illustration of empaths meditating in pink room
Image via Instagram/@mindfulinmay
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illustration of empaths meditating in pink room
Image via Instagram/@mindfulinmay

Being so in touch with your emotions and that of others can be laborious and damaging to the person with this ability.

Empathy is commonly defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. You may have heard this phrase used in relation to having compassion for others when they’ve gone through something traumatic. While the average human being feels empathy for a sick dog or an impoverished community, tuned empaths have an intense sense of this emotion, and they do not even understand it. Just like how one’s vision can be better than someone else’s, tuned empaths have a more robust than usual sense about them as well. However, as always, with power comes great responsibility.

How Exactly Does It Work?

We all have the ability to feel the emotions and energies of those around us. This can manifest in many different forms, like when you see a loved one and just know that something is bothering them. But for tuned empaths, this extends even further: to individuals they don’t know as well. Many would argue that our understanding of a loved one’s distress is due to how well we understand their common disposition. However, have you ever met someone for the first time and just knew that you wouldn’t get along? Or, it could’ve been an inner excitement because you were drawn to them for reasons you simply can’t explain.

Our initial attraction to others is more than an appreciation for their appearance; it is also a delightful enjoyment of their energy. You see, we not only absorb the feelings of others, but we also send our energy to others all the time. Every time we interact, speak or even think of a person, we send a signal of our energy in their direction. If you don’t believe me quite yet, think of how it is possible that we tend to become like those we are around more frequently. It isn’t simply because you want to emulate them, but because you are actually influenced by the feelings you absorb when you are around them.

How Does This Play Out In Reality?

Knowing that we are heavily influenced by those with whom we spend the most time, we must choose our company carefully. If you surround yourself with people who do not align with the standards that you set for yourself, your standards will start to erode. This is why peer pressure can be paralyzing for most adolescents. Everyone wants to have friends, so much so that they compromise themselves in the process.

A tuned empath has it even harder than most people. These individuals are often very kind and generous to others but often are the victims of emotional drainage and the overactive egos around them. They may prefer to be alone simply because it’s overwhelming when they’re in a public space for too long. And this isn’t someone who purely favors their own company over others, but rather, someone who recognizes their frequently vacillating emotional state when in public. By all means, this can be very good for them if they are surrounded by individuals of excellent and optimistic character. But as we know, all humans are fallible and don’t always seek to help those around them — for example, people who say they are your friend but talk badly about you when you aren’t around.

How Should Empaths Protect Themselves?

While consuming the negative energies of others may seem scary, it’s almost effortless to protect yourself. Fear not; the solution isn’t to self-isolate, but simply to be aware of your energetic connections to your peers and all mankind. When you are in the presence of someone you don’t want to be influenced by, simply limit your interaction and consciously state that you do not and will not exchange energy with this person. Akin to the concept of fear itself, it cannot bother you unless you first give yourself permission to be influenced by negative energies. My recommendation is to do your best to avoid or limit time spent with people who don’t have your best interest at heart.

While tuned empaths can very easily appropriate the energy of others, energetic cords can only be strengthened through time spent with people and through intention. You have to consent to the exchange of energy once you know that you are being influenced by them. But if you don’t know, like a young child of an abusive alcoholic parent, you could unconsciously consent because some part of you wants to be connected to that person; it’s okay to love people who aren’t in a perfect emotional state. Still, boundaries are essential when interacting with people who struggle with vices or behaviors that you yourself do not want to succumb to.

Outside of interacting with people in the present, we also can still house the remnants of old connections we’ve made but no longer wish to uphold. This is evident when negativity enters your life out of nowhere. Many times, we’ll fault ourselves for being upset for no good reason when, in truth, it was someone else who was sending us negativity with their thoughts. Just because you don’t talk to your toxic ex doesn’t mean that the connection to them is gone. It’s not difficult, but you must consciously release them and all the energy they’ve shared with you so your empathic connection can be severed. Tuned empaths often have difficulty doing this because they see and feel the light within everyone. Because of their visceral ability to sense the emotions of others, they often excuse bad behavior because of the sadness they know that people carry.

However, when you exchange energy with others, if they aren’t of a similar disposition, then either you or them will suffer. One will benefit, and the other will agonize because of the imbalance of energy between you two. Thus, remember that if you seek to help someone else, know that you are putting yourself at risk. But honestly, the world needs kind, tuned empaths. If not for them, we wouldn’t have anyone to help those in need. And yes, they may be at risk, but with a little bit of intention and referencing of their conscious mind, they can help the world and themselves in tandem.

Writer Profile

Michael Slade

University of Texas at San Antonio
Philosophy & Psychology

Hi everyone! My interests include spirituality, occultism, real estate and writing! My mission is to disseminate knowledge of self-love, mindfulness and optimism.

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