I recently discovered that I’m an empath. I always thought something was wrong with me, how my mood changes when someone walks in the room..no matter where I am and how water calms me, I can feel others moods and the list goes on. How can I stay centered, be less emotional?
Dear Whirling Emotions,
I’m so glad to answer this question. I’m not sure an empath can actually be less emotional, but we can grow in our understanding of what we are experiencing and why. We learn to tell the difference between what we are feeling (the important stuff) and what other’s are feeling (the not so essential stuff to us). First off, I want to explain that if we begin reacting to another’s emotions, it’s because we have already received some kind of information from them, either through body language, intuitions, or sheer empathic connection. Part of understanding the information comes from recognizing that we empath’s have a natural tendency to “read” everything that comes into our field of vision or awareness. We seem to be naturally curious, whether it’s for reasons of compassion or self-preservation, and so we by default and without real conscious thought read…and there for pick on, anything that comes our way. So the first step to getting a bit of control is to being to be aware of when you are reading into someone or something.
The goal there is go become proficient enough in knowing when you are reading and picking something up to make the conscious choice to continue or not. If you realize you are reading, you will be able to come to a point where you can say, “It’s not my business, this person isn’t confiding in my by walking into the room.” I can almost guarantee that this person never consented or wanted to be read, just because they walked into a space you were in. This simple technique can cut out most unintentional readings. “This is not my business” is an excellent mantra for this stage of empathic awareness. You and the other person will definitely know when the read should happen, so that means you don’t actually NEED to delve into the energy of others on a daily basis. Only when it was meant to be!
Do not for an instant, believe this makes you less caring. To the averagely sensitive person, we are over-caring. So learning to mind our own empathic business, simply allows us to have some sort of normalcy. This, in part, is what people mean when they say you need to work on your boundaries. Additional boundary work might include being able to say “no”, and learning different ways to disengage when you are pressed for something.
But, you might ask, what if a person walks into the room and I can’t help but read their energy because it’s so strong or aggressive? A lot of people don’t know how to keep their emotions to themselves, they don’t know any better. When they are upset it can seem like they are throwing their emotions around or even aiming their emotions at people. In essence, they are, whether they realize what they are doing or not. The first simple thing you can do is to step to the side, not walk away. Put a little personal space back between you and the upset person. While maintaining eye contact helps to validate the other person, signaling them that you are listening, you might even find it better if turn your body at an angle to them. By placing yourself parallel to them, not facing them straight on, you can stop the immediate energy drain and foster a sense of camaraderie.
My emotions are a super secret power!
Most times, intense negativity and anger is used to draw out a reaction, that’s the subconscious goal of the behavior. But what I find diffuses the energy, is to validate their feelings. Let them know you hear and understand their point. Agree or share catharsis where you can. But you are a separate person, you will have to maintain your right to respectfully disagree with a point or points because an upset person usually isn’t thinking clearly. Love the fact that you can disagree, but don’t give into spite at this point. Giving into name calling and blame will the person what they wanted, a negative emotional reaction, and it will perpetuate the cycle. Gently prompt them to stick to the facts of the situation, not their interpretation. Or even gently prompt then to see an alternative explanation based on the facts.
This is one of those situations where you can be damned if you do get involved and damned if you don’t. The easiest way I’ve found to deal this kind of situation from after validating that you understand how they feel is to gently remind them of their options. This could get them out the immediate “ack” moment they are having and looking at the options. Options such as helping others find clarity about their next step can help them raise their vibration naturally. At this rate any movement is good, and adding a little time and perspective can shift the situation for good. As the triggered person has time to think about what happened and return to a calm state, he or she will be able to make better choices.
Now you still might still feel drained after this kind of encounter. But what also might have happened is that you were using your empathic energy to “hold space” or even hold energy (at a higher vibration than their anger or triggered state) for that person. This ability to hold space is something that will become easier the more you do it. With practice, you will be able to handle the intensity of such situations, while transmuting them back to wholeness for yourself and others. But remember to take care of yourself, if you are drained or overwhelmed, go cleanse, recharge as you can and reset your boundaries.
Hey my amazing readers, what are your best tips for remaining centered? Leave me and Whirling Emotions your best tips in the comments below!!