A reader, Tracey Scully, has emailed me with a question about a problem that she has. Tracey appears to have strong empathy, which results in her feeling dizzy and nauseous when around some people. Tracey has agreed that I post her mail here. You can read my advice to her below her mail and if you have similar experience or have more advice, please write in the comments. Here’s her email:

Hi Jacob,

I have been growing up in a not very safe environment, a lot of anger surrounding me and confusion energy to say the least. And have always been vulnerable as a child and very lost. I have been going to counseling the last 2 month and I am becoming aware of certain things, the more truer I am becoming to myself the more aware of what’s going on inside me.

I have now come to the conclusion that I have intuitive empathy, which seems to all make sense to me now. I carry other peoples negative energy with me and do find it hard to shake off.. I am somewhat relieved though now because I have been confused for along time in the way I was feeling and that it a lot of it couldn’t be connected to me, always seemed other people around me. So i am happy to hear of this ‘condition’ (sorry not sure what to call it) and realise i have been suffering everybody’s hurts and negativities.

I have started getting into to massage therapy lately, has just seemed to come to me and am happy with doing this. But having received a facial massage from my niece a few days ago, a few seconds later i felt very dizzy and nauseous. The next day I received a massage from her again, (not aware the first time of what happened) and I felt nauseous again. When she left my house though i could feel myself becoming better, and realised it was some sort of energy.

Also when i go out socially to meet a friend which usually ends up meeting friends of friends, i feel so outa sorts and awkward, I just don’t know what to do. I make sure I have my car outside ready to escape. I feel so lost with this sometimes.

After speaking to my counsellor she sensed that i am a receiver in this life and that i do have a lot of positive energy around me. I had never heard of this before. Having knowledged myself through the net, it all makes perfect sense to me with the way of have been feeling.

My question jacob is I really don’t know what to do with this. It is involuntary receiving peoples energies to the extent that i behave exactly like them until i start coming back to myself.. I really don’t know what to do, can you please advise as I really want to live my own life and not those of others….

Kindest regards and thank you for your time Jacob,


Dear Tracey.

It does look like other people’s energies can penetrate and affect you in an undesirable way. I believe that in order for you to overcome this, you’ll need to learn several things, namely: grounding, centering and shielding. A good resource to read about all three is a tutorial called Playful Psychic.

There is a chapter called Basic Skills and it contains the 3 above mentioned techniques. I advice you to read it since it writes exactly about your case:

Staying Centered in Crowds

With practice, you will be able to pause for a few seconds to center yourself in almost any circumstance. If you tend to be susceptible to empathic overload, staying centered in crowds will reduce the flooding. It may take practice to get good at, but will help significantly.

You may find that you have trouble staying centered around certain people. Their pushiness, their ideas, and their feelings overwhelm you. When you notice this happening, strengthen your grounding and centering. Stay as strong, stable, and calm as you can. Once you learn to shield, you may also want to add a shield around yourself. The shield will keep your energy separate from theirs, and give you more distance from them. The section on shields discusses this in more detail.

I’ve also written myself before about grounding, see Grounding exercise. It is a little different but I like its effect.

Good luck to you Tracey and keep us updated on your progress,