Have you ever wondered if you’re an empath? You know, those folks who absorb the emotions of those around us like a sponge. Those who are routinely accused of being too emotional or over-sensitive? Yeah, that’s us!
If this sounds like you, or someone close to you, come and join me as we take a look at the good, the bad, and the downright sparkly of walking around in everyone else’s emotional shoes.
Some of the Pros: Heart of Gold, Intuition on Fire…
So imagine this. You walk into a room but instead of just seeing people’s faces, you feel the emotional undercurrent. You feel vibes. You feel the energy that hangs heavy in the air, whether it’s good or bad.
We empaths pick up on these emotional waves like human antennas. It’s like having a built-in superpower. A direct line to what’s really going on beneath the surface.
The great thing is, this superpower makes us naturals at building deep connections. People often gravitate towards us. Empaths can help people feel seen and heard in a way that’s rare and precious. For me, that’s one of the greatest gifts.
We have a sixth sense for when someone needs a little extra TLC and we tend to have a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. Well, usually!
Another wonderful “pro” is that the deep connection with our emotions can often fuel creativity. This makes empaths ideally suited to artistic endeavours such as writing, painting, music, or acting, often resulting in profoundly moving and authentic creative works.
Naturally, empaths excel in showing compassion and empathy towards others. This innate quality often leads us to pursue careers in counseling, therapy, or other helping professions, where our empathetic nature can truly shine.
When I think back to jobs I had before I was self-employed, I realise I had a deep sense of dissatisfaction when I strayed too far from these kinds of roles. At the time though, I had no idea why. Maybe this is something you’ve struggled with too.
The Cons: Feeling Everyone’s Everything!
So here’s the flip side…and it’s a biggy. Being an empath means we absorb feelings like a sponge. The good, the bad, and everything in between. The anxious energy I mentioned earlier doesn’t just hang in the air, it latches onto us like emotional velcro!
Witnessing someone’s grief? Prepare yourself to fight off a tidal wave of tears. Walking past a fight? Brace yourself for a wave of anger and hurt. This emotional absorption can be downright exhausting a lot of the time.
As empaths, we can get overwhelmed, and drained, and feel like we’re pretty much carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. If we’re not careful this can take a toll on our physical well-being and mental health, especially if we’re not great at setting boundaries.
Being an empath can make navigating relationships tricky. When you feel like a human mood detector it can be hard not to be overbearing or intrusive. I have to make a conscious effort not to ask my teenage daughter what’s wrong about fifty times a day each time my spidey senses are activated!
And then of course there’s the daily struggle not to look like a crazy person by crying at the latest cereal commercial…
How to Manage the Emotional Tidal Wave of Being an Empath
Being an empath isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, although it has to be said we probably appreciate the rainbows more than most!
It’s a balancing act for sure. It’s a constant dance between feeling everything and protecting ourselves and it’s not always easy. But here’s the good news: it’s not impossible.
Here are some tips to allow fellow empaths to thrive:
- Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries: Learn to say no, even (especially!) when it’s hard. Your well-being matters.
- Know your limits: Recognize when you’re getting overloaded and take time for yourself. Nature walks, meditation, anything that recharges your emotional batteries and brings you peace.
- Grounding is your friend: Whether it’s yoga, spending time in nature, or simply pausing to take deep breaths, grounding techniques help you stay present in your own body and emotions and shut out the world.
- Build your tribe: Surround yourself with people who understand and support you. Find your fellow empaths. You need people in your life who “get it”.
As hard as it may be at times, remember, being an empath is a gift. It allows us to connect with others on a deeper level, experience the world more richly, and make a real difference in people’s lives. But please don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way.
Now, go forth and feel all the feels, but do it wisely!
Curious if you’re an empath too? Take this quick quiz and find out!