Empath: A person who is capable of feeling the emotions or physical symptoms of others even if they themselves are not going through the same situation or events.
Highly Sensitive: Used to describe a person who has high sensory awareness and often feels extremely emotional or in-tune with their surroundings.
It is estimated that around 15-20 percent of the population is highly sensitive and another 2-3 percent of the population are empaths.
The term “empath” has been growing in popularity however, many are confused about what it actually means and mistaken it to describe someone who is highly sensitive.
Being an empath is really like having clairsentient abilities whereas being a highly sensitive individual is more about enhanced sensory awareness.
To put it simply- empaths pick on up energy whereas highly sensitive people pick up on sensory stimuli.
The difference is important because those who are highly sensitive can learn to protect their energy using various mindfulness tools however, empaths really need to learn how to harness their talents and channel them into something deeper.
So, what are the traits of an Empath?
- People feel comfortable telling you their personal stories and often comment on how good they feel after talking to you, but you usually feel worse after talking to them.
Tired of feeling emotionally exhausted as an empath? Read 10 Strategies To Protect Your Energy As An Empath
2. You experience aches and pains that are also being experienced by your loved ones or the people around you.
3. When you are around others, you can pick up on certain energies and emotions, however, when you are on your own, you feel a sense of calm and normality.
4. You have trouble concentrating when others are around, or you feel overwhelmed easily when hanging around others, especially in crowded places.
5. Some people appear to be intimidated by you as they can feel that you can see right through them.
6. You understand or comprehend a lot of what others are going through and seem to know more than you were verbally told.
7. You can instantly detect and absorb the emotions of others and feel them on a physical level.
8. When you are around certain people you find yourself acting out of character or doing things you wouldn’t normally do.
9. You have a hard time navigating through your own feelings and emotions and working out why you feel a certain way.
Having a hard time handling your feelings as an empath? Read Love Yourself Through: Why Empathy Must Start With You
10. You feel a certain way but have no idea why only to find out that someone close to you is going through the same emotions.
11. In Astrology, empaths usually have their Moon in a water sign or another sensitive placement.
Compare these to the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person
- You feel your emotions or the emotions of others on a deeper level.
Are you emotionally intense since you are highly sensitive? Read 5 Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person: Are You One?
2. You have the tendency to be more reactive than normal in emotional situations. Many might accuse you of being overly dramatic or that you need to calm down.
3. You tend to take things very personally and are easily offended or disgruntled by other people’s thoughts and actions.
4. You prefer to do things on your own and avoid hanging out in groups.
5. You have a harder time making decisions because you are more aware of the possible outcomes.
6. You have the ability to notice the finer details in your surroundings are often sensitive to noise, colors and other stimuli.
7. You have a hard time watching scary or violent movies and are easily moved by emotional scenes.