“A modern term banded about nowadays is that of being an Empath. It’s really just a way of describing those who have a particularly overblown sensitivity to the mental or emotional state of another”
One of the main reasons for this sensitivity, I believe, comes as a result of the empath being very in touch with themselves. Those of us who have a good understanding of what it is to ‘know oneself’ do tend to display above average empathic abilities.
There is of course disadvantage, as much as there is advantage, to being an empath. The empath can find themselves easily affected by the behaviour of others. They can also tend to be highly suggestible, and effected by others moods, to such a degree, they’re often swept along by the moment.
There are times when the majority of us, and not just highly empathic people, become all too aware of the unpalatable and unpleasant aspects of human nature. Under such circumstances, we must all know how to protect ourselves, from its effects.
We must distract ourselves by focusing our minds on the more positive aspects of human nature. Becoming more involved with the world around us will also help. Move attention, away from the feelings center, and more toward the other senses.
“I clearly remember telling a trainee therapist one time, how, if she ever felt emotional – at an inappropriate moment – she’d find it useful to look upward”
This is done in order to take the mind out of our feelings or kinesthetic sense. You’ll often see this when people are unconsciously seeking to control tearfulness. Conscious awareness of this phenomenon (of moving eyes upward) awards us greater control.
When it comes to greater control, one last thing for us to look at today, is that of how easily empathic people can be emotionally manipulated. This is simply due to their high degree of awareness: the moods of others become theirs. When others are sad so are they, when others are happy, so are they. With this in mind, the clever, abusive manipulator, has the empath in the palm of their hand.
“An uncomfortable paradox for the empath is they’ve often experienced neglect, and other kinds of abuse, during childhood”
And to add insult to injury, as adults, they can also easily find themselves in the hands of abusers. Paradoxically, this is due to survival skills established during childhood, creating vulnerability (if not understood) in adulthood.
Be aware: if you are empathic there are times when your mind, is quite literally, not your own. Taking back control involves detaching yourself from certain senses. Move your mind onto other things. Allowing yourself to be distracted from the moods of others, may be necessary, to take back control of your mind. As odd as it sounds, you may need to start caring, slightly less.