Are You a Super Empath? A Few Things You Should Know
In this article we are going to talk about the super empath.
The empath life is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it’s often all heart with the overwhelming emotions that come with the experience of being highly sensitive to everyone and everything around you. You don’t have an off switch, so you’re on all the time — constantly reading the room.
We know there are different types of empaths. I’ve written about dark empaths, intuitive empaths, sigma empaths, and heyoka empaths.
I’ve even written about how experiencing trauma can overlap with the empath experience. Today, we’ll dive into the life of the super empath to discover how it’s different and what signs to monitor.
Meaning of Super Empath
An empath is a person who experiences the emotions of others as if it were their own. A super empath is just what you likely suspect: it’s like being an empath with the volume turned all the way up.
It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? It often is.
Many empaths see the gift as either a blessing or a curse, and to be fair, it could be either one depending on your perspective and choices. Let’s take a look at 12 signs you might be a super empath.
Signs You May Be a Super Empath
1. You Possess Mirror-Sensory Synaesthesia
Science has confirmed the existence of super empaths who possess mirror-touch synaesthesia. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?
What it means is that 1–2% of the population can touch someone and experience it as if they are the one being touched.
Surprisingly, many of the people who have mirror-touch synaesthesia don’t even realize they have it.
They might be overwhelmed most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that they have separated the experience to understand it. For them, it’s just the way they are, but it’s a key sign that you are a super empath.
2. You Have to Work to Separate Your Individual Experience
Super empaths are often capable of identifying their specific emotional experience, but it takes practice.
In the beginning, it’s likely a struggle to identify what you’re feeling because you’re also experiencing the feelings of other people at the same time.
It’s a muddle, and you’re tasked with separating which emotions belong to you and which belong to other people.
Because the boundaries are blurred, super empaths often have to work harder than the average person — or average empath — to find the lines between “self” and “other”.
Yet, distinguishing between them is essential for the mental health and wellbeing of a super empath. Learning to differentiate the emotional experiences can help you own your feelings while allowing others the freedom to own and express theirs.
Otherwise, you just might have a tendency to lose yourself.
Recommended read: 8 Signs You Are a True Empath: The Power of Compassion
3. You Experience Frequent Overwhelm
One key sign that you might be a super empath is that you experience the feeling of being overwhelmed most of the time. Super empaths need more self-care than the average person.
Experiencing so much sensory input from the environment and people around you can put a strain on you. It’s natural that you’d find it overwhelming — even alarming at times.
You’re unlikely to gravitate toward crowds or negative people because you know that doing so carries the risk that you’ll be adversely affected.
You’d much rather keep your circle small and your environment as free from negativity as possible. In fact, you may have even had to let go of friends or family members who could not respect these boundaries.
4. You Strongly Value Truth and Authenticity
The super empath strongly values truth and authenticity. They act as natural lie detectors, but they also are drawn to people who aren’t afraid to be themselves.
When you experience everything around you, it can be stressful to have to sort through someone’s lies in addition to their true feelings. You’ll likely sense immediately when someone isn’t being honest — even with themselves.
Because you value truth and authenticity, you’re usually the kind of friend who will tell the truth even if it hurts.
You’re consistently kind, but you’re not going to tell a friend you like their new partner when you really think they aren’t good for your friend.
Your honesty earns you respect, trust, and admiration of those around you, but it can drive away fair-weather friends who only want to be told what they want to hear.
5. You Don’t Get Locked into Rigid Thinking
Super empaths have a key quality that you don’t want to overlook. They are able to keep an open mind and change their thinking if they discover better information.
A big part of this comes from the fact that they don’t really judge others.
It makes sense if you think about it. If you experience other people’s emotions, you’re more likely to see their perspective and withhold judgment.
This makes you innately more open-minded, and you’re unlikely to cling to outdated beliefs. Your flexible mind factors in other people’s experiences as being as valid as your own.
6. You Use Your Gifts to Heal and Contribute to the World
Super empaths are likely to use their gifts for healing.
This is one sign that seems obvious but often isn’t. You might not have a healing career, but if you’re a super empath, something that you’re doing is healing the world and contributing to making it better.
It could be something simple like regularly engaging in random acts of kindness or treating people with respect and compassion.
You might be a good listener or the kind of person who jumps into help without being asked or expecting some sort of compensation. Super empaths have many gifts and a drive to share those gifts with the world.
Recommended read: 5 Habits of Highly Fulfilled People
7. You Maintain Accountability
You’re a super empath, but that doesn’t make you a super human. You’ll make mistakes, but one of your strongest character traits is that you always maintain accountability for your actions.
Super empaths are capable of owning up to wrongdoing, apologizing, and making amends.
Super empaths hold themselves to a high standard, but they don’t think they’re perfect.
In fact, when you’re busy shuffling emotions to figure out which ones belong to you and which ones are coming from others, life could get a little messy. Extending compassion for yourself pairs really well with that noble accountability, super empaths.
8. You’re Always Growing and Learning
The super empath is a sponge when it comes to learning.
You’d think with all the emotions flowing their way that the brain would just shut down when it’s not having to process new information, but super empaths really thrive when it comes to learning and personal growth.
If you’re a super empath, your natural sensitivity will lend itself to exploring new topics, thoughts, and ideas.
It would be easy for a super empath to retreat into a blanket fort and hide from the world with so much sensory overload happening daily.
Who could blame you? Yet, you’re likely out in the world absorbing the knowledge and experience at your fingertips and waiting for a chance to be useful, kind, and compassionate.
9. You Require Healthy Methods to Self-Soothe
A key trait of the super empath is a need for healthy methods to self-soothe emotional distress.
A super empath, like any other human being, could choose unhealthy ways to cope with the experience, but that won’t meet the need. The real need is to self-care yourself through your life.
Because you’re constantly getting new stimuli thrown at you, you’ll do well to get more rest, eat well, and make time to recharge your batteries.
You might be tempted to use alcohol or pharmaceuticals to numb the effects of being a super empath, but that’s not the best way to handle your gift.
It’ll be right there waiting for you when you sober up. As you learn healthier self-soothing strategies, you’ll find more ease in your life as a super empath.
10. You Have Deep Feelings That Require Epic Self-Control
Because you are emotionally overloaded all the time, you require epic self-control. You can’t just go around crying or raging all the time, can you?
It’s not practical, and that sounds exhausting. Instead, you usually learn that your life requires a lot of monitoring, self-awareness, and self-control.
You don’t just react to your emotions — at least, not if you want a peaceful life. You have to sort through them and decide which you’re going to take responsibility for and which belong to someone else.
And you choose how to respond rather than reacting. Your deep feelings are valid, but you know that this doesn’t mean you get to just spew them all over the world. You think through what you say and do to make sure it honors your value system.
11. You Strive to Keep the Peace
You’ll notice super empaths are natural peacekeepers. You don’t shy away from conflict, but you tend to have a solution-focused perspective.
You make an excellent mediator, but you’re also great at seeing the problem as the problem and looking for a resolution.
You’re unlikely to tolerate toxic relationships simply because you don’t have room for drama in your life. You want peaceful relationships that feel good and healthy to you.
In fact, you’re likely to be the go-to intermediary when friends are trying to figure out their problems.
12. You Require Strong Personal Boundaries
As a super empath, you’ll notice you require strong personal boundaries. Skip the regular boundaries and head right to extra strength. You’re going to need them.
The difficult truth is that super empaths feel so much and so deeply that they often lose themselves — particularly in relationships.
You can be so hyper-focused on taking care of everyone else that you forget to take care of you.
Even though you act as a lie detector, manipulative people can still negatively impact you when you come into contact with their energy.
Strong boundaries can help you set the tone for your relationships. It will also help you learn to distinguish your own life experience from other people’s.
As you learn and grow, you’ll see that boundaries aren’t walls that keep other people from getting close to you.
Rather, they are the fences that remind you to weed your garden and water your grass rather than trying to fix everyone else’s in the neighborhood.
Some Tips from a Former Therapist
If you find that you’re likely a super empath, here are a few helpful tips to successfully manage this condition.
- Monitor your entertainment. Because you can be easily overwhelmed, you might want to make sure that the media you consume doesn’t add to that sense of overwhelm.
- Practice the pause. Before responding to an emotional situation, decide which emotions are yours and your responsibility and which ones belong to someone else. Act accordingly.
- Explore root causes. Before you take on the label of super empath, it can be good to perform a little differential diagnosis on yourself. Have you experienced trauma in your life? Consider seeing a trauma therapist. You may find that your emotional experiences qualify more as hypervigilance and a trauma response than natural empathic tendencies. Don’t overlook this possibility simply because it’s not your preference.
- Find the good. While it’s tempting to add up all the negative and overwhelming parts of being a super empath, it’s important to identify the good things about it. Look at the ways you’re more helpful or kind because you have this gift. If you can find the good, you’re more likely to view your experience in a more positive light.
- Build strong support. It’s great that you can support everyone else in your life. Make sure you’re not neglecting to build your own strong support system. You need safe people in your life who let you be completely yourself without judgment. You need positive people who won’t suck out your life force with their constant negativity. You need an inner circle that has your back as much as you always have theirs.
Being a super empath is a powerful experience — and one that’s exceedingly rare. If you’re one of them, make sure that you don’t burn yourself out by failing to practice self-care and healthy boundaries.
Who you are is a gift to the world, but sometimes, you need to take the time to enjoy the gift for yourself.
Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash