Traits of an empath

An empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy and emotions emanating from people, animals and everything that exists around them. They have the ability to scan other people’s auras and souls and can intuitively pick up on past, present and even future thoughts and feelings and can quite accurately determine another person’s emotional, mental and physical state.

The saying “never judge a book by its cover” would ring true for an empath. Never would they trust the outer appearance or deceptive superficial exteriors; they will always sense what goes on behind the masks.

~Unfortunately all too often an empath is led to believe that these paranormal type skills do not exist in today’s world and their words are criticised, disbelieved and are told to be wrong. Downplaying an empath’s intuition, will benefit someone who may be trying to manipulate or use trickery, or someone with very little faith that these abilities exists

To thrive, empaths need to work on learning how to trust their own judgment and intuition so they can be at one with the inherent superpowers they have been born with.

If an empath does not have a good understanding of themselves and how to work with energy rather than pushing against it or absorbing it all, not only can this be emotionally debilitating, it may also result in physical illness with depression, stress and anxiety taking a toll on the body and a very high chance of suffering from the effects of burnout.

Like with all things, there are variations of the empath personality type. Some people will identify strongly, others will only recognise themselves in a few of the following traits:

1. Feels calmer when alone, and in relationships requires distance and regular periods of solitude.

2. When in the company of others an empath struggles to work out whether they are feeling their own emotions or the emotions of those around them.

3. Struggles to remain present as the chaos of emotions around them pushes and pulls on an empath’s own thoughts, feelings and emotions.

4. Often says yes to others without thinking of their own needs.

5. In relationships or friendships, very often puts other people before themselves, as though everyone else’s pleasure and happiness is more important than their own.

6. Relationships can often move too fast and can become intense very quickly as the empath connects on a deep, intimate level very quickly due to the ability to absorb other people’s energy and emotions.

7. An empath will often take full responsibility for how others treat them and for anything that goes wrong in relationships. They have a great amount of compassion and can clearly see other people’s emotional baggage and so they make many excuses for why people behave as they do, and this is very often to the detriment of an empath.

8. Tends to connect with people who are suffering and often wants to heal others or try to make the world a better place for them.

9. Can find themselves taking on and absorbing other people’s problems and being used as a sounding board or dumping ground so that others can offload their emotional baggage.

10. Instinctively knows when someone around them is not being truthful.

11. Sometimes empaths just know things, without having any idea of where they gained the information. When trying to work out the truth from a lie it can seem as though the information has been presented forward so that it can be used to help make a decision. The empath should only trust the information if they are highly skilled at reading themselves and others accurately and if paranoia or other information is not clouding their judgement.

12. An empath’s mind is an inquisitive one and they are constantly searching for answers and theorize and philosophise constantly.

13. An empath who is highly in tune with themselves and skilled at reading others will often be able to pick up on someone else’s thought processes even if they are thousands of miles away.

14. Connects very strongly to the animal kingdom and identifies very easily with the emotional and physical pains that animals go through.

15. Is often most at peace and feeling harmonious when spending time with nature and roaming around the outdoors.

16. Can feel the energy surrounding physical things and will often choose clothing or material purchases based on the energy that has attached to them.

17. Very creative and highly imaginative, writing, art, music, painting, dancing, acting, painting, building and designing are a few of the traits that empaths very often are passionate about.

18. An empath will likely get distracted easily when they are doing things they don’t enjoy and will quickly zone out or day dream when placed in situations where their mind is not stimulated.

19. Can struggle to fully relax in the company of others and really let their hair down and have fun, unless they are extremely comfortable and at ease with those surrounding them.

20. Prefers their living space to be clutter free and minimalistic; chaotic surroundings make for chaotic minds for an empath and they have enough inner sensations happening without cluttering their psyche further.

21. Finds it very difficult to be around people who are egotistical or enjoy putting others down to make themselves look better. Empaths will often come to the defense of those that have been rejected or bullied in any way.

22. Crowded places are emotionally overwhelming and downtime is required after social gatherings.

23. Highly sensitive to sounds, smells, bright lights and the feel of certain fabrics.

24. Regularly suffers with fatigue and can feel drained following interactions with others.

25. Can become shy and withdrawn as a method of self-protection. This can result in empaths becoming introverts as a way of avoiding the emotional and physical pain that often stems from interactions.

Other people may see empaths as moody or loners due to the amount of alone or downtime they need. Others may struggle to understand that these things are just part of the personality type and feel comfortable and the most natural ways to exist for an empath. Empaths do like connection, but they need to balance that out by creating a safe space for themselves to exist in alongside it.

Supermarkets, bars/clubs, family gatherings and any crowded event can all be energetically overbearing. Frequent downtime or escapism to a garden, bathroom or kitchen will occur to temporarily break away from the intensely high energy that occurs when many people are close together in the same venue..

Empaths may have an addictive personality and can pick up habits such as drinking alcohol, playing online games or excessively indulging in a particular interest as a form of escapism to blot out feeling so much pain.

Listening to or watching local or worldwide news can be traumatic as the pain or violence the people or creatures involved experience is often transferred onto the empath as though the pain was theirs.

Empaths are free spirits, adventurers, life-seekers, rule breakers, they live outside the box. Often it can seem to others as very unconventional or unorthodox lifestyles. However, these lifestyles often suit an empath perfectly and feel to them the most natural way to live.

As empaths learn more about themselves, many of the traits above can become a thing of the past, or a new way of dealing with them is discovered so that they do not have negative side effects. While many people may recognise themselves in the traits above, there will be some who who see a lot of these things as how they used to be before finding ways to combat or work towards understanding areas so that life becomes less painful.

The key to thriving as an empath is to recognise each of the traits and then spend time thinking about each one and looking at how it may be negatively impacting or hindering a certain part of life. When we have a good understanding of how a certain characteristic affects us, we can work out ways to turn any trait that may have negative side effects into positive ones.

The easiest way to look at the empath type is as though the personality is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing to have the ability to feel and experience life at such a highly sensitive level, so the joy and love around them will feel like constant electric pulses beating through them. However, the curse is that the lows are felt at an equal intensity.

When empaths learn to protect themselves by becoming consciously aware of how they are allowing outside energy to penetrate them, they are then in a position to turn the curses to blessings so that the painful and toxic energies are not absorbed within the psyche/soul. Empaths must be sure to surround themselves with others whose energies vibrate at a similar frequency so that they are not vulnerable and exposed to energy that can cause them harm. Self-protection is vital. I will cover all aspects of self-protection in a follow-up article.

Being an empath really is a beautiful way to live and to experience life. Finely tuning our frequency so that we keep our energy levels high and refuse to take on or absorb anything that will harm us is the simplest, harmonious and magically unique way to exist.

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Writing: Alex Myles

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone put into words exactly who or what I am. It’s hard to articulate to someone how a empath feels/thinks.

  2. Debra Hundley says:

    I have never read a more accurate account of who am I as a person, discovering who I am, not who others want me to be, has been a long journey for me. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    1. Anonymous says:


    2. Allorrah Be says:

      Me too!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you.

  4. Kendall says:

    Wow! Thank you for writing this. I was nodding my head throughout this whole article. I got to the end and felt overwhelmed with gratitude and then fear. Where do I go from here?

    1. SaMM FannSee SaMM says:

      Relax as you know

    2. Anonymous says:

      I read all of this with my mouth open in amazement on how someone else could know how I am. I’ve always been able to see others orea. Colors that is around people. I gave up on trying to explain to others what’s going on with me. When family and friends get together I often need to slip away outside or in a bedroom or even a bathroom to relax for a few minutes alone. I guess people think I’m trying to hide but that’s not it at all. Anyway thank you for putting in to words what I’ve known all my life but couldn’t explain in to words.

  5. Sharon Piddock says:

    Wonderful article absolutely accurate can totally relate to all you have written Now I am able to deal with my empathy its taken years but I enjoy it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How do you make others understand

  7. Anonymous says:

    I guess we’re all alike.Good analysis!

  8. Carrie says:

    This explains everything I go through on a daily basis!

  9. Wen Ligne says:

    Wonderful article. Thanks so much for making me feel “ok” as I am

  10. Dustin Ray Walkingstick says:

    why are we like this though?

  11. Debbie says:

    Accurate and precise description of me thank you

  12. michelle mcnally says:

    this explains a lot about myself that i never understood. i think i have all the traits good and bad. i was married to a narcissist and i see where i became one in my woundedness. great article.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Emotional Intelligence…there is something so good about our kind of people!

  14. Renee Michelle says:

    Thank you, Alex. So helpful. I’ve spent decades in therapy. Why don’t doctors of human psychology, LCSWs, or any of the counseling professions recognize empathetic personalities by name and as categorically and dogmatically as you have?

    1. Linda says:

      Sone psychologists may recognize empaths… My Myers Briggs test result was INFJ. Myers-Briggs calls that an Empath. When I read the results it described me in very similar terms to the article above and I felt ‘known.’

  15. Katrina says:

    I’m a empath. Wow so accurate.

  16. Allorrah Be says:

    Excellent!! I feel better already!

  17. SaMM FannSee SaMM says:

    As each we connect one to another in recognizing ourselves which has been so wonderfully presented Thank you
    GRATITUDE raises our VIBRATIONAL level increases light and our field surrounds us being LIGHT MAGNETIC building this planet, this peoples this Time space continuum

  18. So wow. I had no idea this was a real thing. I felt like I was going crazy. I had a friend tell me I needed to protect myself, I had no idea why I could touch someone and feel exactly what they were feeling. (Physical pain) I be always had the emotianal connection that I’ve been okay handling. But the physical stuff…
    I wanted it all to go away!
    I felt/ feel its always negative. As I read this Article I cried my eyes out. I feel like I have been so lost and this, everything about this. It makes so much more sense. I haven’t even begun to understand till now. I feel like a part of me is awake that I didnt even know existed.
    I was also married to a narcissist.
    How do I fix/heal the physical element in one that i encounter?
    I feel I can handle the emotions of someone else but the physical pain is so strong and I hate hate hate feeling it. But I feel a great desire to help fix it at the same time.
    ps. I’m a baby to all of this, I am ordering Crystal’s and stones to help protect me. My friend has tought me how to ground myself and protect me with light. Which has helped this past week. I am open to suggestions of help.
    Why is it becoming more powerful?
    Sorry I am looking for a lot of answers right now.

  19. Elise says:

    This is totally me. Everything in this article is about how I am and feel!

  20. Jennifer says:


  21. Deana Watson says:

    Where is the article on self protection as an empath? please and thank you.

  22. Ritika Sinha says:

    Ummmmm. WOW. Probably the best and most accurate portrayal of true empaths. Just a quick “adjustment”, if you will. It’s 100% true that empaths need A LOT of time and natural, decluttered spaces to recharge. It’s also true, as in my case, that many of us truly enjoy meeting people. I love big crowds, small personal meetings and everything in between. SOMETIMES it’s uncomfortable if the prevailing energy is caustic, but it’s actually uplifting when the crowd is positive and upbeat (even if not perfect). -R 🙂 <3 🙂

  23. Dana Hamilton Wakefield says:

    Wow! This totally hits the mark for me! Validation!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Very enlightening.. helped me to understand ME

  25. Anonymous says:

    Love this article so accurate I can’t wait for the follow up as that’s where I am at know is trying to figure out how to self protect and deal with the depleted feeling!

  26. Anonymous says:

    A lot if this is true but I am an extrovert which makes me more susceptible.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is 💯 true for me ! Spot on!

  28. Stephania McDaniel says:

    This answered so many questions and opened my eyes more into seeing who I am and what I need to do to positively harness my gifts.

  29. So here I am …

  30. Anonymous says:

    I feel.

  31. Sheree says:

    I’m all that! Thank you so much for this. Validation is always nice!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I must say ..everything in this article is true..I have lived this existence it has at many times been confusing and has isolated me.. especially as a child.i have lived most of my life in fear.and it is hard for me to be around many people. I have been told that I am different and many times mistaken for very cold..I have been brought to my knees many times by others need to gain control of what they can’t possibly understand in I result I have felt that I belong nowhere and with no one..almost like I was born in a wrong time..its very hard to explain..when people read these descriptions I wonder if they have any idea of what comes with it all..confusion, fear and isolation.not being able to have physical contact at time or the shock or pain that can attack you.never knowing if the constant onslaught of emotions pouring threw you are yous.long period of time with no rest.seeing everyone…but never having any really see you.even when I want to fully withdraw..I can’t the statements that you want to heal negativity around you are true.just so it stops bombarding you..Mabey parts of this people think are beautiful..but I am living proof that there is also another side.

  33. Lawrence Ip says:

    Yes, I’m an INFJ-A and 100% relate to everything in/within the post. Uncovering my personality type via has helped me immeasurably. May I also suggest having your Numerology Chart done. I have mine (from and the combination of both outlooks is just astonishing! I hope this helps. Love. Lawrence.

  34. Franca says:

    Alex, Thank you! I / We are happy to find you. Well written

  35. robert bywaters says:

    OMG! this explains it, why I’ve lived this life and encountered so many difficulties. PLEASE…I need to connect w/others who also share in this…Robert ByWaters on facebook

  36. Anonymous says:

    Great information here. The only thing missing is that some of us can actually see in our dreams. I can generally connect with someone to the point that they show up in my dreams.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I loved every minute of reading this. It was like? Reading a story based on me. I am highly sensitive and have abundant amounts of empathy. I am very introverted for the most part but can be ambivert for the next. The part, I loved the most? That REALLY spoke out to me was when you said? You know things and you just don’t don’t how you know them? Well… I have this psychic ability and things just come to me and I cannot explain them. Loved every minute of this, very intriguing.

  38. Nebrashka says:

    I am truly grateful I came across this article.

  39. Jamie says:

    Great description of Empaths!!

  40. Anonymous says:

    My entire life I have spent ‘saving’, saving animals, saving people looking after everybody else, except myself! After having a complete nervous breakdown and landing up in a clinic…I was explained and diagnosed with being an ‘Empath’! I didn’t know what this meant…that there was actually a terminology and now that I know and read articles such as these, suddenly blocks start being ticked, even going back to being a young child, I couldnt stand bright lights, certain colors would make me want to vomit! Animals have always been my obsession, living in Africa, seeing and then going to work in rescue, if you cried…you were told you are too sensitive and couldn’t be apart of rescue, I would hold back the tears so fiercely but then blood would pour out my nose!!! I felt every bit of their pain….I loved them so much gentle beings of live and light! After being in the clinic my family members were asked to meet with myself and my psychiatrist to explain my condition….nobody came, not one of them! I sat there with my psychiatrist half embarrased but mortally wounded! I thank you for this article! The preciseness of it is beyond comprehension! I have something to send to the one family member who would have been there but wasnt in the same City! It also helps me to understand myself, to help protect myself but now to help my son who is also displaying all the classic symptoms!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! From the very bottom of my heart! What saddens me the most is that I have had so many suicide attempts only to wake up in the hospital….God has plans for me but sadly their are empaths that havent made it! The suicide rate amongst empaths is huge! Your work needs to be shared on a greater magnitude, a greater platform! Lives are counting on it! All my love from an empath who will fight to stay here because I have a son who I have to guide and hold up when the world gets too tough for him!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, I wish all this information had been available 30 years ago. I have surrounded myself with people, friends, husbands who have done nothing but manipulate me, especially my closest girlfriends and mother in law, they manipulated my husband and children.

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