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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 12, 2019

How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining All the Time

How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining All the Time

Whining children are not enjoyable to be around. The sound of incessant whining can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. Nobody wants to listen to whining. There are solutions to help stop the whining. Below are my top 8 tips to get the whining to stop.

1. Address the Issue

To get a child to stop habitually whining, you first need to address the issue with the child.

There are some children who aren’t even aware that they are whining. In their little minds, they are simply voicing their opinions, concerns, and complaints. They don’t realize that tone and delivery matter significantly in communication. You need to talk to them about what whining is and how it affects you.

When you address the issue with the child, ensure that they understand for their age. A two-year-old and a seven-year-old have very different levels of comprehension. Speak to each child on their level. Use words that they will understand.

For example, in talking to your two-year-old, you can sit down on the floor so that you are at their eye level. Explain that whining is not a good behavior and that you are going to enforce consequences. “You are such a good girl, but when you whine that is not good girl behavior. From now on, you will get time out when you whine. If you want to tell me something use your big girl voice without whining and I will listen.”

When you communicate clearly and on their level, they can better understand that their whining needs to stop. Getting them to understand that their whining is a real problem is the first step.

2. Zero Tolerance for Whining

You need to set a standard in your home with whining. It is not allowed in our home. Does that mean it never happens? No, of course it still happens, my children are human and are not perfect. They whine, but when whining occurs, there are consequences.

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They know that if they whine, they will either get a timeout immediately, or they lose check marks from their chart. We use reward charts in our home. Our children earn check marks for positive behaviors and completing chores. When they complete a 50 box check mark chart, they get to cash it in for a toy or something else that they have been wanting. They can get check marks taken away for misbehavior. Whining, especially in public, can result in check marks being taken away.

It is hard to give a child a timeout when you are at the grocery store or out running errands. Taking away check marks is saved for those situations when a timeout is not feasible. My kids take their check marks seriously, because they are hard-earned. With a threat to take away a check mark, usually their behavior changes immediately.

Yes, bribery can be good parenting sometimes.[1]

Whatever methods of reward and consequence that you may have in your home, it must also apply to whining. You can provide a reward for an entire day without whining. Having consequences that occur when whining happens is what will help change the behavior as well. If you only have empty threats by warning them eight times that “if you don’t stop whining, you are going to timeout” is not effective.

The key to getting the behavior to change is having consequences. You ask them only once to stop and provide a consequence in your request. For example, if my son Charlie is whining, I will say something along these lines: “If you don’t stop whining right now, then you are going to get a 5 minute timeout. If you have something to say, please use your big boy voice and say it to me nicely.” They know that I won’t ask a second time. If they whine again, they immediately go to timeout.

3. Enforce Consequences for Whining Using a One Ask Approach

My kids don’t fight with me about going to timeout. They know if they argue or continue whining, then there are consequences for that behavior. That consequence is increased time in their timeout. I usually start with a three-minute or five-minute timeout. If they complain or continue to whine, my response is “one more whine or complaint and it goes to ten-minutes”. It isn’t just an idle threat either. They know I will follow through.

If the complaints continue, time will continue to be added to their time-out. If we make it all the way to a thirty minute timeout, I will send them to their room and they can lay down for a nap for that thirty minutes. It doesn’t often get to that point, but they know that it is possible, because they have all had those thirty-minute timeouts that mean they go to lay down in their room.

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Your ability to get their behavior to stop immediately is tied directly to your enforcement of the ask. If you ask them to do something, you must have a consequence tied to that request. When they don’t do as asked, then you immediately follow through with the consequence. This is enforcing a “one-ask approach.” When you keep asking them repeatedly to stop whining and you don’t have it tied to a consequence, they will keep whining. They don’t have an incentive to change.

You must ask once for them to stop the whining and have it tied to a consequence if they don’t stop. You must enforce the consequence immediately if they continue to whine after that first warning. This is using the one-ask approach.[2]

4. Provide Them with Communication Tools

Some children whine because they don’t have the right tools to communicate. This is especially true for young children who have not developed good communication skills.

A child who is under the age of two may be whining “mommy” all the time when they want milk, or help putting on their shoes, or they want a toy off a high shelf. Teach them the words and how to ask for those things. For example, using a nice tone say to them “you can ask for milk by saying “mommy, milk please”. Have them copy your tone. If they don’t use the same tone, then repeat the tone and phrase more exaggerated in a sweet voice so they better understand.

Providing children with the right tools for communication by teaching them the words to use is helpful in minimizing whining. You must also teach them about tone of voice at the same time. Because the right words are not helpful if they are being whined. Teach the child tone of voice by providing an example to them. Show them with your own voice how to ask nicely.

5. Be a Model of No Whining Allowed

Children are always paying attention to their parent’s behavior. Their parents and caregivers are their role models. This makes it very important for parents and caregivers to model good behavior.

If you are whining and your child witnesses you doing this on a regular basis, then they will learn to do the same behavior. If you model good communication skills and making requests using a pleasant and civil voice, then they will learn to do that instead of whining.

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6. Praise Them for Changing Their Behavior

If you have a child who is a habitual whiner, then you need to focus on their positive behavior. Using the consequences for the whining is helpful and still applies, but you don’t want your child to feel defeated.

You can help make the situation positive by praising their good behavior. This means when they whine and you ask them to stop and they in turn, stop the whining and ask you again in a nice voice, you respond with praise.

The following is an example: “You did such a good job saying that like a big girl and you changed the way you said that to me. Thank you for saying that to me so nicely, I will get you that glass of milk you asked for.”

Praise reinforces their good behavior. The positive feedback from a parent is greatly desired from a child. Be sure to praise your child when they change their whining into a good tone of voice and good communication skills.

7. Let Them Know What Whining Sounds Like

Some children don’t realize how annoying and irritating whining can be. They don’t know what it really sounds like coming from someone else. If they are in the habit of whining, then show them what it sounds like.

Don’t do it when you are in the middle of one of their whining episodes. Wait until things are calmed and you can have a one-on-one heart to heart chat with them in a sincere manner.

Don’t mock them. Instead, you can say something along these lines: “When you whine, it sounds like this….(fill in with an example of a recent whine)…and it makes me not want to listen to you. I need you to work on using your big girl voice by asking like this….” Then, follow it up by converting the whining statement into a nicely said statement using a good tone of voice.

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Providing them with an example and allowing them to hear what they sound like to you helps them to better understand how annoying and irritating whining can be.

8. Assess What the Whine is Really Saying

Some children whine because they are overtired or they are seeking attention. If whining occurs and it is not your child’s typical behavior, then you may need to assess why they are whining.

My son Alex is typically not a whiner. When he begins to whine, we now recognize that it is because he is really tired and needs a nap or needs to go to bed for the night. If we put him in timeout for whining, it seems that his behavior becomes worse because he is overtired. The solution is to get him down for a nap, or put him to bed. In this situation, we don’t give a timeout. Instead, we focus on the task at hand, which is getting our overtired child put into his bed for some much needed sleep.

If your child is whining because they are in need of attention, then take the time to give them the attention that they are craving. They are only little once. A few minutes of your undivided attention can make all the difference in the world to your child.

It’s Up to You as the Parent to Make Change Happen

Children will naturally whine. It is part of development. For younger children, especially toddlers, the tendency for whining is more likely because they lack good communication skills. It is up to parents to correct the behavior by showing children the right ways to communicate.

If the behavior persists, then parents and caregivers should use a reward or consequence system consistently to change the behavior.

Whining doesn’t need to be a part of your home life. You can set the standard first by your own example of not whining and secondly, by having a system in place for handling whining when it does occur.

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Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

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