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8 Ways For Empaths To Avoid Drowning In Others’ Sadness

8 Ways For Empaths To Avoid Drowning In Others’ Sadness

Empathy is a value we wish to instill in our children from a very young age, but it’s important that we realize that it’s possible to be too empathetic at times. Many times, empaths find themselves putting others before themselves to the point that they feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable for absolutely no reason. Empaths carry other people’s burdens with them wherever they go, and find it hard to shrug these feelings off even when they become overwhelming. If you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, there are steps you can take to alleviate the problem before it becomes too much to handle.

1. Evaluate your feelings

Empaths tend to take other people’s feelings on as their own, and find it hard to separate themselves from the feeling once it takes hold of them. It’s important for you to be able to evaluate whether what you’re feeling is due to an internal or external stimulus, and act accordingly. Realizing you’re getting worked up over something that doesn’t directly affect you is the first step toward alleviating those dreadful feelings.

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2. Distance yourself

Once you realize the external source of your distress, move away from it physically and emotionally. If a couple begins arguing in a public place and you find yourself getting anxious, find another place to continue whatever activity you were engaged in. If a friend is going through a tough time, it’s definitely okay to help them out, but remember that it’s not your problem to deal with. Of course, you’ll feel bad for your friend, but you also need to watch out for your own well-being as well. There’s no sense in both of you being dragged down.

3. Know your vulnerabilities

It’s important that you know you’re an empath in order to avoid putting yourself in emotionally-driven situations that can be detrimental to your overall well-being. Also, take notice of where you physically start to ache when you start feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Some people get butterflies in their stomach, others get migraine headaches. Whatever the case may be, be sure to notice when this happens so you are able to immediately distance yourself from a stressful situation the second it becomes too much to handle.

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4. Concentrate on your breathing

Remind yourself that the problem around you is not your problem by focusing on your own breathing. Taking controlled, even breaths will help realign your mindset, and help you realize you don’t need to be involved in the situation at hand. After you’ve regained control, you’ll be able to remove yourself from the situation to avoid any further panic.

5. Set boundaries

As an empath, you obviously care deeply for those around you. But you still have to look out for number one. Set physical and emotional boundaries when you start to feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to an invite to coffee if you know it will result in the other party laying out their troubles in front of you. Don’t feel like you need to pick up the phone every time someone needs something from you. You want to be a good friend, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your own well-being.

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6. Visualize boundaries

When you do choose to be the shoulder for a friend to cry on, you also need to visualize symbolic boundaries between the two of you. Create an imaginary wall that allows you to see and hear your friend’s plight, but keeps you from taking on their problems as your own. Remind yourself that no matter how much you help, you can only do so much for them. It’s up to them to truly take the reins and solve their own problems.

7. Focus on own emotions

It’s okay to feel bad for a friend, but remember: you’re feeling bad for a friend, not for yourself. Don’t let their troubles ruin the rest of your day. You can empathize with them while you’re spending time with them, but once you leave the situation, you should also leave the feelings behind as well. Like I said before, there’s no point in both of you feeling down. If your friend drags you into a pit of despair with them, it becomes impossible for either of you to help each other out of it.

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8. Do whatever calms you

We all have coping mechanisms for when we’re upset for legitimate reasons. When you find yourself emotionally distressed for any reason at all, do whatever it is that helps you get back to baseline. Take a long bath, hit some golf balls at the driving range, eat some ice cream. Treat yourself! Focusing on pleasure will almost certainly alleviate any sympathy pains you’ve been feeling for a friend.

Featured photo credit: New York City | NYC | June 2010 / Nan Palmero via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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