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Written by Lillian Maclean Updated on November 28, 2023

What Does It Mean to Be an Empath in 2023? - Expert Take

What Does It Mean to Be an Empath in 2023? - Expert Take

Empaths are like emotional sponges, always soaking up the energy around them. While it’s kind of like having a superpower, it can also be draining and much like a double-edged sword. People might label you as ‘too sensitive,’ and it’s easy to get bogged down by emotions that aren’t even yours.

As someone who’s been navigating this life for a while now, I’ve had my fair share of empath struggles. But along the way, I’ve picked up some powerful tools to manage. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide, so you can make sense of your empathic abilities and turn what some see as a weakness into your greatest strength.

I’ve found that consistent energy healing sessions are a game-changer. Keen is my go-to site because it has some of the most gifted healers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. If you’re curious about giving it a try, you can get 5 minutes with a healer on Keen for just $1.

What Is an Empath?

Empaths display unique characteristics that set them apart from the crowd. As an empath, you might find yourself deeply affected by the moods and energies of others; even to the point where you feel physical symptoms that aren’t yours. It’s not just about understanding someone’s feelings on an intellectual level, it’s about experiencing them as your own.

Some research suggests that empaths have hyper-responsive mirror neurons, the brain cells responsible for compassion and understanding. On the psychological front, it’s worth noting that empaths often score exceptionally high on emotional intelligence tests, which measure your ability to understand and manage emotions.

This would suggest that an empath’s traits aren’t just personality quirks. Instead, these findings validate the depth and uniqueness that empaths bring into the world. And even with that, there’s not just one-type of empath but rather, many with varying gifts and talents.

Types of Empaths

Empaths are as diverse as the emotions they feel. Let’s get into the different types and what sets each one apart.

  • Emotional Empaths: These are your heart-on-the-sleeve kind of people. If you’re feeling down, they’re right there with you, feeling it too.
  • Physical Empaths: Imagine feeling someone else’s back ache or stomach cramp. That’s what it’s like for these folks. They literally feel others’ physical sensations.
  • Intellectual Empaths: These are your level-headed folk who just get where people are coming from. They’re the ones you want around when things get heated or complicated.
  • Animal Empaths: Pets just get them, and they get pets. It’s like they have this secret language with animals that the rest of us don’t understand.
  • Nature Empaths: For these people, nature isn’t just pretty scenery; it’s like a battery charger for their soul. They’re the ones who’d rather be hiking than stuck in a mall any day.
  • Geomantic Empaths: Some folk walk into a room and immediately feel that something is off. These people live like that. They can feel the energy of places, not just people.
  • Spiritual Empaths: These individuals are tuned into stuff that’s a bit beyond the everyday. They’re the ones who’ll tell you they felt a presence or sensed something otherworldly.

6 Signs You’re an Empath in 2023

There’s no definitive empath test but there are some common traits that all empaths resonate with. And don’t worry if you don’t relate to all of them because even if only a couple ring true, you’re probably an empath.

You’re Very Intuitive

Having a strong intuition goes beyond a mere gut feeling; it’s an innate sense that allows you to tap into information beyond what is immediately apparent. For empaths, this heightened intuitive ability can act as a powerful guide in navigating the complexities of emotions and energies around them.

Intuitive people have the ability to sense the energy of a room without explicit communication. Specifically, empaths with a strong intuition often find themselves accurately reading people’s intentions and motives. If you frequently experience “knowing” something without tangible evidence, it suggests a finely tuned intuition.

You might find yourself anticipating events or outcomes before they occur, leading to a sense of preparedness in your daily life. And in challenging situations, your intuition may act as an internal compass, guiding you toward decisions aligned with your higher self.

Crowds and People Overwhelm You

You know that feeling when you walk into a packed room and immediately feel like you’re energetically suffocating? It’s not that you’re antisocial or can’t handle people, but when you’re an empath, too many people can make your emotional circuits fry. As a result, many empaths dislike crowds and prefer smaller intimate settings.

If you’re an empath you won’t just pick up on a vibe, you’ll absorb it. So when you’re in a large crowd, it’s especially overwhelming because you’re tuning into everyone’s energetic radio. Anything from moodiness, to stress and excitement — you’ll absorb it as your own. This type of setting is basically a one-way ticket to Overload City.

Unfortunately when you’re unaware of your gifts, it’s easy to misunderstand yourself. Energetic overwhelm around groups can get mistaken for social anxiety or make you distracted and get interpreted as ADHD. And while it’s possible to have medical diagnoses as an empath, it’s often more nuanced than it appears on the surface.

You Overshare and Overcare

As an empath, you may find yourself spilling your life story to strangers and vice versa. Although not always a bad thing, you’re prone to being too emotionally generous. It can feel like your heart is permanently set as open and sometimes it can be hard to close it. This openness often leaves you drained and feeling guilty if you can’t hold space for others.

And while your energy is healing for many, being too open can backfire. Think of how moths are drawn to light; but instead you’re drawing in energy vampires, narcissists, and toxic people. Be cautious of who you let in and learn the art of setting boundaries because you can end up in negative dynamics that don’t serve you.

You Have a Loner Streak

You often feel like avoiding people, not because you’re flaky, but because you need a break. You’re not creating drama, but rather taking a step back from all the noise. Like a smartphone that needs to recharge after a day of heavy use, your emotional battery needs the same recharge.

Some of us take the whole ‘escape’ thing too far. Before you figure out how to handle all this emotional input, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of substances or other sketchy ways to tune out. But on the flip side, that’s why you’ll find many empaths lost in a book, doodling, solving puzzles, or getting into the zone with individual sports.

You are a Sensitive Soul

You have a unique ability to pick up on subtleties that many overlook. You catch the slight change in someone’s voice when they’re down or sense the tension in a room when no one else does. You’re not just observant but rather, tuned into a frequency of emotional nuance that most people can’t even access.

Being an empath can be draining because you experience the world in a vivid emotional palette. People might not always get why small things make a big impact on you, but that’s their limitation, not yours. Own your sensitivity. It’s part of who you are and it’s not something to shy away from.

You Struggle With Boundaries

Empaths are wired to be helpful, and while this impulse is generally a beautiful thing, it can get you into trouble. Remember that there’s a fine line between being helpful and running yourself into the ground. Always being there for others without taking time for yourself is a fast track to emotional exhaustion.

A lack of boundaries can also be damaging to the dynamics in your relationships. If you become the go-to person for everyone’s emotional offloading, you’re setting yourself up for a role you don’t want. Not only do you become resentful, but you may be interfering in other people’s spiritual lessons.

Pros and Cons of Being an Empath

Being an empath can feel like you are rocking this amazing superpower one minute and dealing with emotional kryptonite the next. In this section I’ll sum up the good, the bad, and all the feelings in between.

Pros Cons
– You have deep emotional connections with many layers to them.

– Your intuition is on-point and your gut feelings are usually right.

– You have a natural healing energy and can make anyone feel better.

– Your emotional depth fuels many creative projects.

– Animals and young children are drawn to you.

You’re the emotional advocate for marginalized or disadvantaged people.

You’re gifted in jobs that require empathy, patience, and understanding.

– You can become easily overwhelmed and take too much on emotionally.

– It’s challenging for you to say no to others.

– You see the good in everyone, even to a fault.

– Drama and negative energy are attracted to your light.

– You’re more prone to spiritual attacks and picking up on unwanted energies.

– You may find it difficult to advocate or stick up for yourself.

How to Protect Yourself as an Empath

As an empath, it’s important to prevent yourself from getting emotionally bulldozed. I’ve got some tips to keep your vibes high and your energy intact.

Set Boundaries

The next time you find yourself on the brink of automatically saying “yes,” hit the mental pause button. Take a breath and ask yourself if this is something that you truly want to do. It’s okay to prioritize your own needs and remember, you’re not obligated to be everyone’s go-to helper.

Begin with the manageable tasks, like declining an invitation to an event you’d rather not attend. Once you get the hang of it, you can work up to setting boundaries in more emotionally charged situations. Consider it emotional weightlifting; you need to start with the lighter exercises to build up to the heavy lifting.

Foster Inner Compassion

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself the same pep talk you’d give your best friend. After all, you deserve the same level of support you provide those around you. Otherwise, you’ll find that your love and compassion is always flowing outwards and never making its way into your own life.

Practice Self Care

Treat your self-care time like it’s sacred, because it is. Whether that’s a spa day at home, a movie binge where you don’t have to think, or just listening to your favorite playlist, you must find what fills your cup back up. Put it in your calendar or even make a self-care jar with little notes of activities you love. The point is, make it as regular as your morning coffee or tea.

Connect With Mother Nature

As an empath, time in nature isn’t just a luxury, but rather a necessity. Going out in nature replenishes your energy levels and absorbs any negativity you may have lingering in your aura. Since the earth emits negative ions, connecting to it barefoot neutralizes your positive ions which boosts a plethora of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits.

Work With an Energy Healer

Since empaths are so emotionally open, it’s common to pick up on excess energy that then gets trapped in the aura and chakras. And the support of an energy healer can become invaluable. It’s like having a personal trainer that helps to clear and strengthen your emotional body. A healer can hold space for you and extend the healing you give to others.

How To Be More Empathetic?

Being empathetic is like having a cheat code for life. It helps you in friendships, at work, and even when you’re dealing with that grumpy cashier. Here are some of my go-to tips for increasing my sense of empathy.

  • Active Listening: Give your full attention when someone’s talking. No crafting your next epic comeback; just open ears and hearts.
  • Walk in Their Shoes: Go beyond surface-level sympathy and try to truly understand the emotions and thoughts of the other person.
  • Mindfulness Exercises: Spend a few minutes each day being present. It can help you become more attuned to your own and others’ feelings.
  • Journal Your Emotions: Write down what you’re feeling or your reactions to situations. It’ll foster self-awareness, which is key for empathy.
  • Balance/Clear Your Heart Chakra: Your Heart Chakra is your emotional center. Keeping it balanced can help you connect better with others. Consider seeing an energy healer to remove any blocks.

3 Best Sites for Energy Healing in 2023

1. Keen — Unlock Your Empath Abilities with Expert Guides

3 Best Sites for Energy Healing in 2023

  • Offers readings tailored specifically for empaths
  • Wide range of services for empaths
  • Available around the clock.
  • Introductory offers as low as $1 for 5 min
  • Handy “Best Match” tool

Keen has a dedicated category for aura and chakra healing, so you can feel confident you aren’t just getting general advice. Most of the healers have more than a decade of experience, with some being on the site since 2001. I felt at ease before selecting my healer because I knew regardless of my choice, I’d be in good hands.

As an empath, I appreciate Keen’s “Best Match” tool because it suggests energy healers that are personalized to my needs. It’s not just throwing random readers your way but instead, it’s like a curated experience. I used it to find my healer and not only did it save me a lot of time, but it felt like a friend was giving me a first-hand recommendation.

The energy healers and empaths on Keen are truly gifted. During my session I could feel my healer, Olivian, unblock my Solar Plexus chakra. She even helped me navigate challenges that popped up from not managing my empath abilities mindfully. I can say that I truly felt a shift in my energy after our time together.

Even though Keen doesn’t offer video calls, my voice session was just as powerful for me.The connection felt strong through the call and the energy flowed just the same. But since I was a bit skeptical at first, I used Keen’s offer of 5 minutes for $1 to make sure I felt a connection over the voice call.

2. Psychic Source — Find Emotional Balance with Trusted Insight

Psychic Source

  • Decades of experience
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Great deals and discounts
  • Stellar customer service
  • Handy matching tool

If you’re an empath, you get it: finding a psychic who really understands your emotional depth is a game-changer. Psychic Source has been doing this for more than a quarter-century, and they’re pros at pairing empaths with energy healers for transformative and life changing experiences.

My experience with my healer, Pearl, was like having an empath wellness coach who’s got your back. Pearl is no newbie; she’s been in the energy healing game for over 10 years. She’s garnered hundreds of positive reviews from clients who have felt real, tangible shifts in their energy. With Pearl, she is helping you find emotional balance for the long haul.

I like that on Psychic Source you can see the available times of your healer by checking their schedule. I prefer to stick to the same person, as this helps me develop a positive relationship with my healer over time. I made sure to book my sessions with Pearl in advance so I could input the exact date and time into my calendar.

While Psychic Source offers some great deals, keep in mind that its top-tier psychics can be a bit on the pricey side. But the silver lining is that with its special offer you can get $1/min and 3 free minutes when starting out.

3. PathForward — Navigate Your Emotional Journey with Affordable Support

Psychic Source

  • Handy blogs and guides
  • 24/7 support
  • Vetted professionals
  • User friendly mobile app
  • Transcript of your reading

The profiles on PathForward are unique since each energy healer’s profile comes with a dedicated questionnaire. Reading through it felt more personal compared to the standard bios on other sites. It felt like I was getting to know my healer’s qualifications, style, and expertise in a more candid fashion.

Not only that, but I found the audio messages on healers’ profiles to be an additional perk. I stumbled upon a healer, Phoenix, whose audio message resonated with me instantly. Hearing her voice gave me this immediate sense of calm and trust. Phoenix specializes in guided meditation sessions, which is my preference when I want to balance my energy.

Keep in mind that during peak hours, you may have to wait a bit longer to connect with someone. The good news is that PathForward has a callback feature, so you can go about your day and get a call from your healer once they’re ready for you.

FAQ on Empaths

Is it good or bad to be an empath?

Being an empath isn’t a matter of good or bad. Instead it’s a complex world of emotional and intuitive experiences. On the one hand, being an empath allows you to form deep connections with people, understand emotional nuances, and often help heal or guide others.

But on the flip side, being an empath can feel draining and overwhelming. You might find yourself bogged down by emotions that aren’t even yours and setting boundaries can be a real challenge. The key is discovering how to manage your gift, protect your energy, and use your abilities in a way that enriches your life.

What is the spirituality behind empaths?

When it comes to spirituality the spirituality behind empaths, empaths are often considered old souls or lightworkers, here to elevate human consciousness. Being an empath makes you spiritually attuned and signals that you have an important mission to help heal humanity.

There are many signs you can use to identify if you’re an empath. But keep in mind that not all empaths are the same. For instance, some have the unique ability to sense energies and auras, while others can pick up on physical ailments. This heightened awareness makes empaths receptive to various spiritual practices like meditation and energy healing.

What’s the Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy?

Sympathy is feeling compassion for someone, while empathy is experiencing the emotions of others as your own. Empaths are basically hyper-empathetic people. Being an empath is a gift that allows for deep emotional connections but it can also be energetically draining if you’re not careful.

Frequent energy healing sessions with an expert can help empaths manage this delicate balance. An experienced healer can guide you in distinguishing between empathy and sympathy, allowing you to connect without draining your reserves. That way, you can engage with others in a way that’s enriching rather than exhausting.

Bottom Line

Being an empath is a complex, enriching, and sometimes challenging experience that shapes who you are and how you interact with the world. But remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Whether you’re looking to understand your empathic abilities better or need someone to help you release excess energy, you have many options.

I found a great deal of support with the energy healers on Keen since they’re some of the most compassionate light workers I’ve seen. Even if you’re unsure, you can test the waters with Keen’s offer of 5 minutes for $1. Plus, it has a satisfaction guarantee to safeguard you from a disappointing experience.

In summary, the best sites for energy healing are…

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Lillian Fitzmaurice MacLean is one of Mystic Mag’s writers.

She’s a professional Astrologer and practicing Psychic that dedicates her time to guiding her clients and writing helpful spiritual content. She’s specifically interested in understanding the human experience from the lens of karma, past lives, and life after death.

Over the course of several years, Lillian has gathered a lot of knowledge on herbs, crystals, meditation, and spirit communication. She is passionate about sharing what she’s learned and experienced in hopes of making a positive impact on others’ lives.

When she’s not writing or reading for clients, Lillian dedicates her free time to learning, helping animals in need, and meditating. She hopes to open an animal sanctuary one day and has aspirations of publishing self-help and spiritual books.