Empaths are extremely sensitive to the emotions of others. Discover the various types of empaths and how to protect your energy if you are one.
What Exactly Is an Empath?
An empath is a sensitive person who deeply feels the emotions of others. They quickly understand how others are feeling and almost always try to help, often at the expense of their own well-being.
Empaths may find it difficult to spend time with multiple people at the same time, especially if those people are experiencing negative emotions. While being an empath has its difficulties, it is also a positive trait: Empaths enjoy assisting others, making excellent listeners, and being a constant source of support for their loved ones.
An empath and a highly sensitive person (HSP) are frequently confused, but they are not the same thing. Because both types of people are emotionally aware, they may have similar personality traits. However, empaths feel more than just other people's emotions; many empaths can detect physical symptoms or have strong intuition.
Characteristics of an Empath
Use the following list of common characteristics to determine whether you or a loved one is an empath:
An empath dislikes crowds because they absorb the emotions of those around them. A large group of people can overwhelm them. In some cases, large crowds can even cause an empath to panic.
People feel safe confiding their opinions and problems with empaths because an empath's deep level of empathy allows them to understand a variety of perspectives without judgment.
A need for alone time: Because many empaths identify as introverts, they require alone time to recover and reset their emotions.
Prioritization of others: Highly empathetic people prioritize the needs of others, which can lead to them avoiding conflict (in order to protect the feelings of others) and failing to practice self-care.
Sensory sensitivity: Because empaths are flooded with emotions, additional sensory stimulation (bright lights, loud sounds) overwhelms them.
11 Different Kinds of Empaths
There are numerous types of empaths, each with their own distinct characteristics. Here are some of the most common types of empaths:
1. Animal empaths (also known as fauna empaths) understand the wants and needs of animals. They may even believe they can communicate with animals telepathically.
2. Dream empath: Dream empaths are highly sensitive to dreams (both their own and those of others) and can interpret them.
3. Earth empaths are sensitive to changes in the Earth, its weather, the solar system, and the universe. Geomantic empaths, in particular, detect large movements in the Earth, such as natural disasters.
4. Emotional empath: Emotional empaths are people who can read others' facial expressions and body language and feel their emotions on a deep level. They frequently feel as if they have witnessed the emotions of others, and as a result, they are easily drained.
5. Heyoka empath: Heyoka empaths are a rare and powerful type of empath. The term "heyoka" is derived from Indigenous tribes of North America's Great Plains and means "sacred clown." This type of empath challenges conventional norms and mirrors others' emotions, causing them to see things in a new light.
6. Intuitive empath: An intuitive empath (also known as claircognizant) possesses exceptional intuition. They can walk into a room for the first time and instantly sense the underlying vibes of the people and the situation.
7. Physical empath: Physical empaths experience other people's physical symptoms in their own bodies, similar to emotional empaths. Because of their intense physical empathy, empaths may feel the physical pain of others.
8. Plant empath: A plant empath (also known as a flora empath) senses the needs of the plants around them. Plant empaths may feel called to work with plants in the same way that animal empaths may find themselves working with or owning animals.
9. Precognitive empath: Precognitive empaths have the ability to predict the future. They may see or sense future events in their dreams or through heightened emotions or premonition.
10. Psychometric empath: A psychometric empath is someone who detects emotions and energy in objects. They may be able to associate objects with specific people, places, or events.
Telepathic empaths have a special connection that allows them to read other people's thoughts.
How to Safeguard Yourself as an Empath
As an empath, you may struggle with your mental health and find it difficult to set healthy boundaries. Learn how to protect your energy by following these guidelines:
Choose who you spend your time with. Because you absorb the emotions and potentially negative energy of others, be mindful of who you spend the most time with. Narcissists, overly negative people, and those with low emotional intelligence can especially drain empaths, so they may not be the best people to enter into intimate relationships with.
Journal. Journaling is an excellent way to express yourself and differentiate your emotions from those of others. It will help to lighten your load and alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with being an empath.
Make time to recharge yourself. Most empaths require alone time to recharge their batteries, so make time for yourself before and after socializing.
Meditation should be practiced. Meditation is an excellent way to improve your ability to remain present and calm in stressful situations. If you're an empath who gets overwhelmed by sensory input and crowds, meditation may be especially beneficial.
Establish limits. Begin by establishing small boundaries, especially if you find it difficult to set boundaries in order to be of service to others. Once a week, try saying "no" to plans with others or schedule time for self-care activities (like taking a walk).
Spend time outside in nature. Nature has the ability to ground you. It's also a great place for sensitive people to recharge peacefully.