The Story of an Empath: Being in-tune with your inner voice
Priya had lost count of the number of times she had had been told “You’re crazy” or “You need to have thick skin to survive in this world”, ” Your too emotional, obsessive”
She was often left wondering which emotions were her own, and which belonged to others. When people she cared about hurt, she felt their pain so deeply that it was hard to distinguish. In relationships, she found herself donating so much of her own feelings that she suffered from a distinct energy shortage at the end of the day. Often she would pick up a ” vibe” and could feel out others “energies.” She would intuitively know what was going on with those close to her and would reach out. Often at the cost of being intrusive or being told she is incorrect. But this did not make her “crazy”.
It just meant that she’s a highly sensitive person in tune with not only her own emotions but those who surround her. It made her an empath – one with a wonderful gift of clarity that should indeed be treasured and used for the greater good.
What does it mean to be an empath? And why does it tend to make day to day living so challenging?
Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term empathetic means you’re able to feel the feelings of others. But for empaths, this sensitivity is magnified to a much greater degree. Thin-skinned, moody, melodramatic, hyper-sensitive, spineless, weak, fragile, temperamental … If you have been called any of these words or can relate to them, it might be that you are an empath.
Needless to say, being an empath is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the empath is an understanding listener who knows the best way to comfort and assist those around them. Often a healer archetype.
On the other, it can be a painful and tiring experience. An empath can be easily weighed down with the constant negative emotional energy of others, which can create a very palpable physical and psychological disharmony.
Here are some things noticeable traits of an empath:
- INTUITIVE–They can sense when something is not right. Guided by intuition, they almost never regret listening to their inner voice. It’s hard to explain this to people, no doubt. But it’s almost like a very physical feeling that tells them “NO”.
- INSTINCTIVE– They are often called “irrational” or “over sensitive” by people who over a period of time realize why they are guided by intuition. Just as they are veered away from negativity, they tend to be instinctively guided towards something right for them.
- TUNED IN-They trust their feelings and are deeply in-tune with their core self. Though they often listened to other people’s opinions due to a lack of trust in their own intuition, it grew over time.
- CAN BE INTROVERTED– Social engagements can be exhausting. They love human interactions, love talking to people, and getting to know them, but crowds and large groups can be draining because they absorb the aura around them. Taking a break from crowds can be healing as it breaks the feeling of claustrophobia. Simple breathing exercises help.
- EXTREMES OF FEELINGS-They tend to feel the great highs and equally great lows, often getting stuck in emotions. This can lead to unhealthy practices of substance abuse, drama or other addictions. But at some point the body and mind retaliate and it takes its toll on the individual. But thankfully, this can also make the person acknowledge their gift without being in denial.
- COMPASSIONATE– Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
- EMPATHETIC– Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
- FREE SPIRITED– they like to roam. they like their space.
- MOODY/SHY– Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can beprone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
It is alright to be an empath. I am proudly one!( ofcourse once i got a handle on my inner emotional soup)
Don’t let people convince you otherwise. There are many who do understand you or at least try to and there are those who can guide you. In my practice, I find many clients who are empaths and unable to protect themselves and this leads to depression and anxiety.
Some ways to cope:
- Spend time with yourself.
- Introspect and sort out your own triggers from what energy you are receiving and how you can better manage it.
- Most importantly, remember that you are not responsible for everyone.
- Use your senses with caution and skill, in a way that not only benefits those around you, but heals you as well.
Meet a psychotherapist( yes this is a shameless ad for me). Personally, I needed the safe space therapy provided to manage my emotions. So I highly recommend it.