Empath and HSP

8 Signs of a Sigma Empath: Are You One of These Rare Personalities?

Published by
Janey Davies, B.A. (Hons)

Sigma empaths are rare and fascinating people. A sigma empath is an empath with sigma personality traits.

We often read about alpha and beta personalities; sigmas are a separate group. Sigmas are self-reliant, confident lone wolf types. They don’t follow the crowd, have no need for external validation or worry about how others view them.

On the other hand, empaths feel others’ emotions as their own. Empaths can put themselves in the other person’s shoes. They are intuitive, sensing the mood of a person or a room immediately.

So, what happens when you cross a sigma with an empath? Before I discuss the unique signs of a sigma empath, I’d like to reveal more about the traits of a sigma personality. Knowing the sigma personality helps to understand a sigma empath.

Sigma Personality Traits

  • Sigma personalities march to the beat of their own drum.
  • They are the archetypal lone wolf who doesn’t follow the rest of the pack.
  • They are supportive, not competitive.
  • Sigmas value quality over quantity and don’t let just anyone into their life.
  • They are powerful influencers but don’t crave power
  • The sigma personality is happy in their own company and likes solitude.
  • Sigmas are introverted and hate small talk, but can socialize with charm and ease.
  • Sigmas don’t care what people think of them.
  • They have an acute sense of self-worth, and don’t need external validation.
  • Sigmas don’t crave the spotlight but are often the focus of attention.
  • Their confidence, integrity and high moral compass are magnetic.
  • Sigmas won’t make excuses or let class, finances, or gender define them or others.
  • They don’t settle for second best in relationships.
  • They follow their heart, not the rules.

What Is a Sigma Empath?

A sigma empath is an empath with the traits of a sigma personality. Think of people like Keanu Reeves. Keanu is a multi-millionaire Hollywood star, yet he lives a modest life. He eschews the trappings of fame and fortune.

Known for his generosity on and off set, Keanu has frequently lowered his fees, freeing up film budgets to hire names like Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson. He bought the stunt crew of the Matrix motorbikes as a thank you. He donates anonymously to charities, chats to homeless people and helps anyone in need.

Money, fame, recognition, awards, glamour or validation mean nothing to him. He’s kind, thinks for himself and is aware of what’s going on around him. I believe he’s a perfect example of a sigma personality with empathic tendencies.

8 Signs of a Sigma Empath

1. They are non-judgmental

Our upbringing and background can leave us with a gamut of unknown biases and triggers. Sigma empaths are aware of the many injustices in the world and are humanitarians.

As a result, they don’t judge a person by their circumstances, wealth, social status, or problems. Sigma empaths don’t associate a person’s worth with their finances or their status. They value kindness, understanding, high morals, and integrity.

“I don’t want to be part of a world where being kind is a weakness.” Keanu Reeves

US actor Octavia Spencer recalls a story that typifies Keanu’s sigma empathic personality. She was an unknown actor rushing to an audition in a posh part of Beverly Hills when her car broke down. She wore grubby sweats and her car was filthy. Cars were honking at her; people were sitting outside cafes, but no one helped her.

Then a guy walked up to her and asked if she needed help. It was Keanu Reeves at the height of The Matrix fame. He helped push her car to the side of the road.

2. They are not afraid to help stigmatized groups

Sigma empaths are nonjudgmental and treat everyone as their equal. Some people raise their self-esteem by putting others down. It’s easy to blame minorities like refugees, the homeless, or addicts for all that is wrong with society.

A sigma empath doesn’t care who you are, where you’re from, or how you got there. If you need help, they’ll stick their neck out and help you, regardless of any flack.

“When people saw it was Keanu Reeves helping me, everybody came down to help.” Octavia Spencer

3. They are highly individualistic, getting validation from within

Sigma empaths are independent people that know their self-worth. The opinions of others don’t matter to them. Social hierarchy is meaningless to them.

“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.” David Bowie

A sigma empath has a strong internal locus of control, which means they attribute both success and failure to their actions. They don’t blame other people or external circumstances for what’s going on in their life. They take responsibility.

Having a solid sense of identity enables them to follow their own path and not worry about the opinions of others. It is this individualistic nature coupled with empathy that allows them to help anyone in need, regardless of other people’s opinions.

4. They can separate themselves from other people’s feelings

This might seem counterintuitive, but one unique trait is how they can compartmentalize what they absorb from others.

Typically, you’ll find that empaths soak up the emotions of other people, feeling their grief or pain as if it were their own. Sigma empaths feel emotions the same way, but they can distance themselves from other’s emotions.

Compartmentalizing gives the sigma empath a clear, unbiased view. This pragmatic approach stops them from drowning in other people’s emotions. Because they are one step removed from the emotional situation, they can help in practical and emotional ways.

5. They are not afraid to set boundaries

Because a sigma empath can separate their feelings from others, they can set boundaries.

Some empaths become overwhelmed by carrying the weight of other people’s grief, anger, or sorrow. What’s different about the sigma empath is they know when to set boundaries and can hold people at a distance. This is especially true if a situation becomes confrontational or unnecessarily dramatic.

They know when to step back, evaluate the situation, and walk away if necessary. They might be empaths, but they’re no pushovers. Sure, they want to help and find a solution to a problem, but they won’t waste time on people with different agendas.

Sigma empaths might be open-minded and compassionate, but that doesn’t mean you can manipulate them.

6. They are brutally honest, but kind

You’ll get no BS from this personality type. If you want their help, friendship, or loyalty, you’ll have to put up with their forthright nature. This doesn’t mean they say things to upset people for no reason.

Sigma empaths believe the truth is the only way we can progress into better human beings. They like to get to the point quickly and won’t ever sugarcoat their words. But the reason for their bluntness is their direct approach to life. You know you can trust sigma empaths because they don’t lie. They tell it as it is.

“If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

7. They don’t relish socializing but can read the room

It sounds contradictory, but how can someone who doesn’t like to be around people have good body language skills? Sigma empaths are never the life and soul of the party. This allows them to step back and observe. They have an innate intuition and sensitivity, a bit like a Spidey sense.

One sign is their ability to read people. They have heightened senses and naturally tune into the energy of other people. Sigma empaths can decipher what’s really being said, either by studying body language, reading between the lines, or decoding the words used.

8. Sigma empaths can appear cold and aloof at times

Empaths are warm, open-hearted, sensitive and compassionate. The sigma empath doesn’t always appear like this. They can come across as detached and unapproachable. They don’t act like empaths at all. Some describe them as ‘hard nuts to crack’, which is true, until you get to know them.

They don’t gossip, rarely share intimate details about themselves and are not self-promoting. They’re a bit of an enigma. However, once they trust you and allow you to see their true selves, you’ll find a kind and loving person.

Final Thoughts

The sigma empath is mysterious, unique, doesn’t follow the crowd, nor cares what others think of them. Their non-judgmental nature means they’ll help anyone in need, but they’re no pushover. They don’t burn out like other empaths because they can separate themselves from people’s emotions.

This doesn’t make them any less of an empath. In fact, it’s this pragmatic quality that makes them so unique.


  1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. journals.sagepub.com

View Comments

  • Well done! Sigmas are a strong lot, needing no approval because they are always in harmony with the universe, attuned to a righteous way of life. They are perceptive, self-contained, resourceful, independent. They are the ones who survive both mentally and spiritually. They are not herd animals. Naturally they are disliked by many in their orbit, but that's not an issue for them, as they are strong and can manage their own lives. More power to them!

    • Thanks for the great post Janey!
      If you are NOT an "Empath" much less a "Sigma Empath", you should be grateful!
      This is something to read about but not try to be.
      It is hard to explain to someone who is NOT an empath, what it is, to be one.
      If you are a "Sigma Empath", then you are like a "lost prince lamb" traveling through the "Wolf Land" to find your herd, asking every wolf you see for directions! You might even try to help hungry ones find food!!
      Keanu Reeves is a great example. He affords to be himself, because he is a multi millionaire. Most other Sigma Empaths either end up wolf-food or homeless.
      As a Empath and -even more- a Sigma Empath, your first and most important task in your life is to first know and understand yourself and then protect yourself. Your second task is to, realize that not every one is like you and there are others who know what you are and consider you a great mark and an easy target. There are books written on the subject; trying to help empaths.
      It even gets better if you are a EMOTIONAL Sigma Empath; then you are really in for a treat! (Cancer signs are known to be emotional in principal).
      Is there anything good about being an Emotional Sigma Empath? Yes; you are one in a million, seeing and feeling things others might be impervious to. This makes you excellent for certain professions. (A psychologist who is not an empath?! I don't know!!) You are also closer than others to the "source" of all there is; and believe it or not, that is why we are all here!
      An "Emotional Sigma Empath" gone bad and to the "Dark Side" is an "oxymoron"; but it can and does happen, and I pray everyday that I am saved from it!

      • I agree with your comment about Keanu Reeves Eddie, it's a lot easier to be a sigma empath if you have the money to do so.

    • Thank you for your comments. I hadn't heard of the sigma empath before but it's a fascinating character.

  • Thank you, Janey, for the Enlighting observation of character and putting it in an easy comprehensive manner. My God The Almighty enrich you , with more wisdom and that it be a benefit to you, your near and dear ones, myself and humanity at large.

  • Each and every word is sooo true. I would not have known that I m a Sigma Empath if I didn't read about it.

  • I can't speak for anyone else but sometimes I find it to be a difficult burden, especially in crowds. There is a Tsunami of emotions and pain in them. It is however a great blessing too. It has given me the ability to super connect with animals. Birds, Deer and last year when I was in Zimbabwe I was working on a game preserve. White Rhinos are greatly endangered so the Nations started trapping them and farming them out to approved Preserves. The Preserve I was on received a Male, a Female and a calf at the end of July. I arrived in September. I didn't see or hear her come up behind me, she stuck her nose in the small of my back, I turned around and she put her nose on my stomach. It was an AMAZING thing. 2 days later I working in the paddock again I turned around there she was again, this time her calf came runnig to me and stopped at my feet. I think I had been adopted.

Published by
Janey Davies, B.A. (Hons)
Tags: empathy