Sharon is a certified health coach and Mindful Life Guide. Her mission is to help others develop harmony and meaning for themselves.
The Positive Side of Empathy
When researching Empaths online, I've found that the focus is always on the less-than-positive side. Although being an Empath is at times difficult to bear and can seem overwhelming, there are in fact some positive sides to being an Empath.
Knowing What Others Really Feel
In daily encounters with people, at times it is difficult to know what someone is trying to say or is feeling. Empaths are ahead of the game here. We can tell what someone feels and what they are really trying to communicate. Therefore, we can best help them find answers or assist them in what they need. We can also avoid many misunderstandings as we can usually tell when someone is either not explaining themselves correctly or being indirect about what it is they actually want. Of course, that also makes it difficult for people to fool themselves around us, or lie to us. This can be a two-sided coin (good thing/bad thing) at times, but at least we can usually know the truth of the matter. We can see to the heart of what someone is really saying. In our relationships, it allows us to truly be present for those we care about in a way many cannot. We feel what they are feeling and while at times it may be unpleasant, it allows us to better aid that person. Ever notice that people around you (those you know as well as those you do not) tend to seek you out? It is the energy we send out to them that draws them, whether they realize it or not. How many times have you heard “I am not sure why I am telling you this”? They unconsciously know that we can help or at least understand where most others cannot.
Projecting Calming and Healing Energy
Most Empaths have the ability to project energy as well as absorb it. It often occurs without us having to do anything at all, as it seems to flow. Learning to control this can help calm situations and send peaceful, healing energy. Consciously channeling tranquil energy and pushing it into an environment where there is tension present can help all concerned calm down a bit. Although it is not okay to tamper with someone’s free will and force emotions on them, sending peaceful energy into a volatile situation can give everyone just enough breathing room to look at things more rationally. To do this, ground and centre. Then, imagine beautiful, tranquil energy streaming from your heart chakra into the area you wish to calm. You can imagine a stream of lavender or purple light (or whatever color signifies tranquility to you) filling the room.
Healing energy can also be projected. Empaths make excellent Reiki practitioners and massage therapists or other healers for this reason. The channel is already open, sometimes it just needs activation. I remember when my mother was fighting cancer, she told me that whenever I came into the room she was immediately filled with peaceful energy and felt stronger and better. I was not consciously aware of it, but somehow I knew that she needed healing energy and it flowed to her.
I am a bit hesitant to touch on this as if not shielded properly, you may experience the pain and/or symptoms of the person you are trying to send energy to. Before I studied Reiki and went to get my attunements and certifications, I would be able to send healing energy, but it often depleted my well. If properly grounded, centered, and shielded, however, sharing some of this energy can make someone feel a little better for a time. To do this, please have the person’s permission to help them. Again, free will comes into play. If someone has asked you to pray for them or to send positive thoughts, this counts as permission. If the person is unable to give permission, ask your angels, Spirit, the Universe, or whatever power you understand that your intentions be received for the best. Then, concentrate on sending energy to the person. I would always imagine pink energy entering them. See it filling their body, then disconnect. You do not want to drain yourself. Give only what you can without depleting your source. Again, this is an advanced skill and takes practice. Start small and eventually you will be able to spare energy on a larger scale.
If you feel you have developed the person’s symptoms, ground and reconnect to the Earth’s energy. I found a simple way to do this by touching a tree and sending my own “roots” into the earth, letting the “symptoms” flow into the Earth where they are neutralized, and pulling up energy. If you cannot go outside, imagine your feet growing roots, extending into the earth, and allowing the “symptoms” to flow down through the roots into the Earth to be transformed. Then see a bright ball of white light above your head. Let the white light wash over you, filling you, infusing your chakras, and being absorbed. This will energize you again. Again, please do not attempt this if you are newly opening to your Empathic abilities. Of course, if you have been trained in Reiki, this will not be an issue.
Some More Thoughts
As I mentioned, Empaths can sense the mood or atmosphere of a room or place. That can give us an indication of what to expect in many situations where others are flying blind. Since we can feel what is going on with other people, we can sense how or when it is a good time to say something or to let something go. If you use your imagination, there are many ways to use your Empathic gift to help others as well as yourself. Of course, Empaths are prime targets for psychic vampires, which I will cover at a later date. That doesn’t mean that we are always victims or at the mercy of our Empathic abilities. At first, yes, it can seem that way especially when we don’t know what is going on with us. But it is not all bad and in fact, can be quite beautiful at times. Opening up to the love and positive feelings that are out there can assure us that the world is a wonderful place at most times. We also have the capacity to enjoy ourselves more than many people, to experience love, joy, and pleasure more intensely, and to truly feel connected to the world around us. That is an amazing feeling.
jodie on January 27, 2019:
i just want to say this has been the most helpful article sense acknowledging / understanding what is going on with me. i remember a few years back stumbling across an empath articular i sat rereading it and crying thinking....there is a reasonable explanation for what i have been going through, after many years of anxiety's and pharmaceutical disasters. Then the big question was....what do i do with this and how can i discern if its me or someone else, then comes this article (over the top helpful) ...all the drama set aside Thank you!! now i will study the Reiki in hopes of putting my Empath to go work. one last question i have is there anyway to pin point where the energy is coming from...i have asked my spirit guide specifically is it a Loved one, Friend, Family but most of the time i dont have time to mediate that question. any thoughts. Thanks again!!!
Kp on October 26, 2017:
How do I block it. I just went through a seziure muscle tightness I'll never forget. HOW TO PUT UP BARRIER THIS MUST BE CONTROLLED. PLEASE HELP.
Sharon OBrien (author) on May 25, 2013:
Thank you. Yes, it is an aura photo I had taken several years ago. I am glad you like it.
Karissa on May 19, 2013:
I like the picture above, makes me feel relaxed and clear. Haha is there a face in the middle of it of a women smiling? Just wondering . . .
Sharon OBrien (author) on April 18, 2013:
I am so sorry to hear of your struggle. It is all too common with Empaths unfortunately. There are so many resources now, so please seek them out, find like minded people and share! Discovering that there are others out there that experience these things is empowering. There are so many ways to learn to cope, and online communities have people who can offer advice and share their own experience. Good luck - now that you know about your gift, the healing can begin!
CT2812 on April 17, 2013:
OMG........Im speachless. I've just gone a full year of severe pain and emotional suffering to the poing that I shut out the world. One full year of being alone, thinking I was somehow unable to stop putting others pain on a greater scale than my own. I felt I had gone crazy, and as selfish as this may sound, I was tired of the weight I carried from others who just seem to tear me to shreds with the problems they had, I am always being sought out by ppl wanting to talk, even those that have just met me. They just seem to spill it all out, right at my feet. I often felt as though they were asking me to help them, and I would rack my brain, sleepless nights, fighting to figure out how I could. I eventually just a month ago came out of my hole.The news, that also ate me up inside. I can hear about a situation and I can almost feel a connection to someones pain, its so strong that it feels like I'm them and I'm hurting. Imjust came to live with my mom where I now feel safe, but I cut all contact to any of my past friends. I'm no longer close to anyone. I jut got a job after also being afraid of work and ppl, and already feeling the emotions, weight and coworkers seeking me out. I thought I was going crazy, really, but reading this discribes me exactly. I'm glad I'm not going crazy, but I wish I could also stop the ability to feel this the way I do. It has become way too much, emotionally as well as mentally. Thanks for hearing me out and it sure felt good to say all of this with ppl that understand where I'm coming from.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 21, 2012:
Wow - I am inspired by what this hub just did.
catgypsy from the South on November 20, 2012:
Wow, this is quite an eye opener for me. I have never heard of that term before and looked it up. I realize this fits me to a tee. I always wondered why people would open up and tell me their life stories all the time. I am very sympathetic and empathetic to people's problems, so I just thought I was a good listener or something...or had the word sucker plastered across my forehead, because I have attracted many people who just used me to make them feel better over my lifetime.
Anyway, this is very enlightening to me...thanks for the great article!
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 19, 2012:
I just have to remember not to whine when they are bombarding me with negative stuff. Clearly they do not know what they do.
Sharon OBrien (author) on November 19, 2012:
I completely agree. To not be in touch with the liminal, to not see and experience life in all its forms or to only be aware of what the mind can comprehend or explain would be only a half life in my opinion. I think I would rather be mocked for what I feel than to experience life in only flat tones.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 19, 2012:
I was thinking about the people that do not have any spiritual side at all. The ones that think mathematics and pure science are the only real truths. And it is just sad. I have never met a person with a heightened sense of empahty that suffered from that problem. And I have never met a person who suffered that condition who had empathy. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not see butterflys and sunsets, or feel cool water or taste a lemon. And for me, I just have the same kind of sense in empathy. I cannot imagine life without that sense. Yes we may see death and destruction or smell horrible fumes and we may taste vinegar and likewise we may feel pain and suffering that we would rather not, but life woithout it would be less.