How Being An Empath Impacted My Life and 5 Ways On How To Manage It
In this world where being highly sensitive is viewed as a bad thing, I finally came to terms and accepted my special ability. I am an empath. But wait what is an empath? According to the definition on Google, an empath is a person who has the ability to feel other people’s mental and emotional state of another individual.
Growing up, I was always aware of other people’s feelings and I could literally understand and feel what that person was going through. Many times I feel drained being around people. There are times where I have weird paranormal events happen that used to give me pure anxiety and felt like I was crazy. I had this ability to draw people to me and they share their most vulnerable secrets, problems and life to me even if I didn’t ask. It seemed that people could easily trust me and I felt like I healed them in some way. I didn’t know there was a name for it, until last year. As a person who has time and time again took on a role of consuming other people’s emotions and feelings, I had to learn to build this protective shield around myself.
I came to a point in my life where I am continuing to learn how to draw the line from helping others and trying to not be taken advantaged of. In two previous relationships, I was in a position where I had no boundaries set in place. I was burned many times and I didn’t know how to say no or stand up for myself. When I noticed my needs weren’t being met, I would ignore my own feelings and continue to take on the role of a caretaker. I was pleasing others while neglecting myself. It wasn’t until years of being swallowed up, used and tired of being tired, I finally took responsibility for myself.
Being an empath can attract people who are not good for you. Despite trying to see the good in everyone, there are people out there dressed in sheep clothing but are really wolves. Sheep are gentle, kind hearted and soft. They aren’t bad intended and usually mind their business. Yet, they are a prey for others who are wolves. I had to learn that while being a sheep is looked down upon because they are seen as “weak” which they are not, we are necessary in healing this world.
Being an empath impacted my life in ways that I cannot imagine. I am able to heal not only myself but others. I am able to open up others in ways that other people can’t. I can put myself in other people’s shoes and understand what they are or have went through. Life has always been a precious thing to me. I’ve seen it as a gift even during my worst times. I believe that there are many empaths on this early but still a small percentage. In a world filled with wolves, I want to explain to you how I manage my life being an empath and how you can too.
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Now, let’s get into how being an empath isn’t a bad thing and how you can manage it in your life.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
First, you need to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. There will be people in your life where they are wolves dressed in sheep clothing. They are probably in your life and you haven’t noticed yet. These people will drain your energy and take advantaged of your kindness and heart. Find people who have a similar heart as yours. Be around others who share the value of being honest, understanding and kind. There could be others who can empathize but there are actually people who can understand the exact feelings of others. It’s important to surround yourself with people who can seriously relate to you.
2. Build boundaries and maintain them
Here is where I must say I am also still trying to learn. As an empath, there is usually a grey area of boundaries with others. Since empaths attract people who feel the need to express their emotions to them, it can get overwhelming and draining. We need to learn how to build and maintain our boundaries with others. This includes saying no to others. It is empowering to oneself when saying no is used to protect how we feel and set an expectation to others to respect what we will not put up with. An example of this is the other night I went out to meet some people in a public location. I didn’t quite enjoy the atmosphere and wanted to stay for about 15 minutes at least. I mentioned to this person I will be leaving after 15 minutes and the person insisted I stay even longer despite declining a couple of times. Once it was 15 minutes, I excused myself and left even though again I was told to stay. I said no and walked away, not feeling bad about it. Even though this is a small example, saying no can be empowering and practicing saying no will help you strengthen your voice. Validate your own feelings and don’t feel guilty.
3. Eliminate wolves dressed in sheep clothing
This is important. Yes you should surround yourself with positive like minded similar people like you but you should also eliminate the wolves in your life. These wolves are people in your life who drain you, disrespect your boundaries and you, and who take advantage of you. Take a look into your life and see who are the people after spending time with them you feel drained. You just feel exhausted after spending time with them. Who are the people in your life including family who cross and test your boundaries? Even though the wolves are family members. In that case, you still need to have boundaries with them. If they do not respect them, then you also have to eliminate them. It may sound harsh but what’s harsh is family not even respecting you and your boundaries. If anyone loves you, they will respect you and your needs and your boundaries and not step over you.
4. Take care of your needs first
You are your responsibility. We may have grown up in toxic situations and our parents didn’t meet our needs as a child. We could have developed our empathetic abilities and care taking roles early at that time. Now that we are adults, we have to self reflect and see where we have our wounds. Once we discover our own wounds, it’s time to take care of it. Take the time to discover what your needs are and fill them up yourself. Yes, we need loved ones and we need people in order to survive. However, if your need is to feel loved, take the time to really love yourself first. It can be more than one need that we may discover and have to take care of. That is okay. It sounds harsh but it’s the reality that I have learned myself along the way. Let me tell you that once you do heal your own wound, you will be able to take care of other things in life and manage the other areas that align in being an empath.
5. Protect your energy, bubble and space
In order for our abilities be used to the best we need to learn to protect our own space. Are you doing a morning routine that helps set your day and energy? How are you protecting your energy? This can be meditating every morning. It could be having a morning routine of exercising, doing yoga, running, journaling, taking a salt bubble bath, stating what you are grateful and much more. In order to help guide others, you have to protect your own bubble and space from the negativity that can be surrounding you. This is again in protecting yourself, taking care of your needs and eliminating anything negative people in your life.
Well there you have it. That is how being an empath impacted my life and the 5 ways that you can learn how to manage it. Take it as you please. I encourage you if you came across this for a reason, I hope you take this advice and seek even more knowledge on books in the library, online and even supporting groups. It’s been months where I am educating myself on this topic and I am still learning. I think it is a beautiful ability to have a heart in this world where many became desensitized. Don’t let the world numb you and find ways to keep protecting your bubble, space and energy.
You are wonderful.