Are empaths intelligent? (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss ‘Are empaths intelligent?’. We will do that by defining empaths and emotional intelligence. We will then describe how these two are related. Finally, we will discuss signs of an emotionally intelligent person. In the end, we will answer a few frequently asked questions related to empaths and intelligence.

Are empaths intelligent? 

If we talk about emotional intelligence, we can say that scientifically, there is a high probability that empathic people have high emotional intelligence. However, it is important to distinguish that emotionally intelligent people are empathic as empathy is one component of it. However, not all empaths are emotionally intelligent. This is because emotional intelligence can be understood as a skill that one acquires and develops over time. 

Empaths

Empath refers to people who are able to understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of other people. They can understand the perspective of other people and see the world from their view. In other words, they can put themselves in another person’s shoes and comprehend their thoughts, feelings, and actions.   These people are highly sensitive in detecting emotional and social changes in other people’s mental states and in their environment.

Emotional Intelligence

The concept of emotional intelligence was first given by Daniel Goleman in 1995. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, label, use, and manage emotions of self and others.  It helps an individual to give a name to emotions and use that information to guide thinking and behavior. Furthermore, it helps one to modify the emotions according to the environment.  If we break down emotional intelligence, it includes the four abilities of perceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions. All these abilities are different but interconnected with each other. They help an individual to broaden their thoughts and understand interpersonal dynamics. They are explained in detail as follows:

  • Perceiving emotions:  the ability to identify emotions through pictures, faces, voices, and cultural artifacts.
  • Using emotion: the ability to develop emotions to facilitate cognition for thinking and problem-solving.
  • Understanding emotions:  the ability to understand the language of emotions and the interrelationships among them especially with regards to how emotions evolve with time and across situations.
  • Managing emotions: the ability to regulate emotions in our self and other people.

Empaths and Intelligence

Empathy is typically associated with emotional intelligence because people who are empathetic are able to use their personal experiences to connect with other people.  Emotionally intelligent people have better mental well-being, higher leadership skills, and are good at their jobs. Furthermore, these people are confident and good communicators especially when it comes to understanding interpersonal situations and the emotions of others. They use this information to improve and modify how they interact with others for the better.

 Empathy and emotional intelligence work hand in hand to understand emotions and use them for a more productive outcome.  For example, a salesperson would understand what a customer is feeling by using his empathic ability.  He will communicate those feelings and their implications by using his emotional intelligence to the customer.  Thus,  this will help build trust between these two people.

Signs of an emotionally intelligent person

Emotionally intelligent people are empathic but not all empathic people are necessarily emotionally intelligent. This is because emotional intelligence can be understood as a skill that develops over time. Below are stated a few signs of emotionally intelligent people. If you are an empath and are interested in knowing whether you are Emotionally intelligent, keep on reading.  

 They have high self-awareness

 Emotionally intelligent people are able to understand who they are and distinguish how they are different from other people.  They are able to identify their emotions,  strengths, and weaknesses.  Furthermore,  they know what their thoughts are,  what they believe in,  what their values are,  and what motivates them.  In short,  these people have a good understanding of their personality, their traits, and how to use such information while interacting with the world.

 They are empathic

 Emotionally intelligent people have the ability to be empathetic and learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes to understand them better.  They try to keep a balance in terms of how they let the emotions and energies of other people affect them.  They also try to help fulfill the needs and wishes of other people.  In short,  they strive to inspire,  motivate, and help others grow.

They strive for self-improvement

Emotionally intelligent people are driven to improve themselves as a person.  They also help others do that as well.  We can say that these people are not competitive but open to sharing their success with others.  They move towards learning new ideas and theories and overcome their weakness to be better as a person.

They discourage Small-talk

Emotionally intelligent people are more inclined towards connecting with people at a deeper level.  They are not into engaging in small talk or having a casual day to day conversation.  This is because they value their time and choose who they talk to and about what.  Their purpose behind conversations is to learn something from other people and improve their knowledge.

They don’t personalize

 Emotionally intelligent people do not get offended by people nor do they engage in useless arguments.  They maintain a calm and collected composure in disagreements.  These people have the intuition, know how to resolve conflicts, and talk to people at a personal level.  Even if someone does say anything offensive,  they do not take it to heart and move on with their day without it affecting their work. 

They know how to communicate and motivate

Emotionally intelligent people are masters of communication.  They are able to identify other people’s characters and personalities.  Accordingly,  they understand their triggers and what motivates them.  As a result,  they use this information to channel their skills into empowering and inspiring them.  They also know how to use this skill on themselves.  They use this ability for good and not to manipulate others.

They are kind 

Emotionally intelligent people are generally kind towards others.  They help people and give them favors but never expect anything in return.   It is the goodness of their heart that motivates such actions.

They understand the importance of being healthy

Emotionally intelligent people know that they have to take care of their emotional,  physical, spiritual,  and mental health.  They try to be the best version of themselves and stay healthy in order to be productive.

They practice gratitude

Emotionally intelligent people appreciate who they are and their life. They are able to see the value in what they have and are thankful for it. They express their appreciation to others and truly mean how grateful they are for being there for them.

They do not show off

Emotionally intelligent people like to work in silence. They do not boast or show off their success to others. They dislike bragging about themselves and share their ideas with only those people who are close to them. Putting people down and making them feel bad for their mistakes and failures is something they dislike.

They value integrity

Emotionally intelligent people are authentic and original. They follow their words by actions and make sure things are done. They are honest and have strong moral principles by which they abide in daily life. 

FAQs: ‘Are empaths intelligent?’

How do Empaths think?

Empaths think by being attuned to the thoughts, feelings, and moods of other people whether they are good or bad. Sometimes, empaths absorb the emotions of others and feel things too deeply. This can be exhausting for them especially if they are exposed to negative emotions like anxiety or anger. They strive to find peace and love as they help them flourish and grow best. 

How do you know if you are emotionally intelligent?

We can know if we are emotionally intelligent by a few signs. People with high emotional intelligence have a good understanding of emotions, are confident and self-assured. They are open-minded and do not get offended easily. They can take jokes and even make jokes about themself because they know the difference between casual humor and degradation. They also have good self-control and do not over or under-react. They are balanced personalities.

Do empaths have high anxiety?

Empaths can have anxiety like any other person. During stressful situations, they can experience anxiety, fatigue, and even depression. Sometimes they exhibit physical symptoms as well. This is because they internalize the feelings of others and think that they are their own emotions.

Are empaths’ brains different?

Research supports the idea that empath’s brains are different from people who are not empathetic. This idea was described by Abigail Marsh in her book ‘The Fear factor’.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed ‘Are empaths intelligent?’. We found that scientifically, there is a high probability that empathic people have high emotional intelligence. However, it is important to distinguish that emotionally intelligent people are empathic as empathy is one component of it. However, not all empaths are emotionally intelligent. This is because emotional intelligence can be understood as a skill that one acquires and develops over time. 

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence

https://thesalesblog.com/2010/02/03/empathy-and-emotional-intelligence-the-ability-to-connect/

Armah is a mental health professional in training. She has done her Bachelors and Masters in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Her goal is to make a difference in the field of mental health be it by spreading awareness through writing or through clinical practice. In her free time, she likes to read, keep up to date about new trends in Psychology, bake and watch Netflix 😊

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