Unless you live in my skin, you really don’t know what its like to experience what I or any Empath experiences. Believe me, its not all bad. There are times I am awash in a sea of gratitude for all that I see and have seen, felt and do feel. Then, there are times when I wish I could remove it from my being. I’m sure we’ve all felt at times being an Empath is both a blessing and a curse.
That being said, whether a sunny or stormy horizon, there are things that I truly get sick of hearing over……and over…….and over again.
1. You’re one of those “empath” people aren’t you?
Why yes, yes I am. That in and of itself isn’t so bad, it’s what comes after that truly irks my soul. Things such as:
- So, you’re psychic, right?
I don’t know about psychic. Some people consider being an Empath a preternatural ability. I find Beethoven’s ability to compose amazing music preternatural, especially considering he composed The 9th Symphony completely deaf. I don’t consider myself any different. It’s a gift that I and others possess that other people do not. Likewise, there are people that are incredible painters while I make excellent stick figures.
- Can you read me? Or how about my boyfriend/girlfriend etc? Tell me everything!
Unless we offer, please don’t ask us to do this. It’s rude for several reasons, and here are a few:
First, you are asking us to do a service and 95% of the time, you have no intention of compensating the person you’re asking. As I said, there are many people with innate talents and amazing skills, but you don’t expect them to work for free. You don’t realize that doing that is indeed work. Yes, we may naturally be able to “read” people, but in order to remain sane (or at the very least, reasonably functional), we have to keep a filter on almost constantly. You’re asking us to remove the filter, allow whatever energy you send regardless if it’s sunbeams or sludge, to come into us only to have to filter it all out again. That takes time and effort.
Second, it gets to a point where it’s almost dehumanizing. We’re not machines available for your use whenever you’re uncertain about yourself or a particular situation you’re involved with or trying to deal with the negativity you’re trying to process. We’re not your spiritual/psychological waste treatment centers, we’re people, just like you and need to be treated as such.
Third, and this expands on the dehumanizing factor above, no one likes to be used, and even the most well meaning people can become parasitic when it comes to Empaths. You will find that MANY Empaths are loners and have very very few close friends. This often happens because we have to keep a distance from those who seek more to latch on than reciprocate. Sometimes people aren’t always aware of the fact that they’re doing this. Some can be gently but firmly told about how this behavior effects us, others can’t. If you are one of the latter, we’ll either take you in extremely small doses or avoid you at all costs. The energy expenditure required to keep that group from latching on is too much. And by the way, that friend you always call when you’re down or when your life is falling apart? It would be nice to remember them when you’re planning an evening out or just to say hi and see how they’re doing.
2. You’re such a strong person
Again, I know this is meant to be a compliment, and we appreciate it. However, we’re human and have our limits just like everyone else. When we’ve reached our human limit or are having a difficult time, nothing is more invalidating than playing the “you’re a strong person” card. I don’t know how or why it happened, but this idea that Empaths should quietly endure not only the world’s suffering but our own as well in perfect serenity has been a bane of mine and I’m sure many others. You will seldom see an Empath express their own hurt, anger sadness etc. This is likely because they have repeatedly had those they tried to be vulnerable with either hurt them at this time or display an inexplicable dissonance that renders them unable to deal with what the Empath has no doubt nursed them through countless times. So, we either deal with our own “stuff” quietly by ourselves (which I don’t recommend, by the way) or we stick with a very select few that we know we are safe with. The trouble is, we don’t want to visit the same frustrations that I described in item one on people we care about. We don’t want to burn other people out, so if an Empath has ever unloaded and broken down in your presence, feel honored.
3. You’re here to bring healing, light, hope etc. to those who suffer.
Thanks. Way to pass the buck. Yes, we may be able to help, but the bulk of the “healing” effort needs to be done by the person who needs the healing, not the healer themselves in these cases. Go to any doctor, therapist, even spiritual adviser or life coach and they will listen to what you have to say and they will give you suggestions. If you don’t take those suggestions or do any of the work entailed, how do you expect to heal? The same applies to Empaths. We’re not miracle workers. What we offer is a perspective that many others don’t have, especially those skilled at divorcing their own emotional thinking and reactions.
I have provided an ear to many people who needed to vent. Venting is fine, I don’t mind when people vent. It’s necessary for people to get those thoughts and emotions out of their system. Understand that there is a difference between venting and dumping. Venting occurs when someone is in essence making the efforts and need to commiserate with another person about their struggles, or they’ve reached an impasse in whatever they are endeavoring to do and need guidance. Whatever the case may be, the person in question is taking action to improve the situation. However great or small the action, if they are doing something, I’ll never hesitate to lend an ear. The problem occurs when someone comes to me complaining about the same problem over and over and over again with no inclination to actually do anything about it. They have a constant ring around their ass from long stretches of time sitting on the pity pot. They throw the biggest and most elaborate pity parties and want EVERYONE to come, and the Empath is usually the guest of honor because it’s what they’re supposed to do, right?
Furthermore, I think calling Empaths the “healers” of the world marginalizes them. Maybe they’re meant to invent the next kitchen gadget or write a really useful phone app or software program. Maybe they’re mechanics or architects or business owners. Stop shoving us into categories that disallow us our intellectual exercise. We feel and we think. A balanced Empath knows when to employ intuition, emotion and logic equally.
4. Do you believe in…
Just because someone is an Empath does not necessarily mean they follow any one particular spiritual path or any spiritual path at all. Some may follow the Abrahamic religions while others may follow non Judaeo-Christian paths. Some may be atheist or agnostic. Some may be vegan, some may not. Some may drink or use certain substances recreationally and some may not. We’re individuals just like everyone else.
5. You’re cold-hearted, an ice queen, uncaring, never loved me etc. etc.
This may be relatable to some, it is certainly the most personal in my case.
I have often been accused of being uncaring, mean, icy, cruel, unloving and all sorts of other things when I refused to compromise my own integrity and well being for the sake of others. Just because I am an Empath does not mean I owe you anything except the same basic human decency and consideration I would give to a complete stranger. I’m not a mean person, truly. I can be blunt at times and when angry or stressed have to be careful of my own emotional responses. It’s something I struggle with and still endeavor to work on. I’ve improved greatly over the last 10 years or so. What I am is someone who knows their own value and sees their own worth, someone who is not codependent, someone who will not put themselves or their loved ones at risk unnecessarily.
Anyone I have ever loved, I still love and always will. I don’t think there is a person who has hurt me so gravely that they have lost my love. Though I may have said things in anger or when hurt, to know me is to know that while my anger passes and my wounds heal, my love remains. However, there are times when that love has to be felt at a distance because to do so closely would put myself and those closest to me at risk for being hurt. This is not to say I seek to shield myself or my children from all pain. That’s just not possible. That’s not to say that if my circumstances were different that I wouldn’t assess a situation differently. When making decisions as to who is in close proximity to me in my life, I take all persons involved into consideration. Myself and my children are ALWAYS first, especially my children.
Truth be told, there are people in my life that I could have and would have done a great deal more for than I had if I only had myself to worry about. Being that isn’t the case, I’ve had to make some very difficult decisions and remove people from my life that I never thought I would have to. Did I only make those choices for my children? No, certainly not. There is only so much any human being can take, and when I’ve reached my limit, that’s it. I have also stated in previous posts that I have my own demons to contend with, however I will do whatever I can to keep my damage from damaging my children. I’ve born the brunt of other’s darkness, especially during my childhood. It is my constant endeavor not to cast my shadows on others whenever possible. They have enough of their own to contend with.