If you are just beginning to explore the possibility that you are an empath, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most common is “Am I an empath or an introvert?” The two share many traits and are easily confused, particularly if you have always attributed your unusual personality traits to introversion.
According to The Empath Way, the major difference between being an introvert and an empath is the depth of emotions involved. While both introverts and empaths need quiet time to restore their energy the reasons appear to differ. For the empath, time with nature or near water may be a way to combat the effects of negative energy or to release energy and emotions of others. The introvert needs quiet time to process information and to think things through.
- The empath is highly sensitive to his surroundings and often feels the emotions of others. You may sense the true feelings of others even when they deny them, but be unable to explain why. In the same sense, you may be able to tell when someone is lying to you or when he is insincere.
- You may find social gatherings and public places uncomfortable because you absorb the energy and emotions of those around you. You may be overwhelmed with feelings you can’t understand.
- You may also sense the emotions of others who are going through a difficult time even when you are not in the same location. It is not unusual to suddenly experience intense emotion for no reason only to discover later that a loved one or close acquaintance was experiencing strong emotions at the same time.
- Conflict in relationships may cause you extreme distress, even if you do not know the people involved well. If you find yourself avoiding conflict and constantly playing the role of peacemaker, you may be an empath. Keep in mind there are other psychological reasons for a fear of conflict.
- Watching the news or reading the newspaper may evoke intense feelings in response to violence and negative events. If you find yourself avoiding the news because it leaves you feeling down for hours, or days, you may be an empath.
- You may find yourself taking on the emotions of characters in novels or movies and become overwhelmed with feelings that are not your own. Empaths are typically sentimental and may be brought to tears by a touching scene or poem.
- You may find yourself feeling drained after interacting with certain people, even if you enjoy your time with them.
- Many empaths are intolerant of lights, sounds and smells in the environment. This means you may find the volume of the TV or stereo unbearable, even when others in your home find them at a comfortable level or may be overwhelmed by bright, glaring lights or the fragrance of dinner that lingers in the home.
If you find yourself nodding in agreement as you read the traits of an empath, it might be time to explore the possibility that you are an empath. If you still aren’t sure whether you are an empath or an introvert, check out the traits of introverts in Introvert or Extrovert: What’s the Difference?