Not sure if you are an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
Would you like to find out?
Let’s have a look at their definitions:
The definition of an Empath is a person who is capable of feeling the emotions of those around them despite the fact they are not going through the same situation.
The definition of a HSP is a person who processes sensory data much more deeply than others. They are oversensitive to aspects of their environment. For instance, HSPs may dislike harsh bright lighting, they get irritated by loud background noise or find they cannot wear certain materials.
Although the definitions above are brief, they could be misleading, in the suggestion that a HSP has only heightened senses and an Empath feels only the emotions of others; when in fact, there is so very much more to their traits.
For example, the Empath and HSP may both:
- Sense other people’s moods
- Project their emotions, feelings and thoughts onto others
- Experience profound synchronicities
- Have heightened senses
- Feel emotions and pain very deeply
- Get hurt easily
- Become quickly over-stimulated
- Become easily drained when in social situations
- Have an awareness of subtleties around them that others don’t.
The definitions between the two are so similar that some may question as to which camp they belong.
So, to give you a better idea, we will look at some questions that will help you determine if you are an Empath or HSP.
We will first look at the Highly Sensitive Person. Saying yes to most of the following questions is a strong indication that you are a HSP:
- Are you aware of subtleties in your environment?
- Do other people’s moods affect you?
- Are you sensitive to pain?
- Do you need to withdraw, if you are having a busy day?
- Are you sensitive to the effects of caffeine?
- Are you easily overwhelmed by strong smells, bright lights or loud noises?
- Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
- Are you conscientious?
- Do you startle easily?
- Are you aware how to make others feel more comfortable?
- Do you get frustrated if you are made to do too many things at once?
- Do you avoid watching violence on TV or in films?
- Do you become uncomfortable when a lot is going on around you?
- Do you avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
Now, let’s look at questions to help determine if you are an Empath:
- Do you become overwhelmed when you walk into busy places?
- Do some people make you feel inexplicably uncomfortable, finding you stumble over your words or have uneasy sensations in the pit of your stomach when with them?
- Did you experience any strange phenomena as a child?
- Do you have strong intuition?
- Do you sense different energies in objects, buildings, places or countries?
- Do you get easily drained when in social situations?
- Have you got an active or creative mind?
- Do you notice things others don’t?
- Can you easily read other people and just know what type of person they are without spending much time with them?
- Are you a good listener and find others open up to you?
- Are you highly sensitive?
- Would you say you have an addictive nature?
- Can you feel another person’s emotions?
- Do you pick up physical symptoms off another?
So how did you do? Do you identify with being either an HSP or an Empath, or both?
You may very well identify with being both a HSP and an Empath, especially if you have answered yes to most questions on both of the lists.
Even though some will disagree, I believe many Empaths are HSPs and vice versa. They may experience different levels of Sensitivity and have some traits stronger than others, but overall they share the same attributes, in that their senses are extremely heightened, especially their sixth sense, and they powerfully feel energetic vibrations off people, places and objects.
Those who veer more towards being an Empath may be more open to metaphysical matters than HSPs. That said, both HSPs and Empaths can be similarly receptive to the unseen world and are equally able to tap into the Universal Consciousness. It mostly depends on their background. How they were brought up and what beliefs they have has a major influence on their receptivity towards their traits.
At some point, both the Empath and HSP find themselves thrust onto a path of awakening by either a stream of bad experiences, a synchronistic event, or a need to better understand themselves. Research and self-discovery becomes a big part of their journey.
Hopefully this will help you better understand the labels of the Sensitive folk. I am not too keen on labels and believe they should only be used to assist us in understanding our traits, which in turn helps us navigate through life. I feel labels can dismiss individuality. Anyone who is Sensitive is indeed profoundly unique and should always bear this in mind on their journey of life!
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Until next time…
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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered
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