The Mirror Effect of an Empath & Why Some People Instantly Dislike You

We have all experienced it, being around someone who has either taken an instant dislike to us, or a bizarre resentment suddenly appears in those we have known for some time.

There may be no clear reason for this change in their behaviour. No matter whether they try to hide their feelings or not, an Empath can sense their loathing and it does not feel good!

Someone taking a dislike to another is a completely normal and acceptable part of life. We are all different and there will always be some people we do not get along with, whether Sensitive or not. 

What is often baffling to the Empath is why some people act in an animostic way towards them, when they know they are a likeable and trustworthy person.Now, other than the fact that some people will always want to take away the light of those who shine,  I have come to discover there are three other reasons why people either cool off or take an instant dislike towards the Empath and they are:

  • The Empath Acts as a Mirror 
  • The Empath’s Vibration is too Fast
  • The Empath’s Stillness is Wrongly Interpreted

The Mirror Reflecting Back

It is common for people to act inauthentically. They hide who they are because they don’t like aspects of their personality. An Empath has the ability to reflect this back to them. 

There are some who hide aspects of their personality to manipulate others. But the majority who act inauthentically do so to fit in.

The fear of being judged or disliked, for what they don’t like about themselves, makes some wear a mask of inauthenticity. Even those of a Sensitive nature put on a face when out in the world. There are some, however, who never remove their mask, going through life with a false identity.

When one comes face to face with an Empath there is no hiding from these concealed traits; the mask comes off. The traits they have worked hard to hide or deny are now waved in their face. This often causes ill-feelings to be directed towards the Empath.

Because being around an Empath can bring up anything buried, it may cause a strong loathing to develop in others. However, what those who experience this ‘loathing’ don’t realize is the intense dislike they have, towards the Empath, is simply a reflection of their shadow-side.  Anything hidden becomes seen within the Mirror of the Empath.

The Mirror Effect

Because an Empath picks up on other people’s emotions, hidden behaviours and true personality traits, they can take them on and thus project them back out to their rightful owner. They can wear other people’s truth like the mask they hide behind; even if they are unaware they are doing it.

Anything hidden, such as an insecurity, suppressed shame, guilt or anger, builds the longer it is left buried. If someone has traits they don’t like about themselves, they are reminded of them when in an Empath’s presence. This is one reason why instant dislikes can form towards an Empath.

If this has been your experience, it could well be that you are reflecting back to them the truth they deny. Or there could be another reason…

Your Vibration is Too Fast…

Just like an Empath’s need not to be around people who spew negativity, there are some who cannot stand to be around those who vibrate a clean energy.

When you work on yourself, and make any positive changes to your mind, body or spirit, you become cleaner and purer. This can cause rejection from those who need to be around low-level vibrations.

You may have also noticed that when in an emotionally low place, some friends prefer you that way. Yet when you make changes and put yourself in a high vibrating space, those same friends don’t like it. They may try to bring you back down and extinguish your inner-light and happiness. 

Vibrating in a higher space can repel even those you love. People sense change, whether it is visually apparent or not. And they feel when another has changed or stepped up their frequency.

Not everyone is ready to raise their vibration. Some still have lessons to learn at their level and are not ready to move forwards. And because they are not ready, they may try to draw you back down.

Also, if you don’t feel like a fit to them anymore, it may cause hostility towards you and another reason they are repelled.

Your Stillness is Wrongly Interpreted

To those of an insecure nature, your quiet, and sometimes distant ways are often seen as a form of disrespect or a snub.

Because at times, you may appear aloof, some may consider this to be superior behaviour. Wrongly assuming you believe you are in some way above them.

Normally, when an Empath acts in an aloof or distant way, it is because they are on overload.

When having taken on too much stimuli from their surroundings and are in serious need of recharging, the Empath wants nothing more than to be invisible to others.

And when heading towards a fatigue meltdown, the last thing an Empath can deal with is someone offloading their troubles, like so many like to do. Even polite conversation is too much. This is often interpreted as a rejection or an insult.

Because others don’t feel what an Empath feels, it is difficult for them to understand why they have to withdraw the way they do.

Sadly, the more insecure someone is, the more they are offended by your quiet ways. If they see you as blowing hot and cold, they may consider this as disrespect and reject you as a way to hurt you.

So, if someone develops an aversion towards you, for no good reason, remember not to take it personally. It is just the Mirror of the Empath at work.

If you would like to learn more about the ways of an Empath and how to harness your incredible power you may want to read 7 Secrets of the Sensitive… It could transform your life! Or if you would like to support my work, please help by donating here.

Hope this helps on your Empath journey.

To discover the many secrets of the Sensitive click here.

Until next time…


©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered


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74 thoughts on “The Mirror Effect of an Empath & Why Some People Instantly Dislike You

    • I have definitely experienced rejection and resentment for being in a high flying frequency. It typically doesn’t bother me much anymore. What I struggle with is the inauthentic people who won’t let me let go of them when I grow and change. I have to practically ghost people and it’s extremely hard for me to do. But I can’t continue to respond in situations where I feel pain and stress every time I get a phone call or text from them. I feel like I’m going through a complete divorce process of my old friends and family and I’m hoping to find people who meet me where I am now. I deserve to be happy and be with happy people. We all do. Thank you for your important work.

  1. Diane, What a great article. I believe I have been an empath my entire life. I have suppressed my abilities for a long time. When I was a young child, I had a few friends, but enjoyed spending time alone. I felt like an old soul. In my twenties, I would not listen to my intuition. I would always try to see the best in everyone, even when my inner voice was telling me to remove certain people from my life. Since I didn’t listen to my intuition, I would suffer from severe anxiety and internal conflict. What really made me take a hard look at my life is when I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor ten years ago. I started looking up on the internet about my personality traits and behavior. This is how I learned that I was an empath. It all made sense. Now that I am in my late 40s, I stopped trying to please others and put my own needs first. It is exhausting when us empaths put others’ needs in front of our own. I learned how to set clear boundaries. I no longer permit people in my life who bring no value or positivity into my life. I have grown closer to God. I feel mentally stronger. I am curious if any empaths on here have deleted your social media accounts or have limited your time on social media. I limit my time on social media. Being an introverted empath, Facebook makes me feel unbalanced and drained. Diane, I have no tolerance for narcissistic and self absorbed behavior either. I literally feel sick when people who act like that. Another question, Have any of you empaths experienced paranormal activity? Back in 2014, I started feeling and seeing Spirits. Some empaths do have psychic abilities. I know I can’t be the only one. I am thankful to see Spirits.

  2. This really helped explain a lot about some experiences I’ve had with other people throughout my life, thank you so much. There is one that really bothers me because it was so intense that I’ve been holding onto trying to figure out. I was always told I was ‘too sensitive’, I didn’t realize when I was younger I was an empath. Being on a ship in the military, talk about being in a world of overwhelming emotions. A tin can full energies bouncing back and fourth everywhere, I almost wish I could go back for a moment to really process all of that knowing what I know now.

    I was stationed on a ship with a guy who was always very aggressive and mean towards me for no apparent reason. From the moment I met him, he was just awful to me and I never saw him act like this towards anyone else. He wasn’t nice but towards me, he was especially nasty. I never understood it, it just didn’t make any sense in my mind.

    I was a non-rate at the time and was taking my turn mess-cooking. While working the scullery, he walked up to the window and threw his dirty tray of food at me. He didn’t toss it, his intent was to hit me with it, hard and he did. He stood there for a moment, growled and walked away. He was always doing things like that for no apparent reason. We barely ever spoke to one another, ever, outside him calling me nasty names and making lewd comments.

    When I look back at everything, it’s now glaringly obvious to me why he acted the way he did. His energy was not good, that was something I was aware of for sure. It was dark energy and very heavy. His presence was always oppressive. This is all making sense – he really couldn’t stand to look into the mirror at all. I do have to wonder where he is now?

    Really, thank you. This is super interesting and so eye opening.

  3. Thanks for this. I think of myself as a triple 100% EMPATH with zero tolerance for Narcissists and psychopaths. I MUST SAY I handle everthing with compassion and know my limitations.. Keep sharing.. I APPRECIATE YOU DIANE.

  4. Great article! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I am an empath and experience this all the time, particularly with women. Sometimes they don’t even know me, never met me or know much about me and the initial contact I can see it in their eyes, it’s very strange but this makes total sense.

  5. I cannot thank you enough for this article! It came to me at the right time, as an answer (or several answers) to some of my own self-observations and self-discoveries and questions, like a reassurance that all is well (first of all with me, as an empath). I discovered this first when analysing the pattern of my relationship with my husband. However, after that, many times I felt like he was the mirror of my inner unspoken fears and thoughts, which really seemed to be similar to his own, deep down, so they were “thrown” back to me in a very amplified and hurtful manner. Once this “click” occurred in my mind, things started to get slowly clearer and I started taking my power back, if I can say so. Personally, I feel the secret is in maintaining the balance now. The more positive, loving and self-confident I am, the better the result. I feel that if my balance is disturbed even slightly, so is the outer result. Not sure if I am completely right. This is my answer so far. And I have also noticed I “suck” his own energy too, so I learn to detach myself from that too. To me, taking our power back seems to be one of the secrets. In my opinion, to be a Sensitive Empath is a gift, not a burden. This is how I want to look at it. From the winner position, no longer from the victim position. A difficult path as you say, but I find it so so beautiful. So, thank you once again from the bottom of my heart for such a thorough insight!

  6. Thank you so much for your work Diane! I am currently reading your book, 7 Secrets of the Empath, and I was wondering if you or others could give me some concrete examples (different scenarios or experiences) of people automatically or shortly thereafter having intense dislike or resentment of an empath due to the empath acting as a mirror and reflecting back that person’s or peoples’ truth. I’ve had this happening an awful lot lately but can’t seem to pick out what it is I am reflecting back to them. All I know is that it feels really crappy and is upsetting. How can I sense what truth I might be presenting them? How can I see what is behind the feeling with a stranger or an acquaintance? It would sure be nice to be able to say to myself, “Ah. The bartender is seeing such and such about herself and that is why I feel so bad” and that is why she is treating me so poorly, or the therapist, or why the ex boyfriend from the past keeps popping up in my head who I’d just as soon forget about and not intermittently re-experience some of his itinerant angst… (or mine) but am not sure if its his or mine?? On the long distance resentment thing, is it possible I am still unwittingly mirroring the ex boyfriend well over 600 miles well over a year and a half? Much thanks for any and all input!


    • Hi Heather,

      When an Empath acts as an emotional mirror, it is more a case of amplifying negative traits, the other person has buried, back to them (If we too carry these same traits the effect will be worsened.) This mirror effect often leads to the other person projecting their pain or acting in a hostile manor. Which feels awful.

      It is often the case, when an Empath’s mind keeps going towards a certain person, it is the other person who is having unresolved issues coming up that they are refusing to face and projecting the blame onto the Empath. But it could also be our own buried issues coming up to be resolved. It can be tricky discerning the two because they feel so similar. The question to ask yourself is are these issues something that you are struggling with in life? What does your gut tell you?

      Question everything you feel. Write it down in a journal. You quickly get answers when you question what you feel and verbalise it through the written word.

      We are in the midst of some very trying times. People all over the world are having their pain bodies activated as a way for them to face their truth. Many are refusing to do this and instead dwelling on past issues as a way to place the blame and find reason for their pain. And this is why so many Empaths are struggling with what they are feeling now. Keeping yourself in balance is essential, as is staying out of people’s dramas and energy (I know, easier said than done).

      If you’ve not already read them you may find these two posts helpful:

      Hope this helps and thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. Ok I have been trying to get as much truth to who I am along with trying to respect my spiritual father who is my biological father as well. We both are church goers non denomination and yes I am a Christian that’s why it’s so hard for me to understand completely how to be who I am with out disrespecting or disappointing my dad. Because he is my creator part of that Devine family I honestly get lost sometimes with who I am. I share with him these blogs and ask him what he thinks and he tells me to stick to the bible….. Because what good what it so if u don’t fully understand my gift if I don’t know how to use it. I know I am a healer or sometimes I prophesy and I am focusing on virtues to gain that love power to use. It’s just sometimes like I said I get lost. Please any advice would help. Thank you God bless💗

    • As an Empath we are constantly searching for answers and looking for our own truths. We want to be able to live a life that fits our beliefs and inner-feelings. Unfortunately it does not always fit in with other people’s plans or ideas of how we should experience our life.
      There are so many ways of being, opinions and expectations thrown at us from family, friends and society that it can be difficult to find or live our truth. We also have a natural fear of not fitting in or letting others down. An Empath will often put the needs and wants of others before their own, which can leave them feeling lost and frustrated.
      You are in a position that many will find themselves in at some point. The soundest advice I could offer in finding your path is to follow your heart and inner-guidance. The best person to tell you what direction you should go or how you should live is you.
      On the many blogs you come across you may find lots of advice on ways to make life easier, happier and healthier but it has to feel right to you. We are all unique and all have different paths to walk. This journey is full of obstacles and challenges for us to overcome. If we keep working at them and strive to be the best person we can be, we will continue to develop and increase our inner-knowing. More doors then open and truths are revealed.

  8. When I feel that I am being attacked by someone’s attitude towards me I feel angry.
    I react angrily sometimes raising my voice which I can’t seem to control no matter how hard I try not to.
    How can I help myself? It just seems to leave me feeling worse.

    • Hi Anne,

      What you are experiencing is common with many Empaths when experiencing an ‘attack’. It is like a trauma trigger response. You can be activated when sensing even the slightest threat. It is a natural protective defence mechanism activated by part of the brain. In those who are Sensitive this activation is hyper-reactive. It can be controlled, but we have to work to get ourselves in balance. I cover this subject in my new book, which is due for release next month, and give ways to get it under control.

      You may find this post helpful
      It offers ways to help get/stay in balance.

      Hope it helps. 🙂

      • Ditto for me too. I sometimes feel “I’m an Empath. I only want what’s best for the common good of humanity, why am I so angry?” Maybe from years of being taken advantage of by friends, family, etc.? Even now, I will NOT be used and mistreated by anyone. I’m no longer a doormat and it feels good. I just have to work on the instinctive anger and meditate more!

  9. I’m teary-eyed right now. Thank you for this. I always wanted to win the “Good citizenship” award in school growing up but have always had people, including teachers, who, despite my best efforts, took an instant and strong disliking to me (and thus never won). I mention this because, until today (I’m 40), I’ve wondered why or what I’m doing wrong or how I might change…This makes so many things make sense and relieves a great a burden of self-blame. Thank you

  10. Thank you for this article. It has been hard for me to accepted the fact that I am emphatic, although I knew it from childhood. My freshman year in college, one of the first classes in my major, I was faced by a professor whose disdain for me was instant and overwhelming. I always thought the reason was because she saw her younger self in me. Thanks for the validation.

  11. In the last year or two I’ve found that positive people get very attracted to me, negative people want to destroy me. Here’s a quote from M.Scott Peck:

    ‘Evil people hate the light because it reveals themselves to themselves. They hate goodness because it reveals their badness; they hate love because it reveals their laziness. They will destroy the light, the goodness, the love in order to avoid the pain of such self-awareness. My second conclusion, then, is that evil is laziness carried to its ultimate, extraordinary extreme.

    As the integrity of their sick self is threatened by the spiritual health of those around them, they will seek by all manner of means to crush and demolish the spiritual health that may exist near them.’

    I’ve searched your site for mention of psychopaths but didn’t find anything. Are you aware that empaths are prime targets for psychopaths? Psychopaths aren’t all serial killers – a huge number live in plain sight in society, hiding behind a ‘mask’ of sanity. Donna Anderson’s blog,, details her story and is one of the first websites about psychopaths and is mentioned in Professor Hare’s book, ‘Snakes in Suits.’ Hare devised the standard assessment tool for psychopaths, the PCL-R (Psychopath Checklist Revised) which can be found on Wikipedia.

    Donna Andersen’s story, detailing her involvement with a psychopath / sociopath is at

    Here’s another couple of websites about psychopaths. The links go to pages touching on the subject of empaths, but each site has a lot more information about how and why empaths are such prime targets.

    And here’s a summary of the relationship between psychopaths and empaths:

    Empaths find psychopaths attractive because of the psychopath’s lack of overwhelming emotions. When the psychopath turns nasty they find it difficult to fight his darkness.

    Psychopaths find empaths attractive because they’re willing to share all their resources (time, money, love, s*x), because they have poor boundaries which can easily be overcome, because they give endless second chances, because they’re good at bringing up the P’s children (when he does a runner), because they often have lots of life energy to drain and because they feel emotional pain very easily and provide a lot of entertainment for the psychopath in the discard phase.

    • Hi

      Yes, I am aware of the connection/draw between some Empaths and narcissists/psychopaths. However, I have not written about the subject on my blog (it is covered in one of the books I’m working on) because I tend to write here mostly about my own life experiences or the discoveries I have made on how to make the Empath’s life easier. I have a very high intolerance to anyone who is a narcissist or a psychopath, and try to avoid them like the plague. For this reason I have little to share, in the way of life experience, on the subject.

      My ability to read people, especially on first encounters, has always been accurate. I can see a psychopath even if they are hiding behind a mask. I have tons of empathy and experience powerful emotions, but I am not drawn to those who have none, like some Empaths are. Narcissists and psychopaths have always felt really, really wrong to me. But I understand this is not the case for everyone.

      An Empath is often on an emotional overload, whereas a psychopath is emotionally shallow. The saying opposites attract is at work with the attraction between a psychopath and Empath. Nature has a way of creating balance and in drawing opposites together this can sometimes be achieved. A psychopath is the very opposite spectrum to an Empath, even down to the way their brain works. The parts of the brain that incite emotional responses are dormant in the psychopath; the same part of the brain is in overdrive in the Empath.

      But thanks for sharing this. It has inspired me to write a post on the subject for those who have been drawn into such relationships and may need to understand why.


      • this is an awesome article. Just what I needed to read. Ive got more enimies than friends it seems and I do nothing to deserve it. Thank You for this

      • This is a great article. Thank you! In regard to psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists I think there is a fine line between those clinically diagnosed and those,as you mentioned, who are on a very low frequency. Having worked in the mental health field and as an empath, I’m concerned about labeling people when we don’t know for sure. The labels are being tossed about in the Universe so much lately over simple misunderstandings between people who haven’t taken time to know themselves, let alone the other person. Even the word Empath is often mistaken for someone who is simply sensitive. It would be helpful to understand defined differences between the psychological and the low vibration.

        I did also appreciate the segment about the mirroring as an empath that can lead to an instant disliking from another. I don’t let that bother me much and don’t really notice unless someone else says something. I have heard people ask ME why another doesn’t like me. Until today, reading your article, I have a great answer besides I don’t know. “Oh! Really? They’re probably just operating at a low frequency.😉😉”. I can also share this with my Grandson who struggles much with this.
        When I am bothered by it I’ve learned it usually has something to do with a primal-like threat to my survival. Say a co-worker is doing a lot of undermining of my efforts, or there’s potential physical threat to watch for. As a teen, when those things happened it was about me trying so hard to please, to be accepted, to be part of a group of friends. Sometimes as an adult, it happened a few times. I’m old now so it’s not as important anymore.
        Thanks again, Diane. I look forward to reading more
        of your work.

      • You’re very welcome, Marianne.

        And thanks for your brilliant comment. I would have to agree with you in regards to labels being overly used, or used in the wrong context. When it comes to people, being sensitive is a word that holds so many meanings (that’s why I capitalize in when I’m referring to Empaths or HSPs). And yes, someone can display narcissistic traits without necessarily being a narcissist.

        Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Hi

        Just wanted to say that I have found working on myself and learning to love and respect myself for who I am as an Empath goes some way to help stop attracting these people. When you feel better about yourself, you give off a different vibration and you naturally strengthen your aura. I hope this suggestion helps as it is working for me.

  12. Thank you so much for this article, Diane! I’ve recently changed jobs a few times and I’ve been determined to be polite and friendly to everyone, showing interest in what they say etc. I’ve also worked hard on monitoring my thoughts and eliminating any feelings of envy, fear or anything negative, usually only blaming myself for whatever arises.

    However, as you’ve described, I feel that some people just flat out don’t like me and often it comes over time. Sometimes having not even spoken to a specific person, I can still feel his or her negativity towards me, which of course results in me blaming myself or trying to find a reason as to why this person feels this way. To tell you the truth, this has been driving me nuts! Whenever sensing that some negativity is directed at me, I also go in to a mental overload trying to determine whether I’m just imagining all of this, whether I’m just projecting my own insecurities on to others… I learned, though, to trust my intuition.

    I do know that whenever I’m drained and seek solitude, I inadvertently offend others. I then go on blaming myself for not trying hard enough.

    I’m really tired of people but I know that being at ease and and myself among them is my destiny. I just wish I had someone just a bit like in my life.

    • JJ – I so can relate to what you wrote. I can also feel people’s negativity towards me. I actually prefer when it’s apparent as I know what I am dealing with and can act accordingly. But what makes for some real crazy making is when I meet someone new, they are all smiles and ‘act’ like they like me and want to be friends. Do all the right things, but I feel bad vibes from them nonetheless. Their negativity towards me belies their friendliness. In the end I’m always right about such people. But when I try to explain it to others they can’t ‘see’ what I’m talking about as they only ‘see’ a friendly person and that I must be crazy or have some problem for not seeing what they see. It’s not easy when your one of the few who can “see” people beyond the senses of the eye. When you can “see” they have bad intentions for you that nobody else sees til all is said and done. That being said I’m so glad I found this site as I truly felt alone and that nobody else at all could relate. I love my solitude. I hate ringing phones and never carry mine with me (people are always amazed and upset by this), and I truly prefer and quiet evening in as opposed to a concert, fireworks displays or even the movies. I have noticed it has become stronger the older I get (I’m in my 50’s).

    • I appreciate what you are saying…and yet something else to consider is that may be that maybe our own shadow is creating the dissonance and THEY are OUR mirror. Just because we think we are not contributing to the problem does not mean the problem is not within ourselves. It is an opportunity to mind our own energy. It’s not always the other. Asking for feedback can be quite an awakening.

      • Hi Wakeupdancing,

        Excellent point and one I cover in my post

        Facing our shadow side is an essential part our journey but it is also and area that is so difficult for the Empath to navigate as we don’t always know what is ours and that which belongs to another.

        An Empath will often take the blame for any type of rejection from another and beat themselves up for not being good enough, nice enough etc. It is my intention with this post to highlight the reasons many Empaths get the cold shoulder from others, especially after doing much work on themselves and indeed after facing their own shadow side.

        Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • How I adore your blog Diane!! You make more sense to me than anyone else I’ve read. Thank you! How I wish you would write a book! 🙂

      • Thanks so much Bluedaisy,

        I am in the process of writing a book for the Empaths of the world. It is taking me longer than I thought because more information keeps coming to me that I have to add in. Not complaining though. I’m loving the process. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. I am an Empath. Have been all my life. I’ve always felt different and others also could pick up I was different. I’ve been made fun of and bullied for it when I was a child. This article has cleared up more for me. Thank you. I thought I was crazy. I’ve been married to my husband 16 years and most days before he even gets home, which I never know the exact time as it varies, I have always been able to sense he is on his way before he even gets home because the Negative energy just builds and builds. Once he’s in the house it’s palatable. Last night I went to sleep at 9:30 pm. He came in at 11:30 pm. All I did was ask him where the dog was because she sleeps with us every night and he blew his lid!!! Started yelling and raging at me. I honestly don’t know for what. I don’t know if he took it the wrong way. What other way can you take it? But he went on to say I expect him to be a mind reader as to know where the dog is etc.etc. etc… All I did was ask him where she was. Not in a mean tone or anything. But it has been like this are whole marriage. I hate to admit it but after that weird exchange he took off in a huff and slept in another room. It was like I could feel the Negativity in that room leave with him and I could sleep. I’ve noticed that when he is in the room sleeping I don’t sleep well as I can feel the negativity seeping from him. It definitely effects my energy field and not for the better. I always wake up in a panic attack, have depression and extreme anxiety all day. In fact, I have it anytime he has a day off and is around regardless if we say a word to each other or not. I cannot talk to him without him blowing up and accusing me of “ruining his day off.” Any time I try to bring up a normal conversation he does this. His negative Energy is so high it’s stifling. He acts like he can’t live without me but on a day to day basis he treats me with such contempt over nothing. I really feel crazy. Would love to know if anyone else has had these experiences with another individual.

    • Hi Keira,

      Sounds like your husband is using you as his mental punch-bag and stress release valve. In him lashing out at you, he is effectively offloading and giving you his anger and frustration to deal with. Empaths can act as a powerfully calming drug to some, which is addictive for them, destructive for us. Having to deal with that kind of negativity on a daily basis will only serve in shattering your confidence and self-esteem, which will leave you vulnerable and dependent. Not a good place for the Empath to be in.

      Sorry I cannot be of any more help on the subject. Hopefully, someone may comment who has been in a similar situation themselves and share their take on it.

      Diane 🙂

      • Thanks, Diane – Your article really helped me. When I have threatened to leave or have left my husband in the past because of his bad behavior he seemed genuinely upset and almost terrified of losing me. Yet, when I decide to stay and not leave almost immediately the next day I feel such scorn, contempt and loathing from him even though it is not in spoken words. It’s in his energy and I can FEEL it. Even when no one else around me notices anything out of the ordinary I can FEEL it strongly. It’s very unnerving to feel it and be told “nothing’s wrong” when I can very well tell there is. Even more so when others don’t see it and can’t understand what I’m feeling and sensing. Several times even he has admitted to me that what I felt was spot on. But that is very much the exception and most definitely not the rule. Heaven forbid I even try to bring it up as I’m met with rage. Heaven forbid I bring anything up as it is usually met with contempt, scorn and ridiculet. I know it’s a very bad situation, but I’m in my 50’s now with 2 kids still at home. I feel like it’s too late and that I’m stuck. But at least now I have some clue as to why he behaves the way he does. I really felt like I was going crazy. It truly helps to understand. I would very much like to hear from others. Again, thank you, Diane.

    • Just read your comment Keira and Diane’s reply below.. I am an empath (very much so) and have been in that situation, for many years and then I refused to let it carry on any longer. I am not sure if it was the wrong or right thing to do , but I just got angry and told him every time he did it to me that it was unacceptable. I went on and on shouting and screaming at him , maybe for about 2 hours at a time, each time he did it and finally told him very strongly that if he kept it up, i would leave him, and he could tell from my voice i meant it (and I did; even tho I am pretty dependent on him in other ways and not an ultra strong person; but this was so unbearable even i would have walked!) Well… he changed! He knows now when he’s doing it and will stop himself because he knows I will rant about it for 2 hours and be really mean. It may not have been the best way to handle it , but it was my way and it worked… I’m sure there are more enlightened ways to do it; i have read that if you send people loving t houghts they will start to become loving back; however, in my case that did not work. I was naturally loving and good humoured but I was getting the behaviour that you’re getting. I honestly thing that if it doesn’t change, it is not worth staying in that kind of marriage as you will look back and see the whole of your adult life was ruined by one moody *******. A friend wouldn’t dare treat you like that every day and expect you to stay friends, so why should a partner that is supposed to be your ally, expect you to put up with it? What is the point of the marriage? I think if people put up with it for years on end, in the end it is maybe their fault as negative people will often push you as far as they can get away with. So don’t let t hem…. Just my take…

  14. Is blowing hot and cold fare to the non empath? Must the empathy take this treatment of others under consideration and not justify their actions by claiming because they are empathy this is an exceptable way to treat others? Playing a little devils advocate here. In the end it’s not the best way to treat those who don’t understand if possible. Is it even a choice?

    • Hi Brad,

      Sadly, blowing hot and cold is not a choice for the Empath, it is a way of being. When we have taken on too much from others we literally have nothing left to give. The emotional overload or fatigue can be crushing. It is very difficult for those who don’t experience this themselves to understand it. We can can end up being attacked for what others consider to be bad behaviour. Which makes our path even more challenging to walk.


      • Thanks Diane

        I experience some of this overload myself and need small breaks. What seems to make it tough is the required break usually makes it hard on those who don’t understand causing them emotional pain which is also hutful to know. Double whammy

      • It is really hard to communicate this and enforce this boundary when necessary isn’t it! I feel like I need to treat myself like a child to prevent myself from being in a position where I could get overloaded. Once I’m overwhelmed though it’s just survival mode for me!

  15. Thanks for your insight Diane. My friends who do understand me (for the most part) say I’m a “crazy magnet”. I completely agree that disordered folks (BPD) are attracted to us. I let my guard down and was completely decimated by two such individuals. The negativity that exist deep within them is overwhelming. I have felt things I didn’t know existed. Such darkness. My abilities seem to be in overdrive and it’s been so difficult to get back to center. Thank you for explaining things so well. It is a great help.

  16. Thank you for putting this so succinctly. I often find it difficult to express what I know is going on with me as an empath.

    A few days ago a family member started spewing negative feedback about her kids and triangulating me into the mix and I put up a clear boundary. I said I did not want to be pulled into any negativity and drama in the new year. She said back to me, “Who does?!??!” which made me laugh because it clearly went well over her head that SHE was the negativity and drama I was referring to. I believe empaths have so much compassion that many manipulative types (people with NPD, BiPolar, BPD, etc) are drawn to us. I find that before I can put up my shield they have already sucked some of my energy out and it takes so long to recover from such an encounter. Ugh!

  17. Dear Diane,
    I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write to you. I want to express my immense gratitude for your existence and the work you put in this web page of yours. Your articles have saved me in ways I can not even begin to explain. My background is in psychology and education, but not even with all those years spent studying and reading and doing all kinds of introspective work have I gained so much insight about my true nature as I have thanks to what YOU have written and shared with the world. You have basically put into this one word: EMPATH a simple explanation to so, so SO much. So THANK YOU Diane, from the bottom of my heart, and please: keep writing!

    NAMASTE (and this probably the first time that I really mean it.)


    • Awww, thank you so much Catalita.

      I know how difficult this path is and if I can help just 1 person by sharing what I have learnt, that means the world to me.

      I am so glad to hear my work has helped you, and thanks for letting me know.

      Diane 🙂

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