There are people in this world who will take advantage of your kindness and care. As an emotional empath there are certain kinds of people who pick up on that and take advantage of my sensitive, caring and giving nature.
I identify as an Emotional Empath, if you’ve not heard that term before, Karla Mclaren defines it here –
An ‘emotional empath’ is “someone who is aware that he or she reads emotions, nuance, subtexts, undercurrents, intentions, thoughts, social pace, interactions, relationship behaviours, body language, and gestural language to a greater degree than is deemed normal.”
Being an emotional empath means I am attuned to other people’s feelings and sensitivities on a level above and beyond the average. All my life people have said things like I’m a good listener, or I give great advice. People find it easy to open up to me and tell me their deepest darkest secrets. It can feel like a real honour to be the one person someone feels able to confide in.
The downside is that sometimes people can overburden me with their problems. Sometimes people can be a real drain on my emotional energy and it’s exhausting. It’s easy to burn out emotionally when someone leans on me too hard. I just have to take a step back, I can’t be the emotional crutch for the world.
Emotional empaths are highly attuned to the emotions of the people around them. Often instinctively knowing that there is more to a story than meets the eye. We are emotionally drained by crowds, noise, smells and being talked at or bombarded with text messages, and we need time alone to recover ourselves.
I am very open with my feelings, I talk about them to everyone, I cry in public. I am highly sensitive, probably too sensitive and I pick up on so much around me. It can be exhausting.
I have learned to manage it to a degree. When I recognised that I was an emotional empath a few years ago, I read around it, spoke to a few people and I began to understand myself a bit better. I understood why I act and react the way I do and why I attract emotional vampires (people who instinctively see the empath in me, and take advantage of that) and how I can take steps to stop that happening.
I see my heightened empathy as a gift and a curse. I can’t imagine being any different. It’s a nice thing to be able to be there for people when they need someone to care and listen. But it can be overwhelming to be constantly aware of everyone else’s emotions swirling around me.
I used to think I was too sensitive for my own good, but in so many ways it’s good to be sensitive. Learning to listen to the intuitive voice inside me makes me a better person. It can be exhausting, but being an emotional empath is a powerful gift, and one I wouldn’t change.