Hey everyone! Its been a busy start to the year with lots going on at work and wedding planning. I decided I wanted to take a little break and take care of my mental health as well as share something interesting I discovered about myself that may apply to you too! I’m an Empath and everything in life makes sense all of the sudden.
What’s an Empath?
An Empath is someone who has the ability to literally feel the emotions and energy of other people. I was talking to my coworker the other day explaining how it can be tiring and upsetting keeping up with everyone’s moods in the office. She looked at me and said, “Liz, I think you’re a lot like me because I’m an Empath and so are you.” I had no clue what that was. She told me it was basically the innate ability of certain people to quite literally feel other people’s energy. And it can be exhausting.
After doing some research on the traits of an Empath, I felt as if I had discovered a part of myself that had been hidden away. Empaths are incredibly sensitive people and tend to be highly intuitive to people and situations. They absorb emotional energy wherever they go whether they like it or not. They’re also a target for “energy vampires” that are often on the other end of the empathy spectrum and have a difficult time showing empathy. These polar-opposite people can latch onto Empaths knowing that a fit of rage they throw can literally drain them of physical energy and even hurt their self-esteem.
You can read more about Empathic traits here, I just wanted to share the big ones that stood out to me!
How I’m Empathic
I often wondered why it was so easy for some people to be scolded by their boss and brush it off as “whatever” when I would spend days if not weeks trying to cope with even a sideways glance from mine. Or why I’d just look at a new person I’d meet and feel a little leery of them when others are completely open. And perhaps most importantly, why someone else’s bad day could impact me so much.
There are a million scenarios I could offer, but my Empathic tendencies impact me in more ways than even I know. I read somewhere that roughly 20% of the population are Empaths. At one point in time, it was considered a psychic or supernatural gift. Modern science has identified that the part of the brain that allows us to show empathy is just hyperactive in the brain of an Empath. In other words, I’m overly empathetic.
How to Cope
I share my experience with you so you know you aren’t alone and there may be a reason for your tendencies! Don’t feel strange anymore when you feel the energy of others around you. Don’t let someone tell you that something that upset you is just “something to get over.” For people that are particularly sensitive, this in itself can be energy draining.
I’m still learning how to cope and what I can do to make the empathic part of my brain take a chill pill. But for now, I cope by embracing it. The more I fight it, the more exhausted I am. Talk with a counselor that’s trained in this area. And most importantly, recognize this as a gift that not many people will ever have.