In this article we will talk about the signs you’re an intuitive empath.
You’re too sensitive. So many empaths grew up knowing without a doubt that we’re more sensitive than others without having another word for it.
Before the word empath came to us, we had other words for the experience. Sadness. Shame. Overwhelm. Overstimulation. It’s hard to explain that your life experience is heightened without coming across as a lunatic or egomaniac.
If you know, you know. If you don’t, let’s take a deeper dive into the world of empaths with a focus on intuitive empathy and how to know if you’re an intuitive empath.
Intuitive Empath: Meaning
According to Oxford Languages, intuitive means using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as able to know or understand something because of feelings rather than facts or proof.
You might know that you’re highly sensitive, but that doesn’t necessarily make you an empath.
According to Dr. Judith Orloff who literally wrote the book on being an empath, The Empath’s Survival Guide, there’s a key difference in being sensitive to others’ emotions and being an empath. She wrote,
“Being empathetic is when your heart goes out to somebody when they feel joy or sadness, but being an empath means you can actually feel their happiness or anxiety in your own body.”
The Intuitive Empath
You might be an empath, but are you an intuitive empath? Are you an empath with this instinctive twist? Here are 11 signs you could be.
11 Signs You’re an Intuitive Empath
1. You Experience Others’ Emotions as If They Were Your Own
All empaths experience other people’s emotions as if they were their own. You can’t be an intuitive empath if you’re not empathic. It seems obvious, but it’s important to start here.
You might have some of the other gifts we’ll go over and still not be an empath.
2. You Are a Vivid or Lucid Dreamer
One sign that you’re an intuitive empath is that you are a vivid or lucid dreamer.
Vivid dreamers often remember dreams and experience them viscerally.
Lucid dreamers even have control over the direction of dreams. Intuitive empaths often have truly powerful dream lives and can even experience important messages in dreams.
While some vivid dreamers will have a spirit guide along for the journey, many do not.
3. You Have Premonitions About the Future
Intuitive empaths often have premonitions about the future while either awake or asleep.
If you’re an empath who often knows what someone is going to say long before they say it or has a deeper intuition when something is going to happen without knowing how, you might be an intuitive empath.
It’s more than just reading the room and intuiting foregone conclusions. An intuitive empath has an inner knowing that defies all logic. It’s an innate gift that pairs well with your natural sensitivity.
4. You Feel a Deep Connection to Nature
Intuitive empaths often experience nature as deeply as the feelings of others. You’ll find that many intuitive empaths will refuse to kill even the smallest household pest — choosing to free it instead.
Other empaths choose plant-based nutrition as an extension of their deep connection with other living creatures.
Others become ecowarriors, speaking out for a natural world that cannot defend itself from human beings.
If you’re this kind of empath, you’ll likely feel more at peace and attuned to your higher purpose when you’re in nature.
You might be drawn to one particular area of nature more than others — the moon, the sea, the desert, mountains, the forest … the list is endless.
You’ll find that one often resonates more strongly than the others, but you’re likely attracted to nature in all its forms.
5. You Show Sensitivity to the Weather
Intuitive empaths are often hypersensitive to the weather. You’ll likely find that your moods are impacted by the weather and changing seasons.
You may even experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when there are less daylight hours.
You might have a strong internal clock that keeps you on a sleep-wake schedule that is best for your body. It’s more than just being able to sense a cold front coming in or the scent of rain in the air.
Intuitive empaths instinctively feel even the most subtle changes.
6, You Find Crowds Overstimulating
Intuitive empaths often find crowds to be overstimulating. With so many emotions contained in one place, intuitive empaths could experience emotional overload.
You might be an intuitive empath if you prefer the company of just a few to large crowds or parties.
You can be extroverted and still be an intuitive empath, but you’ll likely be highly selective in how and with whom you socialize.
Recommended read: 15 Surprising Signs You’re a Heyoka Empath – And Why It’s So Powerful
7. You’re a Human Lie Detector
The intuitive empath also has one gift that can feel like both a blessing and a curse: you’re a human lie detector.
Even little white lies don’t pass the sniff test with you, and this can be hard when your feelings are involved.
Maybe sometimes you want to believe that the new guy you’re dating is as good as he pretends to be … but you just can’t. You see the truth, and nothing gets by you.
You may find that your friends introduce you to potential partners or run investment schemes through you to see if anything sets off your bullshit meter.
People trust your judgment because they know that you see the truth no matter what. You’ll even know instinctively when you’re attempting to lie to yourself.
Again, it’s a blessing that sometimes feels like a curse when you want to do things easy instead of right.
8. Everyone Confides in You
If you’re an intuitive empath, you’ve likely had at least one experience of a stranger spilling their deepest, darkest secrets to you while you were doing something simple like grocery shopping or getting your teeth cleaned.
People tell you things they don’t tell anyone else, and you didn’t even ask.
You’re the go-to friend in any friend group, but everyone can sense that you are a person to be trusted. Not only do you have that deep inner wisdom that comes with being both sensitive and empathic, you also won’t judge and won’t share what you learned in confidence.
9. You Stay Optimistic Despite Your Experiences
What’s interesting about the intuitive empath is that life can be challenging and overwhelming and yet they stay optimistic anyway. It’s fascinating.
Where many people would crumble under the weight of all these emotions, intuitive empaths are able to process the experience and keep seeing the bright side of life.
It’s a true gift. Intuitive empaths aren’t just resilient; they truly see the best in others and in the world around them no matter how much of the worst they’ve seen or predicted.
10. You Surround Yourself with Positive People
Intuitive empaths may have the ability to communicate with anyone, but they keep their inner circle highly selective.
You might be an intuitive empath if you’ve carefully curated a strong inner circle of positive, uplifting yet genuine people.
You don’t vibe with false positivity because it sets off your inner lie detector, but you do want to be around people who are generally positive, solution-oriented, and — above all — kind.
Intuitive empaths don’t hang out with self-described assholes or people who tend to use and abuse others.
While you might have compassion for them, you don’t choose them to be the ones you spend the most time with because your own energy is far too sensitive to risk ongoing exposure to negativity.
You select people in your life because they add something to it and because you know these people will love you at your most sensitive, vulnerable, and authentic.
The people you choose to be around would never tell you you’re too sensitive. They love that about you.
11. You Possess a Strong Creative Side
Another sign that you might be an intuitive empath is that you possess a strong creative side. It doesn’t matter how that creativity manifests.
You could be the most innovative person at your place of work, or you might be a prolific artist or writer.
Intuitive empaths are highly imaginative, and this naturally extends into the creative realm. Because your inner world and your dream world are so vivid, you’ll likely find a creative outlet.
Even if you have yet to use that strong creative side, you’re likely drawn to art, music, or another similar medium. If you haven’t yet tapped into it, you’ve likely felt the draw toward trying it out.
Are You an Empath Or…
Before you self-diagnose as an empath or intuitive empath, let’s talk about some other personality profiles and conditions that are similar.
Introverts may possess many of these traits. You might find that you avoid crowds, get easily overstimulated, and feel better in nature.
You may prefer to have a smaller, carefully curated circle of friends. You might not be an empath. You could just be an introvert.
How will you know the difference? Introverts recharge their batteries by spending time alone. It’s restorative.
With empaths, the same can be true, but they also have the other qualities we talked about — including premonitions, experiencing other people’s feelings as their own, and being able to sense a lie no matter how small.
A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
Are you an empath or a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? HSPs tend to avoid crowds because of a sensitivity to that much stimulation.
Highly Sensitive People aren’t just sensitive to human beings but to every single one of their senses. Their sensory experiences can be so intense that they get overloaded and need to wind down afterward.
While empaths often experience emotional overload, HSPs have sensory overload but not necessarily the emotional kind. There can be a crossover where you have qualities of both, but the difference is that empaths have unexplained intuitive or spiritual abilities that HSPs may not.
On the Autism Spectrum?
People on the autism spectrum may experience overstimulation with other people and with crowds and find contentment in nature.
This could lead you to the conclusion that you’re empathic, and the thought that you could be on the autism spectrum might not have even crossed your mind.
This is especially true if you have autism with low support needs. While only a mental health professional can diagnose autism, some of the criteria has a definite crossover with the experience of empaths.
Although the stereotype of autism is a person who doesn’t experience empathy, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many autistic individuals are empathic.
The reason many neurotypical people think that autistic people don’t experience empathy is because neurodivergent people express it differently. It’s possible to be on the autism spectrum and have empathic qualities, and it’s equally possible to be both autistic and an intuitive empath.
A Trauma Survivor?
Another factor to consider when it comes to deciding if you’re an intuitive empath is to take a look at your history of trauma.
Many people who identify as empaths are trauma survivors. People with trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and complex PTSD are often hypervigilant, which can come across as empathic.
Having a heightened sensitivity to others is a trauma response. Being easily triggered and overstimulated is, too.
Many people who identify as empaths might actually be trauma survivors who have developed these empathic traits as a coping mechanism.
How can you tell if you’re an intuitive empath, a trauma survivor, or both? It might be time to see a trauma therapist to process and integrate your trauma experiences.
It might be the only way to untangle the threads of your trauma and emotional experience.
Your Life as an Intuitive Empath
If you suspect that you’re an intuitive empath or know it deeply, you’ll likely need strong boundaries to keep yourself emotionally healthy.
Curating the people, places, and spaces you occupy can help you recharge when the world around you feels chaotic. You’ll want to watch out for overstimulation and make self-care a part of your daily practice.
You’re likely living a heightened existence, and it can sometimes feel like a burden. Never forget that living so deeply is a gift.
Not only are you strongly attuned to other people, you have that same sensitivity for the natural world. You’re unlikely to take as much for granted or zoom through life with your eyes closed.
Intuitive empaths are experts at living life fully and loving deeply. That’s a quality to be cherished.