Being an empath is when you are affected by other people's energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others' desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is quite a bit more than being a highly sensitive person (HSP) and it's not limited to emotions. There are Physical Empaths, Emotional Empaths and Intuitive Empaths. And then numerous sub-categories of each. For example, at least seven different types of Intuitive Empaths have been identified. (Mediums are empaths).
There has been a lot written about the challenges that introverts and highly sensitive people (HSP) face in a society that values intellect and disdains sensitivity.
Empaths, however, take the experience of HSP (highly sensitive person) further. They can sense subtle energy, and they absorb this energy into their own minds and bodies.
For days before a disturbing event—like the recent one in Las Vegas—some empaths will feel sensory overload, out of sorts, drained, even disturbed to the point where they simply cannot live their “normal” life. They will find coping mechanisms, good or bad as it turns out. And when the event occurs, and the national mood is disturbed, will finally understand what has been happening to them. Empaths need to have good boundaries and the ability to say no, to distance from toxic relationships, to recognize and circumvent the different destructive ways they try to cope with the overload. My positive strategies are to avoid the (negative) news media, turn my phone off, actively release negative thoughts and feelings, take walks, get some time in nature, and above all else a need to be alone. My negative coping mechanisms are alcohol and overeating, and maybe saying something that disturbs other people’s sense of reality.
Being an empath and “not fitting in” to what is considered “normal” society, is both a blessing and a curse. But, “If you feel as if you don’t fit in this world, then you’re here to create a better one.”