Empath vs. super empath: What’s the difference?

Being an empath is more than just a feeling. It’s a lifestyle.

In fact, many people who have strong empathetic abilities also identify themselves as super empaths.

But wait!

Are they the same thing? Or are there distinctions between the two?

Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand another person’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions. It’s having the insight to see things from another person’s point of view.

Super empathy is an intensified version of this natural trait; it is a heightened sensitivity to others in all situations.

But, is this the only difference?

As you can tell, there’s some confusion about how exactly to define and talk about empathy.

So, let’s dive into the topic and see what we can uncover.

What is an empath, really?

To understand what an empath is, we have to first define what empathy is.

Empathy can be defined as someone’s ability to not only know but also understand what others are thinking and feeling.

With this in mind, empaths are intuitive people who feel what others are feeling and can make sense of their points of view.

Such people make excellent counselors, therapists, and teachers because they can relate to others on a deeper level.

Empaths have an immense amount of compassion and are often drawn to other people to help them feel grounded.

What’s more, they can be healers and have a desire to assist others in any way that they can.

They also have an increased sensitivity to sound, light, taste, smell, and touch. They can be overwhelmed by certain sounds or smells that others don’t notice at all.

But, more about that later.

Here’s what you should keep in mind for now:

Being an empath does not mean that you are weak or broken. You were born with this ability, just as many people are born with the ability to play music or excel at sports.

If you weren’t born with it, you can still harness this ability to your advantage, in your personal or professional life.

What is a super empath, really?

A super empath is someone who experiences stronger feelings and tends to be more affected by other people’s emotions than an average person and an empath.

This type of person often finds it difficult to separate themselves from others, as they have an intense connection to their environment and to people.

What else?

A super empath may feel others’ emotions as if they were their own, feel what others are feeling as if it is happening to them, or have premonitions about what others will do next.

In addition, some super empaths tend to have low self-esteem and feelings of overwhelm, stress, and depression due to feeling everything on a deeper level.

What else?

Well, super empaths often find it difficult to be around large crowds, as they feel other people’s emotions and thoughts as if they were their own.

What is the difference between an empath and a super empath?

The difference between an empath and a super empath is the intensity at which they experience emotions and sensations.

Their abilities are basically the same, but what differs is their sensitivity level.

To find out even more about the differences between an empath and a super empath, let’s find out what makes you an empath or a super empath, as well as the pros and cons of being one.

How to identify if you’re an empath

Here’s what may happen to you if you’re indeed an empath:

1) You experience strong emotions and a change in mood depending on the people around you

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The first sign is just a knack for feeling others’ emotions. This is probably the most common indicator that you’re an empath.

Let me explain:

Empaths do not always have control over their emotions. They tend to pick up on other people’s emotions simply by being around them. They may become teary-eyed, upset, or angry in certain situations.

Has this happened to you? If so, you’re probably an empath.

2) You find it difficult to be around crowds or large groups of people

Another sign of being an empath is that you find it difficult to be around large crowds of people.

To be more precise, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the thoughts and feelings of the people around you. You may feel drained.

Empaths are sensitive to what other people are feeling. They pick up on emotions and subconscious thoughts, and they know when someone is trying to hide something from them or not share the truth.

So, if you have trouble being around large groups of people because of these reasons, you may be an empath.

3) You are easily moved to tears when you hear tragic news or see upsetting images

Want to know more?

Another way to identify whether you’re an empath or not is to think about how you react to seeing or hearing the tragic news.

Being an empath is all about having stronger feelings than others and relating to others on a deeper level.

In general, empaths are more sensitive. They feel things more deeply than other people, and they feel compelled to act (or do something) when they see or hear something upsetting.

Seeing others in pain, whether on the news or within your own family, can be more difficult for an empath.

4) You are highly sensitive to sounds and smells

The more sensitive you are to sounds and smells, the more likely you are to be an empath.

How so?

Empaths are highly tuned in to the world around them, so they can pick up on any scent that is new or out of place or hear sounds that are hard to notice.

You see, if you’re an empath, it’s like you have a super-power. Due to your non-stop vigilance, you can easily pick up on things others miss (whether it’s a new smell or noise).

5) You often find yourself in over-thinking, hyper-aware situations

Did you know that empaths are super aware?

They are often overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of others that they cannot help but notice and react to.

In general, this is a sign of being an empath; you tend to be more sensitive in different situations than other people. It’s part of your personality and who you are as a person.

To be sure, ask yourself:

Do I find myself in situations where I feel over-aware? Am I always thinking of how other people are feeling or what they may be thinking?

If the answer is yes, you might be an empath.

6) You have a strong desire to help others and a desire to have a larger impact on the world

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Empaths have an intense desire to help others. Do you?

Unlike some people who make attempts at helping out but ultimately feel unappreciated, empaths are more likely to take efforts at helping others and working in charities, etc.

Empaths want to help because they feel such intense compassion when they see someone in pain or when they hear about someone’s loss. No wonder they can’t stand seeing others suffer!

So, if you’re an empath, you have a strong desire to help others and feel that it’s important you help.

7) You have a vivid imagination that can be difficult to control

Another sign of being an empath is that you’re often highly imaginative.

You’re a dreamer who daydreams, and you can’t seem to sit still.

No, it’s not your imagination that keeps you moving!

It’s because you’re more sensitive to the world around you and are constantly thinking of the future or reacting to what happens in the present.

In short, this makes it difficult for you to sit still or be calm. Instead, you may often feel as if you have too many thoughts in your mind.

8) You have an unusually good memory

Another sign of being an empath is that you have a strong memory. You may recall things others do not or remember small details others don’t.

In addition, some empaths may remember the exact words used by people just moments after hearing them or seeing them.

Why does this happen?

Due to their super-awareness of the world around them, empaths are more observant and may have a stronger memory than others. They can remember details other people miss!

9) You have a strong desire to create something or make an impact on the world

If you’re an empath, you probably have a strong desire to make an impact in the world or create something of value.

This may be due to your need to help others and feel valued. Many empaths have a deep desire for connections with others and want to create more positive relationships in their lives.

As a result, they often act from this motivation.

Simply put, empaths want to make the world a better place for everyone and are often driven to do so.

10) You tend to have a heightened sense of ethics and higher moral standards

Empaths tend to be more ethical, sensitive, compassionate, and have high moral standards. In general, they live their lives by their principles and do what they think is right.

What’s more, they feel more strongly about how they should treat others (and themselves), and they absolutely must follow these standards at all times.

So, if you’re an empath, you have a strong sense of ethics and feel it’s incredibly important to do what’s right.

How to identify if you’re a super empath

In addition to the points above, there are other additional qualities that apply to a super empathic nature.

These are:

1) You tend to isolate yourself from time to time

Since they have to be careful not to take on the emotions and beliefs of others, super empaths tend to isolate themselves at times.

It’s a way of protecting themselves from distractions and minimizing the impact other people can have on them.

In addition, super empaths are often sensitive to changes in their environment and may want some downtime now and then.

So, if you’re a super empath, you may tend to spend more time alone than others or find yourself pulling away from others for no apparent reason.

2) Your body reacts to someone else’s suffering

Another super empath characteristic is that you may feel physical pain in response to someone else’s suffering.

In other words, if you’re exposed to someone else’s pain, such as hearing a story on the news or reading a book, you could experience some sort of physical reaction, too.

This may be difficult for you to understand since it feels so real and upsetting. This is because you have a strong connection with others, and their pain can truly become your pain.

3) You tend to get frustrated very easily

You may feel frustrated pretty often if you’re an empath.

Why does this happen?

This is because you cannot help but notice how people react to the world around them, and you are constantly overthinking everything that goes on through your mind and your surroundings.

This means you will probably have a frustrating time trying to block out other people and their emotions, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

4) You feel anxiety more intensely than others

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Super empaths may also experience more intense feelings of anxiety than others. This can happen when they are in a crowd or if there are too many people around them at the same time.

How so?

Well, as you already know, empaths take the emotions of other people very deeply to heart, which makes it easy for them to become overwhelmed and affected by other people’s discomfort or stress.

In the case of super empaths, this may tend to happen much more often.

You see, sometimes, super empaths are so sensitive to other people’s feelings that they may find it difficult to breathe and reach a state of anxiety.

5) You feel guilty when you can’t help others

Many super empaths may feel guilty when they can’t help someone else more than they would like to.


Because as you know, since empaths are connected with others and their feelings so deeply, it’s very difficult for them to separate themselves from other people’s feelings.

As a result, they tend to feel bad when they cannot help someone else to solve their problems completely.

6) You tend to focus on others and not yourself

Super empaths may also focus more on others than themselves, and they often find it difficult to focus on their own feelings.

How so?

Because they are so invested in other people’s feelings, it’s easy for them to limit how much attention they pay to their own feelings, which is ultimately one of the biggest signs of being a super empath.

This is because super empaths find it very difficult not to focus on what others are feeling.

Can you relate?

7) You find excuses for other people’s bad behavior

Another sign you are a super empath?

You tend to find excuses for other people’s bad behavior.


Because since empaths are so focused on others, they are more likely to think of the other person’s side of the story rather than their own feelings. And this means that they often come up with a reason for why someone is acting badly.

The benefits of being an empath

1) You understand the feelings of others and can help them with your insight

One of the most obvious benefits of being an empath is that you understand others and can help them with your insight.

For example, you can help others to make better decisions because you feel their pain and understand them better than most people.

2) You are gifted in the arts

You have a vivid imagination that helps you create beautiful art and music, and you have a natural artistic talent that can appeal to others.

You also see things differently than most people, and this makes you special in the art world.

However, becoming an artist is not as easy as it sounds, so this skill takes some practice and dedication.

3) You have strong social skills

Another benefit you get from being an empath is that you are very good at communicating with others.

You can easily read the emotions of others, and this means you can connect with people in a very easy way.

You also tend to love connecting with others, and this means you have great social skills and enjoy making small talk.

This makes it much easier to make friends and has made your social life as a super empath easier than most people’s.

4) You understand yourself and your emotions

In a way, empaths are often their own best friends because they understand themselves so well.

If you’re a super empath, then you likely understand your emotions even better than the average person.

This means that you are used to communicating with yourself and can use your own feelings to work through your problems.

However, this becomes problematic when other people are around.

5) You are a good listener

Did you know that being an empath also makes you a good listener?

If you’re an empath, then you should be good at hearing the emotions of others and interpreting them.

Plus, you are very skilled at listening to other people and really getting into their heads.

This means that when they say they feel something, it will be much easier for you to have an idea of what they’re talking about.

6) You are a good communicator

As you already know, empaths have a high capacity for empathy and are great at communicating with others.

This means that you are very good at communicating with other people and can easily make them feel better about their own emotions.

In turn, you’re great at expressing yours.

7) You have strong leadership skills

The list of benefits continues with the fact that empaths have strong leadership skills.

If you’re a super empath, then you are very good at leading others and can motivate people around you to do great things.

Is this true?

8) You are intuitive

What does this mean?

It means that you understand others’ emotions and intentions even when they are not expressed.

Empaths are inherently intuitive, but if you’re a super empath, you have a higher level of intuition and are able to understand people even better than other empaths.

9) You find joy in helping others and making them happy

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Many empaths are naturally happy and joyous because they know how to find happiness in others.

This is because they are naturally good at seeing the good in others, and this makes them very optimistic and happy.

10) You are able to feel a sense of belonging when you’re with others

One of the other benefits of being an empath is that you can easily feel a sense of belonging when you are in a group of people.

You know how to be very social and can easily connect with others, which gives you a feeling of being part of something much bigger than yourself.

The benefits of being a super empath

1) You experience more healing and guidance

When you are able to read the emotions of others well, then you are also able to receive a lot more healing than the average person.

This means that you will be much more capable of receiving spiritual guidance and insight through your emotions.

2) People are drawn to you

Super empaths have a powerful aura that others respond to. This means that you are able to connect with people very easily and become a leader.

You are able to naturally make others feel happy, which is an important trait in every successful leader.

3) You are highly intuitive and you can sense what others are thinking and feeling

Super empaths have a higher level of intuition, which means that you are able to sense what people are thinking and feeling, and what they’re going to do next.

You can also keep up with other people’s feelings, so you’re a very good empath when it comes to reading your own emotions and others’ emotions, as well as actions.

4) You find meaning in your life when you’re helping or serving others

Because super empaths are used to helping others, they find meaning in their lives when they do it.

This means that you will love helping others and be very good at serving your community as well as your family.

Your empathic nature is a gift you can use to help people who are suffering right now.

5) You are an excellent friend as well as an excellent parent, child, or sibling

Why is that? Because you care deeply for those around you.

Once again, you are used to taking care of others and helping them with their problems.

This means that people will naturally feel that you are a good friend and someone they can easily confide in.

The downsides of being an empath

Here are some of the downsides of being an empath:

  • You can feel overwhelmed by other people’s emotions which can result in depression, stress, or anxiety.
  • You become easily overwhelmed by large crowds of people.
  • You may have feelings of depression and low self-esteem.
  • You tend to overthink situations and have difficulty separating your emotions from others’ emotions.
  • You can feel drained after spending time with others.
  • You can feel anxious when you’re away from others.
  • You may feel alone at times and not know what to do to feel better.
  • You may have an intense reaction when you hear certain sounds or things that others don’t notice at all, based on your sensitivity level.
  • You can become easily frustrated over people’s behavior.
  • You may have a low sex drive because you’re focusing on helping others most of the time

The downsides of being a super empath

On top of the downsides of being an empath, if you’re a super empath, you can add these to your list:

  • You may not be able to accept your gifts and talents.
  • You may ignore your own needs, feelings, and desires in an attempt to help others.
  • You may be a “people pleaser” and not understand your own boundaries or limits.
  • You may feel unfulfilled because you don’t take care of yourself at times.
  • You may feel overwhelmed by the number of people you have to take care of

Here’s the thing:

As a super empath, you may unwillingly focus on others too much. You may have a really hard time finding your own purpose in life if you’re always paying attention to others.

You may not understand your own boundaries or limits or what you’re supposed to do in life.

Could being a people pleaser be your true purpose?

When I was trying to find my own purpose in life, I joined an online course, Developing Your Personal Power by Justin Brown. Taking his course was a truly life-changing experience for me and that’s why I’m certain it can help you, too.

Based on shaman Ruda Iande’s teachings, Justin Brown has found a way for us to unlock who we really are and understand what we need – and why – to achieve happiness.

If you want to create a life-changing mindset, overcome challenges and draw energy from them, and create your own life path that’s different from those of your family and friends, I highly recommend this course.

So, what are you waiting for?

Click here to join Justin Brown’s free masterclass.

Being an empath or a super empath: What if you don’t want to be one?

Being an empath is a wonderful gift that comes with a lot of perks. But you don’t have to embrace your empathic nature if it makes you uncomfortable.

You can disregard your empath abilities and feelings from time to time, allowing you to function normally.

You may be able to do this through hypnosis, medication, or by removing yourself from situations that are too overwhelming.

However, there are other ways that you can learn to manage and control your empathic skills without medication or hypnosis.

You can learn to shield your empathic nature by teaching yourself to focus on your own spirit and energy. You can also write down your feelings and emotions in a journal or on paper.

This will help you separate yourself from other people’s feelings, even for just a few minutes at a time.

Also, you can learn to block or cut off your empathic abilities. In order to do this, you must limit how much time you spend with people and how much information about other people’s feelings you get.

You can build your self-esteem by looking at yourself in the mirror, listening to soothing music, and writing down positive things you’ve accomplished in the past.

How to harness your empathic abilities

If, on the contrary, you actually want to harness your empathic abilities, there are some simple steps you can take to do so.

1) Be aware of your surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings by reading body language and doing a 360-degree scan every few minutes.

Do this every day in order to train your mind to react quickly if you see someone in trouble.

2) Journaling is a way to release your emotions and thoughts

You can write about your feelings and thoughts without having to talk about them, which can be helpful in some situations.

Helpful how?

Processing your feelings can help you understand yourself better, which in turn will help you understand others better.

3) Create a meditation or relaxation space in your home

How does this work?

You can use aromatherapy, crystals, candles, soothing music, and more to create the perfect environment for relaxation.

In this way, you can tap into the world around you more easily and notice any changes in energy.

4) Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature is a great way to tap into your empathic abilities. It can help you to focus on your emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

On top of that, it can help you to understand others better, and it can also help you to feel more comfortable being around people.

5) Create something meaningful

Creating art is another great way to tap into your abilities, and it is a way to use your emotions and thoughts to create something beautiful and meaningful.

You can use different materials and techniques to create art and touch others with your work.

Final thoughts

By now you should have a good idea about the differences between being an empath and a super empath.

Which one are you?

If you’re a super empath, have you considered the possibility that this may be your purpose in life? Are you using your special abilities to help others and make a difference in their lives?

If you’re an empath and don’t want to be one, how do you manage your empathic nature? How do you control it to keep it from getting out of hand and overrunning your life?

Perhaps looking at these questions will help you discover who you really are.

When in doubt, it wouldn’t hurt to try finding yourself and your true purpose.

I mentioned Justin Brown’s free masterclass earlier. Developing Your Personal Power is the solution to your existential questions.

Click here to join his course.


Picture of Daniela Duca Damian

Daniela Duca Damian

I’m Daniela, a passionate writer with an academic background in journalism. My work is based on research and facts. In recent years I have focused on the study of interpersonal relationships, analyzing, and writing about aspects related to social connections, romantic relationships, but also personal development. My goal is to decipher the most confusing concepts so that anyone who is interested in living a better and fulfilled life can apply them. When I’m not writing, I challenge my friends with meaningful questions about life.

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