3 Triggers For Empaths To 'Activate' Your Energy Boundaries

As an empath, you need to protect your energy.

sad woman with man's hand on her face getty

Empaths have triggers. It's important to know what they are so that boundaries can be engaged to protect your energy.

The hallmark of an empath is feeling other people’s energy and emotions as if they were your own.

If you’re an empath, then you know what I’m talking about. You know that your hypersensitivity makes you incredibly understanding and compassionate.

You’re also highly intuitive. You enjoy deep, authentic connections in your relationships. You have a big heart and will go out of your way to help others.


These are great traits to have, especially now in a world that seems coarse and uncaring. The need for the healing gifts of empaths has never been stronger.

But, to bring the full force of your healing gifts to your relationships and the world, you need to protect your energy with healthy energy boundaries.

Not only that, you need to be acutely aware of the triggers for empaths so that you can activate your boundaries quickly and efficiently.

If you don’t create boundaries, you risk absorbing people’s energy in your environment and overloading your system, which can lead to overwhelm, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.


It can also take a toll on your physical body.

RELATED: 11 Types Of Empaths — And How To Know Which One You Are

Here are the 3 triggers empaths should watch out for, so you can activate your boundaries quickly and efficiently.

1. Feeling other people’s pain.

As an empath, you have people in your life who lean on you when they’re suffering.


You’re a great friend — thoughtful, caring, and understanding. You’ll drop what you’re doing at a moment’s notice to help someone in need. You know just the right thing to say to make them feel better.

But have you noticed that sometimes after these encounters, you feel worse than before? Your friend experiences relief, but now you suffer from exhaustion, emotional upset, or anxiety.

It’s as if they’ve off-loaded their emotional pain onto you so you can heal it for them. And because you instinctively want to make them feel better, you absorb their pain into your energy system.

To be clear, it’s not that they’re intentionally dumping their pain on you or that you’re deliberately taking it from them. But, on the energetic level, this tends to happen with empaths more than you might realize.


That’s why other people’s pain is such a common trigger for empaths and one you need to be acutely aware of so you can activate your boundaries quickly and efficiently.

People in need call forth your greatest gifts. Engaging your boundaries is not to wall yourself off and avoid them.

Instead, healthy boundaries give you the freedom to be fully present and supportive without undermining your own physical and emotional well-being.

Of course, you can’t actually do the healing for people in pain. Whatever they haven’t resolved for themselves will eventually resurface for them to address.

In the meantime, you can be a fantastic resource to them by showing up grounded, present, and holding compassionate space for them to navigate their healing journey.


RELATED: 8 Signs You're A Psychic Empath & The Unique Power Of Being One

2. Other people’s expectations and demands.

Ideally, someone makes a request of you in the spirit of freedom. You’re free to respond to the request in a way that is aligned with you.

And the one making the request honors and respects your response, even if it’s not what they hoped for.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that clean and simple. Sometimes (or a lot of times), you encounter people who infuse their requests with the energy of demand.

They’re more interested in getting what they want than they are in what’s right for you.

And because you're so dialed into others’ feelings and intentions, you experience the demand energy pressing in on you from the other person.


This feeling can be subtle or extreme, and may cause you to become anxious, experience tightness in your chest, and have difficulty breathing.

You get momentary relief by giving in to the person’s demand. However, the relief is usually short-lived because now you must deal with the consequences of overriding your own needs.

Most of the time, all of this happens on the level of energy. On the surface, the person may appear to respect your needs and desires. They may even explicitly tell you so.

But, you instinctively know that their words do not match how they are communicating with you energetically. You can intuitively predict how they will react should you disappoint them.


And, of course, that provokes the harmony-loving side of you that would rather sacrifice your needs to avoid upsetting the apple cart.

In situations like these, healthy boundaries help you trust your intuition, practice being OK with disappointing others, and stay true to yourself.

3. Intimacy overload.

Most empaths indeed love intimacy and partnership. You likely relish closeness and the depths of bonding with your lover.

You’re highly attuned to their needs and enjoy being of service to them. Your partner feels understood and supported. And, your love of relational harmony contributes to peace within the home.

That said, most empaths can only take so much togetherness. At some point, you hit an "intimacy overload."


You’re swamped by your partner’s needs. You’re lost in their emotions. And, you have a hard time differentiating your desires from theirs.

In moments like this, you may be tempted to reject romantic intimacy for its intensity. But that would be a shame.

What you really need are awareness and boundaries. You need to watch out for intimacy overload and know when to activate your boundaries.


When you can easily spot the intimacy-overload trigger for empaths, you can activate your boundaries quickly and efficiently and bring your fully authentic, empowered self to your relationship.

For empaths, healthy boundaries free you to clear your space of energy that doesn’t belong to you.

They help you release the overwhelm and anxiety so you can access your inner resources.

As a result, you gain clarity about your needs and desires.

If you’re an empath, set yourself up for success. Know the triggers for empaths to watch so you can engage your boundaries quickly and efficiently.

That way, you can stay resourced, show up in your full authenticity, and share your light with the world.


RELATED: How To Use Your Empathic Abilities As 'Superpowers'

Elizabeth Hunter Diamond is a psychic energy healer. She helps sensitive souls bust old barriers, stand in their power, and create lives of passion and purpose. Let her help you today. Contact her for help or send her an email.