If you deeply feel emotions based on other people's experiences, you may be really empathetic — or you may have the gift of being an empath. Here's how to tell the difference.
What Is Empathy?
Empathy means you're in tune with the feelings and life circumstances of others. If you're an empathetic person, you may find yourself moved by a situation that someone else experiences.
This reaction often leads to an understanding and caring response. For instance, empathy allows you to respond with appropriate excitement or sadness when a friend gives you news of their own, even if you've never experienced the same type of situation. If you have regular empathy, your heart will go out to another person when you learn about their experiences, good or bad.
Being an Empath
There's ordinary empathy, and then there's being an empath. Being an empath is having empathy, but on a truly different level. An empath will absorb the feelings other people have.
Empaths can usually pick up on feelings even when the other person does not speak about them. You'll draw on subtle energy fields coming off of other people's bodies, having a strong sensory experience when this energy absorption occurs.
You will feel another person's emotions deeply, many times seeing your own mood and energy levels shift based on the joy, fear, or sadness of a person near you. Speaking with an online psychic can give you insight into your own abilities.
How to Determine If You Have Empathy or If You're an Empath
The biggest difference between being an empath and having empathy comes down to external cues. Regular empathy needs an external trigger. This might include seeing the look on a friend's face or getting a call from them where they describe what happened to them. Being an empath does not require this external clue.
If you're an empath, you'll just look at the energy someone else has, either consciously or subconsciously, and know what they are experiencing. Just like being a psychic medium is an intuitive gift, being an empath is a gift as well.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Yourself
If you can use your gift as an empath effectively, you can help heal your loved ones and your community, and even the wider world. However, it's so important to set healthy boundaries for yourself so that you can have the energy to use your gift.
Empaths tend to want everyone else to be happy, sacrificing their own well-being and acting too polite. You'll want to use time-management techniques so you don't overbook yourself. You might also try adding meditation into your daily routine, as this can help you stay grounded and calm. Going out to experience nature by yourself will also help you restore your sense of calm.
Figuring out if you're very empathetic or if you're truly an empath will help you set boundaries, freeing yourself to better help others in your life.