An empath is someone who psychically feels the emotions, feelings, energy and even thoughts of others.
This can be voluntary, however, it occasionally comes involuntary, especially for a person who is a natural empath.
#1 Feels Others’ Feelings
Even before they tell him how they are feeling, an empath already knows. Also, he can enter a room and have a sense of the general mood of the environment.
#2 Being Emotional
Because empaths pick up on the moods and emotions of others and take them on as their own, some people sometimes think they are over-emotional.
#3 Looks Out For Others
Anyone who’s suffering, in emotional pain, in need of a lift or being bullied in any form draws an empath’s compassion and attention almost immediately.
An empath simply can’t help himself when he feels or sees someone in need.
#4 Needs Time Alone
Being around people can drain an empath, therefore, he periodically needs some alone time to recharge his batteries. Even a brief escape prevents emotional overload.
#5 Other People Approach Him With Their Problems
Empaths are commonly like magnets to the emotionally needy.
Both strangers and friends tend to be drawn to those who are empathic, due to their ability to feel, listen, and understand what they are going through without judgment.
#6 Highly Intuitive
An empath experiences the world through their intuition. It is essential for an empath to develop his intuition and regularly listen to his gut feelings about people.
This will help him to find and develop positive relationships.
#7 Being In Public Places Can Be Overwhelming
Places like stadiums, concerts, supermarkets, malls, the movies, fairgrounds, or anywhere there are loads of people around, can fill the empath with an overwhelming sense of emotions coming at them from all directions.
#8 Many Are Introverted
They tend to be introverted and prefer one-to-one contact or small groups.
Important note – even if an empath is more extroverted (a friendly person who enjoys talking to and being with other people), he prefers limiting how much time they can be in a crowd or at a party.
Traits of empaths include:
- relieves the pain of others by taking it on, then feeling drained;
- smells, sounds, and low energy can overwhelm him;
- good listener;
- feels connected to a higher source;
- often gives too much;
- seeks refuge in nature;
- absorbs other people’s emotions;
- preys for narcissists, chronic talkers, and drama queens;
- attuned to other people’s moods;
- too much togetherness is difficult;
- can sense when something is off;
- it may limit time spent in a crowd or party;
- easily overwhelmed in intimate relationships.
The medical term for sociopathy is “antisocial personality disorder,” and is a mental health condition in the same category as the borderline personality disorder (a mental health disorder which impacts the way one feels and thinks about others and oneself) and narcissistic personality disorder.
A sociopath is defined as a person with a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
An estimated 1 in 25 people in the United States is a sociopath, according to Dr. Martha Stout, author of “The Sociopath Next Door.”
These people are masters of manipulation; it is one of the best tricks in their bag.
#2 Eye Contact
A sign of a sociopath is the capacity to maintain eye contact. He does so even while lying.
Sociopaths are experts in lying since it comes so naturally to them; actually, many probably don’t remember a time when they didn’t lie.
Their lies are typically self-serving, making them out to sound really impressive. In addition, many sociopaths are delusional to the point where they believe that their lies are in fact the truth.
#4 Highly Intelligent
Sociopaths usually score very highly on intelligence tests and appear to be versed in numerous different subjects. It is rare to find a sociopath who is not intelligent because they have to be extremely clever in order to manipulate others.
While narcissism is a personality disorder in itself, it is also a trait among sociopaths.
It is hard not to notice narcissistic behaviors, as sociopaths will demonstrate strong admiration and love toward themselves, that is commonly caused by low esteem.
#6 Sexually Deviant
The lack of guilt, remorse, or emotional attachments means that the sociopath is happy to engage in dubious sexual activity and to have affairs without questioning their desires.
Impulsivity is the tendency to act or do things without forethought. A sociopath may struggle to manage impulsive behaviors.
Note – impulsivity plays a role in several psychiatric disorders including mania, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and substance abuse disorders.
#7 Lack Of Empathy
One of the most notable symptoms of antisocial personality disorder is a lack of empathy. In response to another person’s feelings, a sociopath may come across as:
- overly critical;
#8 Being Charming
A sociopath can be friendly and very charismatic as he knows it will help him get what he wants. Furthermore, he is often fond of quoting from books or movies – this is because, despite his manipulative skills, he never has an original thought of his own.
#9 He Doesn’t Have Many Close Relationships
A sociopath tends not to have a lot of real friends due to the fact that he is so self-involved and often he hurts people.
#10 Parasitic Lifestyle
He shows a manipulative, intentional, exploitative, selfish, and financial dependence on others as reflected in low self-discipline, lack of motivation, and incapacity to complete responsibilities.
#11 Grandiose Self-Image
Sociopaths might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country, nevertheless, they might also have delusional beliefs, like – having super powers or seeing themselves as a God.
Common sociopath traits are:
- lack of remorse;
- ignoring social norms;
- failure to honor financial obligations;
- failure to hold down a job;
- problems with the law;
- criminal behavior;
- reckless disregard for safety;
- inability to learn from negative consequences;
- deceitfulness, like – using aliases or repeated lying;
- abusive relationships;
- aggressiveness, like – repeated physical fights;
- failure to plan ahead;
- conning others for pleasure or personal profit.
Bottom Line – Empath vs Sociopath
Empaths are individuals who pick up and absorb the emotions of others around them. The downside of being an empath is that people may sometimes take advantage of you.
”Sociopath” is an informal term which is often used to refer to someone who has an antisocial personality disorder. This disorder is described by a lack of remorse or shame, a disregard for the feelings of others, unchecked egocentricity, manipulative behavior, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals.
A relationship with a sociopath can be mentally and emotionally draining depending on how advanced the relationship is.