Confessions of an empath

For a great majority of my life, I took pride in not having feelings, being nonchalant and taking whatever comes in life. Around 2 years ago I noticed that this label I’ve put on myself isn’t entirely true. I kept a lot of hurt bottled up until it boiled over and I was left to pick up the pieces. This experience taught me that you can not force yourself to be “heartless” and you shouldn’t want to. Feeling things is a beautiful part of life and indifference can be painful. I came across this article on Psychology Today (I am a nerd I’m aware) explaining the traits of and Empathic person, and it hit home with me.

Some of the traits were: 1. Empaths are highly sensitive. 2. Empaths absorb other people’s emotions. 3. Many empaths are introverted. 4. Empaths are highly intuitive. 5. Empaths need alone time. 6. Empaths can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships.

Reading this article really hit home for me because these are things I am trying to manage currently. Being introverted and needing alone time are things that I am used to, I can explain them to the people I am close to and deal with them accordingly. Absorbing other people’s emotions and being overwhelmed by relationships are things that I am working on currently.

I am a venting block for a lot of people in my life and I feel honored that people trust me with their problems. At the same time, it is difficult for me to let go of the things that people have confided in me. It can become exhausting and impact my mental health for days before I get back to normal.

Relationships are something that can take a lot out of me if I don’t communicate with the person I’m with. While I enjoy being with a significant other, constant togetherness can be overwhelming for me. I fear to lose my identity and the heartbreak that may come when things do not work out. This has proved to be an issue in the past, but I am lucky to now have someone who understands my struggles and is patient with me as I work though what makes me comfortable.

All of this has taught me you have to be cautious of who you allow to occupy your space. Empath or not, having people in your life who require a lot of your emotional energy can be draining and you have to make sure they are worth it.

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