Empathy…is it good for my health?

Ask me on a good day, when I know I have enough energy in my tank emotionally to deal with people needing empathy, and I’m there. Like wonder woman, ready to be the most brilliant empath around. On a bad day, when I feel like superman holding a bucketful of kryptonite, I’m as useful as a chocolate fireguard. So I guess empathy or rather being empathetic can be good or bad for my health dependant on my energy levels.

O I appear to have a magnetic force field that draws people to me, to tell me their problems. Given the type of person I am, I struggle to shut these people down as I’m a born helper… a giver. A nice person.

I hardly use public transport, but when I do I seem to have an invisible sign around my neck ” come and sit by me and let it all spill out…I’m listening.” At yoga class, I get there early and meditate as my fellow yogis filter in. No sooner as my headphones are lifted from my ears but someone is at my side offloading. Standing in a coffee shop, a sudden spark of conversation from another patron will begin another emotional draining session. In work, people will hunt me out, like heat seeking missiles, needing a hug or chance to offload. And so on…I think you get the picture.

Now don’t get me wrong, if I can help someone in their hour of need I will. A smile, a reassuring nod or a hug can work wonders in making you feel better. However, there are times that I can pick up all this emotion and negative energy and be completely paralysed. I avoid energy vampires at all costs and prepare myself if I know I’m about to be in their company. There are takers in this world, who never give anything back and they kill empaths. I don’t want to die.

Now I sound like I’m completely losing it here, but bare with me.

The way I combat the downside of being an empath and walking thousands of miles a day in everybody else’s shoes, is to look after myself. I have learnt to step back and say “sorry I can’t right now.” I look after my emotional energy. How? By being around positive people. Avoiding toxic environments and giving myself time to be with my own thoughts and in my own company. That way I can be empathetic and be the kind person I aim to be. That’s how I stay alive.

Being kind, listening when being spoken to and letting people know you understand and feel their emotions is a very powerful way of connecting. I love that I have this ability. Some people don’t. It serves me well but I need to make sure I’m in a good position to be able to do this. Some days I can and some days I can’t. Some days I need someone to show me empathy, that reassuring kindness that re-energises me. I know who my go to people are, my tribe. So going back to my question; empathy, is it good for my health. Today, yes it is…

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

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