Do you ever feel as if you can feel the vibes of the people around you? Can you sense quickly if something is off before anyone else does? Are you in some way easily stimulated by sounds or scents? Then you may be considered an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person.
According to Psychology Today, a highly sensitive person, or HSP, "is a term coined by psychologist Elaine Aron. According to Aron’s theory, HSPs are a subset of the population who are high in a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity or SPS. Those with high levels of SPS display increased emotional sensitivity, stronger reactivity to both external and internal stimuli—pain, hunger, light, and noise—and complex inner life."
The term Empath was first used in a sci-fi novel by J.T. McIntosh in 1956. Short for the word empathy, the term is now widely used by psychologists and new-age spiritualists for a person that has a very empathic nature and senses the feelings of the people around them. Highly sensitive people have also been referred to as empaths.
As a highly sensitive person, I was prone to social anxiety and was fairly introverted at times. People's moods and overall energy would affect me greatly. As I found more research on the subject I saw that I was not alone. Highly sensitive people are truly in tune with their surroundings and know how people feel, usually before even meeting them. I do believe that this can be a gift when you apply it to the right scenarios and situations in life.