Empaths and HSPs, Which One Are You?
by Rev. Sheri, founder of Angel Messenger
Have you always been able to sense other people’s emotions and intentions? Do large crowds and loud noises leave you feeling overwhelmed? Does it seem like you frequently need some alone time in order to recharge your batteries? If you answered yes, then chances are you an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person). However, not all HSPs are empaths, but all empaths, by default, are HSPs.
Both empaths and HSPs feel emotions very keenly; whether it is positive ones like joy, excitement, kindness or negative ones like anger, sadness, guilt, etc. However, HSPs have the ability to sense what other people are feeling without absorbing those feelings within their own mind and heart.
This is both a blessing and a bane as it helps the HSP to not soak in other people’s energies but at the same time can make him or her a tad too self-absorbed. How? Well, due to their sensitivity, the HSP will always pick cues from the environment but instead of feeling compassion towards others, they can react by becoming excessively focused on their own self and needs.
An empath, on the other hand, has a tendency to merge with others. He or she is like a sponge to other people’s feelings – both positive and negative ones. It is, therefore, very difficult for these people to not become swamped by the emotions and reactions of others. They often end up feeling stuck due to the energies they have absorbed.
Due to their highly attuned sensitivity; both empaths and HSPs frequently suffer from overstimulation. Being exposed to violent or gory images in the media, frequenting bars and pubs with loud music, emotional drama and other similar stimulants often leave them disturbed and emotionally disoriented.
HSPs can have a propensity towards falling into a trap of self-blame and guilt when things are not going well. They can suffer from depression, anxiety and high levels of stress. Both Empaths and HSPs might feel a need to avoid social contact. This might make it hard for these individuals to maintain friendships and intimate relationships in the long-run.
How to deal with being an HSP
First of all, accept that you are different from others. Indeed, your sensitivity causes you a lot of pain at times, but you must understand that this is also a priceless gift. Your ability to feel emotions so acutely gives you the ability to experience positive emotions more profoundly than others. Your sensitivity endows you with social skills that most people don’t have. After all, you can gauge what the other person is thinking or feeling no matter how good a façade they are wearing!
You can, therefore, use your sensitivity to make this world a better place. For instance, you can cheer up a person by saying the exact words that will lift his or her spirits up since you almost always know what those words are for any person. You will do especially well in jobs like counseling, medicine, healing, etc.
Now, the question arises how to deal with those times when you can’t handle the negativity that surrounds you? Here’s what you can do:
- Accept how you feel. The harder you resist, the more negative you will feel.
- Make a conscious choice not to hold onto negativity.
- If possible, remove yourself physically from the negative environment.
- Engage in physical exercise, read positive books, listen to uplifting music.
- Interact with other positive and spiritual people.
What to do when you are an Empath
Life is still easier for an HSP by a few notches. Being an HSP who is also an empath is a lot harder. But here’s what you can do:
- Accept your sensitivity to other people. However, make a conscious choice to not absorb their feelings. How can you possibly do this? This will require practice but adopt a policy to observe yourself and your reactions at all times. Continually ask yourself, “Does this emotion belong to me?” Every time you find yourself absorbing another person’s negative emotions, take a deep breath (breathing in Divine, white light) and release those emotions on an exhale (allowing your angels to transmute those energies into love and peace). Absorbing someone else’s emotions will NOT help you or them.
- Understand that other people are responsible for how they feel. You can contribute to their happiness up to a certain extent, but making themselves happy is their own business – their own choice. Being happy is a choice. If some people constantly find themselves at the polar end of this choice, it may be time for them to consider their choices. However, this still does not make their choices your responsibility.
- Every painful experience is also a learning experience. If someone is going through a painful experience, it is because there is an important lesson in it for them to learn. You cannot learn this lesson for them as each one of us has a unique curriculum in this school of life. Allow them to learn their lessons at their own pace even if it involves letting them go through and face difficult emotions. If you want to be there for them, then share your joy and happiness instead of allowing them to hijack the conversation to only focus on sharing their distress.
Both empaths and HSPs must draw the line somewhere. Having an inner support system and a method of spiritual practice can go a long way in helping them cope with everyday challenges. For an empath, it is vitally important to start living with the recognition of which energy is their own and which ones they have absorbed from others!
Founder, Angel Messenger
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Thank you for your article. I am wondering if you have information concerning difference between an Empath and Clairscentient
Sorry this has taken us so long to reply Rev Sheri was going to reply to this personally and has had a lot of internet issues. Here is an article Rev Sheri wrote that explains the clairs, http://www.angelmessenger.net/angel-communication-101/
Basically though an empath has to do with feelings that others feel versus clairscentient which has to do with guidance for yourself. For example meeting someone for the first time that gives you an uneasy feeling would be the clairscentient however, feeling joy(as if you were in the situation) because your friend is getting married to the love of her life is an empath. They are very closely related as empathy is a form of clairscentient as it has to do with our emotions or feelings.
I hope that makes sense and Rev. Sheri can go into more detail for you. 🙂
So true. Thank you.
I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Maureen. 🙂