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Switch to Forum Live View The challenges of being empathic
10 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2008 - 8:25PM #21
Posts: 11

Trinity - great inspiration!   Your thoughts are worthy of listening to.

May I say... hopefully, without sounding obnoxious or offensive to anyone here:

Empathic is having the ability to relate to the client or patient at their level and needs.
Sympathic is feeling sorry for the client or patient and also becoming sucked into it.

A person can be natually born with exceptional kinestetic abilities and sensitivities, along with others who are born with exceptional mental, audio, visual or athletic abilities and sensitivities.  We all have this within us, just some are more exceptional in areas than others.   

Some people are so closed to empathy or sympathy they don't reach that point and die that way (the way they lived).  It does not make them wrong, it simply is.   

Lizy Roze, having had my own experience spenting years in a hospital, it would of been great to have empathic nurses (and doctors).  Not someone that dumps the trays, and most importantly forgets that there is a human being attached to that arm (called burn out and over worked) and actually "cared about their job."   

You know those silly volunteers (I used to laugh at), those people that show up - well, one starts looking forward to those people, who ARE doing it because they care and it shows.  Having worked in the psychiatric, medical and holistic fields,  I have seen a lot and trust me, you sound like someone that IS empathic.

Spirittalk:  That is so terrific that you are "reinventing yourself!"  It's just another great journey of yours.  I do it a lot!  Have a fantastic journey and do keep us posted!

To everyone that posted here, I just want to thank you for all your thoughts - all incredible human beings.  What a great thread!  Much love.  Oceania
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10 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2008 - 1:51PM #22
Posts: 748

Over the years I have met quite a few who were/are empaths, some understood and appreciated the gift and of course there were/are those who detest it.
From my point of view I would say that if time is taken to understand the various levels and forms of such a gift, it is then much easier to find its true value for those who can look beyond the initial reaction.

It was years before I myself understood why I would immediatly get a headache, or a feeling of elation or sadness from those who were around me.  At first I thought it might be attributed only to large crowds of people, thus I avoided such situations.  Of course after a time I came to realize that although it may not strike as fierce or as suddenly in a smaller group, it was just the same!  :):( Which in turn of course brought forward all types of mixed emotions.......that is until I learnt how to use this gift in a proper fashion and most importantly how to virturally shut it off.  Of course one cannot cause this gift to fully disappear on a whim, but  they can  learn how to difuse it and/or manifest it in such a fashion that it is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.
There are those who use prayer, or chants to start a day in the best light to avoid the reprocussions of not properly managing this avbility.  Of course in reality there are probably more than 100 different ways those who work at managment have to either enhance or difuse this gift dependant upon the circumstance at hand.
One thing is certain though, to be angry or upset but do little or nothing towards learning the ups and downs of this ability will surely bring the opposite result one is in search of.

Great topic!  And one that in my opinion is not discussed near enough for the degree of those with empathic ability there are in the world.
{Host of Intuitive Counseling @ bnet}
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 11, 2008 - 12:36AM #23
Posts: 1
i am an empath too and i was reading a little bit of the thread before but you guys were saying things kind of like you can feel the pain of others and stuff. well like i can do that too but like i am able to make that pain feel like... good in a way. The pain doesnt bother me at all. and i am also REALLY good at helping people. iv always wanted to talk one on one with another empath :) thatd be cool
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10 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2008 - 5:26PM #24
Lavender & Thyme
Posts: 1
Very well said.  This really hit home in more ways than one.  Some people are blessed with this and some don't have a clue...poor souls.
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8 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2009 - 10:31PM #25
Posts: 265

Thank you for this thread. It's very insightful. I posted a thread in the 'depression support' forum along this same vein, asking what people do to maintain their inner strength and not let other people bring them down, when they're trying to recover from their own depression. I wish more people could understand the reasons we are the way we are. Instead, because of their ignorance, they are judgmental. That is natural, but sometimes it is very frustrating. And the ironic part is, because everything rubs off on us, when other people judge us negatively for our empathic trait, it's easy to find ourselves agreeing with their judgments! I feel like all my emotions are amplified. I don't feel different emotions than other people do. I just feel them more strongly, and at different times, than other people do. People are constantly accusing me of over-reacting, which infuriates me more than almost anything else. It's definitely one of my 'buttons', and of course I'm usually already upset when people push it, so then it's not a pretty scene. Sometimes I know for a fact they say it specifically because they know it's a button. Anyway I digress. I used to agree with them, and beat myself up, except deep down I knew they were wrong somehow, I just couldn't put it into words. Now I can, sort of . . .

Each of us is shaped by our genes, our history, our subconscious, our environment, our physical health, and so on. All of those factors play a role in how we respond to an event. The analogy I've sometimes used to help people understand why everyone's response is valid in its own context, is this: "If you watch Law & Order SVU, and the episode is about rape, it might not bother you at all, you might just find it to be a good television program. But someone else might be deeply troubled by watching it, because she herself was raped." People generally seem to understand my point, then. Just because my emotional response to something is different than yours, doesn't mean mine is 'wrong' or invalid. Invalidating someone, especially a child or otherwise vulnerable person, is one of the worst things you can do to their psyche, in my opinion. So I'm really glad the original poster took the time to explain a bit.

On the other hand, I do have to agree with the person (I'm so sorry, I can't remember everyone's name at this point, no offense) who said it's kind of condescending to say it's your fault for absorbing other people's energy because you can 'choose' to stop doing that. She's right, not everyone is as skilled as you are at flipping the switch whenever they want. Especially when we are surrounded by excessive negativity, and especially when our environment is unstable, it makes it extremely difficult to gain control over this aspect of ourselves. When the people around us are yin one moment and yang the next, and then yin again before we can adjust to yang, it can send us into a dizzying spiral of confusion and turbulent emotion, the waves of which continue long after the other person has decided what mood they're going to settle in for the day. Then they wonder what the heck is wrong with us, and act like we're crazy (often outright calling us that), which only inflames our self-doubt and self-judgment.

I think people can certainly try to strengthen their ability to control their level of empathy, but I don't think everyone has the same level of control over it - OBVIOUSLY - if they did, this thread wouldn't exist because everyone would be 'empathic' and there would be no distinction, everyone could just choose whether or not they want to be affected by others' energy today. Clearly that's not reality. To me, saying we 'should' be able to control our level of empathy or emotional response is akin to saying a depressed person should just 'snap out of it' because it's all about willpower. That ignorant view only makes a person hate themselves that much more, because they know it's not a choice, yet they feel guilty for their condition nonetheless, which makes them even more depressed, and so the cycle goes on and on.

Someone (original poster?) mentioned needing 'down time to recuperate' each day. That's so true! There are ways we can try to heal from the emotional residue from other people, and keep ourselves strong, and remember who we are, and not let our own identities be defined by those of other people. Taking time each day, often multiple times a day, for this purpose is absolutely essential. Whatever method works best for you, is up to you. For me, it's being physically alone for a period of time, listening to some soothing ambient music, lighting a scented candle, meditating, reading, journaling, drawing, and/or interacting with people who make me feel more balanced and harmonious. I can never completely stop being affected by others' energy (I've tried countless times throughout my childhood and adulthood, and even though I know I can't, sometimes I still try, just because I want so desperately to be 'free', it's kind of like thrashing against a cage, even though you know it's futile, just to get out the frustration of being inside it), but those centering activities at least help umm, 'keep my sanity', if you pardon the expression.



"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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