1. Religion & Spirituality

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://healing.about.com/u/ua/empathic/empath-pros-cons.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

The Bible and Suicide

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Readers Respond: Pros and Cons of Being an Empath

Responses: 756

By

From the article: Traits of an Empath

Share Posts: Are you an empath, deeply sensitive to the emotions of other people? What empathic traits do you possess? Are you able to distinguish your own emotions from others? Do you feel being empathic is a gift or a curse? Share about your pro and con feelings here. Please don't expect answers to your questions or post telephone numbers in your share posts. This section is for only for sharing your positive and negative experiences/feelings. >p>Note: Also Check out Group Support for Empaths.

Please Note: The submission form for reader input has been temporarily disabled.

Learning to trust what I know

I dont know what I want to say, I am often trying to work out who I am in this life. I feel there is so much more to our world then we are generally taught. I live a lot of my time in my own head, thinking thinking always thinking until it hurts and then I somehow stop all thought all feeling and just carry on. When this happens it is such a relief, even now as I type I wonder what readers reception will be. I picture a hundred different responses and how do I feel about each of them. In keeping with the posts theme though I know this, I am shattered by what I call the bad in this world, I cannot understand why so many ppl and animals are made to suffer. Sometimes it's unbearable and i have to turn off completely. There are ppl i have met that I believe are heaven's angels on earth, others I walk past in the shops and I turn cold and feel physically sick so much so I want to cry. I feel a prisoner of my own mind a lot yet many have thanked me profusily for helping them.
—Lenejane

Young empath

So I have only just found out about being an empath and I have always been I tune with plants and animals and the people around me. I would always have friends there for me. However high school is awful for me especially when our year gets close to some big exams. I just get hit with everyone else's stress in the corridors or lessons. So at home I am kind of a recluse, I am the top set for all my subjects and everyone seems the need to dump their problems on me about what they don't understand and I just help because I cannot not help. If there is anyone that could advise me on how to deal with a whole year group of 200 students emotions, that are currently goin through puberty, please tell me.
—Guest Oliver

You need to have a positive release

Definitely feel like I am empathetic to a fault, I suppose like one person commented you should have an outlet such a prayer, and yoga otherwise you can internalize so much that it becomes self destructive.
—Guest Amy

Life as an empath

I became aware of what I am in high school. This created many problems and it forced me to subdue my own emotions quickly as to discern the difference between my feelings and those of others. As I got older and gained more control of this ability it became as much a part of my view of the world as my eyes and ears. Now as an adult I still find a struggle with my ability due to the fact that I have a talent and love for medicine but I find hospitals to be revolting in the way that grief, pain, and illness has literally leaked into every fiber of the building. I have to keep a close watch on my control at all times when I am at work and even when I am away from there I have to keep a very close monitor on myself to be sure not to let my control slip. I would not trade who and what I am for anything, but there are times where I find the white noise of everyone around me to be maddening.
—Guest David

This is ruining my life.

If there was an off button I would push it. I can tell when anyone lies about ANYTHING...even white lies. People lie a lot, and it has destroyed my faith in the human race. People exhaust me everyday. I get migraines, I'm fatigued, and my mind is on the brink of something bad. I can look at a person and tell if they're "good" or "bad," generally speaking. I've been on medications, I've had MRIs, and I've gone through an array of personality testing. I'm not mentally ill (yet) and I don't have a tumor. I can't take drugs (migraines) so there is no way to block any of this out. Empathy has not been a gift for me. I'm a walking, talking lie detector test. While I can stay away from people that I sense are dangerous, you would be surprised how many there are. Ignorance truly is bliss.
—Guest Lee

Empath: Curse or Blessing?

I've only recently discovered I'd be defined as an 'empath', before I didn't know what to call myself. Right now I'm at the stage where I have no idea how to stop absorbing everyone's else's thoughts, feelings, and emotions. And I've gotten so good at reading people, give me fifteen minutes and I could tell you everyone in a room that's hurting, how bad, and the possible (and likely) causes. And unfortunately I've run into some sad cases (one which is really more akin to a parasite than anything else) where I want to help them, but I start thinking and feeling like they do and it kills me inside... I've gotten suicidal and depressed and ...ugh. But I'm cutting those people out of my life, and I'm young, so I have time to learn. For those who are figuring this stuff out ... figure out a way to protect yourself, and realize you can't save everyone. Otherwise you'll really get hurt. And you can't help others if you're broken as well.
—Guest Questioning empath?

Being an Empath

It can be difficult being an empath. It can take a lot out of you and cause many unwanted headaches. However, it gives me a chance to really connect with the person I am talking with. It's like I feel what they are talking about; allowing me to relate and understand better than any "normal" human. It can be tough, however, I wouldn't trade my gift for anything. I am always the one people want to go to in order to get stress off of their hearts and minds and that makes me feel good: to be wanted. What's best of all is that they keep coming back. I love to listen and I love to give my advice on situations. MY advice is always helpful because of being an empath and it's always truthful. It is a great gift that I have just recently come to excepting. Sometimes, when I walk into a crouded room, it's like I run into a brick wall of emotions. But, control will come in time. I believe in my gift and that I am meant to use if for good and I always will.
—Guest Eric

Traits

I literally found out that I'm an empath through a friend I always knew I had a special ability but I felt as though searching for it was always an issue. The traits were particularly on point specially dealing with negative environments and finding something within animals or nature to sooth my soul. With television not so much I can watch certain shows but I know for a fact I can't stand watching the news for a lon period of time and only certain movies make me really sad and it doesn't have to be a sad movie or sad scene it could be off of what someone said or what someone did. I do write and I think the only cons of finding out that I'm an empath is that I feel as though I'm alone and I feel like sometimes I feel as though I get too involved in others emotions etc.
—Guest Alexandrea

Harness it

I have the ability to distinguish my feelings from others. I think what your have is strong anxiety and it can be fixed. Empathy is still brain chemistry. Find what makes you tick and what doesn't, then resolve the issues with your soul intentions. Then come to conclusion with yourself.
—Guest Love

Sometimes I can tune it out

I am 14, but I've known I was an empath since I was 12. For me it feels like a toned down rollercoaster feeling near my heart, but almost outside of it. It is like that but mixed with other emotions like happy or sad. Sometimes it takes me awhile to interpreter the complexity of it. At times I am very good at tuning it out but other times I feel sad and depressed for no reason and I have to snap out of it and realize it's not my emotions. Sometimes I feel myself weighed down by a heavy flow of emotions of others, typically when I'm in a crowd. I try to analyze what I'm feeling, so I can get better at helping others with my gift. Such as knowing when my friends are upset or when something is wrong. That's pretty much it, except that I recently learned my cousin and grandma are also empaths. So I guess it is genetic.
—Guest Anonymous

Being an Empath and How to Cope

Until reading this article, I never had much of a name or title attached to the way I could feel the way other's were or how I went out of my way to make them feel like 'rock stars' while I left myself all emotionally neglected and drained. I'm still a student, so it can be challenging to be an empath in that environment but luckily, I'm a goody goody so I surround myself with positive goody goody friends. lol, #nerd. Anyways, a trused adult friend of mine told me I was an Empath a few weeks ago and she taught me how to 'shield'. She told me to do it whenever I could but always when going into large crouds or when I know I'm going somewhere with a negitive atmosphere. It has helped me a TON and I find that I feel a lot better. If you don't know what shielding is, I highly suggest you look it up because it's like God's secret little gift for empaths so that they can make it through the day. :)
—Guest Guest bubs

Connection

I have always, always felt different since I can remember. Watching adults interact and thinking to myself how I will never be like that. How hurt I felt as a child, seeing others hurt each other with words. Strange that I felt superior to them at only 5 years old; deep compassion, I felt their negative energy and it was then I started to distance myself from that type of energy, at age 5!! I have felt different my whole life and when i read about empaths in an article a few months ago, it blew my mind on how it accounted for exactly who I am. I have healed people's emotional trauma when I was a teen and early 20's. Then it became emotional draining for me and distanced myself a bit more from people. Met someone that I could connect with on the same level, raised a family. Now, I am alone, sad to say, I may never find someone to connect that way with again, because it's rare. Honest, loyal and loving, hard to find these days. At least now, I know there are others with the same gift.
—Guest Aspen

Can't Control It

One of the things I find the hardest to deal with as an Empath is that I see so much potential in some people to be good or that they would be good friends or even a good partner but they won't give you the time of day. Pro is that once people give you a chance the relationship tends to become very deep quickly and especially if they treat you well because you become so attached to the positive energy flowing off of them and you want to be around them a lot but at the same time you still need your space which is another con as that can be very confusing to your partner. Another issue I personally seem to have is that I can't control it. There will be times I want to know what someone else is feeling but half the time if the emotion isn't strong enough I can't tell if what I'm sensing is my emotions or theirs; yet, when I don't want to I randomly will get a very strong feeling from someone. I'm not sure if it's me blocking it out or if I simply need to become more in tune with my abilities.
—Guest yoser

Cons

I too am an empath as long as I can remember. I naturally thought everyone else was, too. But as a grew older, I realized that the communication with normies often produced abnormal reactions. I discovered that people don't want to hear the truth that would help them, otherwise. Therefore, it is amost futile to use this power for the good for those that really need and deserve a happier life. I've learned to keep my thoughts to myself, even when someone asks for it. Alone yes, stuck and unable to do good, yes. Sad yes. But as for me, I cannot imagine not having my gift. Like someone previously said, Losing it would be like losing my sight or sense of touch!. And in my own words, losing my legs, without the ability to walk, even. It's absolutely wonderful to read that there are others out there like me. This is a first for me to see you all. It would be nice to gather someday =)
—Guest Guest Lisa

All My Life

I have felt other's emotions all my life. Especially pain or sadness. It has taken me years of work to sort through my OWN inner pain as it has always been easier to feel everyone's around me. I have always worn my heart out on my sleeve and have been "drained" by toxic people and or relationships. I cannot deal with cruelty to animals on any level. It literally BREAKS me. Animals, especially dogs, love me instantly. I connect to them on some sub-conscious level where language is not needed to be understood. Negative people wear me down and I have learned to put walls up to protect myself. I try to surround myself with positive like minded people. It is the only way I can survive emotionally. I once saw a movie in theatre that during one sad gut wrenching part had me loudly sobbing and I was sooooo embarrassed. I love very deeply and have the ability to see situations from another's point of view, even if that means I am the one at fault.
—Guest Ellie
  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Holistic Healing
  4. Highly Sensitive Persons
  5. Being an Empath
  6. Empaths - Pros and Cons of Being an Empath

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.