“You need to grow some thicker skin! Stop being so overly sensitive.” I wish I could tell you how many times I heard that in my childhood! Growing up as an Empath, you may have experienced similar insults from your parents, friends or peers, and perhaps even worse.
It’s not at all trendy or popular to be sensitive or feeling in our society that values efficiency, cold calculation and industrial resilience. Therefore, you may have experienced and still experience, a lot of antagonism towards your behavior as an Empath. I will explore 4 of these main misperceptions below.
Myth #1 – Empaths are navel-gazing and self-absorbed.
Truth – We often focus more on others than on ourselves.
It’s true that Empaths are often unexpainably moody and quiet on the outside. However, this isn’t because they’re excessively absorbed thinking too much about themselves and their feelings. Rather, the Empath is often deeply affected by the exterior emotions of others that he experiences as his own. The Empath’s ability to intuitively feel the feelings of others is what weighs him down so much. In fact, it’s characteristic of the Empath to pay more attention to others needs than his own.
Myth #2 – Empaths are mentally ill.
Truth – We are magnets of negative energy. This often creates psychological disbalance within us.
Empaths are excellent listeners, confidants and counselors. For this reason, it’s common for people to be drawn towards their sincere and caring natures, almost like magnets. Therefore, Empaths often experience a lot of “emotional baggage dumping” from other people, and have difficult releasing themselves from the negative energy that remains in their minds and bodies afterwards.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of lingering depressive emotions that the Empath is left with. Thus, the Empath can appear to be mentally ill and depressed, and in some cases legitimately is. However, in most cases the Empath is congested with remnants of harmful emotional energy, like sinuses are congested with mucus during a flu virus.
The root of the problem doesn’t lie with the Empath, it’s a result of their outer emotional climate.
Myth #3 – Empaths are psychologically frail.
Truth – We are biologically programmed to be more sensitive and in tune with our surrounding environment.
As Empath Nicole Lawler wrote, Empaths are essentially “walking around in this world with all the accumulated karma, emotions, and energy from others”. Understandably, this results in a lot of inner emotional tension for the Empath who is more prone to crying and exhibiting other signs of “weakness”.
Additionally, the Empath finds it extremely difficult to partake in many “normal” activities. For instance, watching a movie about Nazi concentration camps is extremely emotionally upsetting for the Empath, and getting a job in an office is overwhelming and tiring for the Empath who is bombarded with other people’s emotions constantly. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the Empath is often perceived as “wussy”, “frail” or “weak minded” to the person who fails to comprehend the constant pressure the Empath lives under.