8 Types of Empaths – What Kind are You?


Empathy, is defined in the dictionary as, having the ability to identify with or understand another’s situation or feelings.  Likewise, an empath can be defined as, an individual who is highly aware of and in touch with the emotional state of those around them.  Empath’s have a unique ability to go further than to just feel empathy for others.  They connect on a deep emotional level where they actually take those feelings on.  In other words, they feel what others are feeling.  Their pain becomes the pain of the empath.  Their joy as well.  This article looks at 8 types of empaths and some of the amazing abilities each type has.

At first thought, being an empath sounds like an amazing gift.  But like all gifts, it comes with challenges and pitfalls.  Many empaths feel a constant state of emotional exhaustion or drain.  They are always sought out by the needy and have little time for themselves.  Many will go into periods of self-seclusion just to recharge and not have to deal with people.  Although they want to help, they find themselves feeling used and it often does real damage to their self-worth.  Even though they can feel when someone close to them needs comforting, they may not have the energy to help.  Some have difficulties establishing relationships. Because they can read their partners so well, those partners may feel like its an invasion of their privacy.  It’s a tough life, but with some training, can be very rewarding.

There are different types of empaths.  Each type has its own unique qualities and area of specialty.  Some empaths can be more than one discipline, but usually one is dominant.  There are theories that lifestyle can affect which type you are, especially spiritual beliefs and personal awareness.  The following list is a generalization of the different types.  Granted, others may break these categories into smaller parts to share more detail.

types of empaths

Types of Empaths


The emotional empath will sense and absorb the energies of emotions from those around them and feel them as well.  They don’t have to ask you how you are feeling, because they already know and feel it too.  This is the most common type of empath.  They have great empathy and can be valuable to someone going through tough times.  They can see through emotional blocks. Often people who aren’t ready to talk about something with put on the proverbial happy face.  An emotional empath knows they are hiding and can cross the barrier with ease. Emotional empaths may be called oversensitive by others because they care so much.


Another type of empath is one who knows where another person is physically hurting.  The physical empath can sense illnesses, feel sore joints, pain, and stiffness.  They take those symptoms into their own body and experience the same pain.  If a contact has a scratchy throat, the physical empath will feel that same soreness in their throat.  Likewise, it someone was feeling fatigued, the empath may feel a sudden drain in their own energy level.  Some physical empaths may be picking up on the pain of everyone around them and think they are severely ill.  This occurs because they haven’t put up defenses to protect their core from unwanted intrusions.  The very attuned physical empath may even be able to predict the death of someone based on what they feel.


There are empaths who feel upcoming events or major shifts in the vibrational energy of their surroundings.  This type of person is referred to as an intuitive empaths.  Unlike physical or emotional empaths, intuitive empaths do not need to be in proximity of people to get these feelings.  Some may do it through a dream state.  They may have visions of things to come, which develop in the near future.  They are also like human lie detectors and are very perceptive about the intention of others.  They can spot someone who is likely to snap or lose control and act out irrationally.  Intuitive empaths often carry a huge mental weight around with them.  They may want to share their gift, but also may see sharing as interfering with the natural order of things to come.  Many true psychics and telepaths are intuitive empaths.


An intellectual empath is immersed in communication. They put themselves in the conscious state of another person to not only hear them, but to truly understand what they are saying.  The intellectual empath seems to know the context others are speaking about, as if they were part of the decisions.  They can talk to everyone and everyone with a high level of understanding, regardless of their standing. Intellectual empaths are highly adaptable. It’s as if they can become a farmer, of a surgeon, or a newly arrived immigrant.  The person they speak to feels a high level of comfort as the intellectual empath share the same slang, speech patterns, and buzz words, but does so without appearing disingenuous.  They don’t try to mimic others, they simply blend in and become part of their communicative world.


Spiritual empaths are sometimes called interdimensional empaths. They have a connection to other realms and across the veil.  They can connect with deceased ancestors or spirits from far away.  Many spiritual empaths are mediums, channelers, or psychics.  How they make contact varies by individual.  Some may sense shapes, colors, or movements,  Others may feel the emotions of spirits from long ago, such as a witch being burnt alive or an innocent drowning.  Sensations, pain, blindness, and loss of consciousness can occur temporarily while they are connected.  They likely have spirit guides, angels, or other beings which protect and direct them while they journey into the unknown.


You may have heard the term, horse whisperer.  It refers to a person who can communicate with a horse as if they were speaking to a human.  This is one example of an animal empath.  This type of empath understands how an animal is feeling, whether it is injured, exhausted, or confused.  Animal empaths have a deep and sincere connection with all members of the animal kingdom. Yet many seem to focus on one type of creature specifically.  Animals can usually sense them and gravitate toward them.  If they are on a farm or in a pet store, all the animals will try to approach them and share in their space.  It’s almost like they are a magnet for living creatures. Animal empaths are very good judges of character in humans.  Many prefer the company of their pets over people.


Plant empaths are those individuals with a strong connection to nature.  If you know someone who has the almost-magical ability to bring sick plants back to health, plant gardens that seem to outperform others, or find real peace when walking in the woods, that person is likely a plant empath.  All types of plants thrive when this person is around.  They know how to take care of every plant, even if they’ve never encountered it before.  Plant empaths also know how to work with different plants and herbs.  Many plant empaths are also herbalists or practitioners of natural medicine.  They can spot a poisonous plant easily and are amazing at foraging in the wild.  There are some that speak with the trees too.  Plant empaths deeply care about the environment and feel distinct pain when in contact with destructive situations such as commercial logging, strip mining, and forest fires.


Environmental empaths aren’t plant empaths.  This type of empath is intuitively connected to the environment around them.  They sense things within the physical space.  They may be called geomantic empaths by some.  The environmental empath can sense if something has been moved or added to their living space.  They can also see what has happened in a specific space in the past.  Environmental empaths are like historians in a way, being able to accurately solve mysteries about the past.  Similarly, they can gather specific information about an object when holding it.  Antiques are filled with secrets, ones an environmental empath can glean.

types of empaths

What Type of Empath are You?

If you’ve read this list nodding your head in agreement, then you are likely one or more of the types of empath listed.  As previously noted, most empaths usually have one main discipline and could have several other subordinate ones.  Take time to develop your skill and ensure it doesn’t consume you.  Remember that you can’t help everyone, but that won’t stop everyone from trying to get help from you.  Be selective about who you associate with, where you go, and who you tell about your gifts.

Additional Reading

R.J. Schwartz is the owner and creative force behind The Gypsy Thread website.  Use this link to go to the main page and explore articles on the unexplained, witchcraft, pagan history, and to find Full Moon and Pagan Rituals (all of which are free to use).

If you are a fans of poetry, creative writing, short stories, and more, visit the Creative Exiles website at this link.  R.J. Schwartz is a writer and also owns the website.  If you are a writer looking for a place to get started, contact him.


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