If you google the definition of "empath," what comes up is the assertion that an empath is "a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual," and chiefly found in science fiction (ha!). Empaths are essentially people who are very sensitive to the inner workings of those around them--often people, but also including things like animals, even insects or nature itself. I've even heard of mechanical empaths, who have an uncanny understanding of the inner workings of machines.
How to tell if you are an empath:
The easiest way to tell if you are an empath is to muscle test on it, or just listen to your gut.
Do you feel shy or overwhelmed in crowds? Do you feel others' emotions very deeply? Do you sometimes lose track of whose emotions you're feeling--yours, or someone else's?
Do you easily gain weight? (Sometimes empaths put on weight as a subconscious way to protect themselves from the emotions of others.)
Are you easily affected by the weather? Can you sense when a storm is coming because you start getting crabby, for example? Do you always feel better when the sun is shining?
Are animals (or insects) attracted to you?
Do you feel like you can sense what other people are thinking or feeling?
Do total strangers come up to you and feel comfortable talking with you?
Do you often experience synchronicity or deja vu?
Can you reliably tell when someone is lying, just based on your gut feelings?
Do you feel drawn to the healing arts? To metaphysical and holistic healing?
Do you have an addictive personality--do you struggle with issues of addiction (be it to food, the internet, sugar, your cell phone, or drugs or alcohol or pornography)?
Do you love freedom and travel?
Are you always looking for answers?
You don't have to answer all of these questions "yes" to be an empath, but the more you feel positive responses toward, the more likely you are one!
Types and Levels of Empath
My experience has also been that people can be different "levels" of empath, if that makes sense. I rank it on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being very, very magnified empathetic skills, and 1 being on the low end of the scale, obviously. So where I have 5 types of empathetic skills represented, I rank at an overall 9 on my scale. But my emotional healing empath abilities are a 9, my precognition is a 3, my nature empathy is a 7, etc. You can discover how advanced all your skills are through muscle testing or intuition.
Let's be real: if you are looking at my blog, the chances are high you are an empath. Empaths are totally drawn to this holistic, metaphysical healing stuff. If you're interested in learning more about being an empath, I'm doing some classes on it next week. You can register here.