Have you ever had the experience of having the life sucked out of you by spending time with a particular person?
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve had the ability to “feel” what other people are feeling (a term now coined as “empathy).
It is an experience that is very difficult to explain, and once I got older, I realized I wasn’t the only one.
While sympathy people feel compassion towards others, empaths may take on the burden of others as if they were their own.
Being highly empathic means that you are much more likely to feel affected by someone’s negative energy, as well as positive energy.
Being an “absorber” of other people’s emotions and energy can affect you mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Think of the last time you had an argument with someone and felt completely drained. Now imagine that without even having an argument, you still feel physically drained simply by being in the same room as another person.
While it is important that we provide emotional support to the people we love, we also need to protect our hearts from those who take advantage of our kindness, or take care of ourselves when the energy of another person sucks the life out of us (whether they intend to or not).
Absorbing Other People’s Emotions
Absorbing other people’s emotions can make it hard to tell which feelings are truly ours. We might even feel controlled by this trait. It can influence what environments we choose to hang out in, who we allow in our circles, and what kind of job we do.
If someone is in a consistently bad mood, we’ll usually avoid that person as much as we can, because their negative feelings also bring us down.
Likewise, if we’re feeling “bad vibes” from a certain place or hangout area, we will likely avoid it, too.
As much as we gain a lot from this unique ability, we also pay a hefty price for it. BUT, there is another way to live. We can learn to thrive in this world with our special gifts, we just need the right tools to do so.
I imagine that back in the day, when we lived in harmony with nature and the people and animals around us, that individuals with more sensitive energies (aka. empaths) were healers and benefited the community by being able to work with the more subtle energy fields that most people aren’t tapped into.
While this may seem far-fetched, I always look to what my ancestors might have done. While most of the works and doings of the Wise Women, Animists, and Spirit-Workers were practically destroyed during the “witch” hunts, I can only imagine that these individuals were, too, empaths that could “feel” the energy of every living being they encountered.
These are just a few thoughts I have been pondering over time, as I have slowly started to un-earth my ancestry and dig a little deeper into the lives of the beautiful women who preceded me, and who were wrongly prosecuted for living in harmony with nature.
How Do You Know If You’re An Empath?
An empath is someone who is in tune with other’s emotions. Depending on how sensitive they are, they can usually feel a wide range of different emotions and energies.
- Can you feel what other people are feeling?
- Are you in tune with others’ emotional states?
- Do you get emotionally overwhelmed in large crowds?
- Do you confide in people easily, even strangers?
- Do you get a lot of random mood swings, and aren’t sure why?
- When you watch TV or online videos/movies/shows can you feel the emotions of those who you are watching?
- Are you drawn to water?
- Do you always know if someone is telling the truth or not?
If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, you are undoubtedly an empath. Welcome to the club!
How To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Negative Energy
There are lots of different methods you can utilize to stop yourself from absorbing other people’s energy (particularly the negative stuff).
The first step is to acknowledge that you are an empath, and realize that you have a gift! It isn’t a bad thing to feel the energy around you, you just need some tools to help guide you.
So, without further adieu, here are seven ways to help you stop absorbing other people’s energy:
1. Get Grounded
We can do this first thing in the morning – and it is a great start to your day. Over-sensitive people like empaths have trouble staying grounded because we feel everything so intensely and live in our heads. Grounding is a good first step to take so that we don’t carry around other people’s emotions and energy as if they were our own. You can perform any of the following:
- Have a shower in the morning and imagine the water washing away all of your negative energy down the drain, and the water filling you with white light and love. Drinking at least 1 liter of water upon waking up will help a lot, too. Water is naturally grounding.
- Visualize roots growing out of the bottom of your feet. The roots reach deep into the ground. Picture this until your feet feel weighted down.
- Spend five minutes each morning meditating, and focusing on your breath. Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale for 7 seconds, and hold for another 4 seconds before repeating. This is a great way to get in touch with your breath and inner self.
- Sit on or touch the earth/ground. Walk on the ground in bare feet, and yes, hug a tree. Going into nature is one of the most grounding experiences a person can have. It is powerfully cleansing and helps us focus on a world outside of ourselves.
2. Visualization and Clearing
Visualization is a great way for keeping other people’s energy separate from our own. You can visualize yourself protected by a huge rainbow bubble when interacting with “energy-suckers”, or you can visualize yourself in a box.
The box allows positive energy to enter but repels any energy we don’t want. We can still sense what others are feeling and thinking, but once we have recognized their energy, it stays with them. We don’t become entangled in their energy at the end of a conversation.
Clearing is also a great tool for getting rid of absorbed unwanted energy. They often use this practice in Reiki energy healing.
Cup your hands over your body and start above your head. Using both hands, cut through the energy in a quick, swiping action, pushing it away from your energy field. Continue all the way down to the feet. Once you are finished, visualize yourself in a white bubble.
This can be done at the end of the day, in the comfort of your own home.
3. Learn to Say No
Know your boundaries! Speak up when your boundaries are crossed!
You wouldn’t let someone come into your home and tear it apart, so why would you let them damage your self-esteem and entire life for that matter?
It also isn’t rude to say no to someone, and you don’t need to justify your reasoning, either. If you don’t feel respected, let the person know. Stand up for yourself in a way that makes you feel proud and coming from a place of self-love. When you love yourself, you’ll receive respect from others.
If you find yourself saying no more than yes to a particular person, ask yourself why, and ask yourself if this person is really helping you grow, or just holding you back.
4. Keep Space from Energy Suckers
Have you ever had the experience of having the life sucked out of you by spending time with a particular person? The type of person, where you need to gather up your strengths to hang out with and leaves you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
These people always have time to see you when they need support, but when you need support, they are never available.
Remind yourself that it is not your responsibility to fix another person’s problems. As empaths, we want to fix everyone and make sure they’re alright. If they can’t help themselves, don’t carry their burden for them.
5. Stop People Pleasing
I have a hard time taking things personally when getting in heated discussions that don’t even involve me as a person.
One lesson I’ve learned is that when people complain about you or try to bring you down, don’t take it personally.
Just remember that when someone is trying to bring you down, it’s more a reflection of them as a person, and their relationship with themselves, than of your worth.
The more you let yourself be influenced by gossip, the more you’ll start to depend on the praise of others (which isn’t what we want).
You also can’t make everyone like you, but remember that your worth doesn’t come from the approval or opinion of others.
Love yourself first and foremost, and let go of those who bring you down.
6. Take Care of Yourself
I cannot stress how important it is to take care of yourself.
Allowing yourself the time away from everyone else will allow you to tune into your own thoughts and feelings so that you can decipher whether your negative thoughts and feelings are really a creation of your own, or someone else’s.
Take an epsom salt bath, or make it an effort to have a lazy morning.
Meditate, and schedule you-time to find your inner voice. Nature is one of my favorite ways of reconnecting to my authentic self.
Another thing you can do is practice intentional breathwork, where you focus on belly breathing instead of shallow chest breathing.
You can relax into deep breaths by utilizing the following steps:
- Lay down on the floor and rest your legs on the edge of a bed or the couch. Let them naturally relax and fall open, comfortably.
- Place one hand over your chest, and one hand over your belly.
- Take a deep breath, and feel how the hand on your chest mostly moves up. Exhale.
- On your second breath, focus on breathing through the belly, so that the chest stays still, and your belly and diaphragm rise to their fullest extension. Exhale.
- Continue doing this for 6-7 deep breaths.
You might feel shaky at first doing this exercise as most people’s diaphragms are weak, but over time, your breath will strengthen, and your ability to breathe through difficult times will improve with time.
7. Do The Work
Ultimately, you are the only person who decides how you feel. While we may easily take on other people’s thoughts and emotions, have we ever stopped and asked ourselves why we allow this to happen? Maybe we are unconsciously attracted to helping and healing others.
No matter what environment you’re in, you have the choice to stay strong or let others have power over you. If we absorb the energy of a negative person, they may walk away from the interaction feeling better, while we walk away feeling worse.
When you feel confident and love yourself, you actually gain emotional strength and endurance. With this, you will be able to put an end to the vicious energy-sucking cycle.
When we stop absorbing unwanted emotions, we’ll have more energy to accomplish the dreams and goals we set out for ourselves. We will be better able to use this unique gift, which will ultimately benefit the world.