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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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        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

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