Being An Empath

Hi friends. It's the Monday after spring break and I am ready for winter to end and spring to begin (one more day). So today's topic is something that I (very) recently discovered about myself. I have always been in tune with other people's emotions. I can't watch violence on TV or in movies because I feel like what's happening to the people in the movies is also happening to me if you know what I mean. I feel other people's pain, sometimes more deeply than my own. If someone around me is upset, I am automatically upset, which I try to offset with some kind of humorous comment. I've dealt with all of this my whole life, and until recently, I didn't know what it all meant. One day, I started looking up things like "why do I feel other people's pain" and "why can't I watch violence on TV" and "why do I feel emotions so deeply". All of these yielded one result: an article about being an empath. I took a quiz on whether I was an empath or not, and the result was basically along the lines of "there's no way you're not an empath". I had found my answer. I'm not weird or too emotional or sensitive. I'm an empath.



What Is An Empath?

So, basically, an empath is someone who has the ability to feel and even absorb the emotions and energies of other people. Empaths are heavily affected by the people around them, and if the energies around them are negative, that can negatively impact how the empath feels and can even be debilitating.

  • Empaths are prone to recognize danger better than other people and often know immediately when something is wrong or risky or dangerous.
  • Empaths often heavily feel the burdens of other people, even when it doesn't directly affect them. 
  • Certain settings and situations can drain an empath very quickly (ex. being in a hospital heavily stresses me out). 
  • Empaths often go through intense mood swings, feeling down and incredibly depressed one minute and feeling on top of the world the next. When they find a new passion or dream, they get incredibly excited and often go at it with all they've got. 
  • Empaths are usually highly sensitive people.
  • A lot of empaths identify as introverts.
  • Empaths are known to be good listeners
  • It is common for an empath to have a really big heart and care deeply about everyone around them, and that's often taken advantage of.
  • Empaths often express all of their emotions and don't usually have issues talking about their feelings. However, sometimes, they can be the total opposite. In certain situations, empaths are unresponsive and blank, not displaying any emotions at all. It's usually one or the other.
  • Empaths are generally the peacemakers. They don't enjoy confrontation, as it creates discomfort in them. Sometimes, empaths will ignore their own needs to solve a confrontation as quickly as they can.
  • Empaths are incredibly sensitive to any type of violence or strongly emotional shows or movies. This also includes upsettings news broadcasts. Empaths often avoid viewing anything like this as it can cause them to feel physically ill or get incredibly emotional or upset.
  • Finally, empaths are incredibly compassionate. They have warm and sensitive natures that draw people to them. 
As I was reading all of this, I felt like I was reading an incredibly detailed summary of my life. I had a deep, personal connection with everything an empath is and suddenly, my entire life made sense. I could never explain to anyone why I couldn't watch sad things on the news or violence on TV, or why I felt everything so deeply with absolutely no in between. Now I know. It's a bit of a burden, feeling this much all the time. If I'm around someone negative, my energy is automatically drained. It often happens suddenly, and if I'm at a party or some kind of social event, I have to immediately remove myself from the situation. I have to be careful about what I watch because it can easily turn from watching a movie or TV show to having a full-on emotional breakdown for basically no reason. I'm either incredibly talkative or completely silent. My entire life, I've been accused of being ultra sensitive. As a kid, I often remember freaking out over seemingly small things and everyone being really confused and telling me to calm down. 

"I CAN'T", I wanted to scream. "I WANT TO BUT I CAN'T."  


Navigating through this has taken me 20 years and it's been a struggle. I always thought I was just too sensitive and needed to toughen up. But now, I like to think of this as a superpower rather than a burden. Being an empath is not incredibly common, and I'd like to think I've been blessed with the ability to understand what other people are feeling and be able to help them through it. Plus, now that I know I'm an empath, I can navigate through life a little better and understand myself on a whole new level. If you relate to everything I just said, I highly recommend you take a couple of empath quizzes and see if you possess this superpower too.

Love,

Hannah


Sources:

https://www.amandalinettemeder.com/blog/2014/7/31/13-signs-you-are-an-empath-and-what-it-means
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201602/10-traits-empathic-people-share
https://www.thoughtco.com/traits-of-empaths-1724671

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