Empaths, or highly sensitive people, make up about 15-20% of the population according to Dr. Elaine Aron, who first coined the phrase in 1996. Empaths simply see and feel the world much more deeply, but have been misunderstood and mistaken in the past for being social anxious, extremely shy, introverted, and even fearful. However, empaths just process the world around them differently than other people; they get overwhelmed easily by stimuli, and need ample time alone to readjust and regain internal balance.
If you identify as an empath, you have probably heard people tell you to “stop being so sensitive” or “just grow up already.” However, you shouldn’t have to hide your empathic nature or apologize for your demeanor simply because others don’t understand it. Empaths sometimes feel as though they live in a totally different dimension from others, and for this reason, usually feel accepted and comfortable only amongst each other.
Here are 8 things only empaths can understand:
1. They need ample alone time.
Empaths get drained from too much external stimulation, so they need time to recalibrate themselves and restore their energy levels. They would rather spend time in solitude than with others in most instances, simply because doing too much with other people drains them immensely. This doesn’t mean they don’t like people, but rather, empaths just obtain their energy from quiet time alone.
2. Empaths feel all emotions deeply.
Sadness, happiness, fear, distress…all of these are felt intensely by empaths. Sometimes, they feel as though they can’t control their emotions, and even feel cursed by their ability to feel things so deeply. However, they also understand that they possess a rare gift, and cherish it even during times when they feel overwhelmed by their emotions. Many people in their lives have probably told them to grow a thicker skin and toughen up, but this doesn’t phase them.
3. They don’t like confrontation.
Empaths would much rather talk things out rationally or avoid the situation altogether than hash things out in a heated confrontation. They don’t like upsetting people, and since they feel emotions on such a deep level, their pain is amplified a thousand times over. Their nervous system gets overwhelmed easily, so they would much rather sort things out in a calm manner.
4. They feel totally misunderstood by most people.
Empaths make up a considerable part of the population, but most empaths feel as though other people simply can’t relate to them. They don’t typically enjoy small talk and “normal” conversation, but would rather jump right in to deep, thought-provoking topics. They also don’t always show their emotions to people, which leads people to misunderstand and mislabel them as “aloof,” “shy,” or “indifferent,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They just have a different operating system installed in their brains, which makes them behave in their own unique way.
5. Empaths feel drawn to creative and artistic endeavors.
Because most empaths feel that people cannot understand them, they immerse themselves in the arts. As long as they understand themselves and can find happiness doing something on this planet, they feel balanced and comforted. Arts speak to them in a way that people cannot, so they use their creativity as an outlet for their deep emotions.
6. They don’t like crowded or noisy places.
As we said before, empaths can become quickly inundated by all the stressors and stimulation present in loud, busy environments, so they tend to avoid these places. They will go to them if they have to, but they generally don’t hang out in them for too long if they can avoid it. Malls, grocery stores, and any bright, noisy places don’t accommodate empaths very well, so they’d rather stick to nature, small coffee shops, or just any place where they can hear their own thoughts clearly and process things at their own pace.
7. They find themselves in nature.
To them, nature is medicine. Empaths relish in the chance to explore nature and escape the modern world for a while, because nature heals them. It understands them without them having to say a word, and empaths feel a strong pull to protect the environment and bring it back into alignment. They feel most connected, free, and comfortable in the great outdoors, and escape into nature as much as possible.
8. Empaths can relate easily to what others are going through.
Even though they don’t like being around large groups of people, intimate settings where they can have a deep conversation with someone make empaths extremely happy. They live to connect and feel on a powerful level, and if they can do this with someone, they feel they have served their purpose. They want to help as many people as possible, which can sometimes drain their energy, but they know they have come here for a specific reason. Empaths realize that they have an innate gift to use their intuition and motherly energy to help heal others, and receive great joy from being able to listen to someone else and guide them through their problems.