18 surprising signs you’re a Heyoka empath

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You are probably already familiar with the fact that you’re an empath.

As a hyper-sensitive person, when someone is in front of you, you can feel your way into their experience. Their emotions become your emotions.

But did you know there are different types of empaths?

One of them is called a Heyoka empath. This term originates from a Native American Sioux tribe. It translates to ‘trickster’ or the ‘wise fool’.

Heyoka empaths have a very particular way of looking at the world. They tune into the popular perception around them and point out its flaws. They are rebelliously wise. They challenge others to experience life differently.

If you are an empath who enjoys being a little subversive, I’ve compiled the top 18 surprising signs that you are a Heyoka empath. Let’s jump in:

“Being a sensitive empath is a beautiful thing as an artist”

– Alanis Morissette

1) You have a quick wit and sharp intellect

If you have an extremely sharp sense of humor and a quick wit, you are likely a Heyoka empath.

Similar to standup comics, comedians, and improv players, you are a fast and creative thinker who can joyfully flip an expected response upside down. Quick-witted minds can play with everyday situations and have others think and react in unexpected ways.

You make others laugh at things they’ve never thought of before but experience every day.

A Heyoka empath will often react to situations surprisingly and unexpectedly. People enjoy being shocked by them. Moreso, people enjoy laughing with them. They can suspend someone’s regular thinking and place them in a state of uplifted astonishment.

If you enjoy doing any of these mental gynmastics, you are most certainly a Heyoka empath.

2) You express dead-pan, sarcastic humor

If you aren’t as outgoing as an extroverted comedian, and enjoy keeping your jokes to yourself, remember that Heyoka empaths can also be low-key and more somber. Because they are extremely perceptive, they can be reserved, serious, masters of sarcasm.

Have you ever found yourself quietly revealing ridiculously outlandish sarcasm that has your listeners grinning from ear to ear? If so, you are likely a Heyoka empath. Heyoka empaths are also known to:

  • Enjoy pointing out absurdity with dry, dead-pan humor and clever responses.
  • Relentlessly speak the truth under the guise of sarcasm when no one else will dare to say a word
  • Keenly point out exactly what others fear to discuss or notice in a friendly manner
  • Feel come across as inappropriate, cringe and is often misunderstood

3) A gifted advisor confirms it

The signs above and below in this article will give you a good idea of whether you’re genuinely a Heyoka empath.

Even so, it can be very worthwhile to speak to a highly intuitive person and get guidance from them.

They can answer all sorts of questions and take away your doubts and worries.

Like, what type of empath are you? What impact will this have on your daily life?

I recently spoke to someone from Psychic Source after going through a rough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into where my life was going, including who I was meant to be with.

I was actually blown away by how kind, compassionate and knowledgeable they were.

Click here to get your own reading.

In this reading, a gifted advisor can tell you whether you’re a Heyoka empath, and most importantly empower you to make the right decisions when it comes to your life.

4) You offer surprising, mental puzzles

Heyoka empaths are also able to use their delicate sensitivities to get right into an issue or feeling that others are struggling with and blast through any rigidness and unnecessary conformity.

They enjoy offering difficult mental puzzles that can take their listeners out of any looping thoughts or obsessive moods.

This mental trick can serve a useful role in spiritual practices. For example, in Zen Buddhism, a sensitive and experienced master will easily tune into his students’ mental state and challenge him or her with absurd koans.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of these before? For instance, a common koan in modern culture is “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Another from historical text is, “Out of nowhere, the mind comes forth”, from The Diamond Sutra.

These little unsolvable puzzles are used to expand their students’ regular thinking. A zen master happily gives his student a concept that his mind can’t quite grasp or settle down with. Koans shock and stupefy a listener’s thought process. They create mental space. They also help their listeners to see the limitations of their conscious thoughts.

Koans cut through any tense moments and logical reasoning and reconsider and challenge their perception of reality.

To be able to effortlessly play such tricks on someone’s mind and thought patterns is a skill that takes a great deal of perception, reflection, insight, and wisdom.

If you naturally enjoy offering little mind-benders to others and find that they usually smile when they realize there is no conventional response or solution, you are likely to be a Heyoka empath.

5) You don’t shy away from people

The majority of people will listen to someone else, walk away from the conversation, go on with their day, and not carry the weight of the emotions from that discussion onwards.

An empath, however, will absorb the emotions of the people they engage with. They tend to hold these external feelings close to their hearts and within their bodies for a long time.

It’s easy for an empath to want to hide away from others. They require time by themselves to recharge and realign with their emotional state.

However, Heyoka empaths don’t always find this need for seclusion necessary.

They can deflect a great deal of someone else’s inner state by using rhetoric and playful mental games. They tend to keep conversations lighthearted and fun. They can quickly diffuse moments of conflict, tension, and despair and have people shift into a fresh mental and emotional state quite swiftly.

Having clear insight and perception allows a Heyoka empath to gracefully dance around the more serious, negative, and draining emotions that others can pour onto them.

If you can use your sense of humor and trickster ways to distance yourself from others when the emotional connection becomes too strong, you are probably a natural Heyoka empath.

6) You enjoy one-to-one conversations

Do you thrive in one-to-one interactions?

Heyoka empaths usually feel much more comfortable interacting with one other person than being in a large group.

This is because they can understand well the person they are speaking within more intimate settings. When conversations are concentrated they can offer meaningful insights and lessons. Heyoka empaths are teachers at heart.

In large groups, Heyoka empaths take on the energy of the whole social gathering. A large amount of external emotional input becomes difficult for them to navigate.

Heyoka empaths are also hypersensitive to their environment. They tend to be sensitive to noise levels, bright lights, and other strong stimuli around them.

Sometimes too much sensory input can feel overwhelming and make Heyoka empaths feel uncomfortable and make it difficult to concentrate on the people they 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 Heyoka empath.

7) But mostly, you enjoy being alone

Keep in mind that empaths are delicate and sensitive people.

They can feel like emotional sponges.

For example, if someone is in pain, they can feel it shiver through their own body. If someone is grieving, they feel the loss like they too loved the person as you did.

Empaths feel both the positive and negative aspects of others through their own body. So, they need to have time for themselves because they get their energy levels up and recalibrated.

Heyoka empaths also need time to tune into their wisdom. They take in so much from the outside world and need time to quietly process their experiences. They like to have time and a place for self-reflection to strengthen their skills for insight and empathy.

So, if you find that you like to be alone so that you can organize your thoughts, delve into books and philosophies of great thinkers, use meditative practices to explore your mind and heart, or sharpen your perception and wit, you are likely to be a Heyoka empath.

8) You have unusual responses to tragic events

If something devastating happens, a Heyoka empath will be able to react in a way that lifts the spirits of those around them.

They can quickly shift the energy of a group or person in front of them.

For example, if a Heyoka empath breaks their arm, instead of dwelling on their pain, they might notice that the doctor preparing their cast and analyzing their X-rays is feeling extremely exhausted after a fourteen-hour shift. They will focus their skills on uplifting the doctor’s mood and mental state, along with getting the X-ray technician and nurses to laugh along with them.

A Heyoka empath feels empowered when they can make others around them feel brighter and lighter.

9) Others trust you

Empaths are very sensitive, beings.

They are in touch with their emotions. Because they’ve explored their feelings and subtle physiology extensively in themselves, empaths can readily understand the inner state of someone else.

Heyoka empaths 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, Heyoka empaths are helping a person to feel truly seen, heard, and understood.

By creating a strong sense of intimacy and rapport, Heyoka empaths 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 a Heyoka empath.

10) You immediately recognize another Heyoka empath

When two Heyoka empaths meet they immediately recognize their unique character. They happily mirror back to one another their ability to be innovative, vibrant, and awake. They aren’t afraid to be contradictory, disruptive, and subversive.

Heyoka empaths tend to verbally joust back and forth with one another.

With great enthusiasm, they will joke and debate late into the night because one’s quick thinking will challenge the other to step up and continue onwards. These conversations feel completely thrilling. Each will try to outdo the other, being keener and keener to shock their listener.

If you find that you have come across these types of rare conversations, you are likely a Heyoka empath who has met another kindred spirit along the way.

11) You have the courage to rebel

When something becomes popular, a Heyoka empath will be keen to sidestep out of its way.

When a crowd runs towards a concept, or fad, or product, they tend to stay on the outskirts.

And if a certain idea becomes strong, a Heyoka empath will feel the potency of the concept, and yet hold the courage to challenge it, refuse to engage with it, or never get swept up by it.

Heyoka empaths have no problem being individual thinkers and rebelling against the standard norm. They enjoy playing with the common perception because they don’t get caught up in sensation.

So, if you prefer to be on the edge of society, it’s likely that you are a Heyoka empath.

12) Some find you offputting

Since Heyoka empaths are rather rare and unusual, they can be difficult for others to relate to. Not everyone is open and receptive to your playfulness and insights.

Some people might be quick to judge you:

  • They may find you to be rather rude and offputting.
  • They might not want to hear any of your insights
  • They may dismiss your wit as pomp or arrogance
  • They may even see you as the foolish clown.

These are common reactions to a Heyoka empath. Try not to let this bother you. Not everyone will be able to relate well with one another.

If you find that you are misunderstood by others, don’t worry. It’s part of the experience of being a Heyoka empath.

13) You value honesty

If you feel sensitive and receptive to the emotional and mental state of the people you interact with, you are more likely to value honesty and authentic expressions.

Because Heyoka empaths can dial into exactly what someone is experiencing, it can be very confusing and disappointing when they speak with someone who isn’t expressing themselves truthfully.

It will feel harder for a Heyoka empath to trust their words because they can feel the acute level of conflict between what someone says and what they feel.

Honesty is important for a Heyoka empath.

So, if you prefer to be around others who don’t hide behind walls, or those who deceive aspects of their true selves, then you are likely to be a Heyoka empath.

You genuinely want to feel the inner state of others so that you can understand and help them.

14) You can detect when someone is lying

A Heyoka empath can tune into and feel a person’s subtle inner state. They can tell when that person is lying because their behaviors and words won’t match their inner intentions. They will intuitively know when someone is lying.

A Heyoka empath might also be able to feel when someone is feeling unnecessarily nervous or anxious or conflicted. This can help them to easily spot a lie or inconsistency.

So if you find that you have this natural tendency, it is likely that you are a Heyoka empath.

In case you want further confirmation, a gifted advisor can reveal the entire truth about your gift. 

They are blessed with extra intuition, so they can give you real clarity on what’s happening right now. 

I know from experience how helpful it can be. When I was going through a seemingly unsolvable crisis, they gave me the guidance I sorely needed. 

Click here to get your own reading.

15) You deeply impact people you interact with

Since Heyoka empaths can tune into someone’s sincere inner world, they can have a sense of what someone is thinking before they utter a single sound.

They might not even be fully aware of what they are going through but know exactly what to say to get through to them.

Heyoka empaths might surprise their listeners because they can reflect exactly what they are experiencing.

If you’ve been told by others that you have an incredibly powerful sense of intuition, or if others have joked with you about having psychic powers, it can be a sign that you are a Heyoka empath.

This ability, even a short conversation, helps you to cut right into someone’s heart and mind and help them to be more genuine around you and themselves.

16) You are extremely creative

Since Heyoka empaths see the world quite differently, a Heyoka empath will experience and express exceedingly subtle and delicate moments that others may not know with such sensitivity.

Being in nature is important for them. They will have strong reactions to the arts. They will tend to find the beauty in places others overlook.

Others will feel naturally attracted to Heyoka empaths for this ability.

It’s also very common for Heyoka empaths to have a creative outlet to express their acute insights, whether it be through music, art, illustration, or theatrical expressions.

So, if you come up with ideas that seem innovative and feel the need to express them creatively, it can be a sign that you are a Heyoka empath.

17) You don’t take life too seriously

Heyoka empaths understand that life and circumstances will constantly change. Nothing is permanent. And most events are unpredictable.

Because they have a broad perception of life, they know that they can only control their reaction to situations.

This insightful perspective allows them to play and gracefully move through life. They will tend to think “Why bother getting upset about anything when you don’t know exactly what will happen next?“

If you find that you love to be delightfully surprised by life and enjoy helping others to see it in the same manner, you are likely a Heyoka empath.

18) You think something is wrong with you

Heyoka empaths are rather unique.

It can be difficult for them to understand that they are different from most people. They might even think that something is wrong with them.

It took me a few years to figure out that I am an empath.

I noticed that I was really sensitive to the people around me. I would feel run down after some conflicting, dramatic, or emotionally charged interactions. If someone was angry and raised their voice to me I would tremble in the same feeling of anger and hostility run over my skin.

I used to think something was off. I felt like I couldn’t handle my emotions well. I thought that everyone else felt as sensitive as I did when they interacted with one another.

But the more that I researched and spoke with other sensitive beings, the more I started to learn and accept that my inner experience was rather unusual.

What I thought was a weakness has become a strength. I find that I can relate to people in a very sensitive manner and help them through their emotional turmoil.

So, you think you are a Heyoka Empath, now what?

If you find that you relate well with the concept of being a Heyoka empath, remember that your sensitivity can become a superpower. You can practice your skills of honest communication and active listening. In time you will get better at calibrating your intuition correctly.

But remember, this particular type of empath superpower can also feel threatening to others. Some people are tender and may not be responsive to your unusual senses. So, you must tread lightly with your abilities to connect, perceive and disrupt the world of another.

In the words of Aletheia Luna, in the Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing:

“Why is sensitivity perceived as being dangerous? When we’re sensitive, we feel things we were taught not to feel. When we’re sensitive, we are completely open to attack. When we’re sensitive, we are awake and in touch with our hearts – and this can be very threatening to the status quo indeed.”

It will take time to see how to use your insights to be of the best service to yourself and others. Just remember to step forth in all interactions with love.

Try to offer your wit and insights with care and compassion.

You can never go wrong on the path of love.

Finding out for sure

But if you’re still unsure of whether you’re a Heyoka empath, it might be worth speaking to a highly intuitive advisor who can confirm it for you.

I mentioned Psychic Source earlier, it’s one of the oldest professional services online that can give you the answers you’re looking for.

When I got a reading from them, I was surprised at how knowledgeable and understanding they were. They helped me out when I needed it the most and that’s why I always recommend their services.

Not only will they be able to identify what type of empath you are, but they can also guide you on how to use your empath abilities to the best of your ability, without sacrificing yourself in the process.

Click here to get your own professional reading.

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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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