When people talk about feelings they quite often tend to generalize. You’re emotional or you’re not, simple as that. They don’t take into account that there are different types of personalities and various degrees of feeling things. So this article isn’t just about anger, joy, satisfaction, confusion or whatever. We’d like to have a closer look at what it actually means to be an “emotional” human being.

Empathic individuals will sometimes will be defined as emotional, same with people suffering a depression. Now these are already two totally different things. Because depressed people aren’t necessarily empaths and vice versa. You can only care about your own feelings which doesn’t make you an empathetic, nor an apathetic human being. And than there’s also HSP. Complicated, we know! Let’s have a closer look.

Empathy vs apathy

When talking about emotions there are two very important terms to define: empathy vs apathy. This info will probably be familiar to you but it’s always interesting to point it out again.

Empathy means having the ability to place oneself in another person’s shoes. If every single human being on this planet would have the right amount of empathy, there would definitely be less problems. Unfortunately some are blessed with a giant dose and others even remotely don’t understand the word. We often read comments underneath articles of important online newspapers. And 9 chances out of 10 we just have to stop because of people’s rude and misguided reactions. Definitely when it comes to discussions about race, refugees and religion.

And than we have apathy, the total opposite. If anyone ever calls you apathetic, you should seriously be worried. This is one of the most negative features a person can posses. It’s the lack of interest, concern, excitement, passion and so on. Serial killers for example rarely can place themselves in their victims position. In some cases apathy can also be part of a congenital condition like the Asperger syndrome or autism. But let’s not go the scientific way.

As we already said in the intro, there are loads of grades in between. But in general it’s better to have the tendency of being more of an empath. Not in a naive but a healthy way. Just placing yourself in another’s position, even if it’s only for 5 seconds, won’t cause you any harm. When you’re sitting behind your TV screen watching refugees flee their countries to save their lives, don’t think the bastards are coming to steel our jobs and wealth. Always keep that one sentence in mind “what would I do in their situation?”. When it comes to (pointless) crimes, it’s of course another story. When a person did something seriously wrong, there’s not much to empathy about. But in general we could all show our soft side a little more often.

If you’re interested in knowing your EQ, we recommend to do the test via this link.

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Broad-minded vs self-absorbed emotions

Some people tend to lose themselves in their own little misery without having a realistic view on the situation. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not talking about the real tragedies or depressions here. It are more the tiny, trivial problems people are coping with. Even though living conditions in general have seriously improved, our rate of happiness didn’t really increase. You would think that having enough food, a place to live, money on the bank account,… makes us happy. But apparently it doesn’t.

It seems like the more we know, the more we have and the more opportunities we’re offered, the more we’re becoming sad creatures. We live inside our little bubble of self-pity without noticing how beautiful life actually can be. And we’re always whining that we’re stressed or tired while we actually do have a choice!

Our opinion is that we should urgently stop the traditional broad-minded thinking. We’re living on a beautiful planet surrounded by an entire universe… the time has come to wake up. Easier said than done, Indeed! But who ever said things should be easy?

If you don’t exactly get what we’re talking about you should urgently read a book or watch a documentary about Nelson Mandela. While in jail he had two options: becoming a self-absorbed and angry wanker or to transcend his own wisdom. He chose the second option which definitely wasn’t the easiest one. Instead of crying in his cell and thinking how sad he actually was, he became the president of South Africa. Sometimes you should just put your own sad emotions aside to see the bigger picture. Whining won’t get you anywhere!

HSP

And last but not least there’s the HSP (highly sensitive person) group. Approximately 15 – 20% of the world population is HSP. Before some people might start prejudicing again, no this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re crying all the time. Being HSP isn’t just a personality type but defined as a hypersensitive nervous system. People with the syndrome process information more deeply and they get easily over stimulated. They are also more empathic and incredible sensitive to light, sound and smell.

“Normal” people can easily go to a festival for 3 days or have 5 meetings a day. When you’re highly sensitive, this really is a difficult task. They can do this but probably they will need quite some time to recover afterwards. They can also easily read between the lines and are extremely empathic. Also a HSP will easily be defined as just emotional. But when you’re a true HSP, you’ll know what the difference is.

Want to find out whether you’re highly sensitive, do the test here 

We also did this personality test via www.16personalities.com! It’s not scientifically proven but who believes in science when it comes to human characteristics anyway…

Artwork by KwanHo Shin