What Is the EMPATHY Theme
Like a sixth sense, people with strong empathy can feel the emotional world around them. They may tune-in to one person, a whole room, or a group—in every case, they are highly sensitive individuals who are capable of accurately sensing and identifying the feelings of others. More than that, they actually feel these emotions as if they were their own. There is an intuitive element in them that is highly developed. Because of all this, empaths are highly magnetic people and others seem to be naturally pulled toward them. They may not always show it, but they usually have a deep sense of a situation’s tone, vibe, and mood. They can be intensely aware of the unseen and the unvoiced.
Why Should We Care
Empaths are the people who connect us to the invisible, the unspoken, and the unheard—they help give voice to the inner-world of others. They are incredibly evolved in their abilities to truly and deeply understand what others are experiencing, and because of that they help others feel seen, held, and supported, especially in times of distress. An empath recognizes both sides of a situation more easily than the rest of the world. This does not mean that they agree with everything, but it does mean that they are able to be incredibly expansive in their thinking. In doing so, they are able to see light where others might see only darkness, which allows them to come up with solutions and perspectives that others simply cannot see.
Ten Things to Know About People with EMPATHY
1. Society. As a culture, we are often poorly equipped to embrace the gifts of empaths. For that reason, they often feel misunderstood, marginalized, and silenced. They may learn to hide the true breadth of their gift from even the closest people in their lives.
2. Innate. People rich in empathy might not even be aware that they are ‘feeling in’ to situations. It is very much a part of who they are. For them, sensing is as natural and effortless as seeing, hearing, or touching something.
3. Double-edged. Many people with high empathy describe it as a blessing and a curse. They may even want to ‘turn it off’ sometimes.
4. Naming. Empaths are particularly gifted at pinpointing and naming the precise feelings in a given situation. They may even invent words for feelings or create analogies to describe them.
5. Recharging. Something as simple as being in public can drain them because they are constantly feeling the emotional energy around them. At times, normal life can be exhausting for empaths and they may need to step away and recharge more often than the rest of the world.
6. Guts. These folks will rely on their gut feelings over anything and everything else. They may not be able to explain it or show their work, but they are highly attuned and will go with their intuition—even if it doesn’t ‘make sense’ right away.
7. Happiness. A lot of attention is given to an empath’s ability to feel the stress, grief, and sadness of others. Which is accurate, however, they are just as sensitive to the joys of the world as well, which is why empaths are great people to celebrate life’s wins with.
8. Detaching. The true work of those with strong empathy is to ‘feel without owning’. Being able to feel into another’s experience without taking responsibility for it is an art that empaths are always learning.
9. Sympathy. Empathy and sympathy are not the same thing. Sympathy is deeply understanding what another person is going through, while empathy is actually experiencing that person’s feelings and walking in their shoes.
10. Communication. Empaths communicate through silence. They can often learn and deepen their understanding of a situation or person by simply sharing space with them and being present.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.