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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 March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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