As an empathic person, I have spent my entire life trying to please others. I have tiptoed around everyone’s feelings and made efforts to placate the discomfort they feel, or at least not aggravate the mood. I would say that 50% of the learned behavior of an empath is just to keep them safe around volatile people. The other 50% is the love and empathy they truly feel for others. Because we can feel others’ feelings, we empaths have a strong desire/need to comfort people. Most of us spend our whole lives looking for ways to solve the problems of those we care about while we suffer in our own mind feeling unsupported. No one can really help an empath feel supported except another empath. And because most of us have become so disconnected from ourselves, often we don’t even know how to recognize and accept support when it does come to us.
All any being really wants is love and acceptance.
There comes a time when one reaches the limit of the giving they can do. In my experience, when you love people so much but you are continually unappreciated and sometimes outright abused, there comes a time when you just can’t give any more, or take anymore, and you have to set boundaries. Most of the time this is done in anger because the empath holds in their own feelings until it is impossible to do so any longer.
We love and care for people. We support them and listen when they need to vent. Then when we ask for support, or we vent, we are often rejected, unfriended, blocked and shunned. This is confusing at first, for the empath. We wonder what we did to deserve to feel this way. Especially because we care about these people. It’s painful to realize that these friends we have been investing in don’t feel the same about us. They don’t see us or our gifts as investments or as valuable. For us, that is the ultimate rejection, because we give ourselves. We give who we are, and to be turned down or turned away insults our very existence.
It is important that we empaths take a good look at the people we are surrounded by. If we are investing our feelings into people who couldn’t really care less about us, it is time to make some choices. It’s time to think about our own feelings and set some boundaries on what we will and will not tolerate. We are energy healers. We feel because we can heal. These people don’t even know what they feel, but we do. And we can only help them if they accept it. Those people that keep you around because you’re such a good listener, but they never apply the advice you offer are sucking your energy. They are energy vampires, parasites, and they will only drain you. You are not helping them by feeling sorry for them and being afraid to hurt them or of them feeling rejected.
It’s time to learn how to say no. And it’s better to do it when you feel in control and confident than when you’re at the end of your rope and angry about being used. If you wait until you’re heated, you’ll go off and say all those things you haven’t said because you didn’t want to hurt them and then they will turn on you and accuse you of being mental or crazy or delusional because what you speak is too painfully true for them to accept. So set the boundaries in your mind and heart first. And when you see/feel your boundaries being violated, love yourself and withdraw. Return your sword back to its sheath. Take a breather and consider not spending so much time with that person anymore. Sometimes the most self-loving thing you can do, is to love people from afar.
Everyone has free will.
Not one of us is literally responsible for the way others feel. Everyone has a choice. Even your small children. We as empaths need to stop worrying about how other people will feel if we say or do what is true for us. We need to stop feeling guilty at even the thought of doing something for ourselves. It is our birthright to feel joy and contentment and happiness. And if our happiness is dependent upon, or hindered by, the behavior of other people, that is a giant red flag we need to examine carefully.
Work on you.
People are drawn to empaths because we don’t jump to conclusions. We are slow to judge and we ask questions and listen because we can feel that there is more to the story than what the person in front of us is saying. This is the gift we give others. We give comfort and reassurance that they are understood. This is the very skill we empaths need to use for ourselves. What we feel is a gift. But if we have avoided our own feelings and thoughts and we don’t have the same empathy for ourselves as we have for others, we are harming ourselves. We are actually being self abusive and this does not help our mission or serve our purpose in our own lives. We need to start loving ourselves as much as we have loved everyone around us.
This means we need to spend more time in meditation, listening to what our thoughts and feelings tell us. We need to avoid toxic people, toxic food, toxic air, toxic environments, and protect ourselves from anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. This is important because this world has created many ways to make us sick and we agree with them mindlessly. Because we agree with these poisonous practices, our whole world is suffering. Don’t feel bad for saying no to harmful things. More of us need to do this, to take a stand for what’s right on behalf of our planet and all who live on it with us. That’s the point. We have come here for a reason and we have been stuck by thinking of everyone else and not ourselves. What we have been doing is backwards. When we love and care for ourselves, we change the world. It’s backward because no one makes any changes by expecting and waiting for someone else to take responsibility. It is our responsibility. Understanding this lifts the burden of feeling responsible for everyone else! We feel like the world is on our shoulders because we feel the pain of the world, but we cannot face/feel our own pain.
This is the solution, the answer to all of our problems.
In addition to spending quiet time alone, setting loving boundaries and practicing self care and self love, we need to let go of worry. We can’t worry how other people feel. We can still love people while letting them suffer. They suffer willingly. We are all on a journey and we all take steps toward our destination. We can be most helpful and loving when we keeping moving forward and stay strong. If we stop and try to help everyone who falls, we risk getting stuck, too. Of course, I’m not saying be selfish and rude when people are down. I’m saying, when a person is drowning, you throw them a lifeline, you don’t jump in with them because they might drown you, too. But if you throw them a lifeline, it’s up to them to grab it. As empaths, we feel so much and we try to do things for people that they really aren’t ready to do, and that they should be doing for themselves. We need to let go of the guilty feelings and allow people room to grow. Each and every one of us have free will. Everyone will end up where they are supposed to be. There is no horrible ending that we are responsible for saving our loved ones from. Let go of the guilt and allow everyone to have their own experience. Accept that everyone is where they are and they are exactly where they are supposed to be at all times. You don’t have to help anyone. Especially if they don’t want it or they are taking energy from you. The best thing you can do for those you love, is be self loving and authentic.
In fact, it is the only thing you can do, and it is the very reason why you are here.
*update 2020.. lots of hits on this article.. where is everyone? We want to create a community of people like us. Please reach out and connect with us or others around you. Let’s start a new world where we are the leaders*