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You’re not an empath. You are a human being that has emotional intelligence, and in many cases, most animals do.

In 4 years of studying Psychology, I have never heard people throw around the word “empath” as much as they currently are. I always thought the word empath was reserved for non-humans, but human bloggers are exclaiming that they are empaths, and that they might be superhuman, and that they have to take care of the damaged narcissist and would not exist as an empath without this amazing, damaged narcissist. Also, incidentally, a lot of them are named Alex.

What does the word empath mean to you? To me, it means a person who is capable of reading and changing another’s emotions. I have one in my writing, Audin, the right-hand man of Talia’s revenge project, who knows everybody’s secrets. Somehow, he quickly becomes every reader’s favorite character, and I think it’s not only because he can regulate other’s emotions, it’s because he’s able to regulate his own, he rarely says anything stupid or impulsive. What would you give to never say anything stupid or impulsive? Being an empath to me is not all the feeling and wanting to fix others, it’s being able to keep cool and calm.

The real-life empaths I’m reading about seem to be emotionally unstable, wanting to help and fix everyone and letting their emotions get the better of them. The traits they list to describe empaths are mostly negative, because they can’t keep their shit together. If you were a true empath, you’d be able to change other’s emotions, not be blogging about your toxic relationships, because you would have fixed them and they wouldn’t be toxic. They also seem to be impulsive. That being said, the common thread is that “I’m trying to help people, but I can’t”.  A real empath (which consequently only exists in the world of fantasy) would have you fixed in a second.

I think these bloggers with “paranormal type skills”, are using the term “empath” too loosely, and the word they are really looking for is “neurotic”. They can’t exist without the narcissist defining them in a story, so I believe they might be defining “narcissist”, loosely as well. The main theme in all of the stories about empaths saving themselves, is that these people have no idea they even care about others until a narcissist enters their life. If you were an empath and could truly read people, you wouldn’t have gotten into a relationship with a narcissist in the first place. You’ve just proved that you can’t read others. Perhaps you’re just crafting a “how I came into my powers story”, and if so, you need a re-write if you didn’t figure out you had emotions until last year.

Also, if you were really an empath, wouldn’t your arch-nemesis be negative thinkers? You’d come across far more of those than narcissists. There is your next big headline article, and the one you should have went with in the first place. Now you can blog about day to day home life, work, and being out in public (if I were a satire blog, I’d write one about the homicidal maniacs that don’t pick their shoes up after they throw boxes in the aisle at the department store. It’s a huge safety matter in those tiny aisles, and they are so rude!), and not just hinge everything on romantic relationships.

The special power you do have, self-described empath, is absorption. Personality questionnaires have a built-in detectors for absorption. It’s basically how gullible you are and how much you subscribe to magical thinking. People high in absorption have the liberty of living in a fantasy world, in which they mistake being intuitive for being a superhuman. Again, you’d be super if your experiences could extend outward to people. If you can’t change other’s emotions (can’t help those who can’t help themselves) you are honestly just human.

Sorry, you are not a special empath, but don’t discount yourself for being a human. You have an emotional understanding that you don’t need a relationship to validate. Most people can take behavioral clues and tell you what someone is feeling, and empathize. It’s all part of being an animal. We all have intuition. Many of us animals can do that, but only some of us post blogs.

On a related note, my word processor hates the word “empath” and is always changing it to “empathy”, so obviously, even my computer is fighting this ridiculous notion.

To throw you for an even bigger loop, I happen to have created an Empath and Narcissist who are the best of friends. Read for free here.

Let me know what you think about this empath and empath vs. narcissist movement that people are subscribing to in the comments below. That being said, I do have openings in my work for empaths, so leave your name, physical description, and basic autobiographical information, and you might see yourself make a cameo in book 5…and if it’s really good, I might even make you the Big Bad.