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5 Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person: Are You One?

Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person

Emotional intensity is a trait often found in the Highly Sensitive Person, Empaths, and gifted people. Being an intense person, or having an intense personality, means feeling a wide spectrum of emotions in a more vivid and profound way than most people do, and this includes both positive and negative emotions – pain, distress, despair, fear, excitement, love, sadness or happiness.

It means a person is deeply empathic, sensitive, perceptive, and imaginative. It also means they are more prone to existential angst and depression.

What Is Emotional Intensity?

Are you an Emotionally Intense person? Having an intense personality may mean the following:

  • 1. Emotional depth and passion
  • 2. Deep empathy and sensitivity
  • 3. Being highly perceptive
  • 4. A rich inner world, with a vivid imagination
  • 5. Creative potential and existential angst

Related: 17 Signs You Are A Highly Sensitive Person

5 Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person

1. An Intense Person has Emotional Depth and Passion

  • You have always been an ‘old soul’. Compared to peers your age, you are an unusually deep thinker and feeler. You see the world with depth and complexity. Although the passion and curiosity you have remained like that of a child.
  • You experience emotions powerfully, both positive and negative. You feel a lot, sometimes positive and negative at the same time. For example, you may soar high into bliss and plunge deep into despair within a short period of time.
  • You know the meaning of ecstasy and rapture, though this may not be shared by others around you. When you feel into music or art, you feel completely absorbed, sometimes you have difficulty pulling yourself out from an immersive art experience.
  • You love passionately, even if you may not show it explicitly. This applies not just to romance but also to your friends, family pets, even wider humanity.
  • You give a lot in relationships, and you are easily wounded by abandonment and rejection.
  • You are gifted with immense passion, even if you do not show it on the outside. You form such strong connections with people, animals, and places that separation is painful, even traumatizing for you.
  • You experience life with tenderness and nostalgia. When you recall a memory of someone you love, you feel as though it was yesterday.

2. Deep Empathy and Sensitivity are Parts of the Intense Personality

  • From an early age, you have a grave concern for the wider world. (this is a common trait for gifted people) Your empathy is so strong that when others are hurt, you feel as if it is happening to you. You may even feel physical pain when you witness abuse.
  • Being an empath, you feel you ‘absorb’ other people’s psychic and emotional energies. After being in crowds or social situations, you may get overwhelmed.
  • You are not interested in small talks and shallow connections, but soulful and meaningful relationships. You are sensitive to your friends’ and lovers’ needs, and you are a loyal companion.
  • However, having energetically ‘thin boundaries’ also means you are vulnerable to relational hurt. You take things personally and often take too much responsibility for what happens in a relationship. You are more likely to drive all blame to yourself than to blame others.
  • You are physically sensitive to your environment. You may be overwhelmed by too much sensory input. You are sensitive to loud noises, strong smells, or tactile sensations such as clothing tags and rough surfaces.
traits of an emotionally intense person
5 Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person: Are You One?

3. An Intense Person is Highly Perceptive

  • You can sense and perceive things that others miss. You see beyond the surface, pick up subtle cues, and are very attuned with any changes in the dynamic between people.
  • You are gifted with a sharp intuition and are able to assess someone’s level of honesty rapidly. Even when they do not say anything, you can sense their ingenuine thoughts and intentions.
  • Even when someone does not admit they are upset, you can sense their sadness underneath the normal facade.
  • You have a sense of knowing when something is about to happen, or about other people’s inner worlds. And you are often correct. Some may call you a ‘psychic’.
  • When your perceptiveness is paired with a strong sense of justice, the interpersonal dynamic can become challenging for you. For instance, you are able to sense people’s hypocrisies and unfairness at work, and even if it is to your disadvantages, you cannot help but point out ‘the elephant in the room’. People may be threatened by you because they feel you see through them.
  • You may be the scapegoat in your family because you are the one who points out things that are not going well despite what it looks like on the outside.
  • You have a need to push the boundaries of conformity, to question or to challenge traditions, particularly those that seem meaningless or unfair.
  • You might have been a drop-out from conventional settings, schools, and the workplace, as a lot of gifted people have. Although your path is not an easy one, your intuition and integrity also make you a great visionary leader. 

Related: What Is A Sensitive Striver and 9 Signs You Are One

4. An Intense Person has a Rich Inner World and Vivid Imagination

  • You have a rich inner world. You may think not just in words, but also images and metaphors. You have a vivid imagination, fantasies and dreams.
  • If you did not have a happy childhood, you might have resorted to your imagined world as a haven in times of emotional turmoils.
  • Intellectually, you are inquisitive and reflective. You have a strong need to seek to understand, to expand your horizons, to gain knowledge. You might have felt an urge to leave home to explore the world, even if you feel guilty for leaving people behind.
  • With the gifted ability to process information with speed and depth, you absorb and surge through information very quickly. You are likely to be an avid reader and a keen observer. You may appear critical and impatient with others who cannot keep up with you.
  • You also can integrate intellectual concepts with your deep feelings for original conceptions. You may have a constant stream of ideas, sometimes so many that you feel you cannot keep up with them.
  • When you get excited about an idea, your mind runs faster than your words can keep up, or you find yourself talking rapidly, perhaps even interrupting others.
  • When you become absorbed in your love for a piece of art, literature, theatre, or music, the outside world ceases to exist.
  • You are highly inquisitive and often diligently reflect on your own behaviors. The flip side is that you may be occupied with obsessive thoughts and scrupulous self-examination. You may also suffer from perfectionism and live with a strong inner critic.
  • You are sensitive to the spiritual world or were drawn to spirituality from a young age. Even you don’t have a religious background, you feel connected to something in nature or something bigger than yourself.
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Imi Lo

Imi Lo is a consultant for emotionally intense and highly sensitive people. She is the author of Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, available in multiple languages, and The Gift of Intensity. Imi is the founder of Eggshell Therapy and Coaching, working with intense people from around the world. Imi has practiced as a social worker and therapist in London (U.K). She has trained in mental health, psychotherapy, art therapy, philosophical counseling, and mindfulness-based modalities. She works holistically, combining psychological insights with Eastern and Western philosophies such as Buddhism. Imi’s credentials include a Master in Mental Health, Master of Buddhist Studies, Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work, Certificate in Logic-based Therapy, and an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy. She has received multiple scholarships and awards including the Endeavour Award by the Australian Government. She has been consulted by and appeared in publications such as The Psychologies Magazine, The Telegraph, Marie Claire,and The Daily Mail.View Author posts