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My Biggest Empath Challenge: Dealing with Angry People

When you are an emotional empath you feel everyone’s emotions. Even those who are angry, irritated and frustrated with you. It’s bad enough that we feel the general heavy feelings of the world, but when they are directed at us, it’s a whole other story.

When a friend, student or client is angry at me I have to remember: I am not responsible for anyone else’s feelings other than my own But, as an empath, my first reaction is dramatic. I see and feel a very strong cloud of darkness descending upon me. My chest tightens up and my breathing becomes shallow and almost non-existent. I become non-existent like I’ve been taken over by someone else’s energy.  It’s like a spell was cast on me and I become the angry one. Although no spell was cast, that is what it feels like. I feel sick to my stomach and can lose focus on whatever I’m doing. It’s pretty disruptive.

It took a little while to figure out the correlation between my physical/emotional symptoms and what was going on for the other person.  The clues started coming in when I noticed my reaction in quick random encounters. With the irritated check out person at the store, the road-rage driver, or my students and clients, etc. I noticed how heavy and dark I felt just in the passing interactions.  I also saw clearly that the anger was in someone else and not me. These were momentary and obvious. It gets more interesting and challenging when the anger is sustained and stretches over a longer period of time.  It’s tough to cut off the stream of dark energy directed at me by someone who believes I’ve wronged them in some way, particularly when they are compulsively perseverating on it. It’s easy to take on the anger, believe it is mine, and build a big case against them when I wasn’t the one who was angry in the first place. It’s hard to shake, but over time I’ve learned to deal with it somewhat effectively.

The challenge of this situation, whether you are empathic, psychic or telepathic, is knowing the inner thoughts and feelings of another….without ever intending to be privy to their private space you are. I don’t want to know, don’t need to know and certainly don’t want to feel the heaviness and disruption it causes. The question arises: What defines private space when the unseen is seen? In our world where the realm of emotions, energy, and vibration is denied, as an empath how do you deal with what you feel and know?

Empaths Experience So Much More Than the Average Person

With our mirror neurons firing continually along with a sensitive nervous system that is tuned to the subtle world of unseen energy, we receive so much more information than the average person. While the average person is surfing on the surface, we are receiving frequencies from the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions in our engagement with every being. And, who is going to affirm, support or agree with what we are experiencing?  Who can help you separate out from the feelings of others, hold a clear space, and help us re-ground in our true self when you can’t do it yourself?  Having a trusted friend that helps you sort this out is extremely helpful for empaths. Please find that friend for yourself!

The Challenges that Anger Creates for Empaths

I believe that each person has the right to their own private thoughts and feelings. Even when his/her issue is with me, they have the right to privacy. If I feel something is off with a friend, I’ll ask if everything is OK between us, a reality check of sorts, and if they answer “everything’s fine”, then I have no other choice but to respect their privacy, EVEN WHEN I KNOW EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE!

Naming some of the challenges empaths face when dealing with relationship anger helps create space and allows for wisdom to stream in.

  1.  The anger may or may not be directed at you but you may feel it as if it is because you feel everything personally.
  2. The person who is angry may not be mature or adult enough to process their own emotions in a grounded adult manner.
  3. An empath experiences anger as an attack by a stealth weapon but others may not understand this perspective.

I may have just described every empath’s worst nightmare—getting caught in the anger and heavy energy spiral that exists in the unseen airwaves that connects us all. It takes a lot of grounding and clearing to get to a state of clarity and peace. It’s a lot of work to be an empath in this world. I get it and it is what it is. Take heart that in the process of learning about yourself and the unseen subtle energies you are working towards your own enlightenment.

I believe it is up to me to ground and separate from the heavy energies and shift into a higher frequency state that is lighter and brighter than the energies aimed at me. I don’t have the power or right to change what they are feeling, but since I live in the world of subtle energies I have the right to shift into the frequencies that feel more aligned with my own consciousness. This takes a lot of release and mastery on my part. When I’m able to this, I’m fine. I’m patient, detached and am able to watch how the situation moves along. Sometimes it’s very painful to know that someone you love is very angry with you and there is no opportunity to resolve it from an adult perspective.

Keywords are “Grounded”, “Embodied” and “Adult”

Learning to come back to your grounded, embodied, adult self is what puts you on the path of The Enlightened Empath. The only way out is through. To get out of misery the empath must reach deep within and access their soul level wisdom and make it their everyday wisdom. This is the very definition of “enlightened”. To me, an adult is a person who takes responsibility for their own feelings, thoughts, and actions, skillfully grounds them within their multi-dimensional being, and arrives at embodied, integrated, wisdom.  It’s a big task, but you are up to it if you are an empath. You know how to be persistent, you know the greater solution exists, and you have a reference point for placing harmony as a priority in shared relational space.

You Don’t Have to Stay Loyal if the Relationship is Uncomfortable–Respecting Relational Shared Space

Empaths tend to be very loyal to the point of ignoring their own needs and feelings. Learning that I don’t have to stay connected to or be around the person who is creating an unsafe shared space has been a tough one for me. I’m not responsible for others feelings is hard to realize when you experience the shared relational space as Oneness.

When you are friends or lovers with someone you are creating a shared space. This is where the relationship really exists. It’s not a merged or co-dependent space, each person keeps their personal identity and energy, but there is an assumption that it is consciously shared, cared for and valued.

As an empath, admittedly, the shared space may include a more subtle space, more of the unseen world of emotions, energy, and thoughts are included in this shared space. But even on the most obvious level, taking care of the shared space means being considerate, respectful, honest, clear, and open to the best of each person’s ability.  For the empath, understanding this concept of shared space helps them navigate relationships.  You can make a choice about whether you want to “share space” with someone or not. You have the power to choose, us it.

Most empaths jump impulsively into relationships because they are so loving and recognize connections where others don’t see them. They feel the heart resonance even when another doesn’t. They extend sympathy and support where needed even when it is not reciprocated because they are tuned into a deeper level of connection. Coming back to your grounded, embodied, adult self will help you understand your relationships and the choices you want to make. Your self-respect will guide you as to when and how to share your energy, love, and attention. It will also show you when to let go and allow space for the relationship to find a new balancing point.

Challenged to Grow

Relationships are challenging for everyone; that almost seems like an understatement!  For empaths, it is one of the most challenging. Balancing the need for space due to our sensitive nervous system with the need to express our love and excitement for others is creates the fertile soil for emotional and spiritual growth. Choosing to continually tune yourself to the frequency that is most comfortable and that expresses your true nature is the way we learn to loosen the bonds of the false self and become a tuning fork for others to find their own true self.


  1. Lori

    Hi Sarah,

    I had a go around with my sister tonight. I
    took on her anger and my energy felt all jumbled together. As soon as I escorted her out, I took a few deep breaths and did my best to get grounded and centered again. Do you have any suggestions for me not taking this on from her?

  2. nicky gant

    As always, I feel seen, heard and understood by you like no other, Sarah. I often have wondered why I can handle processing all heavy emotions better than anger. This is so helpful, thank you!

  3. Andrea Schlenkerman

    Thanks, Sarah. Again the timing is Divine! Since the four years I’ve been on your classes. I’ve realized how I now hold myself in a safe space and can freely feel my feelings! Anger has always been the tough one since I think it’s been buried the longest. My experiences of being shut down and repressed now have Light and compassion and even more importantly the personal practice skills to heal. As I’ve found my new voice I again say thanks and may we all continue to heal and look to our hearts with deepest compassion.

  4. Barbara Parsons

    Thank you SO much for this one! It was sorely needed right now, as I am in the middle of someone else’s anger issues. Reading this helps me find the space where I want to be! Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this with us.

  5. Becky McLoughlin

    Oh such a great teaching, especially navigating a family space. Our relationships are evolving everyday and there are days I forget to ground, embody, and adult. Thank you for the practice.


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