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The most common triggers for empaths

The most common triggers for empaths

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Triggers for empaths can vary but are all strongly related to the deep people’s emotions. If you have been told that you are highly sensitive; that you have emotions for others; that you are a really good listener or that you are someone who can always see where others are coming from – you might consider yourself to be an “empath.”

Furthermore, empaths are actually people who experience a great amount of empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to feel other people’s emotions to the point of being able to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.  Actually, it is placing yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they must be feeling at that moment.

This term was construed by psychologists to describe and explain “highly sensitive people (HSP)” who can easily sense the emotions of others as their own emotions.

Generally speaking, empaths are great friends and partners as they are someone you can always count on. On the other hand, most of the time empaths are called emotional sponges. They take the emotional pain of others at their expense. That is why they become emotionally overwhelmed and that can be a bad thing for their health.

Triggers for empaths – three main types of empathy:

  1. Cognitive empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling and thinking. It is actually someone’s capacity to put himself in someone else’s position and see their perspective. This is a very useful skill. It can be helpful for professionals who have to negotiate, communicate at higher levels, mediate, etc. as it enables them to clearly understand what other people think without involving any emotions on their end. 
  2. Emotional empathy is the ability to quite literally understand feelings and emotions of another person. This type of empathy can be:
    a)  Good – when used by people who are in service of helping others ( doctors and nurses while providing patients with medical care. Or used to support family members and friends while in distress).
    b) Bad – as one can easily become overwhelmed with the strength of emotions that can cause negative effects over time.
  3. Compassionate empathy represents the most appropriate type of this occurrence. It goes beyond understanding others as it moves us for an action. Most of the time, people in need don’t want us to feel their emotions and understand their thinking. They simply want us to sympathize with them and advise them on how to solve their issues.

How to recognize and understand Triggers for Empaths?

When overwhelmed with stressful emotions, empaths can experience anxiety, panic attacks, or depression. Except these things, they sometimes feel fatigue and may even show physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and headache. This is because they personalize the pain and feelings of others without the ability to distinguish them from their own emotions.

Empathic people might have a real hard time with the negative energy they might produce within themselves while trying to understand and support others. Their mental health could be significantly disturbed due to the fact that they constantly take other people’s pain as their own.

Dr. Judith Orloff has been called the “godmother of the empath movement.” Her achievements in psychiatry are based on the findings that links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can not and should not be avoided. She specializes in treating empaths and sensitive people in her Los Angeles based practice and online internationally. Her book The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People (that can easily be found on Amazon), published in 2017 represents a very valuable resource to help all sensitive people learn about emotional triggers and self-care techniques. While developing a self-awareness for sensitive people, Dr. Orloff recognized the empath’s gifts of instincts, kindness, creativity, and spiritual connection. 

Top Signs for Empaths 

In case you are wondering if you are an empath or no, here are some top signs that can help you define it.

You are taking on someone else’s emotions like they are your own.

This is the classic and very first sign of an empath. Even if a person near you is not showing it, you are capable of picking on it immediately. It has been found out that empaths have very active mirror neurons – the part of the brain that reads emotional cues from other people. This means that an empath is able to pick up on microscopic changes in expression, body language, or tone of voice (that others most of the time lapse) and immediately sense what the person is feeling.


Empaths are called walking lie detectors for a reason.

Empathetic person has such ability to grasp on the smallest indications and simply feel them ,,in the air’’. So it is impossible to hide true intentions from an empath. 

People turn to you for advice.

Empathetic persons are great listeners and once that is recognized people tend to come again and again and ask for help, support and encouragement.

Tragic or violent content even from the TV is making you miserable.

Empaths will live ‘’through’’ the pain, loss and tragedy itself just by watching a violent movie. This can take a lot of energy and cause overwhelming emotions.

If you tend to have characteristics of an introvert and enjoy spending time alone.

Most likely you are an empathetic person. Introverts don’t stand big crowds and don’t feel good in them. They simply have different styles when it comes to socializing with others.

Empaths see their homes as a temple.

Empaths see their homes as a temple. So living with a partner could be seen as a real intrusion for empaths. Living together, sharing space and life situations that entails involvement (especially emotional involvement) and going through so many different things might cause the creation of a ton of overwhelming emotions for a fragile empath.

Empath Triggers

What are empaths triggered by? Here are some of the emotional triggers that can end up causing troubling emotional response for them:

  • Hard times with conflicts, speaking up and moving on from relationships.
  • Having a hard time saying no or setting boundaries.
  • High sensitivity to other people, noises and hectic environments.
  • Becoming overwhelmed by negative experiences and their own emotions that can sometimes lead to the panic attacks;

Empathic people could especially be hurt by narcissists, “drama queens” and people who have a helpless, victim mentality.

Triggers for empaths – How to cope with the strong emotions?

  1. Empaths as extremely sensitive individuals simply have to learn how to set boundaries in order to protect their own needs and their own feelings. Their priority has to be learning how to say “no’’ to others and how to stop worrying and solving others’ problems.
  2. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can definitely help and improve one’s well-being.

Meditation is a technique that provides practitioner with inner peace and calmness. While mindfulness represents a technique which teaches us to be focused on the present moment while accepting feelings, thoughts, and body sensations. Exercising of any kind will definitely help with stress relief. Also, practicing “non identification’’ with others will significantly allow empaths to focus. It will help them focus on their own feelings and avoid negative emotions whenever possible.

  1. Having alone-time as much as possible and allowing yourself to regenerate. Empaths are extra sensitive individuals that absorb others’ negative energy and get their sensors overloaded which can cause healthy problems over time.
  2. Be compassionate towards yourself and actually love yourself. It will greatly help if empaths start to replace self-critical and self-doubt thoughts with positive and affirming ones. It will also help if an empath starts treating himself if he is a person he used to help, support, feel for, etc. Regular reading of books with the related topics could tremendously promote healthy boundaries for an empath who has been overwhelmed helping others for a long time. Having a bath every evening could also allow an empath to relax and recharge. Some could also consider having a help from a personal coach who could walk him through strategies, methods and exercises that would ultimately help reduce the happening of empaths common triggers. 

Empathy as an important interpersonal skill in today’s professional world   

Active listening, caring, nurturing, motivating, etc. are very valuable and required skills in today’s professional world. These features can not be outsourced or automated and are still very important when it comes to dealing with humans you want to get the best out of.

Employers are working hard on the education and training of their employees and therefore empathy as an appearance seems to be one of the most important interpersonal skills in the first place.

As it has been defined above, empathy is the ability to place yourself into someone else’s shoes and to understand things through that person’s perspective. When someone’s professional success is based on the ability to communicate well with others; to quickly understand what needs to be done; to pursue and successfully lead and motivate many personalities – it makes perfect sense that how empath feels can be used as a ground for the development of most important interpersonal skills at work. Most of these facts can be found and learnt on many networks of social-media nowaday.  In professional surroundings one needs to take a side of its “own stuff’’ and honestly see things through someone else’s eyes. 

Therefore, there are numerous reasons why empaths can become very successful leaders in today’s professional world. 


Triggers for empaths – Reasons

“Seek First to Understand” mode

Empathetic thinking puts you into “Seek First to Understand” mode. You can much better understand your audience and actually your coworkers. It can give you an advantage as you will be able to make decisions that will better impact them. And more importantly you will be able to know how to communicate with them in a more effective way.


Most people never listen so people will notice the difference in case you ( as an empath) do! When you become an active listener and truly engage in what others are saying, it will make a big difference and impression on them.

Empathetic ways of thinking

Empathetic ways of thinking can tremendously help in emotional connection with others. Empath will elaborate its thoughts and findings in a form of an official acknowledgement. If people feel unheard and not understood, they will disengage with their feelings. And they will not be able to embrace your logic. Once that emotional connection is made and you have endorsed other people’s emotions  –  your audience can be moved forward towards logical conclusions. Furthermore, empathetic thinking makes your coworkers more open-minded and interested in being influenced by you. Mirror neurons account for your followers to have the same brain activity based on your actions, thoughts and feelings. It might extremely help you be a better communicator and therefore leader.

,,Self-absorption’’ mode

Empathy takes you out of ,,Self-absorption’’ mode as that is also important in professional surroundings. Most people are inclined to be absorbed with their own experiences and feelings. When you are able to get out of that mode, as empaths are, you will be recognized as someone who treats others as equals and to validate their own individuality and specifics.

Empathy moves you to mutuality

Empathy in the end moves you to mutuality, while mutuality represents a positive, interactive relationship between parties, organizations and/or coworkers. Mutuality is deemed to be  recognition of others to be valuable persons. Emotional intelligence has been confirmed to improve employee engagement. Improve to the degree that people you lead care about their work and their organization. Empathetic people are considered to be great at meeting the needs and requirements of clients, customers, and deputies. They seem attainable to also wanting to hear what others have to say. They are also careful listeners. Empathic people are able to easily grasp on what other people are concerned about but also ready to respond on the spot.

These several reasons are worthwhile and highly recommended for the leader in today’s business world.

Triggers for empaths are highly useful for each person. No matter if they cause positive or negative sensory overload or impact.

When one becomes aware of them and works on herself, triggers for empaths can definitely help. Help for personal growth in all aspects of private and/or professional life.