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  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Profile PhotoMeir.
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    I’m an empath and hsp. I feel others feelings as if they were my own. How can I learn to lessen the intensity and create healthy distance in this way?
    I’m taking on the pain of someone very close to me and it’s affecting me greatly!
    its painful to be so empathetic!
    ive tried using imaginative tools to create emotional boundaries for myself and it hasn’t helped.
    any ideas, tips, skills, insight would be very helpful.

    thank you!

    Profile Photo

    Hi Smile,

    Yes, boundaries are very hard to make and maintain.
    I don’t know if you tried this or not, but maybe once you see and catch yourself empathizing in a way that’s not helpful for you, can you tell yourself NO! in your head. “No,” meaning that you will not go there? I know I’ve tried this a few times and was successful a bit, but it’s very very hard.

    Maybe you can also pause, take a deep breath, and tell yourself that this isn’t helpful for you and that redirecting your attention onto something else might be better? And I would also add in compassion for yourself. I’m actually having a rough time myself, so I know that these skills are by no means easy at all, but maybe they could help a little bit…

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    In response to Chavy's post #11755:

    Hi Smile,

    I’m also an empath; I absorb the emotions of everyone I see or speak with. When I’m in a big Shul I feel terribly overwhelmed, and sometimes I need to go out in the middle of davening. I felt alone in this struggle, so I’m happy that you brought it up.

    I find it helpful to practice mindfulness. Throughout the day I’m stoping my mind and I ask myself: How many noises can I recognize now? Which smell or taste can I recognize?….. I find it helpful. It is also important for us to spend time being alone with ourselves and with our thoughts.

    I think that it is important for us to remember that we are different from most people, and we have our unique benefits and unique needs. We can’t expect from ourselves to be like others. We need to embrace and take care of our gift.

    Self-care helps me a lot; To take care of our physical needs, such as sleep, food, and exercise. It’s also important to take care of our emotional needs. Sometimes we might want to help others or to listen empathically to others. It’s important to put ourselves first, and protect our energy, and give only as much as we can. In that way, we will feel that our empathy is not “Hefker”, and it’s in caring hands.

    I believe that you already know about “The Highly Sensitive Person” website by Dr. Elaine Aron, as well as her book with the same name.

    I’m interested in what the other members have to say on this topic…….

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