Why “Feeling Seen” Can Help You Be More Authentic

feeling seen can help you

Many sensitive children do not feel seen by their parents, teachers, or family. Their sensitivities are treated more like aberrations from the norm than precious and unique abilities. Many of us are told as children, “Get a thicker skin,” or “Toughen up,” suggesting that something is wrong with our empathic nature.

Growing up with the sense of not being “seen” by their family can also injure an empath’s self-confidence, which can lead to becoming a people-pleaser. These sensitive souls try to win love by getting into others’ good graces. Also, they may feel responsible for someone’s emotional or physical state. People-pleasers give away too much of themselves and squash their own needs and emotions.

In my book “Thriving as an Empath” I discuss the liberation of feeling seen with a capital “S” and how to build your self-confidence.

Read 3 Human Desires To Thrive: How To Make Someone Feel Seen, Loved, And Understood

This means that others accept you completely for who you are. You are not judged, blamed, or minimalized. In my psychotherapy practice, “seeing” someone is a crucial aspect of what I offer my patients.

When you are seen–really seen–you can breathe a sigh of relief. You don’t have to change. You don’t have to do anything differently. You are authentically and unapologetically who you are, including your gifts and areas in need of growth. It’s a marvelous feeling to be unconditionally accepted.

feeling seen
Why "Feeling Seen" Can Help You Be More Authentic

You can begin to shift out of the people-pleasing pattern by saying “no” to something small. Also, express your opinion about an issue (start with less emotionally charged ones), even if it differs from friends’ or families’. Asserting yourself will build self-confidence. You don’t have to please people all the time. You deserve to be liked and respected for being your authentic self.

Set your intention. Today, I will “see” myself with loving eyes. I will be with others who can “see” me too. I will also find the right balance between expressing my own needs and supporting others.


Written By Judith Orloff, MD
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Why "Feeling Seen" Can Help You Be More Authentic
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Dr. Judith Orloff

Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating highly sensitive, empathic people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a popular TEDX talk. Her other books are Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People, The Empowered Empath’s Journal, Emotional Freedom and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Explore more information about her Empath Support Online course and speaking schedule on www.drjudithorloff.com. View Author posts