Can you be too much of an empath? Can your empathy become toxic for you?
If you’re constantly negatively affected by the suffering you perceive around you, that can be toxic for you! Let me show you how to get out of that.
Another tell-tale sign is when you’re getting the same physical or emotional pain that someone close to you, or someone you came in touch with, has and feel overwhelmed by it.
But what to do about it?
As a “healthy” (psychopaths don’t have this “problem”) human being, you have neuron cells in your brain that mirror the actions and emotions that you observe on the outside. Meaning, whenever you observe someone do something or feel something, neuron cells in your brain will light up, as if you were doing or feeling the thing you’re observing.
So, that’s the “normal” part of it.
What to do about getting overly touched by others suffering?
As a body-mind therapist I often hear my clients talk about their difficulty of not getting drawn into the emotional or physical suffering of people close to them. Not to mention that they feel burdened by it, that they get into the same suffering space.
Well, is that true? Are you really feeling their suffering? Yes, the mirror neurons will light up! And, from my experience with working over a thousand of clients and also being very aware of my own inner life, I noticed, that, what really makes us suffer is the imagination of what we think the other feels.
In other words, we make up what the person we see is feeling! We never can be sure of what any human being feels inside… it’s our personal perception of things!
For this reason, I want to offer you my way of helping my clients to deal with that: Dissolving the pain inside of us by connecting to the pain that is perceived.
Because most of the time, when we suffer seeing someone’s pain or difficulties, it’s because of some similar pain inside of us, I suggest you a very different approach:
Going inside and exploring where this suffering connects with our story (usually coming from childhood).
How do you do this?
Allow me to guide you through this now:
Take a moment for yourself,, in a place where you feel safe and well.
Now, feel your breath coming in and out. Take a few deep breath and with every out breath let go of thoughts, preoccupations and physical sensations you may be having.
Now, go back to the moment where you have been feeling the suffering of the person and got stuck with it. Allow yourself to really feel it. What kind of emotion is it? Despair, anger, frustration, fear, or something else? If possible name this emotion.
Then, notice, how old do you feel in this emotion?
Most of the time these highly charged emotions come from our childhood and are situations that we didn’t complete, where we needed someone to do something for us.
With this in mind, just be open for information to come to you about this moment in your life. See, sense, feel yourself as this you in an earlier stage of your life.
What happened? What does she or he need at this moment, that wasn’t available then?
In order to do that, bring in a person, a higher power, maybe a guardian angel or an adult in your childhood. Someone you felt was supportive and helpful. Let this person, angel, higher power do whatever it is you needed as the younger self.
To demonstrate that I give you an example:
You feel powerless… you go back and see yourself as a 5-year-old in the kitchen with your father as an alcoholic being mean to your mother. Invite your uncle (whom you loved and who could talk sense into your father), or a guardian angel, or the police, or whomever it feels best to help you as a child, to come and straighten things out. Allow yourself to take in this new reality, this new feeling of someone helping, of power coming for your good.
And as you do your processing, permit yourself to feel, sense, see this new situation where you do have power, because there is help! Sense it in your body. Where in your body can you feel this power? Put your hand on the place on your body and anchor it there.
Stay with this feeling for a while. Really let it sink in.
Then, slowly come back to your “now”, to this room you’re in, stretch your back or move your fingers, toes… and go back to the situation which triggered the strong feeling in you.
Is it still the same? Equally charged now? Or has it notably shifted? Great! Yeah!
If it still is the same or worse, you may need some outside help.
Contact me for a session or let’s see how we can help you get out of this pattern, by booking a free 30 minutes consultation in which we will clarify what you need!
firstname.lastname@example.org, (514) 296-7877
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