This word intrigues me.
I’ve now read several definitions of the word “empath” that I would rate from semi-scientific to spiritual acid. Due to the vast variety of opinions on this word, I cannot use it without some formal declaration of its meaning. In the absence of any accepted reputable source and its relative “youth” in the world having only entered our vernacular in 1960’s, I feel best to give it my own definition.
(n). A person who feels everything.
Use in a sentence: As an empath, I care deeply about everything. I feel for others and never want to hurt.
Epitimology: It’s first official ues of the word (although its history dates much earlier to the Greeks) was by a Scottish author in 1956 in the book “The Empath.” The story was about paranormal empathetic beings, called empaths. Sadly they were used by the government to exploit workers in the end, maybe that is the future for these people… But in general the term was used to describe a person that had emotional telephay.
However, this science fiction version of empath is not what I speak of. My definition, does not have people communicating with their minds. They can’t tell that person to turn left without speaking, no I don’t believe that is what defines an empath. It is rather the feeling of other’s emotions rather they like it or not.
Feeling like if it was happening to them.
This can be a real gift. Empaths get to feel all the emotions in a room. At a celebration, wow, you feel all the love. However, like with everything it is a double edged sword. When an empath witnesses horror, they feel all the pain. They usually are creators from equations to art.
And for a while in human history, being an empath was a real evolutionary advantage. As many of our greatest thinkers are empaths. Empaths are natural observers giving them the ability to invest, see patterns, etc. Empaths were the fittest, they were useful, successful, and popular. I use fittest in the evolutionary biology and psychology sense of the word. People are drawn to empaths, making them find a mate easier, therefore more likely to pass along their genes to others.
An empath has a natural curiosity, and therefore, usually good learners (unless they have a learning disorder, which is also common in empaths).They like to please as they very much feel your emotions and don’t want to harm them and want to feel the praise back as they can feel that too. Since they feel so deeply, they love even harder. They want to feel that love and work hard to get it.
However, empaths are being challenged in the modern age. With the acceleration of technology allowing empaths to feel and see so much more at a more rapid rate, they are in an emotional turmoil. I would go so far to declare that being an empath is no longer an advantage nor are they fittest in this mordern word. It will be interesting to see if empaths become less over the next hundred years. If this type of human goes extinct as the modern world.
I believe I’m an empath. I also know Im not alone. I’ve met those that follow after me, empath children. I’m an aunt to more than one.
And I don’t wish this path on them. It can feel isolating feeling so much that others don’t.
Maybe we need an empath support group.