‘Tools For Empaths’ is the most highly viewed and shared post on my blog. It seems that many of us(myself included) often feel that we are at the effect of other’s energies. However, nothing is a constant and nobody is one thing all the time. It is only fair to examine the other side of the coin and see if we may be impacting another in a less than positive manner.
For better or worse, our interactions shape each other. Energies(much like water trying to find its own level) tend to move in a way that achieves resonance and balance. When these shifts move us to a higher vibe, we describe it as harmony and flow. If we find ourselves moving to a more agitated state, the experience is unwelcome and off centring. While we tend to find harmony more easily with some and feel less resonant with others, it is best not to make this personal.
Contrary to popular articles, I don’t think that a great majority are narcissists, self-centred, or ‘energy vampires’ wishing to gain strength at the cost of another. The energy drain itself may feel real but is often unconscious and usually unintentional.
Everyone has their ups and downs. A respectful and sustainable way to support each other is through an open, transparent and synergistic way of operating. Herein, both parties feel free to voice their needs without fear of backlash, comfortable offering wholehearted support when possible, and also uninhibited in admitting inability or disinclination to do so – if that be the case at that time. Healthy friendships and families learn how to do this for each other.
An ideal space is where all concerned can simply rest together, in deep acknowledgement of the presence and grace that is omnipresent. In this state, there is no give and take, nor orchestration of balance. We taste our true nature and know that all is effortlessly well.
However, when we are not in that space of being, it is sometimes practical to take proactive measures. In addition to energy tools, meditation, prayers such as Ho’oponopono, practices such as heart coherence and Tonglen, it is also necessary to examine our way of communication and interaction with others.
After all, we take life far too much for granted. What if you don’t get another chance to meet this person? How would you like your last interaction to be?
Listed below are some ways in which we end up hurting others. Are you demonstrating any of these behaviours? How much more joy, ease and harmony would become available to you and your loved ones if you stopped?
- Not being in touch with your own thoughts, emotions and feelings.
The more that you are self-aware, the less likely you are to thoughtlessly react, or project onto another.
- Neglecting your inner work.
Being aware of our patterns, beliefs and trapped emotions is the first step. A constant discipline in such awareness itself helps to dissolve the same. Yet, some pro-active clearing work is usually helpful and called for, as neither denial, nor pretension can make our hurts and patterns go away. The less baggage we are carrying, the less we need or demand of others.
- Playing The Victim In The Blame Game.
Making another responsible for our misery is exhausting for both. It perpetuates the perception of victimhood and will have you constantly targeting the other with anger, resentment, accusations and guilt. Imagine fending off such silent (or blatant) onslaught and you can well imagine how draining you are being to the other person.
- Making The Other Responsible For Your Happiness.
A more subtle version, this is normally harder to spot – until the other no longer delivers what we want and we shift to the ‘Blame Game’. Here, the object of our affection is made solely responsible for our happiness. If we have little life and love outside of what they mean to us, you can be sure its one hell of a burden to shoulder. Again, imagine being in their shoes – one wrong move and you bring someone’s world crashing down. It will have you rethink common notions about love, and the attachment and dependency they often imply.
- Continual Judgement And Criticism.
Holding up the mirror is what good friends do for one another. Bringing things to their awareness is helpful, but it is better received when accompanied with loving encouragement. More stick and less carrot, and all your good intentions will be forgotten by the tired other. We are hardwired with a negativity bias and without healthy doses of genuine appreciation and celebration, the receiving party often ends up remembering only what they didn’t like to hear. The more that your opinion matters to them, the more it will weigh them down.
- Not Listening.
Few of us know how to listen deeply. We are usually busy formulating defence or attack in our head, paying little attention to the non-verbal cues and underlying energies. We may also have our minds already made up and can’t be bothered with the facts. It doesn’t matter who does this first. When we stop listening, differences only escalate.
- Being Insensitive To Another’s Vulnerability
A corollary to inattention is missing the other’s vulnerability, especially whilst revealing their authenticity, regrets or fears. If you are not present to their vulnerability, you eventually lose their trust.
- Unexplained Silence and Disengagement.
A favourite habit of those prone to passive aggression, or playing the Aloof in the Interrogator-Aloof drama, this one can be particularly damaging to any relationship. The one at the receiving end runs through endless scenarios and emotions in attempting to understand what is happening. Your lack of communication can leave them thoroughly lost and drained. If you feel unable or unready to communicate, at least let them know that you need some time out. It is an indication that you wish to build, not break down bridges.
- Revisiting History Repeatedly.
If you tend to replay the same story again and again, whether your own, or any other complaint, it can be quite taxing for the other to remain patient and tolerant. Do the work required to free yourself from the past.
- Disallowing Space and Silence.
This is true especially if you are dealing with an introvert or Highly Sensitive Person. Silence and space are rejuvenating in small doses for almost everyone, and more so to such people. Practise a few minutes of sitting together in silence and see how much it benefits your interactions.
- Manipulations, Deceit and Secrets.
Our energies speak louder than our words. When we indulge in any form of deception, others tend to intuitively respond to the underlying truth.
Suppressed emotions tend to erupt at the most inappropriate time and in the most inappropriate manner. A repeating pattern of physical or verbal abuse is unacceptable for obvious reasons. Even minor incidences take their toll, with the other living in anxious anticipation of an escalation. Work on your anger management. Learn to respond to your own stressors differently.
- Needing To Be Right All The Time.
Variations include the need to have the last world, to be superior, to be smarter, and so forth. You don’t have to come out being top dog all the time. Defence and attack are a waste of energy. Complete alignment of perspective on all matters is an unrealistic expectation. Agree to disagree, when so required.
- Being The Uncrowned Martyr.
Believe it or not, your constant rescuing, serving, mentoring, sacrificing, or whatever other ‘selfless’ behaviour you think you are demonstrating, can leave the other feeling guilty, inferior worthless, overwhelmed and even resentful. Remember that the other is made of the same essence and is as capable and self-sufficient as you.
- Enforcing Love.
Quite an oxymoron. For here, one person is demanding the demonstration of caring while the other feels imprisoned by expectations. Love has to flow of its own volition, it cannot be insisted upon. Know and accept that there are times to peacefully part ways. Ebb and flow is natural in life.
- Withholding Love.
By far the most punishing of all, withholding love is deeply hurtful to all concerned. When we wall ourselves in and others out, we are fighting against our very own essence. Recovering from such energetic disconnection can be a long, painful process. Whenever possible, to whatever extent possible, in whatever manner possible, allow love and appreciation. (Sending good energies, love and prayers are all valid and sometimes the only possible ways.)
It takes a strong intent and self-discipline to change our deep-rooted habits. While learning and evolving seem to be a life long journey (at least for me), we need never procrastinate as to how we choose to be in this moment.
For myself, if I am a little more conscious and kinder than I was yesterday, I consider myself headed in the right direction. So if you have any suggestions to add, please leave them in the comments below. And if you like any of the above, please share with others.