While everyone is capable of empathy–if you stub your toe, then you can can empathize with someone who stubs theirs–not everyone is an empath, or highly sensitive person (HSP). People with these natures can empathize even when they haven’t experienced what you have. Read on to sort through the truth and the myths behind empaths.
People choose to be highly sensitive. False. People are born highly sensitive. It’s usually inherited from a parent, and it’s the way they are wired.
Highly sensitive people make up 20% of the population. True. One in five people are highly sensitive worldwide. So although they aren’t the majority of the population, they aren’t as rare as they often feel.
Sensitive people are overly emotional and fragile. False. While HSPs can be sentimental, being sensitive as a nature is more about having a nervous system that’s dialed up and takes in sensory input at a deeper/stronger level than others. And sensitives can be some of the strongest people around.
People can turn off/get over their sensitive natures. False. Highly sensitive people can’t control the way their systems react, although they can definitely manage it so it’s less overwhelming.
Highly sensitive people are great listeners. True. HSPs offer you their full attention, listening with empathy and compassion.
Sensitives are shy introverts. False. While empaths sometimes pause to assess the energy in new situations, they are not shy. And while they need regular alone time to decompress, many are extraverts.
Highly sensitive people are healers. True. Because they naturally feel others’ emotions, HSPs are natural healers. Sometimes by profession (counselors, nurses, etc.) and sometimes by being the one everyone goes to for advice.
If you’re an empath looking to better manage this unique nature, schedule a reading with me or sign up for the Solutions for Sensitives class series on Reiki Awakening Academy.