Empaths R Us – Are you the Deanna Troi on your ship?

What was your reaction to Deanna Troi’s name and image?  I bet those of you who are empaths, and who watched TV in the late 80′s, had an immediate and positive reaction to the name and the photo of action figure above.  Deanna Troi was the character of the half-Betazoid empath and the ship’s counsellor, from Star Trek’s “Next Generation” portrayed by actor Marina Sirtis.

Why do I think empaths probably like or at least identify with Deanna Troi?  Because, as far as I know, she’s the only one of our “kind” that has really been portrayed in pop-culture for who she really is.

I still remember my own shock of self-recognition when I saw Deanna Troi’s character on TV. Even though sadly it took almost two decades since I first saw her for me to determine that empaths actually existed, and that I was in fact one, somehow instinctly, even at that time, I totally identified with her and knew that I was the same kind of being.

I knew I could pick up other people’s emotional stuff like she did.  In fact, I felt this was such an obvious thing about me, that as soon as my friends saw her empathy character and thought about me, that I would be “outed” as an empath.  I guess that was wishful thinking, because of course that never happened.

It warms the cockles of my heart to know that in the future on TV, society is open enough that empaths are not only recognized, but are applauded for using their abilities. But since we don’t live in a utopian Star Trek world yet, we still have a ways to go in recognizing empathy and how valuable a skill it is.

Empath Interviews

In the hopes of helping other empaths get an earlier start recognizing and using their empathic gifts, I’m posting a series of interviews with other empaths. Most of these empaths work using their skills in a professional capacity, using their empathy consciously to help others.

I’m hoping their personal experiences, and insights can inspire unconscious empaths, to start down the road of being able to use your gifts, and being able to love yourselves for the wonderful beings you are.

I’d love other empaths to first realize that they are in fact empaths, and secondly, that there are tools that can help them manage this gift of empathy.

What is an “empath” exactly?

I use the word “empath” in for these posts to describe emotional empathy, an ability that is also sometimes this is referred to as “clairsentience”. I am using the term “empath”, since clairsentience is very broad, and refers to many ways of intuitive “knowing”.  The term “empath” is not well defined, since of course most people don’t even know or acknowledge that it is exists.

Emotional empathy is likely the kind of empathy most people are familiar with.  (According to some empath experts there are many kinds of empathy (eg. spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, etc). Rose Rosetree has written several excellent books explaining these in more detail.)

Emotional empaths have the ability to constantly feel the emotions of anyone they encounter, without even trying.  This means 24/7, 365 days a year, emotional empaths feel what everyone else is feeling.

When you are an empath, you are born an empath, and you cannot change that fact about yourself.  You are always “on” unless you learn how to turn yourself “off”. Unconscious empaths are like great big emotional lint collectors, hanging out in the world unwittingly collecting everyones’ emotional lint.

As you can imagine, with the accumulation of these unbidden emotions, after awhile (about 8 hours after you’ve waken up) this starts to feels really horrible. Unless you have the awareness and some simple techniques (like spritzing with salt water) to clear others emotions which have collected on you and which you can feel in your own physical body, they end up affecting your own energetic field.

Not only do empaths pick up emotions from other people and animals, particularly any person or animal in pain, but empaths are naturally sensitive to violence or pain on TV, movies, and in the news.  Even watching, and not directly experiencing, violence and emotional drama emotionally affects empaths as if it was actually happening to them.  Since this is not “rational”, other non-empaths have a hard time understanding the impact of these things on empaths, and assume that they are exaggerating or just being dramatic.

You may have been told while you were growing up that you are “overly-sensitive”, “moody” or a “cry baby”.

How Do I Turn This Thing Off?

For many empaths, this means that they have no idea what is happening to them every day, or that they can choose any other way of being.  In fact, you are likely have always existed in some type of emotional “pain” yourself unless you have been lucky enough to have another person recognize that you are an empath and show you how to turn yourself “off”, or somehow you have figured out ways of turning yourself “off”.  If you are an unconscious empath, when you are instinctively figuring out ways to turn yourself “off”, there is a very good chance that what you come up with, is self-harming in some way.

You may figure out that if become a hermit, turn your emotions off completely, or overeat until you are 500 pounds, that you can lessen the effect of this unwanted emotion from others.  While these behaviours may offer some relief, they are obviously not healthy in any way in any kind of long-term situation.

There is hope and help!  There are simple things you can learn to do (clear others emotions, ground, reconnect with your own emotions, visualizations). You will see in the interviews that follow, there are many empaths that are using their skills consciously in their daily lives, and to help others.  Some of these empaths have developed techniques and programs to help other empaths learn to become conscious and help them achieve emotional freedom.

Empath -You Are Not The Only One!

The moment I realized there were others like me, I just wanted to cry with relief.  It was so comforting to know that there were others like me, and that there was a name for what I was. Growing up, I had always just thought (and been told) that I was an over-sensitive, overly emotional, roller coaster wreck of a emotional person.  I felt like my uncontrollable emotions ran my life, and tried everything I could to suppress them.  But nothing worked, as I didn’t know what I needed to do.

To find out that I was an empath, and that I could claim this power for myself in a conscious way, was a huge shift in how I thought about myself.  It changed the way I viewed myself and how I felt about my entire life had been, until that moment. While I always knew I was sensitive and what everyone around me was feeling, I never made the connection with how that affected my own emotions.  I never realized that those unwanted emotions affected my life so radically.  It wasn’t until I started reading some books about empathy, that I realized the extent that I had always been influenced by others emotions.

The fact that it took me so long to know who I really am, makes me eager to help others to claim this gift for themselves sooner than I did.  I’d love for other empaths to throw off the shackles of judgment that they have been experiencing for their whole lives.  I want other unconscious empaths to know that there is emotional freedom waiting for you, and healthy ways of integrating your empathy into your life successfully.

Empaths R Us, and “feeling” other people can be one of the best super-powers.

Kara

Are you a practicing conscious empath or just starting to recognize yourself? Please share your experiences in the comments.

As an empath I can feel the “real” you.  I can help you remember how to feel yourself too, email me at conduitofjoy@hotmail.com for a reading.

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19 Responses to Empaths R Us – Are you the Deanna Troi on your ship?

  1. Hi Kara,
    I’m looking forward to your series! As an empath myself I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but hey, I have a big sleeve and can always use a few more. So glad you’re doing this.

  2. Kara,
    I was fascinated when Star Trek Next Generation came out and had a character like Deanna Troi. I saw her as psychic and felt the writers had given here some sort of “futuristic” name for her abilities. Either way, it was very cool! Great post – thank you.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I’ve known there is a name for what I am (and more importantly – what I feel) for a while now, but I still take SUCH comfort in knowing I am not alone! Not crazy, not making this stuff up, etc…

    I consider the fact that I am an empath as a gift now, now that I’ve (mostly) managed how figure out how to shield/protect myself. I still cry when watching corny commercials. Heck, I cry when I pass someone on the street who looks sad sometimes! But I think this innate ability to connect with others and ‘read’ them so well is truly a blessing.

    Great article, Kara!

  4. Sherrie says:

    oh lady….by the end of the day I am spent. some days i just want to crawl in to a cave and stay there and some days i would like to never crawl out of bed. I was so angry the other day that I actually said what I was thinking out loud to a complete stranger(who was angry at me).
    I am exhausted by empathic stuff.
    really

  5. Sol says:

    I just had to comment on this!

    This is a really good article, specifically because of what’s happening around me right now. A good friend of mine is finding her psychic powers and discovering she’s an empath, and though she’s not super into these things – I think she likes it!

    I know how it is to not being able to ‘turn it off’. I dislike large crowds and I usually get headaches and shivers when I’m in such a place for too long. It’s also irritating to be in homes where I feel there’s ‘emotional residue energy’ and it gets me all annoyed and claustrophobic! :(
    I know I’m empathic like many others, but there are times when I have a hard time trusting the feelings. However, that trust will develop in time!

    I’m looking forward to the interviews, Kara! :)
    Have fun and stay strong!

  6. conduitofjoy says:

    Thanks Patti! I’m looking forward to featuring you and the other empaths. I really think personal experiences give readers comfort and hope, and most importantly inspiration!

    Kara

  7. conduitofjoy says:

    Angela,

    I instantly liked Star Trek NG just for the reason they had an empath! It is so empowering when a wide-spread medium like TV suddenly has a character which one can identify with. The great thing is it gently opens many minds to new possibilities of how “real-life” people can be to.

    Kara

  8. conduitofjoy says:

    Lindsay,

    Your comment made me realize that one of the major reasons I’m doing these interviews is that people need to know that they are NOT alone.

    I too find it so reassuring, reading about other empaths, even now (and probably always). I think reading about other empaths strengthens our sense of our selves, and our confidence in our abilities. Yay us!

    Thanks for commenting!

    Kara

  9. conduitofjoy says:

    Sherrie,

    Never fear! There are techniques to assist you, some of the interviews include references to books and programs. I am reading some of Rose Rosetree’s books, and took Colette Baron-Reid’s “Weight Loss For People Who Feel Too Much”. Both have simple techniques and processes to help you get “you” back, and rid you of “everybody else”.

    I know it can be so exhausting. Stay posted and hang in there. The world needs you.

    Kara

  10. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Sol,

    Thanks for the support! I’m so glad to hear you are there for your friend, it is very important we have an empowering community for each other.

    I also had a hard time re-learning to trust some of my intuition, after trying to control it, and drown it out with “rationality” for so long. Just ask your Higher Self to help you, practice listening to your intuition everyday, and before long you will be able to listen and follow easily.

    Kara

  11. Sol says:

    Thanks for the response, Kara!
    I’ll follow your advice.

  12. Monds says:

    Thanks for the article. I have read Rose Rosetrees book. She does an excellent job of explaining what empathy is and she is a good healer…but I found her techniques inefective. They must work well for her, but I didn’t feel off.Empaths that are feeling 24/7 are doing this unconsciously, like breathing…out of habit. I’m going to try alchelemical hypnotherapy to “stop processing other people’s feelings or emotions unconsciously within my being and aura”. If empathy is something we do out of unconscious habit, hypnotherapy seems to be a good way to “stop it”. In my years of living, I don’t remember directly benefiting from feeling someone elses terrible feelings..it has only taken away my vitality..and its not like I could proactively help the other person. People also can sense my empathy unconsciously an gather around to take of me. I tend to get taken for granted a lot. Anyway, I will have some sessions and report back about how well this works. I understand the spiritual use for empathy, but this is my life and my body and I deserve to not be open in this way anymore.

  13. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Monds,

    I do think that each person has to find the techniques that work for themselves. As we are all individuals and wired differently, we probably each have specific things that work for us individually with our inborn empathy.

    I agree, our empathy is like breathing, so it is very challenging to manage it. I hope you can find modalities and therapies that can help you and make you feel better. I’m curious to hear about your results with alchemical hynotherapy, I don’t know anything about it. In addition, you may benefit from getting some intense energy work done to clear your auric field. To prevent others from taking advantage of you, it may benefit you to work on strengthening your third chakra, so you increase your personal power.

    I will say that personally, I haven’t found any one person’s techniques that work 100% for me in managing my empathy, but I take what works from what I find and use those techniques, and keep looking for others. I don’t know that it is possible to protect ones’ empathic self 100% all the time or feel totally “off” (I certainly haven’t managed that yet myself either).

    As an instant “feel-good” daily practice, I found Colette Baron Reid’s technique of clearing others emotions off oneself, by bathing or spritzing with salt water to clear the energy field at about 4 pm every day, to be pretty effective.

    I think with some of Rose’s techniques they may be more effective if they are practiced over time, so one gets in the habit of doing them. I’m not highly practiced in them yet, and some of them work better for me than others. At the least I found many made me more aware of what was mine, and what was others “stuff”.

    I just try to do a combination of daily ridding myself of others emotions, visualizations, and awareness exercises. It’s not perfect for me, but it makes my empathy manageable.

    Good luck! I hope you find relief. You do deserve to feel happy in your body.

    Kara

  14. Julie says:

    I am so glad I ran across your site and found this! The ONLY reason I could watch ST with my husband was because of Deanna. I have always loved that character (or really any story with a psychic of any kind in it).

    This is the first time that it’s ever crossed my mind (or I could put a label to it) as an “unconscious” emotional empath. I always know (and I guess, absorb) what everyone else is feeling, even if they’re not there and I’m just seeing it on the news or reading. I used to think of it as “reading between the lines.”

    I will avoid crowds at all costs, will wait for the next elevator if I get on and it feels claustrophobic (even when empty, sometimes), love to work alone, and need lots of alone time at the end of the day, whether I get it or not. When I was a kid I used to see something embarrassing on The Brady Bunch and run to my room to hide my head in a pillow until the scene was over…I was mortified right along with Marcia :)

    I have found that as I’ve recently started doing readings that clearing myself or logging off has been critical – I guess that should have given me a clue! I’ll look forward to reading more and learning about this.

  15. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for visiting! I need lots of alone time too, and when I don’t get it, watch out! I think just becoming aware, is the first step to living comfortably as an empath. Then I think the next steps are consciously taking actions to be aware of what you need (eg. alone time, to identify which emotions are yours), supplement with clearing other people’s emotions, is the key to continuing to enjoy life.

    Nice to have you here.

    Kara

  16. Keeley says:

    Thank you all so much for your contributions to this site. I turned 45 on Wednesday. 45 years of extremes, frustration, feeling different, tense/failed relationships, confusion, feeling that I had been having my ‘head messed with’. Worst of all, despairing that nobody believed me when I said ‘a’ or ‘b’, knowing it to be true. Confused about why nobody could see what I could see when it was as plain as the nose on one’s face. 45 years. The tears are flowing now. Having been pacing the house since 5am I logged on. How I found a site which detailed empaths I have no idea. But I did, and for the first time in my life it all makes sense. Knowing helps, but I don’t have the tools to deal with it. I so want to learn and understand.

  17. conduitofjoy says:

    Hello Keeley,

    A big hug to you! It is an amazing feeling when you self-recognize. I found it quite amazing when I realized there were others just like me out there in the world.

    There are different resources for dealing with being an empath – you may have to experiment to find the ones that work for you, as of course we are all wired differently. You can read all of the posts from those empaths interviewed in this series. Some of those people have their own resources, and on their interview posts I have linked to their websites. Some other resources besides these, I could recommend would also be Rose Rosetree’s books and some of Colette Baron-Reid’s materials.

    Good luck with things! If you need a reading, big or small, to help you with where to get started, I am available to help with that to. You can email me at conduitofjoy@hotmail.com.

    Kara

  18. Crystal says:

    I just recently found out that I was an empath during a psychic reading, & I have been looking up information about being an empath and some of the traits fit me. I am having difficutly because I am an christian & I want to use my gifts to glorify God & I want to strengthen my abilities. Is there a way I can teach myself or find somebody to teach me

  19. conduitofjoy says:

    Welcome Crystal!

    It is great that you are searching out material on being an empath, in order to help yourself with being able to use these gifts for yours and Gods greatest glory. I see absolutely nothing incompatible with being an empath (or intuitive) and being a Christian. If fact, I would say that for myself, using my intuition and my empathic skills is when I feel most like I am connecting with God (who I usually call the Universe, or the One, God-force). I really think that God created us with the gifts we are given, and our greatest thanks for being bestowed with those gifts is using them to their greatest potential.

    Of course, “being a Christian” is a wide-open term, because depending on who you ask the definition of “Christian” can have completely different meanings. Only you can decide what is right for yourself. That is the one cardinal rule that I would urge you to adopt: no one can tell you what you “are” (including that psychic who told you, you are an empath). You define who and what you are, and how much or how little you wish to use your abilities.

    Great to see you here, hope you get some assistance on your path from the material on this blog.

    Kara

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