What's It Like Being an Empath?

Imagine everywhere you go, from taxi drivers to store clerks to servers to absolute strangers to close friends divulging everything to you. Immediately they feel like they can. You sometimes don’t say a word and let the outpour continue. They tell you everything in their heart, their traumas, their greatest heartbreaks, their worst wrongdoings. Your presence is disarming, and it wasn’t until your mid twenties did you realize this wasn’t anything near what most people dealt with.

Some will tell you thank you, with a surprised look in their eyes. Some will stare at you with eyes stained deep red, as if you touched the forgotten corner in their hearts. Some won’t say anything at all as if you owed it to them. But you can always tell when their performative nature is replaced by a calm serenity. The child inside has found their protector, someone who wants to fight for them when they were too vulnerable to fight their own battles.

You constantly walk around carrying the burden of others. At this point in your life, having faced this your entire life, you hold it in without saying much. Your internal mechanisms have refined to a point where it doesn’t get to you as deeply anymore. But at one point it did. You were known as a teen to be erratic because the constant flood of other people’s emotions messed with your own. You constantly put the feelings of others before yours because it’s not even a choice. You act as a barometer in environments, picking up not only on who is dominant, but what the majority feels.

People have come to know your ability to acutely articulate their most convoluted feelings. Yet you mostly have no idea how you feel half, if not most, of the time, because you never get the opportunity to address your own pure feelings.

Your insights about others surprise even yourself. They’re uncanny. No matter how much you doubt your assessments, they always prove themselves right because you see the core of a person, something that most people miss.

Welcome to my life.

And this is why you feel intuitively that I have your best interest at heart always. My influence is strong, one that I brush off no matter how many times I hear it, but inside, in my core, I know. As long as it’s helping and you feel once in your life that you feel connected, understood, accepted, I will offer it.

The only caveat is that I must feel respected too. I need the energy and care reciprocated. I know now at this point, I deserve that at the very least.