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15 Things To Remember If You Love An Empath

15 Things To Remember If You Love An Empath

How to love an Empath, let me count the ways: fiercely, honestly and with all you’ve got.

We don’t take love lightly so when we truly choose to open our hearts to you, expect to be blown away. It’s intense and powerful and messy and some times hard to handle but it’s real. Empaths don’t know how to love any other way.

I should also clarify what exactly an Empath actually is. An Empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy/moods/emotions of people, situations and their environment to the point where they can take on those emotions as their own. They also have to some degree psychic abilities of “knowing” things without having proof. Somewhat mysterious and complex, as their emotions run deep but what lies beneath the surface is a world all its own.

When you’re looking into the eyes of an Empath who has opened up their heart to you will see vulnerability, honesty, hurt, pain, dreams, happiness,love. With emotions flying, thoughts racing and ideas flowing nonstop, not everybody is fit to love one. It can be hard but to make things a little bit easier I’ve created 15 (yes, 15!) ways to love us.

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Most can really be applied to loving anyone but some are specifically tailored to the highly sensitive Empaths in your life!

1.  We cannot change, so please don’t expect that. 

Nothing will drive an Empath further away more than if you try to change our sensitivity and emphatic abilities. YES, we are different from the majority of the people you know but so what? We’re sensitive. We’re intuitive. We get easily overstimulated. We cry. We see the beauty in everything. We feel the pain of others. Don’t try to change us. It won’t work and we will close ourselves off to you immediately.

2.  Caging us will cause damage. 

We are like birds; we need to be able to fly freely to wherever our emotions take us. There will be highs and lows and twisting and turning in-betweens. Caging us is like clipping our wings. We will lose the light that guides our way if you try to control us. If that happens, we will shut down and the love we have to give gets tucked pretty deep inside of us. The damage is hard to undo but can be avoided by not trying to cage us.

3.  Time alone is non-negotiable.

Empaths need to re-energize in a space that is all their own. It will look differently for everyone but chances are they need time to be alone. It can be tiring always feeling the energy of the people surrounding us, please don’t be mad or annoyed when we need to refuel on our own. It doesn’t mean we don’t love or want to be around you. It means we need to quiet our mind and replenish our energy. We will come back happier than before, I promise.

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4.  Take what we say seriously.

Empaths are extremely creative folks. There’s always a next idea that’s popping up in their head, listen to them. Take them seriously. Believe in them, even as crazy as the idea sounds. Empaths, arguably more than anyone else, have the ability to truly change the world. Listen to them when they pour their hearts out to you. Because somewhere in between their excitement, their passion and words that get jumbled, something quite amazing is ready to be created.

5.  Being supportive helps us open up

We know we’re different, this isn’t new to us. We know the way we see life doesn’t make sense to a lot of non-empathetic people. We also know there’s a whole world of people out there trying to change us. If you want to love us, support us. Step out on a limb and put a little faith in us. This actually helps us feel safe enough to more open about who we are.

6.  Our intuition is usually spot on.

Contrary to popular belief, we actually do know what we’re talking about. We’re empathetic, remember? We feel everything. So, when we have a good feeling about something, trust us. When we have a bad feeling about something, trust us. When we go after a dream because it speaks to our hearts, trust us. When we think somebody is lying, trust us. For a non-empathetic person I understand this is putting a lot of “blind faith” in someone but trust me, trusting the Empath in you life will show her that you believe in what she’s saying.

7.  Be honest; dishonesty destroys us.

As an Empath, most people think sugar-coating things is the way to go. I will tell you with 100% certainty being honest is the ONLY way to go. The betrayal we feel from being lied to, after we have opened up our hearts and souls to you, is something that will take a very long time to recover from. It can, and most likely, will ruin your relationship. Just be honest.The couple of days of crying sure beats losing an Empath for good.

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8.  Don’t compete with the love we have for our animals.

MOST, not all, but most Empaths feel unbelievably connected to animals and have a one or two (or seven) furry friends that they ABSOLUTELY LOVE. When I say connected what I really mean is they would do anything for them. Some days you will feel like you come second to them. If you want the honest truth, you kinda do. They can’t help it. The love they feel for their pets is different from the love they feel for you and it shouldn’t be competed with. Don’t try. I guarantee your wife will love you more if you can accept and appreciate the deep love she has for her dog.

9.  We need you to make us laugh.

Some days we need someone to pull us out of our non-stop minds and remind us what it is to laugh until our bellies hurt. To have fun like children do. To live in the moment and not be so serious all the time. We need someone to push the pause button for a moment and let us know it’s OK to enjoy ourselves.

10.  Know there are some things we will never give up.

There are things in this world that speak so clearly and directly to our hearts it feels like it’s apart of us. As dramatic as it may sound, it’s almost like we won’t be ourselves without it. It could be music, painting, photography, working for a non-profit organization, feeding the homeless. It’s love and passion. Some of the most passionate people in the world are Empaths. If we lose our passion, we lose ourselves. Please don’t ask or expect us to give up on something that has changed our hearts for the better.

11.  Our hearts break daily.

It’s overwhelming being an Empath. Some days all it takes is for somebody to say one “wrong” thing to me or to see an image of something terrible or hear a story about a person I don’t know who’s gone through the unthinkable and I’m crying like a baby. Our hearts break easily. It can be devastating at times to be an Empath so on those days, let us cry. No questions or advice needed, just accept our hearts are heavy from this world and we need to cry it out.

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12.  Understand we love with great intensity.

It’s no surprise that when you feel deeply connected to almost everything, you love with great intensity. We truly feel “one” with our surroundings! So when we love somebody we feel one with them and our love is intense. It’s powerful. It can heal but in the wrong hands, it can be dangerous. In the right hands, it will change you forever. And for the better.

13.  Accept our abilities to feel the world around us.

Poking fun at our sensitivity is one thing. Judging, ridiculing and belittling who we truly are is another. Acting as if “this” is something we will “get over” is a kiss of death when in a relationship with an Empath. Accept us. Love us. We have a unique ability to see and feel the world differently. Don’t judge us, please.

14.  Don’t cast your insecurity on us.

It takes a secure man to really love an Empathetic woman. That is the God’s honest truth. If you want to tear her down by casting your insecurity on her, sadly it may work. Feeling how others feel isn’t something she can turn off. But I know if you do that, she will hide the best of her from you. She will temporarily clip her own wings and it will be your loss. The beauty and most amazing parts of her happen when she’s in motion.

15.  If it is too much, please leave gracefully.

Maybe you’ve met her at the wrong time, or it wasn’t meant to be forever or this is too much for you right now. Either way, love her by leaving gracefully. Do not cage her or put her down or make her feel insecure about who she is. Love her by leaving with respect and honesty. She will love and thank you for it.

If you get the chance to love an Empath even just once in your life, you are lucky. It won’t always be easy but it will most definitely be worth it.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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