Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a classic empath. Here is a link to a full description. If you are the type that can't be bothered with too much information, here is a shorter definition: an empath is someone who senses others emotions and thoughts more clearly than most.
To be honest, my empathic abilities can be super beneficial in my friendships and as a teacher/tutor. I am able to get inside my friends' minds and figure out how I can add value to their life. I figure out what makes them tick. I sense what may be stopping them from living their best possible life. I then use that information to see how I can assist them in their journey. I love the intimate relationships I develop with people using this skill.
As a teacher/tutor, I am able to figure out how my students think so that I can teach them in a highly effective manner. I see when students merely need more confidence (as opposed to more knowledge). I see where they make incorrect assumptions - and I can typically intuit why they made them. I use this information to adjust my teaching strategy. My students are always delighted to realize that, yes, they actually CAN learn anything. (I especially loved working with students who labeled themselves as "bad at math" then after a few sessions with me, they were "good at math").
Unfortunately, this *gift* has a dark side. Being privy to another person's emotional and mental states, I am tempted to ALWAYS be a light in the other person's life. I can get so consumed in what someone else experiences/feels/thinks, that I might neglect my own needs. Because I can feel their energy almost as clearly (and sometimes more clearly) than my own, it seems rational to do anything I can to help.
Fortunately, I have figured out that this is not the healthiest tendency. This can be downright draining. Many people have reported that when they get so overwhelmed with other people's energy, they just shut down. They have to go be by themselves for a while. While this is not necessarily a bad idea (it's great to be alone sometimes), requiring alone time can sometimes feel limiting. You may not want to cancel a dinner date with a potential new friend - or miss a friend's wedding.
Here are some tips that will help you preserve yourself and your gift without becoming a recluse.
Use your empathic abilities on yourself first!
As an empath, you possess special skills to feel and understand nature of emotions and motivation vastly and deeply. Treat yourself like you would a friend. Know what YOUR needs are. What is YOUR worldview and how is it different from those around you? What exactly do YOU need in this moment.
Only connect to others for a limited time.
One of my most gratifying activities is spending time with friends. I have some pretty great friends, so my time with them is typically magical. However, if I spend extended time with someone, I can easily lose myself in him/her. In order to extend my hang out time, I will intentionally disconnect for a couple minutes every 45min-and hour. Allowing this time to reset keeps me present in my own body and emotions and prevents me from getting too intertwined.
Know that sometimes it is okay to not connect at all.
We were in NYC last week and I rode the subway a LOT. I kept feeling my energy wandering around the train. I love NYC, and the people who live there are so interesting to me. However, allowing my energy to mindlessly wander around the train car was extremely draining. Doing a quick check to scan for danger is a good idea, but anything more can cause more harm than good. This brings me to the next tip.
As an empath, you probably automatically sense others' energy fields. This is a dangerous habit! For one thing, if you don't realize what you are doing, you won't realize why your mood suddenly changes (like taking a turn for the worst when you are attending a seemingly nice event; someone going through a hard time could have brushed past you). Another reason to be intentional is that you need to conserve yourself. Whenever you use your empathic abilities on people that are not open to sharing, you will feel a drain. So instead of automatically spreading your tentacles, try to focus your attention to a limited amount of specifically-chosen people at a time. (This may be just you!)
Realize that each person has a monopoly on his/her own truth.
Because an empath is so clearly feeling another person's energy, it is tempting to *believe his/her own interpretation*. We, as empaths, have to keep in mind that we can only interpret what we sense through our own perspectives; we filter our inputs through the lens of our own understanding. To not realize this is very dangerous. It's dangerous to us, because we can become frustrated with the other person's life decisions. It's dangerous to the other person, because if he/she values your opinion, your voice may become louder than his/her own internal voice.
I hope these tips help you in your journey to honing your empathic gifts. Please let me know if they do, or if you have any other tips to add!
P.S. I use my empathic abilities to help my clients listen to their own inner truth. In my sacred studio space, we create an energetic and interpersonal bond to allow the most beneficial energy to flow. This transformative work allows clients to see the hidden, limiting beliefs and subsequently release them! If this sounds like something that may help you on your journey, send me a quick email to schedule a session: ayanared <at> gmail <dot> com. Also you can view my website for more information: ayanared.com
Love and Light.