10 signs that show you’re an empathetic person

Empathetic people have an incredible ability to draw others toward them and make them feel good. 

They are the kind of people who can read a room, and read your thoughts. Not literally of course, but they can pick up on your body signals and tell how you are feeling.

Don’t try to hide who you are from an empathetic person because they’ll be able to see right through you.

Do you think you’re a highly empathetic person? 

Here are 10 ways you can tell that you are more in touch with others’ feelings than most people are.

1. You Can Easily Empathize With Others

When people open up to you about their problems with relationships or with finding the right job for them, you can easily see yourself in their shoes — even though you’ve never had a similar experience.

Your ability to empathize with others comes from the fact that you can not only actively listen to what they’re saying, but you can also tell from their body language that it’s been hard on them.

They seem to deflate and shrink, expressing how small and sad they’ve felt after their partner left or when they lost their job.

You can read from the hesitation and softness in their voice that this isn’t something that they usually talk about — meaning that they trust you enough to know about this side of them.

People aren’t often upfront about what they’re feeling, so it takes a keen eye to respond to them in the way that they want to be responded to.

This is how you’ve built lasting relationships over time. You can read between the lines and through their actions and tones.

2. You Are Pretty Sensitive

Good or bad, empathic people are very sensitive. They aren’t just sensitive regarding their feelings; they are also sensitive to certain sounds, lights, places, and people.

If you’re an empathetic person, you probably take in all of the energy around you, and it can be exhausting for you to be in certain places with certain people at certain times. You are like a sponge soaking up everything around you. 

Of course, this also means that you have a great deal of empathy, and can lend a helping hand to those around you because you can feel what they’re going through.

3. You Give Helpful Advice

When people usually give advice, the common answers would be to simply, “Stay strong” or “Just keep holding on” or “Follow your heart”.

But these are easy advice to give — often so cliche that they’ve lost their luster.

When someone comes up to you, you understand what they’re feeling and what they’re looking for.

When you give someone advice, it’s because you’ve taken the time to listen to their situation and shared advice that’s specific to them.

There’s no one size fits all with advice. Different people need to hear different things, and you’re someone that doesn’t repeat the advice that you give.

4. You are Highly Observant

If you’re an empathetic person, then you probably tend to take in more than you put out, meaning you talk less and observe more.

You fully engage the surroundings with your senses and you tend to take in all the information before making an opinion or passing judgment.

Because you tend to take a step and observe everything around you, you’re not easily swayed by mainstream opinion.

In the end, when you make a bold statement or come to a conclusion, you can guarantee that conclusion has not been made lightly.

You’ve taken in your surroundings with your senses, and you’ve examined the situation from all angles.

This is why it can be so valuable to have you on someone’s side. 

Life coach Anthon St. Maarten says it well:

“Never underestimate the empowered empath. Our kindness and compassion are too often mistaken for weakness or naivety, while we are in fact highly calibrated human lie detectors…and fearless warriors for truth and justice.”

5. You’re a Great Conversationalist

One of the hallmarks of an empathetic person is the ability to listen. 

This is what makes you a great conversationalist. You know how to respond in a polite and supportive manner. You also have a great intuition that helps you always say the right thing.

You’re probably an empathetic person if you can relate to these signs:

  • You give your full attention when someone is speaking and you don’t interrupt.
  • You ask questions so you can fully understand their point;
  • You talk in a calm, emotionally intelligent manner;
  • If you don’t know how to solve a problem, you’ll say this straight, instead of acting like you know it all.

Essentially, it feels good to talk to you because you make people feel seen and understood.

It’ll eventually make people want to be around you more as they feel comfortable and respected. 

6. You’re Curious About People

You find people to be interesting. They walk around on two legs — some with their shoulders and back straight, while others with a slight slouch.

They move their hands about while they make noises of varying tones with their mouths.

But within each person is a story about their childhood or high school years that no one else in the world knows.

These are things that spark your curiosity, time and time again.

You catch yourself staring at crowds of people just sitting and walking around a mall or how they talk to each other at a cafe.

It’s your curiosity that’s enabled you to be such a good reader of people.

You notice what shoes they’re wearing, and what their facial expressions are, and imagine what they mean.

7. You Can Understand Their Tone

When people are upset or if something’s bothering them but they don’t want to say it, they usually express it in other ways.

Their tone can drop to a deeper sound, one that’s meant to tell you that what they’re saying is serious.

When someone is excited, you can tell by the words that they use that they’re eager to get on to the next topic of conversation.

When you go out with someone for the first time, you can understand what they’re thinking about you — if they start to let their guard down, talking in a more relaxed way, and not that corporate speak that they reserve only for other people.

This makes you understand what people are feeling and then you adjust your responses to them based on this which makes them feel comfortable and heard. 

8. You Notice Facial Expressions

Someone can send an entire message with their face contorts.

We just can’t seem to express ourselves without raising our eyebrows or moving our mouths around.

If you’re a highly empathetic person, you can immediately tell what someone is thinking by the way that their face changes.

When you tell them about a promotion that you’ve just had, they might give you the usual, “Congratulations!”

But you can tell by the way that they smile — if it doesn’t or does make their eyes squint like that of a genuine Duchenne smile — if they’re actually elated to hear the news or if they’re just saying that to be nice.

9. You Enjoy One-to-One Conversations

Do you thrive in one-to-one interactions?

Highly empathetic people usually feel much more comfortable interacting with one other person than being in a large group.

This is because you can understand the person you are speaking with in more intimate settings.

When conversations are concentrated you can offer meaningful insights and lessons. 

In large groups, as an empathetic person, you may find you take on the energy of the whole social gathering. A large amount of external emotional input becomes difficult for you to navigate.

You might also be hypersensitive to their environment. You tend to be sensitive to noise levels, bright lights, and other strong stimuli around you.

Sometimes too much sensory input can feel overwhelming and make you feel uncomfortable and make it difficult to concentrate on the people you are interacting with.

So if you easily feel drained in large crowds or busy settings because you can’t connect well with others and share your wisdom, it’s likely that you are a highly empathetic person. 

10. Others Trust You

Empathetic people are very sensitive beings.

You are in touch with your emotions. Because you’ve explored their feelings and subtle physiology extensively in yourself, an empathetic person can readily understand the inner state of someone else.

Highly empathetic people in particular tend only to need a few words to form strong and deep bonds with the people they interact with. This is mainly because:

  • They are caring and receptive listeners who lovingly accept what someone reveals to them.
  • They observe and hold back any judgment.
  • They will resonate and honor that person’s experience.
  • They playfully tease the people they interact with.
  • They are honest and daring to have impactful conversations

Even in a quick moment, empathetic people are helping a person to feel truly seen, heard, and understood.

By creating a strong sense of intimacy and rapport, empathetic people selflessly relate, connect, and heal others. They challenge others to transform into the most authentic versions of themselves.

If you find that you can easily connect with others, and disrupt their negative thoughts and behaviors so that they can connect with their true, honest essence, you are likely an empathetic person. 

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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