Empaths sometimes struggle with daily life. They pick up on negative emotions from other people and actually absorb those feelings onto themselves. They feel what others are feeling in such an intense way that they struggle to live a normal, everyday life. Empaths may not even be able to distinguish which emotions are their own and which belong to someone else.
Most people think empaths have a wonderful gift. While being empathic and sensitive is an asset, it comes at a great cost. They are often misunderstood and labeled as lazy or needy. Empaths suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, professional burnout, and physical pain due to their gift.
Just to highlight this fact, here are 11 struggles that empaths face on a daily basis.
1. They Struggle With Watching Television
TV is full of violence, cruelty, and tragedy. While this serves as entertainment to most people, it is unbearable for an empath. Many people find television a relaxing way to unwind and disconnect from their own worlds. An empath can quickly become emotionally drained just minutes into a network television show. A three-hour drama or a murder-mystery are simply out of the question.
2. They Struggle To say “NO”
Empaths have a tendency to try to make others happy no matter what. Saying “no” is a real challenge for them because it feels like their job to cater to the needs of others. They have a natural giving personality. The last thing they want to do is cause negative feelings in others (probably because they would just absorb it back anyway).
3. They Know When People Are Lying
If a friend or loved one is telling a lie, an empath will know it. This may sound like a good thing, but in reality it can leave them feeling very alone and vulnerable in a big world. Being lied to (even small white lies) by a loved one or a friend is extremely painful, especially for someone who is already hypersensitive to begin with.
4. They Have Trouble Leaving The House
Being in public places can be scary for an empath. For someone who can feel the emotions of those around them, places like shopping malls or grocery stores full of people can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming. Walking in a crowd of people even for a few minutes can completely drain an empath. They enjoy companionship, but are often labeled introverts and loners because they cannot handle large social gatherings.
5. They Are Susceptible To Addictive Habits
Empaths are always seeking an escape. They want to block out all of the emotions that they are feeling as a form of self-protection. Because of this, they often turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, or another addictive habit. Many addicts are actually emotional and empathetic people looking for a way out. It is simply a self-preservation and survival technique.
6. They Need To Sleep Alone
Empaths need their personal space to sleep. If they cuddle up or sleep next to someone, they won’t get real rest because they will just keep soaking up the emotions of the other person. Sleep is crucial for all living creatures because we all need to recharge. An empath often struggles in relationships because they have to sleep alone, and that is really hard for a lot of people to understand. It is typically taken as a sign that they do not enjoy being close or intimate.
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Even people that really love their jobs don’t enjoy them all of the time. Empaths find it difficult to do things that they do not enjoy. They feel as though they are living a lie. Because of this trait, empaths often just don’t do the tasks they don’t want to do. They will excel if they enjoy what they are working on, but the second it becomes boring or dull, empaths run for the door. For this reason, empaths can struggle to hold down a job. They bounce from one to another and find it difficult to reach any sort of significant professional success.
8. They Need Solitude
An empath needs their quiet time. They need space to recoup from others’ energies. Alone time is the only opportunity an empath gets to spend with their own (and only their own) energy and emotion. If an empath does not get enough solitude, they will become weighed down and aggravated.
9. They Are Always Tired
Many empaths get labeled as lazy. They aren’t lazy. They are just always drained of energy and constantly fatigued. Empaths are frequently taking on emotions from other people, and just thinking about that can wear you out. Even when they sleep, empaths do not get fully refreshed. Over time, this fatigue can lead to physical and mental illness.
10. They Are Taken Advantage Of
Empaths are a perpetual dumping ground for others. Anyone who is sad, upset, or suffering with any emotional pain will want to unload on an empath. These people can be family, friends, or even strangers. They may not realize they are dumping on the empath because it almost happens without thought.
11. They Get Bored Easily
An empath needs to be stimulated. Work, school, and home life have to be interesting for them or they will start daydreaming or looking for something else to do. Empaths are used to being over stimulated so they do not do well with down time. Just like with their jobs, they will only do what keeps them entertained.
Life is not easy for an empath. They struggle with intimacy, are vulnerable to emotional contagion, and battle with boundaries. They have to constantly work to lead a semi-normal life among regular people. The next time you encounter someone who is ultra-sensitive and empathetic, take the time to understand their special needs. Empaths have a unique gift, but that gift doesn’t come for free.
Are you an empath? Do you relate to many of these daily struggles? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.