Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
September 27, 2023 ·  5 min read

15 Common Behaviors of a True Empath

Empaths are people who make the world go round – yes, that’s right.

It’s not easy to be that person who connects with others on an emotional level that’s far from the ordinary. In the words of Dr. Judith Orloff, a pioneer American psychiatrist, empaths are like “emotional sponges” that absorb the joys and stresses of the world. [1] They are simply people who cannot help but feel. They can place themselves in another person’s emotional position and genuinely feel that person’s current frame of existence. They share in other people’s excitement, joy, grief, pain, sadness, and even self-inflicted emotions like guilt and shame. 

Empaths see the world differently. They are extremely sensitive and caring, and contrary to popular belief, they are not emotionally weak. Being an empath can be very difficult because you tend to stomach feelings that do not stem from your own core at all times. You can’t choose not to feel, and people would always lean on you for emotional support. It takes a person with a high level of mental strength and awareness to be an empath, and being sensitive to the feelings of those around is never a weakness.

If you’re an empath, you’re that person people are grateful to have in their lives. They always want to share their troubles with you because as humans, we feel better when we can talk to someone who would genuinely understand. Empaths are golden, and here are 15 common behaviors they share in common: [2]

1. You’re extremely sensitive

Emotions to you are a big deal. People sometimes tell you that you’re being too dramatic or unnecessarily emotional, but you just feel things on a deeper level than they would ever understand. You can react to another person’s problems as though they were your own, and there’s not really an on/off switch to control your connections with others. However, this is what makes you the unique personality you are, and you are mentally equipped for this.

2. You are not judgmental

No matter what someone else is going through, they can always trust you to take it in without judging them or making them feel worse than they already do.

3. You may be strong, but sometimes, it gets exhausting

You’re human too. Being an empath puts you on a higher emotional level than most others, but it sometimes gets overwhelming. You are often dealing with the emotions of so many others around you all at the same time, and it’s okay to seek out some alone time once in a while. [3]

4. You don’t like crowds

Being an empath does not necessarily mean a person must be reclusive or introverted – although they mostly are. Empaths can be outgoing and social, but they generally dislike crowds or crowded locations. They prefer to socialize in smaller units.

5. You’re selfless and inspirational

People around you love you for this. You just can’t help but place other people’s needs before yours. Many people are inspired by your approach to life and intense positivity. However, be careful of people who might try to take advantage of your good nature.

6. You dislike negative images

You cannot look at pictures or videos that are too graphic or bloody. Whenever such things flicker into your line of sight, you’d look away, otherwise, you’d end up immersing yourself into the pain of whoever was in that picture. You’d imagine what they must have through and how terrified they would have been.

7. You avoid narcissists at all costs

You dislike narcissists and their inflated sense of self-importance. When a narcissist and an empath come together, it’s often a match made in hell as the former would try to suck out every bit of goodness and gentility in you. Wherever you notice them thriving and seeking attention, you tend to avoid them for your own good.

8.  You do not condone dishonesty

You always expect people to be truthful and honest with you because that’s exactly what you give. When someone tries to lie to you, you have the uncanny ability to detect it and call them out immediately. 

9. You are an amazing listener

This is the reason why you have so many people wanting to talk to you or be friends with you, even though you may not be so outgoing. You listen with love and patience and the other person can feel how genuinely connected you are to their story. People need this kind of understanding more than they care to admit. [4]

10. You can heal people

We often underestimate the power of sharing our problems and listening to the comforting words of another person. Empaths are true healers who can absorb your pain and help you find solace.

11. You give good advice

Empaths are often old souls who are filled with wisdom and knowledge beyond their years, and they are great at giving helpful advice to others. You can be certain an empath will never mislead you because they genuinely feel your troubles. Whatever they tell you is what they would have done if they were in your shoes.

12. You love animals

As an empath, you think of animals as part of your family and you’re always eager to be in the company of your pets. You may find yourself volunteering at animal shelters and non-profits because you just can’t help the feeling.

13. You are easily distracted

You can’t always focus on one thing at times because you are eager to capture all your feelings at once. You could be listening to someone and get distracted by an adorable butterfly in the distance. You have a hard time making choices at the mall or elsewhere because you can’t focus on one thing long enough to decide if it’s what you want.

14. You are super-honest

People never have to doubt anything you say because you’re the poster-person for honesty and integrity. You dislike lies and you are never one to give what you cannot take.

15. You always eager to help

You are not always all about kind words – you also believe in actions and you’re often ready to help people in whatever way you can. You are that person who would cancel a trip to go see the doctor with a friend if they are afraid of a diagnosis. You don’t mind offering financial assistance to someone who needs it, and even though you are a loner, you could go out of your way to share your living space with a friend for a while. You are generous and intensely kind.


  1. 15 Signs You Might Be an Empath.” Healthline. Crystal Raypole. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  2. Empaths — Everything You Need To Know About This Personality Type.” Thought Catalog. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. 10 Traits Empathic People Share.” Psychology Today. Judith Orloff M.D. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  4. 7 Habits of Highly Empathetic People.” Inc. Melody Wilding. Retrieved June 11, 2020.