Can you feel another person?

From Jesus was the greatest empath… 

Neuroscientists have discovered specialized cells in the brain, called mirror neurons, that spontaneously create brain-to-brain links between people. This means that our brain waves, chemistry and feelings can literally mirror the brain waves, chemistry and feelings of people who we are communicating with, reading stories about, watching on television, or those who we simply have in our thoughts.

We may think that our feelings and emotions are our exclusive property, that they belong to us and that we alone can feel them. However, emotions can easily pass from person to person, like infectious smiling. The way we feel can affect the way other people are feeling.


Some people are so highly sensitive, that they can start feeling the way other people feel. They can start experiencing other people’s feelings as their own feelings. Much of the time this is done unconsciously. 

People commonly put on a show of expression, hiding their true feelings and emotions. Sometimes, people are struggling to understand their own feelings. Highly sensitive people (or empaths) can sense the truth behind the cover and can help that person to better understand and express him/herself, thus making them feel at ease and not so desperately alone.

Friends ( photo by Squirrrel )

Traits of an empath

Empaths are often poets in motion. They are the born writers, singers, and artists with a high degree of creativity and imagination. They are known for many talents as their interests are varied, broad and continual, loving, loyal and humorous. They often have interests in many cultures and view them with a broad-minded perspective.

Empaths are often very affectionate in personality and expression, great listeners and counselors (and not just in the professional area). They will find themselves helping others and often putting their own needs aside to do so.


Empaths are most often passionate towards nature and respect its bountiful beauty. One will often find empaths enjoying the outdoors, beaches, walking, etc. Empaths may find themselves continually drawn to nature as a form of ‘release’ from other people’s feelings. It is the opportune place to recapture their senses and gain a sense of peace in the hectic lives they may live.

Empaths are often quiet and can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes.

Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs or get overwhelmed and confused with everything they feel. To make empaths feel better, try helping them to restore their inner balance, re-connect with their own feelings and respect their own needs.


In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.

Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for their own peace of mind.


Can you feel another person?
Or do you know someone who can feel you?



Emotional sensitivity: embrace a new perspective

“To be womanly is one thing, and one only – it is to be sensitive to man…; to be manly is to be sensitive to woman.”

Jane Harrison


Women often believe that they are more emotionally sensitive than men. Is that really so?

Celia Lashlie provides an intersting example of woman’s and man’s emotional sensitivity in her book “He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men”:


Monday 17 November 2003

“Saw John in the evening and he was acting really strangely. I went shopping in the afternoon with the girls and I did turn up a bit late so I thought it might be that.

The bar was really crowded and loud so I suggested we go somewhere quieter to talk. He was still very subdued and distracted so I suggested we go somewhere nice to eat. All through the dinner he just didn’t seem himself; he hardly laughed and didn’t seem to be paying attention to me or to what I was saying.

I just knew that something was wrong.

He dropped me back home. I wondered if he was going to come in; he hesitated, but followed. I asked him again if there was something the matter but he just half shook his head and turned the television on.

After about 10 minutes of silence, I said I was going to bed. I put my arms around him and told him that I loved him deeply. He just gave a sigh, and a sad sort of smile…

I started to think that he was going to leave me, and that he had found someone else. I cried myself to sleep…””

Monday 17 November 2003

“New Zealand lost to Wallabies [in rugby]…”

Is the girl in this example emotionally sensitive to the boy? Not 100% as she can’t make any sense out of all the non-verbal clues he is giving her. However she is trying very hard to understand him in her terms and she is trying very hard to communicate with him in her way, using words.

Is the boy in this example emotionally sensitive to the girl? Not 100% as he can’t make any sense of what is going in her mind and fully understand her, but he is trying very hard to please her: he follows all her suggestions, goes out to dinner with her etc. Is he emotionally available? Yes, he is. He keeps communicating with her, but in his own way, using non-verbal communication: sighs, smiles etc.

As Celia Lashlie points out, “Men are highly intuitive, and they appear to use their intuition as a communication tool… The challenge for women is to recognise the communication that is occuring in the silence and trust it, let it be, rather than insisting that everything be openly discussed…”

So, may be, instead of labelling each other non-sensitive, ’emotionally unavailable’ or ’emotionally demanding’, we just need to learn to look at things from different perspectives, respect each others feelings, views and communication styles without losing sense of humour?