Being An Empath— 4 Ways I Protect Myself

If I don’t shield myself, I won’t survive for long

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

What's an empath?

I have been Googling like crazy to find a good definition, and the best I found was:


: are highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling.


: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner

My definition

: A mushy(in every positive sense) person with an enhanced ability to adopt other people's feelings.

Why do empaths need protection?

If I don’t shield myself from everything that’s miserable in the world, I wouldn’t survive a day. Empathy is good, in normal doses. But like anything in life, too much is bad for you.

Putting on the mask

No, not the pandemic-infection-control type of mask, if that’s still a thing when you read this. It's a metaphorical mask.

Don’t (over)watch the news

Media get rich on tragedies. Tragedies sell, and the worse the tragedy, the more coin will clank into the proverbial bowl. I am not saying you shouldn’t watch the news, but be mindful of it.

  • Only read the news once a day
  • Only read articles that aren’t going full out ape- sh*t-misery-mode

Don’t watch Sophie’s Choice (unless you're a masochist)

And make sure you have emptied out the local store for Kleenex.

Don’t work at a psychiatric ward.

Trust me. I have worked at an emergency psychiatric hospital, were the worst of the worst comes at their lowest point in life. I miss that job every day, but it also put a toll on me.

Father, writer, aspiring blogger, connoisseur of everyday joy and professional procrastinator.

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