How Do I Know If I Am Intuitive? Empathic? Highly-Sensitive?

Using Assessments to Help Identify Sensitivities

If you are here reading this, trust the questions that brought you here. When my friend Manny shared with me The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron, I read it to learn about him. When I took Dr. Elaine Aron’s assessment nearly  5 years ago, I did not find I had a high degree of sensitivities. I will be happy to share more about why I believe this happened in future content.

For now, just know that the best thing to do if you believe you might be highly-sensitive is to trust the question and be curious. Cultivate your inner presence. Listen to your body. None of the strategies that highly-sensitive people employ to support their unique bodies are harmful. In fact, they would benefit all human beings tremendously.

Over the past three years, it was a huge relief for me when I stumbled upon (and devoured!) books that defined these sensitivities in day-to-day behaviors and habits. After much healing work with my family of origin, I could see myself more clearly and was able to claim my gifts and honor my natural wiring. This ended a time of great inner struggle.

As you explore your own intuition, here is some information you might find useful.


Are Psychics and Intuitive Healers the Only Ones with Intuition?

Heck No.

Everyone is intuitive. Everyone! We all have a subtle body made up of energy fields that are apart of our human anatomy. We all have a responsibility to remember how to connect with these additional “senses”. When we learn to hear/feel/see/know these messages in our bodies, we can continue to align our lives with our purpose and with the gifts and stories of our ancestral lines.

The terms empathic can also be also referred to as highly-sensitive or highly-intuitive beings carry a very specific neurological wiring to their system. We are what Judith Orloff calls “super responders.” Our systems do not have the same filters as others so we need to learn how to take care of our unique bodies and let others know how to support us, too.

According to research, roughly 20% of the population are empaths or highly-intuitive. There is more research coming forward thanks to the new science about the heart-brain connection and growing interest in the field of epigenetics.


Coming Home to Yourself

Growing up no one was able to help me understand that I was an empath. This may true for you, whether you are a child, adult, or elder. Our culture’s missing knowledge of our subtle bodies or a larger spiritual cosmology leaves us to self-identify.

Identifying your sensitives can be a HUGE relief. It allows for flood after flood of self-compassion and a framework to learn how to care for your precious being.


Am I Crazy? Tools to Assess Sensitivities

Below are two different assessments offering indicators of high-sensitivity/ empathy.

#1: First is an excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff’s book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.


Empath Self-Assessment

  • Have I’ve been labeled as “overly sensitive,” shy, or introverted?
  • Do I frequently get overwhelmed or anxious?
  • Do arguments or yelling make me ill?
  • Do I often feel like I don’t fit in?
  • Am I drained by crowds and need alone time to revive myself?
  • Am I overstimulated by noise, odors, or non-stop talkers?
  • Do I have chemical sensitivities or can’t tolerate scratchy clothes?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so I can leave early if I need to?
  • Do I overeat to cope with stress?
  • Am I afraid of becoming suffocated by intimate relationships?
  • Do I startle easily?
  • Do I react strongly to caffeine or medications?
  • Do I have a low pain threshold?
  • Do I tend to socially isolate?
  • Do I absorb other people’s stress, emotions, or symptoms?
  • Am I overwhelmed by multitasking and prefer doing one thing at a time?
  • Do I replenish myself in nature?
  • Do I need a long time to recuperate after being with difficult people or energy vampires?
  • Do I feel better in small cities or the country than large cities?
  • Do I prefer one-to-one interactions or small groups rather than large gatherings?


Now calculate your results:

  • If you answered yes to one to five questions, you’re at least partially an empath.
  • Responding yes to six to ten questions means you have moderate empathic tendencies.
  • Responding yes to eleven to fifteen means you have strong empathic tendencies.
  • Answering yes to more than fifteen questions means that you are a full blown empath.

Determining if you’re an empath will clarify your needs and which strategies to use to meet them. This is essential to gain a comfort zone in your life.  To learn more about being an empath and strategies on how to stay grounded and centered purchase Dr. Orloff’s book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.


#2: The second assessment is by Dr. Elaine Aron. Dr. Elaine is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person and is a wonderful thought leader on this subject.

Her assessment is here.


Rebuilding Trust

Deanna Troi from Star Trek is how most people view highly intuitive people; however, with empaths representing roughly 20% of the population, our gifts will present in so many amazing and diverse ways. Let us create foundational roles in our lives that honor our gifts. 

I hope these assessments will support you and affirm that you are not alone.

Please reach out ( if you have specific questions, reflections, or comments. I love hearing from you!

Don’t forget to check out my coaching servicescommunity offerings and sign up for my newsletter (below).

Every day is the best day to come home to yourself.