This is something science can’t yet explain, but it happens. So, perhaps ESP is simply a different channel of energy sensitivity?
Some scientists think this sixth sense is part of the hard-wiring of our autonomic nervous system. This is our fight, flight, or freeze reaction. Just like animals we need to be able to sense danger. Animals also share the emotional sense of an Empath. After all, we train dogs to be emotional support partners. They sense when the owner needs help before there are any outward signs. Therefore, it is clear many animals share this gift. That’s how they can expect predators.
Are Empaths Also Introverts?
People assume that Empaths must also be introverts. However, this isn’t the case. People with empathetic sensitivity are just as likely to be extroverts. Some people use the label of an Empath just an excuse to isolate or act unsociably. These are signs of mental health issues like depression. Therefore, you should not confuse anti-social personality disorders with emotional sensitivity.
Are Empaths Loners?
Do Empaths need more time alone that others who are not? No, not necessarily. The fact is, everyone needs time alone. Even the most aggressive personality types who are not Empaths need time alone. Our modern world is hectic and chaotic. It’s easy to let this become overwhelming. Our very nature requires time alone to recharge, contemplate, and normalize. Schedule time to meditate. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
How does being an Empath impact on my identity?
If you identify with this name or term, ask yourself these questions. Why does this term resonate so deeply with me? Does this label make me feel special? Is it a significant part of my identity? Do I use it as an excuse to isolate or avoid addressing other problems? Or, is it simply another part of my spiritual toolbox?
The above questions deal with how we see and relate to our sense of self-worth. We live in a culture bombarding us with messages we are inadequate unless we buy their product or idea. We achieve a false sense of self through belonging to a group or buying a product.
Our genuine sense of self-worth is not something we can purchase. Nor should we link it to anything which will change or diminish over time. However, we can cultivate it through self-compassion. This will help us achieve optimal health and wellness. This starts with self-compassion. Don’t confuse self-compassion with the counterfeit, self-esteem. They sound similar but are different. Learn why.
Do Empaths have greater intuition?
Being an Empath does not mean they have a higher sense of intuition. Receiving emotion or energy does not give an understanding of its source. We interpret the meaning of emotion and energy. When we do this we use our worldview, our personality, and instincts. Intuition is the ability to understand without the need for conscious reasoning. So, intuition has nothing to do with feeling external stimuli.
Are All Empaths Targets for Energy Vampires?
Some people believe Empaths more susceptible to energy vampires. Everyone who comes in their sights is a target. Energy, emotional and financial vampires seek anyone willing to give what they seek. Emotionally vulnerable people can be easier to persuade if they don’t know how to guard their emotional center. So, in a moment, we’ll discuss the process to make yourself less of a target.
The bottom line, vulnerability, and sensitivity are not the problem. The problem is that some people will attempt to prey on those who are positive and generous. You can learn to be kind and still protect yourself.
Do Empaths have greater emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a new catch-phrase in popular business culture. It’s the rebranding of psychological manipulation. This is a set of skills for masking emotional effect while reading the nonverbal communications of others. This encourages people to be less than forthcoming and authentic. It enables people to take advantage of communications and relationships for their own goals. It’s not something we recommend you learn. Instead, learn to be authentic and honest.
Are Empaths sensitive to places and locations?
Locations like people can give off negative energy. For instance, many people find walking in a garden or forest to help them feel calm and peaceful. Some people get the same peaceful feeling when walking in a cemetery. After all, these are places that receive an outpouring of love. However, everyone has their places which they find help them feel calm and centered.
Some places give off negative energy. Some places are unwelcome and menacing. Again, your sixth sense will tell you something is wrong. We’ll explain the coping strategies for dealing with negative people and places later.
Dealing with Life as an Empath
Vulnerability is a healthy part of life. But, always feeling vulnerable is not. If you live a courageous life, you risk yourself. You make a choice to be vulnerable. Those who have a high level of emotional sensitivity have a hard time if they don’t learn to control unwanted vulnerability. Learning the proper coping skills will give you the control to function in this hyper emotionally charged culture.
Let’s face it. If you are a sensitive and caring person you will attract needy people. So, you need to learn the proper skills to spot and cope with emotional vampires. If you learn to create healthy boundaries, then you’ll have more freedom with less stress. Also, some people are sensitive to the negative energy of certain places. The same coping skills will help with these as well.
First, Learn to Ground Yourself
Above all, it’s important to learn how to become grounded and centered. Grounding helps you to be aware of your physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries. Also, grounding and centering will keep your analytical mind online. In this way, you make better decisions by using reason, logic, and common sense. As a result, you’ll be able to avoid people or places which are energy, emotional and material vampires.
One of the best and simplest ways to become grounded is through the practice of mindfulness meditation. This takes two forms, seated and moving. By all means, everyone needs to learn and use these techniques. So, use your smartphone. Set a reminder least 4 times a day. Take the time to use mindfulness meditation to become grounded and maintain this state throughout the day.
Two, Spotting Energy Vampires
Learn to spot energy vampires by living grounded. Be proactive in sensing energy at a distance. Become aware of the energy of people before they enter your personal space. However, even if one slips inside your radar you’ll remain in control of your emotional center. It’s important to practice some phrases enabling you to disengage. Excusing yourself to go to the restroom is a favorite.
So trust your gut. This is that sixth sense we talked about earlier. This primal trigger is telling you that something is not right. Listen to it. The moment to identify someone who violates your healthy space stop and take a break. Find a way to make some physical space. When you do this, chances are, they will know they see through their mask.
Three, Protecting Your Soul Center
We have a window of consciousness we call our spirit or soul. It defines us as a single thing. We view reality through this window of awareness. Some refer to it as the center of our Being, soul, or spirit. It doesn’t matter what you call it.
You can tell it when something or someone violates this sacred space of awareness. So, when this happens its time for proactive measures. So, we recommend the use of an internal mantra to project a positive shield. This will enable you to keep your emotional equilibrium. You can use this as a proactive measure to stop an intrusion.
The mantra we recommend is one which will break the hold of the energy vampire. A mantra is a vibrational formula that creates a specific result. The proper mantra will shield you from attempts to drain your emotional center. As a result, you maintain your emotional equilibrium. And, it enables you to think rationally so you can find the best way to remove yourself from the source. You can also practice techniques to raise your vibration. We call this the practice of spiritual exploration.
It pays to become familiar with this mantra and its use. First, memorize it so it’s ready when you need it. If you encounter an energy vampire then starting saying this mantra internally. The Mantra is:
Literal translation: “I salute AND manifest energy that destroys the seemingly indestructible.” Here’s a link to a short video where you can hear this mantra.
So everyone has these qualities to some extent. Even if you don’t fit the textbook Empath definition, you probably have some latent sixth sense ability. Some people just have a greater sensitivity than most others.
If you desire, you can enhance these skills. It’s a skill set that depends on your level of self-awareness and mental health. It’s possible to increase your empathetic abilities by expanding your awareness. You can do this through the application of ancient spiritual techniques we call the path of spiritual exploration. Thankfully, you don’t need an Empath test to tell if you are sensitive. If you are, then you already know it.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia