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.