What's the name for someone who can read emotions really well?

…and I don’t mean words like sensitive or perceptive or anything like that. Any ideas? :confused:

An empath.

At least that is what she was called in a Strar Trek OS episode.

I read the title word as ‘emoticons’ :dubious:

Anyway, that person is ‘empathic’


I suspect that the word “empath” was backwardsly derived by SciFi writers from “empathetic” or “empathy”. If you find “empath” in a dictionary, I suspect it will be with reference to SciFi writing only.

They called whats-her-name in Star Trek an “Empath”. I just checked, and it looks as though this is a made up word. This leads me to think that no real word exists for this. You’d just have to say “a person who’;s good at reading emotions”.

That’s what I get for a slow-loading post screen. :smiley:

If you’re going to do that, you could say “an empathic (or empathetic) person”

I have heard “fey” used, despite the definition.


Good point! :smiley:
Antechinus, I am of Scottish extraction, and my father uses the word “fey”. However, he uses it in the sense of having mildly clairvoyant abilities. If you are “fey” you probably won’t cut it as a psychic, but you occasionally get a general feeling about something impending. It’s quite a broad term the way he uses it, and doesn’t necessarily relate to death, nor does it relate exclusively to reading others’ emotions. Then again, it strikes me as one of those unusual words that people like to use for effect (I think my father is guilty of this), and its definition probably varies quite considerably depending on whom you ask, so I won’t take my dad’s interpretation as gospel.

cold reader


I think “empath” as in Star Trek is the cross between empathetic and telepath.

There are self help books about “Becoming an Empath” though, so it is used outside Star Trek.

:smiley: Beat me to it!

You could say they have a high EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) or possess a great deal of social intelligence. Here’s some further explanation on what it entails.

In comic books (DC anyway) a person that can read, and in some cases manipulate, emotions is an empath, so it is used outside of Star Trek. As for being used by non-geeks…

Deanna Troy.

This is a common misunderstanding, but no, not so. You can be a formidably good cold reader without having any ability to read emotions whatsoever. Conversely, even if you are good at reading emotions, this may not be anything more than 1% of your cold reading ability.

I can tell you a name for someone who can’t read emotions well at all:

Anne Neville