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15 unique (and powerful) traits of an empath


If you ask people around you, what do they understand or how do they define the word empath, a large majority will answer you: “Someone who can read minds? A person who has paranormal abilities... a medium, something like that...? or "Never heard that word, no idea!" When I hear the definitions given, I always roll my eyes, because behind this presumption and inaccurate association, there is also often a certain sarcasm and an innuendo of "it's another new age BS".

So telling those around you that you are an empath can be, from the start, like sticking a label on your forehead: “I am delusional, an impostor and above all completely crazy!

The thing is, with all of these false assumptions and preconceptions, we empaths sometimes think there is something wrong with us. So, of course, the opinion and judgment of others doesn't really help us. We might even come to believe that they might be right and it's all in our head.

So because being an empath can sometimes be experienced as a burden, the gaze of others can also weigh considerably more on our feeling of inadequacy.

Have you often received a condescending look when you mentioned being an empath? Or have you noticed that some people have started avoiding you altogether? Have you ever been the object of ridicule or bullied?

I personally think there is a stigma around the word “empath”. Perhaps, it also comes from the fact that, more and more, this word is used wrongly and to give importance and to feel special. Our society has become drunk on certain words, and the spiritual community could be guilty of it. Nowadays, the words: consciousness, lightworker, empath, narcissist, spiritual awakening and so many others, are conveyed with lightness, and thrown too easily into our vocabulary... It's a shame because, instead of raising awareness to those who would really like to be more informed about these interesting subjects, quite the opposite happens. Peddled from a bad angle, gurus or other manipulators take advantage of this current to manipulate the weakest or spread their unhealthy ideas. This can only attract suspicion in people who want to get informed. How do you distinguish between what just seems like a new trend to attract followers or a genuine quest for growth and enlightenment?

But I digress a bit here.

We will now see what the main characteristics of an empath are.

Before we start though, I want to add something that I often get asked about: are all empaths highly sensitive? To my knowledge, yes, all empaths are highly sensitive, but not the other way around. Empaths should not be confused with highly sensitive people (HSP). While HSP are indeed very empathetic, and this quality is an important characteristic of their trait, an empath refers to someone who takes empathy a step further, literally being able to sense and absorb the feelings of others as if they were their own.

With that mentioned, let’s start….

15 unique (and powerful) traits of an empath

1. You are super-sensors…sensors of vibration and energy.

I wanted to start with this one because in my own experience it is the most important and you will understand why later.

The greatest strength of empaths is to “read” the energy of others, which also includes the collective energy. Sometimes this can be our most difficult and least understood challenge in our trait. So when people associate empaths with some sort of mind reader or psychic, even if it's annoying, they're not too far off the mark. Because, yeah, in a way, it's kind of a superpower. We are super-sensors. Like a superhuman antenna, capable of capturing all the vibrations that surround us.

But as I said a little earlier, this ability, this gift, is also the “troublemaker” in our life, and the instigator of all the characteristics of an empath… and the whole subject of this post. It's all about that blessing, it all starts with that ability...which, I grant you, can sometimes feel like a curse.

2. You are an emotional chameleon.

You are often criticized for going from laughter to tears… which is probably true!

Of course, this can be disarming to those around you, as they can never predict your reactions and state of mind. They may even perceive you as a very emotionally unstable person, which in a way you are, because other people's moods and emotions easily impact and influence you, either for good or bad.

3. Violence in all its forms: A resounding no!

Whether in your daily life or on screen, violence (physical or verbal) and cruelty are intolerable to you, you make a hard pass on it and just can’t deal with it.. Only the thought makes you sick. You feel deep inside the violence you are witnessing. You can't stand it at all and can't deal with it. You are the one who closes your eyes or looks away in violent movie scenes, those who cannot participate or watch violent sports, those who turn your head in the opposite direction when passing an accident.

For example, for me, even the howling of a dog puts me in a very anxious state. So it's not just visuals, it's also the sounds of violence that disturb us emotionally.

This is empathy at the highest level and it can be very unsettling and literally make you sick.

4. You don't like human agglomeration

Large, noisy or busy public spaces such as shopping malls, stadiums, concert halls, nightclubs, or other crowded places are particularly exhausting for an empath, so not really your favored spots. Participating in assemblies, visiting fairs, being crammed into a wagon or basking on a crowded beach, make you particularly uncomfortable, not to be confused with agoraphobia. Here the feeling is not fear, but physical discomfort. You are like sponges so the crowds generate in you an immense amount of energy which you absorb automatically and involuntarily. So when you find yourself in a crowded place, you become emotionally and mentally drained and can completely shut down.

5. You hate conflicting people and situations.

You feel physically sick when someone yells at you or gets mad at you.

Empaths have hearts that are pinned to their sleeves and don't do particularly well when someone is verbally aggressive with them. They may even experience it as physical aggression. If the intensity of the conflict is too strong, it can even make them sick.

6. You have a highly developed intuition.

You often unconsciously perceive things that escape the majority of people. It is an inner knowing, like a download of information, seemingly coming out of nowhere.

If you manage to leave your ego aside, your instinctual perceptions (sensations, emotions, interpretations) are most of the time on point, and this is available to you anytime you need it. Listening to your intuition can help you reach a relevant conclusion when you have to make a decision.

And when you feel lost and don't know what to do, when things seem unclear to you, give way to your intuition and let it guide you!

7. You are a human detector of lies and nonsense.

Thanks to your highly developed intuition, you feel super weird in the presence of fake people, you detect the “counterfeit” immediately. When someone is lying to you, you may feel instantly that they are hiding something from you. This can make you very uncomfortable, because often you have to play the game yourself and not let them know that you saw through their lies. As I always say: don't lie to an empath, he will always catch you!

empaths - liar detector
8. Knowing you is like going to confession! 😅

You are the one people turn to to unload their problems.

Because empaths have a great ability to listen, a lot of compassion and an overwhelming empathy, their friends, family members or even strangers are drawn to them for advice, a sympathetic ear or just a moment to talk to break their loneliness.

They instinctively gain the trust of others who feel safe to confide in them with their problems, even to solve their problems, but also to get the emotional support they need.

Everyone needs an empath in their life,... that person you can trust and who will always be there to listen and support you... That person who will answer your call or jump in their car to come help you, in the middle of the night.

However, beware! Some people take this for granted without having any idea how much energy it takes to support them. Obviously, they are not aware that few people around them, other than empaths and hypersensitives, have the same capacity, the same willingness to devote their time to listening to the problems of others. Listening is a much rarer quality than one might think!

9. You are drawn to holistic methods of healing.

Reiki? Acupuncture? Tapping? Energy healing? You name it... You are curious, open and always ready to try holistic methods of healing. Is it because you feel a metaphysical presence and the subtle energies that you try to understand and experience them?

Is it because this type of therapy takes into account the patient as a whole (mind, body and soul) and takes the human being as an inseparable whole? Everyone has their own reasons, but the fact is: you are very open to alternative and holistic healing therapies.

10. You feel a deep connection to Nature and animals.

The majority of empaths, if not all of them, will tell you that being outside, having outdoors activities or being with animals is their moment of grounding and surrendering. It is their place to go to reconnect and let go of negative energy from toxic people or energy vampires.

For you, Nature and being in the presence of animals has the power to recharge your batteries, to bring you back to Earth and to heal you.

11. You don't like urban areas.

It's no surprise here that big cities aren't your cup of tea. Living in cities can be emotionally and mentally draining for you. Your ideal home would therefore be more by the sea, somewhere in the mountains or anywhere in a more secluded area.

Are you a highly sensitive person or an empath? Take the test below to find out.

test: are you highly sensitive?

12. You need your “me time” more than anyone else.

Spending time alone isn't just a need, it's essential, an obligation to yourself for your mental and emotional balance.

Whether it's in nature or simply spending time at home, reading a book, taking a long, relaxing bath or doing crafts, you need a break from the hustle and bustle so you can recover and recharge your batteries.

Even though spending time with others is something you enjoy doing, it can also be exhausting because you absorb other people's emotions like a sponge.

13. You don't like superficial or mundane conversations.

You consider frivolous conversations, or as I like to call them "cheap-chat", a waste of time, and they bore you very quickly. Out of politeness, you join in, but soon enough you find an excuse to sneak out, because making small talk about the latest gossip really isn't your thing.

14. You are very creative in nature.

No matter how, whether artistically, in your relationships, or in your lifestyle, you have an active need to express yourself in your own creative way. Your artistic bent is reflected in all aspects of your life, which makes you a very special person, full of ingenious or out-of-the-box ideas.

15. You are a natural born peacemaker

After all that has been said before, no surprise if, to conclude this list of characteristics, I tell you that arguments and conflicts are very unsettling and exhausting for you, whatever the situation. Because all negative energy affects you directly, you always feel the need to do whatever it takes to peacefully end any conflict situation, within a group or between two people. And since you are in tune with the emotions of others, you truly take on the role of mediator, which you usually play with great success.


We have come to the end of this post. I could have added a lot more about the complex and amazing personality of empaths, but that will be the subject of other articles where I will tell you in more detail about certain aspects of their trait. There is so much to say and learn...

So yes, being an empath can sometimes feel like a burden, when our emotions are running high and causing inner anxieties and mood swings - but all of these feelings provide us with greater understanding and insights into life, incomparable richness, and incredible blessings.


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What is your biggest struggle?

  • Feeling emotionally drained

  • Moving on and letting go

  • Criticism and conflict

  • Being under pressure

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