Understanding the differences between HSP and Empath

There is so much confusion about the differences between a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and an Empath. I am an empath as well as a HSP which makes my life experience quite interesting. Though empaths and HSPs both possess sensitivities, they are different in many ways. Being both an Empath and a HSP myself I get asked a lot what is the difference, so I thought I would take this opportunity to explain how being one or the other or both changes your experience of the world around you.


An empath is someone who picks up on emotions in others without them saying a word. They have an ability to feel and experience pain from others as if it were their own, thus making them some of the most giving and loving people in the world. Because of this ability to experience other’s suffering they are at a higher risk of sliding into depression if they don’t protect and cleanse themselves regularly from other energies. Empaths can connect not only to other people’s energy but also energy from animals, the earth and even spirits. Empaths have great intuition and can read people incredibly well. Empaths tend to be the “healers” of the world because of a deep desire to help others. They experience both love and pain deeply which is why it is SO important to take action in keeping their energetic space clear and healthy boundaries set.

A HSP is someone who notices ALL energy. They are the ones who get easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation. They struggle at times to process all the noises, smells and movements around them which can create anxiety and stress. These types of people tend to avoid crowds because of over abundance of incoming stimuli. HSPs have a deep appreciation for the little things as they pick up and notice EVERYTHING. They have an strong ability to sense incoming danger and can not only notice subtle energy shifts but can transform the energy when they step into their full ability as a HSP.

I hope in sharing this it helps someone understand their unique gifts and abilities more clearly so they can find ways to feel empowered by these abilities seeing them as gifts instead of burdens.

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