Types of Empaths: What Kind Are You?

Are you wondering what an empath is and what types of empaths there are in life? There are many blurry lines for people to consider. Do they have psychic abilities? Are they spiritual? What is the difference between someone who shows empathy and being an empath?

Empath Definition

An empath is empathetic, and more. Many people can be empathetic or show empathic concern. That means the ability to be able to think about, understand, and feel compassion for other people. This is cognitive empathy for people’s feelings and emotions. Empathetic people do not just show concern or act sympathetically. They are able to imagine themselves in someone else’s situation. In other words, what it must feel like in that other person’s shoes.

An empath has the ability to physically feel and experience what another person is going through. They literally embody what is going on for other people, and the energy around them. This means their ability to show empathy is huge. They understand deeply what it is like for another person.

There are also many different types of empaths. Being an empath may coincide with a person’s spiritual beliefs, but equally, it may not. Some empaths have the ability to perceive what is happening to other people, animals, plants, the environment, and more.

Am I An Empath?

Are you wondering if you are an empath? If you are, you may find you can relate and connect with many different traits that empaths experience. Some of these include:

  • You may be highly sensitive and always very aware of everything going on around you in life.
  • Being alone or in solitude can be absolute bliss and something you love and need to regularly to keep on top of things.
  • Being in a big group is not a comfortable place for you. You may find big crowds and people with noisy energy overwhelming.
  • You may hate or recoil at any type of conflict or violence of any kind.
  • Kids and animals love you to bits, they seem naturally drawn to you and your energy.
  • Listening to other people is something you love and enjoy, and people approach you for advice, guidance and the empathy you show.
  • Your emotions may sometimes be like “six seasons in one day” and you often feel emotional.
  • Your mood and energy levels throughout the day may fluctuate depending on where you are and who you are with.
  • You feel the physical pain of another person. If someone else has a backache, your body feels it too.
  • Your own physical, emotional, and mental reserves may often feel depleted as if you have used all your energy.

Types of Empaths

Many people refer to different types of empaths. Empath ability may, or may not, be tied in with spiritual beliefs and awareness. Each different type has usually has a stronger ability in one particular area. Empaths may feel many empathic traits in more than one sense to varying degrees.


Emotional empaths will sense and absorb the emotions and energy of other people, and feel them as well. They will just know whether someone else is sad or depressed, or happy and ecstatic. An emotionally receptive empath will feel the same and know how the other person is feeling without having to ask. They display natural emotional empathy because they get how the other person is feeling. They will also see through any façade or front that another person may be putting up to hide how they are really feeling.


Physical empaths will feel or know where other people’s aches, pains, and illnesses are when they are in their presence. This may be an intuitive awareness or sense of what symptoms someone else has. They may actually feel the same physical symptoms or pain in their own body. For example, they may get a headache when in the company of someone else with a headache. If they are with someone with low energy, their energy levels will drop as well. They often sense what the other person may need in terms of healing.


Intellectual empaths find themselves able to communicate with different vocabulary and jargon. This can happen in different contexts and in an instant. They may find their communication style and use of language and phrases just adapts to what another person is using. They do not consciously think about mirroring behavior or trying to build rapport, it just happens.


Intuitive empaths have an innate sense of knowing. This may be something that cannot actually be physically seen or be something that is about to happen. Their dreams may be precognitive — they become reality and actually happen in the following days or weeks. They know when someone is lying, and are very perceptive about other people’s overt or covert intentions.


Animal empaths are usually the horse whisperers and dog whisperers of the world. These empaths have a sense of what an individual animal is feeling, experiencing and needs. They not only love the animals they connect with, they may prefer their company than that of other people! And vice versa, animals feel the pull towards an empath as well.


Plant empaths are people with strong connections to nature and what plants and trees need and offer. They are the green-fingered gardeners and growers who love being in nature. Plants will thrive in their presence. They will intuitively know how to care and tend to any type of foliage. Plant empaths also have an awareness of plants uses and functions. They will know what is edible and what the environment needs for ecological balance and sustainability.


Environmental or geomantic empaths intuitively sense what has happened or may happen in a physical space. Similarly, psychometric empaths can ‘read’ a physical object. When they enter a room or new location, they are sensitive to what may have happened within that environment before. When they hold or touch objects, they may be able to glean information about the owner.

Spiritual Empaths

Spiritual empaths may have a direct connection to other realms. Also known as medium empaths, they may feel they connect with the deceased or other spiritual beings from their belief systems. Their psychic empathic ability will include being able to feel emotional and physical symptoms from their communication with the spiritual world. This works in the same way as an emotional empath connects with other people in the physical world.


The term Heyoka empath is a Native American term used to describe an empath that functions as a trickster or an unconventional go-between. Heyoka empaths are disrupters, but not in a negative sense. They have the empathic ability to move between both physical and spiritual worlds and act as a psychic medium to communicate between. They absorb others emotions and feelings and act as a mirror to show others what they need to see about themselves or the opposite direction.

When You Are An Empath or Know One

If you think you are an empath or have someone in your life who is, you will know that is not always an easy way to be. Being this sensitive to other people’s emotions, energy, and the environment can be hard. Some tips for empaths include knowing the different types of empaths. That way they can develop skills needed to look after themselves and maintain their own space and boundaries. There may be times when an empath needs to step away from their empathic, psychic, or spiritual side. Finding a way not to absorb and take on other people’s ‘stuff’ will help with regaining a sense of individual self within their lives. On the plus side, being an empath is a considered a gift to be used wisely in life.

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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