Just want to see if anyone can relate. If you have to ask "what's an Empath", then you can't relate. Keep moving.
Have you tried connecting with your local metaphysical shops? I'm unsure if you're seeking local people or just online friends. I know Covid has really squashed many of the events at local places. I've begun to form a "tribe" of women local to my area that share my beliefs. We hope to get together more this spring when you can safely do things outdoors. Not sure if that helps. But when I read you were an empath, I assumed you wanted to explore a spiritual journey.
According to online sources, an "Empath" is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves. Which, I suppose, doesn't rule out spirituality. I wonder if that's what Lily meant?

By that definition, I'm an empath. It just means you're highly tuned to other people's shit (pardon me) and tend to get sucked into it, black hole style, when you get too close.

If I had to choose between someone who had empathy but no compassion and someone who had compassion but no empathy, definitely I'd go for the latter. Though both are good to have—while neither seems unthinkable.
I would agree with Sara that of the two, compassion is the characteristic I would prefer to be known for, as that hopefully leads to action that will assist the other person in their time of need. Ideally though, one would have both, with empathy leading to compassion.

But I think Sara would be horrified to discover that quite a lot of people actually have neither! Apart from the obvious ones, like psycho- and sociopaths, it's often because their hard upbringing and circumstances has left them no capacity for feeling sorry for, or sympathising with, other people.
Hey there!
So glad to see some interest in the subject! I'm referring to Empaths as it applies to being taken advantage of, specifically, by narcissists. Before I began the hike on the road to hell with my narcissist (this term can apply to those with NPD, which is hard to diagnose, or someone who is high on the spectrum of narcissistic traits. Mine was the latter), I had no idea why I was the way I was .
Narcissistic abuse is a totally different animal and the aftermath is brutal.
Anyway, now that I know what's always been so different about me, it's gone from being my cryptonite to a super power. :D
I'd love to hear how you are coping if this is something you've experienced. I'm
Hi Lily,

I've known lots of narcissists. I used to play to their B.S., and they loved hanging around me. But it was always all about them, and they were always blameless. It gets draining, and you sort of always feel invisible. it's like they only see themselves. Now I call them on it, and they usually run.

But sometimes they don't run. Sometimes they gas light you instead—to try and put you in your place. What I recently learned is that if you gas light them back, they either buy it or back off. I'm not sure what's going on in their heads, but it works like a charm—I'm still stunned at how well it works! It's like their Kryptonite.

Or maybe they suddenly see you as a wolf, as one of them, and they back off cause they're after sheep. Whatever the case, you can't appeal to their emotions EVER. It's like they see it as a sign of weakness, and their instinct to attack just takes over.

Jilly, nooooooooooo!

Lol, just kidding. I think there are also some low empathy types who are just wired that way.

Which brings me to my earlier comment. Having neither empathy nor compassion seems unthinkable to me, because I can't imagine what possessing such a barren inner world would be like. Their thought processes seem alien to me.

I might not feel empathy for a spider that scurries across the ceiling above my head, but I might feel enough compassion to catch it and toss it outside. It's just operating on instinct, and trying to survive. But with sociopathic/narcissistic types, I don't feel that compassion, let alone empathy. It's impossible to connect with them. I can't even imagine what drives them. Yet maybe they're just operating on instinct, like a spider?
Lilyf22 wrote: Just want to see if anyone can relate. If you have to ask "what's an Empath", then you can't relate. Keep moving.

This is an interesting thread to me. I was using a term that is quite common in pagan circles. I see that my definition of the term varies with what is being discussed here. To pagans, empaths are naturally attracted to our belief systems.
It takes openness to see that we all are connected to the flow of energy. Pagans are always seeking how to use that energy to make a difference in our lives and in the world. Even with that said, I can see the challenges as an empath picks up emotions from their surroundings.
I don't necessarily feel that makes an empath a target for narcissists. In my view, a narcissist will prey on anyone who they feel they can control whether the person is an empath or not. Many trained empaths know how to block out such destructive thoughts and behaviors. Which is no judgment on anyone that has been a victim of a narcissist. Many times these selfish types of people are quite adept at disguising themselves.
I'm not familiar with pagan beliefs, but at the end of they day it's all about energy flow. I'm assuming the pagan empath is a psychic empath? Would a narcissist be a type of emotional vampire then?

The most recent "narcissist" I met seemed more programmed than selfish. He was an old school friend, recently divorced, and hell bent on moving into my home. We absolutely weren't dating, or anything, so it was at once trippy and creepy to see the fantasy playing out—all in his head. I really don't think he had enough insight or awareness to choose any other path other than the one he was on. It was like watching a computer program playing out.

Which makes me wonder, if there is no free will, and it's all about fate, as some believe, do we really have a choice whether we're good or bad? Is there such a thing then as being selfish?
Everyone is connected. We breathe the same molecules that gave been inside there and absorb some of them into us. Just science.
Its a challenge to be an empath in this world.

Judith Orloff, MD has written several books. Since she is an empath/HSP herself so understands personally what it's like.

She also has online classes - one of the sites is : https://theshiftnetwork.com/courses (they have other interesting courses) Not sure if she has current classes, check out you tube also.

I found this site helpful; there are so many sites out there.

https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/14-th ... -be-happy/

Hope that helps.
I can relate! I think many of us tend to choose careers where we put this gift to work, too. I've had a few narcissists in my life as well, but not by choice. What I've learned is the only way to remain emotionally in one piece and healthy is to avoid them at all cost. Choose to connect with people who have good boundaries. I think that we empaths are typically loving, kind, connected people, but highly sensitive. For myself, I know that I have to be selective about my close, interpersonal relationships. They have to be give and take. They can easily become give and give. A work in progress.
Yes, so much yes on being an empath and around a narcissist. It is an emotional roller coaster for sure. Thank for for bringing this up.
Yea I'm pretty sensitive to other peoples emotions.