Some people are good at listening and even have a deep sense of people’s thinking and feeling. Read on to find common signs of an empath.

For example, if you see your loved one crying and notice his/her shoulder shaking, you understand the expression on his/her face. It shows how he is upset about something. When you get to know that he lost his mother. You feel more concerned.

The moment you saw your friend crying, you also started crying and felt deeply sad before you approached him or learned why he was crying.

What is an Empath?

Being empathic and an empath is not the same thing. Being empathetic means you understand someone’s sadness or pain. According to Judith Orloff, MD, a psychiatrist, and author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, being empathetic means your heart goes out to someone, being an empath defines when you actually feel someone’s happiness or sadness in your body. Simply put, it is an “emotional sponge” which means absorbing the happiness and pain of the world around them.

The Empathy Scale

From narcissists and sociopaths, empathy can be measured. These people can’t understand how other people feel or are uninterested. Super empaths are those who don’t find much difference between their own emotions and someone else’s, Helena Rempala, a clinical psychologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Empaths are also referred to as ‘highly sensitive people.’
Empaths aren’t introduced as a separate category and label. They exist in pop culture rather than clinical.

Empath identity is considered self-imposed and requires data that supports it is a distinct personality type. Describing what an empath seems very difficult and complicated. For people, empath means different things and some people consider empath to be a term for ‘codependent.’ Rest thinks it is a metaphysical or special ability or spiritual gift.

Is Empath made or born?

Like other personalities, it is difficult to describe the genetic influences and environment but empaths are born and learned to cultivate as they grow, says Jeff Gardere, PhD, a psychologist at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City.

Carona added, studies proved that empathy is a learned behavior with the help of observable empathic growth.

Being an empath is a choice, and having empathy is a very passive position. Empaths can read others and help, Gardere says.

Are Empaths Common?

Full empaths are very rare, but you can find people who are deeply empathetic or manage to get your friends to talk about their sadness or a great listener.

As per research in Nature Neuroscience, 1 or 2 percent of the population are true empaths. To get clear information, further research is required.

Is an Empath Good or Bad?

Empath can be both, says Rempala. Highly empathic people will make you a great friend and teacher, and also make you more compassionate and a good communicator, she added. She also says that there is a risk of becoming an empath because people can be overwhelmed by taking someone else’s feelings particularly when you can’t control or manage them. Helping others can be a good thing and can cause you to ignore your own life and responsibilities.

You should understand that being highly sensitive can result in significant consequences such as depression, anxiety and neglect of their own physical health, Carona says.

Are You an Empath?

Learning where you stand on an empathy scale is necessary to help understand yourself. It also helps you to find where you need to work on your skills with other people. It also helps you determine whether you went in the wrong direction by sacrificing your own emotional health, says Rempala.

Here Are Some of the Incidents to Measure Your Empath Abilities: Crying

You may have started sobbing while watching a mother crying in a diaper commercial.

Spending Time AloneEmpaths commonly find them struggling to manage others emotions with their own that may cause mental and physical exhaustion Hence, they end up spending time alone to recover and get back to their normal state.

You Are Ready to Help People

Empaths always care about others. They can also be referred to as “helping” professions such as therapists or social workers.

Sensitive to Smells

Empaths are extremely sensitive to strange smells and scratchy socks.

Enjoys hearing

These people love hearing about other people’s experiences. 

Build a Very Deep Bond with People

Empaths can easily form a very deep connection with people. 

Struggle in Intimate and Romantic Relationships

These people can have a tough time in romantic relationships. They will also have a tough time moving on from broken relationships.

Noticing Small Changes in Other People

Unlike other people, empaths can notice small changes in other people’s lives which others can miss.

Experience Sympathetic Nausea

According to a Nature Neuroscience study, empaths take physical sensations of other people that lead to experiencing sympathetic nausea. If people feel the urge to scratch, empaths also feel the same.

How to Deal With Being an Empath

People who exhibit empathy require special care of their own life and requirements so that they can avoid taking overwhelming emotions from others, Rempala says. 

If you put yourself in such a situation where you are always giving, not receiving, that makes you feel sad or depressed, you should ask for help, she says. You can start with a mental exercise to get rid of the emotional roller coaster.

Acknowledging emotions is the first step to detangling yourself from the other’s emotional experience.

Yoga or any exercise or meditation can help you manage these emotions.

Last but not least, you can choose behavioral, cognitive and dialectical therapists who help manage your emotions and help practise self-compassion when you feel overwhelmed.