Empaths — energetically sensitive people — are accustomed to picking up the emotional slack for friends, family and partners. Many of us have done it for years.
But we can lose this pesky habit — and, here’s how.
Let’s say that a friend shares with you in a text convo that he is feeling “emotionally overwhelmed”.
He doesn’t ask for a ‘time out’, a moment to catch his breath, or whatever else he might need to settle his emotions. Instead, he makes it your problem — with an agitated plea that YOU be more sensitive to his feelings.
Chances are, as an empath, you’re already one of the most sensitive people in his circle of friends. Right? But because he doesn’t have the skill-set to track his own emotional activation, he puts it on YOU to do it for him.
Here’s how a real-life scenario went down:
He texts: “I want you be sensitive to what I can hold and not hold in a given moment”.
You text back: “I’m not responsible for what you can hold or not hold. That’s up to you. My job is to tell you how I see things –– with kindness and respect. Let’s talk.”
As bad an idea as it is to continue texting in a situation like this, at least you haven’t taken the bait. You’ve declined his invite to boogie down the Codependent Cha Cha. Nice job.
But –– not so fast. He raises you one.
He texts: “WTF?”
Rather than pressing the pause button, he continues voluminous texting. Informing you that your response “doesn’t look like ‘caring’ to him” and asking YOU to apologize.
Perhaps this is a communication style you have indulged for a very long time. And now, you’re beyond over it …
You’re done assuming it’s your job to ‘fix’ other people’s feelings.
You’ve discovered how to identify and articulate what is ‘their stuff’ and what is ‘your stuff’.
Here’s some very good news. You’ve discovered how to identify and articulate what is ‘your stuff’ and what is ‘their stuff’. You’ve practiced maintaining a boundary as old patterns of enmeshment emerge and start to play out. You’ve effectively interrupted that codependent-relationship dance. Bravo!
Empathic high sensitivity does not have to = Codependency.
Feels so good to really take that in, doesn’t it? All the way down from your head to your ‘dancin’ feet.
An oppressive weight has lifted. Precious freedom, recognized.
Time to upgrade your dance card now.
Codependent Cha Cha is OUT. Freestyle groove is IN.
Now, Get Up Offa That Thing* —
Crank some tunes and dance your ass off … :)