The Human Angel, The Caretaker & The Empath

The Human Angel. The Caretaker. The Empath. What do these three things have in common? And, what does it have to do with you? In asking these questions, we will examine each of these archetypes individually first, and then move onto a comparative analysis. And somewhere in there, I believe you will find yourself.

The Human Angel

A Human Angel is a person who makes a commitment to be placed by spirit at exactly the right juncture of time and space to make a positive contribution in the life of another human being. Being a Human Angel can be very difficult as you rarely get to see the harvest of the seeds you plant. Also being a Human Angel means being ready to empower without taking responsibility or power from the human you are empowering. Not an easy task, as any Angel will tell you. Yet, making a commitment to be placed into situations where just a kind word, a touch, a smile, or a gift can help a person alter the course of their lives forever. This is the work of a Human Angel.

The Caretaker

A Caretaker is defined as somebody who offers emotional support and gives care to another. (Understand that there are other descriptions and definitions for Caretaker, but this is the type we are focusing on in this discussions) On the surface caretakers are caregivers; those who give care. But in reality a caretaker takes from another the opportunity to learn to care for themselves. Caretakers may be and often are sensitive, compassionate, empathic, deep feelers, problem solvers, good listeners and intuitive. Caretakers often value these qualities in themselves, but more often in others and come to rely on the praise and acknowledgment from friends, family and colleagues for being such ‘strong, selfless people.’ In addition to care taking family and friends they may be drawn to professional work in the areas of counseling, social work or social and environmental activism. Basically, they feel the noble call to help others.

The Empath

What is an Empath? Yeah…yeah….I know we’ve defined this a million times, but its good to have it on hand for comparative purposes. So lets define what an Empath is.

An Empath is a person or individual with the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for past, present, and future life occurrences. They possess the ability to sense the emotions of other sentient life forms. In other words, an Empath is one who has the ability to psychically tune into other people to literally see through another’s eyes and walk a mile in their shoes and may also express precognition. But for the Empath, its all about the emotions and the people we touch with our gifts.

The Compartive Analysis

First, let me ask you a question. Could you see yourself in any of those archetypes? Sure, you could associate with the Empath archetype, but what about the Human Angel and the Caretaker?

Lets look at all of them all together, shall we? You the Empath, are both a Caretaker and a Human Angel (even if your motives are not wholly altruistic). When we say we are people pleasers, this is what we mean. We offer emotional support to any and all (for the most part). We feel compelled to help others, heal others, and facilitate their spiritual and emotional growth. We are Mediators and Mentors, Caretakers and Human Angels. And this, in and of itself, is a beautiful and powerful thing. But it comes at a very deep price to you, the Empath.


Here is where we will discuss the real purpose of this discussion. The above information was offered to prepare you for this particular discussion, because this is a heavy subject and an extremely difficult one to face for some. So here is where you either walk away from this discussion or continue reading. The choice is yours.


The Caretaker Syndrome

Empaths, particularly those who are not in balance within themselves, are susceptible to something that is called the Caretaker Syndrome. (No, I didn’t make that term up) What this means is that they fall into a pattern of reaching out and helping others, while they completely neglect their own needs and wants.

One webpage I found described it as this: Sacrificing the needs and wants of your own inner child to take care of the needs and wants of others, when they are capable of doing it themselves. Giving to others from fear rather than love. Giving to get – giving with an agenda. Taking responsibility for another’s feelings.

You put your own inner child in a closet and take care of another’s inner child with the hope that the other person will eventually take your inner child out of the closet and love you. You have empathy for another but you lack empathy for yourself. Caretaking is one end of the codependent system, with the taker on the other end. The caretaker believes “I’m responsible for your feelings first,” and the taker believes “You’re responsible for my feelings first.”

What all of this does is help to repress, conceal, and protect the Caretaker’s wounds. These are wounds that they do not want to come face to face with. So they put a mask on which is full of compliance, praise and kindness in the hopes of warding off rejection.

This is the person who has a Martyr’s perspective. The definition of a Martyr is: a person who suffers greatly or dies for another person, for a cause or for a belief. They willingly, in order to avoid meeting their true selves and coming face to face with their own demons, offer themselves up to be sacrificed upon the altar of another.

This condition hides low self esteem, low self awareness, low self worth, depression, loneliness, shame, embarrassment, anger, hatred, and resentment. It taps down ones personal prejudices, allowing a person to adopt a chameleon personality , so that one can readily change themselves to compliment anyone’s personality and any given situation. This is again in the hopes of warding off rejection.

The chameleon personality, as listed above, can easily become part of your coping strategy that helps cope with anxieties and fears and over sensitive empathy; a sort of defense mechanism. It is effective as others like to be emulated and correct about their expectations. However the chameleon personality, as we pretend for others, can become a habit. This coping strategy may feel natural but it can be self-defeating.

Caretaker Syndrome, Martyr’s Perspective, Chameleon Personality~ these are all tools we use, on one side to care for others, but on another side to avoid, deny, and escape our own issues (whatever they may be).

So we come back our original questions. What do these three things have in common? And, what does it have to do with you? Whether its a comparative analysis of Human Angels, Caretakers, and Empaths……..or an informative essay discussing Caretaker Syndrome, Martyr’s Perspective, and Chameleon Personality…….what does it have to do with you? That’s not for me to say. Its for you to think about and to answer truthfully within yourself. But I will ask one last question here and then say no more. How much good to you truly believe you can do for others, when the weight of the world sits upon your shoulders? How long do you think such an all or nothing full throttle attitude will last until you hit burnout head on and crash?

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~ by Misuchi Sakurai on March 24, 2009.

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