I looked at my Home Page post today, I hadn’t updated it in ages, boy, it was rough. Now that I’m used to blogging, I feel it was too rigid.
But it’s a great reminder how I didn’t know what I was doing 5 years ago, almost, and now I do–sort of.
In many ways I’m still an amateur who doesn’t know how to market themselves, but I have a blast writing this anyway. And thank you for reading it.
Between shifting family dynamics and shifting cool perceptions, this past year has not gone as I expected.
You know what I have discovered? A lot of people don’t put in effort to understanding each other.
Shocking, I know.
Seriously, though, I am that semi-rare individual who studies people around me constantly and I have done it for as long as I can remember. My mom even confirmed that I did it as a toddler. It’s in the genes, I guess.
Not sure whose, neither of my parents are like that.
I realized I am something called an Empath.
“An empath is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves. Empaths see the world differently than other people; they’re keenly aware of others, their pain points, and what they need emotionally.
But it’s not just emotions. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, empaths can feel physical pain, too — and can often sense someone’s intentions or where they’re coming from. In other words, empaths seem to pick up on many of the lived experience of those around them.” (Andre Solo. 13 Signs that you’re an Empath. Link here: https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/empath-signs/)
1. You take on other peoples’ emotions as your own
Turns out the feeling I get when other people come in a room, like I am feeling their energy and emotions, is something empaths tend to feel. That’s number one on this list.
6. Tragic or violent events on TV can completely incapacitate you
So, it’s also why I hate scary and tragic stories, it’s never just a story for me.
(I love both shows, by the way.)
Also, apparently, I can tell when people are lying (No#10.).
Being an empath is also the reason why I am an introvert. I don’t need alone time because conversation and activity drains me, people drain me because I pick up on all their energy and emotions(No#2 and 3).
It is as natural as breathing to me to do this, it blows my mind that other people do not walk around constantly noticing this stuff.
Every little change of expression and voice come across to me.
Another sign mentioned in the post is being able to feel pain and even sickness(No#8).
I’ve talked about this before, but all the way up to my tweens, I would feel sick after reading about sickness, or feel pain after reading about an injury. Hypochondria, in other words.
It used to scare me, it no longer does, but there are times when I still feel it, even if I don’t think I have it.
Now imagine this, having a confrontation with someone, only you can feel their anger, sadness, and frustration as well as your own, the entire time…
“I can feel your anger…” (Not an empath, just to be clear.)
Some of you who have a hard enough time dealing with your own want to curl up into a ball at the mere thought of that.
That’s my life. I’m Natasha, Nice to meet you.
And yeah, if anyone is every BS-ing me, I can tell pretty quickly.
I never used to believe my impressions of people, I thought I was just mistrusting…and I can be. But I am very often on point to a degree that amazes my family.
This even works with fiction. I can predict show plot points very easily. I pick up on patterns of characters. and the author, based on what they feel and how they act when they feel that way.
You may have see reviews that over analyzed every detail of something, that’s me.
However, though I have experienced all 13 of the signs of being an empath at some time in my life, I do not deal with all of them all the time, anymore.
I realized I could not take that pressure. It’s easy for me to compulsively take care of people, but I still have feelings of my own that I have to divide from everyone else’s.
The reason I want to share that with you here is that all of us, obviously, have a personality type.
But you are not limited to your type.
I am an empath, I will always pick up on what people feel, but I have grown much stronger at rejecting negative feelings when they are not my own, and positive ones, when they are false. I will feel their pain but I do not have to carry it.
It could be easy for me to be a sucker. What’s an annoying sob story or pep talk to you becomes a barrage of emotions flung at me, and if the person believes it, I can tell.
And if they are wrong, I have to consciously choose to reject what they said.
If you wonder how this can be dangerous, then think bout this, I come form a background of having an Emotionally Abusive Parent.
The delusions of emotionally abusive people is that they often think they are right. Emotions are tricky like that.
Even when my dad knew he was wrong, he used my emotions against him. He could tell when I was weakening, and he’d latch onto it.
This man liked to tell me, when I came to apologize for some stupid fight that he usually started, that he was going to give up on trying with me.
I would feel his pain, yet, I also would feel his intention to make me feel bad, and get furious.
It was not fully fake but it was never honest.
Take that, multiply it by dozens of incidents over the years that I’ve lost count of, and you have a really bad set up.
You might think as an empath that I am easily offended…
…but as this blog and the book it was talking about point out, not all empaths are HSP (highly sensitive people).
I was once, but I am no longer very easy to offend.
In fact, instead of being weaker emotionally, I am actually stronger emotionally than many people. My ability to process other people’s emotions and my own at the same time has made me stronger, because I have to hold both.
And I had to learn to let stuff go, otherwise it would always weigh me down.
I have evidence that the empath ability starts at birth, as even as a baby I reacted poorly to people who were stressed or angry.
Empaths aren’t really easy to explain with science. Unless you believe in mind reading (and you’d be surprised at the evidence that mind reading is actually somewhat possible, though not like in sci-fi, where it’s conscious concrete thoughts) how will you explain that we can actually feel feelings and read people so accurately.
But there is, as always, a biblical; explanation where science has not yet reached(though it’s getting close.)
In the bible there is a gift of the spirit known as Discernment.
Someone with this gift can tell truth from lies, and one emotion from another, and make sense of it.
Discernment is dangerous without wisdom.
I can attest that empaths who do not have wisdom can end up very unhappy and make the people around them miserable. Also, we tend to get asked for advice, and if our priorities are not straight, we aren’t going to give it well.
Discernment is gift from God, but you can have it without knowing God, just like with other talents. People who do can end up in a world of hurt.
But walking with God and letting him refine and hone my gift, I have enjoyed it a lot for the most part.
God helps me avoid pitfalls, as I can’t always be right. Where my gift comes short, He will provide an answer.
Being an empath enables me to be interested in a lot of people, and to always have new things to notice about them.
If you were to ask me, after all this, what the hardest part about being an empath for me (as it is like a job in many ways, to monitor all the people around you without even wanting to) is, I would say this:
When you know what everyone feels, deciding what you feel is right, is hard. Sometimes they can be so passionate, and yet over the wrong thing, that it’s hard to say no.
You doubt whether you made the right choice, because you can sense their disappointment or anger.
But if you keep giving yourself enough credit for when you are right, it gets easier.
I am at the point now where I can stick to my guns even if I know someone is getting upset with me. I just have to choose to think that what is right is more important that if they get upset.
And that’s an interesting thought. Because many people now say that what people feel is more important than what’s right, empaths might be more likely to buy into that, yet here I am, saying I don’t.
Which is why I say, your type does not control you. You are still a person with free will. Whatever your natural inclination are, you can choose better, if you know that there is a better.
Learn to make your type work for you, don’t let it drag you by your hair, if you have hair.
And that is all for this post, stay honest–Natasha.