Experiencing people’s emotions as if they were one’s own is a main empathic trait. This hypersensitivity can be a positive with immense capacity to understand, care, and be intuitive to other’s needs. However, there can be dark sides to being so caring. Empaths must become aware to how energy impacts them and their health. They must learn how to identify triggers as early as possible to set healthy and effective boundaries. Read on to discover three common triggers and how to safely navigate them.
Trigger 1: External pain
People who are suffering will always seek out the advice of an empath. Because of their thoughtful, caring, and understanding nature, an empath will carve out time to help someone in pain. They will find just the right words to say to help healing begin. But, do you notice that after such encounters you may feel worse than before? The people in pain leaves feelings better, but the empath can feel exhausted, disturbed, or anxious. It can be as if the person leaches off the empath’s good intentions and returns the favor by leaving their pain or chaos on the empath’s front door. No one sets out to intentionally cause the empath harm, or the empath never intends to absorb this person’s suffering, but on an energetic level this happens too frequently.
Navigating the pain of another is a common trigger for empaths. As people reach out to you for aid, you must quickly set and reinforce boundaries. These limits will help you freely be present with the situation without worrying about become overstimulated or drained. You will never be able to fully heal a person, and they must be able to resolve their issues themselves. Be a stable resource to them by teaching them how to be grounded and present so they can chart their path to healing
Trigger 2: External expectations
Empaths must notice other people’s expectations and demands. When some makes a request, you are able to choose how you respond, and must do so in manner that aligns with your needs and values. Then the onus is placed back onto the other person if they are okay with your response and what course of action, they want to take next.
Since empaths are so attuned to other’s feelings and thoughts, you may sense the demands of the other person. It can be either subtle or intense and cause an array of inner experiences for you like anxiety, sweating, or tightness in your chest. These reactions might cause you to feel pressured to ignoring your own needs for the relief you could feel by caving into the other person’s wants. This relief will be very temporary and will so be replaced with the consequences of overlooking these sensations. Typically, all this will happen on the energetic level, even if at the surface the person appears to respect your boundaries, perhaps even saying they do. Deep down you will know their words and energies are unaligned. You may even intuitively predict their reactions if you disappoint them, but you must honor and trust your boundaries to ensure your own health.
Trigger 3: Overwhelming intimacy
Empaths crave intimacy and partnership, thriving in close dynamics and bonding with lovers. You predict their needs, understand them at deep levels, and enjoy supporting them. This relationship harmony can produce a peaceful feeling within the home that you also enjoy. But they can be limits to how much closeness is healthy. When an empath becomes consumed by their partner’s needs you stop being able to separate your goals from theirs. Before you get the urge to run away, set and maintain appropriate boundaries. This will help you identify your emotions and thoughts from theirs. You can then release whatever doesn’t belong to you, while still being a supportive resource to them. This will help you gain clarity about action steps you both need to achieve your goals, as well as grow your relationship in a mutually empowering manner.