Traits of an empath

Empaths have a unique ability to tune into the energy and emotions of those around them. They are highly attuned to the subtle vibrations and frequencies that exist in the world, and they can sense when something is off or out of balance. This sensitivity can be both a gift and a burden, as empaths often feel the emotions of others very deeply.

When an empath encounters another person, animal, or even an inanimate object, they may immediately feel a sense of connection or resonance. This can be a powerful experience, as the empath may sense things that are not immediately apparent to others. They may be able to pick up on past experiences, current emotions, and even future possibilities.

Empaths are often able to accurately determine another person’s emotional, mental, and physical state. They may be able to sense when someone is in pain or distress, or when they are feeling happy and content. This ability to read people and situations can be very helpful in personal relationships, as empaths can often provide comfort and support to those who are struggling.

However, this sensitivity can also be overwhelming at times. Empaths may feel bombarded by the emotions and energy of others, and may struggle to separate their own feelings from those of others. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, or even physical symptoms such as headaches or fatigue.

Despite these challenges, empaths continue to use their abilities to help others and make a positive impact in the world. They may work in helping professions such as counseling or healthcare, or they may use their intuitive skills to connect with others on a deeper level. Empaths also often engage in self-care practices such as meditation, energy work, or spending time in nature to help manage their sensitivity and maintain their emotional well-being.

For empaths, the old adage “never judge a book by its cover” is more than just a saying – it’s a way of life. Empaths have the ability to perceive and sense the energy and emotions of others, often beyond what is visible on the surface. This means that they can see past the masks that people wear and perceive the true essence of a person.

Empaths are naturally intuitive and attuned to the emotional states of others. They can pick up on subtle cues and signals that others may miss, allowing them to understand a person’s true nature even if they are trying to hide it.

Empaths often face disbelief and criticism from those who do not understand or acknowledge their abilities. The paranormal or intuitive skills that empaths possess are often dismissed as mere coincidences or imagination, leading empaths to doubt themselves and their own perceptions.

This can be especially damaging when it comes to their intuition, which is a powerful tool for empaths. Empaths have a keen sense of intuition, and they are often able to pick up on subtle cues and signals that others may miss. This intuition can help them to navigate the world and make important decisions, but when their intuition is dismissed or downplayed, it can lead to confusion and self-doubt.

Unfortunately, there are those who may seek to manipulate or deceive empaths by discrediting their intuition. By convincing an empath that their perceptions are wrong or unfounded, a manipulator can gain an advantage over them and use them for their own purposes.

In addition, some people simply may not believe that these abilities exist, leading them to dismiss or downplay an empath’s experiences. This can be frustrating and hurtful for empaths, who may feel isolated and misunderstood.

Despite these challenges, empaths continue to use their intuition and other abilities to navigate the world around them. They may seek out like-minded individuals or communities where they can feel accepted and understood, and they may also engage in practices such as meditation or energy work to strengthen their abilities.

It’s important for empaths to remember that their intuition and other abilities are real and valid, even if others do not believe in them. By trusting in themselves and their own perceptions, empaths can continue to thrive and use their gifts to help others and make a positive impact in the world.

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 may struggle to work out whether they are feeling their own emotions or the emotions of those around them.

3. May find it difficult 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. May prefer 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 can be 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.

Empaths frequently require downtime from social situations to recharge their energy and process the emotions they have absorbed from others. Places like supermarkets, bars/clubs, and family gatherings can be energetically overwhelming for them. Consequently, others who don’t understand their need for solitude may view them as moody or detached. Nonetheless, for empaths, being alone is not about isolation, but rather an essential aspect of self-care and self-preservation. It’s crucial for empaths to establish clear boundaries and convey them to others so that they can have the necessary time and space without feeling guilty or misunderstood.

Additionally, empaths may struggle to find people who truly understand and accept their unique traits and abilities. They may feel isolated and disconnected from others who do not share their sensitivity to energy and emotions. It’s important for empaths to seek out like-minded individuals and communities where they can feel accepted and supported. This can provide a sense of belonging and connection without overwhelming their sensitive nature.

For empaths, creating a sanctuary for themselves involves both physical and emotional aspects. They may need to establish boundaries with others in order to prevent absorbing their emotions or energies, even though this can be challenging for empaths who dislike upsetting others. Nonetheless, it is critical for empaths to prioritize their own well-being and recognize that setting boundaries is a demonstration of self-love and self-care. By doing so, they can preserve their emotional state, protect their energy, and avoid burnout.

It is possible that some empaths may be more prone to addictive behaviors because they are often seeking ways to escape or numb the overwhelming emotions they experience on a daily basis. Whether it’s drinking alcohol, playing online games, or excessively indulging in a particular interest, these habits can serve as a temporary escape from the intense emotions that empaths feel.

While these coping mechanisms may provide temporary relief, they can ultimately lead to more harm than good. Addiction can become a vicious cycle, leading to more emotional pain and ultimately impacting an empath’s ability to connect with others in a healthy way.

To overcome addiction, empaths must first recognize that they may be using these behaviors as a coping mechanism. They can then work to develop healthier ways to manage their emotions, such as practicing mindfulness or seeking support from loved ones. By developing a deeper understanding of their emotional needs, empaths can find ways to connect with others without becoming overwhelmed by their emotions.

For empaths, the experience of listening to or watching local or worldwide news can be overwhelming and traumatic. This is because empaths have the ability to deeply connect with the emotions of others, and this includes the emotions of those who are affected by the events being reported.

When empaths watch or listen to news reports of violence, suffering, or tragedy, they may feel as if they are experiencing the pain and trauma themselves. This can lead to a range of negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and a sense of hopelessness.

The effects of this trauma can be particularly potent for empaths, as they may feel deeply affected by news events even if they are not directly involved. This can make it difficult for them to disconnect from the news and move on with their lives, leading to a sense of emotional overload and exhaustion.

To manage the emotional impact of news events, empaths can take steps to limit their exposure to news reports that may be particularly distressing. They can also practice self-care techniques such as meditation, exercise, and spending time in nature to help them cope with the emotional toll of the news.

Empaths often have a unique perspective on life. They tend to see things from a different angle, one that is less constrained by convention or societal norms. This can lead them to live in ways that may seem unconventional or unorthodox to others, but to empaths, it’s simply the most natural way to be.

Many empaths are free spirits who crave adventure and excitement in their lives. They are not content with the status quo and are always seeking new experiences and challenges. For them, routine and predictability are stifling and suffocating. They thrive on the unknown and are always ready to take risks and try new things.

Empaths are often described as rule breakers, not because they are intentionally rebellious, but because they see the world differently. They are not afraid to question authority or challenge the status quo, and they have a deep sense of justice and fairness. They may be drawn to social causes or movements that advocate for equality and justice for all.

For empaths, living outside the box means embracing their unique qualities and living life on their terms. They may choose unconventional careers, relationships or lifestyles that allow them to express themselves fully and authentically. They are not interested in conforming to society’s expectations or fitting into a predetermined mold.

Living outside the box can sometimes be challenging, especially when it means going against the grain or facing criticism from others. However, for empaths, the rewards are worth it. They are able to live a life that feels true to who they are, and they are able to make a positive impact on the world around them by sharing their unique gifts and perspectives.

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.

To thrive as an empath, it is essential to take the time to examine each trait and how it may impact different aspects of life. By reflecting on how a particular characteristic affects them, empaths can develop strategies to transform any negative side effects into positive ones. For example, they can learn to set healthy emotional boundaries, allowing them to empathize with others while still maintaining a sense of self. They can also develop techniques to manage overwhelming emotions or energy, such as meditation or grounding exercises.

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 can cultivate a powerful inner state of being that allows them to transform negative energy into positive energy. This process enables them to turn curses into blessings, so that they are no longer absorbing painful and toxic energies that can impact their psyche and soul.

In order to maintain this positive state of being, empaths must surround themselves with individuals who share a similar frequency, so that they are not exposed to energy that can cause them harm. This is important because empaths are particularly sensitive to the energies of others, and their ability to thrive depends on maintaining a healthy and positive environment.

Self-protection is therefore vital for empaths, and it requires a deep understanding of their energy and how to maintain it at a high level. This includes developing techniques to shield themselves from external negative energy, as well as cultivating a sense of inner strength and resilience.

Ultimately, being an empath is a beautiful and magical way to experience life, and it requires a deep commitment to living in harmony with oneself and others. By finely tuning our frequency and refusing to take on or absorb anything that will harm us, we can exist in a state of grace and wonder that is truly transformative.

Alex Myles

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Main Image: Unsplash Gabriel Benois


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

    • Yes! You are so right….I have the hardest time explaining to loved ones as well as outsiders why, who, when, where and what an empath is… Basically who I am is my point, I’m just barely finding out 3 yrs prior to….Its very difficult to understand yet in a way its not…
      God Bless us all

    • I’ve struggled for years to explain how or why I can “feel ” both physical and emotional pains of others around me take them on unwillingly ofc. I’ve somehow even healed animals somehow Or how I seem to just know what someone is thinking, feeling, physically and emotionally or lying to me etc. Or why I don’t know if any of the feelings physically hurt or emotionally are even my own MOST people don’t believe that I am for real when I show or tell them that I am this way they say I’m weird or mentally disturbed and need help etc. Therefore I don’t show my abilities for fear of criticism and hide away from social situations outta fear and those that did believe me and believed in me have all died or moved away so I’m alone now and I pray that God will send me someone to connect with that also has these abilities and understands 😔🥺
      Anonymously Alone ,

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

    • 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.’

  7. Thanks
    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

    • Oh I know exactly what you’re going through as I have noticed fir years this same narcissistic behavior with an inlaw of mine….Brain washed my children, envy, jealousy and hatred is what I’ve felt from her for all these yrs…19 to be exact…I work for her and so does her brother …we work together for her business…I stay away from her narcissistic behavior as I used to be her target for everything from missing items to my clothes not matching (for instance just to name a few) I have to get back to work, I just wanted to leave a reply as to say that you’re not alone we all share some sort of situation that is the same or simular…Thank you for your comment as it helped me see something’s that i need to work on and inspired me with determination to do so…

  19. I’ve known two–1 good—1 much stronger but evil–she was considered a witch in her country–she could draw a person close to her emotionally–she was feared in her community. I experienced the magic of both–

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