The terms intuitive and empathic have become synonymous for some, causing confusion about what each actually means. It is incredibly important to note the differences in order to fully understand your level of intuitive or empathic abilities.
Intuitive, as the name suggests, is looking inside of oneself. It is turning into your own person to retrieve knowledge that allows you to make a more accurate judgment. This can be personal knowledge or the collective knowledge Carl Jung often discussed in his works. Intuition is the subconscious mind accumulating and processing external information without conscious awareness.
Intuitives pick up a great deal of subtle information during their daily experiences and this information is then processed and stored without conscious awareness. This information is then brought to the conscious part of our brain giving us the feeling that we “just know” something without being aware of the source of this knowledge.
Intuition, then, is the ability to look inside ourselves for information that we have gathered. It involves the transferring of this information from the subconscious to the conscious, using mainly the mind.
Empathic, however, is exact the opposite of intuition. Empathic abilities have nothing to do with what is on the inside of an individual, nor does it refer to any knowledge or hyper-awareness of a situation. Rather, to be an empath refers to how we relate to external forces, or energies, which exist all around us as waves and auras, leaving empaths able to absorb them.
Simply put, intuition is all about looking inside oneself to seek knowledge or understanding based on experiences and subconscious awareness. Empathic abilities are picking up things from outside of ourselves.
An individual can be only intuitive, only empathic or a combination of the two. Each person’s levels of intuition and empathic abilities vary, but it is important to recognize that not all intuitives are empathic and not all empathics are intuitive.
Due to the highly sensitive nature of the INFJ personality type, many are empaths. While the odds of being an empath as an INFJ seem greater than some other personality types, it is important for each individual to look into their own unique level of empathic abilities.