Ahh, those empaths – the healers of the world. They are the kind of people who have a gift – they can sense and absorb the feelings and energies of other people. So, if you happen to be an empath, then know that you’re a unique person.
But, also know that possessing an empathetic nature can be both a blessing and a curse. Being an empath means that you go through life sensing and internalizing other people’s colorful energies. You feel their happiness, their stress, their sadness, their pain.
When you’re an empath, you sense not only what those around you feel, but also what they need. You can sense when they need attention, validation, or an offer of support or help.
While it’s great having compassion for others, being so sensitive and feeling so deeply come at a cost. Having empathetic nature, you feel other people’s anxiety, stress, anger, and pain in your body. You might feel their pain both physically and emotionally. And if you let these negative emotions sit in your body, your mind and body can become overloaded.
Not only will internalizing other people’s feelings and energies lead to burnout, but it can also lead you down a slippery slope to compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue is a condition which often befalls highly sensitive people, caregivers, empaths, and most people that are regularly exposed to suffering in either people or animals.
It is caused by the physical and emotional burden created by the distress and trauma of listening to other people’s difficult and painful circumstances and helping them. When the empath, or any other highly-sensitive person, begins to experience compassion fatigue, this causes them to withdraw emotionally in order to preserve their well-being.
Typical symptoms of compassion fatigue include: feelings of helplessness, loss of pleasure, mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion, insomnia, nightmares, and chronic stress.
Compassion Fatigue Sometimes Makes Empaths Come Off As Antisocial and Even Weird
Like we said, empaths are sensitive to the myriad of intense emotions, energies, and life struggles which occur around them. As a result of absorbing all of this and letting it sit in their body for a long time, empaths end up getting overwhelmed and in turn, they isolate themselves from others to preserve their health.
This sometimes makes emptahs come off as unfriendly and detached. Moreover, it makes them feel like no one understands them.
If you happen to be an empath and you’re struggling with compassion fatigue, know that it may be time for you to stop devoting yourself to helping other people for a while and start to practice self-care instead.
But, don’t shut down. Instead, turn to your family and friends for support. And if time spent with a particular family member or friend drains your energy or causes you to feel stressed out or anxious, you may wish to reduce the amount of time you spend with them as much as possible.
Remember – maintaining your mental, emotional, and physical health should always be your number one priority.