Today, I got my first comment on my blog post Empaths: Rejuvenating from Negative Energy! Like a giddy school girl, I am so excited! As I am new to WordPress, I am still learning the ropes but it inspired me to blog a little more on the subject of the choice Empath’s have on whether to get involved when they tune into the emotions of others. Like Cinderella, do we choose to dash into our pumpkin carriage and caboose or stay at the ball past the stroke of midnight?
It took me a while to realize that as an Empath – I too had to make the choice of what I was going to do when I felt the emotions of others. My natural reaction is to jump head first to make the situation better! I feel the emotion – I understand what caused it – I can fix this or prevent a train wreck, I think to myself! Like a female version of SuperGirl, I fly in and save the day! I went on this way for a number of years until I started to get really mentally and physically worn-out!
This resulted in me realizing that sometimes my own desires were getting in the way: I wanted the person to be happy verses contemplating that this person may need to go through this pain to prevent this from happening again so he or she can be happy forever!
It took me a while to realize that not all negative emotions are bad and that, in many cases, they are associated with a lesson that has to be learned. As an Empath, I was feeling empathy but had to learn how to communicate empathy to give others the choice of how to make their situation better. I am here to help, but the healing comes from within someone choosing better…that is the true hidden purpose and power of the Empath…it is getting others to see the good within their own self…not the good in us!
I am going to start giving examples of these situations as I think it would be helpful for other Empath’s to see how I handle situations and get feedback how others handle it to get more suggestions and understanding about our kind!
I don’t believe there is one right way to do things and am always learning from others. I refuse to commit to any way of doing something because if I see something works out better, I change! Even Empaths feel emotions in different ways so what works for me may not be what works best for you, but for me, I love hearing other’s experiences and methods!
The key for me, of late, is putting action into feeling.
The Close Friend
(totally hypothetical situation)
My friend, Sally, often has trouble keeping a relationship. Today, we meet for coffee, and she is down because her latest boyfriend, Robert, has dumped her after four months of dating.
I feel her sadness and pain. She wants to be wanted…she really liked Robert – her self-esteem is cracking.
I feel the dull thud in my heart and the saddened state of despair my friend feels…it is not her best day 😦
❤ The Past Me❤
At this point, the past me would have immediately, as if almost instinct, used diversion to cheer Sally up. I would have done this by pointing out how Robert was really not the best match for her, saying something to the tune of: “Sally, Robert was not, in my opinion, a good match for you anyways! You can and will do better! Don’t be glum! There are many more fish in the sea and every second your sad, you miss another opportunity!” At this point, Sally’s energy is infiltrated with my own – I cannot retreat from it, but I am trying to get it out of both of us!
Sally lifts her head up and I see the glimmer of hope in her eyes. We get up and we go shopping…I tune in to some interesting prospects that are are checking Sally’s vibes, and she lands a few phone numbers. Robert is just a thing of the past! Happiness restored!
But the cycle repeats itself with Sally as she goes through the same pattern of a failed relationship in her next relationship. While my presence made her feel better and I took the pain and made it more happy, it didn’t solve the problem…in fact, for me, I have had to be careful not to enable the problem innocently!
❤ The Current Me ❤
Sally: “Robert broke up with me yesterday. Another one bites the dust.”
Me: Feeling her emotions inside: “Sally, I bet that is hurtful. Breaking up sucks in general, but I know you liked Robert a lot.”
Sally: “Yea. I just..I just don’t know what I did wrong, you know?
Me: “Do you want to talk about it?”
I put in BOLD this statement, because this is another one of my struggles. When I am tuned into the emotions of others, I have a tendency to want to talk about it – because, whether they understand it or not, I am now involved…and as I literally am absorbing their emotions, the other person always seems to feel better (or different) naturally! I have noticed that my emotional energy does something to already existing energy. However, as I wrote in Falling Down the Rabbit Hole: Empath’s Boundary Violations, people don’t always invite you to feel their emotions.
If Sally doesn’t want to talk about it, we go get an ice cream cone and I am just a supportive friend to her.
If Sally does want to talk about it, I say: “Well, what happened with Robert that you broke up?”
Sally: “He didn’t say much really about it. He just said he wasn’t feeling it anymore…that was that.”
Me: “What made you attracted to Robert?”
Sally: “Well, he was handsome, had a good job. He had a nice family.”
Me: “What about when it was just the two of you?”
Sally: “It was fine I guess.”
Me: “Like happy forever fine?”
Remember, I am feeling Sally’s emotions of what she feels being dumped feels like, but I know that I was not dumped. For me, I have to separate what I know to be true from what I feel to be true. This is very crucial as an Empath (or at least it is for me). Feelings are subjective emotional reactions that are unique to everyone. Even how we define sadness differs from person to person. If I am sad, that is different from you being sad. We have different emotional vibrations of what that emotions feels.
However, as an Empath – the best times when I can make a real difference is often at the unpleasant moments when change is occurring. With Sally, change has already happened: Sally and Robert are no longer together. Therefore, I have the opportunity to help her think about change while she is dealing with the Inertia Effect.
Sally: “Well, I wasn’t thinking about forever, I don’t guess.”
Me: “What do you think about when you get to know a guy?”
Sally: “I guess I just get involved with guys who show interest in me that meet my surface expectations. I don’t really think about it. Do you?”
Me: “I do now. I used to do the same thing as you as I liked to learn a lot about other people, but realized that core values of what really matters to people is what creates a common connection. When I started being more choosy and picky, I didn’t have to go through the Robert’s that I don’t miss by the way!”
Sally: “You know, maybe you’re right. I have never thought about that before!”
Me: “It sounds like to me we have a date of getting to know you and what you like!”
And then I proceed to talk to them about who Sally really is, what she really wants. Of course, this is if Sally is ready and wants to go there. She makes this choice for herself just as I make the choice to help her in the way I do.
Keep in mind – awareness is just the first stop in a long journey. There will usually always be more Robert’s before Sally is ready to search for Mr. Right. But until someone accepts that they can change, rescuing them from their emotions prevents that. My role is a supportive friend – I feel Sally’s emotions and work towards not having her feel that way again.
This is a generic example, but instead of trying to make the pain go away now, I worked on the pain going away forever.
As of today, that is how I choose to direct my energy as an Empath. I still love Sally regardless of what she chooses, but this way, I am able to accept and encourage Sally to make her happy from the inside out!