To Feel Deeply
High Levels of Empathy, admired by some, seen as a weakness by others.
Why this ability to feel deeply leads a person into care giving roles or trying to save the world.
People all demonstrate different levels of empathy. You come across those who cannot relate to the the suffering of others, through no fault of their own, to those who can feel everything. Found in the description of the empath which is a slightly mythical term used to describe people who appear to have a supernatural ability to link into the feelings and energy of others even from a distance. It is said that they are so sensitive to peoples emotions they feel the same joy or discomfort within themselves. They are subconsciously highly tuned to facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, breathing rates, shakiness of speech or even to a persons distance or written response. True feelings cannot be hidden from the empath who can interpret when they are being fed falsehoods. They know when they are wanted and can sense when not to intrude when not wanted any more. Their instinctively know when people are hiding anger or pain. They know when their offer of help will be welcomed and when a person needs space . They are forgiving and cannot cause others injury or hurt as to do so would mean they would feel it within themselves. They are nurturing rescuers that will willing do anything within their ability to relieve the pain of others without expecting anything in return and often get themselves into overwhelming situations which they find hard to escape from. They can't stay close to those who manipulate, are mean minded, unkind or disrespectful. It zaps their spirit. They enjoy the company of positive thinkers and the likeminded and feel lifted in their company. They appreciate opened mindedness, those that don't hide what's inside, the good and the bad and are drawn to this honesty. They do get hurt when they go against their intuition but will soon distance themselves when they start to feel pain. However their ability to understand why someone has reacted in a certain way often saves them from personal injury but not from everything. Despite injury they cannot harbor bad feeling and have an incomprehensible understanding. They sense stress within a group of people and can predict when situations are going to erupt. They instinctively know how people will react and how these reactions will change over time. They are giving but need a lot of time alone to recuperate from the influx of feeling to get back in touch with themselves. Sometimes in hostile situations or where they feel the atmosphere jangled, or too busy they involuntarily discontent to refresh and so can often be be seen as distant or dreamy. Some say this sensitivity is innate others say it's learnt and in some cases is due to living in traumatic circumstances, in childhood or later, where their highly tuned perceptions were needed for survival. In some it just develops over time.
Most would wish to fall somewhere comfortably in-between as to absorb too much of the feelings of others, without insight on how to manage it, could condemn someone to a stressful life. However many will relate to experiencing some or much of the above. It's the altruistic nature of those that have a high level of empathy that we rely on to give us the support we need when we are suffering. They are the ones that will recognize our needs and give freely. They are naturally drawn to seeking work in caring roles or leading big projects to make life better for others all over the world.
When searching for people to work with children we need this high level of empathy in those we employ to instinctively know how a child is feeling. When they are tired, hungry, or feeling stressed. When they need to be given comfort or space without intrusion so a more gentle approach can be offered. To recognize when they are highly engaged in an activity so as not to disturb. Therefore fostering their independence and sense of accomplishment. To know when they need support in their learning to enable them to complete a task. Practitioners need to understand the stress parents are under, read anxiety on someone's face and understand reactions that maybe upsetting. They also need to be able to relate and care for their colleges and offer mutual respect and support. Collectively this gives the nurturing environment that all of us yearn for. It provides positivity in our work, relieves anxiety in parents and gives the child the feeling of safety to make them feel secure and confident to try new things. Therefore maximizing their ability to learn and develop their self worth.