Empath vs. Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

An empath is different from a highly sensitive person (HSP). Find out how:

You can watch this video or read the text below:

  • Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
    A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone who is more acutely sensitive to their environment than the average person. That sensitivity may take any form:
    • Auditory: They may be ultra-sensitive to loud noises
    • Visual: They may be ultra-sensitive to bright lights
    • Touch: Many Highly Sensitive People need to cut the tag out of the collar of their new shirt before they can wear it because they can’t bear the sensation of feeling the tag at the back of their neck.
    • These are just examples. Sensitivity to taste or smell can also define a person as being an HSP.

Any of these sensitivities can make someone an HSP. None of them make a person an empath.

HSPs may also be able to “read” other people with whom they are in contact, to a degree far beyond that of the average person. But even then an HSP will have to have verbal or visual connection with the other person. But this ability still does not make the person an Empath.

 There is one additional sensitivity that makes an HSP into an Empath – emotional sensitivity.

  • Empath
    An Empath is someone who has the ability to experience the feelings and emotions of other people. Occasionally, this may include experiencing another’s physical symptoms as well. This ability to sense another person may exist regardless of the physical proximity, the range of the five physical senses, or any intellectual knowledge of the activities of the other person.

Empaths may be considered a group within HSPs. Being highly sensitive may or may not include empathic abilities, as an HSP may only have extreme sensitivity to some or all of the recognized five senses. 

An empath may be influenced by other people regardless of any physical connection at all.

If you are an empath, you should be aware that it is common for empaths to have additional extrasensory abilities as well as being able to connect to other people’s emotions. While mediumship and channeling are not part of being an empath, these are skills that may appear alongside your empathic abilities.

The following are some of the many other talents you may start to discover for yourself:

  • Seeing auras – The ability to see energy in and around another person.
  • Precognition – Knowing about events that will happen in the future.
  • Remote seeing – The ability to know what is currently happening in a distant place.
  • Psychometry – Being able to tell the history of an object or its owner by holding it.
  • Animal communication – The ability to speak to and hear pets and other animals.
  • Plant communication – Picking up information from plants, often in the form of understanding how they can be used for medicinal purposes.
  • Elemental empaths – People who can feel the forces and physical processes that affect the earth.

As you become more accepting of your abilities as an empath, these other talents may become stronger. Of course, there are plenty of non-empaths who have these experiences, just as there are many empaths who do not have these other skills.

If you are experiencing any of these traits – or none of them – you are still a perfectly normal empath.


Am I an Empath?