Empowered by sensitivity? It sounds strange doesn’t it? Sort of ironic, contradictory, even mutually exclusive.
How can you be empowered by something so soft, subtle and delicate, in a world full of hard, overpowering and loud people? Indeed, many of us Empaths get trampled, used, thrown around, and taken advantage of. But we have a secret.
Deep down inside, beyond the veil of our superficial appearances, we harbor something quiet, but powerful. Our gifts don’t dominate, tyrannize or overthrow people, but that doesn’t detract from their strength, or usefulness. If anything, our powerful but subtle gifts benefit us more in the long term, allowing us to gather emotional, psychological and physical information from our surroundings that is often inaccessible and undisclosed to the average, unreceptive mind.
While we can’t bully, back-stab or use brute force, we can heal, guide, protect and deeply understand the lives of the people around us. In essence, we can gather immense amounts of knowledge. And knowledge, as they say, is power.
If you would like to discover whether you are an Empath, keep reading. Also, if you would like to discover what type of Empath you are, you will discover the 10 types at the end of this article.
Are You An Empath?
If you are an Empath, you will experience a combination of some or all of the following symptoms:
- You absorb other people’s emotions like a sponge, carrying them as your own.
- When someone close to you is physically ill, you can feel this as physical pains in your body.
- You often suffer from physical or mental fatigue and tiredness.
- You find Solitude immensely refreshing, and you require it to “recharge”.
- You often experience many mood swings or emotional states throughout the day.
- Witnessing violence or cruelty is unbearable to you.
- You are a very good listener.
- People often come to you with their problems.
- Animals and children are attracted to you.
- You are caring and nurturing by nature.
- You are hyper-aware of the physical environment, e.g. to smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing, etc.
- You can’t stand interpersonal conflict.
- Crowded places are very overwhelming and draining to you.
10 Types Of Empaths
While being an Empath can have its many positives and benefits, it can also weigh us down heavily with confusion, disorientation and anxiety. That is why it’s important to put a name to what we individually experience to better understand ourselves, and identify others who share the same abilities as us.
For this reason, I have included below a list, and small description, of each type ofEmpath. By understanding who you are, what gifts you possess and where you stand in life, you will be able to begin the path of Involution.
This is usually defined by the ability to simply know something needs to be done, or is true or misleading, without having any basis in logic or reason. Often this type of Empath will just “know” when something is right to do, or not, or when someone is lying or hiding something.
Emotionally Receptive Empath
Most Empaths are emotionally receptive, and can physically and emotionally feel the emotions from other people before they are even expressed.
Physically Receptive Empath
Many Empaths are also physically receptive to other people’s illnesses and bodily pains. This often manifests itself in the Empath’s own body, and can be an especially useful skill in healing.
This type of Empath can hear, feel and interact with animals.
This type of Empath can communicate with plants, being able to receive physical and emotional signals.
The Geomantic Empath can read the energy and signals transmitted by the earth. Many are able to feel/predict natural disasters before they occur.
This type of Empath can either see, hear, feel (or a combination of these elements) spirits, usually from deceased individuals.
This manifests itself as the ability to receive information, energy and impressions from physical objects, e.g. photographs, clothing, jewelry, utensils, etc.
This type of Empath can feel the occurrence of an event or situation before it actually happens. This is usually manifested in dreams, or as physical/emotional sensations, for instance: dread, anxiety, or excitement.
The ability to accurately read a person’s unexpressed thoughts is the main defining feature of the Telepathic Empath.
Being an Empath can be difficult and confusing, but with awareness of your gifts and abilities, you can refine them and use them to guide, heal and protect yourself and the people you love.
My hopes are that the information within this article can continue to make ripples within your life. Please share with me any stories or experiences you have below. This will help all of us broaden our knowledge and understanding of what it is to be an Empath!
Source: Loner Wolf
Attending Catholic school in Brooklyn, I felt loved by the Catholic nun who was my second grade teacher. But one cold morning that quickly changed.
We were lining up to enter the classroom when the nun suddenly shouted, “Spit out the gum!” Being a good Catholic boy, I’d never consider flaunting the rules, so I was stunned by the accusation. “I’m not chewing gum, I feebly replied.”
I was confident that my protestation would resolve the matter. But my innocence was shattered again: “Yes you are chewing gum,” the nun insisted. “Don’t lie!”
Ouch! I could feel my stomach churning and a horrible sinking feeling to be assaulted by a second accusation. Sinking into deeper trouble, I wondered if I should dare to protest again.
I trusted that if I spoke the truth, justice would prevail. Mustering some sheepish courage, I muttered: “But I’m not lying… look!” I opened my mouth so that she could witness the lack of evidence. The final blow to my dignity and innocence descended when she coldly responded, “That’s because you just swallowed it!”
Yikes! Nothing I could say or do would disabuse her of her perception. I was in an emotional prison with no “get-out-of-jail-free” card. I felt powerless, helpless — a tragic character in a Kafka-esque nightmare. The negative mirroring damaged the interpersonal bridge, which creates shame, as Gershen Kaufman discusses. Our relationship was never the same again.
I now understand this episode as an initiation into the rough and tumble of real life, where oftentimes we’re not seen as we really are. Being condemned as guilty evoked the shame of being falsely accused, disrespected, and bad. In psychological terms, I recognize this incident as an early attachment injury — a relational trauma that, if unrepaired, tends to be carried into our adult lives and relationships.
If you can identify with my experience, know that you’re not alone. The first step toward healing old shame and attachment trauma is to recognize it. There’s nothing shameful about acknowledging the multiple ways we’ve been injured in our lives — and realizing how it has affected our tender heart.
Softening Our Wound Activation
As a marriage and family therapist, I often see couples who unknowingly step into the minefield of each other’s old wounds. False indictments of having an affair or being attracted to other men or women, or other bogus accusations can reactivate old traumas. It’s impossible to defend oneself when the accuser’s mind is made up. There’s no way to produce evidence of one’s innocence. Continued protestations fall flat when a partner insists that they’re right and that you’re in denial.
How can we deal with such a quandary? Responding defensively to false accusations may only add fuel to the unfounded attacks. But saying nothing may convey that we’re guilty as charged.
Here are some guidelines that may help soften the cycle of accusations and defensiveness–and the resulting isolation and loneliness. And, of course, couples therapy may be helpful when couples reach such an impasse.
1. Be Gentle with Your Old Wounds
When you are feeling falsely accused, notice whether old wounds are getting activated. Does this remind you of something from the past? Is it evoking the sorrow or loneliness of not being seen or is it reminding you of painful breaches of the interpersonal bridge of trust?
If old, painful memories are surfacing, be gentle with yourself. Practice self-soothing by taking some slow, deep breaths. Bring a friendly mindfulness toward the sensations in your body that are getting activated; hold these feelings in a caring, gentle way.
2. Be Sensitive to Each Other’s Wounded Places
We all carry old attachment wounds. Revealing old wounds — letting your partner see your areas of vulnerability and sensitivity — may evoke empathy and understanding. Then, when you’re being falsely accused or attacked, you might reveal what’s getting touched in you rather than getting defensive or irate.
Maybe say something like: “When you ask if I’m having an affair, it really hurts me. I don’t know how to reassure you that I’m not. It touches an old place of not being seen and trusted.”
Perhaps your partner’s accusations are signaling old betrayal wounds or not receiving enough verbal reassurance or affection. If these wounds and needs were uncovered and expressed more directly, they might be heard more easily. If your partner is not able to express this, do your best to be gentle with their felt sense of insecurity, as well as being more present in the relationship.
3. Know that You’re on Solid Ground
When you’re falsely accused, know that there’s something going on with your partner. Perhaps some old hurt or fear is getting activated in them. Take a deep breath, stay in your body, and realize that this is about them, not about you.
Knowing that you’re on solid ground may help you to self-soothe rather than feel compelled to defend yourself — assuming that you are on solid ground (there is no affair, etc.). Maintaining your sense of self-worth and not succumbing to shame, you’re better positioned to hear the deeper feelings or insecurities that your loved one is trying to convey, even if their manner of delivery is difficult to hear.
Close relationships are the place where our deepest longings arise — and where our fear of loss of connection can be activated. Being gently attentive to what is arising within ourselves and being empathic to our partner’s wounds can help heal old injuries, build trust, and deepen intimacy.
John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT is author of the award-winning book about relationships as a spiritual path, DancingwithFire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships. His other books include The Authentic Heart and Love & Betrayal. He has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for 35 years in the San Francisco Bay area and has lectured and conducted workshops internationally.
Deviant Art image by machihuahua
Source: Psychology Today
You’ve likely encountered a narcissist or two in your life. Perhaps a former lover could never put your needs first. Or maybe you’ve worked with someone who just couldn’t stop promoting his accomplishments long enough to do any work. Whether your encounters are professional or personal, there are telltale signs that you’re dealing with a narcissistic person. And when you are, establish healthy boundaries and keep an emotional distance.[caption id="attachment_1799" align="aligncenter" width="468" class=" "] Image by © Elisa Lazo de Valdez/Corbis[/caption]
1. They make it clear they know everything.
Narcissists don’t hesitate to educate lawyers about the legal system or enlighten doctors about medicine. After all, they know more about everything than anyone else, and they’re not afraid to show it. In fact, they can be expected to argue, educate, and inform you about virtually every topic you bring up in conversation: “Here’s where you got that wrong. “That’s what most people think, but that’s not actually true.” They don’t shy away from disagreements or opportunities to tutor others about their way of thinking.
2. They insist on being the exception to the rule.
Rules are for people who aren’t smart enough to make good decisions on their own, the narcissist believes, but they know they’re exceptional. And so the usual rules, laws, or policies don’t apply to them. They’re often good at manipulating others to bend the rules for them, reinforcing their belief that they shouldn’t have to succumb to the same regulations as everyone else.
3. They project an image of superiority.
Narcissists care greatly about their image. They want to make sure they appear wealthy, popular, and elite. They’re often materialistic and greatly enjoy name dropping, as associating themselves with the hottest brand or famous friends makes them feel important.
4. They make a great first impression, but quickly wear out their welcome.
Narcissists’ charming personalities tend to win them favor with new people—at first. They may come across as confident, exciting—maybe the most endearing and engaging person in the room. But over time, their selfish tendencies cause people to run the other way.
5. They boost their egos by implying others are inferior.
Not only do narcissists need to establish how superior they are; they also tend to imply that everyone else is less intelligent, experienced, or likeable. No matter how much training or education someone else has had, the narcissist is he or she is the real expert.
6. They assume everyone adores them.
The narcissist truly believes that everyone from former co-workers to past lovers holds them in high regard—and assumes that anyone who doesn’t like them must be jealous. But while they can be very sensitive to criticism, outwardly they try to dismiss any negative comments about their personality or performance, and may try to punish anyone who dare express an unfavorable opinion about them.
7. They put their own feelings ahead of other people’s needs.
A lack of empathy is the most telling characteristic of the narcissist. They don’t care what other people need or how they feel. Everything they do centers around what they want and need. They don’t care what type of pain they inflict on others. While fundamentally unsupportive and manipulative, they can fake empathy when it helps them look better. But they lack a genuine desire to put anyone else’s needs above their own desires.
Author: Amy Morin
Source: Psychology Today
Narcissism is a very common problem nowadays, and the truth is that we are all narcissistic to a certain extent – however, there is a big difference between people who are aware of their potential, and those who take it a mile further and “fall in love” with themselves. The pathological narcissist is a person who has an idealized self-image, and who is constantly trying to project that on those who surround him. Having said that, here are some of the main signs that you might be a narcissist:
1 . You Always Try To Project A False Image
Narcissists know themselves better than anybody else, and they have a very hard time accepting their failures or the things they perceive to be less than perfect. This is why they are trying to create and project a false image of themselves, one that is very difficult to maintain in the long run. A narcissist will always try to impress those that surround him, and he tries to make himself look like some sort of a trophy, on all levels. It is not uncommon for narcissists to use various people or objects to try and maintain a certain status or impression – both of which are often exaggerated to a great extent. Narcissists always feel and act superior to those around them.
2. A Narcissistic Person Always Has A Grandiose Personality
This is by far the most obvious sign that you are either a narcissist, or that you are dealing with one in your personal or professional life. Narcissists often regard themselves as heroes or saviors, they try to stand out from the rest and they have a highly exaggerated feeling of self-importance. Narcissists think very highly of themselves and they often get upset when other people do not share the same feeling.
3. You Get Pleasure When You Put Other People Down
This is one of the most annoying and bothersome character traits of a genuine narcissist. People who suffer from narcissistic disorder never hesitate when they have a chance to put other people down intentionally, only to give themselves higher value. They love the spotlight and they are constantly looking for admiration and appreciation, which means that they can go to extreme lengths to achieve that.
It took me years to figure out that was an empath. I always kind of assumed that I was “in tune” with other people’s emotions, but I never realized how much they really affected me. Reading about empaths for the first time, I thought, “wow, this explains a lot.” For the record: I am not one for self-diagnosis in the least. In fact, I usually dismiss any type of diagnosis, but when it came to being an empath – the shoe just fit.
For people that don’t understand what it is like to be an empath, it isn’t a matter of simply understanding how someone feels – you actually feel the emotions they are feeling. If someone tells you that their favorite cat died, you don’t just understand their grief – you feel like your favorite cat just died, even if you don’t have a cat. It can be exhausting. I take that back, it IS exhausting.
Me, being the way that I am, am hyper-aware of my empathic nature. I pay attention to the vibes I pick up off of people and work to keep them in check. As manageable as true empathy can be, I have discovered one specific situation that will bring even the strongest, most self-aware empath to their knees every single time: narcissists. As the title implies, narcissists are the empath’s kryptonite, and here is why:
The number one goal of most narcissists is manipulation. That is how they get what they want, or make you think what they want you to think. Not all narcissists have malicious intentions, it is just a control thing for them. Now when an empath and a narcissist cross paths, the empath is susceptible to this manipulation more than most. For a narcissist, this is like having a fun new toy to play with.
GUARDS ARE DOWN
As an empath, we are typically less guarded. It’s not a conscious decision, it is just how we are. That’s what makes us able to pick up on the emotional state of other people so easily because we aren’t trying to figure out if we should trust someone before getting emotionally attached, we just do. For a narcissist, this is like fighting against a boxer who has his hands in his pockets (assuming boxing shorts have pockets). All of those manipulations and controlling activities that take work for other people slide right in like unblocked punches on an empath.
BATTLE OF EGOS
Narcissism is really a product of the ego, and for the most part, Empaths are not egotistical people. Because of this, the narcissist’s ego eventually overtakes the empath’s. Essentially, a narcissist can make an empath into a narcissist over time. For the empath, they start to doubt themselves based on the manipulation of the narcissist, and they begin to feel like a victim. The victim mentality is also a product of the ego, so over time, the empath’s feelings about themselves change. It’s a fundamental shift in ego that can lead to depression.
In the end, being an empath is tough enough as it is. As an empath, you know this. Being aware of the people around us and their influences on us is the most important thing we can do to hold on to our sanity and self-worth. Empaths are special people and deserve to be treated as such. I had to learn the hard way by dating a narcissist, and I can tell you from experience: nothing tears an empath apart quite like loving a narcissist.
There’s a lot of buzz in the media these days about Empaths/Highly Sensitives and Narcissists attracting to one another. One popular theory is that Narcissists prey on Empaths and Sensitives because of their overly giving nature. While that is primarily true, there is another reason that goes even deeper, and it has to do with ego.
First, let’s consider the definition of egotistical as it relates to Narcissists in general:
- Excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; self-centered.
- Arrogance, selfishness, greed, a sense of entitlement to whatever one wants.
Too much ego can lead to serious problems with treating people as means to ends: such people (i.e., Narcissists) feel entitled to do whatever it takes to get what he/she wants. This leads to abuses of ends/means reasoning (using other people to fulfill ego’s wants).
It’s no surprise that the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-IV) states that people with the disorder:
- have a grandiose sense of self-importance
- have a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- are interpersonally exploitative, i.e., taking advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
Empaths do possess an ego to some degree, but don’t operate solely from ego as Narcissists do. For an Empath, ego is experienced primarily in judging others and feelings of anger/resentment. These ego-driven emotions are usually incited in the Empath/HSP after witnessing acts of cruelty and hatred, interactions which they consider unfair or one-sided, and similar incidents.
Empaths operate predominately from love, humility, and giving. They have a natural capacity for healing and teaching others. However, until they learn how to responsibly use those gifts, they are often taken advantage of…not only by romantic partners, but people in general.
Many Empaths don’t realize what they are, and go through life feeling used and unfulfilled. The Empath persona encompasses several personality types and traits and can include:
(**These are the main types, and listed simply as a matter of reference)
The Magnetic Attraction
The Empath’s soul purpose is to facilitate healing in others. Unfortunately, they usually ignore their own needs in doing so. They have a propensity to feel what’s going on outside of them more so than what’s inside. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates distress in an Empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a conflict, they will strive to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. Because of these natural tendencies, the unaware Empath often finds themselves staying in a relationship with a toxic personality for too long. Further, Empaths often have a track record of developing codependent behaviors in childhood to deal with the overwhelm of unfairness in the world and to please others, which they usually carry into their adult relationships…until a soul crises happens where they are forced into awakening.
Empaths operate from their authentic self, even if they aren’t aware they are an Empath. Essentially, they associate with the life force, healing, and the urge to create what was not there before, such as when they try to “fix” people or situations, or help others heal and awaken.
Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t have an authentic self. If they had one as a child, it was stifled by ego as a defense mechanism. Their ego demands attention to its hurts, traumas and concerns in a way that insists upon separation and control. This prevents their ability to bond with other people, and explains why their whole concept of reality consists of fulfilling the demands of their ego. Therefore, they use people without concern for the pain and trauma they cause them.
When the Empath and Narcissist enter into a relationship together, it creates a magnetic, yet vibrationally dysfunctional union because the Empath gives to the point of complete and utter exhaustion. They will give every last effort to “fix” the Narcissist and the relationship, but it never happens. The Narcissist cannot assess another’s perspective because their ego won’t allow that, thus there is no motive for the Narcissist to change. In fact, attempts to “help” the Narcissist and draw attention to their dysfunctional behaviors often make the Narcissist worse because it contradicts the cravings of their ego.
It also profoundly disorients the Empath, who is often destroyed by the relationship. However, it’s at this point that the unaware Empath experiences a soul crisis and comes to realize what they are. Though the experience with the Narcissist is painful and overwhelming, the Empath usually learns their soul lessons and undergoes an awakening, whereas the Narcissist remains the same.