What It Really Means When You Can Feel Other People's Energy

Six ways to manage the overwhelming feelings of others.

empathic woman Anastasia Shuraeva | Canva

Do you feel like no matter where you go, you're bombarded by other people’s emotions, especially in places where many people gather like the mall, at a concert, or if you visit someone in the hospital?

Others may tell you to stop being so sensitive or act like you're being dramatic. Something else is likely going on that makes you so uncomfortable. Fortunately, you don't have to give up your life to manage this. The second list (below) can show you how to mitigate the overwhelm and help you use your "gift" for good.   


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Feeling other people's energy? Here are five possible reasons why: 

1. You are empathic.

If this sounds familiar, you may be an empath. What is an empath? You possess a high level of empathy, making you sensitive to the feelings of people around you. It’s as if your body picks up other people’s emotions like a sponge, the good and the unpleasant.

That means you not only feel your own emotions but you’re impacted by others as well. No wonder you feel overwhelmed when you’re out in public! If you are an empath, this indicates you are intuitively relating to the energy of others.


Additional situations that suggest you’re an empath include feeling overwhelmed by intimacy, finding it hard to stop caring about something, and being a soft shoulder to cry on. People always tell you their stories.

As an empath, you need plenty of alone time to recharge after feeling inundated. You tend to avoid conflict and sometimes want to just crawl into your rabbit hole. Establishing and holding boundaries is an area empaths typically have trouble with.



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2. You are a highly sensitive person.

However, there are other reasons why you could be influenced by people around you. You could be a highly sensitive person (HSP), which is why everybody’s moods affect you. Many of the characteristics and problems of HSPs are similar to those of empaths.

3. You have an anxious attachment style.

Another possibility is that you have an anxious attachment style. If this is the case, you could be a people pleaser and sometimes sacrifice your own needs to meet the needs of others. This could include your parents, a romantic partner, or others.

4. You are highly intuitive.

Someone with strong intuition is also prone to noticing the emotional state of others. It’s natural to pick up the feelings of people you know, but often anyone nearby with powerful emotions can encroach on you and feel overpowering.

5. You are highly-vigilant.

One more option is that you may have endured trauma as a child. This can create a type of hyper-vigilance about a difficult parent’s behavior. Being ever watchful kept you safe from outbursts at times or helped you judge the possible risks in any situation. This is how you came to be an expert on noticing other people’s emotional states.


a couple sharing emotions

Photo: Beatriz Vera via Shutterstock

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Six ways to protect yourself and release the emotions of others:

Regardless of why you feel infringed upon by emotions that aren’t yours, it can be exhausting and debilitating. The good news is there are steps you can take to protect yourself and raise your vibration to be impervious.


The suggestions offered below are both energy-related and practical to help you manage rough spots with greater ease.

1. Learn to recognize your feelings.

If you realize something is your emotion, then own and process it. But if it’s from someone else, say to yourself, "This isn’t mine. I let this emotion go and send it back to the point of origin."

2. Engage in grounding activities.

Walk in nature and go barefoot if the weather is warm. Nature is healing and relaxing to help you de-stress and release the overwhelm from emotions, both yours or from others. Nature also helps with raising your vibration to rise above lower emotional frequencies.

Another way to ground is to imagine you have roots growing out of your feet that reach down deep into the earth. Release foreign emotions into the earth to be transformed into nourishment for the planet.


3. Protect your energy.

When you go out into a crowd, imagine putting a bubble of white light around you. While this might sound a bit "out there," it does provide energetic protection from unwanted energies and emotions through your intention. The process also makes you more conscious of your surroundings.

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4. Limit scrolling.

Many low-vibe emotions like jealousy, envy, and fear of missing out are created while viewing social media. The best advice is to limit your screen time and instead, do something healthy that nourishes your soul.


5. Invest in self-care.

Taking time for yourself is a type of self-love that builds self-esteem. You might exercise, write in a journal, meditate, take a bath, get a massage, etc. Figure out what feels good and helps you relax to recharge your batteries.

she takes the time for mindfulness

Photo: The Num Phanu via Shutterstock


6. Practice mindfulness.

Being mindful builds your awareness of the present moment. This means you notice your surroundings and enjoy all of your senses in the process. Notice the leaves on the trees, how they move in the wind, the different shades of green, how a leaf feels in your hand, and what it smells like. Being present helps you let go of worrying about the future or regretting the past.

Using any of these methods will help you take back your life and feel stronger. The more you can identify what is yours and what is not, the better your chances to feel good and enjoy life. Make it a priority to release or block emotions that aren’t yours, so you reduce their impact and the overwhelm that follows.

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Ronnie Ann Ryan is an Intuitive Coach, Past Life Reader, and author of six books. She’s the creator of the free audio course How to Ask the Universe for a Sign and Get an Answer Within 24 Hours. She's been published on ABC, BBC, and NPR.