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Author Topic: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression  (Read 1838 times)

HarpingHawke

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Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« on: April 06, 2014, 12:48:41 am »
I'm an empath. Obviously, I take on the emotions of the people around me VERY easily, and if someone even just casually brushes up against me, I go on overload from their feelings. Anger is the emotion I'm most sensitive to and it gets destructive at times.

I recently went on a trip to the land of The Mouse (disney) for a choir competition, and I had several panic attacks from the crowd and all the people touching me, and after we got back, my sensitivity skyrocketed. (I didn't even know I could get more sensitive). It's gotten to the point where sometimes I can't really tell where other people end and I begin; almost like I'm a cup that other people are filling up, if that makes any sense at all. ...Hope that's not too overdramatic...

Shielding has not been working and neither has wearing protective jewelry. My gods have recently made it known that I shouldn't be doing magic, so that's out of the question.

Lately I've been noticing that while my empathy is getting amplified, I've been distancing myself from my own emotions almost completely.

I'm getting worried.

So, I pose two questions:

Have any of you had similar experiences?

And do you have any advice? I don't know what to do anymore and most of the people around me don't believe in it. I'm just at a total loss, otherwise I'd deal with this myself.

Thank you, and apologies for taking up your time.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 12:49:06 am by HarpingHawke »
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RandallS

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 08:10:27 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
Shielding has not been working and neither has wearing protective jewelry. My gods have recently made it known that I shouldn't be doing magic, so that's out of the question.

Work on your shielding so it grows more effective? Try a different method of shielding? Ask your gods for help -- especially if they are ruling out magical shielding?
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Breeze

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 10:42:23 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
I'm an empath. Obviously, I take on the emotions of the people around me VERY easily, and if someone even just casually brushes up against me, I go on overload from their feelings. Anger is the emotion I'm most sensitive to and it gets destructive at times.

I recently went on a trip to the land of The Mouse (disney) for a choir competition, and I had several panic attacks from the crowd and all the people touching me, and after we got back, my sensitivity skyrocketed. (I didn't even know I could get more sensitive). It's gotten to the point where sometimes I can't really tell where other people end and I begin; almost like I'm a cup that other people are filling up, if that makes any sense at all. ...Hope that's not too overdramatic...

Shielding has not been working and neither has wearing protective jewelry. My gods have recently made it known that I shouldn't be doing magic, so that's out of the question.

Lately I've been noticing that while my empathy is getting amplified, I've been distancing myself from my own emotions almost completely.

I'm getting worried.

So, I pose two questions:

Have any of you had similar experiences?

And do you have any advice? I don't know what to do anymore and most of the people around me don't believe in it. I'm just at a total loss, otherwise I'd deal with this myself.

Thank you, and apologies for taking up your time.


Does grounding count as magic?  If it doesn't you could try working on that too.  I'm not particularly empathic, but when I get negative crap targeted at me, I turn it into something useful (Law of Polarity FTW!).  I'm thinking you could maybe do something similar with all of these emotions you're picking up.  Anger is great for sports and exercise, sadness can be one of the greatest muses for creative expression, and so on.  Is there something on the physical plane (since magic is out), that you or your gods might want you to funnel all this extra energy into?

Aisling

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 11:19:59 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
And do you have any advice?

 
As Randall has suggested, find a way to make shielding work for you.  An idea that might work for you both in terms of the disassociation and learning to shield - essentially it's a visualization in which you have two emotional volume knobs - one for yourself and one for everyone else.  Adjust the volumes up and down as needed.  I used a similar method when I started trying to get a handle on spirit work and it's become an almost automatic process to filter the constant 'noise' that comes with the territory.  

Also, become aware of what triggers the worst of your reactions and have a plan, in advance, of how to deal with those triggers.  For example, if crowds are particularly difficult, limit time in them and plan decompression time afterwards. Breathing exercises can help with the anxiety of being in crowds as can being aware of your own thoughts and dealing only with what is actually happening to you in the moment.

A thought about your sensitivity to anger... the emotions that we're most sensitive to are often the ones that we personally have the most difficulty processing.  YMMV, of course, but it pays to take a look at how you respond to anger in your own life to see if this might be the reason for the increased sensitivity to it. Learning to manage our own responses to certain emotions can go a long way toward decreasing sensitivity to them.

Finally rule out any underlying conditions that may affect the way you interact with or perceive others.  I can speak from experience that depression can shade the way that we sense the emotions of others and often results in imaging emotions in others that aren't actually accurate.  Asperger's and PTSD also spring to mind as conditions that can really impact how we process and perceive emotions both in ourselves and in others. Not saying that this is always the case- just that it pays to covers one's bases thoroughly, since all the shielding in the world isn't going to help if the issues lie within our own brains.
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Sefiru

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 11:40:56 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520

Have any of you had similar experiences?

And do you have any advice? I don't know what to do anymore and most of the people around me don't believe in it. I'm just at a total loss, otherwise I'd deal with this myself.


I'm an introvert and get easily overwhelmed by crowds (even things like shopping malls). What works for me is making sure I have plenty of alone time, both physically and mentally. If there are no outside influences present, what I'm experiencing is probably mine.

As for times when I have to cope with crowds, I don't know much about psychic shielding, but I do have a bunch of psychological coping mechanisms. First is just plain purposefully ignoring people (like when you're on a crowded elevator). Another way is "task mode", focusing on things like my shopping list, schedule, route and so on.

Visualisation also helps; I write, so I usually have three or four story scenarios to think about. You said you're in choir, so you might be able to use music the same way (especially with many songs having emotional content).

And finally, as a more social method of shielding: reading material. In my experience, if you're reading in public, you might as well have a "do not disturb" sign hung around your neck.

Hope some of this is useful.

HarpingHawke

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 03:38:44 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;144538


 
Hanging this here:

Thank you all so much for your replies! I'm going to try a different method of shielding and do a little inner work on my inner workings, if that makes any sense at all. Also gonna do some more praying and see if that works out.

How grateful I am to you is hard to express with words, so I'll just use this lovely little emoticon! :lub:

Thanks again. :)
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

RandallS

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 06:11:23 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144570
I'm going to try a different method of shielding...

I forgot to mention that sometimes just changing how you visualize your shields working can make a huge difference. I knew a guy who was having trouble shielding. I and others kept suggesting all sorts of different way to shield but nothing seemed to help. Then he came up with visualizing his aura as a shield where it got thicker (what he meant by that I never really figured out, but it worked for him) the closer it was to his body, "slowing" energy down as it tried to push through his aura until it "got stuck" in the "thick as molasses" part. This made no sense to me, but it worked for him and that's all that matters. The moral of the story is don't be afraid to try something that sounds weird. :)
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HarpingHawke

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 06:17:47 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;144583


 
Awesome! Maybe I'll try something along those lines. Thanks!
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Allaya

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 06:20:21 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;144583
I forgot to mention that sometimes just changing how you visualize your shields working can make a huge difference. I knew a guy who was having trouble shielding. I and others kept suggesting all sorts of different way to shield but nothing seemed to help. Then he came up with visualizing his aura as a shield where it got thicker (what he meant by that I never really figured out, but it worked for him) the closer it was to his body, "slowing" energy down as it tried to push through his aura until it "got stuck" in the "thick as molasses" part. This made no sense to me, but it worked for him and that's all that matters. The moral of the story is don't be afraid to try something that sounds weird. :)

 
Makes perfect sense to me. Think about it like the the Earth's atmosphere. The outermost reaches are thin and rarefied and it gets progressively thicker and more substantial the closer you get to the surface. Although our atmosphere is "just air"...unless a meteor is very, very large at the outset, it will harmlessly incinerate itself on its way through.

I actually rather like the idea and may try using a similar shielding visualization for myself.
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Iara Succor

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Re: Empathy Affecting Emotional Expression
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 10:51:42 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
I'm an empath. Obviously, I take on the emotions of the people around me VERY easily, and if someone even just casually brushes up against me, I go on overload from their feelings. Anger is the emotion I'm most sensitive to and it gets destructive at times.

Anger is a secondary emotion. Usually it is the result of hurt or fear. Try to focus on what the underlying emotion is, and perhaps it will be easier to handle. If all you are getting is the secondary emotion, then you cannot adequately address it within yourself, which is not healthy for you. No wonder it sometimes feels destructive.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
Shielding has not been working and neither has wearing protective jewelry. My gods have recently made it known that I shouldn't be doing magic, so that's out of the question.

Lately I've been noticing that while my empathy is getting amplified, I've been distancing myself from my own emotions almost completely.

I'm getting worried.
I would strongly recommend getting in touch with your own emotions. Meditation is my go to. Sometimes I feel things from the day that I didn't even realize were there.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
So, I pose two questions:

Have any of you had similar experiences?
I used to a lot. My training in counseling helped a great deal. I've become adept at one of two things. I either reflect the emotions back to the person for them to deal with, or I let them flow through me, be processed on a level I would process them if they were mine, and then flow out of me.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;144520
And do you have any advice? I don't know what to do anymore and most of the people around me don't believe in it. I'm just at a total loss, otherwise I'd deal with this myself.

Thank you, and apologies for taking up your time.

 
Hopefully you will glean something useful from the advice already given. I don't have more than that. But you shouldn't apologize for taking up people's time. If they didn't want to read, they wouldn't. They are choosing to spend their time here and focus it how they will. To apologize for them doing this is taking on responsibility for their choices (and emotions!). Start by giving people ownership over themselves. You might find it quite useful in every day life. ;)

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