CategoryEmpathy

5 things I wish people knew about me as a highly sensitive empath & introvert

Being highly sensitive means being misunderstood quite a lot.

Having a particularly sensitive nervous system means that you process everything – and I mean everything: thoughts, feelings, temperature, sensations, smells – more deeply.

Your experience of the world is different and your sensitivity can feel like an annoyance or burden to other people.

I know that my sensitivity has created many misunderstandings, especially with family members who insist that my sensitivity is just “all in my head”. 

While not everyone who’s sensitive is the same, we do share many experiences – and it can be very stressful when the people we care about don’t “get” us.

This one is for you curling up on the couch with the cat and a book on a Saturday night.

For you pep-talking yourself in the supermarket car park to just go in and get it over with already.

For when you’re wondering why you’re the “only one” who wants to stay home this (and every other) weekend.

If you’re struggling to be like everybody else – I know exactly what you’re talking about because I did that too!

Here’s what I wish other people knew about me as an empath, introvert and highly sensitive person.

Continue Reading

How bringing empathy to work can be the greatest thing you ever do as a boss

Have you ever felt like some people at work weren’t hugged enough as children?

Like the time I called in sick ahead of a Saturday 6 am shift and a total harpy picked up the phone. I had a fever, I hadn’t slept and I was super nervous about talking on the phone with a stranger.

On the verge of tears and hands shaking, I piped up, “I’m sick and I can’t make it to work today”.

The crone on the other end said: “You don’t sound sick.”

I fought to keep my voice even as my eyes filled with tears and a rage-mixed-panic was rising up in me. I mean, would it really take that much from you to bring a little empathy to work?!

I was the one who was losing pay for the shifts I was going to miss and her implying that I was just skipping work because I partied too hard the night before – if you call reading a book in a blanket cave partying hard – was just downright offensive.

Ever since then, I’ve wondered what would it look like if we were allowed to have our feelings. At work. In the world. In life.

I mean, what if no matter where you went, you felt seen and heard? Felt like your distress was recognised? Felt like what you’ve endured was acknowledged?

It’s that lack of empathy, that “Well, at least you bothered to call in and tell us you’re not coming to work,” way of treating each other that drives disconnection.

We need so much more empathy because that’s our way back to each other, our gateway to healing as a group, a community, a nation and a people.

But in order to wield your empathy wisely, you need to train yourself to better recognise and manage emotions – yours and other people’s.

Only when you add more tools to your emotional toolkit can you guide others and help them see that pain is temporary. That they’re not stuck in that difficult situation forever. That they’re not alone and that they have the power to take action.

After all, how much do a few kind words really cost you?

If I had to do that phone call all over again, I’d dress that bitch down.

But not in a nasty way, just point out that her behaviour isn’t acceptable for a superior at work and that she needs to reconsider her vocabulary.

Even if you’re not a boss, you can still be the hero that brought empathy to work. 💪

Let’s start a kind and compassionate revolution to eradicate all harpies from work. Cuz we all got shit 💩 to deal with and we don’t need to jump through hoops on top of that.

Continue Reading

Never feel overwhelmed or overstimulated again with these 4 simple tips

When you want to make people happy, you have a hard time saying no.

But learning when to say no is one of those life lessons you just gotta learn if you ever want to learn how to live with your sensitivity.

Saying no doesn’t mean refusing to socialise, tho. It’s more about learning what you can deal with and when you have the capacity to do so.

And learning to take care of yourself when you do know that there’s something you’ll want to participate in.

Being an easily overwhelmed type of person doesn’t mean locking yourself away in your house. It just means managing your energy so that you can be social and still feel happy about it.

Continue Reading

If you’re highly sensitive and feel worn out by your job these tips can help you feel better

When I worked full-time, there were days I left work feeling like an 18-wheeler had done a 5-point-turn on over me.

I felt totally drained and exhausted. I came home and wouldn’t have the energy to do a single thing. Still, dinner needed to be cooked and lunch made ready for the next day, the apartment needed cleaning, the cat needed feeding and the litter box cleaning.

Overwhelmed by others’ energy I had very little patience left to consciously offer anything to anyone else. I was completely spent, and that was just by Monday evening.

At work, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom stall, tears silently falling, my shoulders shaking from sobbing, without a clue of what just happened or why I was feeling so lost.

I would come to work perfectly happy and within minutes of entering the building, I’d turn moody and withdrawn. As the day went on, I got angry and then depressed. My emotions flickered like someone was playing with my emotional light switch.

To add insult to injury, without being aware of what was going on, I would regularly create a mental story to explain away all the emotions I was feeling.

I would bring up negative self-talk, old baggage, stories, fights, or even think about what negativity the future would bring.

As an empath, I feel everything deeply. Emotional, physical and mental perceptions affect me strongly. Just going on social media can change my mood in a moment.

Before I was aware of being an empath, I not only felt what others did, but also took on their emotional, physical and mental ailments as my own.

Learning how to manage my own energy and draw healthy boundaries has changed my work from a parade of misery to a much more joyful experience.

Continue Reading

What if you could genuinely comfort someone without resorting to “it’s okay” and a pat on the back?

How to genuinely make someone feel better when they're upset

If you want sympathy, look in the dictionary between SHIT and SYPHILIS.

Sympathy drives disconnection because it is drawing a silver lining around someone else’s pain and dismissing their feelings as no big deal.

You easily fall back on sympathy when you’re trying to protect your own heart (especially when you’re an overwhelmed empath), but acting like you don’t have a heart doesn’t make you a very good person.

How you make other people feel about themselves, says a lot about you.

Empathy fuels connection because it is feeling with another’s heart and seeing with another’s eyes.

Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting and communicating “you’re not alone”.

Empathy is our way back to each other and it is empathy that changes the world for the better.

Empathy is me always willing to step into your shoes. Unless you wear Crocs, then you’re on your own!

Continue Reading

Have you been told you need to grow thicker skin? Maybe you’re an empath!

Shine like the whole universe is yours

Empaths are emotional sponges who absorb both the stress and the joy from the world around them.

To really thrive as an empath (not just survive), I think it’s critical to learn how to not take on the energy, stress and moods of other people.

To an empath, the world can often seem coarse, heartless and disdainful of sensitivity. I know I’ve been told time and again that I need to be less sensitive if I want to succeed in life.

But I say that there is nothing wrong with being sensitive. Being sensitive to the world around you isn’t a weakness that needs to be stamped out.

I think empathy is the very thing about you that is most right in the world. Rather than “growing thicker skin”, I believe it’s more important for you to learn skills to help you cope with a highly sensitive nervous system.

When you learn to understand your specific needs as an empath, you’ll be able to truly connect with yourself (and others), be your authentic self and shine as an empath.

Continue Reading

What’s the smarter way to deal with a crying child?

The funny thing about kids is that they're the reason we lose our shit and the reason we keep it together.

Parenting is a lot like the bar scene; everyone’s yelling, everything is sticky, the same music plays over and over again and once in a while somebody pukes. There’s also a lot more yelling at people from the bathroom than I ever imagined.

Parenting was a lot easier when I was raising my non-existent kids hypothetically. Back then I didn’t know that I could ruin someone’s day by asking them to put pants on.

The standard toddler to-do list goes something like this:
1) Ask for waffle
2) Refuse offered waffle
3) Ask why your waffle was taken away
4) Cry because you don’t have your waffle

…and that’s on a good day.

I feel like every time I say “no” my kid hears “ask again, she didn’t understand the question”.

They say women average about 20,000 words a day. My toddler manages that before breakfast. I routinely find myself staring blankly at my husband because I can’t remember what we were talking about after being interrupted 178 times.

Somebody asked me what the hardest thing about parenting is, I said “it’s the kids”. Ever had a job where you had no experience, no training, weren’t allowed to quit and people’s lives depended on you?

I am a strong woman raising a strong child which is why I need a strong drink. One day I’ll be thankful that my kid is strong willed, but that will not be today. Not in this grocery store.

Continue Reading

Have an adult bully at work? How to remain zen as f*ck when faced with an adult bully

Namaste Bitches this is how you deal with adult bullies

Bullying is a horrible thing. It sticks to you and stays with you. It will make you susceptible to being bullied again and it will even define your worth if you let it.

Some bullies you grow up with, others you meet in the school yard. Yet more of them pepper your work life and it isn’t a question of if you’ll run into them, but when.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to bullying, this isn’t it. A quick search on your internet machine will turn up plenty of those articles.

This is my deep-dive into understanding and resolving the consequences of bullying; to understand what bullying looks like, how it can be difficult to see, the mechanisms that enable it and what I, as the victim, can do about it in order to affect tangible change.

Continue Reading

Worried about how your kids are gonna deal with life? Bully-proofing your kids is simpler than you think

Feelings are like waves we can surf

Dr. Seuss said, “Be yourself because the people who mind don’t matter. And the people that matter don’t mind”.

With anxiety and depression rates in young people growing at the same rate as smartphone adoption, it’s more important than ever to raise strong, self-aware children who can not only survive meeting a bully, but thrive in a world full of them.

By extension, raising bully-proof kids, will also raise kids who don’t bully. Compassion and empathy is the only way we have back to each other, back to a place where we can connect with each other and be part of something greater than ourselves.

Compassion is not a virtue, it’s a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have – it’s something we choose to practice every day, every challenge.

The earlier we begin to foster compassion in our children, the easier it will be for them to choose compassion over antagonism.

Continue Reading

Want to deal with less hissy fits? Coach your child through the strong emotions with these tips

Empathy not only matters; it is the foundation of effective parenting

Children need love – especially when they seem to deserve it the least. And that’s when it can be so incredibly hard to find a compassionate response.

Dealing with a developing brain and a human being learning how to hooman gets overwhelming at times. And arguing with a miniature version of myself, with the same shit-ass attitude, can get really frustrating.

When I say “Get dressed”, I don’t mean stand around watching TV with one sock on. Some days my mom voice is so loud even the neighbours brush their teeth and get dressed.

I can’t promise to fix all my daughter’s problems, but I can make sure she never faces them alone. Ultimately, I’m not dealing with just a tantrum, I’m training her in how to survive life and I’d like for my legacy to be the best advice she ever got.

This is but one mother’s quest to navigate the temper tantrums of a developing toddler brain, because life can get hard and things can go wrong, but no matter what, you’ve got to stay strong.

Continue Reading