Does this sound familiar? “All of my life I’ve been told I’m too sensitive.” I hear that fairly often from my empathic students and clients. (An empath is a person who feels other people’s emotions (and sensations) inside their own skin– as though it were happening to them– just in case you don’t know. Head over to my website www.AimeeCartier.com to get my list of “44 Signs You Are an Empath” if you want to see if you are one.)
Can you imagine going through the world feeling all your own feelings AND all the feelings that you come across? It can be nerve-wracking to say the least! Overwhelming and debilitating to say the worst. Awkward is another sensation that comes to mind. And I don’t mean awkward because it feels weird to do this. (It doesn’t. If you are empathic it feels normal to do this! You sometimes don’t even notice!) I mean awkward because sometimes that is the sensation that you are downloading!
However, I have to tell you something empath. And it is important.
You are sensitive.
And another thing– that’s VERY important to know… That’s unlikely to EVER change!
Guess what else? Despite what other people may (or may not) have been telling you all your life—being sensitive is actually not a problem. Just because your sensibilities don’t match others around you doesn’t mean they are wrong. Furthermore, your acute sensitivities don’t have to be a challenge. You just need to know how to deal with yourself. 🙂
Honestly—it’s not hard. (I mean that.)So here’s a tiny break-down for you. Then we’re going to do the same break-down for those who love you– in case you need to show this to one or two of them. 🙂
Don’t measure yourself by other people’s standards. It honestly doesn’t really matter what other people do or don’t pick up or are and are not sensitive too. What is important is to understand is your own sensitivities. They are real. You are very likely to always be highly sensitive to nuances that others only (maybe) vaguely feel. Emotions are likely to be STRONG for you—when they may or may not be for others. Your emotions. That’s okay. There is a lovely way to work with this. (See number two. 🙂 )
2. Emote. It’s important. What I mean by that is take time to experience, express and feel the fullness of all the emotions that you feel. Don’t try to stuff the “bad” ones. Or pretend they don’t exist. Or take them out in a convoluted way on someone else. Feeeeeeeel them. Do it in a time and place that is safe, supportive, and appropriate for you. You’ll need more room for emotions than others. If you are feeling big things—go ahead and feel those big things. It’s easy—see how best to do it here and why it’s important here.
Take the example of one of my Empath Intuition University students. She is one of my emoting stars! She in particular comes across a lot of intensity and hardship at her work place. She assists an under-served population of children in her work—who don’t always have access to the best resources– and whose families are sometimes in dramatic and sad situations. On certain days at work the range of intensity that she encounters can be stressful and taxing to say the least, heart-wrenching and infuriating to say the worst. After learning that A. she didn’t actually have to STUFF her feelings all the time. And B. She could find an appropriate place to vent them (namely at home while alone)—everything changed for her at work.
One of the things that happened was that she became less emotionally volatile herself. Instead of the lashing out that sometimes occurs (or going-off-at-the-mouth! as I like to call it;) We know, we’ve all been there!) when you are spending a lot of psychic energy to stifle something that is still BIG and inside of you– it changed. Some days, while at work, she would simply quell this by acknowledging to herself, “It’s okay. I can go home and emote about this later. I CAN give it its full due.” And she did. When she got home from work she would give herself permission to sit on the couch and really feel all the intensity and grief or anger she felt about a given situation that she had seen that day. She was able to stop (over) reacting at work. She even stopped tearing up at absolutely everything (another symptom of an already extremely full emotional load) all because she came into the regular practice of giving herself time and space to BE and FEEL her big emotions. And wonderfully, to do so in a way that wasn’t harming herself or pissing off anyone around her. 🙂 Ya-hoo! That’s the goal.
She became much more able to deal AND she got to FEEEL her big stuff—instead of trying to squash it. (Think leaky damn people… this is what happens when you try to stuff big emotions.) They NEED time and space! It’s okay! It’s HUMAN!
So all that brings me to my last bit of advice for you and your highly sensitive nature.
Take care. For real. It’s your responsibility to know what you need. And it’s nearly impossible for your non-empathic partners, friends, or family to figure that out. (Here is a story of when I skipped my own bridal brunch– if you need some inspiration.) When you know what you need– do your best to get it for you. Don’t put yourself to the bottom of the list or see to EVERYONE else’s needs first ALL THE TIME. (Yes, sometimes, especially if you are a parent, your needs will have to take second burner. But that’s not forever, it’s temporary, unless you insist on making it so. Do not do this!) It’s important for you to be aware of what you need and to give it to yourself – and I mean that even on an emotional level. If you realize you need acknowledgement and encouragement– you don’t have to wait for that from outside. If the situation calls for an internal self pep-talk give it to yourself- “Geez this is hard for you. I see that this is hard for you. I know you’re doing the best you can.” Or, “I’m so sorry your so sad. That sucks!” You don’t have to wait for others to satisfy your emotional needs or to denote them as worthy. As an empath, you’re basically a walking emotional super power. Use it on yourself as well!
Now, let’s do a brief recap from a different perspective.
3 things to do if you are in a relationship with a person who is empathic.
Don’t measure their sensitivities by the range of other people (or your own). It honestly doesn’t really matter what other people do or don’t pick up or are and are not sensitive too. What is important is that your person IS sensitive to these things. That’s real. Even if you don’t have the same meter.
Allow your person to be as they are without telling them that they should be otherwise. (Don’t you dare use that irrelevant/outdated “You’re too sensitive!” or “Buck up! Get over it!” bull shit. They will get over it, move on, return to happy—once they’ve let it out of their system. Don’t try to stifle it in them. Encourage them to take the evening alone to cry. If you can, tell them you’ll be ready with popcorn and a funny movie when their done. 🙂
When they say they need something encourage them to get it– even if you don’t understand just why they might need ANOTHER bath today, for example. They don’t need your encouragement for their needs to actually be worthy—but having a supportive friend, partner, family member goes a LONG way.
Empaths— I know, sometimes you wish you weren’t so sensitive. But you are. And take it from me (and my Empath Intuition University students), once you accept that and put simple measures like the ones above in place—it becomes a whole lot easier to be a sensitive person. You’re lovely– all sensitive and everything!
Aimée Cartier is a psychic, author, and the founder of Empath Intuition University. She teaches empaths who are overwhelmed and sometimes debilitated by their sensitivities. Twice per year through an (alternately) four or seven month program she teaches them in manageable steps how to understand their abilities so that they can work with their sensitivities (and not against them). This leads them to getting and staying connected to their own power and knowing and ultimately being able to use their empathic gift to inspire themselves and others. More about her and her work (including “44 Signs You Are an Empath” and the free audio “4 Antidotes to Common Empath Challenges” can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com.