Why Empaths Freeze Around Inauthentic People


Have you ever spent time with someone who on the surface seems as nice as pie, but when with them you feel awful and struggle to form a sentence?

This discomfort is caused by your Empathic antenna sensing all is not what it seems. You are detecting that what this person is showing is a fake persona created to hide something from others.

When an Empath comes across fake people it is common for them to shut down as a form of protection.  This can be seen as stumbling over words or one’s memory and thought process being affected. Anyone who is not emanating truthful vibes will put an Empath on high alert.

In my days as a hairdresser, I could never understand why when with certain clients, who came across lovely, I would experience awful feelings inside. It was only when I discovered I was an Empath that it all made sense to me. I was still feeling their pain, even though they were trying to hide it in fake pleasantries.

There are many levels of fakeness and many reasons for it. In the early days of discovering one’s Empathic abilities it may not always be easy to pinpoint just why someone feels so bad to you.

Here are some behaviours that may leave you in ‘freeze mode’:

  • Someone who wants to loved by everyone, acting overly nice to get adoration.
  • Someone who is filled with hate or anger yet working to convince the world otherwise.
  • Someone who had an emotionally destructive childhood, leaving them insecure and in pain, playing the tough guy.
  • Someone who has built a new personality to hide the person they believe will not be accepted by society.
  • Someone being full of insincere praise.
  • Someone making up stories to make themselves sound interesting

And this is how you may find yourself reacting:

  • Avoiding being in said person’s presence, yet not really having a reason to do so (as in they did not say or do anything to hurt you).
  • Not being able to talk to said person. Sentences literally won’t form in your mouth and your brain acts like you have no memory. You find yourself just asking questions and when you do talk, it feels like it makes no sense.
  • Experiencing sensations of dread in the pit of stomach that won’t go until you are no longer in said person’s presence.
  • Any more than an hour spent in said person’s company drains you or leaves you feeling ill.
  • Having a sense of guilt. You like said person but dislike how it feels to be with them.
  • Feeling helpless around said person.

When an Empath freezes around inauthenticity, it is just has to be accepted as part and parcel of Empath life and something they come to learn to live with. However, there might be another reason for this reaction:

Just because an Empath feels fakery and untruths in another, does not mean they do not fake themselves. For some, when they feel bad around a faker it may mean they are picking up a trait they do not like about themselves and they too hide from the world.

If this is the case, until you face your truth, you will always be adversely affected when in the face of inauthenticity.

We all put on a face and act fake at some point in our lives. We may act upbeat and happy when we feel sad or depressed, we may play annoyed when we are actually indifferent or we may have to pretend to love a job we actually detest. In some cases, faking it can get us through difficult situations. But living it daily is not healthy.

For this reason, it is important for the Empath to uncover any hidden traits and stored painful emotions, because whilst we bury a side of us we do not like we will never be happy or feel complete. The problem, however,  is that many of us do not know the root cause of our inner-pains.

One of the biggest causes of unhappiness on this planet is people not knowing themselves. When we hide a side of ourselves from others, without knowing the reason, it causes pain.

Sensitive people bury negative traits because we know how destructive they are, but burying them does not lose them. They still affect life in the most destructive ways.

Hate, anger, jealousy and fear of rejection are four traits most often buried.

We may hate someone for the way they have behaved towards us. Anger may have been inherited from an angry parent. Praise and attention being bestowed on a childhood friend or sibling may have led to a jealous streak, and being rejected as a child, by an unknowing parent, may have built up inside as an intense fear of rejection. All very simple and innocent triggers, but all of which can snowball and lead us to have deep-set insecurities that we feel have to remain hidden.

There is also the fact to consider that many of the traits we bury have in fact been inherited and passed down the family line or they may even stem from a past life. Wherever they originated, it is important to uncover buried fears and true personality traits, and if they can’t be changed (some traits are hard-wired), accept and learn to live with them.

Being true and authentic is emotionally freeing. Once we recognize and accept any negative traits we have buried, they tend to lose their hold.

Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time.


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To better help in dealing with inauthentic others please see An Empath’s Guide or Grounding


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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered

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100 thoughts on “Why Empaths Freeze Around Inauthentic People

  1. I’m having this problem with the lady I’m in love with. She’s the empath in the relationship and I’m trying my best to save us from throwing something incredible away. She’s begun saying that she feels uncomfortable around me and that I’m not being genuine with her. I’ve admitted there actually is something that I’ve been holding in, but i know that it’s nothing bad which would come between us.

    Basically, before we met I had been doing a sort of self improvement course, and this is on my mind quite a lot, yet we have never really talked about it much. The course involves an incredible amount of introspection, with heavy emphasis on slowing down to really think about how you feel about a thing before responding, rather than reacting. It’s very specifically aimed at encouraging more thoughtfulness, honesty and consideration, particularly with an intimate partner. It can be very heavy and difficult to process, since it involves doing certain mental exercises in a conscious effort to make fundamental changes.
    I believe it’s this which may have affected her perception of me, given that these things can affect body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and things of that nature.

    Thing is, I really want to speak to her about it in person, but she is refusing to see me right now and all we have to communicate is Facebook messenger , which can lead to miscommunication and misinterpretation, so the problem is getting worse.

    This article, and the responses I’ve read so far all seem to be written by people who really know the subject, so I would be eternally grateful if anyone has any substantial advice.

    Thank you so much to the author of the piece. It really does mean a great deal.

    • Essentially, I’m trying really hard to understand her perspective so that we can connect more easily. It really is that simple. So I’ve written a message to her, which i know I need to send at a time when she’s in the right place for it. It’s fairly long, so i worry that it may be overwhelming for her. If possible, would anyone here btw willing to have a look at it and maybe advise?

  2. This was extremely helpful. I am healing from CFS, and little did I know, narcissistic abuse, the covert kind. I’m sure at least a few empaths out there can relate.

    Anyway, I’m commenting because I need help with something that I can’t find the answer to while researching. Every time I’m around a sibling, even if we have a great time, I am boiling with anger either that day or within 24hrs. I am easily drained or stimulated by this person, and sense the manipulator beneath the charisma, even though they can be in some ways generous; though I do believe the generosity is a control tactic and also is about making them feel powerful by being benevolent. I also have a parent that every time they call and I answer, adrenaline rushes up from my legs, I become a shaky mess, but mask it with lots of upbeat tone and conversation(*appease my childhood abuser?), and am drained within anywhere from just a few minutes to a half hour of their conversation, yet with an empath friend of mine overseas that I met online, I had one time where we talked for three hours and I felt better from a phone call rather than worse, which is strange for me.

    The real question I’m trying to figure out is: Why do I always have this delayed rage after being with this sibling? I dread the get-togethers even though sometimes they are fun, and often feel rage or fear when I see their name on my email or text. I’m working on an escape plan via building myself a career that gains me true independence, financial and otherwise, but I need help understanding this in the meantime(*and also how to handle it so I can heal).

      • My mother uses money as a means of control. I have two natural-born sisters and only one lives near her. Two of us live 6 states away – purposely. I took intensive training to become a life coach and in the process learned one MAJOR lesson: It is absolutely okay – and possible – to give yourself permission to walk away from toxic people and situations. Your gut/intuition is screaming at you that the situation you describe is incredibly toxic. Give yourself permission to stay away as much as possible. I rarely talk with any of them and my life is much better for it.

        Since it seems that you have to be in the situation for a little while longer, see if this helps you when you must be around them: Each time you see their email or call or you have to be around them, first close your eyes and envision a white light completely surrounding you. No one gets in without your permission. This has helped me to feel stronger and much less enraged and frustrated. Then do your best to limit your time with them in any manner. I know this sounds very simplistic at the moment, but it’s a good first step in taking back your power.

        Sending you healing thoughts, much strength and peace. Blessings.

      • Hi Melissa, I’m really sorry to hear that. I have had certain people use money as a source of control at times as well, in a few types of ways. But despite the trouble with your mom, it sounds like at least one of your sisters sees what you see and made the decision to distance herself as well. Whether through your education training to be a life coach, or through experience and gut level decision, it was brave and insightful to have the courage to walk away. When people are not bad people, but just difficult, and you happen to love them, then it is a bit of a tightrope decision as to whether to distance yourself, and if so, by how much; not to mention the tug of war regarding self-care, and whether we choose to respect how we feel, or behave in ways that society has programmed upon us as being correct. Not only do I appreciate your comment, but also your tips as to envisioning myself enveloped in white light, and also the key piece pertaining to distance and boundaries. Thanks for all you wrote!

      • Hey Diane! Thank you very much for taking the time to send me that article of yours. It was wonderfully written and very helpful. Some people truly are trauma triggers. Now, I just need to examine if I am holding on to traumas associated with experiences involving them that only occurred for a season, and thus meaning I need to do some forgiving and letting go, or if they are individuals that are either traumatizing in an ongoing manner, or who have toxic energy I just can’t be around. I really appreciate you time. Thank you again!

  3. Brilliant articles Diane both this and ‘Don’t-Like-What-You-See-Look-a-little-closer-the-mirror-of-the-empath’. It’s difficult being in a workplace where you’re in close proximity of several people who you feel are inauthentic. I tried to avoid people like that in my most recent job because I didn’t feel good around them but unfortunately this kind of led to a covert shunning from some co-workers. Underneath the surface of the work atmosphere there was a simmering toxicity that I don’t think management were aware of. I was happier with some of my closer friends in the group and to just live and let live but it’s not so nice being in an environment where you can FEEL several people’s disgust which breeches into conversation from time to time. I finished up recently with that company. It was a massive opportunity for me career-wise, but ultimately I’m glad to be away from that kind of people. The people I work with will now play a much larger part in my selection of which company to work with. This is only something you can figure whilst in the company, unfortunately, but I’ll get there eventually. 🙂

    • This is exactly my situation. I’ve been working on my own and with just friends the last 3 months and I’ve never been freer. Made me cry. Thank you for sharing

    • Simon, I would so love to talk to you more about this. I am currently struggling at work with the same thing. In the past year I have “reluctantly” come to the conclusion that the reason I am so successful in my counselling is because I am an empath. A total shocker to me. However, I keep this to myself. It explains so much. The shunning I receive from the colleagues I feel are inauthentic is painful each and every day. I do have supportive colleagues as well, but it is very draining to work in this difficult environment.

  4. I feel like that around a coworker. But i dont know why because she is a very nice person and she has always been considerate. but esp. these two points “Having a sense of dread in the pit of stomach that won’t go until you are no longer in said person’s presence.
    Any more than an hour spent in their company will drain you and leave you feeling ill.”

    but ı cant avoid her because our office desks are very close. any suggestions to what i can do?

  5. Hi, I’ve taken the liberty to translate this article into Swedish, since there is far too little info in Swedish, and intend to post in on my Swedish blog that I promote on my Facebook page “Koalas krypin”. I will link to this page at the bottom of my blog post and also mention you as the author of the article. I hope this is ok. Best regards, Camilla Koala Stefansdotter

  6. I just came away from some people that make me feel like this. Most people know me me as clear headed and I speak well but in certain people’s company, I clam up. I act different, I feel anxious, I say stupid things and I’m slow to follow conversation. These people have always called me dopey. That’s all they will ever know of me. I know deep down these people are fake, sometimes it’s not because they are bad people, they have issues. They portray the opposite of their core being. I understand why they’re doing it so I try not to let their “dopey” comments upset me. I met this lady a few years ago and the first thing she said to me was “stop being nosy”. I told her I didn’t know what she was on about but immediately knew. I was unintentionally prying into her emotions and reading her and she felt invaded, I didn’t know there were others out there like this until then. The whole conversation we didn’t talk much more about it, cos we were both feeling it. When I was leaving she said, “Just because you can, doesn’t that mean you should”. I was offended at first but it’s slowly taught me to “turn off” my awareness to how others are feeling. Because I’m young, I sometimes tend to take their negative emotions as an insult towards me. Of course I know this isn’t the case but sometimes my immaturity gets the better of me. I will mature one day! Regardless, it’s less draining and easier to be around these fake people now

    • “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”, is also a boundary setting between empaths. When you mentioned your immature learning process, one of those traits are also thicker skin. I myself breached a boundary of a coworker to whom I sat next to during a staff meeting once and she leaned in and whispered,” Knock it off, your suckin’ me dry!” I had no control, and later asked her to accept my apologies. She ended up mentoring me, and I learned more than any book or blog could ever teach me. Being open to suggestions, and acknowledge others is a humbling experience, a lesson with gifts.

  7. Reblogged this on A Little Life… and commented:
    Really great article about how the energy of others can affect our own. There is a lot of guilt associated with letting people ‘go’. Often we feel compelled to hang on to preserve the status quo or to prevent them from becoming hurt. But, in many instances, by doing so we are, in fact, denying ourselves the opportunity to be comfortable.

  8. Pingback: Empath Fatigue- A Real Thing! | Powered to Change

  9. Please clarify…you said when empath is around an inauthentic person, they tend to shut down to protect themselves. Protect themselves from what?

    • Hey Charlie,

      We may be protecting ourself from the person, the negative energy they emit or the energy they will take (energy drainer). Think of it as an internal early warning system, our intuition is telling us not to get involved, keep our distance or to back off because this person could be bad for us on many levels.

      Hope this helps.

      • Im very new at learning about my being an empath. What do you do when you have to work with a person hand in hand that causes you to freeze up, clam up and trip over your words. I have to work with a person who is toxic and mean spirited. It’s making my work suffer severly and causing unbearable anxiety. I avoid any unnecessary interactions with her. Others at work think she’s amazing. I can tell she hates me and talks behind my backhttp://www.sarahpetrunoshamanism.com/blog/is-it-something-spiritual-nausea-indigestion-and-upset-stomach. (I can see it in my minds eye). I can’t even look at her without feeling sick. Help!

      • Hi Hummingbird,

        I completely understand what you are going through at work. I too went through a similar situation, many years ago, where a certain person had an intense dislike for me. And no matter what I did or said there was no pleasing them. (This was before I knew I was an Empath and understood the way energy works.)

        It helps to remember that anyone who acts in a narcissistic, arrogant or mean spirited way, is actually coming from a place of pain and insecurity, probably having stemmed from childhood, which they have allowed to make them mean, bitter or cruel.

        The thing is we cannot change another, and it is not our job to, we can only change ourselves when or if we have to spend time around them. Not taking on the energy they emit is the first step to protection and keeping your mindset in a positive place is essential. See posts here:
        <a href="https://theknowing1.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/10-ways-empaths-can-protect-themselves-from-other-peoples-energy/

        You have got an incredible power inside that can repel these types of people, and it is the power to shine. Allowing your inner light to radiate out is truly uplifting and protecting. Simply being aware of it and allowing its energy to build within can act as your protective screen, shielding you from the darker ways of others. However, I know it can be difficult to tap into when ‘living in the world’ and, that each of us is different, and this is where our protection techniques come in (see above).

        Hope this helps and good luck.


      • I have been able to free myself from toxic people in my inner circle, but what can you do when you have to work with them? I have a co-worker and a boss that are both this way, but I have to work to pay my bills. I have been looking for other employment since about the 3rd week of my being there, I have been there 4 months now and it is literally killing my spirit. I try to ground and protect myself as much as possible, but you hit the nail on the head with regards to “Sentences literally won’t form in your mouth and your brain acts like you have no memory. You find yourself just asking questions and if you do talk it feels like it makes no sense.” To top it off, everyone thinks these two people are the best thing since sliced bread. Any suggestions?

      • Hi Lisa,

        When we freeze around people it can often be like a trauma-trigger response. Once our body/mind learns to react this way around certain people it will often act this way until we take steps to prevent it. Check the following 2 posts out, hopefully you will find something to help you there:

        Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. I wonder if I’ve been the “fake” person in the scenario you mention.? I was a very sick person, unknowingly infected with several infectious diseases but because I had no diagnosis I had to pretend to be normal in polite society – I could not tell people what my real life was like, that I had no hobbies, no interests past trying to stay alive and cope with responsibilities and obligations of everyday life when I was in no way equiped to deal with them running on a totally empty tank. But I couldn’t tell people who I really was – for starters I didn’t have the energy to construct the sentences that could accurately describe my living hell or deal with the responses, who wants to hear that somebody is so sick they haven’t had the energy to eat or shower or grocery shop for two weeks? That their entire life was a mess because they were running on empty? The being fake wasn’t my fault really, it was my survival mechanism. I guess you should be glad you only picked up my bad energy and not any of the diseases I carry, then you’d really know what negative energy was all about as you slowly were poisoned by infections you have no control over.

    • Hi Turtlepea (great name by the way),

      Sorry to hear you’ve been so sick and running on zero energy. I really hear you when you say you’ve had to put on a fake persona to get through life. It was not the intention of my post to make anyone feel bad for behaving in an inauthentic way, far from it, the post was intended to help Empaths and HSPs understand why they may go to pieces when around those who are hiding their true selves.

      The fact that you put on a brave face when out in public and didn’t share how you truly felt, because you don’t want to bring others down, shows you care about others. A Sensitive would always pick up on that.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope you are now much better.

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  12. I have been guilty of having these feelings towards my best friend who, in the last three or four years, has been getting worse, in my eyes at least, to the point that I no longer look for her friendship, I rarely see her and I find the times we’re together extremely awkward.
    Another friend also noticed the change in her and the subject was mentioned but my friend couldn’t acknowledge the issue. I’m guilty of not saying anything to her because I hate confrontation… She’s a good person, but the fakeness makes me feel sad, angry and sometimes even used… I’m thinking ‘how can you not think that I can see through the lies and the unnecessary boasting?’

    • There are moments in our lives where the empath is in misery awaiting your voice to take command. The one battle an empath has is choosing those battles. Is it me or them, that feels such discord? Is it me or them that struggles to live in a healthier manner? At some point I recognize that its my due cause to relinquish the chaos, set free the air that we breathe by truth. That a true empath walks alone, isnt new.

    • I have also had these feelings with a best friend of the same amount of time and it got worse and worse. I observed multiple personas through our friendship and noticed that she only let me know certain things at certain times. I never met her friends yet she met and befriended all of mine. I felt a lot of competitive and jealous feelings coming from her about my abilities, hobbies, and character traits. I noticed that she at times emulated them to the point where I felt taken advantage of and annoyed beyond logic. Friends would tell me she was jealous but I thought that was a platitude and could not believe it as this woman was beautiful and no less successful than myself.

      Her true demeanor was very private and typically stressed out or in crisis, yet her public (and online) persona was someone who was laid back, sarcastic and carefree. She would often be harshly judgmental and resentful of her many friends and acquaintances but never honest to them. I felt she was finely crafted and contrived. I have a similar mutual friend who bursts with frustration over the same issues but accepts it (as a part of a separate, toxic friendship with her). I have since let this person go from my life and shared my honest feelings; she quickly disappeared without a word and has moved on to entirely new people and never looked back. It was like reading a conspiracy novel for 4 years.

  13. Very interesting I always wondered how come some people don’t catch on to those chameleons.There are so many of them, it’s hard to remove yourself from them, I have caught people in Bodacious lies and … realized wow they do not care what they tell you as long as they get what they want out of you…. “my dad use to say “too much sugar for a dime.”…

  14. What do you do when that fake person is your son? He gives everybody the creeps eventually. Very handsome, well mannered, charming but such a bullshitter and eventually everyone catches on. He is never in a good place financially, lives rent free wherever he can. Constantly making up stories where he is always the victim and emotionally blackmails everyone to help him. I don’t know how to cut him out of my life. I wish he would stop talking to me and go somewhere far away. He is 36!

    • Lily – much compassion to you – somehow I know you didn’t raise your son to be a con artist. As long as he remains the “victim” he will always be a grifter.

      I’ve been at the receiving end of tough love and it ain’t fun – but maybe necessary. It’s time to stop enabling the behavior. Have you ever confronted him about his lifestyle? (Not trying to step on your toes – just food for thought.) I actually had to do that with a very close family member. It was painful and dredged up a whole bunch of $#it, but if you don’t, he will simply continue the pattern.

      While it may be incredibly painful for you, maybe the best way to start the process is to simply cut him off. I’m very, very sorry that this is your son. Sending strength and blessings to you!

  15. Hmmm. I find I can (sometimes) cut through the inauthenticity, as if they feel safe with me. But, as with others, if it is impenetrable, I am very uncomfortable.

  16. Being ‘fake’ gives a somewhat negative connotonation to what is in actual fact a highly developed survival strategy. We all have them in varying degrees. An empathy has also developed the strategy of being hyper-sensitive for survival. It is possible with the right tools to change what triggers us to adopt a strategy, even if it is hardwired.

  17. The paradoxical nature of the human condition is that of energy,,,, and the directional flow of that energy.The correlation within energy itself can be seen simply in the mathematical principles of Positive and Negative numbers.. Two positive numbers add up to positive numbers,,, Two negative numbers added is negative numbers( pos + pos = pos / neg + neg = neg ). Directions are clear,,,but Life and math are not that simple.. The directional flow of energy becomes more complex when looking at a Pos# +/- a Neg#,,,or a Neg# +/- a Pos#. The outcome is always relative. The principles are the same with respect to the energy in the Human condition,,but the circumstances are different in reference to human interaction. Math has no emotion. A metaphorical correlation between Positive and Negative energy,,,, and creative and competitive behavior can explain most,,,if not all human behavior (positive creative,,,, positive competitive,,, negative creative,,,, and negative competitive) and we are all a mix of all of them. The principle of ” Free Will “,,,,, another gift,,,, allows us to Choose the kind of Being we will be in our Humanness. Our truths are knowing who we are in all perspectives,,,, and being able to balance and move freely within ourselves in order to communicate our “Truths”. If there are 7,000,000,000 people in the world,,, then there are 7 Billion Truths,,,,, which are directly relative to what point any given person is at on their own personal evolutionary time line. There is no fake behavior,,, it is only another persons Truth in their struggle that comes to an Awareness in an interaction, That is the point of opportunity for changing and evolving into a new Awareness,,, and new perception of oneself. We are all empaths. It is a part of our “True Nature”, It is only a matter of Degree and Intensity,,, and our own personal awareness in remembering that gift that lies within all of humanity. At the point of our Birth,,, every Neurotransmitter throughout our entire nervous system is lit up,,,,, We were “Pure Energy”,,,,, and we did not know that we were anything other than Universe itself !!!!!.Our respective indoctrination,,, relative to all things human and geographical in space and time,,, slowly shuts down the electrical connections necessary,,, in order to have an instinctual awareness for the necessity for survival. More often than not,, more connections than necessary are shut down. The good news is that,, within the birth to death Paradigm,, we go back from wince we came,,, “Pure Energy” at the point of our departure.

    • Wow. I’m like a snail in this world of the living.
      At 63 I couldn’t really understand or follow what is here * yet I somehow understand some of it, then at the very end, I’m like what?
      How could I have already lived my whole life, never knowing anything, certainly not knowing who I am. Feels like I’ve been every one of the statement’s and never understanding why I haven’t been able to really connect, but to very few people. I’m now so all-myself, and in last 4 days been everywhere online talking like I’ve just woke up. Tomorrow I won’t remember much.
      It, or this nauseated feeling almost from wondering who the hell am I, and why does it even matter? feeling… I could be excited to examine, or just rather sleep than figure anything out. I am not even guessing but I’m positive most of poster’s here are far younger than I. Where has the real me been, I don’t know why I care to even know.
      I’ve heard myself saying, I ramble, my mind is foggy, I’ll never remember, lately I don’t .

      Do any of you want to even touch at this?
      I’ve posted not here , but elsewhere and I believe that I can truly say only one or two people have ever read what I’ve put up, or even responded in a way that I know they read and are communicating back …most of them I’ve never met.

      • Wow!! I am so ELATED to read that someone else feels just like me, at such an age! I’m 64, and I really feel I do not know myself or Understand myself and I Definitely don’t understand the world! Yet I feel I Should! I’ve met so many nice people who I Wanted to Stay in my life but no, they’d “back off” or just…….fade from the scene. I worried relentlessly that it’s Me they are backing off from. Was I such a bad person, what am I doing wrong? But now, in Particular now, I see it a bit clearer. I keep stuff back, keep it all inside, yet I expect others to be their honest open selves with Me. There are very few people in my life who I am Totally comfortable with, 2 being my husband and my older daughter, 4 are close friends. I can Feel they are honest, open, genuine, not always Kind, no, but never through meanness or jealousy or hate or anger, but through wanting to help me, and others, be all we Can be. Or through frustrating anger at the injustices of the world and how those injustices hurt others. Wars being a Prime example.
        I have had mental health issues for years, I won’t go into the details, suffice to say I’m receiving counseling. It’s only very recently I will finally able to Really say what’s been burling round my head. All because I made a mistake regarding who I believed was a friend. I was Drastically wrong, and felt a Ting! go off, like an epiphany. I could not help this person, they were raging! at Me alone I thought! But no! They had turned their so very very raw mixed emotions towards Me, so we both had to say to each other Go! Leave! Now! We were toxic to each other! This I’m saying right now as I’ve only just realised it!
        Dear Deb you are not alone! I think You are saying that with age comes more knowledge of the world than younger people, but it’s not necessarily so. With knowledge comes ignorance because we really don’t know as much as we think we know. Does this make sense?
        What I thought I was doing was helping this friend, who is 40yrs Younger. They saw me like a granny, then they heard stories about me and totally turned against me. Their rage took me completely by surprise! I didn’t know them at All! Uhuh! I didn’t listen to my Inner Voice, I’d been ignoring it for Years. Now? Well I have to Relearn who I Really am, and let this friend “go”.
        See……..I’m a carer by nature, ah but I wasn’t caring for Me! I Ignored Me. Today right here right now I see where I really am.
        Oh I Do hope I’m helping you Deb, I reiterate, you are not the only middle aged person feeling like that! Here is one.
        Many heartfelt wishes to you on your new path to Enlightenment.

    • I had to laugh when I read this. I too am a barber-stylist. My work areas are privacy stations. They have a 36″ opening but otherwise are walled in.
      I did an outcall appointment for a wedding a month ago. It was an open area. There was another woman on the area I was working in, made conversation with my client next to impossible for me. Then it got worse, the bridesmaids came and planted themselves around my work station. I was tongue tied.
      The bride wanted loose curls. At 2 pm I used my 3/4″Chi rotating barrel to give her what I thought she wanted. The temperature outside was 100 plus and it was humid. I figured by 5 pm her curls would be what she wanted. Yet with all these girls there I never found the words to communicate that fact.
      As the bride brushed and tugged (while I was loading my tools) one of the girls told her, “If you let it be it’ll be fine by 5, if you keep messing with it you’re not going to have any curl left.
      I just remember feeling helpless. I’ve been doing hair professionally since 1970. Since discovering quartz and the crystal and mineral kingdom I don’t usually take on other people’s pain the way I use to, nor do I get as tired. The crystals seem to neutralize a lot of the morbid energy from my environment. If you’re looking for a place with grateful bargains on their crystals try Wenger ‘s in Arkansas. Up Hwy 270 out of Hot Springs toward Mt. Ida. If you have a resale license you can get them wholesale, course you’re suppose to sell them.
      Thanks for the article, it made me feel less stupid.

  18. Thank you so much for writing this! This happens to me and I’ve always felt a lot of guilt and shame about it but now I understand it. Another weird thing that happens is that when these people talk to me I barely hear them, it’s like I’m underwater. But another person the same distance from me speaks to me and I hear them clearly.

    • My son has successfully overcome Selective Mutism. There seems to be no indication in my experience, working with other parents and professionals that SM is the result of trauma. Children with SM tend toward anxiety and in certain social situations will uncontrollably freeze up and be unable to speak. The term selective is misleading as a child with SM is truly unable to talk in certain situations. SM is not a behavioral challenge as they are not being defiant. They are overwhelmed by the anxiety and shut down — and often feel badly for this reason. However, my child did not speak at school until he was int sixth grade and now speaks in all settings. With lots of compassion and love and working remotely with Dr. Elisa Shipon Blum in Pennsylavian, he has moved past this great challenge and is a better human being for it. Blessings.

  19. Very helpful article! I’ve always wondered why I’m suddenly an articulate, confused mess around my family. I’d love to know how others cope with this so they remain connected to their strength and sense of self?

  20. Clear and helpfully authentic article – yes it is difficult for many who have alerted senses to tolerate inauthenticity – it is a psychic disorienting jolt.

  21. Thank you for this kind of Clarity very helpful article… So I’m not crazy! I found myself having a hard time dealing. For instance if I went to parties or social gatherings I would find myself dodging the party for a time to actually leave the house/event and go of a walk or sit in my car so that i could last the rest of the night. Of course I live in Los Angeles, so social gatherings in certain scenes can be inauthentic overkill. It also makes social dynamics complicated when there is that one person who has mutual friends and they are close, but you can’t stand them. Its not like they did anything TO you, you just don’t feel good about it and can’t “justify” why.

  22. This is very interesting to me as I am guilty of being inauthentic. Not only did I endure an abusive childhood, but have struggled mightily through some humiliating and devastating ordeals during the last few years. I’ve tried to process the rage and shame. I don’t want ANYONE to know how deep the scars are, so I do my best to put on my happy face. I’m sorry for any empath who has felt drained around me. It’s another reason to keep to myself!

    • Do not let this post make you feel any more shame or guilt! It’s not a reason to keep to yourself :(. Few people are true empaths and the rest of the world are not drained from being around you.

      You are strong and a survivor. And you deserve every happiness now.

    • It’s interesting pinky. I am an empath. I related to it, but it started feeling this article was a bit far over in some areas. I have to deal with lots personalities one on one each day in my work. I’ve had to learn not to be so sensitive because otherwise you can’t function in the world.. I only get that feeling now from somebody who is insincere or is thinking badly of me and trying to hide it. I think many people are not truly authentic for different reasons so don’t feel judged by what it’s saying. Everybody wears a mask of some kind otherwise we would all go mad. It’s only when we are ready to let go of them that they fall off. Like a tree dropping leaves.

      • Carolyn, I don’t so much mind the “mask” that we all wear so much as phoniness. I don’t ever want to be phony, I just don’t want to share what I’ve gone through with just anyone. The thing is, I know that there are some folks out there who can tell exactly what I’ve been through without me even saying a word – scary!! Blessings!

      • Val – I actually did share my story with the three people that I trust (they’re the only ones left in my life right now!!) and it felt good to get it off my chest and, in a way, release the shame and misery. I’m still processing and trying to reconcile all the events. I’m not there yet, so I try to put on my happy face while I work through it.

        I’m sending warm thoughts and lots of loving hugs to you – Thank you for commenting – blessings!

    • Hi Pinky,

      Please do not apologise. I wrote this article to help Empaths better understand why it is they can feel such discomfort with some inauthentic people. I would not say that applies to you. Putting a smile on your face because you don’t want others to see your pain means you want to make the world a brighter place, and that makes you a shining ray of light and a true gem.

      Thanks for sharing.
      Big hugs

      • Pinky, You comment indicates you are very self aware and you are doing a good job of discerning who/when to let your most intimate self shine through. It’s okay to be selective about who you reveal yourself to. I worry a bit when I meet people who want “instant intimacy” – they want to share everything about themselves in the first hour you know them. Sometimes, these people turn out to be soul mates for life, but not always – they often turn out to be very needy and not very self aware. I don’t sense you are either of these things, just very wise. Discernment is HEALTHY!

    • Pinky, Always remember…No one can judge or determine our journey’s :). I believe our strength is not only defined by our ability to communicate or conform, but, by our thoughts/intent and actions when no one is watching. Life supplies a multitude of challenges, in varying degree’s, the trick is finding our amazing and unique talents, harnessing them and targeting them to our dreams. Empathy is: the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes.
      A true empath should embrace these situations in a way that would create some form of positive energy, for themselves and the other person. You have an eloquent gift of communication, which can be seen in your post 🙂 …..perhaps that is your gift….a gift which does not require you to participate in group situations which make you uncomfortable. It worked for J.K Rowling and Stephen King 😉 Sending positive energy your way!

      • I so appreciate each and every one of these comments – I can tell that there are very kind empaths who offer compassion and empathy instead of judgement. To each of you – please know that I take your comments to heart and will use them to help my own healing.

        My job is to process and (try very hard) to release all the junk that exhausts people. I, too, am very sensitive to others’ vibrations – i.e. – I can tell in an instant if someone is angry or sad, etc. While I don’t think I am an empath, I certainly have a much better understanding of why I felt exhausted and and not good enough around several people who professed to be my “best friends”.

        Thank you again to each of you – I send my highest energy and blessings to all.

        Melissa 🙂

    • Pinky – you don’t necessarily need to tell people about what you lived – but what you lived can make you a strong person – you are here so obviously you are. You don’t need to hide either 🙂 Once you can process you can be your true authentic self, and change the story to highlight the strengths you gained from whatever it is you overcame. Wish you well on your journey!

      Thanks for posting Diane – great article. 🙂

    • Pinky,

      As an empath I believe we all have this ability to a point it’s a normal human trait. We should support each other in that we are so connected on a level that we can’t see or explain at times. If I was to be around you I would pick up your pain and struggle and that’s OK. It’s OK that I feel it and it’s OK that you don’t hide it. You working on it in any way you can to heal helps you and me. I learn from the people around me and some days it can bring me to my knees. Did you ever think that you going out can be a gift for someone like me? That energy exchange was meant to be I learn and grow and you can get energy to help you heal. I try hard to see things as a lesson and not a punishment. Don’t get me wrong I’m not perfect and stay in my own space more then most so I can be at my best but I no longer, not go out.

  23. Now I know why I feel a certain way around one of my son’s friends. I always have an uneasy feeling when I am around this person. I want to like him, but somehow can’t… I can’t find the words to describe it!

      • It like I understand most of you on this post
        And I’m also still grieving over my grandson who passed away.recently.I keep feeling it could have been prevented. I know he in good place now.but it doesn’t change that .it like I feel helpless.I had dream I did not like at all about four days ago .I can feel negative energy and I can’t stand it espe ially for long periods of time.it like a fog mist and it like some were saying a block .it trys to grab all the good and blessings from you if u let it.my son friend and him stay with me a while long ago I knew he harness negative dark vibes but .I can see thru him my son can’t
        My daughter partner the same just not as bad as my son friend
        But they are both very deceptive .and lie often.and hide things .they try to attacke if I even hint bout any thing I feel.but they mostly do it behind my kids bck .I know I’m not paranoid or crazzy cuz few times I’ve overheard convos
        Then when door opens total silence.and this is only a piece there times when I felt something wasn’t rite .but didn’t know when etc.And then when it come I was in shock.becuz I had no clue it was a person closet to me .and have you ever look bck after the fact and saw signs.here and ther and thot wow if it was more clear and specific maybe I could change it or etc.or if u knew where and when well that sums it up for me and it a gift that hurts more than helps .I’m sick of it to a point any advice for me???

  24. My first day here, and you beckoned to me. As I read this, I was again speechless as I have been for almost the past 7 years since my mom passed away. We had such a connection, and she took it with her. I have felt lost. I had no word for how I felt, and fear of admitting that I am an Empath.

    • Sending you love.. your comment really resonated with me bc I felt the same way when my Grandpa passed away..& then again when his wife passed the day before my birthday (this year) I was extremely close to both of them & losing them made me feel lost. I wish for you to find peace in your soul.. I know its hard to lose a loved one ❤

  25. now I final understand why I babble on like an idiot with some people I felt so uncomfortable I did anything I could to avoid them even though on the surface they seemed friendly enough, its just that Beveley Allett always comes to mind when I think of them both, I thought it was me being weird. thank you for the incite

  26. Reblogged this on Storyweaving and commented:
    Inauthenticity has many reasons, and for those of us who are empathic, sensitive to the layers of people, it can be a challenge. Here’s a good article that’s food for thought about dealing with the challenges of empathy, and checking in with ourselves as well as others.

  27. I remember the first moment I was recognized and validated as a empath. I’d just begun a new position as a counselor in a woman’s prison, that a New York company had contracted for here in Texas. One day sitting in a staff meeting, my energy suddenly felt as if I’d plugged into a 220 volt electric socket when the director of the program leaned over and whispered,” Stop it, your stealing all my energy”. I looked at her and was shocked to look into the eyes of a, “knowing”, kindred. As we stood to commence finishing the meeting as she reached over to my hand and said, ” Your not alone”. I followed the direction of where she was looking and saw a nod from another coworker, who smiled then nodded, glanced towards another who in turn smiled and wiggled her fingers at me.
    Afterwards, the woman, I’ll call Denise waited for me and patiently listened as I shattered questions. She asked, “Who’s Joey?”
    “Excuse me”, I answered again befuddled, but responded,” The only Joey is my Dad’s brother and my grandmother is the only one who called him that.”
    Needless, I called her as soon as I got home, as she went through a mini checklist with me, validating every instinct I’d carried with me, and mentored me at honing my gift.
    You know not to blurt out to every Tom, Rick and Harry what you feel and see because not everyone can handle it nor do some really care if they suck you dry. Just keeping it real.
    I’m a true empath, with every sign symptom and wives tale. It’s passed to my children, and grandchildren. My Mother died when I was young and only a paternal grandmother had minimal amount. So without further ado, it’s wonderful to read the blogs, commentaries and responses. Some of us make a living at it. Some, choose to use it lightly while others tend to isolate and attempt to form a semblance of life in a world of ricocheted emotions. That’d be me.

  28. Welcome back! So glad you posted. Just want to let you know how on target ypu have been. Thank you for the guidance and the tools that I need to keep myself healthy as an empath Thank your reminding me that I am not crazy!

    Lightworker Stephannie

  29. Thank you for the article! Needed to read this. I just wish I knew what to do with the information i learned. What do I do now that I know I detest being around certain fake people because it reminds me of me?

    • We are never upset about what we think we are. Most insecurities and fake behaviour stem from our need to be accepted by society.
      Discovering where your insecurity lies is key and it will no doubt be hidden under layers of crap (painful emotions and life experiences).

      Here are 2 ways to find answers:

      1, Question yourself as you would question another with no holds barred. Write your questions down on paper; write them as if you are asking a friend. Then in turn write down the answers to the questions. Be brutally honest and go deep with both your questions and answers. It may take a while but you will get your answers eventually. Burn the paper after. This stops others reading your deepest secrets and also releases the energy held within the words.

      2, Find your answers through meditation. Ask your questions before meditation and receive the answers during from your higher self. This will only work if you already have a strong meditative practice, otherwise you may find it is the voice of the ego answering your questions.

      Once you get your answers it is essential to accept and/or release what you discover.

      Hope this helps

      • Hello justpassingthrough, My name is D’Ann and its only been in the 10 yrs or so did I realize that I was an emphathic. I could never understand why I would experience different emotions that where not of my own… Until I met someone who says to me, how long have you been an empath? At first I was excuse me, I do not understand your question… they said an empath… they continued to help dial me into understanding about this gift that I had but no understanding as to what it was. Over the years I have done my best to understand what this gift was and how to channel it, and to keep it in the positive light. Then one day here not too long ago I was on Facebook and a side article came put on 10 questions to see if your an empathic came across my screen… It caught my attention, so of course I clicked on it and as if all the gray parted way and the glorious sun came shining through on me as I finally understood who I am ment to be… I now understand why I feel the emotions I do when I come into contact with other people… I find this site and others like it to give me understanding with it I would still be walking in the dark.. Thank you to all my brother and sister of our world many many Thanks to all of you who help others in so many ways with words of wisdom, with them many of us would not be here. Thanks again and I hope all stay safe in a world of hate and evil… Peace my friend…D. P.s. I hope you can understand this post…

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