Are Empaths Real? Yes, But They Probably Won’t Tell You So

By Rachel Puryear

If you read a lot of blogs with modern spiritual material, you have probably come across at some point debates over whether empaths are real. Perhaps what the debate is really about is, whether or not those who loudly proclaim to be empaths are actually sincere.

Many self-proclaimed empaths shout their believed capabilities from the rooftops, often after taking a quiz online (where they might have answered based on how they see themselves, rather than how they actually are). Ironically, these folks are often observed by their peers and even their friends as actually being rather self-absorbed, attention seeking, and following some sort of fad.

Most people are unclear about what an empath is. The science around empathic traits is relatively new, and not widely known about. Furthermore, there are also people making small fortunes marketing numerous new-age products and services of dubious efficacy and value (and maybe safety). Therefore, it would be easy to dismiss claims of being an empath as a new-age fantasy of people who just want to feel special.

Woman standing on ocean under moon and stars, with an aurora around her.

At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to simply dismiss the notion of empathic gifts, simply because there are many who claim to have such but really do not. The existence of many fake ones, does not necessarily mean that there are not also plenty of real empaths.

Although it is far from ubiquitously known about and understood, there is a body of psychological and other scientific evidence for empathic traits. There are also many people who apparently have empathic traits. They may mention it openly or not, but if they do it is likely to be quietly and only to people they know and can trust. This offers validation that empathic qualities (in one form or another) exist. Of course, actual empathic people have always known they exist, but it’s nice to see it more widely recognized, and to feel less alone.

Jar with colorful lights inside, which says “Dreams” on it, against an ocean background.

In my own anecdotal observation, I know people who I genuinely believe are empaths.

I have also met people who go around telling everyone they are empaths; apparently because they believe it will gain them admiration and status.

These two groups of people, generally, do not overlap.

People who go around telling everyone they are empaths, usually are not empathic at all. If they were, they would not be behaving like that.

Genuine empaths, typically; are pretty quiet about their empathic traits and gifts. They do not normally discuss these with others, except maybe those they trust pretty well.

This is partly because true empaths know that the world actually does not put empaths on a pedestal in real life. Most of the world does not tend to listen to what empaths have to say, and is more typically dismissive of them – maybe even to the point of mocking them, or being hostile. Being an actual empath will not get one lavished with special treatment and attention. Being an actual empath means living a life where very few around you will ever understand you – this takes a toll after a while, and makes one become quite selective about who to open up to, and in some cases can make people hermits.

Furthermore, empaths are generally not the kind of people who go around being open books to the world in general:

  • First of all, empaths tend to be very humble people. They do not tend to be braggers in general. They are the kind of people who will give others the credit, rather than take it for themselves.
  • Second of all, empaths tend to be very private, almost painfully so. They tend to reveal little about themselves to all but a select few who have earned their openness and trust over time. Being an empath is the very sort of thing that actual empaths will typically be very private about.
  • Third, empaths tend to struggle with a lot of self doubt during much of their lives, especially while they are relatively young. (Of course, once they realize their power and embrace it, they can actually become quite self assured and fierce when crossed – but that’s another story.) Empaths are the kind of people who tend to have impostor syndrome, rather than being overly confident about their capabilities. In fact, having impostor syndrome about being an empath is so wonderfully empath-like!

Empaths do tend to have a great sense of humor. They may not always laugh out loud, but they often do so inside more than it shows on the outside. So, here’s a little bit of empath humor:

Meme saying “I’m an EMPATH. I got 99 problems but 89 of them belong to other people.”

I personally know a few people who I believe are genuine empaths. None of them, by the way, go around telling everyone that they are empaths. In fact, I do not think anyone of them would tell you that they are an empath if you asked them – especially if they do not already know and trust you.

A couple of them have acknowledged to me having had premonitions before in their lives, which were life-saving at the time. And yes, I do believe them and find them trustworthy, and believe that their stories are accurate. One of their premonitions got me out of a dangerous situation at one point in my life, possibly saving me from being harmed or worse. That’s, again, another story, though.

So, in essence, real empaths do exist – they are just not the ones going around bragging about their “special powers”. They are instead usually humble, quiet about their empathic qualities, confiding only in those they really trust, and – using their occasional and random premonitions for good where they can.

Much love to the empaths of the world. Whether you admit it or not.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. xoxo

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