Empathy is one of the most powerful forces in nature. It’s also one of those feelings that you can’t have too much of. It can sometimes cause certain discomfort, but what it represents if far more meaningful. Having a strong sense of understanding like this is not something you should be ashamed of.
My problem with expressing care
A while back, a fair number of my coaching clients asked me is empathy actually a weakness. My answer was always the same, of course not. I firmly believe that deep feelings and understanding we have for the emotions of those around us can’t be a bad thing.
However, as much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t always think like this. In the past, when I was going through a genuine identity crisis, as I couldn’t find my purpose in life, I thought that hiding my care and concern would help me reach that goal faster.
So I started playing the “I don’t care” card. The only thing I managed to accomplish by doing this is to be more lonely and isolated. Mind you, I’m an introvert, so solitude is something I fully embrace. But being alone and lonely are two very different things.
Misguided by the opinions of others, I started believing that empathy is actually a weakness. Good thing is, it didn’t take long for me to realize how wrong I was, and how this decision was impacting my life.
I’m glad I went through this experience of seeing empathy through crooked lens, so that I can share with you why it’s actually one of our biggest strengths. 🙂
Strong Empathy Is Not A Weakness
Empathy represents care, goodness, and kindness that can radiate from anyone. There’s no such thing as being overly empathic. You’ll rarely find a more wonderful feeling than giving support to a person who is suffering, or just needs a listening ear.
It’s not just the fact that it’s our greatest strength, but it also represents us. When you show this pure, loving emotion of genuine care, all the doors will open for you. People will share their stories with you, they’ll trust you, and you’ll be able to establish deep, meaningful connections all of us strive to have.
Furthermore, understanding that empathy is not a weakness will bring you a level of self-acceptance many never manage to achieve. You’ll be able to understand yourself better, and reach your purpose using that surge of powerful emotions.
No one is telling you that you need to carry all the problems of the world on your back, or that you should feel what everyone else feels. This would be extremely overwhelming and impossible.
Try to channel your empathy on those closest to you first. This is the best way you can learn to direct that concern to those you love, but also train yourself to keep it under control.
Speaking of control…
Empathy needs to have a boundary
As I said before, it’s not your duty to save everyone. People don’t want to be saved, they want to be listened and acknowledged. This is why empathy is not a weakness, because it gives you the ability to do more than just listening. It gives you the chance to share the pain with that special someone, and be there to help them go through it.
So the next time when your partner, friend, or a family member is going through a difficult time, don’t hesitate. Act on that signal your empathy is sending you and listen. It’s not going to be easy to see our loved ones struggling, but I promise you that your empathic presence will make things more bearable.
Whenever you hear that empathy is a weakness, and if you experience judgment because you are an empath, be proud of yourself. Because despite everything bad that happens around us, you my dear friend chose another path. You chose to be kind, generous, and understanding. You took the road less traveled and you’re making a beautiful difference. 🙂
How strong is your empathy? Would you say it’s a strength, too? I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!
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