HSPs, Do You Have ‘Too Much’ Empathy? (And What to Do About It)

Nearly 1 in 3 people are wired to soak up emotions. Here’s what to do when it goes wrong.

One of the remarkable parts of being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is their profound ability to experience empathy. And since HSPs make up nearly 30 percent of the population, that means there are a lot of empathetic people out there.

When the neural activity of HSPs was examined as they viewed images of human emotions ranging from positive, negative, and neutral facial expressions, researchers found heightened brain activity in HSPs across all emotional conditions, whether the image was of a stranger or someone they knew. The activated brain areas were associated with awareness and attention, action planning, and empathy. 

Because HSPs are emotional sponges and empaths by nature, they often are also highly compassionate. Interestingly, though, you can experience one without the other, because empathy and compassion are uniquely different.  


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