As an Empath How do You Know Whose Emotions You are Feeling?


Is it your emotion you are feeling? Or does it belong to someone else?

Learning to differentiate between ‘whose emotion belongs to whom’ certainly proves to be a challenge for an Empath.

Every Empath quickly discovers of their ability to sense the emotional energy in others, but some struggle to distinguish these emotions from their own.

I often get asked questions like: ‘How do I define what I feel in another person?’ or ‘How can I block the emotions coming from others?’

Not understanding what other people’s emotions represent is more common than you might think within the Empath world.

When I was younger (teens and twenties), I did not know I could sense another’s emotions. I thought my own insecurities made me feel uneasy when around certain people. If anyone carried hidden pain, negative energy or anger issues, I felt them as a deep sense of discomfort. Which I wrongly interpreted as being part of my own social hang-ups.

Before I had heard the term “Empath,” I was already working on myself in the mind, body and spirit.  But, unbeknownst to me, when I began developing a spiritual practise, as well as striving for balance, I began to sense other people’s energy/emotions more intensely.  And it did not feel good. I was later to discover that by developing a spiritual practice it effectively purifies the Empath and speeds up their vibration. Meaning anything of a lower vibration feels awful.

Mystical Woman Composing Photo Montage Fantasy

Lower vibrating energy feels heavy, sticky and dense. This type of energy can bring the Empath down fast. And, for this reason, places where they may have frequented without a problem such as shopping centres, pubs or coffee shops, may become draining and difficult to be in. Even for a short period of time. (The more in balance you become as an Empath the less these denser energies affect you. If you find the opposite to be true you may have leaky aura syndrome. Click here to learn more.)

When I eventually discovered I was an Empath it was an incredible light-bulb moment. Everything about everything I hadn’t understood, about how I felt, now made sense. And the journey into differentiating energy began.

Fast forward some years and the more I developed my intuition and life skills, the more I came to understand what I felt in others. I came to recognize the energy of an untruth, insecurity, angst or grief. But although I became more adept at differentiating the subtleties between emotional energy, I still did not enjoy the way they made me feel.

Other people’s energy can leave an Empath deflated. Even when they know to whom the energy belongs, it still rouses unpleasant sensations.

Generally speaking, when you pick up emotional energy off others, you can interpret it as the emotion you either least enjoy or that which is related to an unresolved issue. And it is common for the energy to stoke up anger or irritation, even if the other is not themselves experiencing this emotion.

Also, if you are one who  dislike people in your “personal bubble” you will not welcome their emotional energy either. Others’ energy suddenly showing up, uninvited, in your energy field can feel invasive and claustrophobic. The energy you experience does not have to be negative to stir up negativity; being unsolicited is enough to ignite unpleasant feelings.

It often takes a while for an Empath to learn how not to be affected by the emotional energy of others. And just by being an Empath, does not mean you automatically understand the energy you feel or are able to prevent it from affecting you.

The first steps to take in defining the emotions, lies in your own self-development. Developing your intuition, quieting your mind through some type of meditative practise and striving for balance all help with this.

Building your inner power protects you from digesting the energy of those around you. As already noted, if you have tried the above techniques but still get continuously overwhelmed by the emotional energy of others, or by life in general, you have to consider your chakras and energy field are out of balance (click here to check your symptoms.)

Rebalancing is not an overnight process. You have to put the work in if you want to understand what you are feeling.

An Empath will always feel other people’s emotions at some level. Depending on where you are on your Empath journey will determine how you, or your brain, interprets this energy.  It is important that you do not punish yourself, or feel ashamed, if another person’s energy sparks a negative reaction.

When you work on yourself, building your Empath awareness and take steps to re-balance, the way other people’s energy affects you changes in a big way. But no matter how far you have come in your self-development, you are still human. And, no matter how evolved you are, you will always have days when another person’s emotional energy can bring you down and frazzle your circuits.

You may also find the following posts helpful:

Recognizing Psychic Attack

Are You Triggered by Another’s Energy?

10 Ways an Empath Can Protect Themselves From Other People’s Energy

Discover how your diet affects the way you feel as an Empath and how you interpret the energy picked up from others! Learn how some simple changes to the way you eat can transform your life! Click here.



Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time


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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered

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29 thoughts on “As an Empath How do You Know Whose Emotions You are Feeling?

  1. Hi ive come across your page after reading other pages about HSP. From what ive read about HSP I have begun to realise that a lot of my “issues” are actually typical traits of a HSP! Without going through all the experiences that led me to want to find out why I’m like I am, what I really want to say is that life can be difficult and how do we begin to tell others who live and work around us who we are? I just want to feel a sense that I have achieved something apart from feeling that other people just find me a nuisance or irritating etc etc. I function best working mainly alone or a least when there is not a lot of pressure to dance to the tunes of others……….achieiving happiness in my work life is my main difficulty

    • Hi Karen,

      Sorry for lateness of moderation. I am currently on a travelling tour and don’t have much chance to get on here.

      In answer to your question: telling others about who we are and what we feel as an Empath can be a bit of a grey area. It can all seem a bit ‘woo woo’ to others. Some people will not accept what you are saying no matter how well you explain yourself and they often switch off to what you are saying.

      I am going to put out a post on this subject shortly which will help with better determining who you can reveal yourself to and those who are not ready to hear.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Hi,
        I have recently discovered that I am an empath, and I have so much to say about it that I hope I could write all that thought out in words.

        Whats amazing about this discovery is the feelings I had about my self and my nature prior to me even hearing about Empaths. I used to think if I tried telling about it to ppl around me it would sound so crazy. And those feelings include:

        Hearing or sensing thoughts
        Deciphering body language with precision
        Being like a human lie detector
        Having secrets of so many people in my heart
        Later pleasantly realising that I felt proud for some reason for being able to take or absorb negative energy from people especially closer to me because the bond is closer, hence energies merge more easily. Then I would systematically process that energy out of me.
        The closer the relative/relationship, the longer it took to process this energy. This feeling that I was labeled as a sensitive person all my life, yet I always fought to prove that I am not sensitive and couldn’t justify my feelings to them.

        Wondering why I felt the need for me-time as i called it laughingly, especially if I was not able to have it in few days, I would crave for even 30 mins of time to myself where I would be invisible to everyone.

        In a crowded house full of guests, I would
        happily sleep in the most uncomfortable corner if it would give me some uninterrupted time, because each time I interact I naturally shifted all attention 90% of the time and when they have it I am fully committed. I wrote here but never say this much. Wondered why I couldn’t speak as much as I think, and now I wonder why I can’t write all I feel.

        Oh my word, there is so much to share….

        All this led to the day I heard the word Empath. And the light-bulb moment happened. It certainly feels amazing and a little dramatic that I am probably acting like a person who is the director producer and actor of a movie. But I am genuinely happy to have been there in some shape or form for people. I would be happiest if I did something for a complete stranger as could be certain that I was not doing it for some personal gain. I have trailed off again.

        Another thing I use to convince myself is that I have been reading articles which try to explain people and their types and pysches connected to these human behaviors and each tended to have traits which people project onto themselves first, and try to tick in more boxes than truth to conform to one or the other category. And this was ‘the one’, the one that struck closest to home. But it also makes me feel gulity, gluttonous, and self-praising. And thinking that everyone must feel the same way.
        Ok I’m done. Have to sleep… Too tired. Love to discuss later…

  2. I am thankful for your strategies
    and interpretations guidance 🙂

    I challenge the ideology behind who we are. What if Empaths (once we know what we are) are the strongest people for receiving thing. I mean in reality it’s a gift , and we wouldn’t have the gift if we were not capable of receiving it.

    I had someone suggest that Empaths actually need MORE energy then most (nature has an abundant source) but also connecting on deep levels from others. This is similar to how you suggested getting into balance. What if it affects us (in an off manner) because we are in a DEFICIT of energy; therefore can’t use our gift to the full potential.

    Just a thought. I love your blog and super grateful for the conversations that are happening.

  3. I went on my daily walk and listening to some gospel songs and I just started crying uncontrollably. This is the second time Ive cried like this and Ive felt very detached from these feelings like there not mine! Ive always felt like Ive known things but unsure of how. I was on drugs for ab 10 yrs and now I’m in church and clean and sober and now God has told me that I’m a strong empath. He also gave me a vision of myself when I was very young and I was ab 4 watching little house on the paire and I was crying BC of the show. I had never heard of this before but ik I feel grief from others and its very overwhelming. Ive sobbed for hours and feeling no attachment to these feelings knowing deep down they weren’t my feelings but not knowing how or why either and that can make you feel crazy alone. But reading and learning ab empath is helping me! I pray alot asking God to guide me and use me for his glory!

  4. Hi Diane,

    I’m on my second go-through of your book, and with each read, I pick up more and more. Thank you!

    My question to you is how I feel when I go out in public. This often happens, but especially when I’m very tired or feeling a little a drift, going to the grocery store is brutal for me. It feels as if everyone is throwing yuck at me. It hits me, I flinch and dodge, but it finds me. By the time I’m to the cash, I’m so heavy and weighted down with all this yuck sticking to me, I’m running for the hills! I see all those smiling faces of the other shoppers, but underneath… I’m a strong, caring person and I thought for so long it was my insecurities and would get down on myself, but now I’m seeing that it might not be. Does this sound like I’m picking up other people’s emotions/energy?

    Thanks for taking the time to help me out,

    • Hi Tanya,

      I’m so glad my book has helped you understand more about your Empath ways.

      Yes, that is exactly how it feels when you pick up energy off others. Depending on how in balance we are will depend on how this energy affects us (good or bad).

      The reason I stress the importance of finding balance in the mind, body and spirit is because when one is out it will have a knock-on-effect on the others and prevent us from finding emotional and physical stability. Other people’s energy then causes something like an allergic reaction, which can last from hours to days. These reactions prevent us from fully participating in our own lives. By finding total balance it works something like an ‘energetic anti-histamine’ for the Empath. 🙂

      Hope this helps and thanks for your question. 🙂

  5. Wow…this article really hit home with me. I have a friend who is also an empath and I can really feel her thinking about me. I spent a lot of time being really angry with her last year and feeling as you say “claustrophobic”. Whenever she is going through any internal difficulties or turmoil I feel it and desperately try to shut her off. She really intrudes in my personal space and can ruin my peace. Love her to death, but don’t always want to feel every little thing she’s going through. Thank you so much for explaining the anger issue…

  6. So excited about your arrival of your book……still trying figure out why I feel so turned upside down after spending time around a
    certain person…..these crazy feelings dont surface in me until hours later from time I spent with them. It is pretty scary when this happens.

    • Thanks Joanie,

      It is very common to have physical and emotional reactions to show up hours, or even a day or two, after being in a certain person’s presence. The symptoms of which can last for days. There’s lots of info in the book on the different ways people affect the Empath and how best to deal with them.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. Hi Diane, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience, especially about becoming more sensitive after spending some time in self development. I worked on myself for a long time, mostly as a way to deal with anxiety and couldn’t work out how I could feel simultaneously better in myself yet twice as overwhelmed, especially around other people. I have only just discovered (or maybe accepted) that I am an empath and I feel greatly reassured by your post. Best of luck with your book, I look forward to reading it. Thanks again 🙂

    • Hi Jessie,

      You’re more than welcome.

      I know how reassuring it is to have confirmation of what we are experiencing, as an Empath, and that is what I hope to do for others with my posts.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. I found this exact site except if had a ton of info in it. I’ve read it and it clicked. I finally know what’s really wrong now!!! Well, not wrong, just happinging.

  9. Desperate for more information about how to deal with negative energy from other people.Just one comment from someone, possibly not meant to hurt the way it did, leaves me anxious and in a high state of fear for weeks afterwards. I’ve spent my whole life like this, and its so exhausting and knocks my confidence completely.

    • Hi Anita,

      Sorry to hear you are feeling such pain. I’m planning on writing a post on this subject very soon. For now take a look at the following post:

      Hope you find something within them to help soothe your emotions.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Hi Sweetsyl,

      I hear your frustration. 😉

      As I’m not sure what you have or haven’t tried it is tricky to make suggestions.

      Some Empaths need more than just a protection method. I cover this subject in great detail in the book and give the reasons why this is the case.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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