If you have reached the conclusion that you are an empath, I imagine this realization has been long in coming. In your childhood, you may have experienced a range of mysterious and often unexplainable signs and symptoms that no parent, teacher or doctor could make sense of. From mysterious physical symptoms to confusing emotional experiences, being an empathic child presents unique questions that traditional medicine can’t answer. In this post, we’ll be delving into 7 signs of an empath child that may help you continue putting the pieces together so that your adult self can better understand the challenging experiences you went through as a young, highly sensitive person.
The Tale of the Empath Child
The world can be rough waters for the empath child to navigate.
Like a sailboat gets tossed about in a storm, a highly sensitive person is attuned so closely to shifts in their environment that they get thrown around energetically until they learn the ropes of their empathic gifts.
“You’re too sensitive,” the world tells a young empath.
It’s like a television without an “off” switch, the constant energetic noise. It’s walking into a room and feeling pain — not yours, but real as if it was — soaking into your body. It’s knowing that your mother is sad even when she’s laughing.
“Toughen up,” the world instructs the empath. The sensitivity becomes a curse; a sickness to recover from, a release of emotion you start saving up for when you’re alone. Your capacity to feel so much and so deeply suddenly seems like weakness. You cry in the bathroom at a sleepover party in elementary school and you weren’t even sad.
That’s what you keep trying to tell them — “I’m not even sad” — through tears and heaving sobs. They don’t understand. How could they? You don’t even understand.
Now you’re in high school. It’s chronic fatigue. Or is it depression? Or is it anxiety? You’re an enigma in the worst kinds of ways.
You’re fidgeting to get comfortable in the plastic chair in the doctor’s office as she takes your temperature for the 5th time this year.
“See, there’s nothing wrong with you,” your mom tells you once you make it out to the parking lot.
That’s what they always say. “You’re fine.”, “You’re just thinking too much.”, “You’re just taking things too personally.”
Not being able to breathe in the grocery store, coming home doubled over in stomach pain every day in 6th grade, the nights you feel the heaviness of life pressing so hard on your chest you think your heart might collapse under the weight.
That’s the best way to describe it. There’s a weight as heavy as all the people around you combined, on your shoulders at all times.
Healing Your Empath Inner Child Wounds
As a child, you probably were clueless as to why any of these things were happening to you.
You always had a keen awareness of being different from others. Your peers may have even called you “weird” or you might have felt like an outcast.
Little did your younger self know, these sensitivities that caused you to feel so alone and misunderstood were actually your greatest gift and your best asset.
Now, as an adult, you owe it to your younger self to heal these inner child wounds your empathic abilities caused in your early life. As you continue reading this post and connecting with these 7 empath signs and symptoms, reassure your inner child self that the experiences and feelings they had were valid even if the adult figures in their life couldn’t understand them at the time.
1. Chronic Fatigue
As an empath child, you may have found yourself in the doctor’s office over and over again with no resolution to your constant tiredness.
Just like a piece of equipment can become overheated when you overuse it, highly sensitive people have finely tuned energetic receptors in their brain that can become overwhelmed by reading too much energy at one time.
Empaths tend to be able to fully “recharge” themselves emotionally only when they are completely alone. If you came from a big family and never had enough space to yourself, you may have never gotten a chance to adequately rest from the constant energetic bombardment of the outside world.
Unless you were homeschooled, you probably were around dozens of other young children and teachers for several hours during the school week. Empaths are not designed to spend this much time in close proximity to huge groups of people because of the way it drains them and leads to perpetual fatigue.
2. Sudden Mood Swings
Young empaths are often mistaken as “moody” or “emotional” because of the ways they react to certain people and environments.
If your parents were always telling you that you were “too sensitive” or that you always took things too personally, this was their way of interpreting the sudden outbursts of emotion that empathic children experience as they read and absorb energy from others.
Children who are empaths may appear to vacillate between anger, happiness and sadness depending on what room they walk into. This is because, without realizing it, they are attuned to what other people in the room are feeling and have a tendency to reflect those feelings like a mirror.
This is even more true for child empaths than adult empaths, because children often have a weaker sense of self-identity and porous boundaries with the people around them — especially their family members.
3. Extreme Shyness
Others usually perceive empathic children as unusually shy or introverted. Young empaths naturally gravitate away from others when they feel overwhelmed or emotionally tired.
In reality, empaths can be some of the most social creatures on the planet when they choose to open themselves up to connecting with someone. Their natural ability to read and understand other people makes them the kindest friends and best advice-givers imaginable.
The problem is, empaths have a limited amount of energy for these types of social interactions, even with the people they love most. This means that even in childhood, empaths will find ways to preserve their energy and remove themselves from people whenever possible.
Empath children will happily play by themselves at recess, sit alone in the lunch room or opt out of social events. While the empath may be perfectly capable of connecting with their peers, non-empathic people around them will label this behavior as shyness or even social anxiety.
4. Back, Neck & Shoulder Tension
Being an empath can sometimes quite literally feel like carrying the weight of the whole world on your shoulders.
Even young empaths can feel this burden, which may manifest itself in the form of muscle tension. This tension tends to be especially prominent in the back, neck and shoulder area.
This could be connected to the energetic blockages in the throat chakra and heart chakra that empaths can experience as a result of their gifts.
Empaths, in general, struggle with absorbing the physical and emotional pain of others and sometimes even storing this pain for periods of time within their own energetic body.
For this reason, I’ve created a 7 Chakra Clearing subliminal affirmations audio track. This meditation track is designed to release blockages in the main energetic centers of the body that you may have picked up from others throughout the day.
This subliminal can also be used as a grounding tool first thing in the morning to protect your energy from draining people and environments so you can remain relaxed, focused and energetic. Click the link below to explore more about the powerful subliminal messages and binaural frequencies contained in this subliminal audio track.
5. Narcissistic or Self-Centered Parents
It isn’t always the case, but many empaths are born to parents with strikingly low levels of empathy. Some of these parents could even be labeled as narcissists or “energy vampires”.
Perhaps we will never fully understand why empathic children so often choose to be born into families where empathy is seen as a weakness to be irradiated.
It has been hypothesized that empaths select these families in order to experience challenges in their home life early on that ultimately lead to their own spiritual evolution.
Like metal is tempered by fire, young empaths are often tempered by pressures within their family dynamic early on in life that cause them to come out stronger and with an unbreakable drive to achieve some kind of soul mission on the planet.
6. Unexplained Crying
If you found yourself crying completely out of the blue on a near daily basis as a child, you were probably experiencing the confusing emotional effects of being highly sensitive.
Empaths are highly susceptible to any emotional triggers like intense movies or driving past a bad car accident. Environments like hospitals, funerals or nursing homes can energetically “wear off” on empathic children, causing them to feel incredibly tired or sad.
Sometimes, empaths will cry for seemingly no reason at all. The reason empaths can seems to become sad all of a sudden could be hard to pinpoint.
It could be that they are feeling the sadness of a person they passed on the street, sensing a tragedy that once took place in the building they walked into, or even picking up on a general depressive energy that a large group of people are feeling on a particular day (e.g. some empaths feel more sad on Mondays because there are many people who dread this first day back at work after the weekend).
This sudden urge to cry can come completely out of nowhere and sometimes even at a time when the empath is feeling perfectly fine and happy.
7. Aversion to Physical Touch
Our physical bodies are conduits for energy.
When an empath touches or is touched by another person, even in the smallest way like their elbows rubbing by accident or shaking hands, an exchange of energy occurs that causes the empath to feel this person’s emotions to an even greater extent than usual.
For this reason, empathic children will often avoid being touched. Even as infants and toddlers, most young empaths will only let certain trusted adult figures hold them (like their parents or grandparents, for example).
If someone they aren’t familiar with tries to hold a baby empath, he/she may immediately start crying or screaming as they feel uncomfortable sensing this person’s new, unknown energy.
As they grow older, children who are empaths will often still avoid hugging others, sitting close to their peers or engaging in other forms of platonic physical contact.
Without realizing it, the empath’s aversion to physical touch is a protective mechanism as they subconsciously try to preserve their mental state by exchanging energy with people as little as possible throughout the day.
From Childhood Empath to Self-Empowered Being
Many empaths get off to a rough start in life.
Adults misunderstand them, the public school system doesn’t accommodate them, and they struggle with feeling like an outcast in their own peer groups and homes.
However, in spite of the hardship of their youth, empaths have the most astounding ability to transmute pain into beauty. They are true alchemists, both of their own lives and of the world at large.
As a child empath, you may have felt powerless or alone in many ways.
But now, as the self-empowered and awakened adult empath you are becoming more every day, you can begin to consciously use your empathic gifts to create abundance, art and connection where there was once nothing but pain and confusion.
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