Empaths or sh*tty boundaries?

We all know someone who claims to be an empath. It’s not unusual for me to see someone referring to themselves as an empath on a daily basis, especially as my spiritual community and connections grow. Today I want to discuss a different take on this. My own personal belief. These are my opinions, and if you claim to be an empath, they may trigger you. Again, these are only my opinions, thoughts, musings...

What does it mean to be an empath? 

Well - the answer to that depends on which source you’d like to quote. 

Merriam-Webster defines an empath as “one who experiences the emotions of others; a person who has empathy for others.” They define empathy as: 

-the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, The American Empath Association (yes this is a ‘thing’) explains an empath as: 

Empaths understand the mental or emotional states of others in a way that defies conventional science and psychology. Empaths have the ability to sense the feelings, thoughts, and energies of people, plants, animals, places, or objects.

In addition to sensing, Empaths absorb the energy of those around them. Empaths often experience stress or illness if they are bombarded by too many negative emotions. Empaths can also use their abilities to help others by imagining themselves in someone else’s situation and connecting with them on a deep level.

This ‘association’ also breaks down 17 different variations of being an ‘empath’ and (drum roll please) provides CERTIFICATION of being an empath. Say what? For the low low price of $320 per year, you can become a Licensed Certified Empath (L.C.E. for short). 

Ok. This is too much. 

From the first time I heard the word empath, it struck a nerve. Maybe it’s because it’s another label or story people tell themselves. Maybe it’s because at times, it seems like people take pleasure in referring to themselves as an empath. Maybe I don’t even care why it struck a nerve, it just fucking did. 

Let me break it down: