Have you ever wished you could feel what others do? You could comfort and understand what people are going through better, so what’s not to like? Did you know there are actually people who can do this? They’re called empaths and can feel other people’s emotions as if they were their own. Empaths tend to be highly perceptive and sensitive, which makes them some of the most understanding and compassionate people out there. However, there are many drawbacks to being an empath. While it sounds enjoyable, empaths struggle with a lot more than some may realize. Are you curious as to what these difficulties are? Whether you’re an empath or simply looking to learn, these 6 struggles only genuine empaths will understand are sure to interest you!
1. Being highly sensitive to other’s emotions
Picture this: You’re having the best morning so far. You had a delicious breakfast and are ready to conquer the day. Then, someone having the worst day of their lives walks into the room. You can practically feel their annoyance from a mile away, and it rubs off on you. Your nice day immediately turns sour, and you just can’t bounce back. Empaths are highly sensitive to how others are feeling. This means someone else’s bad mood affects them as well, and they can’t simply stop feeling that way. This heightened sensitivity can lead to emotional burnout and being mentally overwhelmed. An empath might also struggle to separate their emotions from someone else’s, meaning they could forget to leave emotional space for themselves. So, while experiencing what others feel sounds great, don’t forget that empaths need to practice self-care and relax too.
2. Needing alone time
Empaths have great people skills, so they should love being around others all the time, right? While it sounds logical, empaths actually need a lot of alone time. Because they constantly feel other’s emotions without any major control over when, where, who, or to what extent, being with people all the time can get exhausting. This means they need alone time to recharge and process everything that goes on in their mind. Some people don’t understand this and think they’re being rude or avoidant, but most of the time it truly isn’t personal. At the end of the day, empaths deserve as much patience and understanding as they give others.
3. People taking advantage of you
Have you ever felt like you can’t say no to someone? Whether it be peer pressure or trying to avoid disappointing someone, saying no can be hard. When it comes to empaths, saying no is especially difficult. They can feel the other person’s frustration and worry when their request isn’t met, which can lead to major guilt. Many empaths are happy to help both in order to avoid this guilt and simply because they understand the request is important. However, this compassion can lead to them getting taken advantage of. Some people ask for too much, without considering the other person’s feelings and limits. Empaths are some of the kindest people out there, but you should be aware that everyone has boundaries that deserve to be respected.
4. Knowing when someone isn’t okay
Has a close friend ever lied about being okay to you? Could you tell? Because empaths are highly sensitive and intuitive, they generally know when someone is lying, even without being best friends beforehand. This may sound like a great thing, but it has some drawbacks as well. Being the only person who can tell when someone isn’t okay is a lot of responsibility. An empath may feel accountable for making them feel better, which can take away from their life. They also have to find the balance between respecting other’s boundaries and trying to help. This makes being an empath very difficult, so if you are one, you should try to remember that no one is obligated to make everyone else happy. You need to prioritize yourself as well.
5. Being labeled as “too sensitive”
Have you ever been called too sensitive? If so, why? What many people don’t realize is that more often than not, being called too sensitive is simply someone else trying to excuse their bad behavior. By shifting the focus onto you, they can make it seem as if you’re in the wrong when you aren’t. Empaths tend to care a lot, sometimes over things that may not be a big deal to others. This means they’re often called too emotional or hypersensitive. In reality, they simply have a lot of compassion and care for the world around them, which isn’t anything to apologize for.
6. Violence is deeply upsetting
When you hear something horrible on the news, how does it affect you? Are you worried and upset for the rest of your day, or do you compartmentalize it? While this isn’t true of all empaths, some get deeply distressed when they watch anything violent. Whether it be a horror movie or the news, they may simply get overwhelmed by the rush of negativity. It can be hard to explain this to non-empaths, but at the end of the day, their feelings and preferences deserve to be respected no matter what.
The bottom line is that being an empath has both good and bad aspects. It’s unfair to think empaths are fortunate and always happy without being aware of the downsides as well. They deserve as much love and care as they give others.
Are you an empath? If so, did you relate to these struggles? Which ones? Feel free to comment down below your experience, input, or suggestions!
- Orloff, J. (2017, March 03). The Science Behind Empathy and Empaths. Retrieved March 11, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empaths-survival-guide/201703/the-science-behind-empathy-and-empaths
- Riess, H. (2017, June). The Science of Empathy. Retrieved March 11, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5513638/