They love spending time with you, but also need time alone.
It might seem like an empath is pushing you away or distancing themselves from you, but in reality, they’re just trying to take a break from absorbing your feelings in addition to their own, which can be exhausting.
Taking on the emotions of others can be draining, so empaths need to “recharge their batteries” and take a step back.
That said, when they’re with you, an empath is happy to spend lots of time together, even preferring alone time over going to “overwhelming” places like the mall or the movies.
This all might make them appear anti-social or moody, but really, it’s their way of checking in with themselves and replenishing.
They’re good listeners to the point of neglecting their own needs.
An empath is happy to hear your story, give you advice, and let you feel what you need to feel.
That said, they’re feeling along with you. They’re willing to give, sometimes too much, without asking for you to give them anything back.
According to Orloff, the key is communication. Make sure that you’re listening and asking the empath in your life if they’re feeling alright or if they need you. They might not be as willing to communicate their needs, but everyone needs someone to listen sometimes.
They have trouble saying “no.”
Boundaries are difficult for empaths, according to Judith Orloff. This can result in a struggle when it comes to using the word “no.”
“What I always tell them is ‘no’ is a complete sentence,” Orloff said. “Learn how to say ‘no,’ but don’t get into a big discussion about it. Just say ‘no, I’m sorry I can’t do this tonight, I’d rather stay home.'”
Sometimes empaths will say yes to something even if they’re not interested in doing whatever it is that you want to do. An empath wants to make you happy, so they’re willing to do the work to keep your emotions in check.
Make sure that you’re communicating and discussing what you both want to do, otherwise, one person might not be fully invested or enjoying activities to the same degree as another. Ideally, you and your partner are both enjoying something and setting healthy boundaries.
They don’t respond well to criticism, so you might have to walk on eggshells.
Empaths are incredibly sensitive. Though criticism isn’t usually fun for anyone, it’s especially taxing for an empath, who is usually just trying their very best and doesn’t respond well to arguments or tough criticism.
Unfortunately, these kinds of conversations are necessary and healthy for relationships, so it’s best to adjust a bit to your significant other’s needs.
Loving an empath means having to maintain open communication, keeping in mind that your words have power and that they should be used wisely. When it comes to critiques or disagreements, make sure that it’s done with intention, kindness, and solely for the purpose of moving forward.
They give it their all but need to know when it’s time to call it quits.
Empaths put a lot into their relationships, sometimes too much. They care so much that they can take it a step too far and leave themselves drained, emotionally raw, and searching for absolute answers, which can be hard to find when it comes to relationships.
“Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things,” according to Themindunleashed.com. “As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind.”
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you have to know when it’s not right. Not all relationships are meant to be.