What is an “Empath”?
You may have come across the term “Empath”. But what does being an Empath really mean?
We all have come across people that are highly sensitive to the subtleties of emotions and needs of others, are highly intuitive and can pick up on the intricacies and vibes of things around them that most people would miss.
These are the Empaths, Intuitive and Highly Sensitive people (HSPs) of the world.
Their ability to pick up on the emotions and energies of others is unparalleled.
“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”― David Jones
Because of their innate ability to feel the emotions of others, their tendency to get intuitive insights and flashes and their hyper alert sense organs that picks up on all the intricacies and nuances of whatever they encounter in life, Empaths and HSPs go through a lot of emotional labor.
Here are a few things that cause Empaths and Highly Sensitive peoples emotional burnout:
1) Empaths and HSPs are flooded with other people’s problems
An empath or a highly sensitive person literally knows how to “walk in other people’s shoes.”
Since we are so sensitive to other people’s pain and suffering, we tend to be inclined to help them in any way possible. We become very patient listeners and empathetic solution providers and therefore a lot of people come to us with their problems thinking we are Therapists and healers of sorts.
2) We are the peacemakers
An empath or an intuitive person doesn’t like conflicts. He will tend to make compromises to make peace and diffuse arguments.
But sometimes people tend to take advantage when they become aware of our peace-loving nature and try to get into conflicts or arguments to get us to back down or get things done in their favor.
3) We are “emotional detectives”
Empaths and HSPs can sense the energy of the room the moment they step in, they are also hyper-observant, they can notice the subtle differences in someone’s facial expressions or tone of voice that others would miss.
They can find out the tinge of jealousy in someone’s tone behind the facade of a happy disposition, they can sense someone’s ill intentions behind the niceties, they can also find out the genuineness of a person just by sensing the vibe they emit.
Being so engrossed in these hyper-vigilance states with the sense organs on an overdrive usually leaves the Empaths to burnout and exhausted.
4) We are the feelers and take-up others problems as our own.
Empaths can absorb other people’s energy and problems especially if they have not learned to work with their energetic boundaries.
People who are depressed or upset can pick up on this healing energy consciously or unconsciously and tend to extract this positive energy from empaths.
5) We are highly sensitive and responsible for our thoughts actions
Being sensitive makes us think about the consequences of all our thoughts and actions. It happens quite often that we will wait to break the bad news to you or have an important discussion with you, if you are going through an important event in your life, just to save you from additional trouble.
We would also be extra careful about our words and actions because we do not want to see others in pain.
6) We hide our valid emotions also because they feel too much for logical people around us.
We feel our emotions deeply but we tend to hide our emotions if we feel that the other person is not capable enough to process them or hold space for them even if we express them in a healthy manner.
7) We have “boundary issues”
Being an empath makes us extremely considerate and compassionate and we have a hard time saying no to people.
We tend to overextend ourselves to help others even at the cost of our own well being.
Sometimes we forget to draw the boundary between enabling people and helping them through their tough times. And people tend to consider our kindness as our weakness and start taking our help for granted.