The Real Traits of an Empath – The List

I tried to base this list on what I experienced before becoming a completely awakened empath. Some examples of experiences are from when I was young and some as recent as 10 years ago. Now that I am a skilled empath I look back and all of my past makes sense now. I hope you find this list helpful.

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Weak Emotional Stability – picking up peoples emotions and not knowing it I often experienced mood swings. Some not so bad and others quite extreme. I could be fine one minute and totally pissed the next. I could be happy one moment and then sobbing uncontrollably the next.

Feelings Easily Hurt – Often I was called “too sensitive.” I would take criticism really hard. I can’t even say how many times I would be at work and have to go into the bathroom so no one would see me cry. My feelings were easily hurt deeply.

Always Friends With or Trying to Help The Underdog – I didn’t understand it but I was feeling the emotions of others to the point where I felt drawn to befriend them, try to help them, or just offer kind words even if it was a stranger I didn’t know. I once offer a co-worker who was crying (and had been crying for at least 30 minutes) the money she needed ($300) for her over drawn bank account if she would just stop crying. Yes, I was quite serious and would have wrote her a check on the spot if it would have gotten her to stop crying. My saying that to her did make her stop crying because she though it funny how desperate I was to get her to stop crying. She laughing for a couple of minutes and then to my horror when right back to crying again. lol. The best way I can describe it is that it is a feeling of “I don’t want to just console you, I want to cry with you.” You remember the saying “I am not laughing at you, I am laughing with you.” That says it all!

Not Loud Noise…loud Negativity – There is a big difference! Loud noise is fireworks on the 4th of July. Loud Negativity is being present or near and feeling the negative emotions of an argument between two people. Loud music to me is just loud music…and I get my groove on and enjoy it! lol. A difference of opinion between people who get a little loud when it comes to making their point and have a lot of emotion behind it because they greatly disagree with the other(s) view point is negative noise that I feel I want to get away from. For example, I love watching The View. But, pre-election when they would get into heated debates I would have to turn the channel…my stomach gets all knotted up and I start to feel like I could hyper-ventilate at any moment.

Knowing Whether You Are Liked- I always knew what someone felt for me. They wouldn’t have to say anything to me or about me for me to know. I could not only sense it but also sense the reasons behind it. Some times with a simple “hello” I knew it all. With just one word said to me Icould pick up the feelings behind it, so I was really good at sensing fake emotions or when someone was lying to me. There were many times before I knew I was an empath that someone could say one innocent word and I would have to fight off the tears because of the truth I felt behind it. Being an empath is very much about knowing the truth. It can’t be hidden from you no matter how hard someone tries because you can feel it.

Movies and the News Affect – You may or may not have trouble watching sad or violent movies and news stories. I didn’t always…it was something that started subtly and grew until it was so noticeable to me that something was up and I could no longer ignore it.

Relationship Problems- In relationships my emotional needs never felt satisfied. I really sorry I can’t elaborate on this. I honestly can’t explain it. But to give one example…I ended a relationship quite suddenly because of sudden feelings I picked up. I didn’t know where they came from but they felt like mine and boy did I act on it! I broke up with him on the spot and drove away with tires screeching, and as I drove away I racked my brain trying to figure out what had just happened and why I just ended my relationship. Empathy can sabotage a relationship when you are unaware that you are an empath and therefore act on emotions that are not your own. The hardest thing for an empath to get good at is knowing what is theirs and what is not. Once that is learned and you get a good handle on it life gets so much sweeter!

Exhaustion- When unaware that you are an empath and you are just walking around like a sponge sucking up all those emotions and making all those connections that go unbroken for days and days and just build up…it is very draining. Eventually you feel as though you have run out of energy in a big way. You may go days feeling tired. Maybe the drain of energy is happening during one of those long phone calls with a friends where they unburden themselves on you, about their day, their relationship, their co-workers, their parents, their kids, etc. They talk and you listen (maybe you are a great listener). This is draining to an empath and also considered a energy vampirism with the talkative friend being the energy vampire.

You Dont’ Think, You feel- I one day realized that I very rarely stated a sentence by saying “I think…” No, it was always “I feel…” I related to everything by feeling but didn’t really realize it. I often foudn it hard to explain myself to people. Of course, because often it was about feelings for me and I found it hard to put what I felt (what I knew from feeling) into words. I was once told by my father that I was very smart and good with computer but that when it came to explaining things I was very confusing. I know what I know…or rather I should say, I know what I feel but I have a hard time putting it into words that make sense. You can translate Spanish, French, etc but what about translating empathy and what you pick up as feelings?

I know this list is not very long, but I feel it is (and hope I don’t offend anyone by saying) more true to what a pre-awakened empath may experience/notice. Oh, see I did it again…notice I said “but I feel it is…” instead of “but I thinkit is…” lol.


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  1. laura says:

    hi there wow this is me and everything i experience … sometimes its hard to explain to people what i feel u say to them.i dont know how but i.just feel it and i know its true but they want an explanation the details and its so hard mg words.get all jumbled trying to explain. i also have other abilities too like having dreams that have come true and connection to the higher dimensions that i cant always explain either

  2. WOW..this just really explained so much for me..I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called a big baby, a cry baby, why are you so have to be aggressive, toughen up, and in between. I connect with this entire list…I think the best has to be why do you care so’s not like you know them or anything or don’t take it so personal…that’s just the thing I do..and feel it enourmously. I also have difficulty watching all of these movies especially ones that are violent and get made fun of for that and having sensitive hearing but it’s true it’s for me I want to wish I can’t hear when I hear people screaming and the tone/and intent behind it. You made mention about empaths being naturals as transmuting negative energy. I wanted to ask how does the empath do this and that is why we are drawn to pain or people in pain seek us out?

  3. Jasmina says:

    Hi, I am 28 and have always felt weird and out of place. I have always been overly sensitive to other people and don’t do we’ll in public. I prefer to have some time to myself during the day and I don’t even work but somehow I get so tired and can’t move. When I am around someone I can literally get a glimpse to what they feel or a wave of emotion. That is the best way I can explain it. I am told by family and friends that my mood changes so much and it is like I act like the person I am around. I have even had experience with the paranormal where an exorcism had to be preformed on me. And i have had occurrences with spirits/ angels warning me of danger ahead while conscious and things would happen the way I was told and they would just disappear. It had gotten so bad that I sought out medical advice and was told that I am healthy both physically and mentally and that I shouldn’t worry. However I know something is just off. If you could help me understand what is going on it would be so great and such a huge help. I can relate to all of your list and would love some insight to what it is I can do to control this.

    Thank You

  4. Please, please help me. I am a new convert, well I have just learnt why I am so sensitive, problem is, my partner is a narccisist! I am frm Perth, Western Australia an I need to meet other empaths urgently. I’m scared and alone an my partner is my only friend.. Please help

  5. Sherry Andrea says:

    Thank you…can’t wait to give it a read. Thanks for sharing this! XOXO

  6. Tom the Survivor says:

    I found this site with a page linking ADD/ADHD with Empaths.

    I feel that page is worth looking at and it felt right to share it here.

    Peace, acceptance, and many wonderful adventures to all in the development of your abilites.

  7. Tom the Survivor says:

    You’re quite welcome. Yes, the social anxiety is another manifestation, as I see it, due to the lack of acceptance in society and the negative portrayals in movies and TV. My son is exactly like I was at his age. One source I read said not to inform children but let them discover it for themselves and come to you when they are ready. He has been suffering and starts high school in the fall, so I talked to him about it, quickly taught him a meditation technique (which he has said helps him), and plan to work with him further as we go. Time will tell how much we will be able to help each other, but I feel good and confident about it. :)

    Peace, acceptance, and many wonderful adventures to all in the development of your abilities.

  8. Sherry Andrea says:

    You are one of the few people I have heard link Adhd to Empathy and wow it gave me chills because I to think the same thing…that my problems with focus when I was younger (in my 40′s now as well) as well as social anxiety resulted from what I was dealing with due to being an empath. It was very refreshing reading your comment… thank you. XOXO

  9. Tom the Survivor says:

    Please understand that I am in my 40′s and 35 years ago, terms like empath and clairvoyant/ce were not commonly used. “Second Sight” and “Sixth Sense” and “Fortune Teller” were the terms that were used and not in a positive connotation. By 7 years old, I knew by word that I am an empath, though I had no understanding of what it really meant. One particularly vivid clairvoyant episode scared and upset me so bad, that for many years I resisted and fought against my empath nature. As a teenager, knowing something but not being able to explain how I knew, knowing what people really felt (sometimes even thought), catching all the lies, was difficult. Being bullied for being “over sensitive” (let’s see if we can make him cry!), and the constant overwhelming flow of emotion along with the teenage hormones. I tried to make myself invisible and to some extent it worked as people would talk and act as if I wasn’t even there (they wouldn’t notice me). But I still picked up on their baggage.

    In my 20′s I found my place of peace and power. I don’t go there near as often as I should or want to (damn gas prices). I started opening myself to what I am, then again became overwhelmed and closed down again. Now, I truly accept who and what I am, and am working on developing and managing my abilities. My son is a teenager now, and he is much like I was, so now even as I learn, I try to help him.

    I have found that the depression that I have endured for many years has been lifting from me as I practice different meditation, protection, and management (my personal feeling is control is the wrong word) techniques. I frequently have intuitive insights, and one of the more recent ones is that my ADHD symptoms have resulted from processing all the extra information I receive. Please don’t take this to mean that every person with ADHD and depression is an empath, but I feel those symptoms in many cases are related to being an unrecognized (ungrounded, unprotected) empath.

    Peace, acceptance, and many wonderful adventures to all in the development of your abilities.

  10. A whole lot of interesting ideas! You probably gain much attention here.

  11. Sherry Andrea says:

    Thank feeling is also a hint sometimes to having incarnated places other than earth…a feeling that your true home is out there some where.

  12. Love the List!

    Veronica wrote that she feels ‘alien’.. not a from’ out of space’ alien but something living in a shell…I’ve felt this way for most of my life…it is like I don’t belong here with humans that I’m not ‘one of them’ I’m different…it is a hard way to live but I push the feelings aside and try and deal with life..

  13. Catherine says:

    Dear Sherry
    Wow…. this was a revelation for me and it has only caught my attention that I am an “unawakened” empath! I cried while reading your article because it triggered me as so many of things resonated.
    I have always said that I communicate better in writing than speaking and this is also a part of it! I can sometimes not express myself as I wish.
    Thank you Sherry for being on the web and helping people. I am not sure what to do to protect myself but am reading about grounding cords and I have a great clairvoyant I can go to for help and a beautiful friend who is also gifted psychically.
    Thank you for all the work you do and best wishes for the future as this exciting time of change comes closer and we “feel” the changes happening.
    Love and Light, Catherine

  14. This is by far THE best description on what being an empath is that I’ve found yet. Thanks for sharing this, Sherry!

  15. Kirby says:

    thanks so much for posting that, im pretty sure im an empath now :) i have most of those traits. At last i know its not just in my head!

  16. Thanks for the list of empath traits. Very useful. :-)

  17. reaper says:

    That post had me laughing—It’s so funny because it’s so on point. Everything you stated is so true. LMAO Call it syncronicity or whatever but maybe that’s why I’m here. FOUND YA lol :-)

  18. Sherry says:

    Careful when you get angry at people. Empathy is not just a one way street and all empaths also are projectors as well. By getting angry you project out the emotions that you took in from another. Don’t try to hide it but instead use it. Notice it, ask what it is you are feeling and who it is. I say this because one of the ways that empathy gets closed off is by trying to hide it or ignore it too much. If instead you focus more on it, notice it, read it…you will develop it and when you are develop you will be in control of it. Not easy but in the end you will be happy with it and be able to use it more consciously than it being spontaneously manifested.

  19. Sherry says:

    Alexandra, No your not overly sensitive. People will label quickly what they can’t understand and often people label things negatively that they do not understand. Don’t worry about people who say your overly-sensitive or too sensitive. I would rather be considered too sensitive than the person with such negative emotional baggage making me feel it. The grass is still greener on this side even if it doesn’t feel like it. You just don’t have control of it yet. Once you do then you can control within yourself most often 75% or more of what is around you. You will still always be that person that see the problems and issues in the world and within people and feel hurt by it. It is a part of you that you are able to feel that. It is a beautiful thing but a hard thing to deal with at the same time. Empaths tend to be very strong people for they live their lives having to be strong with everything they are feeling. But don’t ever feel guilt because others think you are being to sensitive…if they felt what you felt they would not only understand but be ashamed of the pain they sometimes cause others. Check the tabbed area in the right sidebar and you will see the Empath Training links. Check them out and get started with being in control of your empathy.

  20. Alexandra says:

    I’ve been looking up all I can on empaths lately, and a majority of their traits I kind of have. But I’m not sure if I’m one.. Like I find myself totally drained at the end of a day even if I have done nothing or even got decent sleep. I can’t stand listening to arguments, loud ones like my mom and step-dad have(had) and I once even ran away because of it. I can tell when people hate me and when they like me. It’s just…this sudden feeling I get that says “They hate you” or something. I just sort of have this sense of when I’m not wanted, or when I am. My emotional stability is a little crazy, as I go from being sad to happy to mad…But also, at times I’ve been told I was way too sensitive because whenever I get insulted it hurts, a lot. I mean, literally I’ve broken down in tears for the simplest things. I can’t stand cruelty and often ask myself how a world can be so bad and broken? And for some reason, I have the desire to be a counseling psychologist. Could you please explain if I’m just an overly-emotional person, or not?

  21. Lauren says:

    I’m 12 years old and all that describes me perfectly. No one at school or home knows about my empathy because I hide it so well. Over the years I’ve learned to hold back the tears until later or find other ways to cope without showing my emotions. I’ve taken up meditating and it really does help, I looked up simple ways on google(free learning – yay!) and that’s part of how I control my emoptions by meditating daily. I can get angry, though, sometimes because I hate how self centered some people are or when I feel anger for the wrong reasons.

  22. Sherry says:

    I understand and get from your post that you at least know this, and the feelings and thoughts, are not you as in how you normally feel. It is possible that you have a connection to someone that you have been unable to break. It is actually not that uncommon and happen to many empath. I personally understand the frustration as well and it is a little scarey at the same time. When this happens to me I reconigize that the thoughts/feelings are not mine and then I put them out of my mind. Then of course as you know breaking the connection is what you want to do and make take several attempts. I often will put up the violet flame protection first and then break the connections. Of course always remember that you can ask for help…from your guides, angels/archangels like Michael, or even your own higher self. Sometime I will ask my higher self to break all connections to me and prevent any connections from forming and also raise my vibrations so that it will be more difficult for the connection to form. Basically simply ask for what you need help with.

    You didnt mention protection methods but I am assuming that you are and have been protecting daily along with grounding. It sounds like whatever protection you are using is not working…or if you are not using protection (a bubble of protection surround yourself that is solid) then of course connections are able to form. There really isnt much you need…if you believe that you have the power and ability to break connections and believe that nothing can get through your protection…then that will be true for you.


  23. veronica says:

    i have been getting worse. most people say it is “better” (not to me- i don’t have any friends) websites, i mean- the feelings are getting stronger. I am the most positive, intelligent person I have known…and I have sincerely desired to kill myself twice in just the last week. I am not suicidal. What the hell is happening to me?
    I have been doing all i know to do. I practice the release technique regularly, i use eft and tat, i meditate daily…shit, nightly, hourly, moment by moment. all i do is think. all i do is feel. all i do is create. i feel as if i truly do not belong here. not on some aliens and ufo shit, but for real- i feel like i am living a script. like i built in a clause to my life that says ‘if i don’t “get it” [whatever IT is], by a certain time…felt like 28, then i will die’- not a morbid thing, more like an exit strategy. I am 29.

    I know of paradigm shifts and empathic emotional luggage carrying and such. I know for sure that i am an empath- universal it would seem, and God is a concept that I am still latching on to even though i am no longer religious. I know Them as Source Energy, and i am begging for help.

    i… shit. i am putting all of my experience into these words in this line. please.
    please. i don’t want to buy anything. there are no more books to read. no 26 week courses to take. there is nothing else left to do that i know already..please. please help me if you can. 25 years is a long time to be lonely. to be rejected. to be crazy. please help me. i’ve tried the numerologists, tarot weirdos, shrinks, smoking weed, went searching for Salvia’s visions, solitude (extreme), socializing my life away- grounding…i killed 2 trees. praying to a god that doesn’t care, obviously. chakra cleanse/balance/what-the-fuck-ever. i’m dying.
    please. i can’t even work a job. had to take online classes. cant even be around my children for long periods of husband is military and gone for a year here, 6 months there…or we would be divorced by now. please help. please. i am a good woman. i am nice and decent and caring and i just dont have anyone to tell me how to care for myself – TRULY. i need something real. i dont want to die before i atleast learn how to live. please help me. please don’t leave me here all by myself if you can help me with something that you KNOW FOR SURE WILL HELP.
    please help.

  24. i read the article and it helped a little but i am still wondering if i am an empath or not. sometimes i get a really weird feeling in my gut when something bad is about to happen and i have terrible mood swings and am overly sensative, like my friend will say something that seems completly nice but when i get home i will cry about it and not kno why.when my mom gets a really bad migrane i will get one to not as bad and whenever i see someone get hurt on tv or in reality i always cringe and have a really weird quesy feeling. i am always tired and i hate it when people fight it just makes me want to parents fight a lot and sometmes it gets so bad i feel like my head willl explode and i have to go up to my room and blast music to drown them out but i still feel horrible about it. i dont have all the traits listed but i do have some and i guess it sorta makes sense to me now. am i an empath or just overly sensative??

  25. Sherry says:

    We are all different so it is normal for not all the traits to fit you or all the experiences you have to match up with what someone else experiences. From your description I would say that you are an empath not just a highly sensitive person. I say that because like me you are feel on a physical level as well. Many who are empaths also tend to be clairsentients although maybe they have not had clairsentient experiences only because they haven’t awakened to it yet.

    Scroll to the bottom of any page on this site and you will see links to three “Devleping Empathy” posts which will give you more information related to emapthy. Get to know yourself real well so that you know when something is not you. Get use to not reacting to quickly…stop and check yourself….is it you you are feeling or possibly another, before you react to something that may very well not be yours. Ask yourself “How did I feel just a few minutes ago?” That helps to figure out if it is you or someone else. And if you do nothing else learn to ground and protect (info about that is given in those three articles).

    You are blessed!


  26. This helped me a little but i am still so confused. I have looked up everything about empathy and i think it might be possible i am one. But i do not know for sure… i have some of the symptoms but not all. See i am what you call overly sensitive and i have mood swings like crazy and i dont know why. also like when i read a book or watch a tv show or movie, i feel like the person in the movie, tv show or book would and it sometimes hurts. I cant leave someone who needs help, i feel compelled to help them. Also i feel like crap when i hear one of my friends is in trouble, or something bad that has happened. Is this Empathy or am i just going crazy?

  27. Sherry says:


    Oh I know what you mean totally! I cant tell you how many times I would say the same thing…I just want answers!

    Yes, what you describe is very normal actually. You’ve got several different things going on. Empathy, clairsentience, clairvoyance and clairaudience…it sounds like you just need to consciously work on developing your clairaudience and clairvoyance especially so that it is not just sporatic but well controlled. The more you acknowledge the experiences the more they will develop.

    It is common for an empath to pick up a connection to someone and then for more information to come through. Let it and encourage it by asking for more information as you sense you are picking something up.

    Sounds to me like you are doing good. :-)


  28. Yanninia says:

    I want to Thanks you for this article. I didn’t quite confirm my suspicions seeing as everything I read else where says it a constant thing, and well with me someday i feel fine, and then the next i walk in to a class all i want to do i run cause well that just it i don’t know. I’ve been doing a lot of research but I keep hitting dead in end, and it just seem like everyone want to sell me something and all i want is an anserw. I don’t know if you can help but here it goes. Sometime I can just know something, like if something not right or that some good going to happen, then there are other time when i’m so over whelmed by something and i’m so sure something is horrible wrong but then as quickly as it come it goes away. I also sometime here people calling my name, or i feel someone or something tap me on my shoulder or following me. And latly when i try to meditate instead of the usual quite darkness i start to see things like miniture movie of places and people i never seen. Is this normal for an Empath?? Am i even an empth?

  29. jacqueline says:

    thank you for the aritcle – I feel like it isn’t real but I have had this my whole life – for example my mom in scotland, has allergic reaction and got hives – for no reason, me in canada gets them…my son gets hurt (foot), I hurt the same body part – (always on the opposite side of the body) – but don’t know why I can’t walk – I only just woke up from a nap?

    not knowing who it is can be a probem for me – so I could help them and me. I did take reiki years ago, but stopped using it because it made it worse. A girl was in a restaraunt sitting across from me, and i could feel her being sexually abused by a step father, i was shaking and crying and had to leave. It got to the point drug addicts were all around me for healing, and instead, I started using heavy drugs.

    I am clean, but only because I couldn’t facilitate to help spirit do the work required because of my empathy

  30. Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.

  31. Sherry says:

    Thanks. I thought it was awesome that you write historically correct novels. I use to read a lot of books regarding novel writing and the different Genre. That is awesome that your novel is being so well received…it must be really good. Historical novels require a lot of research…your research capabilities are awesome.

    We all come to our truths in our own time. I always advise people to go with what their truth and what they believe. However I also advise people that in developing one of the most important things to gain is trust…trust what you receive, hear, see, of course I am speaking of the sixth senses. In the past two years my guides, Arachangels, Ascended Master, etc have not changed their minds about this and begun telling me different…even now as I write I am being told quite strongly that what I am saying is true. But, no one can take another word for things. You have to come to your own truths in your own time. So it’s okay that we disagree on this. As the ascended master Tobias says “It’s really doesn’t matter.” lol. Many go through life never knowing they are empaths, so it is often hard for people to know if there are empaths in past generations. Many still in this day don’t know what an empath is or that such as person exists. One of the common things heards from empaths is that they were raised being told often that they are too sensitive, including myself and their behavior has not been accepted. So would that then point to nature? And then it would mean there was a need for humans and animals to be able to feel another emotionally and physically? As a means to survive by being able to feel what another feels? Note I am not being told this is correct.

    Mouse Study Reveals Genetic Component Of Empathy –
    Empathy Appears to Have Genetic Component (from Science & Religion Today) –
    The Genetics of Empathy and It’s Disorders –

  32. Pamela Glasner says:

    Comment moved to where original comment was posted so reader can follow comments consecutively


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