The word “empath” is, I suppose, one of those words that banded about quite a bit in the spiritual and personal development space. It’s a word that people relate to but aren’t quite sure of the totality of it’s meaning & whether or not they fit the criteria.
I have associated myself with the word EMPATH but when I was writing this article I checked in with a couple of people to ask whether or not they associated me with that word too (and they did).
So what is an empath? Does it run directly from the more common word empathy? Well yes and no, it’s much deeper and encompassing than that.
Here’s some of the common traits;
- We will start with the one that most people will have brought from the definition – you feel energy. You feel the energy of other people and you feel Universal energy. Positive & negative. You feel how things are. You can feel tension, joy, angst etc. I know that for me I can even pull the term “okay” and know whether that’s an angsty/frightened okay or whether it’s a pumped “let’s do this” kinda okay. You feel what others feel. This is the root word in essence – empathy – but on a deeper level. It’s more than “I get it.” It’s more “I can feel you.”
- Your BullShit detector is in good working order – cut the crap, you can’t pull the wool over these all seeing eyes! You just know when people are trying to BS you. You get it. You feel it.
- You may be described as “sensitive” and that often has a vibrational undertone that you should just pull yourself together.
- You can quite quickly over people and regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert you can get too overwhelmed by too much peopling.
- The news/media hits you right in your soul. It can make you perplexed that people can even be that way and it can be heavy and all consuming.
- You’re super passionate
- You just know stuff, you’ve not necessarily been taught it and you have no idea where that knowledge came from.
- Your agenda is to ease suffering and to help others
- You can have quite an addictive personality
- People tell you everything and you are frank, open and honest in your assistance.
- You don’t necessarily talk about how you feel as it’s about helping others.
- You can be inclined to take on too much
- You are creative
- You feel super nourished in nature
- You NEED quiet time
- You are sensitive to noise
- You are a truth seeker and can be like a terrier trying to get the bottom of something (even after it’s relevance has been long forgotten).
- You rebel against routines, rules and control – you are quite the free spirit
- You are intolerant of narcissism & narcissists – you just can’t understand that “all about me” attitude and not being able to see other people’s opinions, views and feelings FFS!!!
- You are a world leader in nurturing
- You can attract lots of energy thieves who are a drain on you.
- You can get easily sidetracked/distracted
How does that allow you to run a business effectively?? Eeeeekkkk ????
Well, like I say – I’m an empath & I’m doing ok!
Here’s my top tips;
So, I totally hear you (and feel you), this one is a biggie. You have some control as to how you managed your energy on a day to day basis. The first thing that I want to say here is that you need to make sure YOU are filling your cup. You can’t give from an empty vessel. I had a massive epiphany on this one after watching this video…
That one hit be between the eyes.
As did, in particularly, this quote…
I also know that for me I have now conditioned myself into immediate assessment. I filter the energy as it enters my domain and I decide whether or not it’s mine to take on. Ask yourself these questions;
- Ok, so right now I feel……………………………is this mine to take ownership of?
- It’s interesting that has triggered me to feel this way, is there any lessons I need to take from it AND is it mine to take on board?
Asking those questions and recognising that you taking on the energy doesn’t take it off someone else and whilst it’s important to be able to empathise with your clients and know exactly how they are feeling you can’t allow that to drain you.
It’s also important that you look after your energy on a day to day basis. I know that during the course of some days I might be getting involved in a huge number of peoples’ worlds and issues. I can’t take that internally (or I would be no use to anyone) AND I mustn’t take it from one client to the next. You need to ring out your sponge between clients (so as a sponge you are absorbing all this energy and it’s massively important that you don’t dip that energy into the next person – it needs a good ring out before you go forwards to help the next person).
I have shared a blog that goes into this further;
Of course people are going to want to connect with you. Of course people are going to see you as the person who listens and gets it.
The duality of you wanting to ease suffering and save the world coupled with people experiencing someone truly listening and understanding them means that at times you are going to attract people who want to drain you of that energy. People who are holding the weight of the world on their shoulders and truly are making sure that every single soul hears about it.
In business you need to be open, you need to be approachable and you WANT & need to be their for your clients BUT this isn’t at all costs.
Boundaries can be such a difficult one to include.
You MUST make sure you stay in fair exchange and that people aren’t just constantly take, take, taking from you (otherwise your cup will run dry VERY quickly).
What CAN you do?
- Manage expectations of your audience – when can they expect to hear back from you? when are you available? what is included in that programme or service? Be specific!
- Write some terms and conditions/a statement of intent (they don’t have to be boring) – you can bring together expectations in one document (including what you expect from them).
- Communicate clearly
- Don’t do things with a knee jerk reaction – sit with it and decide when/how you will respond
- Manage your own expectations – set some working hours/boundaries
- Make sure you continue to have none working time in your week
- Stop watching the news (particularly before bed)
- Only follow people on social media who make you feel good – no knobbers or energy drains should be allowed in your timeline (you can unfollow people without unfriending them and you can unlike a page without the page owner being told)
- ^^^ same for your inbox – unsubcribe from any emails that make you angsty, negative or wobbly.
- Take some time out in your diary each week for cave time. Time that you can use to refill your cup, work on the things that truly float your boat and make you feel alive.
- Remember that NO is a complete sentence – you don’t have to justify it and you’re not letting anyone down. I know that it’s a super hard word to say when people are asking something of you BUT, again, if it’s not right for you then it ain’t a hell yeah and if it ain’t a hell yeah then by default it’s a no.
- know it’s ok t0 not always be ok and it’s ok to talk about it too. Your experiences and feelings matter as well as those of others
- Get outside more
- Have an exit strategy if you have to go out and people
- Know that you will be peopling and fill your cup before and after
- Make sure you are grounding OFTEN
- Meditate (even 2 minutes of just breathing will make a stack of difference)
- Journal (no rules – just let your brain download onto the paper)
- See it as a super power and not a curse!
Care, really care, care with all your all. Go out there and serve the pants off your crowd BUT please make sure you are regulating and looking after your own energy too!