Own Your Intuition Show

Are you empathic? How to tell...

November 08, 2022 Aimee Cartier Season 1 Episode 13
Own Your Intuition Show
Are you empathic? How to tell...
Show Notes Transcript

Wonderfully “empath” is a word that is common in our lexicon these days.  20 years ago when I discovered that I was one—I didn’t know there was a name for it.  On today’s episode, you’ll hear the story of that fateful spring day in the early 2000’s.  You’ll also hear a list of around 35 qualities that most empaths have—so if you think you are one, or you just wonder what the heck it is, or if you want to understand someone in your life who you suspect is empathic— today’s episode is for you.  

 We’ll talk about:

·      What does empathic mean?

·      The difference between empathy and empathic

·      How to know if you are an empath/35 Empath Characteristics

·      The fateful spring day when I discovered I was one

Show Notes:

 Download Aimée’s free: “44 Signs You Are An Empath.” (Also includes “4 Antidotes to Common Empath Challenges:” audio)

 Aimée’s Empath Resources Page

 Empath Core Tools

 Article, “It’s Okay to Feel.  Really, Go Ahead And Cry And Be Angry: It’s Good For You

 Aimée on Instagram

Aimée on Facebook

 For more about Aimée, her work, readings, speaking, or classes visit www.AimeeCartier.com

 

By now, you’ve likely heard the word “empathic” floating around in the ethers or the internet, or bookstore shelves.  What does it mean?  How can you tell if you are an empath?  And exactly what is the difference between empathy and being empathic?  This week, on the Own Your Intuition show we’ll be delving into this topic that has been near and dear to my heart and work for the last seven years: empathic ability and characteristics. 

  MUSIC  **Ayla Nereo, "All of this" song clip**

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Do you crave clarity and insight?  Do you sense that your intuition is trying to tell you important things, but you have a hard time trusting it?  Do you want access to your own internal  wisdom, and to understand how it operates so that you can guide your life in ways that are meaningful and satisfying?  

 Well then, welcome, I’m glad you are here.

 I’m your host, Aimée Cartier.  I’ve been a professional psychic, since around 2007.   I’m the author of the book, “Getting Answers: Using Your Intuition to Discover Your Best Life.”  I’ve been teaching others to understand and use their own intuitive and empathic abilities for more than a decade.  

 Join me each week for true stories and tools that will inspire you to take seriously, your own inner knowing—that internal sense that you have uniquely tailored to YOU and designed to not only set you on the roads that are best for you but also help you avoid the ones that are treacherous. 

 It’s time for you to OWN YOUR INTUITION.

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Hi, Welcome again to the Own Your Intuition show.

 Today we are talking about a subject that has been very close to me for the last 7 years, because I’ve been teaching on it.  But realistically it’s a subject that’s been close to me my whole life—even when I didn’t know it! Haha!  Empathic ability.  If you are an empath, or know someone else who you think might be—this is a show you are going to want to share with them.  It’s a starting point for understanding who and how you are!

I still remember the moment that I discovered I was empathic.  It’s still crystal clear in my mind as though it happened yesterday.

 It was a spring day in the early 2000’s. I was living in upstate New York as a writer on staff of a meditation ashram. I had just finished my work for the morning and was heading to lunch. When I walked out of my office it was so sunny and glorious outside.  I remember I was walking up the wide steps (like palatial wide) to the dining hall and I was so happy. There was no particular reason (other than the hours of meditation and chanting I did every week) that I was feeling so divine, but I remember noticing my mental state and taking in its loveliness. I was literally skipping.  In my mind’s eye I can still see the cream-colored steps shining in the sun as my feet leaped up them into the dining hall.  I felt ecstatic in my being.  

 Within about 15 seconds I was getting my food in the cafeteria.  It was the kind of serving set-up where two people could serve themselves on either side of the food containers.  There was another woman ahead of me on the other side dishing food onto her plate.  I wasn’t paying much attention to her.  But all of the sudden I felt really grouchy. As I scooped a helping of lunch onto my plate I felt frustrated and irritable and I had this thought about not being able to get the last part of a chapter I was writing right.

 By the time I sat down with my lunch I was completely confused.  I chose a spot away from everyone else where I could also see the room.  That was the moment when my understanding of my empathic ability all came crashing together. Of course I didn’t know the word empath then.  My thoughts, probably in this order were.

“I’m not writing a book.

Only 15 seconds ago I was ecstatic.

What could have changed between then and now?

Nothing has changed FOR ME since that moment.”

Then I looked around the room and identified the woman who had been in line near me. It was a woman who I knew was an author, and who was, as it so happened knee-deep in writing her own spiritual memoir.

 In that moment it felt like something HUGE in my life clicked.

 In almost one complete thought I realized: “She was just near me and without even trying I just  downloaded her whole experience… AND, oh my god, I’ve been doing this MY WHOLE LIFE.” I knew it all at once like that.

 It was so shocking to me I felt speechless. I’m pretty sure I sat there without eating for some moments just taking in/ reeling in the implications that this had for me. They were implications that I would unravel for months and years to come. It was unsettling– to say the least.  Sitting there, alone at that table is was like the movie of my life rewound and started to un-reel for me in a completely new way.  All at once I was looking at it all from a different camera angle so to speak.  And I could feel the profoundness of what this understanding meant for me.  “How much of much of what I have thought and felt all my life was mine?” I wondered, alarmed.  And even more unsettling, “Who am I anyway (without other people’s thoughts)? Do I even know?  How can I know since I have been picking up on other’s thoughts and feelings my whole life without even knowing it!?”  How many of the decisions that I have made that have shaped my life have been my own?  Or have I always and constantly been entirely influenced by the opinions of those around me?”  My mom came into my thoughts– she being the person with the most profound impact on me in my life– even just from proximity- starting at, well, gestation.  “How much of my decisions were influenced by what my mother thought about the situation and not really what I thought?”  The inferences!... 

 You see being an empath is tricky.  You don’t just feel empathy—which is a trait that most people have.  Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of someone else, to identify with whatever they are going through. In contrast to normal empathy, when you are empathic, you feel other people’s business, emotions, sensations, and sometimes thoughts, inside your own skin– as though they belong to you.  If you don’t know you are empathic you might not even understand that that is what you are doing.

 While standing in this cafeteria dishing out my lunch I had suddenly felt frustrated and discomfort in my own skin.  A person with empathy who was paying attention to her colleague might notice her co-worker was a little off and say something like, “Tough day?”  Or, “That sucks.” That’s because she can recognize that this person is not quite right within themselves.  She has empathy.  She can relate because she knows what that feels like to have a frustrating day– she’s been there before.  A person who is empathic is suddenly having the experience the other person has—as though they are the ones having the tough day– even without really focusing on this person at all.

 I wasn’t having a bad day.  And I believe that is the reason why I knew and noticed what was happening to me.  I was having a glorious day actually.  My mental state was vastly different from the one of this woman, and I was aware of it.  Add to that the fact that hardly any time (like 30 seconds tops) had elapsed before I suddenly felt quite different and for me—that was the equation that allowed understanding to dawn. 

 You can go your whole life without noticing you are empathic or at least many years—as I had– because you think it is all you.  I was either 29 or 30 when this moment happened for me. (Because I don’t know the exact date and it happened in the spring which is when my birthday is, I’m not sure which!)  And it wasn’t until much later that I learned there was a word for this (several actually—even science knows it exists) and that there were others who were also built like this.

 Often times when I ask my students how or when they knew they were empathic they will say things like, “I’m just discovering this word. I always just thought I was sensitive.  Too sensitive actually.”  Other times they will say things like, “I always knew I was different,” and will describe the ways in which they saw this even from an early age.  Other times they are just coming to it because they are having their own awakening of what is actually happening for them.  Sometimes they are at a point where they see that feeling so much has caused them to constantly overextend themselves and try to fix all the things or they are troubled by all the things—and now they are completely burnt out and feel like they need to hide.  Once I had a student say “I knew I was empathic when I was 9 years old and I watched a Star Trek episode called ‘The Empath.’ When I saw I thought, ‘That’s me.’”

 For a long time movies or fantasy novels were the only place you were likely to run into the word empath or empathic.  And in these dramas it is always so cool to be an empath!  These empaths are always placing their hand on someone’s back and giving the panicked person a soothing and peaceful feeling, calming or grounding or healing others– or doing some such lovely thing.  And while the reality is yes, you may have extra soothing powers as an empath (we’ll get to that later)—this depiction doesn’t in anyway show the bumpy, overwhelming, and crazy-making experience that an empath experiences all the time when they don’t know how to control their ability.  Never in fantasy novels do they depict how it feels to be empathic and walk into a room full of anxiety or to live in a world where you are bombarded constantly with horrific and traumatic images whenever you open your computer.  These depictions never talk about the journey and learning and mastery it takes you to actually be able to be a soothing presence in a stressful situation instead of a highly sensitive person automatically playing back the emotional station that is existing around you.  Training is involved for that!  Skills need to be learned and taught.

 Because the reality is, as any empath will tell you, it’s often times completely overwhelming to be empathic. No empath starts out by thinking that it is cool to be one.  They often wish it weren’t how they were built because they feel so much.  You have no control over what you come into contact with.  And when you’re having a great day and suddenly you are having a sucko day through no fault of your own (like my experience)—it’s not so great.  Or when you suddenly feel anxious or uncomfortable about a subject you can’t even identify—it’s “no beuno” as we say in my family.  When you are subject to the whim and mercy of the feelings of those around you– and they take over your own perceptions– it kind of sucks. 

 In today’s world, we’re talking about the people that you come in contact with in your day to day life AND the high amounts of exposure that we now all have to the turmoil happening in the world.  When a hurricane blows through several thousand miles from your house, we know about it.  The images appear on your screen in your own home.  When terrible things are happening at schools, we hear.  The images, the quotes, the experience is broadcasted everywhere.  I think that this is in part why as one of my students put it, “it feels like it is becoming increasingly hard to be an empath in this world.”  Many of my students feel that way.  In times of old we used to be exposed to the tragedies in our own village.  And there was a healthy outlet for the burden and heartache that is one natural part of the human condition.  You could make a casserole or provide comfort or service to the person who was experiencing the pain.  You knew them.  You could lend a hand when needed to help ease the pain of others.  Now- you just know about it—and for the empath feel it in your own skin- and there is no outlet.  You don’t know those people.  Yet you still feel their pain– as though it were your own.  It makes many an empath want to hide.

 That’s why I’ve been teaching empaths how to work with their sensitivities, not against them for years.  That’s why I developed my Empath Intuition University.  That’s why I recently put out an Empath Core Tools On Demand video course.  That’s why I give talks on this subject.  That’s why I’m doing my shows on it this month– because I want empaths to know that it is absolutely possible to live in this rich and beautiful and sometimes broken world without having to hide yourself from it.  That even as a highly sensitive and empathic being– with techniques, tools, and understanding you absolutely can stay balanced, centered, empowered ­and active in your own life.  

 My favorite way to describe empaths is as radio recievers.  That is how we are built.  We pick up information that being broadcast near us, and we broadcast it back out, through our own bodies.

 But although, empaths most often feel their sensitivities, “as a liability” as more than one of my students has described it and/or a stressful and sometimes uncontrollable thing.  (It’s not, by the way, with a few easy practices you can absolutely manage your abilities.) I actually feel it is a benefit.  Furthermore, I think empaths have a special gift to offer this world—some version of what you see in the movies– the natural ability to uplift, heal, or enhance a situation through their empathic ability.  (And by the way it requires no laying of hands on backs– or touching at all– just so you know!) However, you can’t get to that or at least you can’t access that soothing ability on demand when you are still being constantly pushed around by every emotion or experience you come across.  You must first know how to understand and control your ability. After that you get to the service and goodness that you can provide by using your empathic gift.   That’s right I called it a gift.  Your empathic ability is a gift.  I founded my Empath Intuition University in 2015.  But I taught my first workshop for empaths around 2008 or 2009.  But for the last 7 + years I taught a program for empaths twice a year.  Over and over and over again I hear from my Empath Intuition University graduates— “I finally know what you mean by saying that being empathic is a gift.  I now experience it as such—and not as the burden that I used to think of it as.”

 Understanding your abilities and that you are an empath can provide the first ah-ha and life changing moment for yourself—like it did me on that day in the cafeteria about 20 years ago.

 So today I’m going to talk about that. 

 

This is Aimée Cartier and you are listening to the Own Your Intuition Show where today we are talking about empaths. 

What is an empath?  And how do you know if you are empathic?

 So many empaths don’t even know they are empathic.  You can go your whole life, or 29 or 30 years like I did without knowing it!  An empath is a person who senses or feels the emotions or sensations of others by experiencing them in their own body.  They don't just know what another person is feeling, they can feel the sensations inside their own skin, as though they were their own.

 I remember one day when I got a call from my daughter’s preschool teacher that my daughter, Atalie, was sick.  When I came to get her she was sort of snuggled into the arms of her teacher in the corner of the classroom, clearly not acting like her usual enthusiastic self.  As I swooped in to get her and then made my way across the room with her in my arms I saw one little girl playing with her play doh with tears streaming down her face.  I paused to ask her, “Are you okay sweetheart?”  She said, “I’m just sad for Atalie.”  One look at that little girl and her tears over what my daughter, NOT her was feeling and I thought, “There’s an empath!”  I think I murmured something like, “Don’t you worry, Atalie will be fine.  You just enjoy your playdoh honey,” as we made our way out.

 I had a therapists who sends her clients to my programs tell me that an estimated 20% of people are empathic.  I don’t know exactly where the statistic comes from so I don’t feel totally confident standing behind a specific number—but safe to say not everyone is empathic.  

 It’s one thing to hear a definition of the word empath or empathic, it’s another to recognize yourself as one.  How to tell if you are?  

 On my website, I’ve got a free download called, “44 Signs You Are An Empath.”  I’m going to go over that list in a second.  If you miss some, or want to lay eyes on it for yourself or have your very own printed copy—head on over to AimeeCartier.com and get your hands on it. 

 If you are empathic this list will sing to you.  You’ll be able to recognize yourself in the majority of these qualities.  Maybe they don’t ALL apply to you—they don’t ALL apply to me either…  If you are not an empath, you’ll be like, “Well maybe?…” or “No, not really.”  If you are an empath, you’ll be like, “Oh my god that’s SO ME.”  Or maybe even, “Wow, I had no idea that (personality trait of mine) was related to empathic ability.”

 So here goes.

 1.     You have a very clear sense of another person’s emotional state and energy even without ever having spoken to the person at all.  If you are in conversation with someone and that other person is crying or laughing, you can bet you will be doing so right along with them!  

 2.     Without knowing how to create natural boundaries for yourself you will sense what the other person is feeling in your own skin, as though it was you.  For example, if you are with someone who is feeling awkward or insecure about something, you will suddenly feel awkward when you are with them– even if you were feeling quite fine just one moment ago.

 3.     Without the ability to control your gift you often feel drained by crowds.

 4.     You have a very strong sense of either being naturally repelled or drawn to someone. 

 5.     You can be easily confused, especially when you are in proximity to others who don’t share your same opinion. It takes very little for you to “believe” another’s point of view, because you can also feel it in your skin while being exposed to it.  This can make it hard for you to discern your own thoughts and feelings on a subject. 

 6.     Similarly, other people’s emotions (especially intense ones) can throw you off kilter and make you lose access to your own thoughts and feelings.

 7.     You may experience extreme swings in moods related to the shifting of what those around you are feeling.  (The example I gave when I first realized I was empathic is a perfect example of this.  I was ecstatic.  Then, for no apparent reason I was suddenly frustrated.  That’s a HUGE mood swing!  I didn’t go from ecstatic to regular/normal.  I went from ecstatic to feeling angry-ish, in a matter of seconds.)

 8.     You can also sense and experience large emotional shifts that are happening on a global level. Even if you are standing in your kitchen with no one else, you can have internal experiences of the general emotional state of the populace as a whole; especially when BIG things are happening: elections, stock market crashes, extreme weather, political/emotional trauma, global pandemics etc. I remember when schools first started shutting down in Washington and across the country due to the pandemic.  As the word went out, I felt this wave of nausea/panic coming at me.  I quickly realized it was a huge swath of intense emotion coming from young people for whom “home” wasn’t actually a safe place.  I didn’t have that experience growing up, nor is it the vibe of our home now, and I felt completely horrified by and for the reality and intensity of this for so many.  I eventually had to tune it out completely since I could do ZERO about it.  I was confined to my home and yard like everyone else!  

 It was It used to be when I taught empaths this kind of thing—this intensity in and of the collective happened every once in a while.  Now, it’s every month, sometimes every week!  We are a planet needing, craving, searching for deep healing on so many levels. On the day of this broadcast there are elections going on across this country.  With so much tension and experience of division in recent years—this is bound to be an intense day for empaths.  If you aren’t aware of your ability to sense the masses, on a day like today, you might wonder what is wrong with you—or why you feel all bunched up inside.  Knowing it has more (or everything) to do with masses of people having and experiencing emotional tension can shed a light!  You’re not crazy!  You are just picking up the radio station of prominent intense emotions. 

 9.     You are a deep feeler.  When you experience even your own emotions, it’s a no-holds-barred situation.  You don’t just feel sad over something, you may bawl about it for hours.  And truthfully it is best for you to process emotion on a deep and whole body level.  It is important to your health and well-being.  It’s how you keep things moving through your body and prevent emotional debris from getting stuck and weighing you down psychically.  For example, I remember the wedding of my good friend Andy— if you heard episode 10 you heard me talk about it.  Andy died of cancer in this year.  He also happened to die just a few weeks after his wedding.  AND, more importantly within this story was that Andy’s worst episode in terms of health happened just days before his wedding.  He was in the hospital in surgery getting a stint put in within days of his nuptials.  As a result, Andy was completely absent from the preparations for his wedding.  A dozen or more of his friends with his bride spent the days before his wedding prepping everything.  I have no idea really what everyone else was feeling about all of this—but for me, every moment of the preparation of this event I was having HIGE FEELIINGS about Andy dying.  I saw that what we were all doing, was prep for the life we were about to live (and soon) without him.  Because I didn’t want to be completely breaking down—for Andy’s bride’s sake more than anything—I smothered these feelings with putting candles here, and stringing lights there and hanging out with the friends that were there—and did everything I could not to dwell on them while I was with everyone.  But every moment I was alone—and I mean every moment—I would SOB.  That meant, if I forgot something in my car and had to walk out to the road where I was parked to get it—I would SOB.  Once, I asked my husband to walk with me to the car just because I was SO TIRED of bawling and I knew if I was alone I wouldn’t be able to avoid it.  I cried myself to sleep every night that weekend.  I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing.  To my knowledge, I was the only person having this experience even though I was only one of MANY people who loved Andy and were also prepping his wedding.  I’m telling you this story because that is how empaths are—we are deep feelers.  We literally can’t help it.  It doesn’t matter if other people are in the same position—I mean my god—I was only Andy’s friend, not his bride or his sister etc and I was practically incapacitated by the emotion.  If you are an empath, just know it’s okay to feel big feelings—it’s how you are built.

 10.  Typically, for an empath there is no hiding from your own feelings.  You probably aren’t able to suppress emotion easily; in fact doing so may be nearly impossible for you.  (Like it was at Andy’s wedding!)  Strong feelings are likely a regular part of your existence. When it belongs to you, especially if it is particularly intense, you probably can’t put it on hold or pretend it is not happening.  You may not be able to move it out of your countenance until you have given it its due. 

 11.  A sad, horrific, or devastating story can stay with you for a LONG time.  Hours, or even days later the story will still be in your mind and affecting (likely depleting) your energy.  I can’t even count the number of times in my life that I have stopped another person from telling me a terrible story that I knew both had nothing to do with me, nor could I do anything about.  For the non-empathic person it’s like  a sentence, or a sad paragraph, for an empath it can stay for days—or forever.  (I can still remember the emotional resonance/residue of some moments where I didn’t pipe up soon enough with “No thank you.  I don’t want to know, please.”)

 12.  (Related, of course.)  You feel the suffering of others in a very profound way.  And not necessarily just people: animals, trees, the land, or environment.  You can sense these things and the suffering or disquiet runs through your own skin.  It’s especially acute for people or things that you perceive can’t help themselves­– the suffering is twinged with a sense of powerlessness that can disturb you to your core.

 13.  Something that may be very subtle for someone else can be very loud for you.  If a person in the room is having a hard time you will feel it, especially when you get close to them.  You don’t just notice it, like a non-empathic person might.  Depending on the intensity of emotion being experienced for that person, for you it can feel like someone has a megaphone and is broadcasting the dark vibes or intense feelings—like they are shouting: “I’M ANGRY!!!” when actually they are just sitting in their seat in the restaurant or what have you. 

 14.  You usually want to help and will do so! For the same reason mentioned above; and because you feel the suffering of others (even animals) in such a profound way you are naturally committed to helping ease it. 

 15.  Your innate sensitivities may also compel you to champion underdogs or those who can’t help themselves.

 16.  Because of your innate perception of the feelings of others you may have the tendency to over give or be what I call a “Yes-er”: a person who always says yes to others.  You may give to others sometimes to the point of completely draining or exhausting yourself.  You think because you can feel it, it is your place to help it.  But honestly, this is not always the case.  Discerning the difference between something you can feel, and something you can genuinely help is a point of discernment that it would behoove all empaths to understand.  It’s SO IMORTANT for empaths to understand “they are not responsible for solving ALL the worlds woes,” just because we can feel IT ALL. 

 17.  You may experience anxiety.  Of course, this in not exclusive to empaths, but I’ve seen it frequently enough in the empathic community that it warrants mentioning.  When you are experiencing everyone else’s sensations in your own skin (and especially when you don’t even know it) you are picking up and innately broadcasting back out whatever it is that you are sensing.  Before you know how to tune into your own self, and the techniques that help you connect with your own inner knowing, this absorbing and broadcasting other’s energy can absolutely cause a sense of anxiety that is pervasive and not localized to a particular discernable event or situation.  

 18.  Empaths are frequently the peacemakers.  You are the “soother-over”er, or the person that can and does settle multiple sets of ruffled feathers with ease and grace.  In my adult life, my step-mother once told me that she referred to me while I was growing up as “The Get-Along Gal” because I was always endeavoring to do just that: help everyone get along.  An empath can easily sense the needs and desires of others, and if it is within your power, you will usually start settling everyone before you even recognize what you are doing.  It also makes you feel better to do so—because you feel the discomfort of others dissipate.  Really though, I have to say out loud here that it’s not actually always a good thing to be doing this!  Just as I referenced in number 16— it is not always your place to help/soothe/or peacemake ALL the things—and always taking that role without discernment will be at the cost of yourself.

 19.  You may experience confusion or jealousy when you are around people who are similar to you in some way.  (Of course this doesn’t only apply to empaths, but for the empathic person it does have a different tone.) You get confused, you think you are or should be having the experiences of the other person, because for a second, while hearing about them you ARE having their experience in your own skin.  It’s then easy to wonder or get frustrated by the fact that the things that line up for them are not lining up for you.

 20.  You have the ability to know when someone is lying and usually also understand the reason behind the lie.  This can be in little or big things—for example, you can easily tell when a person is saying, “Yes” when it would be better for them if they said, “No.”  It’s not an outright lie they are telling!  It’s just that an empath can sense the incongruency between the inner and the outer.

 21.  Frequently, but not always, empaths are gifted healers in their own way.  Your ability shows you instinctively what is needed to heal or harmonize a situation– whether that is smoothing ruffled feathers between friends or the actual physical healing others– you are a natural antidote maker.  Empathic healers need to be especially diligent about learning to (and practicing) NOT taking on the energy of others while they heal them; that can have the opposite effect– of making the healer sick.

 22.  Not always, but it does happen that some empaths are prone to addictions.  They use or have used substances as coping mechanism to deal with the large amount of feelings they experience, or as a way to block out the onslaught of perception that they are exposed to all the time.  

 23.  Some empaths pick-up/experience the physical sensations of others.  I always think of one of my students who while in class with me described to her fellow students and I how she woke up with back pain one day.  It took her a few hours to realize that she didn’t have back pain.  Her husband did.  And once she used the tools I taught her for keeping her energy clear and an energetic boundary/buffer in place her “back pain” completely dissipated!  

 24.  You can be extremely affected by images or movies.  Watching violence, cruelty, or tragedy feels unbearable to you– even if it is fiction.  God, I still remember the time I went to see the movie, “Babble” with Brad Pitt.  I had no idea what the movie was about ahead of time (a rare mistake I hardly ever make anymore—possibly because of this experience.). I’m not even going to detail what the movie was about here—I’m just going to say if you are empathic DON’T SEE IT!  I literally got back to my car from the movie and SOBBED.  And I don’t mean I cried a little.  I mean I full-throttle sobbed in an intense, body wracking, can’t breathe, sort of way after I left the theatre.  I couldn’t even drive.  I just sat there sobbing for about 15-20 minutes—divesting my body of the emotion before I could move on.  This, from A FICTION movie!

 25.  People tell you things.  Even perfect strangers sometimes reveal intimate and personal details to you.  They sense a natural safe harbor in you.  

 26.  Similarly, you are likely very naturally a good listener.  You are interested in the experiences of others and genuinely want to know about them.

 27.  You have a need for solitude.  It gives you a much needed absolute silence.  The background noise of another person’s energy is always palpable to you, even if no one is talking or making noise, which makes occasional (or regular) solitude vital to your clearing and recharging your own energy.

 28.  You may be intolerant to narcissism.  It’s almost painful to be around others who are so self-centered that they can’t see anyone else’s point of view.  It can feel like talking to a wall.  On the other side of this— I’ve often seen in empath circles reference or comments in which empaths feel they are prone to relating with narcissists.  While I don’t think this is a universal trait of empaths— what I do see is that empaths do typically very clearly see the potential in another human.  It can be so clear to them that they can absolutely override what IS HAPPENING in real time and believe in or put stock in the vision/potential of the other person, even if it isn’t happening at the time.

 29.  You crave authenticity and truth in others.  Since you know it when you hear it, the truth is always more comfortable to you than a lie.  Therefore, you are infinitely more comfortable with people who are living their own truth (whatever that is) than with anyone who is posturing or pretending.  I find the best example for me can be seen in my close friendships.  For example my deepest women friendships are with those who I can count on to say “no” to me if that is right for them.  I don’t begrudge them their “no”—because it is actually more comfortable to me than hearing a “yes” where it should be a “no.”  And if you know my husband well you know that he is almost not equipped with a filter—while as a person who is now raising children with him, I won’t lie that quality can sometimes exasperate me—it’s also one of the things I’ve always loved about him: what you see is what you get.

 30.  You can appear moody.  Before you know how to control your ability you are frequently at the whim and mercy of all of the energies that you come across.  This can be totally overwhelming and sometimes depending on what you are exposed to has multiple divergent emotions running through your body at one time.  Sometimes your moodiness has to do with the sensations you are picking up outside of yourself.  If you walk by someone in a dark mood, you might suddenly start broadcasting that station or feel that way yourself!  Sometimes also, just the number of different energies you experience in your own skin can be overwhelming, contradictory, and stress making.  Or your empathic abilities make you more sensitive than the norm.  For example, not too long ago we were on vacation visiting my brother-in-law and family in Lake Tahoe.  The vacation was lovely—but as always after being around people non-stop I needed time to decompress.  Almost immediately upon our return my children’s school had a “harvest festival” in which most of the school’s students and their parents gathered for an evening of games at their school.  That evening, as a product of not having any clearing time, I felt totally anti-social—which I’m generally not.  But I was SO FEELING that, that evening.  My body and being needed time to decompress—it was NOT craving hundreds of people and all their emotions at a school harvest festival!  I went of course—because it didn’t seem fair for my daughter to have to miss out on the opportunity she was desiring in this case, but I huddled up with my knitting on the playground while my daughter socialized with her friends—and I ended up having a delightful conversation with a previous student of mine.  To me, that evening felt like “a moody” moment!  In this case, not necessarily because I was picking up everyone else’s business—because I definitely know how to stop that— but because of my need to discharge and recharge alone WHILE being in a HUGE group! Haha!

 31.  You may be drawn to healing and holistic therapies.  For an empath less is often more– because you are so sensitive, subtle healing forms like Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, acupuncture, and others can be more profound for you (and feel healthier and more in balance for you) than other Western or more chemical approaches.  

 32.  Likewise, you can be really affected by clutter.  A lot of clutter is just more objects you are sensing – h­­­aving a lot of it around can feel like it makes it hard for you to think.

 33.  You are very sensitive to spaces– you can feel the energy in a place, so just like with people, you are naturally drawn or repelled to certain spaces.  You may not be able to explain it with a lot of facts to others but some places just feel crowded with energy, or clogged, or just plain “yucky” to you—even if no one else is sensing that difference.  Just like some feel great!

 34.  Some empaths have digestion issues. In my experience, with some students this is one of the ways that their body deals with excess amounts of energy that doesn’t belong to them.  The body uses the digestion or stomach as a receptacle or an indication that they are holding that which does not belong to them, and then tries to eject it.  (Again, not exclusive to empaths—but so common it’s worth mentioning.)

 35.  You love nature.  Being outside is a very effective relaxant for an empath.  Tuning into the natural world, which you do by default by being in it, is an easy way to clear your own energy out and reset yourself.  Because of your natural attunement with things around you, nature is very palpable to you.

 Okay, so there you have it.  Some, but not all, 44 empath characteristics.  As I said, also, available as a free download on my website.  And it comes with an audio that provides “4 Antidotes to Common Empath Challenges.”  What did you think?  Are you empathic?

 If so, you’re going to love this month of the Own Your Intuition show.  This month we’ll be staying with the empath theme.  Next episode I’m going to have one of my students on the show, beloved island resident, Tami Brockway Joyce, and she’ll talk about her experience discovering and being an empath in this world.  The episode after that—just before Thanksgiving we’re going to talk about Holiday Tools for empaths—like good things for you to remember empath as you move into this holiday season!  And I now have an On Demand video program called, Empath Core Tools, where you can learn what I consider the most vital tools for empaths in managing their abilities.  You can learn on your own schedule. While you’re in your PJs in your bed!  You don’t have to be in your PJs!  I’m just saying—you can!  It includes the core empath tools, the years-worth of trouble shooting, questions and answers I’ve received from my students as they’ve implemented these tools that serve you FOR LIFE if you are an empath.  It also includes a workbook!  And homework/mastery suggestions so that you can make these tools second nature and be able to manage your ability instead of it managing you—your whole life long.  That’s available STAT.  I’ll put a link to it in the show notes.

 I also have a whole host of free Empath Resources on my website: including articles I’ve written, interviews I’ve done on others radio shows and podcasts.  I’ll put a link to that page in the show notes as well.  There is even an article for you if you are a partner, friend, or relative of an empathic person, but not empathic yourself.  

 I hope this was useful.  I can’t wait to introduce you (those of you who DON’T know her) to Tami next week.  It’s going to be fun.

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This is Aimée Cartier and you have been listening to the Own Your Intuition show.  

Thank you for listening today.  I hope it was supportive to you.  If it landed for you, I’d love to hear what moved you.  And I’d love if you share it with your friends, especially if you think they might be empathic!  Knowing you are makes a world of DIFFERENCE!  

 See ya soon!