“Empathy is the most precious human quality”— The Dalai Lama
“Why am I an empath?”
Every day, one of our Facebook or Twitter followers, or one of our email subscribers, will ask that question.
Their attitude? They believe being an empath is a problem.
No surprise. As empaths, we know what it is like to experience far too much emotion. We absorb the emotions of others. We can look in someone’s eyes and feel what they are feeling. And it can be a burden.
It is a challenging life, being an empath. But as Bruce Lee said, “Pray not for an easy life, but for the strength to endure a challenging one.”
As an empath, you already know what it feels like to have too much emotions. You know how difficult it can be to focus on your own needs and to not get overly involved in the emotions and needs of others. You know what it feels like to see a person cry and to immediately feel the pain in them.
Many empaths struggle.
Statistics from Google show that thousands of people every month search for “Empath survival tips” or “How to cope with being an empath.”
You’re got to be kidding me.
Sure, being an empath can be a challenge. But personal mastery means making the most of what you are. And if you’re an empath, like me, you’ve got to take advantage of it.
What’s good about being an empath?
There is an oceanic depth of good that comes from being an empath.
Judith Orlaff, M.D, is author of the sublime: The Empath’s Survival Guide (read it on Amazon). She says, “We empaths have many marvelous traits. We have huge hearts and the instinct to help others in need or who are less fortunate. We’re dreamers and idealists. We’re passionate, deep, and creative, in touch with our emotions, compassionate, and can see the big picture.”
As empaths, we are naturally more aware of other people’s emotions. We can feel what other people feel. We intuitively know what’s going through their minds. And we can use this for our benefit and their benefit.
Like me, you probably became an empath because of your past.
When I was growing up there was a lot of emotional pain in our house. My father was an alcoholic. Dealing with my father’s alcoholism was hard. I experienced emotional trauma time and time again. But more than anything, I could not stand to see the pain in my mother’s eyes. It cut me deep.
Seeing my family in pain, my mind became hypersensitive to the emotions of other people. And that is a part of me today. It is the reason why I am an empath.
Your story is probably similar (leave a comment. I would love to hear your story. And you can also write for us to tell your story that way, if you like).
We empaths intuitively know that our past is what made us empaths. And science proves that we are right.
When we are born, we have psychological defense mechanisms that prevent us from being too easily influenced by other people’s emotions.
The more emotional pain or abuse we are subjected to as children, the more this defence mechanism breaks down. That’s why people who are born into abusive families often become empaths.
Once this defence mechanism is worn down, we become hypersensitive and hyperaware of other people’s emotions.
This can be a problem.
Most empaths, seeing the emotions of others, will try to solve the problems for the other person.
This is why empaths are often the targets of emotional manipulators. Other people pretend to be upset or hurt because they know that people like you and me will immediately rush to their aid. They use gaslighting techniques to take advantage of us. Why? Because they’re selfish. Why? Because they lack empathy where we have too much of it.
We empaths also tend to put our own needs last. Hell, by the time I’m finished solving everyone else’s problems it’s usually too late to solve my own. Know the feeling? I bet you do.
As empaths, we need to know how to protect ourselves.
Tricky though, isn’t it? Because we want to help people when they genuinely need help. But we also need to protect ourselves from manipulation. And at the same time as surviving we need to actually make the most of being an empath.
Wow. Sounds like a challenge. But then, personal mastery often is a challenge.
So how do we make the most being an empath?
These 10 tips for empaths make the world of difference for me!
How To Succeed As An Empath: Tips That Will Change Your World (Inside And Out)
1: Indentify drainers
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room.
As empaths, we naturally want to help everyone. The idea of distancing ourselves from negative people (whom I call “drainers”) makes us feel a little bit sick in the gut, doesn’t it? Feels selfish. Feels wrong.
Well guess what?
Your emotional needs matter every bit as much as everyone else’s!
(You should probably just tattoo that statement on your forehead right now).
You value other people’s emotions. You hate it when other people are hurting. But you should hate it even more when you yourself are hurt.
Drainers are the main reason why empaths suffer. They are the reason why so many empaths are experiencing chronic fatigue right now.
We need to change that.
So here is our first tip for empaths: Tell one negative person in your life that you are distancing yourself from them. Do this right now. After all, momma always said to “strike while the iron is hot”.
2: Indentify energisers. And be grateful for them
The downside of being an empath: you absorb other people’s emotions.
The good side of being an empath: you absorb other people’s emotions.
Spend time with positive people and you will absorb their positive energy. This is the gift of being an empath. And it is probably the absolute best tip for empaths.
Appreciate all the positive people in your life. Express gratitude for them. Spend more time with them.
Want another tip, empaths?
When you want to spend time with drainers, find situations in which they give out positive energy. Your drainer will exhibit positive energy in certain ways. Make use of that.
3: Create an energy shield
Your painful past wore down your mind’s defences. Good news: you can build them back up again.
The best way to rebuild your mind is by using your imagination.
One potent technique is to imagine an energy shield that prevents negative energy from entering your mind.
Around negative people? Imagine an energy shield surrounding you, preventing their negative energy from entering your mind.
4: Be mindful of your thoughts
Mindfulness is a wonderful gift for empaths. With the right mindfulness techniques, we can boost the mind and we can learn to manage both positive and negative energy.
These mindfulness exercises train the mind to be more aware and more in the moment. This helps us keep our shields up and prevents us from slipping into other people’s negative energy.
A bonus tip for empaths: stay in the moment, and always monitor your mind.
The negative energy that has build up like a well in the soul can only be emptied with the gift of forgiveness.
As empaths, we are more likely to suffer than most people. We experience heightened emotions. This can cause scars. And scars take time to heal.
The key to healing emotional cars is forgiveness. Who can we forgive today? What negative energy can we release from our spirit right now?
6: Let go of emotions
As empaths, we aren’t just more aware of other people’s emotions, we are more aware of our own emotions too. And we can cling to those emotions like corral on rock.
We must let go of our emotions. The key is consciousness. By being consciously aware of our emotions, and then imagining those emotions flowing out of our souls, we can cleanse our spirits of build-up emotions.
7: Create inner peace with meditation
Inner peace is what most empaths crave. We have been through emotional pain, haven’t we? You likely know full well what it is to suffer. And the idea of inner peace seems like a dream in the minds eye.
Dreams are possible futures waiting to happen. We can make inner peace happen for us. The key is meditation.
My book Journey To The Buddha Within You shows how to create inner peace using the power of traditional meditation techniques. Take a look at that link. It will empower you to control your mind and to create inner peace.
8: Face the fear and say “No” anyway
We empaths are the nicest people around (and the most valuable). We live to help other people.
Reality check: we need to know when to say no.
As empaths, we know what it’s like to be taken for a ride. Odds are someone has taken advantage of your empathy at some point, right? And they probably didn’t even say sorry.
We need to change that.
Make it a habit to say no to any unreasonable request. Struggle with that? Read this guide to Facing Fear in Life The Warrior Way.
9: Bathe your spirit in nature
Nature is the greatest gift. Especially for empaths.
As an empath, when you are out in nature you probably feel a tremendous sense of relief. You feel relaxed and tranquil. You can feel positive energy flowing from the world into your own spirit.
Empaths need to spend more time in nature. It is the best way to release pent-up emotions and to restore positive energy to our beings.
10: Change your perspective
Most things in life come down to perspective, don’t they? Empathy is another ne of those things.
Change your perspective on emotion and you will change your life as an empath.
See the good in pain. See the many life lessons that people gain through suffering. Then, you will be less urgent to stop pain when you see it.
Pain is often the pathway to enlightenment. Do not be too sad for people when they are down. It might be end up being the most important lesson they ever learn.
Being an empath is a gift. We feel more than other people feel. Life is about feelings, about emotions, about experience. And as empaths we experience more, feel more, and understand more.
Don’t just survive as an empath. Own it.