If you hear “empath” and think, Oh, you can read minds? you actually wouldn’t be too far off. While the trait isn’t exactly cinematic ESP, empaths are deeply attuned to what people around them are feeling—emotionally and physically—and experience those sensations as if they were their own, often without needing to utter a word. So yeah, in a way it kinda is a superpower. Wondering if you’re a super-sensor? Here’s 11 signs you might just be an empath, according to Judith Orloff M.D.’s The Empath’s Survival Guide.
You’ve been told you’re moody.
Probably because…you are. If you’re an emotional chameleon, your colors have the capacity to change rapidly.
You’ve been known as the “peacemaker” among your friends and family.
Bad energy is especially draining for you, so you will do what you can to keep the peace. Plus, since you’re in tune with others’ emotions, you’re probably a pretty good mediator.
You’re not one for big, loud or busy public spaces.
If you find places like malls or theme parks strangely exhausting, it might because you don’t know how to block all those mall rats’ emotions from seeping into your psyche.
You feel physically ill when someone yells at or gets angry with you.
For the highly sensitive, the in-your-face intensity might just be too much.
You find watching violence or cruelty on TV unbearable.
Yeah, if Sarah McLachlan’s gotten you to tear up and donate, you miiiiight be an empath.
People feel inclined to offload their problems onto you.
Probably because you’re a great, compassionate listener, and have a problem telling people “no.”
You have very strong intuition.
You just kinda know things without being told. So when you make decisions, you lead with your gut.
You feel super weird around “fake” people.
Possibly because you can tell they’re hiding something, and it makes you uncomfortable.
You’re drawn to holistic methods of healing.
Reiki? Acupuncture? Tapping? You’re game. Could be because you feel a metaphysical presence that you’re trying to unpack and understand.
You’ve felt a deep connection to nature and animals.
Many empaths relay that being outdoors or with animals is remarkably grounding—especially because there’s an absence of negative energy from toxic friends or energy vampires.
You need your alone time.
Whether it’s in nature or cozying up in bed with some mindless TV, you definitely need to get away from it all in order to recharge and feel like yourself again.
If you still need more information, make sure you talk to a mental health professional.