Understanding the Impaired Empath©: Triggers, Wave and Release
If you’ve figured out you’re an Empath, you already know that you might be picking up on other people’s feelings throughout the day.
However, an Impaired Empath © is someone who is unable to control the flow of emotional information they pick up from other people: it’s like a tsunami wave that crashes over you, leaving you gasping for air and exhausted.
An Impaired Empath© is usually unaware of what is happening to her. This sense of emotional churning has been there for as long as she can remember and no one ever explained how she can tame her wild Empath skills to avoid being crushed by them.
First, let’s walk through this process in slow motion, so we can see how it works.
Empaths are like a radio receiver: they pick up the “emotional signals” emitted by other people.
Some Empaths unknowingly tune into all the signals around them. Their trigger is always “on”. That means you’re listening to lots of high drama radio shows 24/7. Ouch! Makes it hard to sleep at night or focus on your job.
Other Empaths listen only to signal from specific people, like their loved ones. That makes it a little easier but you’re still liable to be overcome by sadness as you mom received bad news that you’re still unaware of.
Finally, an Empath can also pick up on specific events. When you touch someone or make eye contact, you’re more likely to accidentally tune into their emotional signal.
When you’ve tuned into someone else’s emotional signal, their feelings create an emotional activation within you that works like an echo: you experience their rage, their sadness, their confusion. It becomes yours too.
Once you’ve completed the connection with them, you let it go. You disconnect from their signal, the emotions flush out of you and it’s over. You’re back to being “just you”.
When things go wrong
For Impaired Empaths©, the process tends to work more like this…
1) Triggers: Someone feels an emotion, usually a very strong and negative one, and you accidentally tune into their emotional signal. Even just looking at someone can trigger you. You have no control over when this happens. You can’t help it or module it. Problem #1.
2) Wave: You are hit by a full blast, ton of brick emotional wave and experience high intensity emotional activation. It’s a tsunami wave and wipes you out. Problem #2.
3) Release. This phase is skipped entirely. Most Impaired Empaths don’t even know it’s possible to “tune away” from other people. So they keep feeling crappy long after the other person has moved on! Problem #3.
We will explore each of these problems in more details in upcoming posts.
But keep in mind that all of them can be solved!
Elise Lebeau, Ph.D,
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