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Embracing Empathy: A Journey for HSPs and Empaths


Introduction to Empaths and HSPs

You may have already come across the terms empath or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in the past, or maybe it’s something new to you. Over the month of July, I am focusing on empaths and HSPs in my blog posts. Specifically, I will explore how we tend to become emotionally unavailable and the common challenges that develop because of it. Each week, I will focus on one specific challenge and give you tips, tools, and guidance on how to work through it. This way, you can finally embrace your gifts instead of just trying to live with them.

Understanding Empaths and HSPs

If you aren’t yet familiar with these concepts, empaths are individuals who deeply feel both their own emotions and those of others. They tend to internalize the emotions of others or get confused about whose emotions they are feeling. Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) are people with heightened sensitivity to sensory and emotional stimuli. They can often perceive emotions or even thoughts of others, hear or feel electricity nearby, or sense a ‘vibe’ from others. There are often many overlaps between the two. The definitions vary in both psychology and spiritual fields, but most versions agree that HSPs and empaths feel more than the average person.

The Internalization of Emotions

Often, one of the characteristics used to describe empaths and HSPs is the internalization or absorption of others’ emotions. However, I have come to know that this is not an inherent trait that comes with empath or HSP gifts. Instead, it is a learned coping mechanism from a young age to understand and influence the environment.

As young children, empaths and HSPs are very perceptive. They pick up on the emotions of those around them. However, most adults do not have the tools and resources to help children navigate these gifts and learn to hone them. Most children will misconstrue the emotions of others as their own or seek to explain them through projecting their own understandings and ideas onto why one would feel a certain way. This often looks like self-blame for young children. Kids often ask their caregivers why they are upset and get a dismissive answer or an intentional lie. For example, when a parent is frustrated and angry and the child asks the parent what’s wrong, and the parent responds with something like “nothing” or “I’m fine.” That further confuses the child. Over time, they learn not to trust what people say. In many cases, they become emotionally closed off with others to protect themselves from more emotional pain.

Upcoming Challenges and Solutions

In the coming weeks, I will address different challenges that empaths and HSPs face, how they become problems, and how to cultivate and hone your gifts so they no longer feel like a curse. Here is a quick overview of what I will be covering:

Week 1: Defining common challenges for empaths and HSPs. Learning contentment to move from unbalanced to at ease. Addressing communication and expectations: what happens when talk is cheap and how to feel at ease in your relationships by acknowledging the difference between what you feel from them and what they are saying.

Week 2: Internalizing or absorbing the emotions of others. This creates social anxiety, emotional unavailability, and other challenges in relationships. I will provide the tools you need to overcome it.

Week 3: Burnout, energy drain, and people-pleasing. How the tendency to take on others’ emotions impacts us and how to prevent it.

Week 4: All or nothing. How we tend to form quick, deep connections, only for them to burn out quickly. I will teach you how to set supportive boundaries and gradually grow relationships.

Week 5: Overcoming anxiety, doubts, and isolation/withdrawal. How seeking clarity of your personal truth can help you navigate your relationships with ease so you can get out of your own head.

Follow Along and Stay Informed

If you find yourself struggling with being an empath or HSP, make sure you follow along for this month’s blogs. Keep an eye on my social media and website as I get ready to announce dates for the Empath Mastery: From Surviving to Thriving workshop that I will be hosting. You can sign up for the waitlist here.

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