How to Protect Yourself as an Empath

As an empath, do you find yourself struggling to keep some balance within your life?

Are you continually soaking up the energy of others around you and find yourself paralyzed, unable to move because you’re so overcome with emotion?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re already aware of the specific empathetic characteristics that make you, you. 

If you’re ready to step into learning how to protect your empathetic powers, without sacrificing your happiness, continue reading! I talk about the one shift I’ve made in my life to create healthy and positive relationships with those around me.

Common traits of an empath

1. You struggle with boundaries. It’s tough to know where you leave off, and others begin, which experiences are yours and which come from others, and when to open your channels for connection or to close them.

2. You’re often not in your body. For empaths, all that “feeling into” the experiences of others means that you dissociate: you leave your body or “shuttle” out of the direct experience as a matter of course.

3. You’re vulnerable to emotional contagion. You absorb the emotions of others, from your boss and colleagues at work to your family and friends, and even the check-out guy at Whole Foods.

4. You’re prone to nervous system overdrive. It doesn’t take much—sometimes just a draining conversation or a party that’s loud and over-populated—to propel your nervous system into alarm mode.

5. You have trouble with intimacy. Your relationships are filled with intense bonding and equally passionate separations. You can merge with others at the drop of a hat, but get so entangled that an “emotional exorcism” of someone you care about is often the only way to get your space.

Check out the ‘The Empath Checklist’ from Bo Forbes.

6. You value alone time. Absorbing everyone’s energy is hard work, so many empaths find themselves craving alone time after a long day. Make sure to take time as you need it.

7. You may crave time in nature. It is among the trees and grass that empaths being to feel recharged. Even walking barefoot in the grass a few moments each day can help you to feel re-grounded and recharged.

8. You’re highly intuitive. Tuning into your intuition, that gut feeling is essential for navigating daily life as an empath. If something feels off, it probably is.

9. You attract energetic parasites. Those with empath traits tend to attract others who like to suck their energy for personal gain. It’s essential to keep your boundaries secure!

10. You’re a natural healer. Your innate ability to feel what others are going through allows you to be a natural healer with lots of love to give.

How to protect yourself from narcissists: the empath perspective

Remember those energetic parasites I mentioned above? Not only will you attract some of those, but you’ll also attract one or two narcissists along the way. It’d be good to know how to identify and handle a narcissist as you go about building your boundaries and protecting your energy.

Practice building boundaries to create empath protection

One of the biggest misconceptions I see with my clients is the idea that, as an empath, you are destined to a life of emotional exhaustion, low self-confidence, and frustration around communicating your needs. Those limiting beliefs simply aren’t real, and there is a way to live a life feeling the gorgeous gifts of a highly in-tune empathetic healer, all the while living a life that is in balance – with yourself and with others.

I’m just going to come out here and say it: build boundaries.

Empaths who build boundaries are not bad people, and they are certainly not less of a feeler than empaths who choose not to establish boundaries. I think that those super-feelers who harness their  No and choose the energy they let into their lives are even more in touch with the gifts they’ve been given. It takes a certain level of awareness to not only be super in touch with yourself, but also with others.

couple holding hands

This concept is not as easy as just saying no because, in this process of building boundaries, an empath needs to begin creating mindfulness around themselves and the way they’re truly feeling. That means it’s time for you, empath, to take a moment to yourself and get in touch with what’s going on inside.

That might sound freaking scary to some of you because you’re so used to always feeling other’s emotions, it might be challenging to decipher what’s yours to feel and what’s not.

The most helpful tools I use for myself and my clients to begin to get in touch with what’s going on is mindful meditation and journaling. Both of these practices have the end goal: getting in touch with how we’re feeling at certain moments and why.

As an empath, it is imperative to build healthy and secure internal and external boundaries because, ideally, you need to be the only one in charge of the energy you’re allowing into your life. Learn how I build boundaries with essential oils. Since you commonly sponge up the emotions of others, leaving you exhausted and resentful, you need a method in place to stop that cycle before it directly affects you.

You can feel, you can understand, but remember that your gifts don’t have to take a toll on your happiness.

Building boundaries is not selfish

I’ve been challenged on this idea before, and let me clear the air – building boundaries and saying No as an empath isn’t selfish. It’s not rude, it’s not mean, and you’re going to be okay. You’ll probably be better off than you were before your boundaries were in place.

And, for those of you asking, saying No and being in charge of your boundaries does not make you a narcissist. Instead, it makes you a healthy and loving human with a strong enough self-worth to know that you, too, deserve to be loved and understood.

When we protect our energy, we can show up better for others in genuine need of our help. We can take care of those around us with more kindness and compassion because our needs have already been met. If we are whole on our own, we can give others that much more. If we are continually giving to others from an empty cup, we are doing them a disservice and not being as intentional with our giving actions.

woman with her hands on her heart

Are you looking for more empath protection techniques?

If you’re not quite ready to build boundaries, but could use some support in the meantime, here are some suggestions to rebalance yourself after an energy-drain or run-in with someone that left you feeling exhausted.

  • Remember that it’s not your job to fix everyone and it’s unfair to yourself to assume that role
  • Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils to help release any negative energy
  • When you feel yourself getting caught up in someone else’s energy, simply ask the Universe to take the negative energy you’re feeling and transmute it into positive energy
  • Enjoy some time alone and remember that as a highly sensitive person, alone time can be so healing and recharging
  • Check out these supportive books:

I invite you to remember the beautiful gifts that being an empath can provide to this world. Remember that you are worthy of protecting your precious energy so you can continue to be of service to yourself and the world around you.

Still need extra support? Download your free Empath Protection Manual now.

How to protect yourself as an empath
Girl holding flower


  • Thank you for making this post! It’s relieving to know that boundaries are something most highly empathetic people struggle with. It’s also so validating to hear that it’s okay for me to be working on building boundaries and it’s not selfish to be learning to say no! I’m slowly starting to realize I can’t help everyone all the time without helping myself first, so I really love that your post establishes that.
    Much love,

    • Thank you, Larisa! Boundaries are, I believe, the gatekeepers to our happiness as highly sensitive and empathetic people. Best of luck to you!

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