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8 Signs You’re Highly Empathetic Even If You Don’t Notice It

8 Signs You’re Highly Empathetic Even If You Don’t Notice It

Many people are highly empathetic, but some don’t notice it. They might believe they are different in a profound way, but they aren’t able to define what makes them unique or completely comprehend their emotional experiences. Being highly empathetic means that you can share and identify with the emotions of another person because you can easily step into their shoes. What highly empathetic people have in common is the uncanny ability to sense what others feel and think.

It’s important to distinguish between people who are highly empathetic and those who are empaths. When your emotions and experiences cross over into being indistinguishable from your own, such as you feel others’ physical and emotional pain as if it’s your own, you’re an empath.

Scientists are in the early stages of studying the correlation between empathy and our brains. Thus, as an example, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Penn State University concluded that that there is a neurologic basis for empathy.

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Do you think you might be highly empathetic? Check out these 8 signs and see how many to which you relate.

1. You are a Great Listener

People who are highly empathetic focus on listening, rather than speaking because they want to put themselves in the other person’s situation. In order to truly understand the difficulties or triumphs that the other person is feeling, they want to know all the details about what is happening in the other person’s life. They carefully listen to the words as well as study any non-verbal clues. They’re also mindful, meaning they’re focusing their thoughts in the present moment and staying engaged in the conversation.

2. You are a Source of Advice and Support

Highly empathetic people who are capable of naturally investing in the emotions of others become a source of advice, support and guidance for others — both personally and professionally. Their excellent listening skills help them offer well thought out advice, while making others feel appreciated, accepted and loved. The combination of their ability to listen well and to share in others’ feelings make them excellent counselors. This is why highly empathetic people gravitate to helping professions, such as therapists, teachers and medical practitioners.

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3. You are a Natural Leader

People who are highly empathetic easily build trust with their employees, students and others because of their natural capacity for compassion, excellent listening skills and honest interest in people. Highly empathetic leaders are active listeners, which fosters and cultivates open communication because of the trust that this skill builds. When a culture of trust is established in any type of group, progress and productivity flourish.

4. You Find Social Situations Draining

Social situations can be draining for highly empathetic people and they’re particularly draining for empaths, introverts, and highly sensitive people. Empathy generally provokes both positive and negative emotions, which can quickly make those with these abilities feel exhausted when overstimulated. In fact, according to this study from the University of Haifa in Isreal, social phobia is linked to elevated sensitivity to other peoples’ states of mind.

5. You Put the Needs of Others First

Those who are highly empathetic are inclined to take care of others before taking care of themselves. They completely put themselves in the shoes of the people or animals that they are caring for, putting others first over their own needs. Because they are highly empathetic, they are able to make excellent decisions about how their care affects the other person or animal both emotionally and physically, but might neglect their own needs.

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6. You Can Detect Positive and Negative Vibes

All matter in the universe, including our body, is in a constant state of vibration or movement. Vibrations from our bodies are spread to the space around us. Empaths are able to naturally feel this energy and interpret emotions that others are sending out — both positive and negative. Highly empathetic people can also recognize good and bad vibes, but they might require additional input, such as body language and verbal cues. For example, have you ever walked into a meeting a few minutes late and you know something wasn’t right? You instantly feel down, but there’s no logical explanation for it. Most likely, you are an empath or highly empathetic.

7. You Especially Enjoy Relationships with Your Pets

Animals instinctively know when people truly care about them. They’re attracted to people who are highly empathetic and highly sensitive, as described in this article about things highly sensitive people do differently. Consequently, those who are highly empathetic are able to form symbiotic relationships with their pets and other animals. With that being said, those who have a remarkable ability to understand the mental state in animals, such as the horse whisperer in the book from Nicholas Evans, can be described as “animal empaths.”

8. You are Successful in Sales

Highly empathetic people excel in sales because they’re able to put themselves in the shoes of a prospect and understand that person’s wants and needs. Furthermore, great salespeople build trust with prospects when they show that they truly care about the person’s requirements and desires. Of course, all great salespeople know that trust is essential for developing excellent relationships with clients and prospects, and highly empathetic salespeople have fine-tuned the ability to build this trust.

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Featured photo credit: My beautiful sisters :)/ellyn. via flic.kr

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Marilyn Rogers

Marketing Consultant | Content Strategist | Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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