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How We Empaths Can Become More Empathic. (Surprisingly, Most of Us Aren't.)

Empaths don't necessarily act empathic. But we could. (And it's good for us.)

Empaths don’t necessarily act empathic. But we could. (And it’s good for us.)

Shocking but true: Most empaths are NOT as empathic as they think they are.

What Does It Mean, Being an Empath?

Being an empath is not a behavior. It is not something that a person can choose. Or that anyone can develop. (Unlike empathy, which we’ll get to separately.)

Every empath is a Highly, Highly Sensitive Person; and 1 in 20 of the people on this sweet earth have been born as an empath.

Blog-Buddies, you probably know that this empath coach has identified 15 different talents that an empath might have. You might have several or just one. Either way, being wired with even one talent as an empath means that you qualify.

But did you know how “Empath” is different from “Empathy”? Many of us are pretty fuzzy about the details.

What Empaths Lack Matters as Much as What We Have

Born empaths have talent, by definition. However, we are not born with skills. These must be learned. Which isn’t difficult, but neither is it automatic.

We may also benefit from learning how to act in an empathic manner. Because unskilled empaths DON’T necessarily act empathic at all.

What Does It Mean, Being Empathic?

Showing empathy or being empathic happen after a person has learned the skill of empathic behavior.

Some of us pick this up very early in life. Otherwise empathy can always be learned. This is a social skill, not a skill for moving in consciousness (which is what skilled empaths learn).

Empathy is a very human skill. It happens when consciousness is positioned at human vibrational frequencies.

Empathy is done through human actions like these:

  • Listening
  • Watching an other person’s facial expression
  • Asking questions to learn what another person thinks or feels or does

After paying attention in human ways, empathy helps us to relate… humanly.

Empathy, sympathy, compassion — all these are versions of the same thing. But none of them is worth much, really, unless we follow that up with something else that is also very human…

Showing Empathy

Saying things and doing things — that is what it means to act empathic.

Sweet! Important! Examples are:

  • Smiling when you hear somebody else’s story or sorrow or joy. (Different kinds of smiles, right?
  • Nodding when you listen to that person’s news.
  • Touching that person’s hand.
  • While the friend right there in the room with you shares a story of heartbreak — not texting other people or checking your messages

Empathy is beautiful but unskilled empaths tend to zoom right past it and go over to…

What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

You have heard of that saying, right? It is a traditional topic for contemplation, perhaps the most famous of all Buddhist koans.

Since you live now, in the Age of Awakening, you do not need to contemplate for hours to experience this.

Just take two minutes of your day’s Technique Time and do the following steps:

  1. Sit comfortably. Close your eyes.
  2. Imagine a pair of hands clapping, and enjoy the (imaginary) sound.
  3. Now pretend that you have one of those hands just like before, only now the background for that hand is a beautful blue sky. Maybe a few puffy white clouds. Make it a large and serene vista, where you have that one hand.
  4. Imagine that one hand, moving in the same manner as before. Only there cannot be the same sound of clapping. There is no other hand.
  5. And thus your listening or watching will just bring you into silence.
  6. Enjoy that big silence. It can be as big as all the sky. Maybe bigger.
  7. When you’re ready, open your eyes. Technique over.

That simple. Because now, folks, we are living in the Age of Awakening. It is very easy for us to move in consciousness. Not just empaths. Anybody!

Transcendence, the Divine Vibrational Frequency!

That, Blog-Buddies, is the sound of one hand clapping.

When you do Skilled Empath Merge, you briefly move in and out of transcendence. But mostly your consciousness settles into the astral-level experience of what is going on at that time with your Discovery Person.

(“Your Discovery Person” — that is what I call the person at the other end of your Skilled Empath Merges, as you learn all about from my collection of so many amazing techniques that you can use to fly in consciousness, “The Master Empath.”)

Yes, fellow empaths. There are so many reasons to be grateful if you were born an empath.

One of the most important to me is how any skilled empath can make such superb use of Technique Time. Every time we do a Skilled Empath Merge we can bring Divine and celestial truth into this world.

Empathy, by Contrast, is Quintessentially Human

You sit or stand in the company of another human being.

Right on the surface of life, shallowing up, you notice that other person.

When you show empathy with empathic behavior, this is a powerfully human kind of behavior. Spiritually sacred, I’d call it, too. Undeniably, empathy is human.

Let’s Remember, Empathic Behavior Is For Good Things Too

Sympathy, compassion, and empathic behavior — let’s not get all gloomy about them.

Because they can involve sharing human joys too. Infinite variations on delight, not just the infinite variations on earth about human misery!

For example, your friend Joe tells you the story of his Thanksgiving.

Happy or sad or a mixture — when telling his tale, Joe is making a very human sound, like two hands clapping.

When you actively share the conversation, expressing empathy, that is like a second pair of hands clapping along with him.

Show Empathy Whenever You Like. It’s So Human.

Living now in this Age of Awakening, joyfully pursuing truth as householders, know that you can explore empathic behavior whenever you like. (Although you’re definitely not obligated to, right?)

Whenever you choose to give the magnificent gift of empathy, that is sacred. That is (to me) just as spiritual as the traditionally garbed Buddhist monk, having sat in contemplation for hours,  in his sweet renunciate way, as he pondered the sound of one hand clapping.

Solemnly that humble monk awaits the praise (or whack on the head) of his master.

Your householder version? Quickly evolving person, just take a split second to recognize this equally sacred kind of moment. So human!

Empathy is the rowdy sound of four hands clapping.

P.S. Pretty Ironic

Do you ever mix up these expressions?

  • Empath versus empathy
  • Empath talent versus being empathic
  • Doing an unskilled empath merge versus showing empathy
  • Doing an Skilled Empath Merge versus learning how to be empathic

Hey, I can understand that mixup. Back when I published the first book in English for empaths, I was so new to this brand new field that the title of my book was…

“Empowered by Empathy.”

Gulp. By 2001 (when that book was published) I knew quite a lot about how to train empaths –in fact, the basics of my system of Empath Empowerment® were fully described in that book. The starter version, anyway. Like an early word processing software.

But even having worked on that first book for empaths for nearly four years, I still was confused about the distinction between EMPATH and EMPATHY.

And so I didn’t even put the word EMPATH in the title. Ouch!

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  1. 1
    Kira says:

    I like this post.

    But I have a nitpicky grammar question: why not use “empathetic” as the adjective for human-type empathy and “empathic” as the adjective for empath gifts? “Empathetic” parallels “sympathetic”, and we wouldn’t have 2 adjectives that mean the same thing, with none left for enpath gifts.

    (Besides, “empathic” is commonly used for enpath gifts in science fiction and fantasy.)

  2. 2

    Here’s an interesting coincidence, Blog-Buddies.

    Today I was using a little chunk of spare time to continue cleaning up photo links at old blog posts. I worked my way down to November 2013.

    Well, lo and behold, there was a blog post about how we would soon reach 16,000 comments. That was only two years ago, right?

    And now we’re homing in on 27,000 comments. Thanks, Blog-Buddies! (Including my thanks to you, KIRA, for your latest erudite comment.)

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    It doesn’t help that the electronic dictionaries haven’t adopted the term “empath” yet and I keep getting auto-spell-corrected to “empathy”!! (Laugh)

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    Thanks for this, Rose! It reminds me of some past articles about unskilled empaths being LESS effective (and maybe worse friends!) and skilled empaths being MORE effective than non-empaths.

  5. 5
    Sarah says:

    I can definitely vouch for the fact that even unskilled empaths with empathy skills may not use them as effectively as skilled empaths.

    When you’re constantly bogged down with imported stuff, it can be much harder (and understandably so!) to use social skills.

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    Doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there! But imagine trying to clap along with a friend when your hands are covered in an itchy, itchy rash… 🙂 get that rash cleared up first!

    Thanks again for this, Rose. Educational and well-written.

  7. 7
    Jesse says:

    For some reason I couldn’t read this post all in one sitting. I had to take it in bits and pieces. Now I’m re-reading it again.

  8. 8

    Thank you, SARAH and JESSE. I’m so glad you liked this post.

    Personally, it’s one of my favorites for the whole year. And, JESSE, I’m not surprised it took you a while to take it in.

  9. 9

    After all, this little post includes a TECHNIQUE. (So rare for this blog, right?)

    Plus I gave you a perspective on the ancient riddle, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Who hasn’t been curious about that one?

    If you like, click on the link supplied at that part of the post and compare the power of what is offered there (about one hand clapping) with the direct experience you can have by using a few minutes of your Technique Time for what is offered to you in this article.

    Hint: The difference illustrates the distinction that is becoming an increasingly big deal in RES, between Reununciate Enlightenment and Householder Enlightenment.

  10. 10

    Finally, and this is just my personal taste, the line towards the end that includes the phrase “Four hands” is my single favorite sentence I have written all year — at the blog, in the book I’m aiming to publish in 2016, for the first offering of my Enlightenment Basics Teleseminar Series (that just ended last night — yeah, Consciousness Pioneers!).

  11. 11
    Kira says:

    That *is* a good line, Rose!

    I see that my phone’s autocorrect messed up “empath” at least once in my first comment.

    Have to admit, I was actually waiting for an answer to that question; it wasn’t rhetorical. I figured you had a reason for choosing “empathic” to refer to human empathy, I just don’t know what it is.

  12. 12

    KIRA, no need to hold your breath waiting for an answer.

    I thought you were asking a rhetorical question, that’s all.

    Between autocorrect and the wide range of popular usage, I’m used to hearing other people use empathic and empathetic interchangeably, so I just threw them into the post pretty randomly. There was no strong leaning towards “What fits with sympathetic,” etc.

    Basically as far as I’m concerned, use either word — empathic or empathetic. Just don’t use either one to mean “empath.” 😉

  13. 13
    David B says:

    Great post, Rose. I can recall being a little confused by why I’d be able to “tune in” to someone yet have poor empathetic skills. Hadn’t clearly discriminated the distinction.

    And “unskilled empaths tend to zoom right past it and go over to…” sure captures it. How can you be human when you’re elsewhere?

  14. 14
    David B says:

    But do you really think all empaths go in and out of transcendence? Or just those with some history with it, some habit?

    Sure, unskilled they zone out into the astral. But the divine too? Actually, that wasn’t explicit in the article. You mentioned unskilled, then exercise, then transcendence for the skilled…

  15. 15
    Lilian says:

    Yes, tis true Rose. For all our protestations that we’re sensitive souls, we can actually make the worst friends. :-p

  16. 16

    LILIAN, not the worst friends? Noooooooo.

    Just consider that as a skilled empath you’re more able to learn some regular human-type skills… and be great at them.

    From what I know of you, on and off blog, anyone with LILIAN for a friend is very lucky indeed.

  17. 17

    DAVID B., what a soft kind of chuckle emerged when I read your Comment 14.

    No, I never meant to imply that empaths go in and out of transcendence, with awareness slipping through to The Divine Frequency.

    Astral it is, moving in and out of that friend’s subconscious mind.

  18. 18

    Only you, of course, are a pretty weird exception. 😉 Seriously, you serve as a wayshower for people exploring Enlightenment.

    Because, DAVID B, for you life is all about transcendence, and heaping transcendence upon transcendence.

    Haha.

  19. 19
    David B says:

    (laughs) Well – I don’t think of it as transcendence anymore because it’s not elsewhere. But it is gradually moving into (being recognized as being) even the physical body. So yep.

  20. 20
    Irene Kr says:

    I was a much worse friend than I wanted to be as an unskilled empath. Too busy trying to manage all the internal stuff that came up to be clear, effective or confident communicating with words and actions. I wanted to be better at it but couldn’t figure out how until I started learning empath skills.

  21. 21
    Irene Kr says:

    I do think it is important to clarify not just the noun but also the adjective. It’s challenging already to not have a word to describe the overall experience of “being an empath” in one word, since “empathy” is already in use to mean something else.

    I know that when I talk/write about being an empath I deliberately avoid using the adjective form, structuring my sentences to only use “being an empath”, because it’s too easy for people to get confused about what I mean. Especially when I’m comparing the two separate concepts of empathy and being an empath. It gets a bit awkward at times.

  22. 22
    Irene Kr says:

    There also is a subtle difference in popular culture as Kira pointed out in #1. Science fiction/fantasy empaths are described as being empathic, so the association is already there to a small degree.

    I second the vote for “empathetic” to mean the human-type skills of empathy and “empathic” to mean the experience of being an empath. It would be easier to have more specific clarity in the terms when possible 🙂

  23. 23

    Wonderful contributions all, IRENE KR. Thank you.

    I’m still not, personally, going to use the word “empathetic” in the context of empath ANYTHING. Too many people are just too confused.

    Being an empath, using empath skills, etc. work better right now in the world. I look forward to a future time when “Empath” is understood so well by everyone. Then I’ll feel comfortable using “empathetic.”

  24. 24
    Irene Kr says:

    Rose, I agree that the adjective “empathic” can’t be used as a standalone, only in conjunction to being an empath and using empath skills. But I think in a post like this, all about the comparison between empathy and being an empath where adjectives are necessary sometimes, having there be a difference between “empathic” (being an empath) and “empathetic” (using human empathy skills) could be the beginning of clarity for the time when being an empath is commonly understood.

    At any rate, I’m going to start using it that way myself as I think that will help me distinguish between the two. 🙂

  25. 25
    Kira says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Rose. I wasn’t holding my breath. LOL

  26. 26
    Kira says:

    Irene, I’m beginning to think we were separated at birth! 😀

  27. 27
    Irene Kr says:

    Kira, I know, right!?! Lots of similarities in the way our brains seem to work 🙂

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