On Being An Empath & Not Taking On Emotions That Aren't Yours To Carry
Love & Relationships

On Being An Empath & Not Taking On Emotions That Aren't Yours To Carry

Being emotionally seen in a relationship is a love language. If you are in a friendship or a relationship with an empath, you can guarantee there will be space for your emotions to be present and understood.

What is an empath anyway? An empath is described as “someone who is highly attuned to the feelings and emotions of those around them.” No scientific evidence supports or proves that people can tap into another person’s emotions. Still, we can acknowledge that there are people who feel more deeply than others, which is why boundaries are essential for people who are empaths.

It’s a beautiful thing to understand what someone else is feeling deeply. It creates an emotionally safe space that permits people to express themselves freely and vulnerably, but when you’re an empath, it’s important to discern what is yours to carry, and what belongs to others, or else you will find yourself overwhelmed and drained by your relationships.

Sometimes when we hold other people’s emotions, we become weighed down by their problems and treat their issues as if they are our own, and if you don’t put a stop to this, you will find yourself experiencing issues like stress and burnout. Having boundaries is essential, so you know where to draw a line in the sand as you discern what belongs to you and what is for others.

Here are some boundaries that empaths need to maintain their peace and well-being.

Boundary Tips for Empaths:

1. Practice discernment:

It’s normal and healthy to want to support others, but you have to be wise and use wisdom to know what you can give and tolerate. If someone you know is going through a hard time, you have to be intentional about the type of support you can offer. Do you have the resources to help this person? Do you have the capacity to lend a listening ear? Will you suffer if you continue to expose yourself to other people’s problems?

Remember that we all have limits, and it’s okay if you need to adjust the ways you show up for people if showing up is going to result in you engaging in self-neglect.

2. Practice asking for help:

Because empaths feel so deeply, they are also caring and have a habit of wanting to help others but disengage when they are the ones who need help. Remember this–you also deserve the care and support you give others. In the same way that you care wholeheartedly about the people around you, know that these people desire to support you and want the best for you. Ask for help and allow others to show up for you.

3. Assess if you are helping or harming:

Since empaths are highly attuned to the emotions of others, they can be overly empathic to a point where it may be detrimental. Studies have shown that highly empathic people are more prone to experiencing manipulation in their relationships because they choose only to see the good in a person and ignore red flags. Their high levels of empathy and understanding override logic and rationality. Once this happens, empaths are doing more harm than good, and often that harm is self-harm. It is not wise to always lead with feelings. We need sound judgment and critical thinking in certain situations to get beneficial results.

Having boundaries is essential for thriving in life. When you are an empath and feel deeply, there is nothing wrong with caring for others and being in tune with their emotions, but you also have to make sure you are in tune with your own needs, and you are not neglecting yourself in the process of trying to care for someone else.

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Featured image by Tara Moore/Getty Images

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