8 Key Characteristics Of Empaths That Set Them Apart

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8 Key Characteristics Of Empaths That Set Them Apart

An empath will tell you that they’ve always felt different and have struggled with fitting in.

Many empaths are mystified by how "normal" people can navigate the intensity of the modern world without becoming overwhelmed and exhausted.

When you understand what characteristics of an empath set them apart from other souls, you can begin to transform your hyper-sensitivity into a super-power to use for your benefit and the benefit of others.

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Not all empaths exhibit these characteristics to the same degree. However, there are many commonalities.

Here are those 8 key characteristics of an empath that set them apart.

1. They are attuned to other people's emotions.

If you’re an empath, it’s essential to acknowledge and accept that you’re just wired differently.

You’re like a radio receiver for energy. You feel and absorb the physical sensations and emotions of others.

Since empaths feel and absorb the emotions of others as if they were their own, they may experience extreme mood fluctuations, ranging from anger and anxiety to peace and relaxation.

Appreciating how being an empath affects your energy and what you can do to ground yourself is a significant first step in embracing the unique blessing and gifts of your authentic nature.

2. They are highly sensitive to sensory input and stimulation.

In addition to absorbing the emotions of others, empaths are highly sensitive to sensory input:

  • Visual: TV shows and movies with scenes of violence and emotional abuse can cause empaths to feel anxious, even physically ill.
  • Sound: Empaths can become overwhelmed in public places, especially where there's loud, chaotic noise.
  • Smell: Empaths may also have an acute sense of smell, and be irritated by heavy perfumes and other odors.
  • Sensation: Empaths may be very particular about the texture of the clothes they wear, preferring soft fabrics made of natural fiber.
  • Food: Spicy foods and stimulants like caffeine and sugar can cause empaths to feel anxious and irritable.

3. They need time alone.

Being a sponge for others’ emotions is draining. When exhausted and over-stimulated, empaths often resort to time to themselves.

Time alone allows empaths to decompress and release emotions and other sensory input they’ve received from being out in the world.

If an empath internalizes the feelings of others, they can sometimes have difficulty distinguishing their feelings from those of others. Quiet solo time is especially crucial for sorting out what’s the empath's and what’s not, so they can ultimately re-establish their inner connection.

4. They connect deeply with the natural world.

Another of the characteristics of an empath is finding solace and peace in nature, where they can tap into and be supported by the larger energetic forces of life.

The energetic environment and physical beauty of nature soothe, heal, and ground empaths. For many empaths, their relationship with nature is a spiritual connection that gives them a sense of peace and communion with all living beings.

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5. They struggle with low self-esteem and a lack of belonging.

Empaths who grew up in households or school environments where their sensitivity was not understood were often told they were too sensitive, too emotional, too dramatic, or too timid. Many were told they needed to grow a thicker skin.

Even if the adults were well-intentioned, they likely had no inkling just how intense the world of emotion and sensation was to their young empath children.

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As a result, many empaths grew up feeling invalidated for their own experiences. They may have internalized a sense of shame, believing something was wrong with them.

As adults, empaths may feel lonely and misunderstood, and become plagued with self-doubt. Fortunately, there is greater awareness and appreciation in our culture now for empaths and their unique gifts.

6. They express natural intuitive abilities.

Empaths are not only emotionally attuned — they’re highly intuitive, as well.

Intuition is "the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning." And empaths just know stuff, without knowing how they know it.

Since they can read people without obvious clues, empaths can see beyond façades, understand motivations, and sense when something is off.

The more empaths acknowledge their sensitivity as wisdom and trust their gut, the more their intuitive gifts can blossom.

7. They embody compassion and altruism.

Other characteristics common among empaths are compassion and altruism.

Since empaths have powerful insight into people’s inner experiences, they’re able to appreciate people’s challenges, pain, hopes, and desires. This understanding helps empaths to tap into a deep well of compassion, humility, and grace.

Empaths can be generous with their time and attention in service of others’ well-being. They’re good listeners, listening with all of their senses, with the desire for people to feel heard and understood.

These big-hearted givers are often drawn to work in the helping and healing professions, like counseling, philanthropy, and social justice. But you can also find them in other roles where their abilities are keenly needed.

For example, the empath teacher intuitively understands a student’s struggles and aspirations and can draw out their strengths to help build confidence.

And the empath entrepreneur can understand and foresee the needs of their business partners to craft mutually beneficial agreements.

8. They are drawn to spirituality and metaphysics.

Since empaths know that there's much more going on in life than meets the naked eye, they’re curious about the nature of spirit and are inspired to ponder the big questions of life.

Many empaths experience a deep passion for the richness of life through the study of spirituality and metaphysics. In their quest for higher truth, they may seek to align their lives with their spiritual nature and live in harmony with a higher purpose.

When you understand what characteristics set empaths apart from other souls, you’re able to embrace your true nature.

As you do, not only will you learn to manage your sensitivities, but you’ll also hone your superpowers like intuition and compassion that lie within.

RELATED: How Empaths Can Protect Themselves From Other People’s Energy

Elizabeth Hunter Diamond is a professional clairvoyant, energy healer, and an executive and relationship coach. If you’d like to understand your own nature as an empath and receive support in managing your empathic talent, book a session today for a Clairvoyant Reading & Energy Healing Session.

This article was originally published at Elizabeth Hunter Diamond - Clairvoyant. Reprinted with permission from the author.