Empaths are often described as highly sensitive people.
However, there is a difference between people who are overly sensitive because of the ego (also known as the false self, which imagines itself unworthy and separate from other people), trauma, and self-esteem issues versus people who are overly sensitive to the energy around them, the latter is known as being empathic.
Being empathic is a fairly common ability that more people are becoming aware of.
It's one of an Indigos strongest abilities and one of the most challenging to navigate. Providing self-help for Empaths is a tricky task.
Empaths are spongy to the energy around them. They are keenly aware of how someone else is feeling without the other person needing to speak a word.
They can pick up on the smallest cues. They can feel the truth or lack of truth behind other peoples words.
Now can't most people sense the emotions of others or read the energy of a room? Yes, but usually only when it's extreme or obvious.
Empaths can pick up on even the slightest of nuances that most people are oblivious too.
"Every human being emanates an energy field that corresponds to his or her inner state, and most people can sense it, although they may feel someone else’s energy emanation only subliminally. That is to say, they don’t know that they sense it, yet it determines to a large extent how they feel about and react to that person. Some people are most clearly aware of it when they first meet someone, even before any words are exchanged." - Eckhart Tolle
Being Empathic does not make you special. It is not a gift. It means you live in the present moment.
The reason this ability is not active in some people is because they live in their minds, a state of numbness, or are perpetually distracted.
Some people may consciously detach or disconnect from their own emotions. Many people have an aversion to feeling their own emotions, lest anyone else's.
"Empathy is not a state that is accessible to those that are afraid to feel negative emotion." - Teal Swan
Empaths get drawn to those that are suffering and frequently attract Energy Vampires.
We can sense when something is bothering someone and instead of letting someone suffer in silence we will often push them into expressing or dealing with what they are feeling.
We understand the release and relief of processing emotion, so much so that we try to do it for others.
The more honest you are about pain, the more it starts to diminish.
Sadness is an emotion most people try to escape from. Empaths will let it consume them.
In order to heal it, you must feel it.
Empaths have trouble functioning when there is any kind of disharmony between people.
We stress easily. We don't feel OK being around people who are unhappy.
When we detect something discordant we feel it is our job to fix it because we can't relax until we do.
If you find yourself being pestered by an Empath trying to get you to talk about what's wrong, it's best to just lay your cards on the table and don't bother lying because we can feel that too.