Empaths have HUGE hearts and even BIGGER emotions, but all of that can be fraught with a lot of landmines that they need to figure out how to live with their entire lives.
Even the people they love the most and their emotions can be a super-charged load to carry.
Living with this can take some getting used to, for non-empaths, because empaths often look for physical distance to allow them time to process what they are picking up. That distance can make them seem cold or awkward when the very opposite is true. They are sitting right there next to you sharing your private heartbreak and trying to figure out what to do about it and not be weird. Yeah, and often it does get weird. That is what they worry about, and they do TRY to avoid that awkwardness, even if it doesn’t always work…
So here are some general points about empaths, loving an empath, and expressions of love.
Empaths often will not touch people right at first. They want to choose who they touch and when. Empaths often won’t even shake your hand upon meeting you or give you a hug. For them a simple touch can be cataclysmic, and so why go in for the risk when you don’t have to?
If they are seeking your touch, then they need it. You need to respect and love your empath enough to give them their physical space when they need it.
Sometimes as a non-empath I think this would be hard to handle, the physical distance seeking that an empath has. But really sometimes you just need to remember it’s not about you, and about them. Yeah, that old line, but with empaths, it’s really true.
I guess the whole not touching thing is one good side-effect of COVID, we are respecting personal space a little more.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch an empath in a highly charged situation it really is fascinating. I love watching Amy’s reaction on my favorite show the Dead Files when she is sitting down at the table with her partner and the families to reveal what she saw on her walk in their home. The more tearful and emotional the families get, you can see her almost turn into a wall and look so uncomfortable and awkward like she wishes she could be anywhere else than there.
Because often in highly emotional situations they do almost turn off, they have to in order to survive. Because your emotions are like a personal assault on them. This is why in super emotional situations they will stand there looking weird and like they would like to escape to anywhere other than where they are.
I once had a high school child tell me can you imagine being stuck in a classroom in situations like that, where others around them have no idea what is going on? But you do? You can’t tell the teacher,” I’m sorry I need to go throw up right now because Johnny is really hurting and my body can’t handle it!” More often than not, they have no idea why Johnny is hurting and they may not even know him well enough to suss out the why behind it, but Johnny’s pain becomes a part of their story for a while until they move it out of their system. Which can take time.
So for an empath, supercharged, emotionally-heightened situations are not great, and during those kinds of situations just expect things to get weird…. and sometimes hard.
Most empaths try to steer clear of those things as much as possible. And as a mother of an empath, I try to keep those things out of my family’s life and especially out of our home.
Try and work to keep those out of your own relationship with an empath.
Honesty and Communication Is Vital
If you have an empath you love, honesty and communication are key. They might be feeling what you feel, but they don’t always understand the why behind it. They aren’t mind readers, and so you need to make sure you are open and honest and communicate what is happening in your shared sphere.
For example, say you are feeling guilty because of something you did, or perhaps the way you handled a situation. It could have been with them or with someone outside of your home, but you are avoiding your empath a little because you don’t want to talk about it and are trying to “protect” them. You know your empath will definitely pick up on those feelings of guilt and aversion coming from you no matter what, but can you imagine how destructive that could be in a family of empaths if you don’t talk about the why’s behind feelings? Make sure you tell your empath, “I’m struggling with something. I feel bad about it. You love them so much. If they can help you will definitely let them know. And remind them you love them no matter what. Your feelings are their own and they do not need to carry them for you.”
They still might try, but at least you have addressed what is going on.
Empaths know in a very personal way when relationships are hurt, and so hiding it and not talking about it is never a good idea.
If you are in a relationship with an empath it can be difficult. Having them open up about what they are is becoming a little more acceptable these days, and that is a really good thing. But often there will be many parts of their heart and brain you won’t understand. I guess that might be the same in any relationship, but the big takeaway is to make sure that you don’t take it personally or view their isolation seeking or that they don’t quickly let you into their heart and mind as malice or anger towards you. Sometimes even they don’t understand what is going on and need to process it. It might have just been that quick trip to the grocery that wrecked them after they came into contact with a particularly hurting soul. Most empaths know how all that pain feels and they really don’t want to wreak havoc on those they love the most. They try to protect those they love, and sometimes that means you need to allow them the time and distance they need to work through something.
Ultimately though, if you love an empath, your life is going to be so much cooler. Empaths are amazing and can and do so very much good, and they do it so very often…. mostly unnoticed. I once chatted with one of my children about this and they were telling me that for very good and close friends who are hurting, they often help to calm them in ways that only empaths can. That calming takes a toll on them, but they are willing to do it for those they love. Having that kind of love in your life should be seen as a blessing.
Thanks for stopping in and I would love to chat with you if you have any questions or just need someone to talk to. To read more about parenting empaths, please visit HERE.
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