What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?



An empath, regardless of where or how the term was coined, has empathy. Yet there are many people who can experience empathy, without actually being an empath.


An empath has the uncanny and often unfortunate, or let’s say really challenging, ability to experience (I can’t emphasize that word enough) the consciousness of others.


They experience the energy of others, to the point that it can be debilitating, physically exhausting, emotionally painful, and mentally confusing.


EXPERIENCE is the key word in this description. It’s very challenging to describe the experience. But it could be described like being possessed, but not the way possession has traditionally been considered.


Take a child empath to the mall and watch his behavior turn from sweet to ugly real fast. It’s not necessarily a tantrum. It’s a hyper-vigilance. A fear that breaks out. You’ll look at this formerly wonderful child and think, “What the heck has gotten into him? I’ve never even met this kid before, but I gave birth to him, I’ve been living with him for five years! He’s behaving wild, what is going on?”


Then you take him home, he’s maybe angry for a little while, calms down eventually, feels safe again and it’s like nothing even happened. You can even ask him later, “What happened to you at the mall?” He’ll look at you dumbly, like what are you talking about? It’s not because he has amnesia. He really doesn’t know, yet.


The experience of an empath is: What has gotten into me.


Yes, some of that energy comes in by way of feeling and thoughts of others, but it’s beyond the level of feelings and thoughts. To identify as an empath is not to see how one responds to people, places, and things, it’s to become aware of how one experiences people, places, and things.


Unlike empathy, where one can place themselves in another person’s shoes. An empath suddenly has that other person/energy in their own shoes.


It’s an inexplicable and again, often challenging ability, to be a pure medium or conduit for energy and varying levels of consciousness, which don’t authentically belong to the individual expressing the consciousness.


The empath can experience him or herself energetically violated, again and again, though they may not know how to express this until they take some time to understand.


Unfortunately, there may be few people yet who are willing to open their minds to a new idea and check this experience out. Many have been to therapists because many couldn’t understand what would get into themselves. The therapists reported back they were feeling better! And generally they are considered a bright, healthy, emotionally and mentally balanced people.


Empaths usually are—they have so much inner information and intelligence and consciousness at their disposal. (I wonder where Albert Einstein, William Blake, Albert Camus, to name a few, came up with their info?)


So imagine putting all kinds of foods into a blender. Butter, apples, yogurt, olives, jelly, ham, ketchup, coca cola, bread, almonds, prunes, bacon, whatever. Blending it and then having to drink it. Unsettling, we could say, sometimes genuinely disgusting.


That’s what it’s like walking around in this world as an empath. Sometimes it’s easier to just hang out at home, in the space you created for yourself that’s comfortable and supports you.

An empath may act-out other people’s feelings, expressions, personalities, fears, concerns, worries, doubts, hopes, visions, goals, anger, sadness, grief, joy, etc.


They don’t know they have choice until they do. Once they realize they have a choice, they learn how to manage their own consciousness. This does take practice for the genuine empath. Or you may just stay home and come up with some great science, philosophy, poetry, etc… and be considered a bit of an enigma, but a brilliant one, maybe.


Empaths can be energetic punching bags, and can often experience themselves as lost and confused, wondering Who Am I?


They can wake up fifty years into their life and genuinely wonder, Why the heck am I doing what I’m doing? What do I actually want? This isn’t ME!


Signs you may be an empath:


  • Look at your childhood, how did you experience grocery stores, classrooms, malls, cities, to name a few crowded places?

  • Do you feel like your physical energy is depleted when walking through one of the places listed above?

  • Do you often experience yourself behaving in ways that don’t seem like they’re genuinely who you know yourself to be? You switch suddenly from peaceful, go-lucky to pure irritation and frustration, but there was no cause as far as you can tell, you were just hanging out minding your own business in a cafe, say?

  • Do you have difficulty trusting yourself, been told you’re too sensitive, challenged in expressing yourself, have difficulty clarifying what you really want, have difficulty feeling/being seen and heard? You even feel invisible to yourself sometimes? (Now a lot of people can have these experiences, but these experiences tend to be the overriding theme in an empath’s life, choices, and relationships. Note: that invisibility becomes transparency when you get authority over your own consciousness, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, pure love, openness, protection, and strength.)

  • Do you find you drink and/or consume recreational drugs to manage your inner experiences and sensitivities?

  • Do you struggle with heeding red-flags, warning signs, knowing and maintaining firm boundaries, and limits with yourself and others? (Again, others can struggle with these experiences, but the empath’s life seems to be ruled by these experiences)

  • Are you a natural whistle-blower? For example, are you the one who tends to know when something’s off, not right, in a relationship, person, family, or experience, but instead of trusting yourself you tend to allow others to talk you out of your inner experience. So you experience yourself less as a doorway, and more like a doormat.


Yes, empaths are very generous with their time and energy. They are naturally forgiving, and love easily. They also may find people genuinely annoying, and choose to limit their relationships.


They are the opener of doors for many people in this world. They’re natural agents of empowering change. Unfortunately, the majority often experience themselves as doormats, and ineffective in changing their lives for their own good. That is until they become willing to take authority over their lives and consciousness, then watch out world…


When the empath learns how to energetically and consciously care for themselves which includes setting and knowing boundaries and limits, and building their own self-confidence, and learning to validate themselves, they become authentic power-houses for good.


They lift themselves and lift others, soulfully, and with a deep love and acceptance of humanity, in all of its shapes, forms, and varying personalities; they understand and accept themselves and others for who they really are, not who they think they should be. The lead fulfilling lives as divine choosers and meaningful contributors to this world of possibility.


If you’re an empath, there are lots of books to steer you in the right direction of your hopes, dreams, and visions for yourself. Plus, if you’d like to find a counselor or a life coach to talk with, please do yourself a favor and find someone with an open heart and open mind. You’re worthy.


Experience of what a TRUE HSP is from a HSP:


  • Empaths value truth over comfort, we prefer the most brutal truth over the most comforting lies. We see great value in the truth. Also because of high intuition and/or psychic abilities, we have always known the truth. Who are the superficial ones, who are the fake ones, who are the selfish ones, etc. It’s also because we sense more than the norm, our life experiences are drastically different.

  • Many healers and visionaries are Empaths, current and past, we usually forge our own paths in each industry instead of following the pack, we dislike boxes and tribalism anyway so it works for us.

  • We are leaders and renegades, who buck trends and social norms yet always with the greater good in mind. Our challenges are the opposite, not if to help, it’s how to help and how to help well.

  • Chances are in the quest to help, we have been burned bad, met a narcissist at least once or twice, felt disappointment and despair, and we wonder at some point is our ability to empathize a blessing or a curse?

  • Our sensitivity to energy can overwhelmed us so self-care is a priority, although it is tough when we are torn between empathizing with every person, every animal, including the environment.

  • We can separate out where and what energy comes from. (But many Empaths say they can’t)

  • Many Empaths have spiritual gifts and are the carrier of secrets, we often know people better than ourselves. An Empath can be trapped within themselves when spiritual practices aren’t ritualized or we aren’t alignment yet, but when we do, nothing stops us, they are rockets bringing light and love to the world.

  • Before we know we are Empaths, we will feel out of place, not so much that we want to fit in, it’s that we feel odd and strange, like something’s up and we don’t know what.

  • People love us, we often don’t reject them, we also don’t like them very much. We don’t resent or hate them, it’s that we just don’t gel and that’s about it. Life is smooth sailing with other Empaths, when we find each other, we feel we found our tribe.

  • All peaceful and no fighting, we disagree with respect, we are inclusive and welcoming, we love deep conversations and mental sparring, connecting with the depth of our souls.

  • We grapple with loving humanity, recognizing how profoundly sick, wanting to be change we want to be and feel paralyzed by the helplessness in the face of each person’s suffering.

  • We don’t let the world change us first.

  • We often forsake ourselves for others in an unhealthy way until we understand the universe want us to lead and not follow.

  • We are the bringers of light, the alchemists of old, descendants of the wise, carrying on the heritage of witches, healers, mystics, shamans, psychics and mediums.

  • We are the light army, in a time of darkness, we heal the sick and lift up the old, protect the vulnerable and rise the walking dead. Elevate consciousness to a whole other level.

  • First we need to rest, merry meet with our tribe, heal each other before we can proceed to heal outside our community, spreading our light far and wide.

  • We see and hear you every day, even at at distance. We will always love you. We will be by your side when all else have abandoned you during the dark night of the soul.

  • We have a heart of gratitude from us to you. In the best way, we are connected to our emotions and feel everything.

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