I Feel You: The Life Of An Empath

I was watching the Secret Life of Bees the other day and it brought up a point about people who are empathetic. The character on the show was extremely in tune with the emotions of others and therefore was drained daily because of it. I started thinking about myself and how I tend to be sensitive to the feelings of others. The definition of an empath is someone who experiences a great amount of empathy and often takes on the emotions of others. It can be super stressful and some may not understand why that type of person needs time alone.
I am not a true or deep empath, but I can definitely relate to the characteristics they have. I am usually an extrovert, but when I have internalized the pain of others for a long period of time, I like to be alone. Maybe that’s why I stay in my room at times and don’t like to answer the phone. I feel as if being a counselor is a very rewarding job, but personal upkeep is much needed for this profession. Some may see me as being very sensitive or even naive, but it’s all apart of the character traits of an empath. I tend to want to help those who are struggling and it makes me feel good. But it can take a toll when I neglect my own mental care. That was one of the reasons our teachers stressed the fact that counselors need counselors.
I will say that I need to learn not to internalize the emotions of others a little more. I just get so caught up to the point where I think about ways to help all day. I cry when I watch movies as if the person is real and then laugh at myself for being so silly. It even transpires into my relationships to where I love harder than my mate, which is frustrating to say the least. I have had to learn to say no when my helping essentially hurts me. It’s very hard, but very necessary. So don’t be offended when a person who is always helping says no, it may be for their own good. We do need to take care of our needs first and foremost. But don’t worry, we’ll start back up eventually because it’s our thing.

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