Empathy plays an integral role in your mental health, helping you realize you aren’t alone. But at its core, most people tend to struggle when defining the characteristics or traits of empaths.
People’s feelings, energies, emotions, actions, and thoughts highly affect an empath. Empathic people can deeply understand any person that confronts them and can tune into other people to understand them on a deep, emotional level. In fact, empathic people also adopt the feelings and emotions of others — unknowingly.
This itself is an issue. The abilities empathic people have — being able to resonate deeply with others and soak in their energy — can cause you great difficulty. Being surrounded by manipulative or highly toxic people, for example, can negatively impact your mental health.
You might be questioning what an empathic person is and whether you should classify yourself as an empath. You aren’t alone. If you’re struggling to determine whether you’re an empath, if you can relate and need tips to overcome any overwhelming feelings, here are 10 traits all empathic people share.
1. Empaths are very sensitive to their environment
Empathic people are naturally very sensitive to their environment. They can also pick up even the smallest of changes in others, but not just any physical sensations either. They can also feel into others and understand their emotions, motivations, and feelings on a deep level.
Plus, it’s in an empath’s nature to be naturally giving, open, and be good listeners. They have the heart; they can nurture others and are as reliable as they come. These amazing traits open up empathic people to get their feelings hurt, often being told they’re actually too sensitive.
Empaths are fine-tuned to feel everything — sometimes a little too much. By having this trait, they can create a deep, emotional connection with people, but the result of this can be harmful depending on the type of people empaths are surrounded by.
This intense connection with other people means empaths will likely absorb any mood or emotion of people they interact with. It can be happiness and positivity, but it can also be anger or anxiety, making it quite exhausting and a mental health detriment.
3. In many cases, empaths are introverted
Not all empathic people are introverted, and not all introverts are empaths. However, the majority tend to stick in their familiar social circle of close family and friends. Empathic people prefer this as it’s easy for them to quickly feel overwhelmed with people they’re unfamiliar with or large crowds, putting them in an unfamiliar situation.
Although, even if an empath is an extrovert, they’ll tend to limit how much time they spend with crowds or unfamiliar people. But in most cases, empaths are perfectly happy in their own company as social interactions can make them uncomfortable while amplifying their innate abilities.
The majority of empathic people are in touch with their emotions and feelings, allowing them to experience the world through their intuition. Having this trait means empaths have an unrivaled gut instinct, so they’ll listen to their gut when considering their feelings about people.
This intuition allows empathic people to sense things long before it’s even on somebody else’s radar. The way this trait can help avoid your mental health is as an empath. This intuition you have can help you avoid people that bring manipulative and toxic energy to you, allowing you to remain positive and happy.
For empaths, interacting with people can be physically and mentally draining. This is especially the case when they interact with ignorant, selfish people, so they need time to recharge and recover from all of this negativity. The go-to solution empathic people choose is to spend time alone.
This is so they can overcome their depleted state, as this brief escape allows them to avoid feeling a sense of emotional overload. This trait is why you’ll find empaths going to place on their own and not in large groups, as they can choose when they leave and aren’t at the mercy of others’ decisions.
For empaths, it’s essential to find the right balance. At one end of the spectrum, they need time for themselves. On the other, too much togetherness and intimate relationships can be difficult and ultimately become overwhelming. So, empaths might tend to avoid getting into an intimate relationship entirely.
The real reason they’re afraid of becoming too intimate in a relationship or getting into one entirely is they’re fearful of losing their identity.
Empaths unfairly have a target on their back. The sensitivity opens them up for emotionally weak people to target them, drain their energy and impact their peace of mind. As a result, empathic people become exhausted and, in some cases, inexplicably depressed.
Narcissists, pessimists, drama seekers, abusive people — these are all types of emotionally weak people that can make empaths feel unlovable or worthless.
It isn’t easy distancing yourself from these sorts of people, especially as you’ll have a big heart. For your own wellbeing, whenever you realize this is happening, try your best to take a step back and understand the impact spending time with them can have on your mental health. Never put yourself in any harm for the sake of toxic people.
8. Empathic people enjoy spending time in nature
The day-to-day business that life brings can quickly become overwhelming for an empath. Nature plays a big role in how they rejuvenate, helping to restore and nourish them. Nature is crucial to an empathic person as it allows them to feel more at ease and use it as a place to release their burdens and worries where they can take the weight off their shoulders.
The ocean, wildlife, and greenery allow empaths to take refuge, ground themselves and forget about the pressure of their usual busy, hectic environment. There’s nothing more relaxing and peaceful than being in a green, clean, and fresh environment or around clear, blue waters. It all emanates healing, which is exactly what empaths try to do.
If you’re an empath, make sure you spend quality time in nature so you can learn to become your own best friend.
Finely tuned senses or feelings are extremely sensitive where empathic people can react quickly. This is why empaths are usually considered to be overly sensitive when, in reality, their senses are highly tuned. The nerves of an empath can get frayed by excessive talking, noise, and smell.
There’s nothing wrong with having a huge heart. That’s a key characteristic of empathic people as they try their best to relieve the pain of others. It might be a homeless person that needs money, somebody asking for directions, a friend in need — whatever the situation, empathic people know no bounds or limits to their kindness.
It’s an empath’s mission to ease any pain, worries, or concerns. They’ll go to great extents to focus on the well-being of others.
But doing this can impact an empathic person’s mental health, too. As they take so much on and go to great efforts to relieve other people’s suffering and solve their problems, they’re often the ones that either get exploited or start to feel drained.
This generosity can lead to empaths feeling drained, affecting their mental health as they’re simply unaware of when they’ve reached their limitations.
As an empathic person, these traits might often leave you feeling weak and vulnerable, ultimately affecting your mental health. But you can learn to center yourself, so you don’t become overloaded or feel too much. The first step? Acknowledge you’re an empath. Accept it.
Empathic people fancy many difficulties and challenges, but you can develop strategies that work for you to protect yourself, such as meditating or speaking to someone. Do this regularly and with a clear mind so you can cope better in stressful situations.
Reduce the time you spend with toxic and energy-draining people, too. If you spot this is impacting you, distance yourself. It can feel almost wrong doing so, but your mental health is a priority. Learn to cope with your innate abilities and use your gift to benefit not only those around you but also your own wellbeing.
Breathe. Ask yourself if the emotion you’re feeling is yours or someone else’s. Where possible, step away from what’s disturbing you so you can clear your mind. Set yourself strict limitations and boundaries so you’re never in a situation where emotionally weak people can target your kindness and how big-hearted you are.
Our friendly, experienced team at Tikvah Lake is here to support you. We’ve helped people that have suffered from mental health problems as a result of their empathic traits. You’re not alone. Contact us now to discuss how we can help you or someone you love, starting today.