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This world has been blessed with the presence of an incredible group of individuals. Sensitive, compassionate, understanding and living their lives with the focus of bringing peace and love to everyone and anyone that they meet, Empaths are often overlooked and taken for granted. At first glance, they may look just like you and I – average, everyday people. However, if you take the time to look a little closer there are a number of personality traits that really make them stand apart.

If you have been lucky enough to meet an empath, you have an incredible friend, family member or partner in life. They are true blue, always putting the well-being of others well before their own even if we don’t realize the sacrifices that they are making. By acknowledging this side of them we can better understand who they are and why they do the things that they do. Simple acts, like avoiding large house parties or preferring to hang out in one-on-one scenarios may be mistaken for simply being shy when they are so much more.

Have you met an empath? Here are 7 signs to watch for:

#1 – They are incredibly authentic.

Empaths know who they are, what they stand for and who they want to be in this world. They don’t rely on validation from others or their status in this highly material world to dictate their worth and their goals. Instead, they are honest, loyal and true making them the perfect friend. What you see is what you get. They don’t know how to be anything else.

#2 – They are happiest when they are helping others.

Sent to our world to bring peace, healing, and understanding to others, empaths feel most at home when they are in the position where their focus is healing. This often leads them to careers such as nursing, chiropractic, massage therapy, counseling, veterinary medicine, etc.

#3 – They love animals.

They aren’t just fond of animals, these are the serious animal lovers who will go to great lengths to defend and care for all living beings. They appear to have a special connection with every animal that they meet, soothing even the wildest of strays or most anxious of pets with no more than a look and a gentle touch. Many would go as far as saying that they prefer animal interaction to human interaction.

#4 – They are human lie detectors.

Able to pick up on the energy that each of us carries with us. When this energy doesn’t match the words that we are speaking, it indicates that our intentions are not true. You may be the best liar or manipulator in the world, fooling everyone else that you meet, but you won’t fool an empath.

#5 – They are creative and artistic.

Empaths are often highly creative due to the fact that they are so in touch with their emotions and have such a clear grasp of the human condition. This may present itself in a love of dance, painting, drawing, music, writing or any other creative endeavor that allows them to express themselves.

#6 – They find crowds to be overwhelming.

They often go out of their way to avoid situations involving large crowds, and when they do find themselves in that situation they are the ones that bow out early. When they are in a crowd situation the energy can be incredibly draining, making it difficult to handle for long periods of time.

#7 – They have an eclectic taste in music.

Music is a highly emotional experience, touching your heart and soul in a way that mere words often fail. Being highly sensitive and emotional themselves, empaths are able to pick up on this. They connect with their favorite music not because it fits into any one genre, but because it speaks to them directly. This can result in a rather varied collection of songs spanning all corners of the music industry.