Every person who experiences empathy should have a strict set of boundaries in place to avoid narcissists and joy suckers. This post will give you a good start.
“Empathy; a trait one may possess that absorbs the person into the emotional state of others, with or without intention.” ~ Unknown
Empathy and Boundaries
In other words, you care so deeply for people and other living beings that they may not understand your “whys” of being so sensitive.
Why Do Empaths Need Boundaries?
Empathy is not a bad trait and something that you should never feel ashamed of embracing. However, other people can recognize this internal gift of yours and intentionally take advantage of you. I call these people, “joy suckers“.
Why do people do these things? They don’t have these same, unique traits as you do. They will take the necessary actions to drive you into using your caring heart for the sake of their own benefit.
This is called manipulation and it's almost always found in toxic relationships.
The sheer amount of life circumstances that shoved me into the most uncomfortable and vulnerable of situations are countless. Not shockingly, it was all thanks to the classic traits of emotional manipulators.
In those moments, you may feel powerless and succumb to your own emotions, thus having difficulty unearthing yourself from the corners of your mind.
These things are all triggers for empaths. In turn, this is when we practice the beautiful and sanity-saving art of: setting boundaries.
6 Important Boundaries for Empaths to Set ASAP
How can we as empaths set boundaries to protect ourselves from emotional turmoil? This a great list of boundaries for those who have all the signs of being empathic.
1. Stand your Emotional Ground
Try to keep your thoughts organized and rational in a stressful situation. Empathic people tend to overthink certain circumstances when the emotional currents are running high.
If it helps, I have a great list of ways to help overcome stressful situations.
2. Practice Assertiveness
Also, as an empath, your heart for living beings is enormous, but fragile.
When you go above and beyond for others and put their immediate needs before yours, it can quickly become emotionally exhausting.
Practicing assertiveness will protect you from being pulled under while keeping your personal values firmly rooted.
3. Rationality Checks
When you feel so deeply for someone, it can send you into a whirlwind of irrational actions and spoken words. Setting boundaries will save your sanity and help you keep afloat in heavy situations.
Most importantly, you want to keep yourself grounded into reality to avoid overthinking.
4. Prioritize your Values
As a person that desires to help everyone, you should put your personal values above others. As a human being, you have the right to say no in a situation that you feel is not right for you.
Your own emotional outcomes should be of utmost importance in comparison to another’s.
5. Delegate Emotional Responsibilities
Before you act on aiding someone, make sure you understand what emotional obligations are truly on the other person vs. yourself. You can still help someone through a difficult time without demolishing your personal walls.
Setting boundaries when it comes to emotional responsibilities will save your sanity and help you keep afloat when waters get rough.
6. Practice Healthy Distances
One who attempts to delve into other people’s thoughts will further confuse themselves. Additionally, this may cause even more complicated feelings about a difficult situation.
It’s easy for an empath to be taken for granted, and worse, taken advantage of their compassionate nature. One can still distance themselves with grace while acting on their desire to help.
Drawing The Line – When Enough is Enough
When it comes to utilizing your empathy traits to help other people, setting boundaries are key. In order to maintain healthy relationships and fill your emotional cup, you need to do these things.
Not only is drawing the line the most positive action to make in the long run, but the best thing you can do for yourself as an empathetic person.
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