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8 Signs You’re Highly Empathetic Even If You Don’t Notice It

8 Signs You’re Highly Empathetic Even If You Don’t Notice It

Many people are highly empathetic, but some don’t notice it. They might believe they are different in a profound way, but they aren’t able to define what makes them unique or completely comprehend their emotional experiences. Being highly empathetic means that you can share and identify with the emotions of another person because you can easily step into their shoes. What highly empathetic people have in common is the uncanny ability to sense what others feel and think.

It’s important to distinguish between people who are highly empathetic and those who are empaths. When your emotions and experiences cross over into being indistinguishable from your own, such as you feel others’ physical and emotional pain as if it’s your own, you’re an empath.

Scientists are in the early stages of studying the correlation between empathy and our brains. Thus, as an example, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Penn State University concluded that that there is a neurologic basis for empathy.

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Do you think you might be highly empathetic? Check out these 8 signs and see how many to which you relate.

1. You are a Great Listener

People who are highly empathetic focus on listening, rather than speaking because they want to put themselves in the other person’s situation. In order to truly understand the difficulties or triumphs that the other person is feeling, they want to know all the details about what is happening in the other person’s life. They carefully listen to the words as well as study any non-verbal clues. They’re also mindful, meaning they’re focusing their thoughts in the present moment and staying engaged in the conversation.

2. You are a Source of Advice and Support

Highly empathetic people who are capable of naturally investing in the emotions of others become a source of advice, support and guidance for others — both personally and professionally. Their excellent listening skills help them offer well thought out advice, while making others feel appreciated, accepted and loved. The combination of their ability to listen well and to share in others’ feelings make them excellent counselors. This is why highly empathetic people gravitate to helping professions, such as therapists, teachers and medical practitioners.

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3. You are a Natural Leader

People who are highly empathetic easily build trust with their employees, students and others because of their natural capacity for compassion, excellent listening skills and honest interest in people. Highly empathetic leaders are active listeners, which fosters and cultivates open communication because of the trust that this skill builds. When a culture of trust is established in any type of group, progress and productivity flourish.

4. You Find Social Situations Draining

Social situations can be draining for highly empathetic people and they’re particularly draining for empaths, introverts, and highly sensitive people. Empathy generally provokes both positive and negative emotions, which can quickly make those with these abilities feel exhausted when overstimulated. In fact, according to this study from the University of Haifa in Isreal, social phobia is linked to elevated sensitivity to other peoples’ states of mind.

5. You Put the Needs of Others First

Those who are highly empathetic are inclined to take care of others before taking care of themselves. They completely put themselves in the shoes of the people or animals that they are caring for, putting others first over their own needs. Because they are highly empathetic, they are able to make excellent decisions about how their care affects the other person or animal both emotionally and physically, but might neglect their own needs.

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6. You Can Detect Positive and Negative Vibes

All matter in the universe, including our body, is in a constant state of vibration or movement. Vibrations from our bodies are spread to the space around us. Empaths are able to naturally feel this energy and interpret emotions that others are sending out — both positive and negative. Highly empathetic people can also recognize good and bad vibes, but they might require additional input, such as body language and verbal cues. For example, have you ever walked into a meeting a few minutes late and you know something wasn’t right? You instantly feel down, but there’s no logical explanation for it. Most likely, you are an empath or highly empathetic.

7. You Especially Enjoy Relationships with Your Pets

Animals instinctively know when people truly care about them. They’re attracted to people who are highly empathetic and highly sensitive, as described in this article about things highly sensitive people do differently. Consequently, those who are highly empathetic are able to form symbiotic relationships with their pets and other animals. With that being said, those who have a remarkable ability to understand the mental state in animals, such as the horse whisperer in the book from Nicholas Evans, can be described as “animal empaths.”

8. You are Successful in Sales

Highly empathetic people excel in sales because they’re able to put themselves in the shoes of a prospect and understand that person’s wants and needs. Furthermore, great salespeople build trust with prospects when they show that they truly care about the person’s requirements and desires. Of course, all great salespeople know that trust is essential for developing excellent relationships with clients and prospects, and highly empathetic salespeople have fine-tuned the ability to build this trust.

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Featured photo credit: My beautiful sisters :)/ellyn. via flic.kr

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Marilyn Rogers

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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