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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 July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

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Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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