I always had problems for being who I am. I grew up being told I was too sensitive, a hothouse flower. I grew up assuming there was something wrong with me and yet with the certainty that I could perceive things others couldn’t. I knew the way my dad or mom yelled wasn’t “how it was supposed to be” as I also knew it was wrong when kids bullied each other at school in a very subjective way. Back then, I didn’t know the way I was being raised would bring me attachment problems and I also didn’t know there was something known in Psychology as “indirect or psychological bullying”.
Empaths find little resonance in their environment when they grow up around disconnected adults and in a society that primes superficial values or in which wrong doing is justified in the name of survival. What are empaths, nonetheless? Empaths are individuals with very high levels of empathy. They are said to be more sensitive than the so called “highly sensitive people” but I personally believe they are one and the same, differing only on the extent to which they have developed their sensitivity to subtler energies. This means empaths feel in their body and mind what other people are feeling. They are wired in such a way they can tap into your own emotions even when you don’t know yet what you are feeling.
Being an empath is both a curse and a gift. In a society where extravagant behaviour is seen as “cool” and “desirable”, enjoying quietness and solitude is seen as “weird” and “boring”. Moreover, knowing other people’s feelings and intentions can become extremely draining and cause a lot of overwhelm. It often becomes difficult for an empath to know to whom the emotions belong to in the first place. Why does this happen though? Here are three neuropsychological facts that explain how empaths are wired differently:
Hiperactivation of Mirror Neurons
Empaths show greater activation of mirror neurons, the nervous cells that allows us to be compassionated, empathic, and literally put ourselves in another person’s shoes. If you are happy, we are happy. If you are sad, we are sad. We aren’t just compassionated and moved by your experience, we are effectively feeling what you are feeling.
Sensitivity to Subtler Energy
Empaths are very sensitive to electromagnetic fields. This means we can tune into the electromagnetic fields of the earth and other human beings. Depending on the quality of those fields, we can either feel energised or drained.
Greater Sensitivity to Dopamine
Introverted Empaths are more sensitive to dopamine than extraverts. Thus, empaths usually prefer to spend time on their own and doing activities that are quieter in nature such as meditation or yoga. This kind of activities generate less dopamine, while partying and social gatherings are preferred by extroverts since they are more resistant to the effect of dopamine.