7 Different Empath Types: Exploring The Range Of Empathic Abilities

Nov 8, 2023

Empathy is a powerful human trait that enables us to understand and share the feelings of others.

While most people possess some degree of empathy, some people exhibit heightened empathic abilities. And they’re often called “empaths.”

Empaths can be categorized into various types based on their unique sensitivities and abilities.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of empaths and gain a better understanding of their distinct qualities, so let’s dive right in.

7 Different Empath Types

There’s a wide range of types of empaths, including emotional empaths, physical empaths, intuitive empaths, animal empaths, earth empaths, spiritual empaths, and cognitive empaths.

Each type of empath has a unique set of features. Let’s discuss each type in detail.

1. Emotional Empaths

Emotional empaths are exceptionally attuned to the emotions of others.

They can easily pick up on the feelings of people around them, even if those emotions aren’t expressed verbally.

When someone is sad, happy, anxious, or angry, emotional empaths may feel those emotions as if they were their own.

This can be both a blessing and a challenge, as they often absorb the emotional energy of those they encounter.

2. Physical Empaths

Physical empaths have an acute sensitivity to the physical sensations and symptoms of others.

They can sense when someone is in pain or discomfort, even with no visible signs.

This ability can make them excellent caregivers and healers, as they’re quick to respond to the needs of others.

However, it can also be overwhelming, as they may experience physical discomfort when exposed to others’ pain.

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3. Intuitive Empaths

Intuitive empaths have a strong sense of intuition and are often guided by their inner knowing.

They can read between the lines and discern hidden truths or intentions.

These empaths are highly perceptive and can sense when something is not quite right in a situation or with someone.

Their intuition is valuable in making informed decisions and navigating complex social dynamics.

4. Animal Empaths

Animal empaths share a deep connection with animals and can understand their emotions and needs.

They often have an innate ability to communicate with animals on a non-verbal level. 

This compassion extends beyond domestic pets and can include a connection with wildlife and nature.

Animal empaths may feel the pain of animals suffering in their environment and are often passionate about animal welfare and/or actively in the field advocating for it.

5. Earth Empaths

Earth empaths are deeply connected to the natural world and feel a profound sense of oneness with the Earth.

They can sense environmental changes and may be particularly affected by natural disasters, climate issues, or ecological imbalances.

Earth empaths often advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability, as they feel responsible for protecting the planet and its precious lifeforms.

6. Spiritual Empaths

Spiritual empaths have a heightened awareness of the spiritual realm and are attuned to the Universe’s energy.

They may have experiences of profound spiritual insight, intuition, or psychic abilities.

Spiritual empaths often seek spiritual growth and enlightenment and may be drawn to practices such as meditation, energy healing, or divination.

7. Cognitive Empaths

Cognitive empaths excel in understanding the thoughts and mental processes of others. 

They can easily empathize with different perspectives and are skilled at seeing situations from various angles.

This type of compassion is valuable in fields such as counseling, psychology, mediation and conflict resolution, where understanding and communicating effectively with diverse minds is essential.

What is the Rarest Type of Empath?

Determining the rarest type of empath can be hard, as it largely depends on individual experiences and the prevalence of each type in different populations.

Still, some types of empaths may be considered rarer than others because of their unique qualities and sensitivities.

For instance, spiritual empaths, highly attuned to the spiritual realm and who possess intuitive or psychic abilities, might be considered relatively rare.

Their abilities often transcend the everyday experiences and comprehension of most people.

Similarly, cognitive empaths, who excel in understanding the thoughts and mental processes of others, may also be less common as their abilities require a high degree of cognitive ability, empathy and perspective-taking.

It’s important to note that rarity can vary from one cultural or geographical context to another.

What might be considered rare in one community could be more prevalent in another. For example, within religious communities there might be more spiritual empaths than in any other place.

Additionally, the rarity of a specific empath type doesn’t necessarily correlate with the significance or value of their empathic abilities.

Each type of empath brings unique strengths and contributions to compassion and human understanding.

Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on Pexels

How Do I Know What Empath I Am?

Discovering what type of empath you are involves self-reflection, paying attention to your feelings and sensitivities, and seeking insights from others who may know you well.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you determine your empath type:


Take some time to reflect on your feelings and experiences in various situations.

Consider moments when you felt exceptionally connected to others, animals, or nature.

Think about your emotional and physical responses to different people and environments.

Emotional Sensitivity

Are you particularly sensitive to the emotions of others? Do you often feel overwhelmed or drained in emotionally charged situations? If so, you may be an emotional empath.

Physical Sensitivity

Pay attention to your physical reactions in the presence of others. Do you experience physical discomfort or sensations linked to the people around you? If so, you might be a physical empath.

Intuition and Gut Feelings

Consider your ability to trust your intuition and instincts. Do you often have strong gut feelings about people or situations that later prove accurate? If this resonates with you, you could be an intuitive empath.

Connection with Animals

Think about your relationship with animals. Do you own a pet or work with animals professionally? 

Do you feel an extraordinary bond with them, often understanding their needs and emotions without words? If so, you might be an animal empath.

Connection with Nature

Reflect on your connection to the natural world. Do you feel a deep sense of oneness with nature and have strong emotional responses to environmental changes or ecological issues like sustainable energy, pollution and climate change? You may be an earth empath.

Spiritual Awareness

Consider your spiritual experiences and interests. Are you drawn to spiritual practices, have mystical experiences, or possess heightened spiritual intuition?

If this resonates with you, you could be a spiritual empath.

Cognitive Empathy

Think about your ability to understand and empathize with people’s thoughts and perspectives.

Are you skilled at seeing situations from various angles and understanding diverse minds?

Even when those beliefs and perspectives are the complete opposite of each other? If so, you might be a cognitive empath.

Seek Feedback

Ask trusted friends, family members, or mentors for their insights.

Sometimes, others can provide valuable observations about your empathic tendencies that you might not be fully aware of.

Research and Learn

Explore each type of empath in more detail through books, articles, or online resources.

Learning about the characteristics and experiences associated with each type can help you better identify where you fit.

Remember that you may not neatly fit into just one empath type; some people exhibit traits from multiple types.

Your empathic abilities can also evolve and change over time. The key is to embrace and understand your unique empathic qualities, which can be a source of strength and compassion.

A great start to learn about empaths is The Empath’s Survival Guide Online Course by Dr. Judith Orloff at Sounds True.

Within this life changing comprehensive online course you’ll learn about what an empath is, practical life strategies for empaths like how empaths can ground themselves, set boundaries and hold space for others in a healthy way.

The course includes a digital copy of Dr. Judith Orloff’s popular iconic book “The Empath’s Survival Guide” as a free gift!

Watch the video above for more information and sign up for her free course introduction webinar as a prelude to the full online course at Sounds True by clicking here (affiliate link).


Empaths come in various forms, each with their unique gifts and challenges. 

While being an empath can be rewarding and demanding, embracing and nurturing these abilities is essential.

Understanding the different types of empaths can help individuals recognize their strengths, find their purpose, and develop strategies to manage the overwhelming aspects of their empathic nature.

Ultimately, empaths contribute to a more compassionate and empathetic world by fostering understanding and connection among people and all living beings!



As a psychologist with a Master's degree in Clinical & Health Psychology, and as an INFJ male, highly sensitive human being, the author aims to blend the objective, subjective, mind, body and spirit for a holistic view on true well-being
for INFJs, Introverts, Highly Sensitive People and Empaths!



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