DISCLAIMER: Probably shouldn’t read this if you don’t believe in spiritualism. I don’t want mocking, trolling, or unnecessarily rude comments. Please be considerate.
SECONDARY DISCLAIMER: This is going to be quite a serious post, and relatively negative, but I’m going to send out another post almost immediately after, so you don’t have to read this one if you don’t want to and skip straight onto the fun one.
For a while now, I’ve started to wonder why people tell me things. I don’t mean things like “oh the sky looks a bit grey”, I mean personal things. Complete strangers will talk to me, open up to me, and tell me stories about their life. For ages, I’ve just assumed it’s because I’m either A) a good listener, or B) a good actress pretending to be a good listener.
I should also mention, I work in the service industry. When people call my office and get through to me, it’s because they have a problem that they want me to rectify.
People will tell me their problem, which is part of my job, and I’ll come up with a way to solve it. 9 times out of 10, this particular problem involves a broken appliance. And people with broken appliances are very upset people.
Now my problem is this; I won’t just listen to their problem. I will internalise their problem, and make it my own. I will understand better than they think, because I physically feel their frustration and sadness, even though I’m only speaking on the phone. This is a very emotionally and mentally draining for me, because, as you can imagine, I deal with hundreds of people like this a day.
And this doesn’t just happen at work. Strangers will talk to me and tell me something that’s happening in their lives, and I will feel their suffering. I will take it as my own. If someone has a secret they’re about to tell me, I’ll already know what it is before they say it. If someone has a cold starting up, I will know before they do.
I didn’t know for ages what this was. After a lot of research, it turns out there’s a type of person called an “empath”.
You all know the word “empathy”. An empath is a type of person who is pretty much the embodiment of empathy.
The definition (thank you, Google) reads thus:
Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.
It is actually draining, and I end almost every day unable to feel my own emotions because I’m so burdened by the negative energy of the people I’ve spoken to. People tend to use me as a metaphorical “dumping ground” of emotion, telling me their secrets, their stories, and their suffering. People sense that I’m able to take their feelings and ease them away. Unfortunately, it means a lot of emotional turmoil for me.
There are a few sites that I’ve found that help me with this problem, mostly about how to guard myself against negative energy, how to ground myself, and how to “cleanse my chakras” which is essentially wiping the emotional slate clean.
As I’m still learning, I’m not going to pretend I’m a genius on the subject, but I’ll post the sites below if anyone is interested:
I’ll send out the fun blog post next, for those not interested in spiritualism.