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The Ups and Downs of Being an Empath

Being an empath
Being an empath

An empath is a highly sensitive person who can deeply perceive emotions in other people and feel what they feel.

For many who possess it, the gift of empathy feels like both a blessing and a curse.

If you are an empath, you feel everything. Your intuition and perception are spot on and you can easily tune in to the moods and emotions of others. It’s hard to fool you, as you can detect a lie with incredible accuracy. You find it effortless to see the heart of a person without being distracted by outward appearances. You have a deep sense of knowing, which makes you compassionate, considerate and understanding. You tend to be quite imaginative, creative and interested in the arts in some way, whether that be singing, writing, painting or some other form of artistic expression. You also tend to be a good listener and will find yourself putting your own needs and wants aside to help another. Even complete strangers will find themselves opening up to you about their most intimate thoughts. This is due in part to your ability to make people feel relaxed and safe.

There is, of course, a downside to empathy which makes many empaths view their gift as a curse. As previously mentioned, if you are an empath you feel EVERYTHING - every negative emotion, every sullen mood, every underlying agenda. Another problem this causes is that to many people you will appear judgmental or critical of others. When you can intuitively sense the hidden motives of someone who is trying desperately to appear “nice” and you point out how “not nice” they actually are, you will come across as “passing judgment” or “negative” or someone who “expects the worst.” For those not as perceptive as yourself, it’s hard to understand just how clearly you can feel and sense other people, circumstances and events. Your deep felt sensitivity makes it easier to experience hurt feelings. The dichotomy in this is that while people will appreciate and admire your ability to tune in to them, they will also often complain that you are “too sensitive” when they or someone else hurts your feelings.

Many empaths do not recognize their extrasensory perceptions as being different from others simply because they assume everyone else is just as tuned in as they are. This can cause an empath to feel all alone in the world. Although those around them can feel greatly understood, the empath can, and often does, feel just the opposite.

Due to their highly sensitive nature empaths may appear to be weak. This is a common misconception since empaths can often be more emotionally strong and resilient than their less sensitive counterparts. While it is true that empaths feel emotion strongly and tend to cry easily, this release of emotional energy actually aids the empath in letting go of the intensity of built up emotion. This applies to both the emotion of the empath as well as the emotion they pick up and carry from others.

Additionally, empaths also feel positive emotions more intensely than non-empaths. If you are loved by an empath you will feel a love like no other.

As an empath there are many things you can do to cultivate this gift, for it truly is a gift, into a more positive day to day experience. Getting out and spending time in nature is recommended, especially if life around you is frantic. Gentle exercise, such as yoga, and developing a regular mediation practice is essential. Not only will these suggestions help you unwind and clear out mental clutter, they will also assist you in becoming even more attuned and aware.

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