naisyo523

Difference between HSP and Empath; is it important?

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Difference between HSP and Empath; is it important?

I believe I'm a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and not an Empath. What is the absolute difference between the two? I have an idea but I wanted to ask your opinions. 

Thanks!

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Empathy is the ability for a person to feel the emotions of another person.   I suppose that ability might have something to do with mirror neurons.  

mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.[1][2][3] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.

i suppose a highly sensitive person is sensitive to chemicals, food, emotions, etc. but does not necessarily have highly developed mirror neurons.  (That is just a guess so take that as a hypothesis, not an answer.)

I found an interesting article on the toxic attraction between narcissists and empaths. https://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/the-toxic-attraction-between-an-empath-a-narcissist/

Essentially, the narcissist ruins the empath and turns him or her into another narcissist.

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Thanks for your input Scot. In the strange way I envy Empaths because at least what they are feeling about the other person is actually true. In my understanding, HSP (me) does catch the emotions of others, but that's as far as they can go. And a lot of the time we tend to project the content of that emotion of others to our own pain so I wrongfully accuse others (not literally but internally) of thinking negative of me etc... this results in my self confidence and self trust to go down... I wonder if there are other HSP feeling like this... I wish teal will do a video about this :)

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To my knowledge, empathy has more to do with emotion and the ability to feel the emotions of another person, whereas sensitivity is more of a general term that applies to people who are highly receptive to stimuli, which may at times be other's emotions. It is possible to be both an empath and a highly sensitive person. Teal has mentioned in her videos before that many times people develop empathy as children as a result of not being able to have healthy boundaries. Children needed to be mind-readers and predict their parent/guardian's needs in order to be loved. I think sensitivity comes from not being able to have certain needs. It may be a backdoor way to getting needs met. If a child is not able to feel loved directly, his immune system may be a match to being compromised and becoming ill or otherwise getting into situations in which he needs to be taken care of. If his inability to get love consistently is chronic, then he may develop chronic sensitivities to many things that put him in the position of being cared for, like food allergies, panic attacks, accidents, or things that require repeated hospitalization.

Conversely high sensitivity may be a natural reaction to a person that is highly intact with themselves living in a numbed-out and largely emotionally unconscious world. To me, being highly sensitive is your body's way of telling you to take extra care for yourself! Is the difference between empathy and high sensitivity important? Mmm, maybe if you are trying to connect with other people who are like you that are also highly sensitive, it's good to know what to look for. If you are expecting yourself to adhere to a standard of what you are not (believing that you are a poor empath when you are really a "normal" HSP) then it would be good to know the difference if anything to educate yourself, to validate your experience, and to help you release resistance to who you really are.

 

Edited by Tony P
forgot some things
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