When on the quest to become an empowered empath, you may start to notice that as you progress, you will experience different phases of personal development. This is what I like to call the “different levels of empath empowerment.” It is normal and awesome to progress to higher levels of empowerment, and here at the Modern Empath we’re all about helping you achieve the goal of becoming a master of empathy.
While many people may have the ultimate goal of truly mastering their gift, others may not want to take it that far and may simply wish to learn just enough so that they can get by without being debilitated. Achieving mastery does take lots of time and effort, after all, and not everybody may be willing to put in the kind of work that’s necessary to reach this level. And you know what? That is perfectly fine!
Everybody is different and has different goals in life, even when it comes to learning how to deal with empathy. So with that in mind, I think it’s good to get to know what the different levels of empath empowerment are so that you can decide for yourself how far (or not far!) you want to go with your studies.
1. The Unaware Empath
This term sounds kind of negative, but what I mean by “unaware” is that this type of empath simply does not know that they have the ability to feel the emotions of others. An unaware empath may struggle with anxiety or depression or feel as if they have no control over their life.
They may seek psychological help because they don’t understand why they are so emotional and have intense mood swings. They may even think they are crazy. This is simply because they don’t know that there are outside emotions that are influencing them. It can be rough to be an unaware empath. I personally spent the first 28 years of my life in this category!
2. The Newbie/Struggling Empath
The newbie empaths are those who have recently made the discovery that they can feel the emotions of other people. At first it can be relieving to discover that you are sensitive to the emotions of others, as it can make you realize that you aren’t crazy after all (this was how it worked for me, anyway!). But once that relief wears off, it then becomes clear that being an empath is hard, and if you don’t learn how to effectively deal with it, it can rule your life.
This can be a time of massive overwhelm and frustration, because it can be a daunting task to realize that you are going to have to do a lot of work just to get to the point where you can function in the world. It’s also overwhelming because it’s difficult to know where to even begin (and this is why the Modern Empath exists!).
3. The Functioning Empath
The third level of empath empowerment is twofold, because there is both a healthy and an unhealthy way to hit the level of functioning empath. I’ll go over each of them.
3a. The Healthy Functioning Empath
The healthy functioning empath is sort of the middle of the road. This person has come to terms with the fact that they are sensitive to emotions and has found some healthy ways to navigate the territory without becoming debilitated. This level is often a temporary stopping ground for those who are doing lots of self work on their way toward the higher levels of empowerment, but not always. Some people may find that this level is good enough for them, as they can get by in the world relatively OK. And that is perfectly fine!
3b. The Unhealthy Functioning Empath
On the other side of the same coin lies the unhealthy functioning empath. This person has generally known for a while that they are sensitive to emotions (hence why they’re no longer in the “newbie” category), but for whatever reasons, never found healthy ways of coping with that knowledge. This person may rely on some of the negative and unhealthy coping tools to help them “turn down the volume” on their sensitivity.
Perhaps they have found a way to shut off their ability altogether and live in a state of denial. Either way, an empath who is in this category is generally able to function in the world (I use the word “function” loosely here), but does so in a way that can be detrimental to their health and well being.
4. The Enlightened Empath
This person has really started to blossom with their abilities and is well on their way to becoming truly empowered. They are comfortable navigating emotional territory, and have learned to distinguish between which emotions are theirs and which are not. They are beginning to see their empathy as a gift more so than a curse and are starting to use it as a tool to help them navigate through life and relationships.
The enlightened empath is learning to accept their empathy as a part of who they are and is not as concerned with “turning it off” anymore. They may still struggle with some aspects of being empathic, but they quickly learn how to handle these sorts of problems as they occur, as they have several tools in their tool box that they can access to help them in times of need. With a little bit more time and practice, this person is well on their way to progressing to the next level of empowerment.
5. The Empowered (or Skilled) Empath
This person has fully embraced their sensitive nature. They know the ins and outs of what it means to be an empath, and they have stopped trying to “turn it off” because they know that it is just a part of who they are. They have done (and continue to do) lots of self-work that makes their overall energy more positive, which makes them less susceptible to the negative emotions that are floating around out there.
The tools and techniques that they use to stay strong come to them naturally now and they can be calm while in the midst of chaos. The empowered empath however, is not perfect, as there is no such thing. They may occasionally slip up and have bad empath days, but they will have enough know-how to clean up the mess that this sort of thing can cause. They can see the positive in most situations, and as such are not dragged down by negativity. They are strong in knowing that their energy field is their own and they control who’s energy/emotions are allowed in.
This person has also become accomplished in the art of using empathy as a tool and inner compass to navigate through life. They would find it very disorienting if they ever found themselves without the ability to feel, as they have come to rely so heavily upon it. In short, the empowered/skilled empath has truly owned being an empath.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many steps along the road to mastering empathy. This is why there is no one-shot solution to “turn it off”, because it just doesn’t work like that. The ability to feel is simply a natural part of every empath and the sooner this fact is accepted and embraced, the smoother everything else becomes. It is not a super easy journey, but progressing gradually along each “step” toward empowerment will make the journey seem a little less daunting.
Remember to take the time to stop every once in a while and appreciate how far you have come. Practice makes improvement and becoming an empowered empath is no easy feat. Keep on going and don’t forget to cheer yourself on from time to time.
And I’ll be here to cheer you on, too. Go you, you awesome empath!