Although the term empath has been used more often, a lot of people don’t know what it is to be an empath. And it is not their fault. It is a new term that many linguists are not familiar with it yet. I remember the first time I learned what being an empath meant. It was in 2009 when I went to Kona, HI, and had my certification in Angel Therapy Practitioner. By that time, the word empath didn’t exist in English dictionaries. It was a term used in Metaphysics and spiritual fields. However, the number of people that identified themselves with the description of being an empath was very high, including myself. That time and even today, many people still confound empath with scientific fiction or empathetic. But being an empath is beyond being empathetic.
It was just in 2017 that the psychiatrist Judith Orloff published a book called The Empath’s Survival Guide addressing specifically who empaths are and how to survive in this world. In her book, Dr. Orloff explains that many people are being misdiagnosed and are being labeled with depression, anxiety, and other disorders, when in fact, these people are extra sensitive and are absorbing the energies from the environment they live in. According to Dr. Orloff, neuroscience studies show that certain regions in an empath’s brain react in a different way than non-empath brains. An empath has an extraordinary sense of empathy. They are able to, literally, feel other’s physical pain, emotions, feelings, physical sensations, etc. They have an extra sensorial capacity to feel the energy of another person, animal, plants, places, and even objects.
In general, empaths are introverted people. But some can be very social. However, they hide an introvert side behind a smile or a joke. If we could compare the seeming extrovert type of empath with the Bach Flower Essences, this type of empath would be the one related to the Agrimony remedy.
According to Dr. Orloff, empaths are more sensitive than HSP (Highly Sensitive People) described by the psychologist Elaine Aron. Nonetheless they have some features in common, such as they are very sensitive to light, loud and annoying voices and sounds, strong smells, and they don’t feel comfortable in crowded places like malls, airports, football fields, and so on.
Empaths are people with a good heart. They are good listeners and like to make people feel better. That is the reason the majority of empaths choose some kind of helping profession. They are social workers, psychologists, counselors, nurses, medical doctors, physical therapists, teachers, reverend, even artists among other professions. It doesn’t mean that all these professionals are empaths. Some are the opposite, indeed. I’ve met crazy medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who were psychopaths and narcissistics. There are so many stories that people don’t talk about, unfortunately. But this is not the purpose of this article.
Empaths are like a sponge; they absorb the energies, the good and the bad ones, wherever they go. That is the reason being in nature, meditation, yoga, and energy work are very beneficial for empaths’ mental and physical health. Empaths usually hear people saying “I love to talk to you. I feel much better, even lighter after chatting with you.” That is true, but the empath probably is feeling miserable, because she/he absorbed all the heavy energy that was surrounding the other person. This is not good for either person. The empath becomes a free therapist for the “unpaid client.” It can help for a while, but this person will never mature at the emotional level. They will keep using empaths as what I call their “emotional trash can.” This is not good for the empath either, who needs to learn to say “No” in an assertive manner.
Empaths are always considered the one who is “different” in a family. They are labeled as “too sensitive,” “different,” “difficult,” “complicated,” and so on. The worst part is that empaths are also misunderstood among health care professionals and teachers who, without knowing, aggravate the situation. Some adolescents who are empaths choose to withdraw from the world, others seek comfort in drugs, and some, unfortunately, commit suicide as a way to cope with their pain of being “different” and “misunderstood” by a society that is collapsing. Being an empath is not a physical or mental disease. It is not a problem. Actually, it is a solution. It is not a curse as many people think. Rather it is a blessing! The world needs more sensitive, compassionate people. Empaths are highly collaborative. They are emotionally intelligent; they have a much-advanced level of consciousness.
In a world where absurdities such as human trafficking, pedophilia, racism, social and gender inequalities, corruption, and so on are being normalized, being socially adjusted is a sign of sickness and being “different” or “sensitive” is a sign of health. Empath is not a type of personality as many think. It is a way of being human. Is it easy? Not at all! The same way humanity evolved along the millennia by having quantum leaps in consciousness, we are witnessing another quantum leap in the human evolution by giving birth to a new era of sensitive and more peaceful people. People who truly care. Empaths have a general mission that is to make peace, honesty, and truth a reality for all human beings on Earth.
It is not easy to be an empath because most people are not one and they don’t know how to deal with people who are empaths. Also, there’s no interest in investing in research about them. Who in the ruling class wants compassionate, collaborative, anti-consumerism people thriving? Acting peacefully? Being emotionally healthy? This seems to be no good for the economy, right?
According to Dr. Orloff, empaths are being mistaken for being anxious or depressed. The complications are that being an empath is not an ailment or a health condition. As I mentioned previously it is a more constructive way of being human. However, the human consciousness evolution is slow and it will take a while to sink in regarding empaths. Self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-love are the secret of being an empath: someone who will never fit in in a falling apart world!
Finally, I would like to mention the general classification of empaths described by Dr. Orloff.
- Physical Empaths: the ones who absorb the physical symptoms of others; the good and bad ones.
- Emotional Empaths: the ones who absorb the feelings and emotions of others; the pleasant and the not pleasant ones.
- Intuitive Empaths: the ones who have extra sensorial perceptions such as:
- Telepathic Empaths: who gets information telepathically.
- Precognitive Empaths: who gets premonition about the future while sleeping or awake.
- Dream Empaths: who can receive information about others in their dreams.
- Mediumship Empaths: can access spirits that made the transition.
- Plant Empaths: can contact plants and know their needs.
- Animal Empaths: can communicate with animals and know their needs.
- Earth Empaths: are the ones who are attuned with the changes in the planets and the solar system.
If you see yourself in the above general classification, know that you are very needed on this planet at this time. You make all the difference in the world. The more you believe in yourself and the better you take care of yourself, the bigger is your influence on the Earth’s aura. Thank you for being an Empath! We need you!
Dyer, Judy. Empath, A complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self, 2017
Orloff, Judith, The Empath’s Survival Guide, 2017