Are you an empath who has a hard time functioning in the world? Do you roam around wondering if you can ever find a balance between being an empath and being highly-functioning?
I have been an empath all my life. But I had no idea that’s what I was. It was only recently, in the past five to six years that I have been able to put a label and definition upon who I am and how I deal with the world.
If you are reading this article, you probably know that you are an empath. An empath, simplified, is one who takes on the feelings, emotions, and temperaments of the people, situations, and environments around them. This is probably not a textbook definition. But it is a definition that is true for me and many other empaths out there.
You might be thinking, being an empath sounds pretty great, why would you ever want to change or learn to live with it? Well, that’s what the problem is. It is a gift that shrouded with issues. Let’s look further into it below.
Why Is It so Hard Being an Empath in This World?
As the world gets more chaotic, as social media becomes more prevalent, as community’s shrink and the world becomes more digital, it’s going to become harder to be an empath in this world. That is because suffering and negativity will increase in the world, and the atmosphere will become filled with these negative energies.
Empaths will tap into this increased source of negativity and become stifled and debilitated by it.
In the past, there was no Internet, so the only negativity you experienced was the one that was present in your immediate family and perhaps your neighborhood. As the world becomes more connected, empaths are tapping into all sorts of negative energies, that filter in through the Internet and the atmosphere.
We are more connected than ever, and that means, we are more likely to feel negative energies emanating from all corners of the world. This applies to positive energies and news as well, of course.
So you can imagine that being an empath in this world right now is difficult. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I’ll share some tips with you below on how I do it.
Value Your Empath Gifts, but Don’t Overuse Them
The world constantly tells you that being an empath is such a great gift, that it has been bestowed upon us by the Gods themselves, and we should be grateful to have been given such a gift. Yeah, sure, I’m grateful to be an empath. Well, most days, I am grateful.
But that doesn’t mean that I forget about everything else in my quest to be the best empath out there. To give and give and give, without any control or temperance is foolish indeed.
Some empaths have a saviour complex, where they believe everyone around them needs them and will not be able to function without them. That’s absolutely untrue, of course. In fact, a lot of times, by enabling the people around you and having them rely completely on you, you are making them weaker, and incapable of being independent.
You are an empath, and you can help people. That is the truth. BUT that doesn’t mean that you NEED to help people and that you cannot go without it. It’s not your obligation to help people no matter what. If there is a possibility that you could get hurt if you help others around you, then you can step back and avoid responsibility.
On the other hand, if you are well-rested and well-suited to taking care of the people around you, do so, without feeling obligated to do so. Do if when you feel good about it. It’s not your responsibility to take care of others around you, just because you are an empath. It’s your gift and you can use it as you desire.
Take Care Of Yourself First – Being an Empath Is Draining
I’m sure you have heard this admonition a thousand times before. But how many empaths are actually listening to this and following this advice. Not many at all.
I know I have fallen into the trap of overdoing it and giving too much of myself to the point of burnout, many times before. I don’t do that anymore. But it’s still so easy for me to fall into the false thinking that I am being lazy or selfish or ungrateful if I don’t use my gift to the max and give of myself to the max.
If you don’t put your mask on first, you could literally suffocate to death before you are able to put on someone else’s mask. The same applies to any empathic situation. If you are too tired to give to someone else, or you haven’t eaten or slept enough, then you are going to end up exhausting yourself BEFORE you can completely help someone else.
That’s such a waste of your efforts and a waste of time for them. They could have asked for help from someone else who could have truly helped them.
You are NOT the only one on the planet who can help others. There are others around you and them. That’s why forget about your savior complex and focus on helping others to the best of your ability when you are at 100%.
Follow Your Gut and Stay Away from Toxic Situations, and People
You don’t have to help everyone that comes to you. I wish I could tattoo this on every empath’s arm, so they could see it every single day. I’m including myself in that.
Just because someone comes to you asking for help, doesn’t mean that you are obligated to help that person. There are many reasons you might be unsuited to help that person:
- You might not be suited to each other’s personalities or temperaments
- You might get triggered by that person’s issues and it could end up harming you
- They might be an extremely toxic person or a narcissist that is going to end up taking too much from you
- Or they might not be willing to change so any help you give would be completely wasted
- They are an energy vampire who would suck you dry and leave just the husks (maybe not even that)
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but you get the idea. You are not obligated to help, just because they come asking for help.
Make Sure You Follow Your Dreams First before Supporting Others
Too many empaths spend SO much of their time helping others achieve their dreams and goals, that they end up forgetting about themselves. Are you doing that?
If you are, you are probably wondering why you end up falling off your own habit wagon or your own dream wagon, while people around you keep living their dream lives and becoming more and more successful. Guess what? You gave too much of yourself to others and you had nothing left for yourself.
Remember that there are MANY ways to be an empath. For example, I am an empath, but I don’t give directly to people in a face-to-face manner. I do YouTube videos, podcasts, and blog posts like these to give one-to-many. And many people get tonnes of benefit from my content.
I used to feel guilty about the fact that I don’t give in a face-to-face manner, but then I started receiving dozens of messages weekly about how my content has changed people’s lives and now I don’t feel guilty at all. Even when people call me selfish to my face (which is literally the worst insult for an empath), I am able to ignore it easily.
Don’t ignore your dreams to help others. In fact, you will find, as I did, that your dreams are a ticket to help even more people in your empathic way.
Guilt Is a Huge Trap That Empaths Fall Into
I think one main reason why empaths don’t do more with their gifts is that they spend way too much stewing in the pits of guilt. It’s probably one of our favorite activities. I’m just kidding, of course (only about it being our favorite, we have many other habits that are much worse).
The problem is that it’s quite easy to make an empath feel guilty. In fact, we are only too happy to start feeling guilty about things. And the fastest way to make an empath feel guilty is to call them selfish. Everyone around us knows this, so they use it as a way to trap us into doing things that we don’t want to do.
We do not want to be selfish. We have this gift to help others in unique ways. You know, we are healers at heart, helpers, and givers. We do not want to sit on our haunches and do nothing with this gift. BUT what we don’t realize is that it’s impossible for us to do nothing. It’s literally impossible.
Even when we are just sitting around waiting for a bus or train to arrive, we are pondering over how to help this person or that. It’s in our DNA, in our genes, in our blood, in every cell of our body. We are helpers at the deepest level.
I Love It When People Call Me Selfish
Remember that, and forget it when someone calls you selfish. They have NO idea how much you give on a daily basis. And they don’t need to know. You know and God knows. And those are the only two parties that need to know.
The problem is that a lot of times people to whom we are giving the most, don’t realize that we are giving to them. A lot of giving that we do might be subtle. We might be praying for them, or sending them blessings or good vibes or positive energies. Or we might be speaking well of them to God or to others around us. We might be defending them.
There are many non-tangible things we might be donig for them, but they are clueless about it. Thus, they denigrate us and call us names, like selfish, and useless.
It breaks us down and makes us want to run away from the world. But only if you let them get to you.
Don’t Expect Gratitude for the Work You Do
Remember that you can’t expect to receive gratitude for the empathic work you do. It’s a waste of time for you to wait for it.
Seriously, this is the biggest lesson I have learned as an empath and I really want to share it with you. No matter what I do for someone else, I NEVER ever wait for a thank you. That’s not why I do it. That’s not what I am doing it for. Never.
There are two reasons for it.
- If I am doing something just for a thank you, it somehow taints that particular thing
- Most people will not thank you for what you do – a lot of times they will berate you for not doing enough
If I waited to hear a word of gratitude for the things I do for others, I would be waiting forever and I would be deterred from this path of empathic giving. That’s not what being an empath is all about. Do, but forget about the gratitude. Give, but forget about the receiving (that doesn’t mean don’t ask for money for what you do).
You will receive from God. That’s all that matters anyways.
Always Ask for Money for What You Do
You might be surprised that I have included this point in an article about empathy. BUT one of the best ways to recharge ourselves, and take care of ourselves, is to ask for monetary compensation for what we do. I have noticed that once I started getting compensated fairly for what I give, I wanted to give more, I was able to give more of my time and money and I was happy to do more of it.
If you are struggling to put food on the table, you are not going to be a very good empath. If you are struggling to pay bills each month, you are not going to be a very good empath.
It’s harder being an empath if you are struggling with daily physical necessities because you are doing everything for FREE!! Yikes. What a nightmare.
I did that for years. I struggled so much with money and it was such a terrible time in my life. Never again, I say shuddering as I think about it.
Ask for fair compensation and receive it with grace, joy, and without any guilt. You deserve it. You are giving a great service in exchange for it. It’s worthy of financial compensation. It’s necessary to live in this physical realm of ours. Once you are an angel, you can forget about this, but for now, you still need to ask for monetary compensation.
Learn to Give as Much as You Receive
This is a huge one for us as empaths. I am terrible at receiving. Dastardly at it. I am learning to be better. I am learning to ask for help. I am learning to receive.
But this is a big lessons for all empaths to learn. Just because you are good at giving doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to receive. In fact, the more you give, the more you should learn to receive. There has to be balance in this world. Otherwise, it would fall apart.
That’s why so many empaths fall apart – why so many empaths run away from their gift. Why they numb themselves.
Bit by bit, you can start learning how to receive. I do it in the following ways:
- Get regular massages which are great way to receive love and care
- Never say no to offers of help – be it someone helping me with bags in a plane or more
- Never ever say no to money coming into your life
- Stay open to receiving energetically or in other ways (it doesn’t always have to be tangible)
- Let the sun shine on your face and receive the warmth gratefully
- Buy beautiful things for yourself and wear it with pride (don’t put it away for special occasions)
- Dance in your living room – love your body
- Take time to sit in a hot bath or watch a favorite show
- Do Abhyanga (self massage)
There are many other ways, of course, but this is a good start. Do you have other ways you learn to receive? Share with us in the comments below.
Being an Empath Can Be Rather Fun
I hope that you realize that once you take care of yourself and you give only as much as you wish to, your empathic abilities will become a true gift, rather than a noose around your neck.
Being an empath is actually rather fun, but only if you are doing everything that I have spoken about in the paragraphs previously.
Are you an empath? What did you think of what I shared above? Could you resonate with it? Tell me in the comments below.