How Do You Know if You are an Empath?

I’ve always thought that I wasn’t normal, until I realized that some of my emotions may be due to being slightly empathic. I cannot watch movies that are sad because I start sobbing hysterically. I absolutely cannot watch those spca commercials where the animals look so sad or feed the children commercials. Its really embarrassing trying to watch a movie with other people. Or if someone cries in front of me I get extremely emotional and start crying myself.

I cannot be in crowds. If I do go into large crowds I start having panic attacks. I’m very susceptible to others moods. If someone is in a really rotten mood it effects me before they even speak. I start to feel very irritated or angry. I always have good instincts about people. I can usually tell if someone is really bad the instant that I meet them. I just get a creepy feeling, or either I feel very drawn to someone only later to find out that they’re a really great person.

The problem that I’m dealing with is that I am a Christian, and I’m very confused about the paranormal. I realize that mainstream Christianity teaches that psychic abilities are demonic, and that all hauntings are demonic. I’m not a catholic, but I tend to think that they are correct in their philosophies regarding the paranormal. It seems that many of them accept the paranormal and that not all hauntings are demonic, but I don’t know what their theology is concerning these things. I cannot understand how a person can hang around after they die. I’ve always been taught that you either go to heaven or hell.

I have a very strong religious conviction, and honestly I can’t find anything in the bible that outright says that it’s demonic. I know that Samuel banished all of the mediums and seers from the land of Israel. So why are Catholics more open minded about this? If anyone could help to clear some of this up for me I would so appreciate it. I really struggle with thinking that I’m believing something that isn’t pleasing to God, and I’m just confused.

I really am not interested in anyone trying to persuade me into believing any other religious beliefs. I only want someone who is also a Christian and has had these same struggles to clarify for me. And please don’t think that I am judging anyone here or their experiences because of my religious beliefs.

I have been reading stories on this site for a couple of years now, and this is the first time that I’ve written or asked for help. I really don’t want to insult anyone, and I really don’t want to be insulted. That’s not why I’m here. But I really need help! I need help in learning to control these emotions as well, if that is even what is going on with me.

Thanks everyone, and I love this site. I’ve really enjoyed the many stories that I’ve read!

Asked by Stacie

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  1. Hi Stacie,

    What you described sounds so much like myself! I have the same background and was raised with the same beliefs, and I really enjoy this site also, I have always been drawn to the paranormal but like yourself, kept reserved.
    I posted my first comment about a couple of weeks ago, about young souls, I have many questions too and you took the words right out of my mouth. The regulars like Ama, Caretaker, Keith and many others to me are very sincere and level headed, I enjoy this site very much, good folk who gives there opinions and insight without judging, that is something I appreciate alot. My ex husband and I pastored many churches in the Church of God, it is a pentecostal church, and we have come upon what I would call imps, and other evil things, but we felt strong in our faith and would rebuke them… there is more to what we have been through but about the empaty part, I get the same feelings, like my heart will burst and I sometimes feel guilty when I try to turn it off, its not something you can do and struggle with it until the burden is lifted and try to go on. I hope you get the answers you are looking for, because that would help me too.. I am very slow to wade out into new territory, but like I said, the regulars are so nice and sincere that I do pay attention to what they have to say on the different subjects brought up here.

    Take care,

  2. Hi Stacie, hello Fawnna :-)

    I’m Ama Nazra and I’m a Christian Metaphysican. That means I hold God and Jesus Christ first and foremost in my life, but I also have an open mind and understand a lot about how the spiritual energy of our bodies work.

    The Catholics and other Christian groups don’t have that much difference in their beliefs, some are just more vocal about demons than others – the Catholics are as intense as the Protestants, just in a quieter way. The foundations of the faiths are the same, Jesus Christ in everything, but then .. they go off in all sorts of different directions. Just so you know, I chose to be Anglican for two reasons, the main one was because my Grandmother really wanted me to change from being Methodist (my father’s religion) to hers .. and my mother’s, which I did at 29, the other was because the Methodists had booted me out of sunday school at 9, for saying that Jesus didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes, and God loved everyone.

    All my life I have been able to see (hear, touch) things that lots of people can’t. I struggled with this, because I knew what the bible said about folk like me, and I didn’t want to be different, particularly as a child, but my childhood was unusual anyway, and often a challenge, and it has helped create my greatest strengths – tolerance, kindness .. bad temper? LOL Hmm.. ok, rework that as ‘determination’ and it might be better, but I do have temper, not as much as when I was young, but its still there, and useful for extra energy when I need it. I also learned that love and forgiveness are gifts to us from God, so I try to go into every situation with that in mind.

    When it comes to be able to sense things that other people don’t seem to .. like getting knocked out in the supermarket (oh I don’t like shopping), I learned about survival mechanisms, which is what emapthy actually is. You see, if you can ‘feel’ what another person is feeling, it might give you some clue to what they might do next. This particularly works in dangerous situation .. so empathy is not a tool of the dark, its actually a natural gift the majority of all people have .. I say that because in most cases sociopaths don’t have it. Empathy also allows us to help others, when they cannot express in words how they are feeling .. you just walk up, say hi and give them a hug, and it might be life-changing for them .. and you never knew they needed it .. or maybe you ‘sensed’ they did, on some unconscious level, or if you recognise your gift, you simply ‘knew’ they needed it.

    Empathy out of control, which a lot of people have these days, is a real problem, as both you and Fawnna know, Stacie. That’s why we had to develop a protection of sorts. A lot of the time we do it naturally .. we stay away from places that cause us pain, but what do we do when we ‘have’ to go to somewhere like the supermarket? We ‘gird our loins’ (how’s that for an old fashioned phrase), what that means is that we ‘get ourselves ready by tensing up’. What happens when we tense up .. our natural energy, which is called aura, that exists all around us, draws in closer to our bodies, and thickens up along the edge. Now, holding this tensenss can take all the fun out of a day, so let’s try something simpler.

    Up on the right on this page is a link to White Light Shields. It only takes a little imagination but will make a real difference. It involves an egg and a request to God’s angels, the Michael, to help you help yourself. Follow the link and read it and you can either ask me questions here, or privately from an email link on the site itself. Since you are asking Archangel Michael for help, you are not asking the dark for anything. The angels are written about in the bible and we know they take care of us.

    How do you know you are empathic .. when you can feel what others feel, often to the point of drowning in their sorrow, or their happiness. When you walk into an empty room and just ‘know’ people have been arguing there. When you walk through a dark night and get sense there are people around you that you cannot see, but I don’t recommend testing that one these days. When you act for Love and give someone a hug ‘just because’ .. and so many other reasons. It’s all about love.

    The gift called Clairsentience is when you can ‘sense’ emotions but are not swept up in them. That is empathy in balance. When you forget the shields and don’t suffer in the big shopping centres, as I did today .. wow! You will know you have a better control over your energy. Nice. :-)

    One last comment .. it bugs me when people think every ghost is a demon .. believe me, they are not. Some are just really nice people who haven’t gone to heaven yet. And yes, they do hang around, usually for reasons they think are very good. We try to send them Home when they look for us. I am a medium, of sorts, but I am a Spirit Rescuer, I don’t just ask them for messages to prove that life continues after death, I already know that. :-)

    Love & Peace

    • You know Ama, you would make a great teacher, I think I read where you do teach somewhere, but I’m in WV and doubt I’ll ever be able to make it to one of your classes lol…
      Maybe you’d consider an online study, like a 101 class, something to teach correct terms and exactly what they mean, a simple follow along study guide would be great. Just thought I’d throw that out there :) ..
      Thank you for the explanation, I plan on trying what you suggested, hope I get it right.


      • Hi Fawnna,

        I used to teach classes when I had the healing centres. I have not done that down here in Victoria (I moved state nearly 3 years ago) for various good reasons – I needed a break. I have an angel course online, but not a ghost one. I did teach one for a while. LOL I know I am supposed to get back into it .. I am just happily procrastinating until we move house and find somewhere more permanent to live (probably the middle of this year) .. although being on CareTaker’s site really can’t be called procrastination, one way or another. LOL

        Thank you,
        Love & Peace

    • Thank you for the reply, Ama. I will definitely check out the link that you suggested. And thank you as well, Fawnna. :)

      One other question, if I may. I haven’t had any paranormal encounters. Do most people with the gift of empathy also see or hear spirits? That confuses me a little. I guess i just assumed that if you were empathic, you would also have other psychic abilities. Again, thank you. You have been very helpful.


      • Hi Stacie,

        Empathy is feeling other people’s emotions, it is not clairaudience (hearing) or clairvoyance (seeing), so unless a person has those gifts they will only ‘feel’ a ghost’s feelings, but generally not be able to see or hear them. Clairsentice, the flip side of empathy, allows a person to sense when a ghost is around, without being swamped by their emotions. If you ever get into a situation where you think you are feeling something spooky, like the temperature drops, or you suddenly feel a heavy weight on you .. ask your guardian angel to clear your energy. “Archangel Michael, if there is someone around me in spirit, clear them from my energy”. The Michael know what to do, and you will instantly notice a difference, you won’t have to wonder ‘if’ it happened.

        You are welcome.
        Love & Peace

      • Hello Stacie,
        I am a Catholic and I have read Ama’s response over your post. No offense intended, if you’re seeking what the Catholic church teaches about departed souls please do know that it is very far from what Ama had posted about the subject.
        The bible states clearly that the soul once it leaves the body it is destined either to Heaven or Hell. It does not “hang around” to become a gost. Jesus told the Good Thief “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Today he said, and not some other day in the future. Earth is land of the livings and not of the dead. But it is also as Jesus said the kingdom of the Devil, and thus the Catholics believe that ALL spirits wandering around on Earth are demons. It as simple as that. When Jesus casted the demons out he never stopped to think : Oh wait those could be “Good spirits”. He knew that only demons would roam the Earth. No ” Good Ghosts” would do that because they have a [lace set for them in Heaven in the presence of our Lord Jesus. And the not so ” Good Ghosts” have chosen to live away from God and as such are bound to Hell.
        Dear Stacie I can only imagine how it feels to be so sensitive, but it is a blessing I think because it makes you understand how the Christ feels towards us all with his endless sympathy and Love for the human kind. It kind of explains why he had chosen to die for us and save us. You should lay all your burden on Him, and confine into him all those people that you might feel they need help. Because He is our Father. Please restrain from any occult activities as none of the saints was it St Peter or St Paul or any other have used their gifts other than in living in the love of Jesus. Those talks about the aura give me the creep, Jesus is our shield not some aura.
        Sincerly, Michel.

        • Hi Michael,

          Just a thought .. doesn’t the bible say that all people, after they die, lie in the ground awaiting the return of Christ, when they will be judged and ‘then’ sent to heaven or hell? So, technically, they are hanging around the planet, well, lying around .. not doing much – which is why the Witch of Endor was able to raise Samuel to come and talk to Saul. Also, when Jesus died ‘many bodies of the saints who had ‘fallen asleep’ were raised’ (Matt 27:52). We don’t know if they looked like living people or ghosts .. but they terrified the ‘centurion and those with him’ (Matt 27:54). Were they evil demons pretending to be people .. that makes the bible wrong, because it says ‘saints’.

          In the meantime, its lovely to know you know exactly what Jesus was or wasn’t thinking about ghosts when he cast the demons out of the ‘demoniacs’ .. the word ‘demoniac’ in my bible means ‘a person possessed by demons’, they spoke to him first, and they were living in tombs, away from the populace, so it was pretty easy to see the people had problems. I wouldn’t have stopped to wonder if they were good ghosts either. (Matt 8:28-32) IMO, this is not a good passage to judge what Jesus did or didn’t think about ghosts or spirits.

          I speak from my experience of 45+ years of contact with ghosts, spirits, angels and demons.

          Love & Peace

  3. Hello there Stacie.I just want to let you know I am an empath as well as a Christian and a 14 year old.I’m not very experianced here so bere with me.Have you prayed to God about this?Because I’ll have you know this is a gift, not a curse, although sometimes I think it is.Please remember God gives us all our talents for a reason.I suggest you visit some websites here on the web and try to find out what kind of empath you are.I just learned about empaths a couple of months ago so I’m learning too.I also have some questions for you.After talking to someone who’s upset do they feel fantastic and you horrible?Do you get headaches often?Do you have someone you can talk to about this?Is anyone else in your family like you?Please answer these questions if you can.

    • Hi Kaitlin. I do feel as though empathy is a gift of the Holy Spirit. I guess it’s just that when people talk about it, it’s usually in terms of being a “psychic phenomenon”. I’ve definitely never heard of “the gift of empathy” when researching and trying to learn of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

      And yes, I have been told that I’m a good listener, and i do feel drained after a particularly emotional experience. I have always been a somewhat shy person, so it’s a little difficult for me to initiate a conversation with a stranger. I try to avoid meeting new people because it often feels awkward for me, which is something else i’ve never understood about myself. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with this, or if i’m just socially awkward. I guess if you’ve lived your whole life picking up on others emotions you automatically assume that people can do the same with you? I remember often being puzzled when i realized that others don’t pick up on stuff about other people. Like my husband, for instance. If a friend of his drops by and when they leave I’ll say, “so what’s wrong with him? He seems as if something is really bothering him?” He usually says that he has no clue what i mean, and that the person seemed perfectly fine to him. For a long time I just thought that other people were clueless or unobservant. It was a really long time before i realized other people weren’t as sensitive to others emotions as me. Or if i walk into a room and someone is angry or just in a bad mood, i would instantly pick up on it and sometimes i might wonder if I had done something to upset them. Since I’m the one noticing and no one else is, does that mean that they are projecting it towards me? Is what i often thought. And it would happen so often that i learned to avoid people. It’s very difficult for me to explain. And yes, I believe that my sister has empathic abilities. Although i have never mentioned this to her. She, on the other hand, is very outgoing and seems to draw people to her. She has no problem initiating conversations or approaching a stranger, lol. She is always the first person that i want to talk to if something is bothering me. We are very in tune with one another. She often calls and after I’ve said nothing more than “hello”, she might say “what’s wrong?”.

      And headaches…. I get them every day. It’s a good day when a headache doesn’t turn into a full blown migraine. I have children, and what drains me is picking up on their every mood. Theirs and my husbands.

      Thanks for taking the time to ask, and i wish you the best of luck in trying to figure out how to not let this beat you down. I wish that i had suspected this at a younger age. If i had learned to deal with it a long time ago, it definitely would have saved me the trouble of constantly feeling as though i was on a constant emotional rollercoaster and ofteh thinking that something was wrong with me.

      Have a great day Kaitlin. Hope we talk again soon. :)

      • Hello again Stacie,
        I felt the same way.I can always tell when someones upset.It seems for me the closer I am to a person the better I am at knowing how they feel.I’m so close to one of my friends that whenever she gets a headache I get one to.Unfortunately she gets them quite often, lol.

        I can be shy at times and then brash at others.I often wondered before if I was bipolar, because my mother is as well as being empathetic.Also there are tons of empaths out there, I also believe that many are spiritual or just regular healers, because they get along with people so well.My best advice to you should be keep as much drama as possible out of your life.

        I’m very happy to talk with you and hopefully I’ll be able to answer future questions. May your days be happy, plentiful, and prosperous dear Stacie.(Gosh I sound like a minister or something!)

      • Hi Stacie,

        Where in your head do you get the headaches? Have you been to a chiropractor? I do recommend them. I throw my neck out from time to time, and they are a great help. They realign our spines and it does make a difference.

        If the headaches are in the front of your forehead .. brow chakra .. the white light shields really will help.

        Love & Peace

  4. I am the same way! I feel and have felt all those feelings too! I’m interested to know what it is!

  5. Hi Stacie,

    I am a Christian as well as an empath, so the two are not mutually exclusive. I consider it to be a gift from God, because it enables me to help those around me. I also do not like crowds and I do not watch tv or movies that contain too much drama, because of how they effect me.

    I find myself very sensitive to negative energy. If I am not careful, I will absorb all of it and hold it inside until I just about go crazy. That is what used to happen to me, until I figured out what was going on with me.

    I have the ability to take some of the emotional pain of others. This is a gift with a price. If I am not careful, it can make me ill. I have to make sure that when I do help someone this way, I do not hold onto the pain, because it is not mine. I have to allow myself to release it.

    Ever since I was a child, I have been able to feel what other people are feeling. I have also been able to know what they need. My mom said I used to write people notes all the time and get special little gifts for them. The people at church would come up to her and tell her what I had done and how it was just what they needed.

    All that to say, you are not alone. If you have any questions feel free to ask. :)


  6. Hi there im also sensitive and very “intune”. I can look at a person and just know gift yes wonderful! A curse oh my! I have friends who want me to meet there new “boys” and ask me what i get from them drives me a little nuts sometimes! Lol but just follow your tummy! I have gotten good at it actauly but i try to keep to myself now after a mishap of a friend not listing to me. Its not fun in crowds oh this is true! If i go to a fair or our state fair where i live i cant go into to croweded areas i go into very bad panick attacks! Now im not affraid of crowds i love people and people whatching but crowded areas get to me i normally have to run away to catch my breathe and thoughts. But do enjoy it hard at times oh goodness yes. Easy i would disagree a blesding of course good luck and enjoy it! You can really bond with people alot better!


  7. there are earth bound sprits ed and Lorraine warren were catholic paranormal investigators and demonologist and they believe in ghost

  8. Hi All

    Some excellent input on this question.

    Being empathic is a normal human quality and is a good thing because it says you are a normal human being. Some people are TOO sensative and take things to heart – not good – empathise but move on or you are creating an unnecessary emotional problem for yourself, it’s something one can train oneself to do.

    Forget about what you should or should not believe – But always remember to do unto others as you would unto yourself and you won’t go wrong in this life or in the afterlife. :-)

  9. Stacie,
    It is possible to be an Empath and a Christian, however, depending on what branch of Christianity you belong to, you may feel more or less concern or even guilt, about your empathic gifts. Many Christians, who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, hold that any spiritual gift which is not used in a Church situation,is from the Devil, being an attempt to deceive us.
    The trouble with this belief is that it fails to explain the gifts and abilities which you may have, as a practising Believer with a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Having spent three years at Bible College, born again, spirit filled, etc., I realised that, by all the standards I had been taught, from the Bible, to apply to judge my own spiritual encounters with the unseen world, each instance failed to deliver the expected denial of Christ, His Divinity, the Bible’s veracity, whatever.
    I also realised that what I was doing at College and in the Ministry, was just what others were doing outside the Church and what I had always felt and sensed.
    It seems to me that a lot of Christians are rigidly adhering to a particular viewpoint regarding this whole area. Many have never had experience of psychic phenomena, or Mediumship and find it difficult to think critically, outside of their pre conceived notions of what is and is not of God and what they label as Demonic deception.
    This makes it very difficult for people like you and I, whose spiritual or psychic gifts refuse to conform to what the Church and the Bible say they should.
    I would pray for a balance of the Fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit and that you are in God’s perfect will.
    As for being an Empath, being overly sensitive to others’ emotions, the atmosphere around you and so forth, means you are an empath. However, it does not mean you have to live your life permanently ‘on’ so to speak.
    Any good development group or teacher will help you with being able to hide your little antennae, so to speak, when you are out shopping etc.
    God gave each of us gifts and He surely intended that we use them to help others and bring honour to Him. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth, convict you of sin and you can rely on Him absolutely.
    I can only advise you to keep your eyes on the Lord, always act from a place of love and non judgement and reassure yourself that “The voice of a stranger, (you) shall not follow”. We do not have all the answers: Life is not all wrapped up, neatly and simply, with a perfect bow: We only think we know what this life is all about, according to the Word of God: Perhaps we have got it all horribly wrong! Who knows? I do hope that this reply helps you some.

  10. Hi Stacie,

    When I read your post, I feel as though it is I, myself, that wrote this post!!! It actually gives me the chills to read about someone like you, that feels as deep as I do!!!

    I grew up an only child, and I always knew that I was different from everyone else that I ever met!!! I always felt, from a very young age, possibly as young as three years old, that I can feel things to a level that most people do not feel. I actually vibrate on a different plaine all together!!!

    I absolutly love animals more then anything on this planet, because they are the purest, most innocent creatures, and I feel their unconditional un judgemental love to a degree, that I can not explaine to most people because they would not understand. The pets that I have had in my life were always my best friends because we could feel each others emotions, its hard to put into words. Animals are very intune with their surroundings and their owners, they are pure angels !!! I feel way more connected to animals, then people, and I have always felt that way !!!

    I believe that people who are empaths, like us are very lonley people deep inside unfortunatley. I shouldn’t speak for others, but I can tell you that it has always been that way for me, and I have had to fight depression for most of my life !!!

    When I see a sad show, like the abused animal ads, I literally start to feel my throat tighten up to the point where I can’t talk, and I have to leave the room as my eyes well up and I burst into tears as I can litterally feel their pain and sadness. If someone says something sacastic or mean regarding my responce to this, I will completely go off on them verbally, and I will not tollerate anyone who wants to make fun of me over it, because to me, it is repulsive to think that someone could hurt or miss treat an innocent animal!!!

    I have always been very careful my whole life, never to say anything mean to a person who is handicapped or that had any kind of dissfigurement. I could allways feel their pain, and could understand how they felt. I noticed that other people did not have the same level of respect for other peoples feelings that I did.I felt very alone and could never understand why most people are so cold !!!

    when I was around three years old, I remember going to europe with my mother, and we spent quite some time visiting several different grave yards, as most of my mothers family were deceased and barried there. I distinctly remember walking around several other graves and touching the headstones as a child and becomeing overwhelmed with grief and sobbing over these graves!!! I knew nothing of the people that were barried there, but yet I could feel the saddness of the relatives of the deceased that grieved over their deaths. I now understand that what I felt was the residual energy of the sad emotions that were left there at these grave sites. I remember distinctly, my mother asking me why I was crying over graves of people that I did not even know, and I remember not knowing how to answer her. All that I could say was that I felt terrible for them, and mind you, I was no older then three or four years old! I remember my mom was really perplexed by my display of overwhelming sorrow and tears for a dead person that neither one of us knew!!!

    I also remember always being sort of a sickly child, and when I say sickly, I don’t mean just the commen colds and flu, that most kids get.I feltdizzy and dissoriented at times with waves of nausia and severe headaches, that the doctors could never figure out the cause!!! It was almost what they now call chronic fatigue, but a three year old should not have those type of illnesses at such a young age. The more I read about my symptoms, the more I begin to understand that what I was possibly feeling was bad energy or vibrations, from the environment. I believe that people like us are more prone to feeling ill, then others. The doctors couldn’t figure it out because it had to do with my abilities, something they do not understand!!!

    I also believe that we are magnets to the spirit world, because we are open and sensitive! I can get more into this, but I would have to write a book in order to explaine exactly what I believe!!!

    I experianced very frightening paranormal phenommina at a very young age. I believe that empaths are open gates,if you will, to the spirit world !!! I believe that we unfortunatly attract malevolent spririts, without our knowledge because demons are attracted to the innocents of our souls, and therefor try and turn us to the dark side. This is something that can be dangerous, and we must always be aware of this, and keep our guard up throughout life !!! What keeps us strong and keeps us safe, is the simple fact that empaths are good people, and have good loving and careing hearts and we are strong!

    To get a better understanding of some of the paranormal things that I have experianced in my childhood, you can read Haunted by Shadow dogs, in which I am the author. You can read this story on this web site, True ghost

    It is comforting to know that there are other people like us out there!!!

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