Is being Highly Sensitive the Bane of your Life?


[I’ll just mention before I get started that I will go more into depth about empathy and highly sensitive people in other posts as it is a pretty large topic, so do come back and take a look at things in the future to find out more.]


It can take a long time to realise you are an empath. Mostly this is because the education is just not there for people to understand and explain fully what is really happening with them and often, if it is not caught early enough, it ends up making the person sick either mentally or emotionally and eventually physically. And all too often people around you may dismiss the early symptoms as you being just ‘too sensitive’ and tell you to ‘buck up’ which does not help. I have suffered first hand from being an empath without knowing it for a great many years before I realised what was going on; and have had to invest a lot of time and effort in turning my life around to make things better for me; so what I have to tell you on the subject is from first hand experience. Empaths are built slightly differently to people who are not empaths. Really, it is down to how you are born. You can actually work out to what extent you are empathetic by taking a look at your birth chart (something I offer in my Soul Rebalancing Sessions). This is something I would really recommend parents looking into on behalf of their children – catching it early as it were – so that you can teach your children coping techniques right from the start to avoid later development of unexplained illnesses and stress in their lives. Taking a look at this can then help you to turn this curse into the BLESSING that it actually is, once you know all about it. Below is a list of scenarios that will indicate if you are an empath or not. The more you answer to the affirmative, the more ‘open’ you are, the more empathetic you are. Remember, empathy is not a curse (although it may seem like it is at the moment), you really are very gifted and it would it be a good investment of your time and energy in learning some more about empathy so that you can get your power back and enhance your abilities.


  • You find it difficult to go to crowded places (like parties, nightclubs, theatres, and even supermarkets) because you often feel so overwhelmed with feelings that you do not understand. You feel an urgent desire to leave after a short time because you become so ‘heavy’ or have feelings of stress or anxiety. You cannot understand how other people can walk around and feel so unaffected day in and day out. In severe cases this ‘heavy’ feeling may not even lift for several days and cause much distress if you do not know how to remove this heaviness.
  • You are very sensitive to noise, harsh lights or strong smells. This noise does not need to be a loud noise at all it just feels like they go straight through you; the lights seem ultra bright yet normal to others and you can pick up smells that other people cannot smell and they may even tell you that you are making it up! You can also tell whether a geographic area has positive or negative energies.
  • You often experience times when you feel highly anxious for no apparent reason at all. You can then wind yourself up even more by trying to look for a reason for it and even persuade yourself eventually that it is a fault within you. Over time your confidence and self-esteem will plummet.
  • You have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and however hard you try to get to the bottom of it you simply cannot shake it. Often it seems as if there is no apparent justification for you being this way and this is when things can spiral out of control because you are then vastly misunderstood by those around you, which causes even more distress.
  • You feel ‘turned on’ sexually by people who you wouldn’t normally be attracted to. You can’t understand it but it is very strong, sometimes overwhelming. If this happens to you it does not mean that this person is actually for you at all! (you are taking on their sexual drive). In fact many people make the mistake jumping into relationships because of this feeling and some months later find out the hard way that it’s really bad news for you.
  • You are often everyone’s ‘best friend’. People come to you for advice all the time because you always seem to understand. You can always tell how someone else feels and this is very reassuring for people. They can end up relying and leaning on you too much and you have such compassion and understanding for their plight that you find it hard to not help them out. This can really drag you down eventually and you can often feel exhausted by the time they leave you. Often you cannot relate to how others behave and it makes you feel like you shouldn’t be living on this earth.
  • You feel guilty most if not all of the time. You don’t really know why you feel guilty though, as you are pretty sure that you have done nothing wrong. But I say pretty sure, because the feeling is so strong that you will convince yourself there is something there that is not. You will then come across to others, who are perhaps even accusing you of something you did not do, that you are guilty simply because of the way you look and respond. The only thing is you are responding that way because you FEEL guilty but you’re NOT – you are taking on someone else’s guilt. Infuriating!
  • You can immediately tell if you are not welcome somewhere. This can make you become very ungrounded and often end up leaving quick sharpish – often missing a damn good event!
  • You can always tell how someone feels, even if they tell you that everything is allright. You can often take this on personally, as if they are feeling it towards you, and it can make you paranoid. For instance, they could be feeling very unsatisfied with something in their life and you can feel it through every fibre of your body. It can be very easy to think that this is directed AT you, when it’s NOT. You have to watch out for that. The closer you are to someone, the more you will think it’s to do with you.
  • You are also a great lie detector, if only you’d trust what you are getting. You do always know … it’s just important not to let someone ‘pull the wool over your eyes’ and manipulate you – which is something that can be easily done to an empath if you put all the other things into the mix. Discipline is a word you will hear a lot around here!
  • If someone around you is in a great deal of distress or pain you will automatically feel their pain and reach out to them to the detriment of your own health and well-being. You cannot stand to see someone’s suffering and will even feel guilty if you do not empathize with them. This can be very dangerous, as you can literally take on their physical (no, I’m not kidding) and/or emotional pain for them and end up leaving them feeling so much better but you are in agony and, without the knowledge of skills to assist you, you will have no way of knowing how to cure yourself!
  • Empaths can act too quickly. They always want to help others in need and will often do so without thinking and jump right in. They feel as if they want to ‘fix’ people and more often than not this is actually not wanted by the person they are trying to ‘fix’. In fact people are often then abused, pulled and pushed around psychically which will leave you feeling totally drained of energy where you then find it hard to move let alone think. And then eventually if things are not stopped by you soon enough (and this can be hard to stop by this point) this will turn to physical abuse. Discernment is a quality that has to be nurtured by an empath … something that does not come naturally and takes a lot of rigorous discipline.
  • People will often call you dreamy and mysterious. You are in fact ‘out of your body’ because you do not want to be somewhere you feel uncomfortable or bored – you’d rather be ‘anywhere else’!. You retreat into your imagination and often travel off to far off imaginary places. This sounds wonderful and everything, but actually it makes you very ungrounded and you will feel that too. This is not a good place to be long-term. You are actually abandoning yourself which will eventually cause mental or physical problems. It can also lead you being addicted to drink, chocolate, food (to name a few) or drugs too.
  • You will too often give people the benefit of the doubt (and infuriate some people around you because of it to boot!). Your ‘red flag’ detector is seriously ‘out of order’ as a result and you can put yourself into situations that can end up being very dangerous for you consequently. If you are known to have a lot of drama in your life then this could be something you need to look at. You have your ‘rose coloured spectacles’ firmly on your nose and love looking through them. With this you are sure that everyone else will think and behave the way you will. You are so sure that everyone should be given a chance, and more to the point you let people put you under a serious amount of pressure and stress because of this trait which can seriously affect your endocrine system and result in illness eventually. Often all of this can then lead to serious disappointment for you (and this is the best result if you are lucky) … it will also lead you to people taking advantage of you, abusing you and eventually turning it all around back on you and accuse you of being the ‘bad’ person if it gets that far.
  • You are deeply connected to nature and animals and are often seen talking to plants and trees. You can also tell whether a geographic area has positive or negative energies. Empaths are often drawn to the healing and creative arts and are very talented with offering hands on and distant healing, as well as being good psychics and artists – something where you are helping others ie. in the caring profession. However, often, these talents are ridiculed by those around you, and seeing as you are so easily influenced by people (there’s not kinder way of putting it) often at an early age you may often be bullied into doing something totally different where you will feel like a ‘fish out of water’ all the time.
  • You may find yourself agreeing with something or somebody about something – be it about business, something funny, something sad, something tragic, something anything – except, and my point is, that you normally wouldn’t actually agree with these things. They don’t fit into your ‘remit’ but somehow you have managed to be hypnotised or swayed by this person and you find yourself agreeing with them anyway. It is only later, when you have left their company, that you realise … ‘Oh, I don’t actually agree to that!’. This means that you have moved away from and given away your authenticity, your power, and who you are. Over time this can cause health problems too. Empaths are natural at rapport with others and often find themselves adjusting their energies to match others, so standing in your own power and belief can be very challenging indeed. You can often feel ‘lost’ as a result.
  • The residual built up over a long period of time of these situations above may also lead to food allergies.


I’ve covered quite a few areas here that will help you decide to what extent you are an empath – some of you will be more than others. This list may sound like a lot of people to you, but believe me, not everyone operates like this. Empaths are unique unto themselves! And if you have found yourself to be an empath then this is great. Now you have recognised what is going on things will get easier, eventually, I can promise you that! (well, if you put in the time and effort that is). But to get to that point you will need to learn how to manage energies. You will need to learn skills how to;


  • reduce your ‘psychic sponge’; say ‘no’ and work on boundaries of every kind
  • how to avoid as much psychic pollution in ‘the unseen’ as possible
  • how to purge
  • how to protect yourself when, who and what from
  • what to avoid in the world of ‘new age’, ‘ascension’, ‘guru’ world teachings and stuff (coz a whole lot of those are not right and can get us into even more trouble)
  • all the things to prevent you from toxic overload, physically, mentally and spiritually – so that you can feel a whole lot better and feel more able to embrace who you are.

Empathy can often be confused with codependency/or empathy can in fact drive you to codependency – go and find out more here.


I also offer one to one sessions and group workshops on this topic.  I will be able to give you ways to cope with your situation from not only a logical left brain perspective but also in a from a higher perception way which has far-reaching positive effects on individuals.  It can be pretty overwhelming to start with, and it may mean that you will more than likely mean that you will have to make a lot of changes in the way you approach things in life. You will need discipline, perseverance and strength. The process will also take a lot of decision-making (I will give you methods to help you with this) – which is not easy for an empath/highly sensitive person, so this may take a while to master too. But as I say, you will get there. So, are you ready to take the first step and get yourself back?


© 2013 — Liz Shewan. — All rights reserved.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Please feel free to share my articles with your friends, social networks, newsgroups, and websites. Referrals and word of mouth has helped me reach and help many people and I would like to continue doing so.   Thank You.

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