Do empaths run in the family?

Do empaths run in the family?

by Lindsay on November 3, 2011

in Empath, Souls

Me and my sister

For those who don’t know me, I have two younger sisters: Michelle & Hannah. When Michelle and I were little, people used to ask our mom if we were twins. Actually, people still ask that question from time to time. The answer is: no, we’re not. She’s 3 years younger and 3 inches taller and probably (at least) 13 pounds lighter. But aside from those differences, Michelle and I are very similar. We are both neat & tidy and like cleaning & organizing. Yeah, we’re weird like that. We both like singing along to the radio in the car – although Michelle would freakin’ rock at that game show Don’t Forget the Lyrics and I would pretty much not rock at it.  We’re both quiet in large groups. We both love children and taking care of other people. And…we’re both empaths.

Spending time with my sister and realizing just how much of an empath she is got me thinkin’: does being an empath run in the family? Is it genetic like blue eyes or brown hair? Is it environmental or a bit of both?

I have reason to believe that my grandma (my mom’s mom) was an empath. When I reflect on the grandma she was to me and the person she was to others, I can see it very clearly: she could feel what others were feeling and could read them like a book. She knew who the “good ones” were and could easily detect the rotten ones, too. My mom is an empath as well.  Thinking about this made me wonder:

Are empaths born into families of empaths so they feel less alone? Or so the knowledge of how to be a skilled empath can be passed down? Mmm…maybe, but I’m not certain about that. Until I came out of the empath closet, I had no idea other family members were, too. I mean, I suppose intuitively I could’ve known, but I remember feeling very alone in my feelings at times, and quite ‘weird’ for feeling the need to escape to the quiet sanctuary of my room often.

Maybe certain soul groups contain more empaths than others. And it stands to reason that most of our family members would be a member of our soul family/group as well. Makes sense, right?

My advice? Not that you asked. If you’re an empath and you think a family member is one too (trust your intuition!) and you know they wouldn’t freak out at the prospect, talk to them about it. Bring it out into the open and give ‘em a big ‘ole empath hug. I take comfort in the fact that my sister is an empath, too. Not only is it fun reading each other so well, it’s also great fun to compare notes about what we’re picking up on other people around us.  You know what they say – two heads are better than one. The intuitive power of two empaths (or more!) together is incredible. And it feels great to be understood.

If you’re convinced you’re the lone empath in your family, take comfort that you’re not the only one in the world. I promise.

I suppose this discussion could expand into whether or not psychic abilities run in the family, but  I’m one of those people who thinks that every single one of us is intuitive – some of us just have it come more naturally, but we should all work at it.

To read more about empaths (and find out if you are one!) check out these articles:

Are you an empath?

I’m an empath…so now what?

Empaths in the workplace

I don’t have all the answers to this, so I’m putting it to you guys: Are you an empath? Do you have family members who are empaths or are you the lone overly-sensitive wolf? Do you think this is inherited in our DNA or a part of the way we are raised? Share your thoughts here! 


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D'Arci Redditt November 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

My experience is, “Yes.” I have a identical twin sister who is like me, an empath, which I wonder if develops more in twins because of their unique bond. Just a thought…

My mom and dad both have empath abilities. My mom has told me stories about her maternal grandma (so, my great maternal grandma) feeling certain ways. My family has always been very open to the spiritual world but remained grounded…I guess you could say. Also, my twin sister’s little boy has these same connections.

Lindsay November 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

Thanks for your input, D’Arci! I do wonder if it’s more common in twins…that’s something worth investigating, too. Sounds like your family was a great one to be born into. I’m thinking it’s more of a soul group thing rather than genetic…but who knows for certain!

D'Arci Redditt November 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm


Now that you mention the soup group, that makes me think of Carol Bowman’s books and families being reincarnated together for various reasons…all for beautiful reasons, I feel. I love what Spirit provides. Twins are born with the innate ability to “share” and always consider or think about their twin is feeling. I could go on and on, and I know other twins have felt this feeling, but then there is the empath connection, too. I will have to talk about this topic with my family!

Lindsay November 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Well, if you could go on and on how about guest posting for TDA? I’d love to hear your perspective and thoughts in more detail. Maybe as a follow-up to this one? I’m interested in hearing what your family has to say. Keep me posted!

Kara November 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Lindsay, such a great topic! I know that once I finally figured out I was an empath, I started examining my own family. I believe that all the members of my immediate family are empaths. However, even though they use their natural abilities as empaths unconsciously (counselling others, artistically), they would never describe themselves as empaths in the way that I do. They are very uncomfortable with what I do, particularly the more intuitive side of it, even though I know they could do the same things if they wanted to. This makes me sad. My sibling is at least my equal, in empathic and intuitive abilities, but is really not comfortable with accessing it as an intuitive in the way I do. The good news is that amongst my cousins (on one side of the family), I can tell that many of them are also empaths, and lots of them support me in the work I do. I think, like you said, it’s a soul group work thing. It would be great if I could help my family work on their skills more consciously!!

Lindsay November 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for chiming in, Kara! Yours was one of the first blogs I found when I started realizing I was/am an empath, so I consider you an empath expert! 🙂 I think the uncomfortable bit is common – I am certain I make some family members uncomfortable in doing this kind of work, but it’s a kind of unspoken comfort. Fine by me – I’d rather not hear it!

Your sibling who is an empath…I wonder – has s/he expressed any interest in developing their skills further? My sister knows she’s an empath, but I don’t think she’s ‘there’ yet in terms of doing it as a line of work. In a reading she had very recently, the intuitive told her she would be a spiritual healer some day. I was not at all surprised by that, I think her abilities surpass mine (if we were to compare, lol).

I think I’m leaning more towards the soul group theory rather than genetics…we travel in these groups and it makes sense that empaths would incarnate with others. And now thanks to the internet, I get to meet lots more than just family members, too!

Sherri November 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Oh definitely. Both sides and all of us share this. The “logical types” only use it for work and emergencies 🙂 Some of us try to completely ignore it. I’m just trying to sort it all out.

Lindsay November 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hi Sherri! Thanks for sharing. I love how the logical types in your family know how/when to access it…shows that even the logical types are open to these gifts, even if they don’t want to call themselves an empath. And if you’re trying to sort it all out, you’ve come to the right place! 🙂

Justin | Mazzastick November 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hi Lindsay,

You and your sister do look like twins. 🙂

I do think that empaths and other psychic abilities do run in families. I am the only one in my family including relatives that openly talks about it. We still live in a time where people are overly concerned with what others think.

Lindsay November 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hey Justin! You are so right about living in a time where we’re overly concerned with what others thing. Sometimes I even find myself hesitating to talk about this stuff with everyone in my life. Fear of being judged is there…I just try to push past it. I bet that even though you’re the only one in your family who talks about it, you’re not the only one who experiences this stuff.

Julie | A Clear Sign November 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Hi Lindsay,

I would say probably yes, but definitely yes to the psychic (I get it from both parents). I am still figuring out the empath thing – although I meet the definition, I was always so tough minded that I didn’t really identify with it. I just figured everyone knew what was going on under the surface all of the time. It’s only recently that I realized that’s not the case.

Lindsay November 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

Both parents! That’s awesome. I have no idea if anyone in my dad’s family is psychic or intuitive…I don’t know them well enough to ask, either. A tough-minded empath. I do love that about you. I am a thin-skinned empath. 😉

Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition November 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

HI Lindsay,

I do think psychic/intuitive/empathic ability runs in families. I’m sure it’s so wonderful to have that in common with your sister. My mother is quite intuitive and empathic. My grandmother used to read coffee cups. My family comes from an island in Greece that is famous for its temples dedicated to the “sacred mysteries.” Prophecy was a very respectable biz to be in back in the day in Greece!

Lindsay November 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Angela it is SO cool that you can trace your family history like that. I guess it came as no surprise to anyone in your family when you started showing an affinity for this sort of work. I am so curious about reading coffee & tea cups. I think I’m going to have to take a class on it! Did your grandmother pass any of her knowledge on to you?

Robyn November 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Good topic!

Psychic abilities (I know we all have them, I’m referring to those in my family who actually know they have them) run only through a few members in my family–both parents, an aunt… but I am the most empathic. I am also the youngest which causes me to wonder if being the youngest/most vulnerable as a child, or perhaps all the time I spent alone, has anything to do with this. My argument towards this is–being a small child with two stressed/overworked parents and three hormonal teenagers, “feeling” your way around everyone would be an asset.

Just a thought-

Lindsay November 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hi Robyn! Well, I’m the oldest child and my youngest sister demonstrates no empathic skills/abilities what-so-ever. But you know what I’m wondering now after reading your message? Maybe those of us who had childhoods that were less-than-stellar begin discovering our empathic abilities earlier, just because of the environment we’re raised in? So much food for thought there…Thanks so much for sharing. You’ve got my wheels turning. 🙂

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