You, An Empath.

Erica Park, Staff writer

Dear You,
I would say I used to be a very caring and selfless person. I’d like to believe that I still am. However, I’ve been making an effort to be a little more selfish.

Being an empath is an exhaustion. Shouldering the weight of not only my emotions, but the detriment to my well being before I had realized it. Prioritizing the feelings of others’ had subconsciously caused me to take on their feelings, or what I perceived as their feelings. I felt an unwavering obligation towards those whose emotions I assimilated; I couldn’t take any action that I felt would put them in any position of harm, which ultimately resulted in the deterioration of my mental health.

Soon enough, I couldn’t decipher between my emotions and those of another’s. Had I sensed any kind of negative emotions, I absorbed them and found myself feeling more alone, sensitive, and overall just terrible. While I remained considerate for everyone around me, there was hardly anybody who’d do the same for me. Even if there was, being the empath I am, I couldn’t dare to put anyone in my position. It’s far too painful. There would be times where I wanted to give up on myself, as everything was just too overwhelming, but I chose to keep going, not for my sake but for the people who care about me.

I began telling myself to be more selfish. I can’t take care of the people around me if I can’t even bear to be in their presence. Being selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it’s for the right reasons. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first if you need to. I’ve always been quite snappish towards people who anively put a person above them when it was clear to me that they should be putting themselves first. Perhaps, it was just a reflection of what I would’ve wanted for myself. For a change, I wanted to be of precedence.

For the most part, it’s working in my favor. I’m feeling more comfortable handling others’ emotions, as I’m ensuring that I don’t overexert myself and work out my own emotions first. I’m grateful for the ability of empathy that I possess, despite the times it feels more like a curse than a blessing. Nevertheless, I’ve learned more about myself from this adeptness, and I hope to continue furthermore throughout any struggles against or benefits along it.

Lance S. Jubilan