26 personality traits of highly empathetic people

Empaths – they’re known to be super sensitive and very intuitive. 

But what if I told you there’s more to them than that? 

In fact, I will go a step further to prove that empaths possess so many admirable traits that they can complete the letters of the alphabet with them.

That said, let’s refresh our alphabet with these 26 personality traits of highly empathetic people:

1) Altruistic

Ever heard of the empathy-altruism hypothesis?

It’s a concept studied in psychology for many years and proven true through multiple experiments.

In a nutshell, this is a belief that people in need are more likely to be helped by individuals with a higher capacity for empathy than those with a limited ability to feel other people’s pain

2) Brave

Empaths can sense even the darkest of feelings. 

That said, it takes an impressive amount of bravery to be receptive to even the most hostile and overwhelming emotions, which can be so painful and difficult to process.

3) Caring

Have you noticed how those with a strong sense of empathy are often the first to extend a helping hand or volunteer their assistance in challenging times?

This compassionate trait is probably rooted in their ability to connect deeply with the feelings of others, which means they’re often the first to detect when someone is in need.

4) Disciplined 

Because they juggle the multiple emotions emanating from others at any given time, extremely empathetic individuals have developed discipline.

It’s a unique level of discipline that helps them understand when it’s appropriate to engage with others’ emotions and when to step back. 

5) Earnest

Empaths have the most sincere intentions.

Here’s the proof:

Remember the empathy-altruism hypothesis we talked about earlier? 

In connection to that, one specific research found that highly empathetic people help because they genuinely desire to make someone feel better, not because they want something in return.

6) Flexible

I think of empaths as emotional gymnasts:

They’re incredibly flexible in tuning into the emotions of people around them and super agile at adjusting their behavior and responses accordingly. 

One minute they’re comforting a friend who’s just lost their job, and the next minute, they’re jumping for joy with another friend who just got engaged.

7) Generous

The fact that they willingly give up some of their time, attention, and energy to share the emotional burdens of others, despite having to carry their own emotional struggles, is more than enough explanation as to why highly empathetic people are so generous.

8) Humble

Most highly empathetic people don’t have a big ego, which is why they resonate well with the feelings of others as if they were their own. 

No, they don’t lack self-esteem. 

And they’re not weak, either.

In fact, their humility adds more to their value, and the depth of their connections intensifies their strength.

9) Inclusive

Along with their humility, their inclusive nature also explains why highly empathetic individuals seem to connect better with the people around them.

They don’t select whose feelings they’re sensitive to. In fact, they have the unique ability to acknowledge and validate diverse thoughts and emotions, making everyone feel respected. 

Plus, the empath is usually the only one in the room who can pick up on feelings of isolation or exclusion. And once they detect that, empaths often go out of their way just to ensure that everyone feels included.

10) Judicious

The most empathetic person in the room will also be the soundest mediator whenever there’s conflict.

Here’s why:

Their ability to understand multiple perspectives puts them in an advantageous position where they have a balanced view of the issue. 

This makes them the best people to come up with a solution that’s fair and considerate of the needs and feelings of everyone concerned.

11) Kind

True or false:

You tend to be kinder to someone when you know they’re going through a rough time.

That’s the same logic with empaths. 

They’re usually kinder than most because they have a heightened sense of what people around them are really going through.

12) Likable

Who doesn’t like kind people, right?

If that wasn’t enough, they’re also so compassionate and extremely easy to connect with that you can’t help but like an empath. 

13) Mindful

When you have an empath’s attention, you have it 100%. They’re fully present and actively tuning into you and your feelings.

Not only that, but they’re also mindful of their words and actions. 

When they say or do something, I can assure you that they’ve taken the time to consider how this can impact you and your emotions. 

14) Non-authoritarian

Have you observed how some people network with as many people as possible just to build a following? 

Well, empaths are nothing like that. 

When highly empathetic individuals build relationships, they aim to build genuine connections rather than establishing hierarchies or highlighting their status.

15) Objective

One powerful tool that empaths use is their objectivity. 

While they can genuinely sense what someone is feeling, they can still separate the facts from the emotions.

For example, they can empathize with a friend grieving a breakup, but they also acknowledge that the split was the same friend’s fault for cheating on their partner.

Empaths get your feelings, but don’t let biases get to them.

16) Peaceful

Have you picked up on how a lot of empaths choose professions or roles that have something to do with healing? 

Nurses, doctors, counselors, therapists, yoga practitioners, spiritual guides, and the like?

This is because they are naturally peace-loving people. 

Be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, empaths want nothing more than to achieve harmony and balance in themselves and the world around them.

17) Quiet

They love peace, and they also love their quiet.

But there’s more to why you’ll find that empaths are the quiet type:

They’re quiet because they’re trying to listen – both to words that are being said and the feelings that are left untold.

Don’t take offense when they’re quiet around you. Because that doesn’t mean they’re ignoring you. 

For all you know, their silence is a sign that they’re trying to tune in to you even more.

18) Reflective

It’s easy to assume that empaths help more people than they help themselves. 

But what if you look at it this way:

The more empaths understand and connect with the emotions and experiences of others, the more opportunities they have to learn from these multifaceted encounters.

This enhances the empath’s reflectivity and is probably why many of them seem more emotionally mature and perceptive than the rest of us.

In short, by understanding and helping others, they’re also growing to better understand themselves.

19) Steadfast

If you’ve ever encountered an empathetic person, or if you’re an empath yourself, you’ll know that it’s in an empath’s blood to have a solid moral compass.

They stick to this no matter what. 

The same firmness applies to their dedication to helping others. When an empath offers their support, you can count on them to always be reliable. 

20) Trustworthy

You can rely on them to follow through on their commitments and promises, but there’s more to an empath that’s worthy of your trust:

Empaths know the value of honest communication, so whenever you’re after a sincere conversation, trust that an empath will deliver.

They also value confidentiality, so whether they sensed it from you or you directly divulged it, trust that the empath will not let any of your secrets slip.

21) Understanding

We all know that empaths are very understanding, especially of what others are feeling. That’s what makes them empathetic, after all.

But for those who don’t already know:

The level of understanding of highly empathetic people goes beyond words. 

Their superpower includes understanding even the most subtle of non-verbal cues, too. 

You may not say it, but believe me, they can tell from the tone of your voice, your body language, and sometimes just from the general “vibe” you give off.

22) Vigilant

When we described their ability to understand even the slightest shift in your non-verbal cues, that’s also the empath’s vigilance at play right there.

They’re very attentive to detail and quick to act on their vigilance, which is why they often step in to help, even before anyone asks them to.

23) Well-rounded

This personality trait of a highly empathetic person results from their other characteristics.

Think about it:

Because of their openness, flexibility, inclusivity, mindfulness, reflectivity, understanding, just to name a few, they develop a rich range of abilities and traits, contributing to an overall well-rounded personality.

The beautiful thing is that this well-developed personality allows them to engage with life – and other people – more creatively, thoughtfully, and compassionately.

24) Xenial

(adjective)

/ˈziːniəl/

Showing hospitality, kindness, or friendship to strangers or guests.

Now before you say this has nothing to do with empathetic people, have a look at this analogy:

Think of the empath as the thoughtful host of a dinner party. 

The host who carefully observes their guest, being attentive to their drink preferences, allergies, and comfort levels. 

Doesn’t that sound exactly like what an empath would do when they’re paying attention to the feelings and needs of others?

There we go, empath = xenial.

25) Yielding

Empaths tend to give way to others not because they value themselves less but because they are deeply understanding and compassionate of others.

Mind you, they make this conscious choice to prioritize the needs and feelings of others before themselves, only after careful consideration. 

So don’t mistake this for an automatic reflex of submission, nor should it be misunderstood as a sign of low self-worth.

26) Zealous

One would think that empaths would have low energies after constantly absorbing and having to deal with the energy of others, but the effect is actually the opposite:

Because they’re passionate about helping others, highly empathetic people often find renewed energy through their connections and acts of empathy.

A-B-C-D-Empathy

There you go, this list just proves that an empath is not just one thing:

From Altruistic to Zealous, they’re a mix of 26 beautiful things!

Keep reflecting on these 26 traits and you might just discover a bit of the empath in yourself.

Sarah Piluden-Natu-El

Sarah is a full-time mum, wife, and nurse on hiatus turned freelance writer. She is on a journey of diving deeper into life through life itself and uses her writing to share the lessons learned along the way. When not on her computer, she enjoys time with her family strolling along the Gold Coast's stunning beaches and captivating hinterland.

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