Empath Vs Empathetic: 7 Differences Between An Empath And Empathetic Person

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Empath Vs Empathetic: Differences Between The Two

When we talk about feelings for others, two words often come up: “empath” and “empathetic person.” While they may seem similar, there are quite a few differences between these two terms. This article is going to discuss the differences between an empath vs empathetic person.

Think of an empath as someone who feels what others feel, like they can actually feel other people’s emotions. On the other hand, an empathetic person understands and cares about others’ emotions but doesn’t absorb them as their own.

Read on to know more about the spectrum of being an empath vs empathetic person.

Related: Empathy Vs Sympathy: How To Practice True Empathy

Empath vs Empathetic Person: 7 Key Differences

1. Innate vs. Learned

Be it an empath or an empathetic person, they’re both really good at understanding other people’s emotions, but here’s the difference.

Empaths have this natural talent for soaking up other people’s emotions like sponges — They can’t help it, they just end up feeling everything that everyone else is feeling. It’s intense… like if you’re sad, I’m sad too.

But when it comes to empathetic person traits, it is something you can learn and get better at — like a skill you develop over time. Empathetic folks actively try to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and understand what they’re going through so they can share those feelings without actually absorbing them.

Empath vs empathetic

2. Physical Sensations

One of the most glaring differences when it comes to the empath vs empathetic debate is this.

To put it simply, empaths are emotion chameleons, they don’t just understand what someone else is feeling…they can also feel it physically! For example, if someone’s all anxious and worried, they might start feeling the same too. It’s like they’re tuned into the other person’s body as well as their emotions.

Now don’t get me wrong, an empathetic person will definitely be sensitive to your emotions but they won’t be able to tell what you’re feeling based on what they feel physically.

3. Energy Drain

When it comes to this topic, is it empathic or empathetic territory?

When empaths find themselves in places that are supercharged with emotions, they soak it all up, and let me tell you, that can be exhausting! It’s like fuelling a car with positive vibes just by stepping into an area. Those emotionally charged environments really take a toll on them and leave them feeling wiped out.

Now empathetic people definitely feel for others too. If they see someone going through a tough time, they’ll feel for them. But they usually don’t feel emotionally or mentally drained, like how an empath would be. They’re more efficient at sharing feelings without being zapped of their own energy.

Related: The Empathy-Compassion Spectrum: What Is The Difference Between Compassion And Empathy?

4. Intensity of Experience

This is easily one of the biggest differences in the empath vs empathetic debate.

Empaths can feel things with so much strength that it’s almost like they have superpowers. They don’t just understand or sympathize with emotions, they literally FEEL them. It’s like they absorb what others feel and make the emotions their own, and this can be a lot to handle.

For empathetic people, their feelings are also quite intense but there are slight boundaries that keep them from being consumed by those emotions. They’re able to keep themselves at a distance while still fully understanding someone else’s point of view.

Empath vs empathetic

5. Social Interactions

Going into crowded places can be difficult for empaths and emotionally charged situations might also be a huge challenge as well. When in an area with multiple people, they pick up on everything everyone feels all at once. All this emotional feedback comes from every direction and it can really mess with an empath’s head.

People that are empathetic have more control over the situation though. They get to decide when to engage emotionally and when to take a step back, making crowded places easier to navigate than for empaths. Their concern doesn’t change but their involvement does, depending on how much input there is.

6. Connection to Nature and Animals

Again, is it empathic or empathetic territory?

Nature whisperers are what I call empaths because they have some bond with nature that no one else does. They just get it and communicate with it without saying anything! The vibes of a tranquil forest or having a deep conversation with an animal is something only an empath could do. It’s tough trying to put into words, but they feel it.

One of the obvious empathetic person traits is that they have a lot of love and care for nature and animals, but their connection isn’t as intuitive. They can look at a puppy or a beautiful sunset and truly appreciate them, but these things don’t make them feel unexplainable things within.

Related: Superpowers Of The Empath: 10 Signs You Are A Super Empath

7. Need for Alone Time

This is again one of the major differences if we are talking about an empath vs empathetic person.

When you think of empaths picture this: A sponge that soaks up everything around them emotionally. Once they’re filled to the brim they need time alone to disconnect from everything before things get too messy. Imagine having every emotion in the world to be absorbed by your body. Yeah, you’d want some time alone too.

On the other hand, being an empathetic person can mean something different. For them, they do understand and relate to others, but their need for solitude isn’t as intense. They value their space and time more than anything else, however, it’s not driven by the same necessity as empaths who crave cleansing themselves of other people’s emotions.

Whether you an empath or an empathetic person, what’s common between the two is that you are a phenomenally nice person. Which of these empath vs empathetic differences did you resonate with the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!


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