There are Different Kinds of Empaths – Which Type(s) are You?

By Rachel Puryear

You may have heard of empaths, or even identify yourself as one. But did you know that there are different kinds of empaths? What kind – or kinds – are you? You can be more than one, or even several. In fact, empaths generally share at least a little of all the types – but will be stronger in some areas than others. Here are some of the types:

Emotional Empaths:

This is the type people associate the most with empaths – this may be viewed as a “classic” empath. This type readily picks up on the emotions of others around them, and reports absorbing the feelings of others. For this reason, emotional empaths may find it difficult and tiring to be around self-absorbed, entitled, constantly-complaining people for very long – although the latter types, ironically enough, are likely to be attracted to the empath.

Tip for Emotional Empaths: If you feel something suddenly that seems to be from someone else rather than your own feeling, say to yourself, “send this back to where it came from”. This sends that energy away, and can leave you feeling better and perked up.

Woman surrounded by energy, represented as pink and purple sparkles.

Physical Empaths:

This type can sense physical sensations from others around them – and may even report physical pain if they observe someone else having pain. Of course, they could also pick up pleasurable sensations from others – which can make them quite intense in the bedroom!

Tip for Physical Empaths: If you have unwanted energy from someone else’s physical sensations; slow, deep breathing, with a focus on breathing out the unwanted energy, can help you feel back to normal again.

Intuitive Empaths:

Intuitive empaths possess a very strong intuition; about other people, and about energy in general. They have a keen sense of other people’s intentions and character, and often get a feeling about people that tends to be correct – for better, or for worse. Sometimes, they may have premonitions – but not always. They may be less likely to have premonitions if they do not pay good attention to their own instincts, or they lack faith in themselves. Being in an abusive situation can also dampen any empath’s capabilities.

Note: Emotional empaths and intuitive empaths may appear similar at first, but they are distinct. While emotional empaths pick up feelings of others, intuitive empaths pick up energies of others. So, for instance, an emotional empath might feel resentful and jealous around someone else who is resentful and jealous. But the intuitive empath, when around the same resentful and jealous person, could pick up whether this person has a negative and threatening energy such that they might likely be dangerous (as perhaps a consequence of such resentment and jealousy). The former is emotional energy, the latter is character energy.

Tip for Intuitive Empaths: Picking up on negative energies of people at their worst is quite draining. Try visualizing golden light made up of loving and giving energy surrounding you, which dissipates the negative energies you have absorbed. Remind yourself of who you are, and what your values are. Spending time in nature helps to rebalance your own energies.

Animal Empaths:

Animal empaths are particularly attuned to animals, and to the needs of animals. Naturally, they have a deep love for, and connection to, animals. They tend to build a rapport with animals quickly, even animals who tend to be skittish around humans.

Tip for Animal Empaths: Spend plenty of time with animals, of course. This will benefit you, but it will also benefit the animals. Consider practicing reiki and other energy healing practices on the animals.

Earth Empaths:

Earth empaths feel strongly connected to the Earth, to plant life, and to nature. They have a strong need to be outdoors a lot, and find spending time in natural places to be quite restorative and inspiring. Forests, mountains, oceans, deserts, and other wilderness can be like nature’s cathedral for them.

Tip for Earth Empaths: Spend as much time in nature as you can. Try also meditating in quiet places outdoors, in order to deeply connect with the Earth’s energy. You probably already knew that – just be sure to prioritize it as best you can!

kid hands embracing a tree trunk

Adventurous Empaths:

Adventurous empaths are genuine empaths, like the others. They also stand out amongst their fellow empaths. This is because they crave a certain degree of adventure and novel experiences, even though they also need their quiet down time to recharge. Some have described this as going through life with “one foot on the gas, and one foot on the brake”. Adventurous empaths may have a greater tolerance for stimulation and excitement than many other empaths, and therefore might not appear to be empaths initially to others. But they have the need for quiet reflection and low-key activities as well, like other empaths. They enjoy excitement and novelty, but will need to alternate this with regular down time to rest – sometimes they get frustrated that they need to stop sometimes. They have similar overall empathic capabilities as other empaths.

Note: In psychological terms, this is known as being “highly sensitive“, and also “high sensation seeking“, which can co-occur in individuals. This co-occurence is possible because each trait is controlled by different regions of the brain. For short, these individuals are known in psychology as being “HSS/HSP“.

Tip for Adventurous Empaths: One of your greatest challenges of being who you are is balancing your need to quiet down time, with your also-important need for novel adventure. Try the best you can to balance your activities with some high-energy exciting time, alternating with some low-energy relaxing time.

For instance, road trips and roaming in a camper can be a particularly great fun activity for Adventurous Empaths. (Of course, your World Class Hugs host is biased, because this is one of my own favorite activities!) This activity offers the chance to visit cities, rural places, and the natural beauty of the great outdoors; as well as to alternate going out and exploring for awhile and then retreating to the camper for a bit to recharge. Just a suggestion!

Spiritual Empaths:

Spiritual empaths have gifts for connecting with spiritual energy. Most, if not all empaths, have at least a bit of this gift to some degree – but for spiritual empaths, their spiritual gifts stand out distinctly. These empaths will have a strong interest in spirituality.

Even if a spiritual empath has periods of disbelief in their lives – which many will – they will still often think about spiritual matters. Regular spiritual practice will be important to them, and even those who disbelieve for a while will nonetheless eventually realize their deep need for a spiritual life.

Spiritual empaths may have clairvoyant capabilities. They may be able to communicate with spirits – often in dreams. They may have healing capabilities, and these can be developed with further practice. They may have premonitions, although these will be random and not controllable – as they come from the spirit world, and cannot simply be summoned by humans. These are some examples of the gifts that spiritual empaths can have.

Notably, spiritual empaths tend to view belief in science and belief in spirituality as compatible, and even complementary – rather than mutually exclusive beliefs that must always be at odds with one another. They may be dismayed by the polarization between people who insist that to believe in one is to betray the other.

Hands held up and open, with a ball of light in them, and multi colored energy surrounding them.

Tip for Spiritual Empaths: Spending time out in nature, and especially meditating in nature can help you realize and strengthen your gifts. Many spiritual empaths go through much of their lives unaware of their gifts – especially early in life, and even more so if they have a lot of self-doubt and loneliness. The demands of the busy modern world can be quite distracting, while spiritual energy is much more subtle and quiet – which is why being in nature and meditating helps.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. xoxo

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