Hey Empaths This Is For You!
by Baruch Zeichner, MA, NCC, LPC, LCMHC
The trick to not being emotionally laid low by the world is to differentiate between one’s personal challenges which one can effect, and the big “humanity sized” challenges which are rarely affected significantly by one person, and to adjust one’s responses accordingly.
We all face whatever local challenges we face, in relationships, work life, finances, etc.; whatever these happen to be. We are able to make choices in these arenas, more or less, depending on a number of variables including the cultural or societal, depending on where we live.
Then there are the big humanity sized issues that change more gradually, and usually through social movements. These are very gradual, groups of humans effect change on the global scale at a much slower rate than we individuals do in our local scenarios.
I have experienced, and may other empathic people have told me similar stories, a lot of distress from and about the big human issues; our brutality, corruption, and all that stuff. It can be painful to be aware of these things, and we now have awareness of so much of what happens in the world because of the internet and the ubiquitous devices bringing us information all the time. It’s a bit much!
What I am learning is that if I separate out my personal local stuff from the big humanity sized stuff, when I am feeling most clear, I can choose to be aware of the big stuff and respond to it in whatever ways I choose, and not be laid low emotionally by all that, or at least be laid low emotionally less severely and less of the time. If I focus on making my local situation as good as I can, and am fortunate to exist in a context where I can do that and appreciate that, it fuels my resilience for responding to the big stuff.
Responsibility, the ability to respond; if I can respond, especially in a creative or helpful way, however small, to the big issues, that also fuels my resilience in dealing with my local personal life issues.
People who are strongly empathic can find themselves experiencing empathy fatigue. By working within ourselves we can reduce and maybe even prevent that.
Originally published at Baruch’s Blog.