Are you an empath?

How to tell if you’re an empath, and
why it’s important to know.

You may be an empath if…

  1. You sense how other people feel.
  2. You can tell if someone is lying or trying to hide something.
  3. Strangers share their life stories with you.
  4. You’re emotionally and/or physically affected by others’ feelings.
  5. Crowds and intense people are emotionally and physically draining for you.
  6. It’s difficult for you to tell the difference between your own feelings and the feelings of others.
  7. When other people are upset, you feel responsible for helping them feel better.
  8. If I see pain or suffering, you feel compelled to help.
  9. People tell you you’re an “an old soul.”
  10. You find it easier to take care of other people than to take care of yourself.

If you answered “yes” to more than half these questions, it’s likely that you have strong empathic traits. If you answered “yes” to all of them, I’d bet you money you’re an empath.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out other online quizzes: The Empath Test and the Empath Connection Quiz are two good ones, but there are many more.

What empaths need to know.

Being an empath is not a mental illness or a symptom of a disordered mind. At its best, living as an empath involves thinking and acting in ways that are inherently generous. However, in a world where kindness is often mistaken for weakness, being an empath can be difficult, and even dangerous. For example:

Because they’re trusting, empaths may fall prey to people who want to use them to meet their own needs.

Because they take responsibility for the feelings of others, empaths may get into and stay in abusive relationships.

Because they often neglect their needs, empaths may experience emotional burnout or develop physical illnesses.

But the good news is…

Knowledge is power.

Once you know you’re an empath, you’ll understand how important it is to be able to:

  • Identify people and situations that sap your energy.
  • Evaluate people and their motives objectively.
  • Protect yourself from the effects of others’ energies.
  • Monitor your emotional and physical energy levels.
  • Ground and recharge your emotional and physical “batteries.”

A healthy empath knows that before she can take care of others, she has to take care of herself.

The world needs them – the ones who absorb the emotions of others, which diminishes their pain and disquietude and the world also uses them as a repository for confessions, secrets, grudges and indignation. They will leave these uncommon and intuitive individuals feeling unburdened themselves while the unusual individual will be weighed down by having taken on those burdens in addition to their own. The world needs them but what they need is something as aberrant as themselves, and that is silence, stillness and rest.

― Donna Lynn Hope