Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Tell If You Are an Empath

ARE YOU AN EMPATH?   by Dr Kyra Mesich, www.drkyra.com
I’ve dedicated my holistic psychology career to helping sensitive people. It shouldn’t surprise you that I’m highly sensitive; part of this quest has been to understand myself. I used to be a typical sensitive kid and young adult. I cried easily, got overwhelmed in loud or crowded environments, and the emotions of other people would sometimes exhaust me. Even after attending grad school for psychology, I still had no better understanding of why I was so sensitive and uncomfortable much of the time. Although we may go to universities to learn, it is life that presents us with our biggest lessons.
Early in my career as a young psychologist, it became all too clear to me that I was empathic. The standard definition of an empath is an individual with the psychic ability to perceive, absorb, and directly experience the strong emotions and/or intense physical sensations of others. Guess how that went over as I worked with many varied clients in the throes of emotional pain and confusion? I had to stop working for a while in order to figure out what was happening to me, what empathic ability was all about, and most importantly, how to regulate it.
On one hand, I was lucky to be a psychologist, because it gave me the opportunity to sit with each client and know exactly what they were thinking and feeling. I was therefore able to confirm without a doubt that I was indeed empathically picking up on their energies. It can be challenging being an empathic healer.
But it is also challenging being an empath anyplace else—in the office, at school, in your family—because in those situations, people often hide their true feelings. So how can you know when you are experiencing your own emotions vs. empathically picking up on the feelings of others?
This was the big question I wanted to answer, and through interviewing hundreds of people, I made the connection that sensitive people are empathic. If you consider yourself to be sensitive, or if you’ve had to hear people tell you that “You’re too sensitive,” then you are also an empath.
It’s this misunderstood empathic ability that often leads us to feel overwhelmed or overly emotional as sensitive people. We try to figure out “what is wrong with us,” when actually we are feeling what’s wrong with everyone else.
The first step to regulate empathic ability is to accept that it exists. It isn’t unusual or spooky. It is simply a nonverbal way that we communicate with each other, which has been buried in modern society in favor of intellectual communication.
The next step is to take care of ourselves by healing our own wounds and issues, so they do not get entangled with the emotional energy we sense empathically. I discuss more about this in my book The Strength of Sensitivity. Empathic ability is actually a lot more common than you might think and provides very useful information when it is balanced.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thrive this Winter: 6 Step Anti-SAD Action Plan

Holy moly winter arrived early and intensely this year here in MN!  I’ve heard similar reports from my friends and family around the ...