Having a certain amount of empathy is essential in order to lead a healthy emotional life. But like most things, too much of it can be less than ideal. Some people have empathy in excess, so much so that it can start to impact their lives in negative ways. These people are called “empaths,” and it’s pretty likely that you know someone who fits the description — maybe you’re even dating that person. There are a few ways to tell if your significant other is an empath, and honestly, it’s worth looking into.
Knowing the personality type of the person you’re dating could be key in figuring out how to make the relationship work in the best way possible. Discovering if your bae is an empath could be imperative when it comes to learning how to get through an emotional crisis with them (and we all know those are bound to come up at some point).
It can be tricky to “diagnose” someone as an empath, because the signs can be so similar to an introvert or someone who is just extremely sensitive. Your significant other might have one or two of these qualities, but that doesn’t necessarily categorize them as empath. If they have several of them, however, you may have found a new way to describe them.
Here are a few ways to tell if your S.O. is an empath:
When you’re upset, they’re upset.
The defining trait of an empath is that they have so much empathy, they literally take on other people’s feelings. They don’t just feel sad for someone — they actually start to feel the sadness the other person is feeling (it goes that way with any emotion). If you notice that your S.O.’s mood seems to depend on your own, it could be because they’re an empath. Do they only seem happy when you’re happy? If you get anxious about something they weren’t nervous about, do they eventually start to seem anxious too? In a relationship, it’s normal to go through similar moods, but if their emotions change with yours, they definitely might be an empath.
They never say no to you, even when it seems like they want to.
Does your significant other ever say no to you? If the answer is “nope,” they could be an empath. Empaths always feel the need to please everyone. They especially want to make the people close to them happy. Because of this, they have a lot of trouble saying no. Pay attention to how your S.O. acts when you ask for a favor. If they’ll agree to absolutely anything, even if they have to go totally out of their way or something, it could be a sign.
They would always rather stay in than go out.
An empath and an introvert are not the same thing, but they do have some similarities. One of them is that they both tend to get exhausted from too much socializing. If your S.O. would always choose a movie over a party, that’s not a bad thing — it just might mean they’re an empath. Or maybe you notice that after going out a few times in a row, they tend to seem exhausted or a little worn out. That could also be a sign.
You have to tiptoe around their feelings most of the time.
Empaths are super, super sensitive, which is, obviously, why they’re so often confused with highly sensitive people. If your S.O. is like this, you know that you usually have to be really careful about what you say around them. You might feel the need to keep certain things in so that you don’t upset them. This isn’t exactly conducive to a healthy relationship, so it’s important to figure out a way you guys can talk honestly with each other.
You know better than to give them constructive criticism.
On the same note, you know that any kind of criticism is going to leave your significant other feeling seriously bummed out, so you either generally avoid it, or you use it to your advantage when arguing. If your S.O. can’t take any kind of constructive criticism, even if it isn’t that harsh, they could be an empath.
Sometimes it feels like they’re pushing you away.
Here’s the thing with empaths: they, like, introverts, need time to recharge on their own. They like alone time! This can often be misconstrued as them pushing away the ones they’re closest to. If you notice that your significant other always needs time to themselves or that they get weird if you’ve been together for too long at one time, it could be because they’re an empath. Just give them a little space to clear their heads, and they should be good.