Being an Empath in a Blended Family

Woman hands together symbolizing prayer and gratitude

Do you often find yourself retreating to your room to replenish your energy?

Do you easily pick up on others energy?

Do you feel exhausted after being in the presence of a particular person?

These are all indications that you are an empath and sensitive to energy. This means that you can feel the emotions of others and often get caught up in their energy field. This can be overwhelming in general, and even more so in a blended family.

According to Christiane Northrup, M.D the 9 traits of empaths are:

  1. Highly sensitive. Sounds, smells, and low energy can overwhelm you.
  2. Spiritually open. Feel connected to a higher source.
  3. Attuned to other people’s moods. Absorb other people’s emotions,
  4. Prefer 1:1 contact or small groups. If extroverted may limit time spent in a crowd or party.
  5. Can sense when something is off.
  6. Easily overwhelmed in intimate relationships. Too much togetherness is difficult.
  7. Targets for energy vampires. Prey for narcissists, drama queens, chronic talkers.
  8. Nourished by the natural world. Seek refuge in nature.
  9. Huge hearts. Often give too much, good listeners. Relieve the pain of others by taking it on, then feel drained.

Are you feeling seen? Are you shaking your head yes, yes, YES and feeling like someone gets what daily life is like for you?

If like me, you are empathic and happen to be an introvert as well, it creates a combination that is challenging to integrate into a blended family home. There is the need to be alone to refill your energy stores all while clearing yourself of any energies you have picked up. If you have a dynamic where any of the individuals may be an energy drain to you, also known as an energy vampire, it can compound things even more. Ok, I know the words energy vampire seem strong, but it is a real term.

What is an energy vampire? An energy vampire is a person who sucks the energy from you which in turn feeds them. Yet you may not even be aware of it at the time, but once they leave you can feel the space becoming lighter and open up…and you may feel completely exhausted.

Because relationships are an energy exchange you may find yourself wanting to disengage, distancing yourself, easily triggered, and excessively protective of your space. You may find yourself asking yourself: “why am I reacting so strongly to this situation”. It likely is due to the unseen energy forces surrounding you and it’s important for you to protect yourself.

Some ways to protect yourself are:

1. Take a step away. It is important to give yourself distance, and even better if you can move as far from that person as you can. It is important that you take care of yourself and reset your system. If you are able to get into nature that’s even better for the grounding effect and to calm your nervous system.

2. Trust your gut. Learn to get in tune to what your gut feelings are and trust them when they happen. You are empathic so it’s important to remember your feelings and instincts come first before others.

3. Get support. Have a network you can contact to help you get clear and connected back to your energy. This may be a friend, coach, or therapist (or maybe all three).

4. Practice putting an invisible shield around yourself every morning when you wake. Imagine yourself being in a bubble of light (choose the color that feels most protective of you) and hold the intention that this bubble keeps you protected throughout your day.

5. Say no. As an empath, this may be very challenging for you, yet it is vital to your well-being. If you are unconsciously, or consciously, opening your energy up to situations that drain you saying no can be empowering and allows you to take back your power and energy.

6. Cord cutting. This may be a new concept to you and I assure you it can help to alleviate some of the heaviness you may feel. Imagine an invisible cord between you and another person that connects you to them. Next imaging having a sword slice through the cord to free you both of the energy. You may have to do this often to keep your energy flowing and clear.

May all of this help you on your path in your blended family. I’d like to leave you with this quote by Alex Elle: “Energy is contagious, positive and negative alike. I will forever be mindful of what and who I am allowing into my space.”


Chrysta Horwedel Profile PictureChrysta is a Certified Stepfamily Coach, a stepmother of two and a mother of one infant. Her approach is holistic, supported by certifications as a health and Ayurvedic wellness coach and yoga instructor. She enjoys music, writing, hiking, healthy food, wine, and travel. She lives with her family in Los Angeles. Connect with Chrysta at

Being an Empath in a Blended Family