The characteristic feature of empathic people is that they are individuals who know how to put themselves in the shoes of others and understand their emotions and/or physical symptoms. They are extraordinarily sensitive people.

Their world view is very intuitive, they relate to others by prioritizing their emotions and feelings over calculation and coldness, and they usually find it difficult to describe and put into words everything they feel.

Empathy: a quality to develop

Being an empathic person is a positive thing for life. But it also has a lot of less desirable points. People with this trait may also be more vulnerable to the emotional impact of things that happen around them.

For example, they may be more prone to anxiety attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms and disorders related to emotional instability.

However, empathy is a virtue that can help us a lot throughout life , especially if we learn to manage it effectively. The first step is to know if you are really an empathic person.

The 10 Traits of Empathy

In this article we have described the 10 characteristic features (habits, attitudes and behaviours) of people who have a highly developed empathy.

1. are more sensitive than other people

Empathic individuals are selfless, open to new experiences, kind and good ‘listeners’. They are attentive people and know how to transmit these good feelings when communicating with others.

They are always willing to help and offer a shoulder to cry on. But they can also feel hurt and offended with an amazing ease . They are very sensitive people, to the point of being truly susceptible in some cases.

2. Empaths “absorb” the emotions of others

People with high empathy are influenced by other people’s emotions and moods. For better or worse.

They are able to feel what others feel more vividly than the average person , and this can sometimes be a difficult hurdle to overcome. If they are close to someone who is anxious or stressed, it is difficult for them not to emulate these attitudes in their mind. Luckily, they also get infected by positive emotions.

3. They are usually introverted

In an article a few months ago, we talked about the difference between introverted and extraverted people. In the case of empathic people, it is usually the case that they are quite introverted . They do not enjoy too much the multitudinous parties, but prefer the small groups or go for a coffee with only one friend.

Even among empathetic subjects who are more open to going to parties and crowded places, they are usually careful and prefer to moderate the amount of time they spend in these types of environments.

4. They are more intuitive than the average

Empaths perceive the world through their intuition . They like to develop their intuition and listen to their hunches on a regular basis. This allows them to surround themselves with positive people and get rid of those who might upset their emotional balance.

5. They like to spend time alone

They are very sensitive people and they are often affected if they spend a lot of time listening and helping others . For this reason, they need to be alone periodically in order to return to their emotional balance.

6. May overprotect themselves in relationships

Living with a partner can be complicated for an empathic person, and they may even develop philopathy or similar manifestations. They avoid falling in love with someone so as not to have to suffer later if things don’t go well .

They may be afraid of being emotionally swallowed up by their partner. They need to redefine their concept of love relationship in order to have positive and happy relationships.

7. They are easy prey for emotional vampires

Have you heard of emotional vampires? They are those people who have the bad habit of discharging all their negativity on other people , to whom they “suck” their energy in order to continue their spiral of fatalism, anger and resentment.

Empathic people may especially suffer the effects of having an emotional vampire around, as they are especially vulnerable to all the bad feelings that such individuals convey.

8. They feel very comfortable in contact with nature

The demands and stresses of daily routines affect us all, but especially empathetic men and women. They tend to disconnect and recharge their batteries when they are surrounded by nature : climbing mountains, enjoying a sunny beach or simply strolling through a green meadow.

9. They have the sensations of skin

Empathic people are more sensitive in general. They can feel very bad about noisy environments, or when they notice that there is a lot of tension in the environment.

10. They are good people, even to the detriment of their own well-being

Empathetic individuals are good people: they have a big heart and care sincerely about others. They feel bad when they see someone suffering on the street, and they cannot help but care for them to try to ease their pain.

Although it is an undeniable virtue, the truth is that empathic people can go too far and become obsessed with dealing with the problems of others , and feel frustrated or confused if they do not manage to solve their problems.

Managing empathy

Empathic people, as we have seen, have a series of virtues that are associated with other problems for their emotional well-being .

There are techniques that can help these people manage their personality and not be too damaged by their sensitivity. Controlling time and schedule, setting limits with people who need help and habits such as meditation and Mindfulness can restore their psychological well-being.

Bibliographic references:

  • Barrutia, A. (2009). Interpersonal skills. In A. Barrutia (Ed.), Inteligencia emocional en la familia (pp. 381-416). Spain: Toromítico.
  • Carpena, A. (2003). Socio-emotional education in the primary stage. Barcelona: Octaedro.
  • Goleman, D. (1996). The roots of empathy. In D. Goleman (Ed.), Emotional intelligence (pp. 162-183). Barcelona: Cairos.