10 Things to Know About Empaths

Learn how to read your empath friends, family, and co-workers

Lola Pickett, Empath Coach

Things you wanted to know about empaths

When you’re an empath, relationships can be challenging. We often feel misunderstood by the people around us because of our unique abilities. We’re hyper-aware of emotions and pain, we love deeply and passionately, and we’re sensitive to the world around us. We experience what the people around us experience as if it’s our own. We feel their sadness and happiness.

If you have an empath friend, you might feel uncertain about how to genuinely support them. Here are 10 things you need to know about empaths, so you can be a better friend to the empaths in your life (or befriend your own empathic abilities)!

Group of empath friends enjoying life and each other

Life is wonderful when your friends understand who you really are. Do you know how to communicate and be around your empath friends?

1. You can’t change an empath

We already feel so much. If we sense that you’re trying to change who we are at our core, we’ll shut down and disconnect from you. We’re looking for a friend, and we don’t respond well to unsolicited advice from others. Just like we don’t want to be treated as an unpaid therapist or coach, we’re not looking for you to be ours, either.

Support us by showing genuine interest in what excites us. Offer us a safe space to express our feelings (without judgment), and we’ll be your loyal friend for life.

2. Empaths love their freedom

Empaths let our emotions and intuition guide us. When you try to control an empath, we slowly lose connection with our intuitive senses. We may even learn to reject, distrust, or turn off our own gifts. Eventually, we’ll build walls that will shut you (and everyone else) out completely.

Give your empath friends their own space to breathe. Give them time to recharge (usually alone and by themselves) and encouragement to be free.

3. Empaths sometimes struggle to say, “I’m sorry”

If we share ourselves with you, it’s because we trust you. We’re sharing because we hope that you’ll listen to us, and we care about your thoughts, reflections, and perspectives. With everything we say, we do our best to stay in integrity, so we carry a lot of shame around times when something we say or do causes you harm. We can feel your pain as if it’s our own.

This internalized shame may prevent us from apologizing right away when harm has been done. We don’t intend to avoid responsibility; we just need a moment to gather ourselves so we can humbly offer an apology (and most importantly, change our behavior). The safer the relationship feels, the more quickly we’ll apologize – so you’ll know we feel safe with you when we can apologize easily and readily.

4. Give them their alone time

We deeply feel and experience what people around us are experiencing. These emotions can overwhelm us and leave us tired and lethargic.

Don’t be mad or reactive when we say we want to be alone for a little while. It is our way of recuperating and rejuvenating ourselves so we can engage with you the next time we meet.

Attending social events can be especially draining on us as we can consciously or unconsciously connect with what everybody is thinking or feeling. Allow us to take some time alone without arguing with us or taking it personally—that just adds to the emotional load we can feel!

Empath relaxing and reading on couch

Our alone time is usually our recharge time. Don’t take it away from us or impinge upon it!

5. An empath’s intuition is exceptionally strong

We can quickly sense changes in the room. If something feels off, we’ll be the ones to know it first. Our intuition runs deep, and we make our decisions based on our gut feelings. When we listen to our gut feelings, it’s right most of the time—even if it seems to make no “sense” to others.

We also love having a BREAK from being “on” all the time. This is why having a friend who “gets” us and doesn’t need anything from us (other than friendship) is so healing and such a relief!

6. Empaths are used to being misunderstood

From childhood, most empaths have been told that we are being dramatic, that we are “too sensitive,” that we need to toughen up, or get thicker skin. But, it’s unhealthy for us to artificially shut off these abilities. If we do, it results in toxic compensation patterns that can lead to illness (mental and physical) later in life.

Because we’ve been judged so often, it’s hard for us to trust that you’ll accept us for exactly who we are. As a result, it may take us a while to fully open into a new friendship.

If you resonate with us, give us a little time and space to warm up to you.

7. Don’t lie to an empath

We quickly sense the energy in any situation,  so we’ll also know if you’re holding something back. Just like anyone else, we feel terribly betrayed when we learn that someone has lied to us. 

Many of us are recovering from being gaslit and having doubt cast on our inner knowing at some point along our journey, so please just be honest…

Don’t try to protect us from a hard truth, we’re a lot stronger than you might think!

8. Empaths love to celebrate our friends’ successes

We can feel your happiness and celebration as if it were our own! Please share your wins with us and don’t hold back. It makes us feel good to know you’re joyful and abundant.

We’d love it if you can offer us that same gift—please don’t be threatened by our joy. There’s nothing more confusing in our friendships than when what we offer isn’t reciprocated or our wins are met with envy, jealousy, or judgment.

9. Empaths want acceptance

Using the “empath” label isn’t about claiming membership into some super secret special club… It’s just a way for us to feel like we’re not alone in our experiences.

We, like any other person, want to be accepted for who we are. Its okay if you’re not an empath—we love having all kinds of friends (as long as everyone is respectful of each other and takes responsibility for their needs and emotions)!

10. Empaths love deeply

When empaths fall in love, we love deeply and passionately. We connect with you at a deeper level as we are more than willing to do things for all the people that we care about.

Indeed, love is a strong emotion, especially for us. When we fall in love with the right person, it will be one of the best things that ever happened in our lives. But when we love the wrong person, that love can be catastrophic.

As we show our genuine love and support to the empaths that we know, let’s do it through compassion and patience.

By understanding empaths—especially if they are close to you in family, friendship, work, and/or love—you can become a supportive presence in their life. It is up to us empaths to manage our feelings and emotions, and we can’t outsource our own healing.

Did any of these things to know about empaths help you at all?

I hope these traits have helped you see the empaths—or yourself!—more clearly. If so, please share with me in my free Facebook group, Empath To Power. Know that you are never alone on this journey.

If you’re new to my work, scroll down and join my email community as I share weekly updates, wisdom, and soul medicine for empaths and sensitive souls. I look forward to getting to know you!

xo,Lola

Lola - Creator of Wildly Amazing Things at WildPlayground.com

Through her courses and programs, Lola Pickett empowers empaths  to rewire their brains, behavior, and bodies so they can create sustainable success & happiness. She is the published author of the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot and founder of EMPATH*ology™—her outrageously popular 10-week online course.

Her offerings blend cutting-edge neuroscience with trauma healing AND playful adventure to create powerful and lasting results. When not facilitating transformational work, you’ll find Lola on a hike, wildcrafting medicines, and loving up on her husband and kids in the mountains north of San Diego, California.

Lola's a Communication Empath.
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