10 Small Things Empaths Sense That Other People Don't Even Notice

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empath comforting a friend

Do you feel attuned to the thoughts, emotions, and energies of others? Or have you found yourself intuitively filling in the blanks without anyone saying a word?

According to empath counselor Kristen Schwartz, these signs may indicate empathic tendencies.

10 Small Things Empaths Sense That Other People Can't

1. The energy under words

Individuals who possess empathic abilities may often find themselves attuned to the energy under people’s words. For instance, if someone tells you a story, you may have the ability to pick up on that person’s energy through what they are saying.

You can sense that person’s sorrow or even that person’s happiness in only a few sentences. This is due to empaths having the ability to detect the energy under people’s words.



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2. Passive aggression

Psychiatrist Judith Orloff writes, “Passive aggressive people are experts at sugar-coating hostility.” So, it can be surprising that empaths are such metal detectors when it comes to passive aggression.

If you are an empath, knowing when someone is being passive-aggressive is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

And it makes sense since empaths have a heightened sensitivity, which makes it easy to identify instances of this behavior. Whether it be your body language or speech, empaths have a way of always finding out. Even actions such as placing a book down with slight force don't escape the gaze of an empath.

3. Unspoken tension

Licensed Therapist Julie Bailey writes that empaths, “Pick up vibes of tension in a room that wouldn’t be obvious to everyone else."

Empaths, as Bailey notes, can sense the anxiety and anxiousness emanating from strangers. So, imagine how easy it is for empaths to pick up on some unspoken tension. This talent of deep emotional connections comes with its faults though. Constantly feeling other people’s negative emotions can have negative consequences — which is why empaths must put their mental health first.

4. BS in a story

Now this one is a tiny bit tricky. For empaths, deciphering BS in a story involves more than just detecting lies. It involves a harmonious connection.

Healer and coach Sally Reid explains that it’s a yes and no when it comes to detecting BS. Yes, typically empaths can detect BS in a story. But, if a liar truly believes in what they are saying, it becomes a lot harder to detect.

Reid argues that empaths notice if there’s discord and if things are flowing or are not flowing. This makes sense since once again empaths operate off of energy. So, if things appear to be flowing, then an empath may end up believing the BS in your story after all!



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5. Judgment in tone

According to author Kirstie Pursey, empaths can easily pick up on tone of voice. Even if you utter something positive, an empath will be able to detect the underlying tone behind your words. If your tone or inflection is carrying words of aggression or judgment, trust and believe an empath will find out.

Bonus! If you find yourself unconsciously picking up on judgments from others, this may be a sign of your empathic nature at play.

6. Words not said

Spiritual teacher and author Rose Rosetree writes that empaths have this energy field around them, that allows for heightened sensitivity to body language. This is important for picking up on hesitation or in this case words not being spoken.

Through your body language, an empath can know if you are anxious or scared. This keen observation helps them fill in many of the blanks in the words that are not being spoken.

7. Unspoken expectations

If you are an empath, you find yourself engaging in silent agreements due to an awareness of other people’s desires. Psychotherapist Terri Cole states that empaths are so attuned to what other people want that they often throw themselves under the bus to people-please.

And it makes sense since empaths are hypersensitive to what other people want, feel, and think. Cole ends by encouraging empaths to get serious about silent agreements and drawing boundaries when these silent agreements are not in their best interest.



8. Incoming energy

Empaths are not only able to sense the energy of those around them, but they can also pick up on incoming energies!

Have you ever approached a place from a distance and got negative or strange vibes? Or have you ever seen someone approaching you and instantly knew something was amiss? Well, empaths are great at tuning into the energies around them. Whether it be up close or from a distance an empath can instantly feel if something is off.



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9. Slight incongruences

Besides detecting tone and behavior, empaths excel at identifying inconsistencies. As The Vessel notes, “It’s easy to notice small inconsistencies in facial expressions, shifts in tone, or certain body language cues that others might overlook.”

This heightened awareness serves almost like an alert system for empaths, allowing them to identify potential risks. They can note inconsistencies within individuals and pinpoint whose actions don’t align with their words. In the long run, this can serve as a valuable tool in navigating relationships.

10. The invisible

Have you ever found yourself sensing a strange presence or energy from someone or something? Perhaps you went into a room and felt this small voice in your head screaming at you to get out and run for the hills. According to Schwartz, being an empath allows you to see the invisible.

This simply means that something that is known or sensed by others only an empath can know or even understand.

Being an empath is a superpower, but it can be draining at times. Incorporating self-care into your routine can tremendously help you navigate the emotional energy absorbed by others, ensuring a balanced and happy life.



Remember, as Julie Bailey states, “Self-care doesn’t mean me first. It just means me, too.”

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.