Navigating Relationships As An Empath / by Alexandra Elle

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Any other empaths up in here? As an empath, your superpower is your kindness and compassion...but it can also be your kyrptonite if not kept in check. When others take advantage of your open heart, it can truly suck the life out of you. Sometimes it feels like you’re giving all of your sunshine away from a bucket—and the bottom of the bucket is a massive hole, so it’s just POURING out uncontrollably. I owe myself the biggest hug and apology for putting up with so much shit I don’t deserve for so damn long! For showing others what I’ll allow by poor example, for not understanding how to navigate my boundaries, for blindly giving to and loving others that only loved me back conditionally+on their terms, for taking on other peoples BS as my own...Thank you, I love you, forgive me, I’m sorry. 

For the longest time, I didn't understand how to navigate life with such an open heart. To be completely honest, it's still something that I'm figuring out. If you are an empath and you are sensing patterns of others taking advantage of you in relationships--STOP THE CYCLE. You will continue to attract narcissistic people and/or toxic relationships. I've had my fair share of those, and let me tell you...save yourself the hardship and heartbreak. Being an empath is a beautiful quality, but you need to be able to designate your energy. Empath absorb everyone else's frequency, which makes them really desirable to be around. You need to protect yourself so you can show up as your best you to any friendship or relationship and not get burnt out.

Here are a couple tips that I've gleaned along the way:

 

1. Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

There's a reason why this is numero uno on this list. Boundaries are necessary and healthy for any equal, functioning relationship. Boundaries create guidelines for others for what is acceptable and what is not. Unclear or wavering boundaries lead to heartbreak on your end, as humans are designed to push boundaries to their limits. It will benefit both you and the other person as well as make your bond truly stronger. Creating boundaries can be hard for people-pleasers, but that leads me to number 2..

2. Ask For What You Need

Be vocal. Use your voice. If you think something, speak it. You should be able to share your truest self+wants+needs+desires in any partnership or friendship. There's a Madonna quote that says, "A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want.” Ask for what you want, don't be afraid of hurting someone else's feelings or, God forbid, having needs that might vary from theirs!

3. Make Sure You're Not Compromising Non-Negotiables

This one is KEY. Give and love freely, but make sure you are not compromising yourSelf. What are your non-negotiables? Are they being compromised? What are your basic needs? Are they being met? Are you breathing? These are all questions you need to ask yourself in ANY kind of relationship.

4. Don't Give To Receive

Giving should always be without expecting anything in return--even if that return is love, validation, a stronger bond, or approval of your worth. Find validation and self-worth from within. Do things for your loved ones simply to show your love, not to receive anything back. If you're not expecting anything, that's true giving. Even if you're expecting love back, it's not true giving and you'll always be disappointed. 

5. Set Time to be Alone/Self Care

Taking on other peoples' energy all the time is draining, and you need to allow yourself to recharge in solitude. Don't feel guilt about not hanging out with that friend that needs quality time to vent to you. Don't feel bad about wanting to spend time in, or needing to catch up on work. I find myself filling my schedule to the brim in order to meet everyone else's needs, which ultimately just drains and distracts me rather than truly filling my cup. Take a bubble bath, listen to a podcast, meditate, get a massage, watch a movie by yourself. Solitude is sacred.

6. Do Not Let Yourself Feel Guilt for Prioritizing Your Wellbeing

If you start setting clear boundaries and speaking up for what you want, and people in your life don't like that---bye felicia!!!! People who truly love and respect you will applaud you for your bravery and will want to encourage you and are willing to work with what you need to find a compromise. Anyone else, is sucking the life outta you. Don't take it on yourself, they are taking advantage of your kind spirit.