The Empathy Loop (and 5 ways to break it)

As an empath, I absorb peoples moods like a sponge. Anywhere I go, the energy of the people or the place affects me. I’ve learned along the way to be able to hold my own – especially if I’m feeling good, but I’ve always felt a little too aware of how others are feeling.

Sometimes, I pretend to be aloof. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to face up to what other people are dealing with, and other times it’s out of respect – especially if I know why they’re in a funk and drawing attention to it won’t help. There are also instances where I take on the energy, and try to understand how to transition it into something better with my own.

But a lot of the time, I’m a pretty blank slate. Not to say I don’t feel anything, just that I’m malleable. The past couple of years I’ve had a decently reliable slate of good-mood. It doesn’t run very deep – like say, joy – but it does make my outlook on life and situations a little easier to digest on a basic level.

However, it does still leave me susceptible to other peoples emotions, especially those that I’m close to. If I’m spending time with another empath, this can create an emotional loop; negative and positive feelings alike.

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I think it’s a given that when you’re in a positive loop and feeding off each others good energies, there isn’t a lot to worry about. But what do you do when a negative loop is perpetuating itself?

I’ve dealt with this enough – from the end of being the one in the bad mood, and being the one taking the bad mood on – to have cultivated some advice on the matter over the years.

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Recognize 

Who is it that’s really feeling this? Is it me, or is it someone else? What is this feeling? Why is it being felt?

Understand 

How am I really feeling outside of the situation? Is there something that is perpetuating this feeling? Is there something that can be done to alleviate it? How do I want to be feeling?

Change

What you’re doing, what you’re focusing on, where you are, how you’re thinking about something, how you are reacting, your point of view in general – whatever is necessary.

Accept 

That other peoples emotions aren’t your responsibility, that empathetic reactions are natural but not concrete, that letting go or moving on from a feeling doesn’t invalidate it.

Move on

Don’t hold onto a mood or an energy. Let your own feelings, and other peoples feelings pass on naturally. If their upset has upset you, either talk to them about it or let it go.

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Sometimes, it’s harder said than done to break the cycle. Sometimes both people are in bad moods and it takes more than your own individual efforts to eradicate negative loops. Communication is always key when dealing with another human, but you already have the advantage of knowing how they are feeling. Keep open about your own feelings – and to the other persons – and try to move forward peacefully and with intention.

Written by Forest Greenwell

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herHABITAT

A creative of all sorts. Do-er. Fierce.

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