empath

Empath ― Questions and Answers You Need to Know

Are you an Empath? Psychologists say that as many as one in five is an Empath.  We’ve put together answers to the common questions about this subject.

List of Frequently Asked Questions About an Empath

What Is An Empath?

An Empath is sensitive to the feelings and energy of others.  Some can feel the energy of places and objects. What’s more, they can feel such a deep connection with others that they can feel their emotional pain. As a result, this topic opens up a lot of questions.

Definitions

First, let’s look at terms of our subject.  We want to see how they are similar and how they differ.  So, what are Sympathy and Empathy? How do they relate to an Empath?

Sympathy 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 feeling 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 why 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.

An Empath is someone with a high degree of empathetic awareness.  They can feel the emotions and energy of other people and places. This level of emotional sensitivity is a function of awareness.

So, even if you don’t consider yourself an Empath, you will likely relate to this feeling.  In fact, everyone with a healthy sense of compassion and social awareness empathizes with those who suffer.  Only those narcissistic personality disorders are unsympathetic to the pain of other living things.

Paranormal or Supernatural Ability?

Are the abilities of an Empath supernatural or paranormal?  The short answer is no.  However, our society uses these labels to make them undesirable.  This is an attempt to demonize them.  It wants to make these gifts 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 good 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 questioning their message.

The main 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.  By in large its main concern is financial profit.  Its primary product is the afterlife.  There are no customer complaints with this product.   Moreover, it’s 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 definitely 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 a test to determine if you are an Empath?

No, sorry there isn’t a valid test for Empath ability.  However, you’ll find a number of Empath tests online.  However, these are just lists of generalized traits which apply to almost everyone.

It’s important to realize the abilities of an Empath are a function of awareness.  And, our awareness fluctuates during the day. So, if there was a test then it would only measure your awareness at that point. A number of factors affect our awareness. For instance, when we don’t get enough sleep thinking is foggy.  Also, awareness can be altered with drugs. That’s why people drink coffee or other things. Similarly, mental and physical health are major factors affecting awareness.

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.  Finding ways to access these gifts is a central focus of many ancient cultures.  And so, we are able to benefit from generations of their research. These methods for expanding awareness are what we call spiritual exploration.  We employ them in our blended learning process.

What’s more, these tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable processes which 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.

What Personality Types are More Likely to be an Empath?

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 Personality Profile test 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, if being an Empath isn’t related to our personality or instinct, where could this sensitivity reside?  Ever hear of our sixth sense?

The Sixth Sense of an Empath

Have you ever had the feeling someone or something is watching you? 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 show that they are aware of people observing them even though it is physically impossible to see.  This is something science can’t yet explain, but it happens.

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.

Are Empaths Introverts?

People assume 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 an excuse to isolate or act unsociably.  These are signs of mental health issues like depression.  Also, you should not confuse anti-social personality disorders with identification as an Empath.

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.

Empath as a Focus of your Identity

If you identify as an Empath, ask yourself these questions. Why does this term resonate so deeply with me?  Does the label of an Empath make me feel special?  In other words, is my value as a person dependent upon my being an Empath?  Do I use it as an excuse to isolate or avoid addressing other problems?

The above questions deal with how we see and relate to our sense of self-worth.  We live in a culture bombarding use 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 true 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 vastly different. Learn why.

Empaths and 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 own worldview, our own 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.

Targets for Energy Vampires

Some people believe Empaths more susceptible to energy vampires.  The truth is 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.

empathy and emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a new catch-phrase in popular business culture.  It’s really 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 Certain Places?

Locations like people can give off negative energy.  For instance, many people find walking in a garden or forest helps them feel calm and peaceful.  Some people get the same peaceful feeling when walking in a cemetery. After all, these are places which receive an outpouring of love.  However, everyone has their own places which they find help them feel calm and centered.

On the other hand, some places give off negative energy.  In fact, 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.

How to Deal with Life as an Empath

If you think you are an Empath, then you need to learn how to control your vulnerability.  Learning coping skills to shield your emotions will give you more freedom and autonomy.  Unfortunately, many Empaths struggle because they don’t learn proper coping skills.  As a result, they go through life feeling like a target for energy vampires.

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 also 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.  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, most importantly, 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 own 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 you 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 really matter what you call it.

The fact is you can tell it when something or someone violates this sacred space of awareness. So, when this happens it’s 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.  In fact, you can use this as a proactive measure to stop any intrusion.

The mantra we recommend is one which will break the hold of the energy vampire.   A mantra is a vibrational formula which creates a specific result.  Consequently, 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.

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:

Om Kshraum Naraismhaya Namaha

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.

Summation

So, in essence, the qualities and characteristics of an Empath are available to everyone.  It all depends on your levels 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.

In Conclusion

Thanks for reading this article. We hope it provides some food for thought.  You can find more mind opening topics on our blog. Also, please take a few minutes to learn about our mission at the “about” tab.  If you have questions about spiritual exploration, then click on the frequently asked questions tab FAQ.

Our blended learning process at the core of our mission.  This makes it possible for people to learn several techniques at the same time.  And, it aligns perfectly with the phases of the Hero’s Journey.  This is the term Joseph Campbell uses to describe the universal pattern of consciousness development.

In addition, if this inner quest is of interest check out the virtual learning sessions link.  It mirrors the curriculum in our face-to-face workshops.  And, please consider donating to support our mission of providing these ancient spiritual development tools.

Image by Unsplash.

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