How To Protect Yourself As An Empath
If you’re an empath, you care… a lot! You’re considerate, thoughtful, and sense things on a deeper level. Because you are so sensitive, it is important that you learn how to protect yourself.
Being an empath means you’re nurturing, caring, and supporting. Whether it’s to friends, colleagues, or new people you meet. You try your best to help everyone, sometimes at your own expense.
As an empath, you identify with people’s problems with ease. You are very compassionate to their pain and struggles, and wishing you could help them fix everything.
Empaths are natural problem solvers. You are not only merging with the other person’s pain, you also look for an effective solution. It’s hard for you to stand still so you strive to take proactive and preventative steps.
You feel compelled to get things done. You often write to-do lists, and you enjoy checking things off them.
You’re also a very insightful, self-aware individual and always searching for why things happen as they do. You’re trying to understand the underlying root cause of problems rather than looking at the symptoms.
The Balanced Empath VS The Unhealthy Empath
All empaths have commonalities such as a strong sense of idealism and personal integrity.
Empaths want to uplift others, spread compassion, and create and live in a better world. A world where no one is exploiting others and there is a safe space for everyone to exist and thrive.
But the visions of that utopic world and the tendency to take care of others’ problems, sometimes is targeted towards the wrong people. The empath you may aim to help those who don’t bring any value but only sucking the energy out of you.
The balanced empath knows how to protect themselves from toxic, draining, and narcissistic people who are searching for resources to take advantage of.
If you are a grounded, self-assured empath, you –
- Trust your insights about others and have strong faith in your ability to read people.
- Let your inner vision and personal values guide you, even if that upsets others.
- Set healthy boundaries and feel comfortable communicating your needs.
But there’s also the empath who is codependent and doesn’t set boundaries. This is the type that needs to learn how to protect themselves.
The unhealthy, codependent, empath –
- Tries to help and please everyone at their own expense.
- Preferring to keep the peace rather than looking out for their own peace of mind.
- Ignoring their gut feeling and intuition.
- Struggling with having an autonomous being that is separated from others.
- Attracting narcissists and other imbalanced individuals who see you as an easy target to meet their needs.
4 Ways Empaths Can Protect Themselves
Offer The Right Support
Some people have different approaches to handling life challenges that come their way. So when they talk to you about what’s they’re going through, they might need your presence, not your advice.
If your friends or family members refuse to apply your solutions or figuring out their motives, stop giving them solutions they won’t use.
Offer them empathy instead.
This way, you will protect yourself from getting frustrated and sad that they don’t apply any of your suggestions. And they will be satisfied to have their pain witnessed.
Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen to us, without offering a fix. So maybe provide them the help they ask for, not the help you are so eager to give.
That will require you to let go and let them come up with their own fixes.
In some cases, you will see they are making mistakes but you will just need to let them go through it and learn on their own.
Stir Clear of Narcissists
Narcissists are naturally drawn to empaths because they are sensitive and caring and this is the perfect match for the self-entitled and self-centered narcissist.
As an empath, you want to help as much as you can and you see the good in people. You would never think of deliberately hurting someone else, exploiting them, and seeing them as tools to achieve your own selfish interests.
But Narcissists are wired differently. They look like completely normal people, but their soul is rotten inside. They lack empathy and care about no one but themselves.
Narcissists have a broken sense of self and are using others to feed their starving egos. They seek constant praise and admiration because their self-identity is damaged. And if you disagree with them, break up with them, or don’t do what they want – they will be cruel.
They are pros at pretending they care. They fake human emotions pretty well, and it’s hard to spot them in some cases, especially if they are covert narcissists.
But rest assured, they don’t give a damn about you, even if they tell you they do. Their words are empty of true intentions. They don’t care about anyone else but themselves.
As a caring, nurturing person, you must learn to protect yourself from predators. And you can do it once you really study the twisted, sick brain of the Narcissist.
As you study their behavior and notice their manipulation tactics, distance yourself as far as you can from these people.
Read as much material as you need about them. As an empath, you are a naturally curious person, so that shouldn’t be any problem on your end.
Thank God most of the people are empathetic. Otherwise, we would never survive as species. So focus your awesome energy on people who actually deserve your love, warmth, and attention.
Stop Engaging With Draining People
Most people are not looking for the deeper meaning of things like the empath.
In other words, they are not trying to discover their mind programming, motives, and feelings or asking why things happen as they do.
Many people just like to complain, rather than finding solutions. And those people are drawn to you, the empath, like a magnet because you’re a great resource they can vent to.
This type of toxic people is often in survival mode because they perceive everything to be a crisis.
Their co-worker said something to them– it’s an emergency.
They lost their car keys somewhere in the house – it’s a life-threatening situation.
Their fight or flight system is always activated, so it is not enabling them to ‘read’ the situation correctly and rationally. So they react in panic to almost everything.
These people often also suffer from a victim mentality. They are convinced everything is always happening to them without taking any responsibility for their well-being.
They feel powerless to change their circumstances. They blame their bad luck rather than being reflective of their behavior and emotional reactivity.
As an empath, you are the complete opposite. Taking action and being efficient is your favorite strategy to handle life.
You secretly hope that if only you say the right words to these people, they will suddenly stop complaining and start doing.
But that’s not the case, isn’t it? Has it ever been the case?
Have you ever heard them say “you know what? Now that you mention that, I am panicky about every little thing. Maybe I should start taking responsibility and be more mindful of my emotional and mental patterns. You are absolutely correct!”
Even though you want to save everyone, you can’t. It is not your job, anyway.
You weren’t put here in this world to save everybody. You are here for you. And that doesn’t make you selfish, only human.
So you need to learn to protect yourself and take care of yourself first.
That means that you would need to set clear boundaries with emotionally draining people. If it’s too much, then reconsider the friendship. See the value it brings to your life, if at all.
These people need to take responsibility for themselves, and you can’t do it for them.
It’s just like someone is sick – you can’t take an Advil for them. They have to do it themselves.
Balance Your Drive To Help Others With Self-Care
Focusing on other people can really burn you out, empath. Stop exhausting yourself with others’ burdens and start practicing self-care techniques on a daily basis.
Here I share my personal self-care routine that helps me stay grounded and centered.
Slow down. Take a deep breath. Allow yourself the time and space to recharge without feeling guilty about it.
Remember you? you have needs too and they are as important as anyone else’s.
Tune in to your body, your feelings, and your higher-self. Take the time to reconnect with yourself on a daily basis.
Nourish your heart and spirit with uplifting activities that help you stay present and balanced.
If you need to take a hot bath while one of your family members is in crisis mode – do it. You deserve it.
You can be happy even if someone you love is upset. Remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with it.
If you want to go for a hike even if your best friend is devastated over a breakup – do it. Trust your friend that she can soothe herself and ask for professional help if it’s necessary.
You need to be your own savior, and other people should be their own anchor.
Yes, you can absolutely emotionally support others, but make sure it doesn’t deplete you. Do it on your own terms and boundaries that serve you best.
If you want a boost to protect yourself and stop feeling responsible for the entire world, then make sure to check out my relaxing recording here.
I wish we had a world full of empaths who can see others’ pain and wanting to create a better world for everyone, humans, animals, and the planet. Wouldn’t it be amazing?
Maybe humanity is going in that direction. But until that happens, remember that there are predators out there. There are people who have a damaged brain structure and they are only aimed to feed their fragile ego. They are incapable of meeting any of your needs, nor caring for and truly loving anyone else.
Thus, you must put yourself first and stay away from them. Stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. See them for who they are and focus your beautiful energy towards empowering the right people, who are empathetic and desire to change their world from the inside out.