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Readers Respond: Pros and Cons of Being an Empath

Responses: 740


Not sure if I am

I had an experience with an employee I was training. I was standing next to her and all of a sudden I felt this over whelming sense that she was so lost. I was showing her a basic computer task but suddenly I was really confused too. It was almost like I was feeling her emotions and I just knew she was never going to understand the job. Then recently I was hanging with this girl and I just knew that she was battling an alcoholic demon. I just felt like she was a little girl lost and knew that she struggled with alcoholism. I cry at the drop of a hat if I hear a sad story. I know when something is not right if a mood in the room has changed. I can't take too much stimuli like really loud music, kids, or lots of people making noise. I don't know if I am or not. I just can tell when someone is got something deeper going on and can read between lines when someone is saying something or not being honest.
—Guest not sure

I ran from who I was for so long

I ran from who I was for so long, blocked feelings out for so long that I blocked out feeling. I've done this since i was 18 now, I am 30. I felt a tidal wave of emotions at once last night, emotions through time, emotions that were mine and others, cried for so many hours for everything. I turned off from everything, I blocked out, I was so lost.
—Guest sebrina

Is this real?

I began pulling pain from my children when they had stomach aches. They always felt better afterward. I am 53 now and recently went on a cruise. I used my technique (rubbing my hands together and placing them on the pain area and I imagine the pain leaving them and flowing like threads into my palm) on one of the employees and before I new it nearly 20 came to me with their pain. They all said that it worked. At Thanksgiving, my daughter had a headache, she's 21, so I used my technique at the back of her neck and shoulders and she swore her headache disappeared. Is this real? I can't imagine that I can really do this, but others swear it works on them. Sandy

Interesting, but helpful :)

Wow, I guess I had no idea so many of us were out there. I am just finding out more and more about my "gift" if one would call it that. It more or less started with my sister and a friend of hers, then traced it back to myself and possibly my mother. I'm glad to know I'm not alone and that maybe I can do some good with this, even if its been here my whole life, I'm glad to have it... hope that makes sense.
—Guest Kuro


I'm so relieved to see that there are other people with this well, I don't know what to call it, gift or curse. Since I was little I've always been the one to notice little things around me, walking in the park and noticing little things moving in the trees or the ground, or walking around school and noticing everything about the people that walk by me. I notice changes in anything and well that's not bad but when it gets to the point where other people's moods affect my day.. it kinda is. But this sensitivity is pretty useful because I'm intricate about everything, I'm pretty creative and appreciate all the little things about life, but it comes with a price. I get my feelings hurt a lot and cry a lot. Even my family doesn't understand and it's hard finding friends who do... it makes me feel so alone sometimes.. but I plan to find out more about this and seeking people I could really talk to now that I know there are others struggling and also striving with this trait.
—Guest Jo

My, there are a lot of us

I come from a long line of female empaths, going back to my Great-Grandmother, who was clairvoyant. It's an interesting talent to have, once you figure out how to sort other people's emotions from your own. I've found it very useful in my career, when it comes to knowing when to approach people and when to back off. I've always been in control of my gift, but my mother lets people suck her dry. It can be incredibly problematic if you don't have a handle on things. I make a point of spending a couple of hours alone every day, writing. I write what I experience from others, which is a good way to get it out of my head.
—Guest Cas


Hi, it good and sad too to hear so many people who have the same overwhelming problems as I do. i.e. pickinhg up random unacknowllegd feelings from others. I am 60 years old and have had an intense and sometimes disturbing life caused by unrecognized empathy and extreme sensitivity. I just learned what the cause was a few years ago. There is some helpful advice for empaths on a website called the clairsentient body. Time alone and or in nature can be helpful. Also doing any kind of grounding exercises to help you become more aware of your own personal sacred space. aura, etc. Most people don't seem to understand the intensity of our abilty to feel nor begin to comprehend how much it can hurt. We often get extra hurt by constantly being misunderstood and judged as wanting because of it. I have given up on many jobs, courses, and relationships because of being emotionally abused whether conciously or more often unconsciously by those so much less aware people around me. So hi, and good luck.
—Guest queenie

needs serious research, not woo

I think pathological empathy is a serious problem. I neatly fit the criteria for an empath, and I hadn't thought to link those behaviours, but it makes sense to me as pattern, and it's interesting that other people behave the same way. But reading more about it I soon ran into a lot of dreadful pseudoscience about "energy fields", vampires and angels. That sort of crazy talk doesn't help anyone. What might help is forming an on-line community, telling your psych about it, and letting university psychology departments know that the community exists. That way some postgrad student looking for a project is likely to do a pilot study and publish it, and that's how larger scale research gets started. It might take several years for concrete well founded strategies to start helping empaths to lead happier lives. In the mean time, sharing experiences is worthwhile, but supernatural explanations can only make things worse.
—Guest qzl

Need answers

I have struggled with empathy, dream walking, and sensing things for as long as I remember. The dream walking is mostly fun, now I figured how to change the dreams or switch them. I know other family members are sensitive too, but we have no formal training and was taught to not open any doors, because they can never fully close again. My problem is, my children are exhibiting the traits too, and I don't know how to talk with them and guide them. I don't want them to have the same troubles I had. My son gets scared very easily, my daughter is learning to handle it. I think it is time to find someone to fill in the gaps, but I don't know where to start.
—Guest Deb

Now I know I am not crazy!!!

Everything I have read here describes my life's experience accurately. I realize that I have always been an empath. I have always felt people's pain, even before they even told me. I feel overly-exhausted sometimes when tragic strikes and never knew why. Sometimes I would get super-depressed and then before I know it I'm shaking my head like, "what just happened?" Like, I don't even realized why I was just depressed. I'd feel pain and heartache and then someone would tell me something they are going through after I started feeling better, as if, once they started feeling better than my pain would subside. I can't believe I am reading what I am reading and now I know that I am not just "sensitive". Like I can just "brush it off". That used to anger me when people told me that. They never understood. But now I know I am not alone and I am not crazy. Thank you, guys, for sharing your stories.
—Guest I knew it


I take on peoples hurt and pain. I let their problem become part of my energy field. I carry them with me for days. When they are no longer with me they are always healed. I am left very tired. I have asked God to channel himself though me, but I am not doing a great job protecting myself. Energy should be limitless if it is given. I wonder why I am so tired.
—Guest kirsten

I dunno...

I think that empathy just touches the surface of what humans are capable of, but shove aside. Like, sometimes I feel closer to animals the people because they don't hide behind things that I can see right through anyway. Nature too. Oh well, I'm used to being different by now. When I was really little Id cry at the smallest things and that was it for showing it. I've always been the youngest in everything I do (I'm in high school and I'm STILL 13) I have to deal with spirit stuff and some have taken advantage of this and screwed with my emotions because it was "fun". Yeah, uh, not for me. See? DIFFERENT. And people just know it. Like instincts or something. They just tell me things, things that they don't tell anyone else because "I understand". Which is helpful sometimes. ^.^ it does suck when people are sad though. And when you can tell they laugh at you. Watching Christmas shows with the family was miserable.
—Guest Bri

empath curse

I have always struggled with the fact that I couldn't control my emotions around some people. I would take on their pain or sorrow and had no clue why. I am 48 years old and finally met another man like myself who is a bit older and said that he has learned to control it and to guard himself from the curse. I still don't know how to do it and it gets my to the pit of dispair sometimes!!! I cant even watch a movie that is too emotional or I find myself completely sucked into the caracter as though I am living the role myself!?!?!? If any one else can relate it would be good to hear. I thought that I was just crazy until I started studying up on EMPATHS. When I told my girlfriend about it I don't think she understood what I was trying to say. When I say I'm an EMPATH I don't just mean I can feel you in a sympathetic way... I mean I can actually feel the pain in my soul!?!?!?!? That's why I call it a curse sometimes. Can someone please tell me that they are like me??????
—Guest 4qball

It's a gift and a curse...

Ever since I was a child, I knew there was something different about me, not a normal child should be. The things that really messes me is that even though I am never asked others tell me about their problems and miseries. That's the one thing I kinda don't understand those days. But as I grew I was more struggling to know what had I become. Sensing the feelings of others without even touching them. It's like hearing the people's heart and mind. Including animals, trees, insects. Yes I kinda prefer being more close to nature than having to live in the city. It is where I get to refresh myself. I really don't like having to be with people around me. It's like I can read their thoughts and their hearts. I feel I'm so different. I thought I was alone, but as this goes, Is this a gift to be nurture with or a curse to be forever with? I can't even find someone to love. Well, I already found her but she's already taken.

Me, too!

Like so many others here, I knew as a child that I was different. Along with the empathy, I can see and talk to ghosts. So, double weirdness, right? I've learned to shield myself and it does help. I visualize walls going up, kinda like the old Get Smart intro when he walked thru a corridor and doors shut behind him. Strangers tell me personal details soon after meeting me; it's a bit disconcerting. I've been told many times how easy I am to talk to. *shrug* My sons have inherited this, my daughters too but not to the degree my sons have. Just learn to shield yourself, remove yourself from negative people whenever you can, switch channels when TV makes you uncomfortable, etc. I carry quartz with me and it helps, too.
—Guest Morrigan

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Pros and Cons of Being an Empath

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