Monday, April 15, 2019

The Plight of the Empath

( six months later )


Why hello world! It's been a while, I know. I haven't been keeping up with this thing. But I want to get back on it. It hasn't been at the top of my "to-do" list for quite some time between work, seasonal depression, life, therapy, appointments and "living the dream" *insert eye roll* I've been journaling, though, so that's been my blog for the last half of a year. Then again, sometimes it's nice to bitch it out passive-aggressive style to keep people's ears perked ( lol )

Today I wanna harp on the advantages and disadvantages of being an empath

Dictionary.com defines empathy as: 


em·pa·thy
/ˈempəTHē/
noun
  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
    synonyms:affinity with, rapport with, sympathy with, understanding of, sensitivity toward, sensibility to, identification with, awareness of, fellowship with, fellow feeling for, like-mindedness, togetherness, closeness to;
    informalchemistry
    "what is really important about learning a language is learning empathy for another culture"

  2. So, in Layman's terms, empaths feel other people's emotions/pains/turmoils/happiness/etc. The good, and the bad. And some empaths feel so deeply and feed so much off of other peoples energy that it affects their daily life. 

I am one of those empaths.

I am very cognizant of changes in peoples behavior/tone of voice/demeanor. I catch on to inflections and body language. Even minuscule changes that people may not even be aware that they are doing...I will see.

...and when I tell people I feel peoples energies, they look at me like I'm insane. 

But I do.

At work, in my daily life, with friends, with family. And I react to that energy...be it negative or positive. 

It's a blessing and a curse. 

"Jenn looks mad", "Are you okay? Having a bad day?", "You look unapproachable and scary".

     1) I'm in my head 100% of the time. I'm stewing about what has happened to me, what has happened to someone else, what's going on around me, what I've heard, what I've seen, etc. I'm quiet as a defense mechanism so I don't flip the fuck out at everyone regularly. 

     2) Just leave me alone, then! There's no reason to instigate/get butthurt when I don't want to talk. It's my prerogative. 

When there is a lot of drama/negativity around me, I put myself in my bubble. I keep my nose down and do what I need to do. Especially if it's about someone I care about and I really just want to fly off the handle. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" is my motto when it comes to this stuff, because most likely I'm infuriated...and it's usually because of a narcissist. I know that bringing up ANY issues with a narcissist is going to go nowhere--they see nothing wrong in what they say or do, and they will fight you tooth and nail to prove that fact. So I just keep my mouth shut.

This is just an example of an empathetic issue that I deal with:

If your goal is to tell someone when they aren't doing something right so that the behavior can be corrected, you cannot beat around the bush. If you are too worried about being everyone's friend that it affects your ability to express important facts, that not only causes you to lose peoples respect, but it also potentially causes more problems for the person it involves. If it is your obligation to mediate and help someone to be better/fix problems, don't you think that person needs to know the real issues so that they can be fixed accordingly? But instead, you are too worried about being someone's friend that you actually make matters worse. 

I even tested this theory, without either persons knowledge, to see what was truly done. And you know what was discussed? Nothing. More focusing on friendly conversation rather than discussing the true issues at hand. But then, if I call out the person out about anything, I get the response: "Well, there's always two sides to the story..." Not if either person was aware I knew anything...


So now, I have to go through my daily life reliving this...harping on it...dwelling. Because I see unfairness/injustice/cruelty/misunderstanding/preferential treatment/etc every-damn-day.

When someone is treated unfairly, I feel it.
When someone is suffering with loss, I feel it.
When someone is lonely, I feel it.
When someone is having a bad day, it makes me have a bad day. 
I chameleon to my surroundings, whether I want to or not.

If someone that I see regularly is constantly complaining and having bad days, I feed off of that. You are what you surround yourself with. But what if you can't help it? What if you're stuck in the climate and it's out of your control? It's hard, when you feel everyone's energy all the time, to just turn it off. 

It's hard when you see a sad story on The Dodo or the like, to not cry.

It's hard to mask feelings everyday but simply just...shutting down. 

My empathy is a plight at this point in my life. It's a curse. I feel so much all the time that it now makes me angry. It makes me angry for myself, and for others. When people can't catch a break. When people are complaining all the time. When I can't be with the people I care about. When I am torn between love and hate. 

I used to use empathy to an advantage. Consoling hurt friends, making someone's day brighter, trying to be a "ray of sunshine" to someone having a bad day. But after numerous years of getting shit on by those who didn't appreciate me/taken advantage of for my kindness, my empathy has morphed. Instead of focusing more on feeling things from others and trying to fix them in a positive manner ( ie. a "thinking of you" note, a small gift, a gesture, a night out, etc ) I now absorb everyone's negative energy and it leaves me exhausted and resentful of many people. 

But when you feel SO much...ALL the time...it's not a switch that you can just turn "off". 

If I let my empathy rule, I'd have no job, no relationships, nothing. Because I'd call out people constantly for being shitty. I'd be fired, have no income, be lonely and sad. But even so--I feel like society is ruled by ego maniacs. Everyone is out for themselves only and could care less how their actions affect other people. At least when I'm dwelling, I'm internalizing it and not just being blatantly rude to the people I want to be.

Yet, those ego maniacs cannot STAND that someone doesn't like them or disagrees with them. So they pick. And pick and pick and pick. Because "HOW DARE YOU!"...how dare someone see through you. To the selfish, cruel, self-absorbed person you are. 

Burn the w(b)itch!

I see through people and they hate it. I stand up for the underdog, and people hate it. I feel for those who get bullied, picked on, felt sorry for, or aren't as "likable". 

And I see when people only talk about themselves, when they have that air about them like they feel they are better than others, when they are more worried about how they are perceived than actually helping people, when they have a "high sense of self" ( arrogance )....and I don't want to associate with people like that. I don't want to be friends with shitty people. I've been there and done that...and I'm over it. I'm done. I shouldn't have to play nice with assholes if I don't want to. I'm a grown ass adult, and if your vibe is shitty...I don't want to be around you. 

Simple as that. 

My empathy is my biggest blessing...because I feel for people; I care for people; I hurt for people. But it's also my biggest curse...because I see people; I read people; I hear people.