Humans with heightened emotional sensitivity were officially identified in 1991 by psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron. She discovered that between 15-20% of our population could be classified as Empaths. She even proposed that their brains process sensory inputs differently to others and emotion regulation functions differently.
Empaths are far more sensitive to emotion and behavior than many others. They are natural-born listeners, genuine, and are often very giving to others. But as they are so finely tuned to the environment, they can often see straight through fake personas and behaviors. They thrive on deep, honest relationships with others and they literally can’t stand dealing with pretentious characters.
Why Are Empaths Drained By Fake People?
As an empath interacting with someone disingenuous, you can’t help but see straight through these shards. It’s not a case of simply being able to ignore and glaze over this fact — it actually triggers a state of discomfort. Symptoms are both mental and physical, such as tiredness, frustration, clammy hands, or increased heart beat.
But it’s not an outright dislike for fake people that pains you, it’s understanding that these personas are a protective smokescreen to hide their own pain. However, playing along with them is not something you can feel at all comfortable with.
Behaviors And Situations That Trouble Empaths
Common examples of behaviors that trigger the alarm bells for an empath:
- Giving out disingenuous compliments to others just to receive their acceptance
- Embellishing stories or truths to gain the approval of others
- Acting rough and tough to mask true feelings of vulnerability
- Counseling jealously or resentment with false niceties
- Easily compromising oneself in to gain acceptance from others
- Forgoing one’s natural personality to try and act in another way
Empaths’ Common Responses And Reactions
As an empath dealing with the mentioned behaviors, your instinctual reactions may include:
- Avoiding the person altogether due to the bad vibrations you feel when you are around them
- Feelings of dread and uneasiness that are only lifted once you distance yourself from the source
- Struggling to form sentences, answer questions about yourself, or even slurring speech
- Experiencing feelings of guilt for not wanting to be around said person
- Feeling physically nauseous after long interactions with fake people
- Unwillingness to talk or contribute to the conversation any further
- Wanting to simply drop everything and leave the situation as soon as possible
The Best Ways To Deal With Fake People As An Empath
It’s an inevitable fact of life that you will have to deal with fake people from time to time. As an empath, simply running away from these situations is not an option. Instead, you should use these 3 key principles to maintain your composure and avoid negative reactions when dealing with fake people.
1. Always Speak Up For Yourself
We often find ourselves in a conflicting situation: as a sensitive person, how can we speak up if we know it may hurt others? Well for a start, simply saying no to a request doesn’t make you the bad one. Agreeing against your better judgement only to let them down later is only going to make things worse for both of you!
If it’s good for you, it’s good for others, and vice versa. Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and say no when needed. Others should control their emotions no matter your response, so it’s not your fault if they are upset.
2. Remember To Follow Your Own Path
Another common mistake is getting carried away with trying to help everyone we can. While it’s great to help others, you must draw a line where it begins to cut into your own hopes and dreams. Otherwise, you will be left unfulfilled, empty, and unable to continue helping others.
Instead, you need to be bold and follow your heart. Don’t let others stand in your way and remember that you can’t save the whole world. Don’t neglect self-improvement and the importance of following your own path.
3. Understand You Can’t Please Everyone
Being a people-pleaser may seem innocent enough, yet it can actually be highly detrimental to yourself. If you’re always going against yourself to please others, your own needs will get put on hold. Eventually, you will be left feeling drained, exhausted, and unable to please anyone.
You would benefit from raising your self-esteem, and remember: your needs must be fulfilled before you can tend to others properly.