Being Empathic Versus Being an Empath

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There is a significant difference between the adjective empathic, which is widely recognized by the mainstream world, and the noun empath which is only now gaining recognition.

Being empathic (or empathetic) means a personal identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others. Tell me what you are going through, and I can empathize if I have gone through the same or a very similar life experience. The term is usually only used in the context of a conscious awareness between two people who are visually or verbally connected.

Being an empath means having the ability to experience the feelings and emotions of other people as if they were your own. There may be no conscious awareness by you, the empath, of the person whose emotions you are feeling. That person may be standing next to you in a grocery store but equally they not even be in the same town as you. The emotions may feel like yours. Your mind will try to justify them as yours. You will feel the emotions in your body as if they are yours. But they are NOT yours; they are THEIRS.

If we think those feelings are of our own creation, inevitably we look to fix them. Naturally enough, it is futile to attempt to fix an issue that is not ours to fix.

Personally, I like this distinction between Being Empathic Versus Being an Empath.

The challenge is that talking about being an Empath makes it sound like some people are Empaths and other people aren’t. In reality, it is a broad spectrum.  Some people are very sensitive to other people’s emotions, others barely notice at all. My suspicion is that we are all born empaths. Most people have this socialized out of them long before they graduate high school. Some of us needed this ability as a survival mechanism for our dysfunctional families.

The next video in this series will help you answer the question “Am I an Empath?”

Thank you for watching this one.

Thank you for listening to this talk. Thank you for helping yourself learn to become a thriving empath.

For more videos see … Thriving Empath Videos