Are You An Empath? Techniques To Help You Live A Normal Life

In Mary Carol’s guest post Just How Real Is Suffering?, she described an insight she had as a result of being subjected to the negative energy of others. It dawned on me that I’ve never really written about empathic abilities or how to deal with them, except in a roundabout way in the article “How To Deal With Energy Vampires“. ย Being an empath myself, I suffered through the unexplained mood swings, the feeling of being completely drained by others and the indignity of being told that I was “too sensitive”. So, if you’re an empath as well, I feel your pain (ha!). But not only are you not alone, there are techniques you can use to stabilize your own vibration and protect yourself against the onslaught of others’ energy. The key is in understanding exactly what is happening.

[Note: I realize that this post may seem a tad “technical”. I’ve included lots of links to articles and previous posts that explain some of these points much more fully. If you need further clarification on anything, though, you can always ask your question in the comments ]

What exactly is an empath?

Everyone has empathic abilities, so people who are defined as empaths aren’t fundamentally different from anyone else. We simply have an easier time connecting to the energy of others – like a talent. Anyone can learn to play a musical instrument, but some people will take to it quickly and make music from the moment they pick up a guitar, while others need weeks or months of study to get the first song out. ย Empaths are especially talented at connecting with and translating the energy of other people and places – their energy receptors are naturally more sensitive, if you will. How exactly that energy is translated comes down to the particular person. It can be a visceral feeling, an emotional response, some people see energy, others hear it, still others get images in their minds.

We all translate energy all day long – through our eyes, ears, noses, tongues and fingertips. We even regularly translate non-physical energy, often without realizing it. If you’ve ever had an “off” feeling about someone, you were translating their energy and feeling the discord between them and you. Everyone has this ability. Again, empaths are simply more sensitive, which causes them to pick up more of these frequencies. And that can lead to problems. But because we are translating energy all day long, it’s often impossible to discern between the energy we want to translate and the energy that just happens to be floating on by, unless we’ve trained ourselves to do so. Empathic children and teenagers in particular will have a really hard time with this, since they’re still coming to terms with their emotions in general. Take an overly emotional teenager, amp up their energy receptors and add a massive dose of conflicting and confusing feelings, then tell them to just suck it up and not be so sensitive and you’re going to have a rather ugly situation on your hands.

Adults with empathic abilities have often learned to “manage” the situation by shutting their sensitivity down. They mostly ignore their emotions and sensations, which means they’re ignoring their own feedback mechanism as well. Or, they may still feel the energy, but they don’t think or talk about it. They suffer silently. Women are afraid to be stamped as overly emotional, while men are afraid to be seen as weak. But there is nothing wrong with our emotions – they are simply vibrational indicators, a feedback mechanism that lets us know what’s going on in our own energy body. Having sensitive energy receptors may be a pain in the ass, but once you learn to manage them and become more skilled at discerning between the energy of others and your own, this skill can actually turn out to be a valuable asset.

So, what do you do when you’re walking down the street, sitting in a Yoga studio or trying to work at the office and you’re suddenly hit with emotions you can’t explain?

Recognize that the energy may not be your own

The first step in learning to manage the energies you’re picking up on is to understand that you have the ability to translate the vibrations of others. The energy you’re sensing may not be your own. Try to detach from the emotions or physical sensations you’re feeling and take on the role of observer. What are you experiencing? Name the emotion. Think of the cause of this emotion as a stream of energy that has just floated up to you and wafted through you. Let it keep going – let it float away. If you know how to work with your chakras, allow the energy to simply run up through your chakra system and out through your crown chakra. Release the feelings you’re experiencing. With some practice, this detachment exercise can help you to quickly release whatever you’ve just attached yourself to, which will not only help you let go of the resistance of others, but your own, as well. In other words, even if the emotions you’re experiencing are coming from you, detaching this way will bring you relief.

Focus on a neutral symbol

When you pick up on the energy of others, you are essentially allowing their vibration to influence yours. So, if you’re happy and someone is afraid, you cannot pick up their fear unless you allow your own frequency to dip down to theirs. The key to stopping this from happing, or to reverse it once it has happened, is to raise your own vibration back to where you want it to be. You can do this by focusing intently on something that makes you feel good. I’ve found that if you have a “Go To” symbol, something that comes to mind easily and is completely neutral (brings up no negative associations), it can help you quickly regain control over your own vibration. The more you practice focusing on this symbol, the easier and faster it will be for you to shift your emotions.

The symbol I personally use is the butterfly. This has nothing to do with butterflies, I just happen to like them and have built no negative associations with butterflies. I’ve used this symbol in many exercises, so I’ve built up a lot of energy around it. It’s very easy for me to focus on butterflies. So, when I’m out and about and suddenly get hit with a wave of say, anxiety, out of nowhere, I quickly focus exclusively on the symbol of a butterfly and the anxiety simply passes right through me.

It’s interesting to note that as I’ve gotten better at protecting and stabilizing my own energy, these kinds of events happen really rarely. Usually, it’s only when I’m really tired or my mind is all over the place, in other words, when I let my defenses down.

Limit exposure to “hot” zones

There are going to be events and places that are harder to deal with than others. The mall has always been my own personal nemesis. I can only handle being there for about two hours before I feel drained. If I insist on staying past that point, I’ll get irritated and downright bitchy. For this reason, I rarely go to the mall, and if I do, I don’t stay long. Large crowds can be another difficult zone for many. Protecting yourself against the energy of one or a few people is very different from subjecting yourself to the onslaught that comes from hundreds or thousands of individuals. I’ve found that it really comes down to the mood that these people are in. A large, angry crowd will cause me to run for the hills – I don’t want any part of that. But a happy group of people will create an energy wave that I’m happy to ride into the sunset. You see, empathic abilities work both ways! ๐Ÿ™‚

Although practice does make it easier to protect ourselves over time, there will always be places and events that will be more difficult to digest. Figure out what your “hot zones” are and limit your exposure to them.

Prepare yourself before you leave the house

You can prepare your energy and stabilize yourself before you go out into the world and mingle with all the energy that’s floating about out there. I like to use a grounding meditation, where I see a column of light running vertically through my chakras (or spine). It runs deep into the earth, connecting me with nature and mother earth, and up into space, connecting me to the energy of the Universe. Even just a few minutes spent applying this grounding method leaves me feeling stronger and refreshed.

The second thing you can do is to train your mind to view situations and people in a way that makes you feel good. The Law of Attraction always applies; this means that whatever you’re feeling has to be a match to some nugget of energy within you. You can’t pick up on anger unless there’s something that can cause anger already present in your energy body, or unless you allow your own energy to drop to a point (matching whomever you’re picking up on) that will cause you to feel anger. The solution for both scenarios is to notice what you’re focusing on and/or to train yourself to think better feeling thoughts. This will stabilize your own vibration and stop you from allowing the energy of others to influence you. You can still pick up on that energy, but you won’t feel their emotions anymore.

The upshot of being an empath

Being an empath isn’t all bad. Once you learn to control your own energy, it can actually be quite useful. I speak from personal experience. I connect to the energy of others all the time; I always have. The difference now is that I no longer allow their energy to affect me. This is partially because I’ve stabilized by own vibration to the point where it’s very difficult for someone else to draw me down (they will almost always come up to meet my frequency). I help this process along, however, by also focusing all of my attention on the energy of Who They Really Are, the purest, most positive part of them. I don’t feel their pain, their discomfort, their anger or their sorrow. I can be aware of these emotions, but I don’t focus on them or allow them into my experience. My ability to connect with the energy of others allows me to connect with whatever part of them I choose to. By controlling which frequencies I’m willing to connect with, I’m able to “see” where they are, gain a deep understanding of what they’re going through, but keep myself at a high vibration (because what I’m focusing on is a high frequency).

Many empaths become healers, teachers, therapists and coaches. The ability to connect with others, especially once you’ve learned how to keep that connection from affecting your own vibration, is a set of skills that can be extremely useful when it’s your intention to help others. Sensitive energy receptors are a good thing. They allow us to detect and translate more of this amazing reality, to connect more deeply with people and, with some skill, to deliberately transmute this energy to a better feeling place. It’s well worth the effort.

Are you an empath? What techniques have you discovered that have helped you to protect yourself and manage your experience? Share in the comments!


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  • Avatar Amber says:

    Wow…great article! I’m totally an empath.. I have noticed that when I’m around self-absorbed women I feel like all emotional energy has been zapped! I also notice that when a particular friend of my husband’s comes around, I act like a total bi-otch! I’m negative, sort of angry, and down right unpleasant when he is around. I even like this friend, but something about him draws the worst out of me. Come to think of it, he is very self-absorbed. However, I don’t feel “pissy” around the women like I do with this man. Hmmmm? What do you think? Honestly.

    • Hey Amber,

      I think that this is less of a case of you picking up on this man’s energy and more of a case of him triggering something in you. You’re having a strong reaction to him. What is the emotion you’re feeling? What is he doing that triggers you? It could be (and probably is) completely irrational, but something he says, or does, or represents is triggering a negative belief in you, causing you to lash out. The reaction you describe comes from a place of powerlessness, so this is probably something deep and old and formed in childhood. You’ve got some digging to do chica. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!


  • Avatar Adrienne says:

    Thanks so much for the awesome post Melody!! This was so helpful to me! I am an empath and have struggled allot with it. Growing up and in my teen years was extremely difficult.
    Now I understand better why malls and crowds drain me so badly and why I prefer to be around only a few people maximum at a time. Now I can start to work on learning to cope better and have more control over myself!
    I also really liked the part where you talked about focusing on and connecting with the Higher self of the other person. This will help allot in my close personal relationships.
    Thanks for the help! Hugs!

    • Hey Adrienne,

      I’m so glad this post was helpful to you. I know what it’s like to feel confused and be chastised for being overly emotional. But, like I said, once you learn to manage the energy, it can actually be a total blessing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs to you,

  • Hi Melody,
    You’ve explained what being an empath is so well. We are so empathetic that can literally we feel what others feel. It’s having a strong connection and awareness of our “oneness” that makes us empaths. Many, many people are empathic such as people who love animals and nature and are very nurturing.

    I’ve trained myself not to allow the emotions of others to affect me unless I want to. There are so many descriptions of being an empath which I don’t resonate to at all – yours I do. Thank you for this excellent article.

    • Hey Angela,

      I’m so glad this resonated with you! We are all basically empaths – some of us are just more sensitive than others. I would venture a guess that almost all of my blogging buddies are of this sensitive type, which is what drew them to this work. I’m certain it had a lot to do with my own choices and passions. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs my friend,


  • Avatar Adrienne says:

    Hello Melody,
    Once again, another great post! And, as usual, the timing couldn’t be better. What you say about connecting to the other person’s higher self really helped. As I write this, I find myself in an environment (work), which may be one of my biggest “hot zones”. I feel other people’s pain, and feel I have the experience/knowledge to “help” or advise them, but if they don’t ask, there’s not much I can do, right? I mean, unless somebody is really wanting to hear me, it’s not going to serve me or them if I say anything.

    • Oooh Adrienne, don’t make the decision to help with your mind. Make it with your heart. Your intuition will guide you when to open your mouth and when to stay silent. Those who are ready for your wisdom will come to you at just the right time and you’ll find just the right words. Everyone else is not your responsibility. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Connecting with their higher selves will help you to keep your mind out of the way. Feel your way through it and you can’t go wrong.

      Huge hugs!

  • Thanks, Melody, for another eye-opening article!

    The idea of having a neutral object for focus is great. Thanks for reminding me. I used to carry a small rock in my pocket all the time. I need to start doing that again, and using the mental image of a rock.

    On the limiting exposure idea, for me the importance is not so much how many people but what I’m trying to do. If I’m shopping mindlessly, I’m fine with a crowd. If I’m meditating, I really want to be all by myself. Also, the better I know the people, the fewer I can be around at one time. Fifty strangers is easier than five close friends. It’s like trying to listen to a foreign language – in a crowd, I just tune out. I can maintain my vibration with one or two people, but energy bouncing around in a group of people that I care about can be really challenging.

    Your idea of always reaching for the highest vibration of the people we’re with is brilliant! That one goes in the keeper file, to be remembered at all times!

    Thanks again for the reminders and the new ideas. You’re the best! Hugs,

    Mary Carol

    • Hi Mary Carol,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful words. I’m so glad that I was able to bring a little insight to an enlightened being such as yourself. We don’t call you Lady Awesomesauce for nothing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • A subject I am acutely aware of. I think about my surroundings now versus a year ago. I was in Southern California a year ago, now I am on the Big Island Hawaii. HUGE energy change.

    It was scary to make the choice but the pay off in energy I gather every day from the earth, from the ocean, and from the people is all worth it.

    Reading your article makes me realize I still have to consciously think about the energy I pick up and the energy I put out.


    • Oh JT, I have yet to travel to Hawaii, but it’s on the bucket list. I’m a huge believer in using geographic vibrations to enhance our own. In other words, if you live someplace where the energy is naturally high, it’s easier to hold your own vibration in a high place. The natural surrounding energy supports us.

      I’m certain that I’ve “evolved” a lot more since I’ve moved to Barcelona than I would have if I’d stayed in Germany or gone back to the US. The proximity of the water makes a huge difference. But also, this city has a very relaxed atmosphere. People just don’t care about what anyone does unless you get in their face. They leave each other alone and don’t take life too seriously. They put a lot of emphasis on free time and play and their private lives. I really notice it when I go someplace else with a denser energy. If I’m not careful, it can cause a bit of an energy crash…

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar patricia says:

    Malls and shopping etc. were such torture to me I could hardly stand it and then add all the perfumes and laundry soap and church weekly and I was gassed out – one head ache after another. But I had no one to explain it to me or help me deal with it, and siblings who attacked me all the time. Called too emotional all the time.

    I found when I stayed at home 24/7 while my mother was dying ( living at our house) I had much more energy and felt better about myself. I think this is why I love reading…I can live out experiences in my mind and not need to experience them ๐Ÿ™‚

    I believe I have used food to ground myself…now I seem to need to go for a walk.

    Today I am feeling the sunshine, but extremely vulnerable and finding it hard to think positively about my business Wise Ears….it is not growing and I am feeling rejected?
    Also we have a stranger coming to talk to us about Medicare tonight…I feel overwhelmed talking about money particularly with my husband.

    I think I should ask a psychic straight out – Am I ever going to make any money? Because this “just ask for it” reply stuff is not working.

    I did sign up for a healing yoga class yesterday and it is for only 8 people at a time – I think I can handle that and I think it will be good for me…

    • Hi Patricia,

      A psychic will be able to tell you where your energy is at right now, but not your future (unless you change nothing). Since you can make a shift at any time, you can change your future with every decision you make.

      You clearly have a blockage when it comes to money and your business’s status is mirroring that back to you. Talking about money makes you uncomfortable, that’s your clue. What will happen if you make money? What will that say about you? Are there any fears associated with making the money, or a belief that you can’t ever make any? Take it slowly – I can feel how deep this goes. It’s a beast to be sure, but when you release it, it will change your life. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hang in there and yes, do the yoga class. Yoga will help support you in your mission to clear your beliefs.


  • Avatar Fran Sorin says:

    Man….is this ever an excellent article! So thorough, well written, and easy to understand.
    So much of what you said are things that I’ve been taught and sometimes forget to utilize.
    You are so right on about protecting our energy. We have powerful resources but often don’t access them. This is a ‘subject’ I’m extremely interested in. Thank you, thank you! Fran

    • Thanks Fran!

      I’m so glad this resonated with you. And thank you for your wonderful and kind words. *blush* We’re not meant to suffer and we have everything we need in order to turn off the suffering any time. We just have to remember how. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs to you!

  • Hi Melody,

    I do believe I am an empath, or am very sensitive to what others are feeling. I am a teacher, nurturer and love animals. I was not aware of the term empath until recently, but you’ve explained it so well in your post. What I did love hearing is when you mentioned being suddenly hit with emotions you canโ€™t explain. I have felt that on numerous times and now am glad to understand the reason. I also like your point about looking for the purest, more positive part of other people and not focusing on their pain. The neutral symbol you mentioned sounds helpful as well. Enjoyed your post – thanks.

    • Hi Cathy!

      I’m so glad that this post brought you some clarity. Most empaths don’t know that they are one and don’t have a clue as to what’s going on or what to do about it. I spent years that way. I’m sure that 90% of the people I attract to this blog fall into that category though. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Hi Melody, I’m not an empath, though I do have a deep desire to listen to people and help them in their quest on this journey. But I’m married to one for sure. My wife discovered during the StrengthsFinder test that she possesses Empathy as her number one strength. This post really helps those of us who aren’t empaths understand those who are a little better. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oooh wow, Bryan. I hadn’t thought of that! Tips for empaths and those who love them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure being married to an empath would provide its own challenges. For example, you can never lie to your spouse. (not that you would, of course!) LOL.

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Kelli Cooper says:

    Hi Melody
    This was a great article with lots of great tips. I have always had my hot zones and I try to avoid them as best I can. I think my friends always found it strange how I hated to go certain places but I could not adequately explain my feelings when I was there. I like the idea of a symbol, I never thought about that before. I will have to think of something, maybe my cats…love them and no negative associations. It is great to know that other people experience this type of stuff, I always thought I was a bit off odd, but guess not!

    • Hey Kelli,

      We’re all a bit odd in our own way. Odd is the new cool. LOL. Cats are a great symbol. They’re also great teachers. They do feel what’s going on with you (all animals do. They’re way more sensitive to energy than we humans are), but they will NEVER let it affect how they feel. Watch your cats. They protect their energy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Aileen says:

    Melody, I loved reading this. I’m an empath and have been coming up with ways of preserving my energy over the years, but WOW this is great!

  • Hi Melody,

    Don’t you hate it when others try to put their negative energy on you? It’s like they’re rubbing their grubby muddy hands all over you. And I just want to pull out a firehose and blast them.

    Love your advice, probably a bit more practical.


    • Hey Bryce,

      Here’s the thing: They can’t rub their mud all over you unless you let them. You have to jump into their muddy pit with them. And when we realize that we have the power to NOT let others do that to us, that’s when life as an empath gets fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!


  • Avatar Andrew Olson says:

    This is one of those posts that I totally needed but didn’t know I needed until I read it. My empathic skillz are “acute” to say the least and I’ve had to learn how to handle the emotions of others without letting them tear me down as well.

    I’ve actually developed an interesting idea about empathic abilities. I think everyone has the same fundamental ability, the difference is in people’s levels of consciousness. Most people are unaware of the feelings that move through them all day long. So when they become conscious of the way they feel (this is especially true when they start meditating, for example), they suddenly notice this onslaught of emotions from all around them and it can be paralyzing.

    You mentioned setting up defenses to protect your energy. That works well but the opposite can be fun too. Instead of fighting off the energy, you can let it run through yourself without judging it or pushing it away. Then you just feel the raw emotion for what it is and that can be an interesting experience.

    • Hey Andrew,

      Hmmm. That’s an interesting thought. The difference is not in sensitivity, but rather in awareness. Works out the same, essentially, but yes, I like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You and Mary Carol should talk. It was actually her insight, which she received by observing the emotions running through her that spawned this post. I have to say that I’d never thought of doing that and haven’t tried it before reading her post. But I definitely will.

      Huge hugs!

      • Interesting thoughts, Andrew and Melody.

        I agree with you both that empathy can be awakened, or at least become recognized for what it is. This year I moved to Mexico (way calmer energy), took up sculpture, and have been practicing yoga and meditation daily. I’ve also started doing energy work with Reiki. All of which seems to have flipped on the awareness-of-empathy switch. I suspect higher vibration = greater awareness = manifesting empathy!

        Instead of sometimes feeling bad without knowing why, now I know why! So far, I haven’t found a reliable off switch. Stuff hits me and I don’t realize what’s happened until afterwards. But the afterwards is coming quicker and quicker.

        Another challenging aspect for me is looking for what inside me attracted the particular experience of empathy. Sometimes it’s really clear, and other times I can’t figure it out. Like you say Andrew, the whole thing is really interesting. Body/mind/spirit as a science experiment!

        Thank you both for approaching the topic and writing with an adventuring spirit! At the moment it feels like I’m white water rafting – not easy, but exhilarating!

        Hugs to all,

        Mary Carol

        • Avatar Laura says:

          Andrew’s idea is awesome! Have any of you heard of a technique called Focusing?

          It takes you out of your head and into your body so you can pin point the feelings you are experiencing and helps you get to the core of where they are coming from.

          I’ve used it a couple times and have gotten really good results. Meaning going from a deeply depressed state to actually feeling happy. When I wrote my comment below I had forgotten this. But Andrew’s and Mary Carol’s comment each brought it back to mind. Of course it is meant to help with your OWN emotions, but I would bet it can help with emotions picked up by others since Focusing helps to find the exact emotion, where it’s coming from and what is underlying it.

          Besides as empaths, do we always know it’s someone else’s? And doesn’t it become our own anyway, since it is inside us? (Don’t know the answer to these…just throwing it out there.)

          The two books I have on the subject are: Focusing by Eugene Gendlin who is the developer of the technique.

          The other book is Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing by Ann Weiser. This second book was written I believe to make it easier to understand and put into practice, although she studied under the author of the original book. And Eugene explains it pretty well himself also.

          BTW: I have no financial or other interests in selling these books. I was just reminded of the technique by the above posts.


          • Thanks for the tips, Laura!

            To answer your questions, the energy of others doesn’t become yours, but you must already be in the vibrational vicinity to feel theirs. So, they may be able to affect you, but only if you let it happen. If you feel sadness, you have to be at or near sadness on some subject yourself, or you would not be able to feel theirs.

            So, it IS already yours and so, yes, it makes absolute sense to focus on shifting your own energy, no matter where the trigger came from.

            Huge Hugs!


          • Avatar late to the party again says:

            Thank you for saying this.

            I am an empath but I have also been diagnosed with depression and PTSD. Some people I know who also have mental health issues get angry with me and accuse me of “Making them sad” or “trying to fill them with negative energy” or even trying to pass on my (non contagious) chronic physical health problems onto them. I knew they had to be sad themselves, since they would basically use me as a free therapist but then get angry if I would want them to listen to me sometimes too or they would say my problems were worse than theirs/too much to handle.

            If you’re an empath, is it harder to hide your emotions? I’ve been told to pretend to be happy, “fake it til you make it”, etc. which doctors told me isn’t healthy and either caused or worsened some of my health problems. I don’t want to walk around creating a trail of negative energy. It makes me imagine myself like PigPen from Peanuts. But it seems like I only know a few people who are able to not let me bother them and don’t complain about me being overly sad/etc. and I know some of it is based on how they treat me. What do I need to do to help things get better?

          • Hey Late,

            No, empaths don’t have a harder time hiding their emotions. But honestly, there’s no reason to hide your emotions. Ok, you don’t need to scream them from the rooftop, but hiding or suppressing emotions causes a lot of people to stay stuck. Let them out and deal with them.

            Those doctors were right. Faking it is called denial and that will just keep you stuck and allow whatever’s festering to get worse. Acknowledge your emotions. Don’t talk to those who can’t handle your energy. If they make you feel used, stay away. Talk to those who uplift you and aren’t affected by your vibration.

            Getting better is simply (but not necessarily easily) a matter of focusing in such a way that you actually feel a bit better. That’s not the same as pretending. It means finding a thought that actually does feel a bit better and then holding on to that until you find another thought that feels better and so on. Cut anything that makes you feel worse out of your life for now. Focus on feeling good. Period. It won’t take long to see massive results.

            You can also get help from a coach or therapist who can accelerate your growth. I offer coaching, and if you resonate with my approach, you can check out my coaching packages here:

            I hope that was helpful.

            Huge hugs!

  • It’s interesting that I have never really paid attention to this side of me, being an empath or not. However, thinking about it, I can’t tell that I have felt some sudden mood change and yes, malls exhaust me! Never put two and two together until you mention this ๐Ÿ™‚ As a matter of fact, I hate crowds and I have noticed that that almost every time that I am in a large crowd, I am either exhausted or sad, kinda depress sad, or both. To the point that I always say, I hate crowds, it’s going to the dentist to me…. Maybe I am more empath than I thought

    • Hi Sylviane,

      You probably are an empath. But remember that there are different degrees, so it’s not an all or nothing thing. You may not consciously tune into people’s emotions, but you suffer at the mall. That sort of thing. Try protecting your energy a bit before you go to the mall next time and see if it doesn’t help. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Bill Dorman says:

    Oh yes, I am definitely an empath. I didn’t know there was a description until I had seen an earlier post of yours.

    I don’t think consciously I know how I get back to my self when I’m pulled in like that. Part of it I think is my overall attitude I believe, and I seem to be able to compartmentalize my feelings. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but it is a coping mechanism for me.

    Interesting indeed; thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Bill,

      If you allow yourself to naturally rise back to your core vibration, in other words, if you don’t do anything to hold yourself in that lower place, then you’ll always recover fairly quickly. What a lot of people do, though, is they feel bad, and then they think MORE thoughts that make them feel bad, holding themselves in that emotion much longer than they needed to be there.

      Compartmentalizing is definitely a coping mechanism, but not necessarily a bad one. When we compartmentalize, we purposefully switch to a better feeling subject. That’s good. The only potential problem is if we continue to trigger the lower vibration of the negative subject. If we do that, then we have to address it. Ooh, I feel another blog post coming on… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Anarchist.Empress says:

    I just recently discovered that I believe I may be an empath. I spent much of my first 29 years thinking I was insane or had bi-polar (I’ve seen a therapist. I don’t). Sometimes I get so overwhelmed at the mall that I want to cry. I get panicky and have to get out. It’s like I can feel every emotion around me. I’m not agoraphobic in the least. On the other hand I love big concerts! I know what you mean about rising the wave of energy!
    So strange because I just recently noticed when I’m around one person in particular I feel naucious and angry and slightly suicidal and it’s 100% unexplained. And I can always feel where my husband is hurting, his knee, his back. I get the strangest waves of emotions that just arent mine. The only time I feel better is when I’m in nature, camping or walking on a beach. I desperately wish I could get out of the city! I’m a completely out of control of the gift but I look forward to learning to meditate and control it and not be affected. Thanks for the post!

    • Hey Empress! ๐Ÿ™‚
      It does take time to learn how to manage this gift. I’ll be doing more articles on this soon, as the rising energy (the global energy is getting faster) is causing many of us to feel things even MORE acutely lately. At least now you know what’s going on. You don’t need medication, you just need to manage your energy and be aware of what affects you. Regular meditation also helps a lot, as does staying in a positive space. Again, feeling other’s emotions can be really helpful, but first you have to regain a sense of control and be able to tell what’s yours and what’s theirs. Take your time and explore different environments slowly. If you get overwhelmed, try to get into nature, especially somewhere close to water (it dissipates or “softens” the energy, which is why it feels so much easier there. )

      Good luck and huge hugs!

  • Avatar Magellan says:

    Your article has been truly “eye opening” for me. I’ve been a Paramedic for the past 25 years ….actually have felt “the calling” to help people as early as I can recall, because I’ve always been able to sense pain in people for some odd reason. What sets me apart from many in my field is that I’ve had this “gift” of feeling my patients pain ….it’s always exclusively through touch, which seems funny to me …..holding a hand or more intensely, touching of their forehead. I don’t know if this makes any sense at all to anyone, but I can literally feel their emotional pain, not necessarily always their physical pain….but that does happen on occasion. As crazy as this sounds, if I close my eyes and concentrate, I can feel their emotional distress pouring out of them and into me. I can literally feel it building up in my chest … I then visualize in my mind opening a door and pushing this “energy” (for lack of a better term) through a doorway, then shutting the door. It is contained now, out of them ….it does not build up in me ….this is how I figure I survive the onslaught of emotions I deal with on a fairly regular basis with my work. I have seen some crazy things happen to my patients (in a good sense) …whether that had anything to do with my interaction or not, I do not know. My mind literally holds hallways of those closed doors containing others “emotions of the moment”. I fully believe that my life’s purpose is to be with people during a very rough time in their life’s journey, help them to release the negative feelings at the time (which is good, cause I can’t regularly start an IV to save my ass!) and then let them continue on their journey. Does this make ANY sense to anyone ? I only recently started researching “empathic” because I know I am different from others in this sense, but more importantly because I’ve met someone special who I believe shares the same gift as I, but is so innundated with stored emotions from others (she’s a psychcologist) that she is in a bad place and doesn’t know how to “channel” it away from herself. If anyone remotely knows what I’m talking about, please forward any insight.

    • Hi Magellan,

      First, Welcome to Deliberate Receiving!

      I completely and totally understand what you’re saying. It makes perfect sense. You are, indeed, an empath and seem to have a great deal of control over your own energy, I might add. Bravo!!! You have intuitively found your calling and are exactly where you should (that’s why it feels so good!). I believe that what you’re doing is this:
      When you touch the patient, you are connecting with their energy (this is your method, everyone is slightly different). You then very temporarily lower your vibration to theirs, hook on to it and then raise your own back up, allowing them to come with you (whether they do or not is up to them. You can’t force this). Should they be willing and able to rise up to your level, they’ll experience incredible relief and yes, it could lead to some pretty amazing healing. You are not actually taking away their bad energy. You are giving them a chance to tune to a new frequency. The visualizations you’ve come up with are your way of facilitating that. And from what you’ve said, you’re doing a fantastic job.

      I would venture a guess that your psychologis friend is having a harder time because 1.) she doesn’t yet have as much practice as you with managing her energy and 2.) she’s trying to intellectually figure out what’s happening to her. But the intellectual understanding is just a way to get your mind out of the way so that you can do the REAL work – which is emotional. Your friend needs to focus on her own emotions, and then come up with ways to feel good. She needs to learn how to raise her own vibration. She’s allowing her patients’ energy to drag her down, but she isn’t able to raise herself back up again. You’ve figured this out intuitively, but she still needs to do so. She doesn’t have to push the energy away from herself (this is a great visualization that is helpful to you, but it may not be to her.) She simply needs to control her own energy better.

      Keep in mind that the energy is speeding up pretty rapidly, so most of us empaths are getting more and more sensitive. This will make the ride a bit more uncomfortable at times, but also provide us all with TONS of opportunities to train our vibration muscles. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hope that was helpful.

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Felicia says:

    Hi thank you so much for this i belive i am a empath silly but i think ifound the name for it on charmed silly I know lol. I’ve had nothing but problems my whole life from this and don’t know how to control it. Also I have a mouth that won’t stay shut about what I’m getting or if i can tell someone is lieing.People don’t seem to like the things I’m picking up but they don’t want to admit themselfs,then usally just reapet my words and prtend it was there idea I’m still the bad guy. I do not understand why people lie I just don’t see the point in it. I see everyday 1 way or another hurt someone in someway but people would rather keep lieing not only to others but to themselves. also another prbolem I have is feeling every allteriour motive and everyone always has one so I end up feeling that I can trust noone. I even get very overwhelmed and well breake down crying because of a funeral we are passing. I’ve been working with a phyc. dr. but I just can’t understand how to shut it off. I’m at my wits end I’ve turned everyone away because everyone seems to be so fake, dishonest, or selfish. I’ve been fighting locking myself away because I can’t seem yo find any of the good people are there even any left? are there any good resorse out there to help me?

    • Hi Felicia,

      First of all, try to work on raising your own energy when you’re on your own. Do that every day and it will help immensely. When you’re in a high vibrational place and you’re stable, you won’t be able to connect with lower vibrations as easily. You won’t feel the ugly stuff nearly as much. You can find techniques on how to raise your vibration in this article:

      Second, understand that people don’t lie or deceive because they are bad people, but because they are afraid and they are protecting themselves. They are too terrified to show others their real selves so they lie and create masks that they wear so that hopefully no one will see them for who they really are. They think that who they really are is not good enough.
      You can see through the masks. Right now, you’re stuck on the fact that there is a mask. You see the mask and you see how fake it is. Try this: Try to focus beyond the mask to what’s underneath. See the fear and go beyond that, too. See them for who they really are – a bright, warm, loving light. See the part of themselves that they can’t see right now. Practice this and even though you’ll still be aware of the masks, you’ll understand why people wear them. They won’t bother you anymore. You’ll marvel at the beauty of the people all around you, because you’ll be able to see it when others can’t – when they, themselves can’t. You will see their potential, their gifts, their capacity to love, their perfection. And when you start matching up with this energy instead of what you’re matching up with now,, your world will be a lot less scary.
      It’s not so much about blocking out what you’re getting now, it’s more about switching frequencies and matching up with something else.

      I hope that makes sense.

      Huge hugs!

      • Avatar Laura says:

        Glad I read through these comments. I can relate so some of what Felicia wrote, like the lying and dishonesty and my lack of trust as a result of some recent experiences.

        Melody-Your response here has been helpful. And really I knew the reasons for the lying already. But at times, when feeling slighted by someone’s lie, it can be easy to forget and my emotions and memory of other past related experiences take over.

        There are times that I suspect a lie from one person because of a past experience from a whole other person. And I think well, I trusted this person who turned out to be lying, so why should I trust this person who is telling me essentially the same thing? And I assume he’s probably lying too.

        Is this just the effects of PTSD or is it relating to LOA where my vibe is attracting that mind set inside me, since this second person hasn’t proven to be a liar at all?

        • Hey Laura,

          If you have a belief (fear, suspicion) that people will lie to you, LOA will bring you people who are willing to prove you right. You didn’t make them lie, but you matched up with people who were, in that moment, lying.

          When you’re in-between beliefs, you may attract someone who doesn’t lie but somehow you’re still believing that he will. You can’t quite yet see a non-liar because you’re still wearing your “everyone’s a liar” glasses.

          You’re just still working on this one and nothing is going wrong. You don’t have to trust him. You just have to trust your own vibration. Whatever you believe will be mirrored back to you. If you’re worried about if he will lie to you, you are still giving all of your power (the responsibility for how you feel) away to him.

          Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    This article certainly sheds a lot of light. There are times I absolutely hate being in a crowd and then there are times I feel great in a particular crowd. I now know why shopping in malls drains me and ALWAYS has.

    When I was little, I used to be known as a cry baby. I was called this regularly in kindergarten. I would cry very easily. However this did not happen when I played with the kids in the neighborhood. It makes sense too that I am more emotionally effected by my upbringing than say my sister.

    I must pick up on others’ energies emotionally. When I think back on some of my behaviors and what I was feeling at the time I behaved that way, I think I must’ve been picking up on the emotions of one or both of my parents a lot, like when I would fight with my brother, which happened a lot.

    When I was at school and cried a lot, thinking of it as an adult I just chalked it up to separation anxiety. Perhaps it was something a bit more than that.

    I’m wondering if inner child and re-parenting work would be helpful now. As a kid, I didn’t know how to handle all the emotions and certainly didn’t give any thought to the fact that anything I was feeling belonged to someone else. And of course, the difficult feelings I had, esp. anger weren’t allowed to be expressed really since I wasn’t taught how to express them appropriately. My expressions of anger were met with punishment and/or returned anger and telling me not to be disrespectful to any adult I might have felt the anger toward at the time. This usually came from my dad about my mom. “Don’t talk back to your mother,” He’d snap.

    For protection as an adult though, I find that meditation and grounding helps along with “donning” an energetic ‘force field,’ if you will to keep bad energies at bay or to transmute them can help.

    • Hey Laura,

      Inner child work, when done successfully, is simply using a past event that resonates at the same frequency as a limiting belief you’re dealing with now, as an excuse or a tool to shift that frequency. Sometimes it’s easier for us to get some distance when we’re looking back at our younger selves. So is it helpful? I can be, yes. In fact, I use it frequently myself in my coaching practice.

      It certainly sounds like you were very sensitive to energy. Gaining a new perspective now can really help you release the beliefs you wrongly formed about yourself back then. But having those experiences also caused you to want to understand and be able to control your emotions (control, not squash) all the more. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Miacora says:

    Wow this helped me because I was at my Aunts house and she was complaining of a headache. I asked her where it was and it matched where I was feeling my own, so I focused on happy and it disipeared its hard for me being an empath. I am still in school and I am young for all this new empath stuff.
    From :Miacora

    • Welcome Miacora,

      I’m so glad you found your way here. It can be hard until you understand what’s going on. You are already gaining control, which is awesome.

      In the future, why not just focus on happy, even if you’re not sure where it’s coming from? It’ll still work. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Huge happy shiny puppy hugs,


  • Avatar San says:

    This is a great and useful article. From all the forums and help pages I have read I can’t help but wonder what the use is of being an Empath – it sounds like an illness – something that you have to work and practice *not* to be in order to be more like ‘normal’ less sensitive people – that doesn’t sound right – having heightened empathy must surely be a good thing if used in the right way at the right times – I barely see much discussion on this however – I would like to see a lot more Empaths explaining how they have harnessed their empath skills to work positively for them.

    • Hey San,

      You make a really great point. There are HUGE advantages to being an empath, or a naturally gifted translator of energy. The benefits are generally discussed under channeling and psychic abilities and I’m not sure that anyone has ever made the connection between those and empaths. Huh.

      Empaths who have learned how to use their sensitivity make gifted counselors, teachers, mothers,, friends, clergy, coaches, managers, or anything else where a astute understanding of emotions and what people are really feeling is helpful. And these kinds of empaths often go into helper professions since an awareness of human suffering often creates an intense desire to make others feel better.

      It’s only difficult growing up as an empath because so many of our learned views contradict what we intuitively feel. When feel the energy and emotions but are then discouraged from acknowledging them and even told that what you are feeling is not real, it makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you. Shifting THAT perspective makes all the difference. Then, being an empath is kind of awesome actually.

      Huge Hugs!

  • Avatar Sophia says:

    Thank you for writing this.Although I’m not as advanced an empath as you are this explains what I go through perfectly. I never thought that the reason for me being completely drained when I come home from school is because of my abilities. I do have a few questions though;first of all I feel as if I walk around in a neutral emotion 90% of the time. What can I do to express more of my own emotions and not get overwhelmed by others? Secondly is there anything I can do to make high school a less energy draining activity for me? Again thank you for the article I really appreciate it.

    • Hey Sophia,

      Remember that whatever you are experiencing, you have to be a match to it first. You can’t soak up sadness unless you are also sad. You may have, at some point, learned to shut down your emotions to a degree and so you may simply not be aware of them. If you are coming home drained, you are basically fighting something all day.

      The best thing for you to do is two things:

      1.) Take time when you’re not in school and work on raising your vibration. Work on feeling good, appreciating whatever you can (doesn’t have to be school). You can read an article on raising your vibration here:

      2.) Again, when you’re not at school. start paying attention to how you feel. Learn to discern your emotions and you’ll become better at feeling them at school. Practice this and you’ll get better at not only separating your emotions from others, but you’ll catch the negative emotions when they start and you’ll be able to turn them around (practicing feeling good will help with that).

      Good luck and huge hugs!


  • Avatar tara says:

    Iโ€™m 16 years old and Iโ€™m really confused at the moment. I believe Iโ€™m an introvert, but Iโ€™m not sure if Iโ€™m an empath. The reason why I write to you today is because lately Iโ€™ve felt really drained and tired. I used to participate in intense sport, but I always got injured. Now Iโ€™m in my final years of high school and yet recently I have developed back problems from doing nothing in particular.
    I guess I shall start from the beginning. I realised I break down at least twice a year. My mother calls it a part of my character (thatโ€™s the closest I can translate it to in English), but the outbreaks are always highly emotional and shatters my family. Whenever I decline into this state of fury or despair, this affects everyone. I used to think this may be related to physical tiredness until a few days ago when my school had a formal. Naturally, I thought itโ€™d be fun, but I didnโ€™t enjoy it. A particular friend of mine didnโ€™t have a great day and when I recounted the night to my parents I started to cry. After sporting competitions and social events I sometimes cry afterwards. On a holiday, when we were loading onto a plane, I felt this odd panicky feeling, but I disregarded it to be claustrophobia.
    As far as my knowledge extends I do not feel as if I have any psychic ability. I feel as if I do understand people better than most, but I donโ€™t think I can sense peopleโ€™s auras and read people in that sense. The way I understand people comes naturally, I think I just feel them and act in a way to make life comfortable for them. This is a part of my nature, but does this mean Iโ€™m an empath? People arenโ€™t drawn to me (not that I know of that is) but my friends point out that Iโ€™m good with emotions. They also think Iโ€™m spiritual, though Iโ€™m not strongly religious; however I talk and pray to god most days for peace and to gain this feeling I cannot describe.
    I sometimes cry when I see animals in pain. E.g, when the older year level was dissecting rats. However, animals donโ€™t come rushing to me for no reason. I once talked and sang to a lemon tree in my garden that hadnโ€™t bloomed for three years since we planted it. In the next few days afterwards, the tree started to bloom and now we have too many lemons. Last year, I started to cry nonstop due to some petty issue at school, something I wouldnโ€™t normally do. It was an overreaction for me, but the next day we got a phone call saying my childhood friend was dying in hospital in another country.
    I take two showers a day, as it relaxes my body and stops me from crying when Iโ€™m down.
    Iโ€™m sorry this is really long. I just want to know why Iโ€™m so tired a few months after school has started. Iโ€™m completely fine during the holidays when Iโ€™m only surrounded by 3 people. My parents think this could be anxiety or something of the sort but it is not constant. It comes and goes. Could this be over work, coincidences or something more?
    I also have a friend who understands me completely. Itโ€™s as if our minds are in sync all the time as our thoughts are similar. However, our principles of life are completely different. Some people call us soul mates. I have told her about this theory and she thinks it is possible.
    Thanks for your help

    • Hey Tara,

      Thanks for reaching out, sweetness. It’s wonderful to see someone your age getting into LOA. And you’re not alone. I’ve actually gotten quite a few emails from teenagers. ๐Ÿ™‚
      We all read energy all day long. It seems that you are becoming aware of your ability to do so. It’s not an all or nothing thing. You won’t necessarily get animals coming up to you for no reason or anything like that. Being an empath doesn’t mean you’re suddenly starring in a Disney cartoon, lol.
      But if you are attuned to people’s emotions, you are reading them. Reading energy is a subtle art, which is why we often don’t recognize it.

      As far as your outbursts are concerned, some of that could certainly be due to energetic overwhelm – too much input from too many directions. There’s a coaching call that addresses this very issue. It’s call #006 and you can purchase it here (it’s ten bucks):

      But a lot of what you’re feeling is also down to you caring too much what others think. This is causing resistance within you. It’s causing you to judge yourself, and that feels awful. When that builds up too much, you break down. This is totally normal, not only for your age, but just for being human. That doesn’t mean you can’t release that, though. It’s impossible for me to give you more detail than that off of what you’ve written here, but in general terms, when you overreact, those are great opportunities to figure out what’s really bugging you. Wait until you’ve calmed down and then ask yourself what caused you to react and why. What made you upset? Don’t judge the answers as ridiculous. Beliefs usually don’t make sense. What did the incident cause you to think about yourself that was so awful? You were not overreacting – you were just reacting to something else, something that made you truly upset. When you figure out the real reason, you will understand the reaction. I know this is very generic, but without working with you, I can’t get more specifics to give you. I hope this helps a bit though.

      Huge happy shiny puppy hugs!


  • Avatar Kim says:

    I’ve long dealth with being uncomfortable in crowds and not being able to be around groups of highly energetic people. It’s funny to read how many other people deal with the same thing.

    It wasn’t until I started feeling incredibly stressed (to an extreme point I can’t even begin to describe) and then feeling as if my mental faculties were diminished at the same time that my boss suffered a stroke, that I realized my stress was NOT MY STRESS.

    I am now begining my path to understand and manage this ability. I thank you SO MUCH for your article – it is very well written!


  • Avatar Thomas P. says:

    Hi, I’m a 28 year old guy from Finland. I’m sorry, it’s incredibly hard to write this because I’m… well…. Overwhelmed by someone elses emotions. Please try to read everything I write because I have a real need for someone who understands this thing right now and I have an actual question… My english is usually good but I’m so so so shaking and it’s hard to see. I’m crying like crazy and shaking and nothing bad has happened to me.

    I always cry when someone else I know or who’s a family member is doing so or something really bad happens that will cause someone to cry. Or when someone is about to die ๐Ÿ™

    Last time, I cried two weeks ago for no reason (which happens once every year or so) and a day later my dad’s sister died in the nursing home (she was very close).

    There’s lots of other examples (like crying when my sister got a miscarriage, I knew my sister was crying before my mom called and said “your sister had a miscarriage last night”)… But: Before that, the last time I had this happen was last fall (about a year ago), when I felt one of my friends crying and I hadn’t seen or talked to him almost in three months (work and stuff was conflicting so we didn’t have time to meet). I was in the shower and suddenly out of nowhere I started crying and felt a huge wave of depression and felt “John…” (his name isn’t John but it’s a similar name in finnish). I called him and he said he had been crying for days because he was being bullied at work and was fired by his boss, and he was diagnosed with “burn out”. I had NO idea this was going on and he didn’t want to tell anyone until I called him and asked if “anything was wrong”.

    He didn’t even question it because he knows I have this thing. It’s inherited from my mother who inherited it from her great-great-great-something grand father who “knew everything” in her words. She told me it runs in the family, so all of my siblings have this too. It’s fun (or often not really fun) to share experiences with them.

    I haven’t been diagnosed with any mental or neurological disorders. AND YES, I have been tested many many many many times. Usually the doctors/psychologist etc. wording is “You’re almost abnormally normal, there’s nothing wrong with you mentally or physically, you’re actually in great shape and most people would be happy to be in your position”… Sometimes I wish I *was* diagnosed with something but I’m so completely average ๐Ÿ™

    SO, MY QUESTION IS (sorry for the longwinded text but this helps me ignore the burning sensation and chest pain, shaking and tears and stuff, it’s funny – like my body is crying but I’m completely normal and actually quite happy because I got a cool new smartphone and a new computer and I’ve been tinkering with them for days)…

    **HOW DO YOU – OR CAN YOU EVEN – KNOW WHO IT IS WHO’S FEELING THESE EMOTIONS?** The time I instantly knew it was my friend John was probably one of the only times I knew who it was. I ask because I’m afraid that my father is going to die, he’s really getting old although there’s nothing wrong with him on the outside. But then again I’m guessing it’s the husband of my father’s sister (they were married for decades before she died), or her daughter who’s about my age. Or my dad is incredibly sad and I’m feeling HIM. That would explain why he’s been really angry lately.

    This is really killing me. I COULD ignore this even though it causes a weird feeling. Tingly hands, cold feet, chest pain, crying but I’m not sad. But I CAN’T ignore it because I’m afraid if it’s because someone I really love is going to get hurt. That’s why I’ve been extra nice to everyone for the last two weeks, I want to make sure that anyone who dies etc. I can have a fond memory of. I’m PARANOID :/ I don’t want this to be the feeling of my dad. I really hope it isn’t.

    • Hey Thomas,

      You’ve already proven to yourself that you have the ability to discern who it is that you’re tapping into when the crying hits. Now, it’s going to be much, MUCH harder for you to discern it if you have fear. It takes detachment, meaning that it has to be totally ok if it’s that person, or you’ll skew the results and the information won’t be accurate. In other words, if you’re afraid that it’s your dad then you can’t figure out if it’s your dad. This is normal when it comes to people we care about and the more we love them, the harder it is. If I were you, I’d just call my dad and see what’s up. If he’s ok, you can relax, knowing it’s not him. Either way, you’ll know.

      This is not the time to practice your skills – you’re in the middle of a reaction. I’d wait until I was calm again, and then practice connecting with people. Feel for their energy. Set intentions to feel specific people, or even feel for emotion and then ask who you’re connecting with and see what happens. With practice, you’ll get good enough to be able to do it when the crying hits, but that’s not the time to learn. It’s like learning to drive at 200 kpm. It’s not going to work.

      I hope that helps a bit.

      Huge hugs!!


  • Avatar Mel Low says:

    Wow! This all makes sense now. I have been learning to perceive energy and then had the same experience outside the supermarket. I wondered what was going on and then found this article that explains it all. I have often felt dizzy when shopping but did not realise I was feeling the energy. I look forward to trying out the techniques so I can shop without feeling like I am going to faint! Thank you.

    • Hey Mel,

      You’re so very welcome. It can be really scary when your body is reacting to energy and you don’t know it. I used to get dizzy all the time. It wasn’t pleasant. Doctors explained it by saying that I was growing too fast. That worked until I stopped growing, ha, ha.

      You may also be interested in Coaching Call #006. It deals exactly with this type of problem in nitty gritty detail.

      Huge hugs!!


  • Avatar Giggles says:

    How do I know whether or not I’m reallyh an empath?

    • Hey Giggles,

      It’s different for everyone. But generally, you get drained easily in crowds, you can “feel” other people’s emotions, you have unexplained emotional responses that later turn out to belong to someone else (like getting really upset for no reason and then it turns out your mom was upset, that sort of thing). For me personally, the biggest headache was that others could just drain me. If they were troubled, I’d end up feeling awful and they’d feel better, like they were robbing me of my energy. Of course, they weren’t, but that’s what it felt like.

      Does that help?

      Huge hugs,

  • Avatar Shari Lynn says:

    Hi Melody,
    Thank you for writing this article. I found it very enlighting and helpful.
    How do you really know if your an empath or not? I know you most likely get this question a lot but, it’s something I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around. Since I can remember I have a huge problems with crowds. When I was younger I found just being in public very hard for me. Now it’s mostly in bars, mall, and huge organized events. I find the events very taxing, nerve raking, feels like I get flooded with everything so quickly I don’t know what to do or process. I find afterwards I become antisocial and, it takes me a day or two to recharge. I also do a lot of volunteer work (mostly with children) which involves me being out in the community. But, for whatever reason this doesn’t usually give me any trouble? I also find it very difficult to be touched by people. some events, i have to hand out goods. after about an hour of being chronically touched by people i find my self super dizzy or even boarder line ready to hurl. I have Serbian people shake my hand and I felt instantly ill. I find that when i am around super negative people i pick up on the emotion and carry it with me, even if i don’t want to. even after i have managed to surround myself with positive people, i still mange to hold on to that ,negatively longer then i want to. When i went home about 2 months ago, I was visiting a friend and was introduced to one other friends. Apparently she could read palms and kept touching me/ looking at my palms. She said my power was in my wrist and that’s had a pentagram there(not sure what the pentagram means). She also told me I had a physic gift and that I had a creative side that I should indulge in(painting). I told her I had no physic gift but, ever since then I have not been able to shake her words. Since then I have been doing a lot of reading and looking around. I really believe empath could be the answer.I’m sorry for the rant but, it’s just something I’m having problems processing. How do u even start/want to understand something that has caused so much habit in your life?

    • Hey Shari,

      You’re an empath. No doubt about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it can be scary and a total pain in the ass, but honestly, once you learn how to control your energy so that others can’t drain you anymore, it gets A LOT better. And, it can really be a gift to be able to read people’s energy when you want to.

      I have a coaching call in the membership site (it’s not free, but it’s only ten bucks) that deals with this very issue in detail. The client got drained in a crowd and I spent an hour teaching her how to protect herself and what to do from then on (and what to practice) so that this wouldn’t happen anymore. You can find that call here: Coaching Call #006 โ€“ Protecting Yourself From Other Peopleโ€™s Energy.

      I hope that helps!

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Dee says:

    Hi Melody,
    I think I’m an empath as well as the things you mentioned in the article happen to me all the time, and I’ve always been pegged as too emotional:( But my problem goes one step further, not only do I experience other people’s emotions, but their problems become my problems. I can’t always leave the emotions/problems behind. For example, a friend of mine had a specific spiritual problem and, although my spiritual life was the exact opposite at the time, I could literally feel her issue “follow” me home, tangibly. It has been several years now and in that time her issues have come to fruition in my own life. This is just one example of many. My life feels like a complete mess because everyone else’s emotional baggage finds its way into my home.

    I just want to add one more thing. Even though I’m an empath, I have no desire to be in the helping profession or otherwise serve people with my compassion. I suspect this is because I’m so deeply affected by the emotions of others, especially those in great need. I need to be filled with positive energy, not negative energy. Having said that, as a child I could never do enough for others. I think this change in attitude has come about as a result of all I’ve suffered from this gift.

    Any thoughts?

    • Hey Dee,

      It’s quite natural to turn away from helping others when doing so causes you nothing but suffering. But you can learn to stabilize your own vibration so you don’t “take on” their issues. Being aware of another person’s energy and tuning in to match it are two different things. It all basically comes down to awareness and focus. Techniques in this blog post, as well as the coaching call I mention in the comment just above yours (which has nothing to do with helping others, just not suffering in crowds) can help you learn how to do that. A lot of it is about becoming aware of what’s happening and understanding that you do have the power to control your own energy. That realization was huge for me. I hope it helps you, too.

      Huge hugs!

  • Avatar Ashley Barnett says:

    I am an empath. I know it. I went to the mall today to test it out. What I did was that I turned up my receptors (i can imagine turning my ability to feel things up or down like volume on the tv) and went into the mall to see what would happen. As soon as I walked in, I hit a wall of energy. I knew that it would be hard to continue for a long amount of time, but I pushed through for the sake of my experiment. It was not an hour before I was completely drained of my energy. It was hard to walk and it felt like something was slowing me down, like I was walking in water. I had to get out of there. When I got to my car, I was so drained that i actually took a nap for like 5 minutes. Luckly, my mom was driving so I wasn’t stuck at the mall. After stabilizing myself for a couple of minutes, I turned my receptors down and I instantly felt better. I was still drained though and when I got home, I took a 4 hour nap.

    I can also feel peoples emotions and I can judge intentions and sincerity. If someone says something and they aren’t sincere, I get a weird feeling. I don’t like the feeling because it is an uneasy feeling. I use this part of my abilities to see if someone is worth trusting. I can tell if I am going to like someone or not by how their energy feels to me. I have a problem with making a lot of friends because so many people lie and are hiding things. The few good friends I do have, I have incredible bonds with, and I feel like I can trust them with anything and everything. Having a few friends that i trust completely is better than having many that you have to carefully calculate what you say. I have a problem with liers because sometimes I wish I can lie, but I can’t because I get awful feelings after I do. If I get these awful feelings, why don’t they? I have had some times when I have thought of a person randomly and a lot of pain came with it. The person was not with me and that kind of creeped me out a bit. Oh, if I touch someone, I can feel their energy a lot better than if I am just standing by them. I touch my friends on the hand or on the arm all the time subconsciously. My friends have good energies and I like feeling their warmth. It can also make things clearer to me. Like if I feel like something is off and I touch that person, I can sometimes pinpoint the emotion so that I can ask them about it, or know if they need my help or not.

    I always want to help people. Sometimes to the point to where it hurts me in the process. My dad is always telling me that I shouldn’t try to save everyone and solve all the worlds problems (his way of telling me that I am too sensitive…) but it is very difficult for me when I can clearly feel the pain. It is hard when no one understands me. I have always been a little different from everyone else and i am always overseeing everything and making sure that everyone is okay and happy. Most of the time, it is me who will take on the problems. Its like I am a magnet for other peoples negative energy. I rarely ever talk about my problems to other people. I just don’t want to worry them.

    I can also feel energy in old places or places that a lot of people have been. I went to Chattanooga one time and visited this hotel that used to be an old train station. There was not a lot of people there but I felt like I was in the middle of a crowd. I felt like there were people all around me rushing or walking with a purpose. I look around and I don’t see anyone like that. Everyone there is casually strolling and looking at the displays. When I got to the place where the trains were, it was worse and I felt claustrophobic. I really felt like there were people everywhere I turned and they were all in a hurry as if they were trying to board the trains. I researched it and now I think that it was residual energy of people who have been there before and left an imprint of their energy at the train station. The people aren’t actually physically there, but their energy is. I got a headache from that experience…..

    This article has helped me understand myself a little bit more. I wish there was more information on being empathic and what to do to control it. I am glad that there are more people like me and that my friend, her mom, and I aren’t the only three. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey Ashley,

      It’s great to meet you. You’re certainly an empath and have quite a pronounced ability to read energy. That’s great!

      What’s important for you to learn is how to strike the balance between helping others and sacrificing yourself. You must take care of yourself first, or you will run out of steam. True help, help that’s aligned with the energy of Who You Really Are and the inner being of the person you’re helping (so that they will be truly helped, and you’re not just giving them a bandaid) always results in a win-win. It benefits both the helper and the helpee. If a situation doesn’t feel like that, don’t help.

      Trust me on this, I speak from personal experience. You cannot take on the burden of making others feel better. You can shine your light so brightly (by raising your own vibration, and becoming so stable that no one can affect you), so that your light will influence theirs and they’ll shine more brightly too. But you cannot take on the burden or responsibility for how they feel. Do not deplete your own light. It won’t help them. Shine brighter. That helps you and them. It’s either a win-win or a lose-lose. Everything else is an illusion.

      So, in a way, your dad is right. You cannot save the world, at least not by hurting yourself.

      There’s also a coaching call in the shop that deals with how to protect yourself if you’re an empath that should be really helpful. You can find it here:

      It’s call #006.

      I hope that was helpful.

      Huge hugs!!

  • Avatar Morgan says:

    I am an empath. Very much so. I’ve struggled with this all my life, went through complete hell (no exaggeration there) trying to understand why I felt so out-of-control and overstimulated. It has got to the point where I often can’t leave my house due to over-stimulation from the energies around me. I have, in the past year, developed chronic pain and exhaustion that have left me only half-functional. Like my nervous system is completely raw and frayed.

    It is a blessing too. I am a healer by profession, when I can work, and always know exactly what my clients need. People reach out to me, as do animals. I feel I have the capacity to understand anything.

    However I have suffered so long with it and am at the end of my energy resources, it feels like. I know there’s a way to contain my energy and have boundaries with the world… I just have to implement all these strategies I have been reading about. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for this article! It has helped quite a bit.

    • Hey Morgan,

      Hang in there. You can figure this out. It really is about setting boundaries and realizing that you don’t have to suffer to help others and that if you are suffering, you aren’t benefiting them as much as you want to. It’s about taking care of yourself first.

      Huge hugs!!!


  • Avatar Brittany says:

    This article made me feel a little better today. I have always felt that I am an Empath but was recently told by a spiritual healer that I definitely am. That I am so wide open that it is the reason I have the Severe Anxiety and Panic Disorder that I have. That I am a magnet for negative energy and overwhelming Spirit. I am trying to research EVERYTHING!! Chakras, smudging, crystals…ANYTHING!! I feel like I’m dying. I get chest pains, jittery vibrations type of things, vomiting, sick to my stomach…it is horrible!! I’ve spent the last 4 days or so being sick, drained, crying and severely panicked. I’ve just been so distraught that its unbearable!

    • Hey Brittany,

      If you can, get out into nature, alone. Just sit, leaning against a tree and let it help you to balance out again. This should help a great deal.

      Huge hugs,


  • Avatar Mari says:

    Finally admitted to myself I’m an empath so I’m reading everything I could about it. Growing up, I always find myself isolated. Usually, I’m tired by the time the school is out but I feel way better as soon as I go home. I notice that summer classes were different–at least the fun classes like art and choir practices even if there are fifty people in the room. Then, there was these incidents where I would get angry for no reason when I’m with other people. As soon as I’m alone, I feel totally fine. I experienced this three times. One was with a friend. I asked her if she was angry with me. She later asked me how I knew she was angry. I explained that I felt it. She said she was angry with her rival which was sitting across me. This also happened with my dad. I got angry for no reason so I tried to remove it from my system. A minute later, my father berated me for something I had done. I didn’t even know he was in the room until he’s three feet away from me. There were other times, too, but I am realizing that maybe the feelings aren’t mine.

    Then, people always drain me. Everytime I’m with a crowd, I experience two things–I get dizzy and tired later on. Couldn’t stand being inside the bank unless it’s absolutely necessary so I always use the ATM machine to deposit my paycheck. Does it get better?

  • Avatar Ann says:

    I just stumbled upon this blog, and I am so glad! This is the first article I read, not including the free materials. As a clinician in a children’s psychiatric ward who does a boatload of family therapy and by the nature of the workplace encounter kids, teens and adults whose energy is all over the the place and at times can feel assaultive, I found this so helpful. I love your down-to-earth writing style!

  • Avatar Jean C says:

    You write like you’re speaking straight to my inner self. I have been an empath my entire 35 years as far as I can tell. I’ve had to withdraw within myself so that I don’t get that overwhelmed feeling. I’ve noticed the more I know and care about the person, the more susceptible I am to the energies. I love facebook because it gives me the chance to talk to people without having to deal with some of the energies, though then you have the issue of not seeing tone of voice when talking. I’ve been trying for years to find a way to channel the energies so that I can interact with people without getting hurt, but still haven’t found an effective way. I really enjoyed reading your post because it gives me new ideas of how to work with this talent. I love being around people and talking to people, but I get tired of being bombarded with all the negative and drama each time I come out of my shell.

  • Avatar Donna Stevens says:

    Enjoyed your article. Thank you. Being an empath almost cripples me at times. Until recent I never had a name for what I was dealing with. I am also Bi polar. So you can imagine the emotional turbulence and confusion I experience. My journey now is to find the path to inner peace. To learn to deal with my empathetic (gift-curse) to try and understand when its actually myself felling something plus knowing if its my bi polar symptoms causing me to feel such feelings. I do keep pretty much secluded, not wanting to know or feel. Simply because I never knew how to make it stop. I found your article here. I will follow your writing’s and I am optimistic that things are going to take a positive turn. Thank you.

  • Avatar Heather Shanti says:

    Thank you so much for this insight. I am totally energetically affected by those around me to the point that it’s almost dysfunctional. My step daughter is overwhelmingly dramatic and high energy, freaking out at small things, and I keep reacting to it with a mirror of panic too. I am only aware that it’s happening, but not understanding why or how. In fact, I have a “feeling” something is about to happen energetically and then it does, but I usually ignore or make light of my feeling, and see the pattern afterwards. I am a yoga instructor and am aware of the chakra system. I like your suggestion for visualizing the chakras to both ground my energy before engaging, and to channel it during an episode. Thank you! I also get remarks from strangers daily that they know me from somewhere, must have seen me before, etc. i have no idea why this happens, but it occurs at least 3 times a week. I tell myself it’s because I “see” them. I work hard to pull back my energy sometimes, create a barrier, but if I don’t have that guard up or am in a good mood, dancing through the day, I affect those around me. Any advice on this?
    Thanks again! Namaste-

  • Avatar Carol says:

    Just read this article and it shed a lot of light on what I;’m feeling right now. I have an acquaintance that is on anti depressants and is the most self absorbed person I know. I am ashamed to say I know when she is calling me on the phone and I don’t answer because I don’t have a couple of hours to listen to all her mental, physical and emotional ailments. A lot of it is self pity and boredom and I have tried for a long time to try to get her to see the positive side of life. She caught up with me a couple of days ago and I went from being happy to being moody and depressed, unable to barely get out of bed.

    I was advised to throw back the negative energy but its stopped working. I will now try to focus on something I like – dolphins. Wish me luck I’m so ready to stop feeling so blah!

  • Avatar Melanie says:

    I enjoyed this article very much. It definitely resonates with me on a very deep level as I’ve always felt different but didn’t know why. When I younger, in elementary school, I felt very different, almost like I was older than I was and I’ve learned now that it is because of all the energies that I felt that made me feel older beyond my years as though they were my own experiences.

    During my teenage years I was extremely emotional but felt like I was experiencing something beyond myself, that they weren’t my emotions. I even went to a therapist for separate issues and asked him if he believed that I had depression or bipolar disorder and he assured me that I didn’t. He was very spiritual himself. My mother is also an empath and has learned to control and manage it. However, I’m 22 and have not been able to learn how to manage it and it’s getting to the point where I don’t leave my house because I always feel overwhelmed, so I only leave if absolute necessary. Malls are the absolute worse where I start to feel sick and have to leave, sometimes I can only last an hour.

    I’ve also been finding that it has affected one of my friendships with a friend that I’ve had since I was 10. I find that she is extremely negative, and I’ve been finding that I’ve been alienating her because I don’t know how to deal with her energy without it affecting me.

    I see being an empath as a blessing instead of a curse. Who can I talk to about this and how can I learn about managing the energies that I experience? Spiritual healers?

  • Avatar Jane says:

    Hi Melody,

    I don’t know if you are still checking these comments…? I have only just grasped the concept of being an empath. I am not in tune with this or clearly feel when I am taking on others stuff. I have become extremely unwell from a life of total stress, anxiety and escapism through eating disorders and stimulants.
    I have been told I have been on a healing journey this last 8 years of illness, the last year being a massive ‘cleanse’ – being bedridden and housebound. So I have recently had a major healing and massive entity removed, and I FINALLY get the empathic stuff (I am nearly 40)…and am now doing protective work several times a day.

    I am confused on something though – should I avoid things that make me sad? For example, music is a guaranteed way to stir up my emotions. Sad songs can make me feel horrible anxiety and sadness – but sometimes if alone, I will put one on and cry. I do not know what to do here – if I avoid all things that trigger emotion, is that suppressing and trapping it?

    Jane x

  • Avatar OliviaLouise says:


    I am starting to understand that I am 100% an empath. I am having a very difficult time trying to keep it under control lately and it is becoming detrimental to my emotional health. I am at a point where I don’t know what to do and it’s so draining. Is it possible for empathy to become stronger over time? I’ve always been a very sensitive person and I now realize that I am a human sponge when it comes to other peoples emotions, but more recently I am having a hard time in most social situations. It is making me really sad because I am normally a very social person and it’s really hard having a panic attack when put in a position where I am surrounded by a lot of people. I feel like a crazy person, which scares me even more ;( Help!


  • Avatar Sam says:

    I wonder if there are any empath advantages that actually benefit the empath, rather than everyone else. Or are empaths meant to be sacrificial lambs?

    I don’t mean that in a rude way. It’s just frustrating to have to deal with this crap, and there’s nothing in it for me.

  • Avatar ljf dallas says:

    Very informative. Thanks.

  • Avatar Justin says:

    Hello, I’m really asking for your advice. I recently found out I’m an empath THANKFULLY! I also found I have healing powers. My question is what you wrote about crowds: I believe my life purpose is music and public speaking combined. People even know I will make it in music. My question is “how do I do this job if I’m an empath?”. My music is of a positive spiritual and healing nature. Also, the messages I will be speaking are about lifting up humanity to heal and teaching HOW to become better people, more wealthy, etc. Please, reply when you have the opportunity. I very much appreciate you taking the time to reply to my message. Peace to you. THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE AND INFO!!!

  • Avatar Dean says:

    Thanks so much for this article! ๐Ÿ™‚ helps a lot

  • Avatar Becca says:

    Hi Melody.

    Thank you so much for the tips in your article. I’m a twenty one year old empath who has just joined a family in which I am acting as a step parent (for the first time, might I add) for two teenagers. I realize that this may seem strange, given my age in relation to their’s, however, due to my strong empathic connection (among other abilities and situational life experiences) my mental and emotional age greatly contrast with that of my physical body.
    The reason I am researching blocking techniques is that both of the teenagers (one of whom is also a strong empath, the other diagnosed with moderate Autism) suffer from physical maladies that cause rather frequent admissions to hospitals. Unfortunately, due to my empathic connection, it is extremely difficult for me to join their mother (my partner) in accompanying them to the hospital. Upon entering I am bombarded with tens if not hundreds of negative emotions: The young, terminally ill child two floors up who is wracked with confusion as to why everyone is so sad, and why he keeps throwing up… The parents of said child who’s anxiety and sorrow is only dominated by a sense of rapidly diminishing hope. Take these emotions, multiply them by at least fifty rooms and cases, and imagine them all compacted into an energy so thick and intense it is nearly tangible. Staying there for hours (even days) on end is both heartbreaking and unbearable, for there is nothing I can do to help them; and due to the state I wind up in, nothing I can do to help my own family either.
    I have been quite good at putting up barriers in the past, but this is a whole new ballgame. I am adamant about being a supportive partner and step-mother, but doing so in this large hosiptal is nearly impossible for me. The last time I went, my anxiety and stress were so high that I nearly chewed a hole through my lip without realizing I had done so until blood started gushing out; I had bitten through a large vein.
    My partner and her children (along with our friends and relatives) are aware of my empathic connection and are more often than not benefitted by it, for which I am thankful. In this scenerio, however, I am more of a burden than a help. I want so badly to not only be able to stand being in this hospital, but to be a strong support for both my lady and her (our) kids. If you have any other advice for me, I would be emphatically appreciative. Thank you so much, again, for the tips you have shared. I will undoubtably use them today before and upon returning to the hosiptal. You have helped so many people, and for that I am truly grateful. ๐Ÿ™‚ You go, girl!


  • Avatar Monica says:

    Hello Melody,thank you so much for this article,it’s really helpful…I finally stopped considering myself as a crazy person,all my life i felt detached from the world because people like us are different than normal people.I’m nineteen years old and have this ability from small.I used to know who will ring the door bell,minutes before he did.I have always been a shy person and avoiding crowded places,anytime after i been among places like that i felt stressed and irritated and hurried home to be alone.My question is how to deal with this ability in relationships?I used to have panic attacks for a year and developed depression,so i will start to use your techniques how to convert the negative feeling into something good.Best regards

  • Avatar April says:

    WOW! I feel like u wrote this word for word to help me… Omgosh! I have been researching high, low, for the answers… Yay! Have a good one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Avatar alex says:

    hey monica ive got more of a understanding of alot of this if u ever on here again hit me up if you wanna know more or anyone else that reads this add my skype or fb if u contact me through skype first narg.narf

  • Avatar Doc says:

    This was a good read, thank you for that.
    I am an empathy among other things. As I was growing up I had difficulties with it. All the things described and more that are common among our kind I have experienced. But at this point in my life I have made peace with it and have embraced it completely.
    I now enjoy being in a crowded restaurant and knowing the feeling and internal conversations and thoughts of those around me. There are times when I can tell an emotion is becoming intense so I slow it down and allow it to flow, I don’t fight it. I apply a few technics such as; I pray on a regular basis, and I take a nice deep bath before leaving my home. My desire is to benefit other by the gifts that I have.

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