1. Negative comments
Empathetic people are always tuning in to how other people feel around them. This can have two outcomes e.g. tuning into other peoples’ feelings can be draining or energising. Being around negative people who are complaining, criticising or generally speaking ill of other people can be doubly difficult for highly empathetic people.
Empaths tend to take on the blame and responsibility for others feelings. Acknowledging that somebody else has had a negative impact on your own thinking is a positive step towards discarding negativity from your life. It is important to find ways to separate yourself from negativity, especially if you take on other peoples’ burdens.
2. Crowded public places
When experiencing high levels of empathy, it may be temporarily difficult to approach crowded areas, like going to the supermarket, shopping centres, bars etc. Wherever there are throngs of people, highly empathetic people can experience sensory overload. Living inside an empath’s head can become very noisy at times. Colours, sights, smells, facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures all seem to hit the empath at once, without the ability to filter or block out unnecessary background noise.
Crowded public places can become intensely stressful for highly empathetic people as they are trying to diminish some of the ‘noise’. The best way to overcome intense feelings associated with crowded places is to begin visiting these areas at quieter times during the day. Over time, you can begin to visit crowded public places at busier times, but try to have a direct goal in mind. When focussing on one goal, it may be easier to focus on a singular pursuit than allowing the senses to work on overdrive.
3. Anxiety, worry and stress
By becoming aware of the thoughts and feelings around you, it is highly likely that empathetic people struggle with anxieties and worries. They may even unknowingly take on worries that won’t directly affect them. Empaths strengths reside in their ability to understand multiple situations and points of view. They appreciate the connectedness between all things which makes it harder to separate their own problems from everyone else’s.
This is why it is very important for empathetic people to take time for themselves. Highly empathetic people would benefit from time away to reflect, meditate and connect with things that they personally enjoy.
4. Being perceived as weak or fragile
Highly empathetic people have an enormous amount of strength. They are incredible powerful people to be able to understand others and situations. However, due to their more sensitive nature, highly empathetic people are often perceived as too nice, weak willed or fragile. These statements couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes an enormous amount of strength to feel. Putting yourself in somebody elses’ shoes, especially given the amount of hurt, disappointment and dissatisfaction experienced by many people in daily life, is a brave and strong quality.
Unfortunately, those who do tend to perceive highly empathetic people as weak or fragile are often quite disconnected and switched off to the feelings of those around them, making it even more frustrating for the struggling empath. In order to overcome poor perceptions, highly empathetic people must keep viewing their gift as a strength.