Do you know what an empath is?

 

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As a kid my mom always told me that I was too nice and people were going to hurt and disappoint me.  I agreed with her, but never truly understood what she meant.  She would say that I give a lot of myself to others, but will not always get that in return: enter the disappointment.  It wasn’t until just recently that I realized what I am: an empath.

In simple terms an empath is someone who feels other peoples’ emotions and can put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  Empaths are very intuitive and caring and nurturing, which can lead to others taking advantage of them.

I really am a person who cares about others.  I’ll listen to the lonely person at the grocery store who may need someone to talk to or a funny old lady who spilled coffee on herself and needs help cleaning it up.  When I see someone in a difficult position or in pain, I will go out of my way to think of how I can help them.  I would want someone to do the same for me.

For instance, I will listen to a friend talk about their difficult family member and how they are wrecking their life.  I will offer to help in any way I can, but sometimes people just need someone to listen to them bitch.  I know I do!  Most people today will listen to your story for a minute, and then they’re too busy to continue.  Instead I try to focus on their thoughts for as long as I can and then I’ll check on that person weekly to make sure they have recovered from their painful situation. I don’t think I’m wonderful just because I was there for you, but I think it’s rare to find people like me who truly care.

On the flip side of things, I do get angry when some people won’t extend me the same courtesy.  I’m not kind to others just to get kindness in return or for praise, but sometimes it would be nice to have people care about me in the same way.  For instance, I make it a point to say hi to people wherever I go and I especially seek out my friends and acquaintances in group settings.  I’m always hurt and amazed at how people will just leave a place and not say hi or bye.  They know you’re there, but they can’t be bothered to stop their conversation or move through a crowd to see you.  I know they aren’t trying to be hurtful, but they just don’t care enough to inconvenience themselves.

Empaths also can have their energy sucked from them very easily and can have mood swings depending on the people they are around.  I unfortunately hear a lot of sad medical stories from my husband because of his job.  I have had to ask him to stop telling me about these injured or sick people that he works with because I physically hurt when others suffer and I can’t fix it.  I like being a fixer, but sometimes there’s nothing I can do to help people.  On the contrary, I am elated when I’m around my friends and family and there is a lot of good happening.  Every time I leave my great group of friends I am on cloud 9 the rest of the day.  Nothing can make me down or blue and I feel ever so grateful to have them in my life.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I finally understand what my mom was saying to me when I was little.  I’m an empath and I’m proud of that quality, even if it does cause me pain sometimes.  Are you an empath or know someone who is?  Look it up sometime.  It’s a word that you don’t hear much about.

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Some parents really annoy me

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I was watching a movie the other night, I won’t tell you which one, and it got me thinking about how important it is to be a good parent.  The movie wasn’t about parenthood, but there was a scene that moved me.  Sometimes people don’t realize how their actions can tremendously affect their children in the long term.  So I want to talk about how important it is to think about what’s best for our children now and in the future.  Anyone can have a child, but it takes a lot to be a good parent.  You have to think about how your everyday actions can affect your child.  Now I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but shouldn’t you want to do the very best job you can.

In this movie, the scenes would flash between the present and past.  We got a good look at the son of the main character as an adult and child.  From the beginning of the movie you could tell that this character (the son) was not right and had a lot of anger toward his father.  As the movie unfolds we find out that the father would drag the son away from his mother while she worked in their home office.  The kid wanted to be with his mother, but the father prohibited the son from even giving her a quick hug.  The mother just sat there and didn’t stand up to her husband.

As I saw this, all I could think about was how heartless they both were for not just explaining to the young child that his mom needed to work and that he could give her a quick hug and then let her get back to it.  It turns out that the father was raising the kids while the mother was hard at work in the home office.  All he cared about was the mother getting her work done.  Did they honestly think the kid wouldn’t be affected by this?  Did they not realize that depriving a child of attention might make him resent them later?  Why are people so clueless?

I think the parents should’ve allowed the son to see his mother for brief periods throughout the day instead of keeping him away from her.  He didn’t understand why he couldn’t see her.  He was just a little boy.  The father could’ve been more understanding of his son’s anger and shown him some compassion too.  Also, I wish the mother had fought a little harder for her son’s sake.  All she seemed to care about was pleasing her husband.  So their short term actions (dragging the child away from his mother) greatly affected this boy.  He grew up to be very insecure and had so much anger towards his father.  He couldn’t move past his strong feelings and therefore had a terrible relationship with him.  This might have been avoided if they had given him some attention and explained things to him when he was young.

In my opinion, parents don’t often take the time to put themselves in the child’s shoes.  Wouldn’t you want someone to take the time to talk to you about why things are happening?  I know I would.  I’ve worked with a lot of kids over the years and taken some child psychology classes.  Children just want what we all want: love and respect.

I try to think about my actions on a daily basis.  I think about what’s best for my kids now and what’s best for them down the road.  I don’t think a lot of people realize that.  You can’t just stick your kids in front of tablets and devices because you can’t handle them.  You need to teach them how to follow rules, communicate with others and be a good person.  Isn’t our long term goal as parents to raise healthy, happy, independent and successful adults?