Spiritual Insights: Sarah's Blog

My Biggest Empath Challenge: Dealing with Angry People

July 17, 2019

My Biggest Empath Challenge: Dealing with Angry People

When you are an emotional empath you feel everyone’s emotions. 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 powerful 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, it feels like it was. 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 notice how heavy and dark I feel in the simplest 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, how does an empath deal with what they 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 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 to help sort it all out is essential. You can’t keep self-silencing!

The Challenges that Anger Creates for Empaths

I believe that each person has the right to their 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 empaths feel directly, without filters.
  2. The angry person may not be mature or adult enough to process their own emotions in a grounded adult manner.
  3. An empath experiences anger as a direct attack and be overwhelmed by intense feelings.

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 enlightenment.

I believe it is up to me to ground and separate from the dense 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 a world of subtle energies, I have the right to shift into the frequencies that feel more aligned with my 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 watch how the situation moves along. Sometimes it’s extremely painful to know that someone you love is 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, the 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 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 more exceptional 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

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 generate a shared space. It is not a merged or co-dependent space, each person keeps their 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 part of this shared space. But even on the most apparent level, taking care of the shared space means being considerate, respectful, honest, transparent, and open to the best of each person’s ability.  For the empath, understanding this concept of shared space helps you navigate relationships.  You can choose whether you want to “share space” with someone or not. You have the power to choose, use 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 not reciprocated, because they sense the connection on the spiritual heart level. Learning to discern the level of connection you are meant to have with another will help you navigate relationships more successfully. Even when your heart goes zing it may not be indicating a romantic relationship. More often, past life issues, higher being recognition, and spiritual friendship should to be considered when discerning the appropriate relationship to another.

Come back to your grounded, embodied, adult self, then you will 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 for others creates fertile soil for emotional and spiritual growth.


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  1. Lauren

    Thank you, Sarah, for addressing the subject of how an angry person can affect an empath. I’ve been friends with a Social Worker – who’s got a lot of anger as a trauma survivor. And I’m a trauma survivor as well – but deal with my emotions in emotionally responsible way’s. So I tried to offer empathy…and be a good friend to her. But she eventually got made at me for something I said – in a kind way – to aid her efforts to get settled in a new environment – which then triggered her one of her Mother Wounds – which caused her to reject my efforts to even comfort her for 6 months. So I’ve decided to avoid the relationship from now on. But it took me over an hour to find an article about how someone else’s habitual anger & aggressive behavior can affect an empath. So I could feel understood & sooth my discomfort with a difficult situation. Because, I typically try to be a loyal friend. So perhaps you can help empaths to know how to be a good friend – but protect themselves from getting involved with a person that they assumed would be more mature with regards to their affect on others…

  2. Chantal Straugh

    Yes today a stranger was so angry and almost aggressive with me and I matched his anger I was overwhelmed. Do you have any prayers or thoughts if I’m confronted with anger like this in order for me to not get taken overby oothers anger? Thanks

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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