Being an empath is often viewed as a negative by society.
Being attuned to the emotions of others and being able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes can leave an empath vulnerable to being used by others, as well as having their energy levels drained by perceived friends or even family.
I know I’ve found myself cursing my attuning and caring nature from time to time!
However, being an empath is actually a superpower, as there are a whole host of empathic abilities that empaths naturally possess which when harnessed correctly can be used to improve their lives, and most importantly to many empaths; the lives of others.
By understanding our empathic abilities, we empaths can be a force for good in society.
Being aware of our strengths can also help us empaths to mitigate our weaknesses, meaning we’re a lesser target of energy vampires and social manipulators.
In this article, therefore, we’ll be looking at some of the most powerful empathic abilities which can be harnessed to benefit the greater good.
What is an Empath?
While I won’t go into detail here, let’s just give a quick reminder as to what an empath is.
Empaths have the unique ability to deeply understand and even feel the emotions of others.
They are able to put themselves in the shoes of another person, using that person’s frame of reference to truly view the experience as the person might feel it.
What are the Key Abilities of an Empath?
While so many articles will focus on the negatives of being empathic or the things that empaths should be wary of, there are actually so many reasons why it’s great to be an empath, it’s just that many of us are so focussed on the well-being of others we forget to take stock of ourselves!
When empaths become aware of their ability they become a powerful force in any family, friend group, or workplace.
Powerful empaths can change the world as evidence by famous empaths Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela.
Here are some powerful empathic abilities that empaths should strive to channel.
1. The Seer
Empaths are amazing at seeing and analyzing a situation from all angles.
Able to see a scenario from the position of everyone involved, as well as pick up on underlying themes and symbology, an empath can be a seer in key interactions.
This powerfully penetrating insight allows the empath to detach themselves from the situation and assess what is sitting at its core.
This means that an empath is far more likely to come up with the perfect solution or compromise for any disagreement or be able to solve the troubles of those they care about.
It is for this reason that those with powerful empathic abilities can become visionary leaders.
2. Intuitive Self
This empathic ability can be undermined by nefarious individuals such as energy vampires who seek to undermine the self-esteem of others.
This is why it is so important for empaths to realize their power of intuition because it allows them to safeguard themselves from negative energies.
Because empaths are so attuned to their feelings and the feelings of others they have a strong ‘gut instinct’ or intuition, which can steer them clear of dangerous situations be this emotional, mental, spiritual, or even physical danger.
If you’re an empath you’ll definitely have experienced moments where you have an unexplained gut feeling towards something that is almost always right.
This is your intuition speaking to you and you should always try to listen.
The same can be said for those reading this article who know an empath.
If your empath friend tells you they have a bad feeling about something, you should definitely listen!
3. Long-Distance Empathy
Have you ever been going about your day and have a particular person ping into your mind, or find yourself feeling a sudden need to reach out to someone in your circle despite being tens, if not hundreds of miles apart, or having fallen out of contact?
This is one of the astounding abilities of empaths; to be able to ‘sense’ when someone they care about needs them, no matter the distance.
It is unclear why some empaths are able to do this, but it likely has something to do with the depth of connection they can experience with others.
I myself have experienced this several times with my best friend who lives a few hours away.
My connection with my best friend is deep and spans over a decade.
I can almost always tell when she has a bad day, and sometimes I can even share a symptom with her!
For example, sometimes I have a headache, I don’t often get them, but upon messaging my friend I find that she’s feeling miserable because she’s had a migraine all day!
I can’t explain why this happens, but it’s certainly useful for keeping tabs on the people I love most!
4. Powerful Presence
A fully enlightened empaths presence is power.
When an empath is able to let go of their fear of being emotionally overwhelmed or drained and apply their energy in a positive way their very presence can be healing to others.
This empathic ability is seen in natural caregivers such as Mother Theresa.
The ability to heal just by being there is a trait of empaths because they are able to lift the proverbial veil and see the unspoken feelings of the person they are interacting with.
This means that they are able to attune and adjust their approach to be exactly what that person needs, meaning the person often feels better just from being around the empath.
Because it involves putting yourself out there, many empaths never harness this power or may only share this ability with those closest to them.#
I personally settle within the latter.
Those that I am close to such as my core family and best friend often remark that I know exactly what to say or do to make them feel better, and I am very proud to be this source of healing for them.
5. Creative Spark
Empaths tend to settle into creative pursuits such as acting like Nicole Kidman chose, or entrepreneurship as Oprah Winfrey selected.
Other common life pathways for empaths include healing, design, art, marketing, teaching, and architecture.
It isn’t clear why this is so but it may be their ability to interpret the abstract such as emotion into a physical form such as a solution.
It is important for empaths to realize and accept their creative side.
While some empaths may be skilled at more analytical or sporty career pathways, for many their true calling lies in creative pursuits.
Until an empath realizes this, they can often feel unfulfilled in their lives, and pressure to conform to more ‘traditional’ careers can often leave them suppressing the things that they shine at.
How To Strengthen Your Empathic Abilities
While some empaths abilities are naturally strong, such as those who seem ‘born for greatness’ like Nelson Mandela, more commonly empaths need to train their abilities and nourish their strengths into superpowers!
Partially, this naturally occurs as you grow up, as you learn more about the world around you and your place within it.
However, with some personal awareness you can start to increase your empathic ability and truly make a difference to those around you.
1. You’re an Empath…Accept it!
If there’s one thing you learn through growing up it’s that you can’t change who you are!
You’re meant to be an empath so stop fighting your true nature.
By acknowledging that you’re an empath you can start to channel and perfect the innate powers within you.
2. Listen to your Gut!
Remember earlier we learned that as an empath your instincts are almost always spot on?
Those instincts are worthless if you don’t listen to them.
If you want to perfect your intuition spend time focussing on how things feel.
When you’re more connected to the way in which certain life situations make you feel, you’ll be able to more quickly pick up on when something doesn’t feel right.
3. You’re Worth it!
One of the downsides of being an empath is self-esteem problems.
Because you can be easily used by others such as energy vampires, you can start to believe you’re worth less than others.
This is not true and needs to change.
When you start to realize your strength and your worth you’ll become an unstoppable empathic force.
4. Protect Yourself
Negative influences such as energy vampires are everywhere, and it is impossible to avoid each one, and some, such as a family member or best friend, you might actually want in your life.
So, instead of sticking your head in the sand, you need to be able to set boundaries with those which may harm your empathic equilibrium.
This will allow you to keep the people you love in your life but also preserve your energy allowing you to focus on your empathic purpose.
5. Make Time for You
Empaths are natural carers.
Because of this they can often be so caught up in looking after those around them, that they forget to care for themselves.
An empaths energy reserves aren’t endless and need to be recharged.
By frequently practicing self-care such as arts and crafts, meditation, pampering, or relaxation, you ensure that your energy levels are topped up.
This means that when your empathic abilities are called upon you are able to rise to the challenge!
6. Turn Negatives into Positives
A ‘glass half full’ empath is an unstoppable force.
By being able to see the positives in even the most negative situations helps to preserve the energy levels which are at the heart of your empathic power.
I’m not going to lie to you, this change of mindset takes work, and you won’t get it perfect every time, I myself can get morose from time to time – but I’m working on it!
By turning that metaphorical frown upside down you take the power from whatever is causing the negativity and reinforce your own empathic abilities.
7. Love Yourself!
I’ll admit I’m definitely not quite there yet, but I try each day to love myself a little more.
As the great and wise Ru Paul says ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?’ and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to empaths.
Put simply, if you can’t show yourself the love that you deserve you’re going to find it much harder to use your empathic abilities to show someone else that you care.
How to Control your Empathic Abilities
To quote some Spiderman (if you’ll forgive me) with great power comes great responsibility.
An empaths aim is always to heal but by misusing or misunderstanding our powers we can do more harm than good.
In order to maximize our empathic abilities, we have to learn how to control our abilities.
Here are some tips for controlling your empathic abilities and in some cases, even enhancing them:
Boundaries are a great way to protect yourself from those who seek to drain your energy or dampen your spirit.
While avoiding energy vampires is a good tactic in wider society, when the energy vampire in your life is your Mom, best friend, or colleague this simply isn’t possible.
Therefore you need to take steps to safeguard your energy levels from these negative sources.
Set boundaries such as how long you spend time with said person, or how often you see them. If they have a ‘woe is me’ attitude which is cyclical, then try to break the cycle instead of constantly supplying them with your empathic energy.
Process Energy Properly
Energy is in constant flow, we give it out and we absorb it from others.
In the case of empaths, energy is our most vital resource, and we can become overwhelmed by excess emotions or negative energy and need to find a way to process this properly so we don’t get burnt out.
Therefore finding a way that helps you to process excess energy is important.
Meditation, journaling, and exercise are all popular ways to process intense energy flow.
Many empaths know that communication is an essential part of every single relationship we have from colleagues to lovers.
In fact, when attuning many empaths will suggest communication as a solution to many problems.
But how many of us actually listen to our own advice?
As empaths, we often place our needs secondary to others which reduces our self-esteem and can cause burn out.
By ensuring we communicate our own needs we can help to preserve our empathic energy levels and make sure that when those we love need us, we can be there with peak empathy.
Is it a Bird…Is it A Plane? No! It’s the empaths!
So as you can see, being an empath isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Instead, we’re part of a select group of individuals with the power to heal and nourish, and even, change the world.
So, wear your empathic colors with pride and use the tips and tricks explored in this article to nourish your empathic side and achieve your full potential.
Being empathic is simply part of who you are, and it is these differences that make the world a beautiful place, so start channeling your empathic abilities today!
For any sensitive person who’s been told to "grow a thick skin," here is a guide for staying open while building resilience, exploring your singular gifts, and feeling welcomed by a world that desperately needs what you have to offer.
If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in some of our other Empath articles: