Are you wondering how to spot an empath? If so, this is the guide for you. It features a list of 51 signs someone might be an empath.
In my role as a life coach, I am often helping people better understand themselves and those around them. That’s why I’m excited to share this guide.
So, let’s dive in.
What Is An Empath?
Let’s begin with a basic definition of the word empath. An empath is someone who can not only feel others’ emotions, but sense them in their own body. They don’t just know how someone else is feeling, they feel a sensation of energy about it inside their body.
What Triggers An Empath?
The sensation of feeling other people’s emotions is ‘triggered’ in empaths, typically by highly emotional scenarios.
Characteristics Of An Empath
The description above is admittedly somewhat wishy-washy, particularly because it’s hard to recognise if you’ve never experienced it.
That’s why this list of 51 telltale signs for empathic people can help you. The more of these you can relate to, the more likely that you’re an empath.
1. They Have A Very Strong Sense Of How Someone’s Feeling, Without Talking To Them
Empaths are highly attuned to others well-being. They have the ability to easily sense other people’s pain or their pleasure.
2. They Can Feel The Same Emotions As The Person They’re Talking To In Their Body, As If It Was Them
It’s not just that they feel empathy. It’s almost as if the event that triggered the emotion happened to the empath too.
3. Empaths Are Often Instantly Drawn To Or Repelled By Someone
They may not have a logical reason to love or hate someone yet, other than the fact they can ‘feel’ this person’s emotional state.
4. Empaths Are Praised For Their Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to observe others and understand the subtle cues in their behavior to tell how they’re feeling. Empaths are highly sensitive people who have emotional intelligence in abundance.
5. In A Conflict, They Will Naturally Consider The Other Person’s Perspective
This isn’t easy for everyone, but empaths may do it automatically.
6. They Naturally Respect Opposing Beliefs
Empaths are not ones to be offended when someone has an opposite belief to them.
7. They Don’t Label People
Empaths aren’t likely to stereotype people based on one or two of their beliefs.
8. They Address Emotions Before Fixing A Problem
Empaths understand that sometimes people want to feel better about a problem, before it’s actually solved.
9. Empaths Are Compassionate
If someone makes a mistake, an empath can show compassion. This is certainly easier when you understand the feelings behind a decision.
10. Empaths Are Prone To Mood Swings
If the moods of those around them change, empaths are prone to getting caught in the tide.
Related: Powerful Ways To Protect Your Energy
11. Other People’s Emotions Can Throw An Empath Off Their Own Feelings
If other people around them are having extreme emotions (especially negative ones), it can make empaths lose track of their own thoughts.
12. When They Love, They Love With All Their Heart
Empaths feel emotions with no holds barred. They’re not the types to love half-heartedly.
13. Unfortunate Incidents Hit Them Hard
Heartbreaks can hit empaths hard. In a sad situation, they’re the type to wail over it for hours.
14. Empaths Aren’t Great At Hiding Their Emotions
If they try, others will see through them right away. They’re the type to wear their heart on their sleeve.
15. They Often Need To Process Their Own Emotions
Empaths may often need to take the time to process their negative emotions, so they fully understand them. Before they do this, their emotions may continue to weigh them down.
16. They’re Great At Thinking Beyond Their Own Needs
It’s rare to call empaths selfish. In fact, they’re more likely to be putting others first. Oftentimes, they’re too sensitive to the needs of others, to the point where they damage their own life. Most empaths need to find a better balance of empathy and selfishness.
17. They’re Great Man-Managers
It becomes easier to man-manage people when you have a good understanding about how they’re feeling. As if by magic, an empath always seems to know when to build people up and wear to tear them down.
18. They Consider People’s Feelings When Giving Feedback
Another trait of a great manager. Empaths are typically very good at giving feedback in a highly sensitive manner that doesn’t upset the recipient.
19. Tragedies Can Remain Them For A Long Time
Truly awful stories can pop up in their heads and make empaths feel sad for a long time after the fact, even those they weren’t directly involved in.
20. Empaths Are Affected By Changes In Societal Mood
If a politcal change or national tragedy turns the mood of the country, an empath can be particularly badly affected. With that said, they can be overjoyed at a national triumph or celebration.
21. If Someone Is Suffering, Empaths Want To Help
The bad thing is: they feel a tremendous sense of sadness and guilt if there’s nothing they can do to help.
22. Empaths Are Often The Peacemakers
If two people are in conflict, empaths are often the ones trying to help them make peace.
23. Empaths Are Great Lie Detectors
It’s a lot easier when you can spot that someone’s words don’t match their emotions.
24. Empaths Are Quick To Forgive
If someone was to lie to an empath, they might forgive them quicker than others, most likely because they understand why the discretion was made in the first place.
25. Empaths Want To Listen To Stranger’s Problems
Most people would prefer not to hear if a stranger is having a hard time. Empaths typically want to hear, and they want to help.
26. Empaths Will Often Be Called A ‘Good Listener’
To them, it might not feel like they’re doing anything special. But people will quickly notice the difference when someone genuinely cares what they’re talking about.
27. People Are Quick To Confess Their Feelings To Empaths
People will quickly sense that an empath actually cares about their problems, and that’ll often inspire them to spill their guts. It’s common for empaths to receive sensitive information not shared to anyone else in that person’s life.
28. Empaths Naturally Engage In Active Listening
This is a skill a lot of people have to consciously work on, but many empaths do it naturally. This article on Levels Of Listening – Complete Guide explains more about it.
29. They’re Prone To Getting Caught Up In Movies And TV Shows
It’s especially common when they’re watching violence or suffering. It’s as if they can feel the emotions of these fictional characters in the world of Hollywood too.
30. Empaths Need Alone Time To Recharge
Hyper-empathy can be tough on your mental health. Indeed, feeling other people’s emotions so intensely can make them easily overwhelmed by crowds. The only way to recharge their emotional reserves is to spend some time alone.
31. They Love To Spend Time In Nature
It’s said that empaths can feel good energy from nature and wildlife, so you may find many emotionally recharging in the great outdoors.
32. Empaths Tend To Hate Clutter
It creates bad energy in a room and stresses them out.
33. You Crave Authenticity And Congruence In Others
It’s a far more comfortable experience for them to be around these types of people. Empaths can feel incongruence and it can stress them out.
34. People Are Often Drawn To Empaths
When you’re naturally a caring and loving person, people will sometimes feel your good energy and want to be around you.
35. Empaths Aren’t Easily Shocked
This is most likely because they can sense authenticity so easily.
36. Empaths Often Struggle To Pretend To Enjoy Something
We all sense a need to do this at some point. But, in this situation, empaths tend to feel that everyone will see through their lies.
37. Some Empaths Feel Others’ Physical Sensations And Ailments
This is a less common trait, but it is reported that some super-empaths experience the physical symptoms of others around them who are ill.
38. Empaths Find Energy Within An Environment
You might hear them say that this place has ‘negative energy’ or (hopefully) a ‘great vibe’.
39. Empaths Love To Cheer For The Underdogs
They can sense the struggles of the underdog and naturally want him to overcome their hardship.
40. Empaths Are Prone To Become People-Pleasers
They just want everyone to be happy…
41. Empaths Can’t Tolerate Narcissists
If there’s one type of person an empath can’t understand, it’s a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who only thinks of themselves; a polar opposite of an empath and that’s why empaths may struggle to tolerate them.
42. Empaths Are Incredibly Certain Of Their Intuition
When they know something, they know they know, even if they don’t know how they know…
43. Empaths Often Suffer From Anxiety
It’s especially common when they’re regularly ‘exposed’ to the suffering within the emotions of others.
44. Empaths Often Struggle With Coping Mechanisms
Sadly, they can often turn to unhealthy behaviors as a means of coping with their anxiety.
45. Empaths Might Appear Moody To Others
Often, this is because they’re feeling the pain of those around them.
46. They’re Particularly Susceptible To ‘Energy Vampires’
Energy vampires are people who drain others’ emotions with their constant flow of negative emotion. Perhaps, at this point in the article, it’s no surprise to hear that empaths are particularly sensitive to being drained by them.
Any Empath’s Survival Guide that exists would surely have to address how to draw healthy boundaries with energy vampies.
47. Empaths Are Often Drawn To Holistic Therapies
Traditional therapies can be too much for an empath because they’re such a sensitive person.
48. They May Be Drawn To Spirituality
Spiritual topics rarely seem “woo-woo” to empaths, because they already have experience of feeling things that others can’t.
49. They Have A Great Sense Of Time
Time is something else that empaths can often naturally sense.
50. Empaths May Be Fussy Eaters
Yes, hyper-empathy can affect your physical health too. Many empaths can “feel” the energy in food, and are turned off by heavily-processed foods for this reason.
51. Digestion Issues Are Common In Empaths
Another potentially serious health problem. They may not be necessarily overeating. One explanation of this: the stomach is trying to eject energy that doesn’t belong to them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Empaths
Let’s round up this guide with the answers to some frequently asked questions about empaths.
How Rare Are Real Empaths?
You may not believe that empaths exist, but this is probably because this personality type is so rare. Maybe you’ve never come across one of these highly sensitive people in your life.
Peer-reviewed studies suggest that empaths make up around 1-2% of the human population. With that said, it’s often suggested that feelings of human empathy are experienced on a spectrum, rather than it being a have or have-not situation.
What Are Empaths Capable Of?
The main strengths of an empathic person is their ability to quickly make strong personal connections. This skill can help in almost every area of life, but particularly in professional and romantic relationships. For a deeper dive into what empaths are capable of, see this article: Empathetic Mindset – Important Traits
The main empath power is hypersensitivity to energy. This explains the ability to feel the feelings of others so strongly.
Triggers For Empaths
Physical proximity tends to be an important trigger for empaths, but emotional triggers are common too.
These could be highly positive emotions, such as love, lust or joy. At the same time, painful feelings such as fear, disappointment, stress or heartbreak can trigger empaths too.
Here are some of the most commonly mentioned names in the world when it comes to famous empaths:
- Mother Teresa;
- Nelson Mandela;
- Princess Diana;
- Oprah Winfrey.
These are arguably historical figures, such are their levels of good they did for the world. No doubt the high levels of human empathy and abilities to feel someone else’s pain played a huge role in their achievements.
Any Questions About How To Spot An Empath?
Thanks for reading my guide. Hopefully you now have a good idea whether you or someone you know might be an empath.
If you have a question or make a point on this topic, feel free to do so in the comments. Perhaps you’d like to add to this list or would like to share your own experience dealing with a highly empathetic person.
It means the world that you’re spending time commenting on this article, and will do my best to leave a great response.