Empaths & Relationships
When an empath walks into a room, they can immediately sense all the emotions that are occurring in the space.
It’s like they have invisible feelers that just pick up on everything, every nuance, every vibe, and it happens effortlessly. If you’re not familiar with the term, empaths are people who take on the feelings of others, much like a sponge.
They absorb everything other people are feeling and take them on as if they were their own. Empaths need a different guidebook for relationships because they see the world a bit differently. It’s hard to tell where their feelings begin and where others’ end because their sense of empathy is so strong.
It doesn’t always feel like it for the empath, but their sensitivity is perhaps their greatest attribute. They feel things deeply; they feel things heightened. Others’ emotions are just as real as their own. This allows them to have great compassion and not want anyone to suffer. The pain almost seems present in their own bodies. It can feel like a heavy burden, but at the same time, they are the healers and nurturers of the planet due to the fact that they connect so much with what others go through.
Because they are so sensitive to energies and get affected by people’s moods, this makes them long for and have an innate desire for peace. When the people around them are happy, then empaths in turn are happy. The “pool” of energy feels right. Conversely, they don’t do well with conflict because it makes them feel like something is wrong and needs to be fixed. They can obsess endlessly over the conflict until it is resolved, not unlike the feeling of having a thorn in one’s side. This can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be a blessing because they’re good at bringing peace into the environment, but a curse, because this can make them bend over backwards to achieve peace, even when it’s to their own detriment. They can get so focused on others and making sure others are happy that they completely neglect their own needs.
Another thing about empaths is that they are drawn to people who have been hurt or traumatized before because they recognize that those people are struggling and need assistance, first and foremost. Those who have been burdened with a difficult life are also drawn to empaths because they crave light when empaths have light to give. Empaths tend to be rescuers, always on a mission to make people whole, and interestingly enough, they are good at it. They are influential and powerful in their own way, able to initiate much change in their subjects. They always seem to know what the other needs, perhaps from the invisible feelers that are always sensing and observing, and the person under their care almost always undergoes a huge transformation. The result is incredibly gratifying and meaningful for the empath, causing them to seek and continue down this path again and again. It’s hard to tell them not to associate with people who are difficult because it’s part of their life purpose and DNA.
Yes, empaths are unique in that they thrive doing the hardest work that no one else wants to do. Their impact is truly tremendous and their intentions, noble. But there are certain things they need to be wary of while doing this type of work. Understandably, many of them get burned, betrayed or hurt in the process because they are dealing with people who veer towards the darker end of the spectrum. And after enough times, this often makes them retreat. But the lesson is not to never be around tough people (because as difficult a job as it is, empaths thrive off this challenge). The lesson is to put certain practices into place to ensure better safety and emotional health.
If not careful, empaths can easily become doormats and get taken advantage of by the strong and dominant personalities they are drawn to, especially since empaths will bend over backwards in order to cater to them.
So one piece of advice that’s especially important and helpful for empaths is to “make friends with conflict.” Let those bad feelings sit, even if they’re uncomfortable. The feeling of sitting with a bad feeling is extremely hard for empaths to endure because the energy feels so “off.” Like mentioned earlier, empaths have an obsessive need to fix negative energies and to bring about peace. But rushing in prematurely undermines the natural process of finding a good resolution and often subjects the empath to mistreatment in the long run. For example, if a fight breaks out and the empath rushes in to mend things purely out of discomfort of negative emotions, then the empath ends up swallowing everything and not getting the most beneficial outcome that they need. Also, the other person may end up doing whatever they want because they know they’ll always be forgiven and not have to suffer any consequences. Therefore, it’s really important for the empath to get comfortable with tension and to make friends with conflict so things can be thought through and resolved properly. It takes practice and training to sit with negativity, but repetition is key. Every single encounter makes it easier. Repeat the mantra, “Make friends with conflict.”
Another thing empaths have to be mindful of is not letting certain lines get crossed. It’s often hard to detect when lines are crossed because during the moment, things always seem to be going fine until they aren’t. The empath isn’t normally aware that they are contorting themselves to fit another’s image. Sometimes it takes a huge trespass to realize that a transgression has taken place. Then it becomes time to sit down and examine how far they’ve strayed from their own truth in order to not disappoint another.
When this has happened, the next step is to gather courage, put their foot down and talk about what needs to be changed. They have to be strong and discuss the matter at hand despite their tendency to avoid conflict. And they must make sure something is done about it, especially if it’s a serious offense- see to it that things change- because empaths often have trouble seeing their own worth and value. They always place others so high that they forget about themselves and ignore their own wellbeing. Empaths need to love themselves, protect, respect and value themselves, and teach the other person what they are willing to tolerate. That’s how they can continue working with people who are complicated.
Those who struggle do need their help and the work done with them does make a huge difference. So to the empaths, I say, “Don’t stop helping them. You just need to add self-love and healthy boundaries to the equation, and that’s it! Don’t change what you’re doing, just adjust the situation to have a little more safety, consideration and protection for yourself.”
To conclude, if an empath can learn to just hone in on these 2 skills, 1.) Make friends with conflict and 2.) Not let lines be crossed, then they would be unstoppable. Their gentle and altruistic spirits are gifts to the world and their unique traits allow them to bring about tidal waves of change. They draw light out of darkness and work tirelessly to do so. They give so much of themselves. Anyone who is next to an empath is very lucky and it’s time the empath learn that too.
*Disclosure: This is purely my own experience, and in certain situations, those whom the empath encounters may be too harmful or dangerous to handle, in which case, further guidance and assistance would be needed.
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