Empath Definition: What is an Empath and 28 Signs That You Are One!

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when everything comes together and finally makes sense? I find this to be especially true when it comes to understanding yourself; I’m all about a strong Eureka moment! And if you’re an empath, it can be all the more meaningful – you’ll see why in a minute! But, what is an empath definition? Am I an empath? 

If you’re not sure what’s an empath, keep reading to find out what an empath definition is (and isn’t!), and why it’s so important to protect yourself as an empath. Plus, I’ll share 28 traits of an empath to help you better understand both yourself and others.

Empath definition: Am I an empath?

Although “empath” is a bit of a buzzword lately, being an empath is something quite specific. It’s not just about being empathetic, and it’s not the same as having psychic abilities. So, what is an empath definition?

By empath definition, an empath is someone who is highly sensitive and attuned to the emotions of other people. Not only do empaths notice the positive and negative emotions around them, but they can even absorb them and take them onto themselves. In fact, it’s very easy for empaths to assimilate into their emotional surroundings. This is fine if you’re surrounded by positive energy and emotions, because as an empath, you’ll thrive and bloom in an environment like this. But if you’re surrounded by negativity, that same finely tuned, emotional sensibility can be very difficult and stressful for you to deal with.

Why? Because it’s like you’re a dry sponge that absorbs any liquid it comes into contact with: water, lemonade, coffee, laundry detergent, you name it. You could even think of it as being like a chameleon who changes colors depending on its surroundings.  This can be exhausting for empaths who don’t have a protective filter yet! And it can be very challenging to protect yourself from all of the emotional energy you feel around you.

That’s why it’s so important to learn what is an empah and know the traits of an empath, because if you’re one, you’re probably constantly bombarded with the world’s negativity. In fact, you might be suffering, and not even know the reason why. Understanding what is an empath will help you understand yourself better. You’ll begin to see why you feel the way you do, and why you behave differently than others when it comes to certain social situations. And this knowing can lead to you living a more balanced life, where you can cope and process all of the emotions, both in and around you.

Being an Empath without Knowing It

If you aren’t aware that you’re an empath, you’re probably not handling all of the emotional energy and stress around you very well. This can lead to health issues like depression, weight gain and even panic attacks. And in order to escape from the emotional overload, some empaths escape to things like drugs, sex and food in order to distract themselves from the pain they’ve taken on.

For the longest time, I shamed myself for wanting to “escape” from any party or social gathering that lasted for more than a couple hours. This was especially true when it involved highly negative people. I thought that there must have been something wrong with me for not being able to enjoy everyone’s company. Or, I thought that I was weak for feeling physically and mentally exhausted afterwards. All I wanted was a big cup of hot tea and an even bigger dose of quiet time.

But once I learned what is an empath and that I was an empath and realized that there was a specific reason why I felt stressed and overwhelmed, and that it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of.  And when we understand ourselves better, we can develop personalized strategies that helps us navigate in this world.

How to Cope with Being an Empath

The first and most important thing to do is to not be ashamed of who you are. Being an empath isn’t a bad thing. If it’s a part of who you are, love yourself and make a conscious decision to honor yourself and respect your needs.

As an empath, some of your needs will be for quiet time – time to decompress all of the stimuli and emotions that you’ve engaged with throughout your daily activities. Additionally, you might want to try the following things to help you live a more balanced and peaceful life:

BOUNDARIES: If saying “Yes” to something that will only stretch you too thin or make you burn the candle on both ends, say “No” instead. Similarly, don’t be afraid to set time limits for yourself. If you know that 2-3 hours of socializing is too much (even with people you like!), give yourself permission to bow out gracefully.

MEDITATE: Meditation has so many benefits, and it can be a wonderful coping mechanism when it comes to centering and grounding yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed.

MANTRA: Find a mantra to take with you at social events. One of my favorites is, “I am calm and still.”

SOLITUDE: As an empath, you already welcome solitude. After all, it’s a great way to unwind and destress. So, don’t be afraid to create solitary space for yourself. Maybe it’s a room at home, or a quiet walk in the park. Wherever you feel reconnected to yourself, go there and give yourself permission to become still again.

Traits of an Empath

By now, you’re probably very curious to know whether or not you’re an empath, right? And maybe at this point, you already have a good idea if you’re one or not. So, to help you figure it out, check out the following list of 28 empath traits below. If they resonate with you, and you feel as though they’ve all been written about you, you’re probably an empath.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel like they describe you very well, they can help you better understand your family, friends or coworkers, who may be empaths themselves.

Empathic people are very sensitive to what others are feeling. They are tuned into people’s emotions, body sensations and possibly their spiritual states. In some cases, an empath may feel like that he/she actually became the other person.

Some empaths are more aware of their empathy than others. There are common traits that many empaths share. Let’s look at 28 signs that you are an empath in case you aren’t sure.

28 Signs That You May Be an Empath

1. What is an empath if not sensitive to stimulants

Caffeine agitates empaths more than others. They are also more likely to have reactions to medications.

2. You have social anxiety

Empaths are like sponges for other people’s thoughts and emotions. They may walk into a crowded room and feel extremely overwhelmed. Some empaths eventually become skilled at not letting all that energy “stick” to them. It just comes and goes. Others get used to it within a few minutes as they skillfully align themselves with the frequencies in the room.

3. You’re a target of control freaks

Empaths are natural healers whether they know it or not. Energy vampires will pick up on this and try to be close to them. Many people in abusive relationships are highly empathic. Predators also capitalize on other people’s weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses of empaths include forgiving too often, not standing up for themselves and not wanting to fight back for fear of harming the other person.

4. You are sensitive to loud sounds and bright lights

Sudden loud noises can be very disturbing to empaths. They may also be a bit photosensitive.

5. What is an empath if not the one avoiding the media?

Successful jet landings don’t make news. Crashes do. The media is filled with negative images and footage. Many empaths either skip over those parts or avoid the news entirely.

6. What is an empath if not a good BS detector?

Empaths know when people are lying more than others. They find it very easy to spot whether it’s a lover, a political pundit or a stranger. If you’re dating or married to an empath, don’t cheat on them. You likely won’t get away with it.

7. You don’t like violent movies

Empaths tend to feel others’ pain. They can put themselves in other people’s shoes and can’t stand suffering, even if the violence is simulated in a movie. If their family members are watching a violent movie, an empath will likely go to his/her bedroom or go outside and listen to crickets.

8. You get tired for apparently no reason

It’s easy for an empath to get drained from the people around them. They may be around negative people or they’re being generous on an energetic or emotional level.

9. You absorb other people’s emotions

When an empath is in the presence of someone who is sad, they may get sad too. Some are aware of the source of the emotion and others aren’t. They may even find out that their friend is having the same food craving as themselves. They may even take on people’s physical symptoms like headaches.

define empath
Empaths tend to be compassionate people.

10. Empath definition: You give too much to others

Empaths tend to be compassionate people. If you feel what others feel, you’re more likely to want to help them. Some empaths will give too much than what is healthy and put themselves out.

11. What is an empath if not a good actor?

Am I an empath for being a good actor? Actors want to experience life as the characters they are playing. If the character is angry, they want to feel angry so that their role is convincing. Empaths are very good at putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

12. Am I an empath if I know things without knowing how?

“Direct knowing” is a very common sign that you are an empath. Direct knowing means that you just know things without being able to trace the source of that knowledge. You may just know that your wife cheated on you. You may also be turned off by well-liked politician because you know things about their behavior and sincerity that others do not.

13. You don’t like to buy from second hand stores

Many empaths pick up on subtle “imprints” left on objects by other people. They will get an icky feeling from the objects because of the previous owners’ mental and emotional interactions with and/or attachments to the items. Empaths who can afford to stay out of thrift stores usually do.

14. You have pain intolerance

Empaths often don’t like medical injections or pain of any kind. Some can be very annoying to doctors. Minor injuries and illnesses are often a big deal.

15. Am I an empath if I often look out for the underdog?

Empaths often care for the well-being of those who are less fortunate than others. They can’t stand bullies and will stick up for the victims. They often champion causes like animal rights, gay rights or advocacy for poor people. Some will run for office, not for political power, but to help people. Others will start charities or donate to them. Empaths will often try to work in fields that allow them to help people.

16. Am I an empath for getting overwhelmed by negativity?

Empaths generally don’t like to be around hostile arguments. If their neighbors fight a lot, empaths will be more sensitive to that than others. They don’t like to see anyone fight in any way. Some are good moderators and others will try to avoid the situation.

17. People point out your empathic qualities

One big sign you are an empath is when people point it out in some way. In some cases, they will tell you that you are overly emotional or that you have a bleeding heart. Empaths are often told that they picked up on very subtle things during a conversation.

18. You are an artist

Empaths are creative, so many have some type of creative endeavor that they do. This may be writing music, drawing, doing graphic design, making children’s shows, becoming kindergarten teachers, etc. Empaths have very vast imaginations and want to put that trait to use in some way.

19. You’re drawn to healing and metaphysical topics

Most intuitives are drawn to metaphysical topics like healing arts. Empaths are natural healers, so this makes sense. They also recognize syncronicities and other things that involve the subtle world of spirit. It’s natural that they will try to deepen their understanding of these subjects and even become metaphysical healers.

what is an empath
Empaths tend to feel a connection with nature as well as people, and they often find nature to be replenishing.

20. Am I an empath If I often need quiet time?

It’s natural to want to experience some quite time once in a while. Empaths seek solitude more often. It’s a break from all the mental activity they experience from others all the time. Empaths tend to feel a connection with nature as well as people, and they often find nature to be replenishing.

21. You can’t stand egotistical people

People who are power hungry or egotistical tend to put out subtle frequencies that empaths can’t stand. They also disregard other people’s points of view and feelings. Empaths will usually avoid such people. This is not universal at all. Some empaths enter abusive relationships because abusers seek out people with empathic traits.

22. Each day of the week has a different feel to you

This one may seem stranger than some of the others. In many cases, certain days of the week will have distinct feels or even have certain color shades.

23. You can’t even think about harming others

As previously mentioned, empaths have an easy time putting themselves in other people’s shoes. Pain in others causes pain in the empath. Only extreme conditions will cause violent thoughts to arrive in most of them. Many empaths don’t even feel like they want to defense themselves during an attack.

24. You don’t like cluttered environments

Empaths are sensitive to clutter. They’ll feel heavy and unmotivated in them. They’re not necessarily neat freaks, but they definitely prefer less clutter.

25. You daydream a lot. Empaths are notorious daydreamers

They’ll drift off for hours and enjoy every minute of it. They also go off on a tangent over one thought all day long.

26. You love animals and nature

That woman who walks her dog on the same hiking trail every day could be an empath. Empaths tend to have a fondness for animals, and pets are good sources of unconditional love. Emotionally, they tend to be more “neutral” to humans and less chaotic. Combine this with nature , and many empaths find wonderful opportunities to replenish.

27. Am I an empath for being concerned mainly with the truth?

Empaths often don’t favor the side of an argument between a person close to them and a stranger. It’s the truth they’re concerned about. Anything dishonest just feels wrong to them. It’s not a great feeling. A lot of them are not huge fans of politicians and often see right through them if they’re not being sincere.

28. What is an empath definition if not a definiton of a free spirit?

Empaths often love the freedom and adventure of traveling. This is especially true when they’re traveling through wide open rural areas. They are often considered free spirits all around. It’s not just travel that empaths love. They also love to have a lack of structure. This is often a great answer to your am I an empath question. They love freedom and don’t went to get bogged down with lots of rules. Because many empaths are compassionate, these people don’t need as many rules anyway.

If you “resonate” with the empath definition above, that is likely the biggest sign you are an empath.

If you found answers to your am I am an empath questions and liked this article, share it with your friends and see what they have to say! Feel free to sound off in the comments below what is an empath or what is not, about anything you didn’t like or that resonated particularly with you.