Empaths are individuals who are highly in tune with the emotions and feelings of others. Empaths are great listeners, and we often find ourselves serving as mediators amongst our family members and friend groups. We are naturally intuitive, compassionate, and considerate.
Empaths don’t feel for people, we feel with people.
Empaths are emotional sponges.
My dad often tells me the story of when his favorite uncle passed away. When he got the news, he was in his bedroom crying, and I came up to him and immediately burst into tears as well without really understanding what was going on. To this day, if I am around someone who is crying, I’m going to cry as well.
Empathic abilities don’t always involve tears and sadness. Whenever people around me are expressing joy or laughter, it is infectious to me as well. Some empaths, like myself, also experience the physical sensations of other people. Whether someone around me is receiving pain or pleasure, I feel it too.
The trouble with being empathic.
Empaths who are not yet skilled in their abilities often take on the emotional needs of others at the expense of our own. We tend to attract wounded and broken people because of our innate propensity towards caring for and healing others. We are often magnets for toxic people who feed off of our empathic energy. Many empaths make the mistake of believing that we can fix people.
Being empathic is a gift, but we must learn to include ourselves when we dole out empathy to those around us.
Remember: “You can’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”
How Empaths Can Empower Themselves
Empowering yourself can make living as an empath much easier. For me, it took going through a toxic relationship to find my voice and learn how to set firmer boundaries.
The beauty of having survived a toxic relationship is that it forced me to learn how to value my own needs more. I had to take a closer look at every relationship in my life and recognize which ones were no longer serving me.
Through this experience, I learned several techniques for making life as an empath easier and more rewarding.
Setting boundaries can be hard for empaths. I still feel a little sting of discomfort whenever I have to say no or stand up to someone, but boundary setting is a necessary part of self-care. It may feel like we’re letting people down, but by setting firm boundaries, we are actually being kind to ourselves. Learn what you can and cannot accept and tolerate and stick to it.
Cut ties with toxic people.
I would also encourage you to take a look at the relationships in your life and determine which people and situations are purely toxic and which are just draining. The people who are draining rather than purely toxic are those who mean well but are just used to you pushing your own needs to the side in order to cater to theirs. They may be taken aback when you begin to set boundaries, but if they truly value you as a person, they will get used to it and your relationships with them will grow deeper.
Those who do not end up respecting your boundaries are toxic and need to be cut off. Most toxic people will naturally shift away from you when you begin to set firmer boundaries. Let them go freely because they are the ones who are taking advantage of you and your lack of boundaries. They don’t respect you as a person and only kept you around to meet their needs. You are better off without them.
Balance your chakras.
During my journey towards self-empowerment, I realized that my solar plexus chakra was unbalanced. This chakra is related to your sense of self, identity, and self-esteem. Many people with a blocked solar plexus chakra have a hard time setting boundaries. This is a common problem for many unempowered empaths and is worth looking into if you are struggling with setting boundaries and putting yourself first.
Learn to trust your intuition.
Most empaths have good intuition, especially when it comes to reading other people. We can usually tell if someone is being manipulative or underhanded, but we tend to ignore our intuition and give people the benefit of the doubt. Gut feelings are your higher self’s way of protecting you from harmful situations.
Express yourself through creativity.
As empaths, we are emotional sponges who tend to take on the weight of the world. Although we cannot prevent ourselves from intuitively picking up on the emotions and sensations of others, we can find positive ways to channel this emotional information.
Art is a great way to release these emotions. My art form of choice is writing, but you can express your emotions through singing, playing an instrument, painting, or even cooking, to name a few examples. There are many ways to express yourself, but the point is to find a release method for all of the emotions that you take on throughout your life as an empath.
Empath Empowerment: Protect Your Energy
Overall, each of the steps listed above come down to protecting your energy. Use your intuitive abilities to set boundaries and determine which people and situations in your life cause you to experience negative vibrations. Balance your chakras and meditate in order to promote positivity from within. Find a creative/positive way to release the emotions that you end up absorbing from others. Mastering these steps will lead you down a path of empowerment as an empath.