Sunday, July 9, 2017

Why Are Empaths Weird?

For those of you who don't know, I am what's known as an empath. It's similar to a highly-sensitive person (HSP) or empathic person in that we perceive the world a little differently, but being an empath is it's own category. Discovering this label was one of the best days of my life because I finally understood why I was feeling the way I was and knew what to do about it.

The biggest defining characteristic in my opinion for empaths is that emotion isn't just something that is felt, it is transferable energy. Most people can read body language to determine the emotion of another, but they will reserve sympathy and empathy for friends and family. Empaths are open to the emotions of all people until they learn how to filter and protect their own emotions from being consumed by the emotions of others. Before I knew I was an empath, I was extremely emotional simply because I wasn't aware that I was living other people's bad days.

A little back story for you, growing up I was very introverted and selectively social. Because of this, I didn't have much opportunity to be impacted by the emotions of others. Then I got married and moved in with a man who is very detached from his emotions so there really isn't much coming from him. But then we got a roommate who was by nature a very angry person. I don't know if he really knows that he is this way, but it was impacting me in a huge way. I had no patience anymore with our puppy or my husband. Or the roommate for that matter. I was very bloated and couldn't get rid of my belly chub (fun fact, empaths tend to carry extra weight around the middle as a form of protection or a buffer because we have weaker solar plexus chakras). My marriage was taking a huge hit because I couldn't figure out why I was so upset all the time. I would attach any reason I could find to try to explain what was going on inside of me when in reality, it was coming from outside the whole time. That's right, not all emotions felt by empaths come from within themselves, and discovering how to decipher between one's own emotions and the emotions of others is key to maintaining sanity.

So you know the emotions you're feeling aren't your own. Now what? Crystals. Crystals saved my marriage. I got a set of crystals from an amazing friend and started meditating with them daily to try to rebalance and strengthen my chakras. My husband would add his energy to my solar plexus and heart chakras as well because I needed the extra help - I have said this so many times, but I don't know how I got so lucky with this man. I spent more time in nature and focused on grounding myself and defining where it is that I ended and others began in my mindscape. Now that I am more aware and practiced, I am now able to shut myself off from the emotions of others, but it took a while and some trauma to get to this point.

Some more fun traits shared by empaths are we tend to be old souls who just know things. People we barely know feel comfortable telling their stories and sharing their pain with us. We can also take on physical symptoms from others in addition to emotions. Addictive personalities is a huge one, and we are truth seekers. We try to live as authentically as we can to stay true to our own happiness since there is so much misery we walk through everyday. Alone time is a must as it is exhausting to be around people. ESPECIALLY fake people. We can usually tell when people are lying if we stop seeing the best in people long enough to recognize the incongruence in them. And as much as we take on emotions, we can also put emotion out into the world to try to make others feel better. We'll give up our own happiness and take your sorrow so maybe we can save someone. When it comes to fight, flight, or freeze, we freeze because we believe so strongly in the innate goodness of people no matter how many times we have been proven wrong.

Being an empath has become trendy so there are tons of resources out there now. Any other empaths out there willing to share their experiences? Do you think you might be an empath? Are there any people that you just love being around because their optimism is that contagious, and they make you feel good?