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Why Empaths Feel Drained Around Fake People

Why Empaths Feel Drained Around Fake People

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?

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    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

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      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

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        As an empath dealing with the mentioned behaviors, your instinctual reactions may include:

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        • 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.

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        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.

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        Published on May 4, 2021

        How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

        How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

        They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

        In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

        How to Spot Fake People?

        When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

        Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

        1. Full of Themselves

        Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

        Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

        2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

        Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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        It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

        3. Zero Self-Reflection

        To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

        Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

        4. Unrealistic Perceptions

        Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

        A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

        5. Love Attention

        As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

        6. People Pleaser

        Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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        Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

        7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

        Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

        8. Crappy friend

        Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

        It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

        The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

        How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

        It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

        There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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        1. Boundaries

        Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

        2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

        Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

        3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

        If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

        4. Ask for Advice

        If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

        Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

        5. Dig Deeper

        Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

        Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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        6. Practice Self-Care!

        Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

        Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

        Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

        Final Thoughts

        Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

        We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

        More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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