How to survive the workplace if you’re an empath

An empath at work feeling drained

If you’re an empath, you know the workplace can be particularly draining. Not only can the feelings of co-workers be overwhelming, but many of us must work in a small space crowded with a lot of people.  That leaves plenty of room for us to be subject to the moods and whims of the people around us. 

Another reason workplaces tend to be tough: we’re often dealing with aggressive, type A personalities who have strong feelings about things. And as empaths, we pick up on that. Offices also tend to be breeding grounds for stress, jealousy and other states of mind that don’t feel good. 

So what is an empath at work to do? Ideally in the best of all worlds, we’d be able to work remotely. I have to admit one of the reasons that I went into business for myself was because I couldn’t stand the energy drain of the office. I would come home from work exhausted each day not so much by the work but by the interactions with people and the emotions I was picking up on. One of the blessings of the pandemic was that many employers discovered that workers can be productive when working from home. Sure, some companies are calling people back into the office, but there are plenty of remote jobs out there in certain fields. Some of these may be great (and high-paying) jobs for empaths.

Some companies will let you work remotely at least on a part-time basis. Ask your human resources department or manager if your workplace has a policy and if there is a chance that you may be able to work from home at least some of the time.

If you’re an empath and can’t work from home

If you can’t work from home, the next best thing is to get an office to yourself. At least that will give you the opportunity to shut the door and keep some of the energy of the office away from you. But in many companies that might not be possible since there just isn’t room for every employee to have their own office.

Want to learn how to recognize -- and trust -- your own messages? Sign up here.

But luckily there are things you can do to protect your energy even if you’re sitting in a cubicle in the middle of 20 people. 

Find a recharging space

As an empath, you need time alone to re-charge, particularly when you have been around a lot of people. When you’re drained, you may feel fatigued, confused or overwhelmed. The irony of this is when you feel this way, you’re likely not going to do your best work, so the atmosphere in the office can actually do damage to your career! A recharging space — where you can be alone — can help you to relax and calm down so that you can feel refreshed and more easily handle the responsibilities of your job. When looking for a recharging space, look for a place that feels comfortable to you and that a lot of people don’t know about. You might take a walk in nature, or spend time in a break room that nobody uses. A friend of mine uses a bathroom on the far end of the building that few people use. If you drive to work, you might even go sit in your car for about 15 minutes in the middle of the day. The key is to find a space where you can get away from the emotional baggage of others.

Use psychic protection daily 

Psychic protection techniques can really come in handy because, face it, there are probably some people at work who don’t want you to do well. People often feel insecure in the workplace and don’t want anyone to outperform them. At the very least, someone may think negative thoughts about you — which is a form of psychic attack — and that can cause you to feel tired or fatigued. Empaths at work may be even more vulnerable to psychic attacks than other people because they feel things so strongly. I often use visualization when I want to protect my energy field from others. I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and visualize myself protected by an invisible bubble. I imagine the energy of others coming toward me and then crashing into the invisible bubble and then falling away. Read this blog post for a ritual on protecting yourself from psychic attack by using a candle.

Literally uncharge yourself by releasing that excess energy you picked up

This is something you can do when you get home from work. One of the best ways to do this is to take a shower after work and set the intention that the water cleanse your aura. You can also add sea salt to bath water to remove the toxic energy from your body. This blog post provides some other tips on letting go of excess energy when you’re experiencing energy overload. 

Have excuses ready for social events when you’re too drained

Yes fellow empaths. While I’m not a proponent of lying sometimes I do tell tiny tall tales to get out of certain obligations. I know some people will say ‘just tell the truth,’ and I’m all for that sometimes. But when it comes to your career, sometimes I think it’s better to beg off with an excuse rather than saying ‘I won’t come to the group happy hour because your energy bogs me down.’ I do, however, suck it up and attend some events but in cases where my energy is simply too low, it’s useful to have a handy excuse ready to go.

With that said, be quick to volunteer for those work projects that are ideal for empaths — you know the ones that let you work largely unbothered without a lot of people bringing their energy into your space. Some people don’t like working alone or behind the scenes while empaths tend to thrive in those types of environments. Carve out a lane in your workplace that is ideal for you and that shows off your strengths without sapping your strength. may receive compensation if users buy products or services mentioned or advertised on this site or click on some of the links on this site.