10 Famous Empaths – Some Of These May Surprise You

by Chloe Parpworth-Reynolds

While emotionally sensitive people make up 15-20% of the population of the world, it is estimated that under 5% of us are true empaths.

This is why the gifts of the empathic individual are so special and can lead to great things.

In this article we’ll be delving deeper into the measurable potential of the empath, we’ll be reviewing the intrinsic traits of empaths, as well as the careers and lifestyles you’ll most likely find them in.

Lastly, we’ll be looking at some of the famous faces that epitomize what true empaths can achieve if they channel their empathic abilities.

Some faces on this list may surprise you, I know I was surprised for two reasons.

Firstly, I was surprised at how few famous empaths I could find.

However, when I thought about this more closely it didn’t surprise me as much.

Empaths rarely seek glory or recondition for their abilities that are often so innate that they don’t realize they possess them. Secondly, I was surprised and proud to fall into the same group (I’m an empath myself) as some of the greatest individuals in living memory.

As empaths we’re so often negatively targeted, so to see the true potential of being emotionally empowered was inspiring.

Let’s Clarify What A True Empath Is

Empaths are individuals with the ability to feel the emotions of others as though they were their own.

It is deeper than simply understanding how someone else is feeling, as the empath feels the emotion too as though it were their own.

They are able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and possess high levels of intuition. Empaths are natural healers and tend to be consistent and reliable.

What are the Traits of an Empath?

Empaths can often be identified by the following traits.

We all have elements of the empathic within us, and many of you reading this article will connect with a couple of points on this list.

Powerful empaths, such as those on our list tend to possess the majority, if not all of these traits.

  • Highly Sensitive: As empaths are open and so emotionally attuned they can be highly sensitive and can have their feelings easily hurt.
  • Emotional Sponges: Empaths absorb the emotions of others both good and bad. They can often feel emotions to the extreme.
  • Introverts: It is more common for introverts to be empaths over extroverts.
  • Intuitive: Empaths tend to have incredible intuition. This is because they are so attuned to the world around them. Because of this intuition, empaths also have a strong concept of right and wrong, and will often fight against injustice.
  • Reflection: Empaths can become burnt out by the emotions of others and need time alone to reflect and recuperate.
  • Intimacy: Because they feel everything so deeply empaths can struggle with intimate relationships.
  • Nature: Natural spaces are soothing to empaths. This is because many empaths are also introverts and therefore need spaces of calm to recharge and refocus. Nature provides the perfect escape for empaths.
  • Givers: Empaths are natural givers, they’re happiest when making someone else happy, and can sometimes give too much of their energy, leaving themselves drained.

Empathic Professions

Because they are used to being attuned to the abstract (emotions) empaths thrive best in creative roles.

Empaths also struggle when they are forced to a routine as they tend to be fluid entities.

Therefore you’re likely to find empaths as self-employed, freelance (like me!) or independent individuals.

They can often be trailblazers or pioneers in their field.

Empaths commonly find themselves as; writers, artists, actors, and musicians.

They tend to be successful in this type of role due to the emotional authenticity they give their work.

Empaths understand emotion better than anyone, so the work they produce tends to be relatable to a wider audience.

You may think that as natural caregivers careers in medicine, animals, and care are well suited to empaths, but oftentimes this isn’t the case.

While these careers certainly do require empathy to fulfill, they also require a degree of emotional detachment that empaths struggle to achieve.

Instead, many empaths who feel a calling to care for others will settle themselves in more pastoral roles where they can connect with others and provide aid on a one-on-one level.

Examples of this would include social workers, volunteers, and non-profits.

10 Famous Empaths

You’ll likely be familiar with every name on this list as when an empath achieves their full potential they can become an unstoppable force for good.

In this list, I’ve organized the individuals featured one to ten, in regards to the empathic impacts they’ve had upon the world.

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means.

Remember, empaths tend to be humble and introverted individuals, so often shroud their amazing abilities from the public eye.

I won’t provide a full biography on each entry either (as you probably know about them all already!) and instead will discuss some of their achievements and personality traits that show their empathic side.

1. Ed Sheeran

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Pop superstar Ed Sheeran is an empath through and through.

His self-written lyrics capture the love and attention of the masses because, as an empath, the emotions he expresses in his words are authentic and are therefore relatable on a deep level.

The fact that many of his songs are used as first dances for weddings illustrates this.

Ed Sheeran is also Mr. Humble. He’s stayed true to who he is, he doesn’t flaunt his wealth and hasn’t changed his style since gaining notoriety a fact that actually earned him GQ’s ‘Worst Dressed Male’ award.

He’s simply authentically him and doesn’t feel the need to change for anyone.

2. Nicole Kidman

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Actress Nicole Kidman has defined herself as a ‘highly sensitive person’, one of the leading traits of an empath.

As an actress, she has also chosen a career that allows her creative side to thrive.

Nicole Kidman is also quite a private person.

Even in the height of her career in the early-to-mid 2000s, she featured in the tabloids far less than other stars popular at the time such as Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.

Nicole Kidman also shows her empathic giving nature through the wealth of charity and philanthropic work that she has consistently been involved in since 2002.

She has been an ambassador for UNICEF and has been declared a ‘Citizen of the World’ by the United Nations.

3. Larry King

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An interviewer is a perfect job for a more outgoing, extroverted empath.

A successful interview relies on a connection between the interviewer and the interviewee.

Oftentimes this is based on trust and reputation, as it is common for a famous interviewer such as Larry King to interview famous faces several times throughout their careers.

The connection can also be forged much more quickly if the interviewee feels truly listened to and understood by the interviewer.

As empaths such as Larry King tend to exhibit trustworthiness and, most importantly, attune deeply to another’s emotions, they become the perfect fit for this role.

4. Mel Gibson

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While not without his controversies, (no empath is perfect!) Mel Gibson is still an empath through and through.

A successful actor and director Mel Gibson has honed his empathic abilities to allow him to give and direct powerful and emotionally driven honest performances which have earned him numerous awards over the years.

Many empaths find themselves drawn to religion for the ways in which it can positively impact numerous beings.

As empaths are also able to quantify the abstract they also tend to have a higher degree of faith, be this in others or a deity.

As a devout Christian, Mel Gibson is the perfect example of this.

5. Cate Blanchett

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Actress Cate Blanchett is another understated empath.

Keeping much of her private life to herself Blanchett’s’ film roles such as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings franchise often have a caring, motherly aura which, as a caring empath, Blanchett blends with seamlessly.

Cate Blanchett is involved in philanthropic work on an international level.

In 2007 she launched the ‘Who On Earn Cares Campaign’ in conjunction with the Australian Conversation Foundation.

She is also a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ambassador.

6. Eleanor Roosevelt

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The First Lady to the longest-serving president in American history Eleanor Roosevelt was known to be the rarest Meyers-Briggs personality type, INFJ.

Known as ‘the Advocate’ the INFJ personality type is most commonly associated with empaths as it shares many of the traits of empathy.

INFJ’s like empaths are known to be creative, gentle, and caring and are known for their sage advice.

Eleanor Roosevelt was also able to show her empathy towards those she shared little similarities with and was a driving force of the civil rights movement.

7. Nelson Mandela

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Many empaths are willing to sacrifice their own needs for the needs of the greater good and no one exemplifies this more than Nelson Mandela.

With a strong intuition towards doing right, Mandela was willing to sacrifice years of his freedom for what he believed in.

A self-confessed introvert Mandela used his time incarcerated to hone his empathic abilities meaning that when he was freed he was able to lead his country into a new age of unity instead of segregation.

8. Oprah Winfrey

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If you ask around almost everyone will say they love Oprah, and that’s probably because of her empathic abilities.

Able to understand people like few can and with a motherly, caring aura, not too dissimilar to Cate Blanchett, Oprah has been able to use her platform as a force for good for many decades.

Oprah’s empathic ability centers around her ability to connect to people in a genuinely meaningful way.

From audience members to inspirational people, and celebrities, Oprah treats everyone with the same care and attentiveness that makes each person feel valued and celebrated.

9. Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa was an empath with a difference.

She broke the mold of empathy and was able to care for the sick and needy in Calcutta without draining her energy reserves.

As a devout Christian Nun, Mother Teresa was able to use her faith in God as a way to sustain her empathic energy allowing her to perform such extensive feats of care-giving, that many declare them to have been miracles.

Mother Theresa also practiced self-sacrifice avoiding physical intimacy with others instead choosing to live a religious life of celibacy.

10. Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi exemplifies what powerful empaths can achieve if they take the time to hone their skills.

Living a life of self-sacrifice in a way similar to Mandela, and taking vows of poverty and chastity like Mother Teresa, Gandhi was also the ultimate pacifist.

It is common for empaths to be pacifists due to their deep understanding of emotions.

They know just how much negative emotions can hurt, and therefore want to avoid hurting others at all costs. Gandhi also used his empathic people skills which Oprah and Larry King also possess, to move the Indian people to peaceful resistance.

Empathy is the Key

As you can see, empathy can unlock the doors to not just great things, but also a life of true fulfillment.

By taking the time to put themselves into the shoes of others empaths are able to revolutionize the way that they view the world and can pinpoint the inequalities and injustices that need to be challenged or changed.

With enough drive and understanding of the extent of their talents, powerful empaths can not just spot inequality but can strive to change them.

While it is true that full-blown empaths like the famous figures we’ve listed today are rare, everyone can channel empathic traits with some work.

Some people are born more empathic than others, but no one is born empathic to the levels of Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, or Gandhi.

Instead, even these historical greats have had to work to hone their empathic abilities to the level that they were able to change the world for the good.

10 Famous Empaths – Some Of These May Surprise You

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