What is Empathy?
First let me say what empathy isn’t. It isn’t feelings of compassion, pity or sympathy, though you might feel these as well.
Empaths have the ability to sense, identify, directly feels and experiences the emotions of others. To be empathic is to be somewhat of a mirror of the other person’s emotional state because empaths experience these feelings as their own. The simplest way to explain it is to compare it to being able to literally put yourself in the other person’s place.
To be comfortable with empathy, you need to be able to identify which are your feelings and which feelings are from people around you. Some people complain that being empathic causes them pain and creates chaos in their lives. This can easily happen if you’re frequently surrounded by people who are emotional or in turmoil and you’re not able to separate which are your feelings and which belong to the other person.
How to Manage Empathy
Be aware of your feelings at any given moment of the day. When you’re around people and you become conscious of feelings that are different than what you felt earlier, pay attention. That could mean you are being affected by the emotional energy coming from someone else. Those who are empathic need to be especially careful whenever around anyone who is upset, angry, grieving or in some kind of pain. Feeling the emotional pain of another person isn’t a pleasant experience.
Though you might want to help them resolve whatever is causing their distress, it’s important to remember that unless you are a physician, therapist or energy healer, the best an average empathic can do is listen and let the person know you care. Don’t under estimate how much that can mean to someone who is hurting.
The key is to realize that having empathy doesn’t mean that you’re required to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders or that its up to you to cure all the worlds ills. Many physicians are empathic, and though they can heal many people, they also know they are unable to heal everyone.
Having empathy can be difficult if you’re not aware that you are hypersensitive to other peoples energy. The positive aspect is that you are truly able to understand what another is feeling, which enhances closeness in relationships.