Where is the line between caring for others and losing yourself?
An Empath is someone who senses the feelings of other people. They're more sensitive in general--but especially when it comes to picking up on the energy, moods, and emotions of those around them.
It's like they have bigger and more powerful antennas than most people do. Empaths take in information that others can't sense at all. Sometimes this is a conscious thing. Other times it's happening beneath the surface of their awareness.
Despite all this extra sensitivity, many Empaths have difficulty tuning into their own needs, moods and emotions.
It's as if they have all those big, powerful antennas turned outward--only picking up on the feelings and energy of other people--losing track of their own.
Even when they can get clarity on what they want, Empaths sometimes feel selfish speaking up for themselves. So they end up spending a lot of time and energy trying to make others happy and comfortable while neglecting their own needs.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can enjoy all the benefits of being highly empathic without getting caught up trying to please everyone else at the expense of your own well-being. It just requires a little shift in mindset.
There is a big Difference Between Caring and "People Pleasing"
Not only can Empaths sense what others are feeling, many have a strong drive to step in to try to take away discomfort and pain. They’re proud of being the ones people come to when in need, and it makes them feel appreciated.
It’s totally normal to want to be liked, needed, and accepted. And being caring and considerate are important and positive traits.
But many Empaths take it too far and have problems setting limits. They feel like they should be there for everyone, everywhere, all the time. Not surprisingly, such giving people often forget to be there for themselves.
Merriam-Webster defines a “people pleaser” as someone who “has an emotional need to please others, often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires.”
For Empaths to really thrive, they need to learn to pay attention to their own feelings and put themselves first sometimes, so they don't burn out or feel used and taken for granted.
Set Boundaries and Trust Yourself
Consider the fact that the term “selfish” comes with only negative associations, while being “selfless” is considered to be an admirable thing. That's totally fine for most people in our individualistic, competitive, western society. But it's not always the case for Empaths.
In sessions, I encourage my clients to focus on what they're feeling, and what they want from life and relationships. We work on filtering out the opinions and expectations of other people.
You have every right to create your own rules about what you need and how you’re treated. Anyone who doesn't respect your boundaries is probably a big part of the reason you need those boundaries.
It's very simple: Only you get to define what’s right and healthy for you. No one else gets a vote. And you don't need to explain yourself.
The Empowered Empath is not a "People Pleaser"
The challenges that come with being an Empath are well worth it! Most Empaths care and love deeply and are profoundly compassionate people. This is a wonderful thing as long as they are consistently giving themselves that care, love, and compassion as well!
Please take good care of you. Please put yourself first sometimes! Not only is this ok; it’s important. It will help you stay healthy and happy, so you can continue to make the world a better place with your caring and compassionate presence. ✪
My mission is to help each highly sensitive and empathic person wake up to their power, brilliance, and authentic path. Please get in touch if you have any questions, stories, or want to schedule a one-on-one session to explore your soul's purpose.
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I'd love to hear your questions, comments, and ideas for further posts.
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