The Dark Side Of Empathy No One Talks About

The word “empathy” is a term used to describe the ability to recognize, live, share someone else’s feelings, sadness or joy, whether or not explicitly expressed.

Without it, a person cannot be capable of compassion, that is, an emotional reaction to someone else’s suffering.

In current language, empathy is often referred to as “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” and should not be confused with altruism, neither with compassion nor with sympathy, in other words, the sharing of similar feelings or emotions.

Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychotherapist and founder of the school of individual psychology, explained:

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.”

15 Signs Of An Empath 

#1 You Have An Open Mindman practicing a meditation in nature

Empaths have no problem learning new things about the world and actively seek out information not found in the mainstream news, TV shows, or movies.

They want to learn things considered weird or underground by society as a whole and find the everyday way of living too boring and restrictive. If you got restless and easily distracted in school and always felt like there was so much more out there to learn, you are most likely an empath.

#2 Inquisitive

You truly care about everything and everyone, so you are instinctively driven to ask questions or to do research to understand things and people on a deeper level.

#3 You Are Sensitive To Light And NoiseRead People’s Emotions

City noises, loud sirens, traffic, bright lights, and anything which carries with it a feeling of intensity, chaos, or possible confrontation puts you on high alert.

You may feel an aversion to city living, particularly if you find yourself surrounded by concrete and huge buildings without easy access to greenery or nature.

#4 You Are Fascinated By Metaphysical Topicshands cross energy sun

Whether unconsciously or consciously, you are interested in stuff like tarot, intuition, meditation, past lives (reincarnation), energy healing, or mediumship, etc. 

#5 Being in Crowded Places Overwhelms Youman alone in crowd rainning

You don’t like being in sporting events, malls, airports or other public places with crowds of people. You feel overly-excited and suffocated. You can’t wait to leave.

Important note – being in these crowded spaces is like being in a vortex of emotional chum. It takes real effort to remain calm and find your center.

#6 Downtime Doesn’t Feel Unproductive To Youwoman reading a book

One of the most fundamental characteristics of an empath is that you need time alone to recharge your batteries.

Whereas you get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with a stack of magazines and tea, this sort of downtime feels satisfying and necessary to you.

#7 You’re Often Told You’re “Too Sensitive”emotional woman

Friends, partners, and family members will frequently say you are ”too sensitive.”

This will be over your emotions and feelings surrounding other people and their problems, how you think others feel about you, or global issues.

#8 It’s Unbearable To Watch Cruelty, Violence, or Tragedy on TVdo not watch tv

Since you take on others’ feelings, watching movies where people or animals are being hurt or violent movies can feel unbearable to watch.

Note – exposure to violent and negative media may have serious and long-lasting psychological effects beyond simple feelings of disapproval or pessimism.

British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey said:

”Viewing negative news means that you’re likely to see your own personal worries as more threatening and severe.”

Dr. Graham Davey later added:

”When you do start worrying about them, you’re more likely to find your worry difficult to control and more distressing than it would normally be.”

#9 KnowingClairsentient woman meditation silent

You have a deep sense of knowing that is unquestionable and unwavering that comes with pinpoint accuracy in its description.

In addition, you are capable of reading others without obvious cues and can describe what’s really going on beneath the surface.

READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning Of Solar Eclipse

#10 Excellent Listenerman listening to a friend

You won’t talk about yourselves much unless it’s to someone you really trust. You love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning of a Double Yolk Egg

#11 People Feel Inclined To Offload Their Problems Onto Youman attentively listening a woman

Probably because you are a compassionate listener and have difficulty telling people “no.”

READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning of Butterfly Landing On You

#12 Love Of Animals And Nature

Being outdoors in nature is a must for you and pets are an essential part of your life.

READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning of Snake Bite in a Dream

#13 You Have A Need For Solitude

The background noise of another person’s energy is always palpable to you, even if no one is making noise or talking, which makes occasional solitude essential to your clearing and recharging your own batteries.

READ MORE: Empath Quotes

#14 You Can Tell When Someone Is Lying And Spot Fake Peopleliar man looking at woman

You can easily see beyond masks and find the real intentions of a person. You also can tell when people are lying but you will not say anything about it.

#15 You’ve Been Known As The “Peacemaker” Among Your Family And Friends

Bad energy is particularly draining for you, therefore, you will do what you can to keep the peace. Additionally, since you are in tune with others’ emotions, you are probably a pretty good mediator as well.

READ MORE: Empath vs Sociopath

The Dark Side Of EmpathyThe Dark Side Of Empathy

Unfortunately, empathy has some dark sides as well. Everyone thinks that the life of empaths is all butterflies and rainbows, that these people enjoy certain benefits, but it simply isn’t true.

The positive sides of empathy come together with other less good ones.

READ MORE: Types Of Empaths

3 Negative Aspects of Being An Empath:

Empath individuals are generally deep thinkers. These people think a lot in order to solve problems and usually consider that the solution to a problem lies in the problem itself.

They are the kind of people who do not fall asleep at night until they find an answer to the question that worries them. Often, the problems they think about are not even theirs.

Empaths get exhausted much faster than ordinary people and they often act like a sponge: they absorb the emotions of others.

This ability helps them understand other people, however, at the end of the meeting, instead of letting go of these emotions, empaths tend to keep some of them inside.

In addition, the ability to empathize with another person so intensely, continuously self-improving by trying to transpose oneself into that state, and then make efforts to find a solution to others’ problems, involves a lot of energy.

It is also a lot more complicated than it sounds and it’s unlikely to happen without leaving any sequelae.

READ THIS NEXT: Protection Stones For Empaths


43 thoughts on “The Dark Side Of Empathy No One Talks About”

  1. I am everything discerned as an empath, except! I enjoy horror movies. But I can’t handle the cruel and inhuman treatment of people or animals.

  2. This information is so spot on I usually never leaves a comment but I had to this time this is so me all the above

  3. It’s true. Being a Empath is a gift and a curse. The emotional roller coasters, anxiety (and dont know where it’s coming from), being overwhelmed and can’t explain it to someone who doesn’t know how you’re feeling. It makes you feel alone sometimes. But I’m glad there is people out there like me.

    • True. Being a empathy is a special gift. For our own good health we must learn to set boundaries. Setting boundaries with people empowers us to be our best selves. Boundaries also release us to avoid being emotionally drained.

    • I understand the roller coaster ride of being an empath…..It is a curse and a gift all wrapped into one. Most days for me more than none I feel like it’s a nightmare that I just can’t seem to wake up from, it’s almost like I am screaming and no one here’s me. My skin is constantly on fire and my mind won’t slow down. It’s like every molecule in my body is awakened…..

    • Me to but I need to learn how to heal my self I feel drain very oftain and many ppl don’t understand they feel I am just lazy

    • I feel the same my name is Amanda Quiggle and the only one on Facebook so if I weren’t different already being an empath my name is sure unique and one of a kind as well.. so I really feel alone at times more than any

  4. So after being in a relationship for five years with someone who always had me on edge empathy wise not angry thing she was like the energizer bunny of drama and upset so I have been single for quite a while because I am trying to reboot Can anybody give me pointers on how to do this

    • Are you sure she wasn’t a narcissist. I’ve found that for me I attract such people. I am take this coming year alone to reconnect myself to myself. Breath my friend.

  5. My whole life … I always thought there was something wrong with me!!! Everything I have read here is spot on… and I realize that I am not alone … and in good company … being an empath is GODS gift to me 😇

  6. Agree! It has a lot of truths in this article, I also like some one here wrote, I normally do not comment on postings with but I want to recognize all you other empathic people and say that we are just perfect the way we are, flawed n fabulous!

  7. Yes im pretty new to this but im getting the hang of it but its all making sense now i don’t mind being a healer i just wanna protect myself from absorbing others negativity and i been doing my research on crystals and stones and learning more about this as i come along

  8. I am almost 70 and I am just now putting the pieces of my life together. I have always been a empath and a highly sensitive person who had a parent with mental illness. I have always felt alone as though I fit in anywhere. Now, I have found others like myself that can identify with me. For maybe the first time in my life I am finally happy learning that this gift/curse is a good thing.

    • Oh my gosh! I’m going to be 58 soon and never realized there were other people like me or that there was a name for it. I guy I just never gave it much thought. Thank you, this explains so much.

  9. I’m going to be 52 this month. I’m also starting to realize I am an Empath and knowing their are others just like me, is unbelievable. Thank you! I have agonized with this gift/curse my entire life.

  10. I consider myself to be an empath but I’m not disturbed by violence or horror but am by certain types but what happens to me is I will speak to or have something with a person and be aware of a them feeding off my life force but being unable to do anything about it but feeling drained to the point of exhaustion and it taking days for me to feel myself again strange weird feeling

  11. My son and I are empaths; we are quite sensitive to the types of energy other people carry and are cautious about who we allow to come into our home. My son is creative and innovative; I am a writer and artist. We spend a lot of time reading and studying about subjects pertaining to the metaphysical and paranormal. Some years ago I was judged severely by ignorant, narrow-minded people who came from institutional religions that were oppressive and controlling; there are so many things our Lord taught that are consistently left out or overlooked by institutional religion; to be a partaker in such brings me down and takes time for me to recover. I am 74 years old (widowed) and my son, who is autistic, is 33. — Cheryl B. Montoya

  12. I am 62 years old and I now have a name for who I am. For many years the empath feelings are steadily becoming stronger. I have always felt that I was becoming more aware of emotions and people. I feel these things deep in my soul. I’ve always been told to listen to your gut feelings, they are true. Friends have had situations and they have wanted me to share my thoughts and opinions. I’m usually spot on with my predictions of how things will work out. I used to think it was just life experiences because I’m getting older and hopefully wiser.

  13. I have become a recluse, or as what most people call me, an anti social bitch. I choose to stay away from people because I know when they are up to no good. I can’t explain how, I just know, and I have never been wrong. I can walk past someone and I know. And it saddens me that the bad people now seem to outnumber the good. The only positive point is that I can defend myself from bad situations. Other than that bring an empathy is a curse, it’s destroyed my marriage. My husband, who blindly believes that everyone that’s nice to him is his friend, felt that I was trying to keep him from having any ‘friends’ and eventually left me. I was only trying to protect him. He is currently serving time in prison now, for the second time, because he chose to believe his ‘friends’ over me.
    But i am thankful to know, thanks to these articles, that I am not crazy, like I spent my whole life being told. And I may live alone, but I’m not alone.

  14. I have always known I was different, and never really seem to fit in. In the last several years, I have been working to embrace and understand me. I am an empath with other gifts as well. It runs deep on both sides of my family. My daughter is also and empath. I believe her baby daughter is gifted as well. The more I learn, the better I feel. I am not weird, I am me.

    • All my life I knew I was different, and it’s only been about the last 5years I knew there was a name for it . My biggest problem with being an empathy is when I can look at someone and know everything coming out of their mouths is a lie. I don’t know how to disassociate. It makes me angry , I feel betrayed if I’m not close to the person it’s easier to let go of but I have a lot of trust issue’s anyway,if anyone has advice on how to let go of some of the anger . Thanks

  15. I seem to tick all these boxes, except I feel closer to animals and nature more than people and being in large crowds doesn’t always make me feel anxious. I am also more social than this seems to indicate and love horror movies and movies about true crime.


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