Empaths are sensitive to emotions and energies, often experiencing a deep understanding of what others are feeling.
But while this is undoubtedly a superpower, it also takes its toll.
As a result, these individuals can exhibit some curious behavior.
On that note, here are 10 things empaths do that seem weird to others but are really not.
At least as far as they are concerned.
1) They put their problems second
Empaths have the uncanny ability to tune into and validate people’s feelings.
They know what someone is going through just by being around them for a short time.
Additionally, most empaths have great compassion, so they can listen to a struggling friend for hours or encourage a stranger to unload their problems on them without judgment.
The downside is that they have a difficult time setting boundaries.
Empaths frequently put others’ needs ahead of their own, which can lead them to neglect themselves emotionally:
- They ignore or downplay their emotional needs and focus solely on others
- They can find it challenging to process their own emotions
- They have difficulty asking for help, especially if they know that the person they’re reaching out to is struggling too
Empaths cancel their plans to be with a friend who is hurting, don’t share much about their own internal battles, and put off self-care activities to please others.
While this can seem weird to an outsider, empaths know that, more often than not, no one else understands what the person in need is going through.
They feel obligated to lend a hand – or a shoulder to cry on.
2) They rarely watch true crime shows (or the news)
Here’s a wild one: empaths rarely watch the news, true crime shows, or basically any emotionally taxing entertainment.
Since they’re already regularly dealing with others’ emotions in real life, they don’t feel the need to resort to fictional drama to get their fill.
Additionally, if the content is horrific, which is usually the case with true crime, resonating with it can send them to a bad place.
“I personally can’t handle true crime or horror films and books. I don’t consume them, and in times where I have, I get really messed up over them, and it takes a lot of time, healing, and grounding to reset,” an empath writes on Reddit.
3) They spend a lot of time alone
Empaths can become overwhelmed by absorbing the intense emotions of others.
They need alone time to recharge, so it’s not unusual for them to disappear for days or back out from plans at the last minute.
Not only that, but they can take longer to reply to texts or contribute to the group chat.
This behavior is more prevalent when they have to deal with toxic relationships or spend time in a negative environment – which occasionally happens, given their difficulty with setting healthy boundaries.
If you notice an empath withdrawing from their social lives, don’t take it personally or judge them too harshly.
The fact that they’re taking time to decompress is good news.
4) They go against the crowd and trust their intuition
Empaths possess a heightened sense of intuition and can instinctively sense when something is wrong with someone, or a situation has the potential to go south.
When that’s the case, they’ll try to remove themselves from the interaction, even if that means going against what the rest of the group wants.
They also tend to make decisions based on intuition alone.
For example, they can quit a lucrative job if the company culture is terrible or end a promising romantic relationship because they don’t like the other person’s vibe.
Their empathy can also put a strain on their friendships.
If they sense that something is not as it should be with your new partner, they may feel obligated to tell you about it.
They mean well, but not everyone can handle this type of honesty.
5) They constantly redecorate
Empaths recharge at home and want their personal space to exude positive energy.
If they feel that something is off (which can happen regularly), they’ll declutter, paint walls, or re-arrange furniture.
All in the hope that, by making a change, they can turn their home back into a relaxing oasis.
For them, it’s not weird.
When they start to invite you over to help them move the bed every couple of months, you might think it is.
6) They feel a deep connection to nature and animals
Is your empath friend always hiking or spending time at the petting zoo?
Their penchant for the great outdoors might make you raise an eyebrow.
As an indoor person, I feel you.
However, empaths share a deep connection with the world.
Being in nature helps them stay grounded.
Plus, animals display unfiltered emotions, which empaths find hard to resist.
In short: nature and animals emit pure and calming energy, which resonates well with empaths, enabling them to achieve peace and tranquility.
You don’t have to join your empath friend in the woods whenever they want to go camping.
But maybe a picnic in the park would be a fun activity for you both?
7) They always wear headphones in public
Besides getting easily overwhelmed in public, empaths also have high sensitivity to all sorts of stimuli, like loud noises or bright lights.
When out and about on their own, you’ll see them wearing their preferred armor: headphones.
Add some sunglasses into the mix, and they’re finally ready to face the world.
Speaking of headphones, they’re likely listening to nature sounds for a sense of calm.
Many empaths also have a strong connection to music and believe they can experience it more profoundly.
8) They attract broken people
Is your empath friend’s entourage… dubious?
It’s not necessarily by choice.
Broken individuals may subconsciously seek out empaths because they intuitively sense that they can offer understanding with no judgment.
In turn, empaths are generally wonderful listeners hard-wired to offer support.
Without wanting to, they become magnets for people who aren’t in a good place.
9) They collect secrets
On the same note, empaths tend to keep many, many secrets.
They create a safe and understanding environment for others to open up, which can make people spill confidential information without giving it a second thought.
If an empath friend gives you advice about how to deal with a mutual acquaintance, follow it.
They probably know something about that acquaintance you don’t.
10) They find it difficult to control their mood swings
Finally, hanging out with an empath means having a front-row seat to their mood swings.
Since they absorb the emotions of others, empaths can go from happy to sad with zero warning.
If you’re with them in a crowded place, you might see them exhibit a handful of emotions in a matter of minutes.
For them, it’s normal.
For you, it takes some getting used to.
Dickens might have had something else in mind when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but he was describing the life of an empath to a T.
Connecting with other people and possessing high emotional intelligence are fantastic skills.
On the other hand, empaths aren’t great at taking care of themselves and are prone to exhaustion and burnout.
The next time you see an empath acting in a weird way, don’t judge them too harshly.
They have a lot going on.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.