7 characteristics of empathic people that make them unique

7 characteristics of empathic people that make them unique

Empathetic people know how to put themselves in others' shoes. Not only do they understand them intellectually, but they feel the same emotions as those around them. They are very sensitive people who connect with others and capture their emotional needs in a special way.

Empathy broadens their horizons and their thinking. By understanding other experiences and perspectives, these people can expand their perspective and embrace new ideas, a key ability to successfully cope with life's challenges. It is no coincidence, in fact, that Istanbul University psychologists have found that the most empathic students tend to achieve better academic results. The good news is that you are not born an empath, you learn to be.

What is the profile of an empathic person?

1. They feel the emotions of others

The main characteristic of empathic people is their ability to perceive and feel the emotions of others. In many cases, these people literally absorb the emotional states of those around them, becoming a kind of emotional sponge. They are able to capture and understand what someone is feeling, even if that person has a hard time expressing it through words.

Empathetic people connect on a deeper level with others, this allows them to feel the joy or pain of others firsthand and make it their own. In fact, everything seems to indicate that in the "empathic brain" mirror neurons are much more active, which would facilitate, through mechanisms of unconscious imitation, the task of putting oneself in the place of others.

2. They are very intuitive and can interpret body language

Empathic people are very intuitive. They allow themselves to be led by a sort of "sixth sense" in interpersonal relationships. By having the ability to see beyond appearances, they can better perceive the intentions and motivations of others.

In fact, they are particularly adept at capturing and interpreting the emotional signals people send from the little clues they provide in extraverbal communication. Empathic people can perceive small changes in the facial expressions, tone of voice or body movements of the interlocutor that go unnoticed by others. This ability allows them to detect inconsistencies, lies or concealments.

3. They feel curiosity for strangers

Empathetic people are curious about strangers. That's why they often start a conversation with someone sitting next to them on the bus or on a park bench. They are genuinely interested in the person next to them because they retain the natural curiosity of children and the desire to explore interpersonal relationships.

The "empathic curiosity" is not gossip, it is an open but respectful attitude towards the other, the willingness to connect respecting the limits set by the interlocutor. This kind of curiosity leads to the meeting of two different visions and worlds that enrich both people through moments of special connection, even if they are two complete strangers.

4. They challenge prejudice by seeking common ground

We all make assumptions about each other and apply labels to fit certain categories. We cannot completely get rid of our expectations and preconceptions. However, empathic people are much more open and less likely to judge others, always giving them the benefit of the doubt.

By placing themselves in the place of others, prejudices give way to understanding. They are able to put their opinions aside to take the perspectives of others and understand the fears, concerns and motivations of their interlocutor. In fact, empathic people tend to focus on the things in common, rather than the things that differentiate and separate them. They are people who build bridges in their path instead of burning them.

5. They are fully present and practice active listening

Empathetic people can make us feel like we are the most important person in the world, at least during our time together. This is because they are fully present in their interactions, giving us all of their attention and time, a rare gift in the hyper-distracted world we live in.

Empathic people practice active listening in a natural way. They take the time to try to understand the priorities, preferences and motivations of their interlocutor. They listen without judging, with the aim of understanding and helping. In fact, they often replace advice that might be invasive or defensive with questions like: How do you feel? what do you mean? how do you think you should react? how can I help you?

6. They are vulnerable

One of the characteristics of empathic people is that they are not afraid to show their vulnerability. They are aware that to connect on a deep level, it is not enough to listen carefully to the other and understand what they are feeling, but it is necessary to contribute something personal to the interaction, to expose themselves emotionally.

Empathic people take off their social masks to reveal their feelings and create that special bond that is generated when two human realities touch each other from the depths of their fragility. Indeed, empathy is a two-way street that involves sharing pains and joys without fear that the other will take advantage of our alleged weaknesses.

7. They tend to feel overwhelmed

If empathic people don't learn to handle the special sensitivity they possess, they can be deeply overwhelmed by the emotions of others. Absorbing someone else's anger, pain, suffering, or frustration can be emotionally draining, to the point of developing empathy syndrome.

In fact, empathic people not only show sensitivity when they establish a direct relationship with someone, but they can also absorb the emotions that exist in a public space or feel shocked by images and news that reflect a human tragedy. Typically, this emotion arises unexpectedly and completely overwhelms them because they are able to put themselves in the shoes of those who suffer or experience anxiety or stress with particular intensity. This is why they need to develop emotional management techniques that allow them to protect their psychological balance.

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