The Reluctant Empath (2014) by Betty Comerford and Steve Wilson is an interesting but shallow insight into the lives of empaths.
Throughout the book, the authors detail different aspects and traits of empathic people, from energy sensitivities and being bombarded by other people’s emotions, to intuitive understanding of people’s truths. During each chapter, they offer advice on how to cope with the sorts of situations empaths attract and offer techniques for managing the energies they feel. They also tell the story of Alex, a young boy described as “different” and overly sensitive by his parents. He grows through life with a sensitivity to the energies of this and other worlds, is susceptible to his need for others’ approval, develops self-destructive behaviours induced from not understanding his empathic abilities, and his eventually comes to cope with and understand his intuitive and energetic abilities.
While the sort of book is needed for people who suspect they may be empathic, the contents are mostly shallow. Alex’s story, for example, while relatable to empaths, will seem alien to other readers and he is presented as flat and lifeless at times. Moreover, some of the advice the authors offer is generic and not specific to empaths. Still, at the core of the book is an important message that offers hope to empaths overwhelmed by the energy of the world. It also helps create a greater awareness of empathic people, what they suffer through, and offers some useful techniques to help them cope.
If you feel you might be empathic, want to understand someone who is, or are into new-age philosophy, this book is worth a read.
2 ½ stars.