How To Develop Your Empathic Abilities
amanda linette meder
Some metaphysicians believe that sensitive people have higher electrical charges running their bodies than those who classify as non-sensitive.
If you consider yourself highly sensitive, you can test this with a voltage reader called a multimeter, a device you use to test batteries on cars among other electronics and their circuitry.
Here's the voltage reader I have (Amazon Link), but you may already have one in the garage.
Set it to read millivolts. Put the prongs in between your pointer finger and thumb on each hand. Black in one hand, red in the other, and test your charge in millivolts (mV). Now test someone else around you.
If you identify as sensitive to energy, you might find that your electrical voltage reading is a little higher than those around you who identify as non-sensitive.
When I tested it with my partner, my reading came up about 10mV higher than his.
It was a fun experiment.
Whether or not you try out this test, if you identify as an empath, you may already know there are positive frequencies you can tap into, as well as negative. You get to decide which realm you want to live in. When you do, it can change your life.
An empath is someone who can clearly perceive the mental and emotional state of those around them.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.
While people who consider themselves to be empaths can go into victim mode over feeling too much, empathy can be useful when we look at the positives of it.
High levels of empathy lead to better personal relationships and more successful social behavior.
As a survival trait, empathy is essential for cultivating our relationships with others, fostering deeper social bonds, and identifying when those in our community have a need.
When you're able to identify with the needs, thoughts, or emotions of a community, you are better able to solve problems for them, which can lead to success in business.
So developing empathy can not only be relevant to your social relationships, but if you own a business, it can be necessary for success at work, too.
Thankfully, we can all increase our levels of empathy. Increased empathy can then lead to greater social connection, commerce, and bonding.
We can all increase empathy by doing a few simple things, which we'll discuss in this blog post.
Empaths and Empathy
Empaths are those highly sensitized to the feelings and thoughts of others, and they are believed to make up about 20% of the population.
It is believed that high levels of empathy are something people are genetically predisposed to having.
If you aren't genetically predisposed to high levels of empathy, just like all genetic traits, empathy can be developed, strengthened, and even brought out through learning.
How Empathy Develops
Empathy is thought to develop within certain regions of the brain and is usually not fully developed until a certain level of self-mastery is reached.
Thus, depending on:
How difficult a person's life experience has been
How much freedom a young brain is given to focus on the self
How quickly a person matures
Each of our levels of empathy may vary as we age and grow.
I believe empathy grows the more challenging one’s life experiences has been. However, typically, it is thought that much like other subtle social sensory abilities, empathy doesn't fully mature until a person reaches their mid-twenties.
Empathy grows and develops along with a person in what is thought to be about four stages.
The Four Stages of Empathy
According to M.L. Hoffman, there are four levels of empathy:
Hoffman defines empathy as the responsiveness an individual shows to the feelings of another person, and the ability to understand what they are feeling.
These four levels of empathy are:
1. Global empathy - When children are babies, they may energy match the feelings they witness.
2. Ego-centric empathy - From toddlerhood, children may start offering help from the place of what they would need to be comforted at that moment.
This is considered ego-centric helping, because it doesn't take the needs of the other into the equation, but it is an attempt to understand needs nonetheless.
3. Empathy for another's feelings - Before preschool age, children start to become aware that another person's needs may differ from their own.
4. Empathy for another's life condition - By early adolescence, children may start to understand that a person's needs may stem from a situation beyond their immediate environment.
They may develop empathy for entire groups of people or beings that transcend their immediate experience - worry about the poor, animals, etc.
The fourth level of empathy is something that I call the ability to connect to existential pain or existential suffering.
Once you get to the third or fourth stage, which most of us get to by adulthood, then we can increase empathy even further to enhance our business and life relationships, and even to increase our psychic ability.
How To Increase Empathy
Talk to many different people.
When I was growing up, my parents moved us from city to city, starting when I was a teenager.
I lived in eight different states before my thirtieth birthday. Through this experience, I had the opportunity to connect with a lot of different people everywhere, ultimately learning that people are the same wherever you go.
One of the ways you can increase empathy is to give yourself time to experience and be amongst different people to learn their key differences and similarities.
The more you talk to and meet others, the more you'll have a chance to witness our shared emotions and needs. Through this, the more you'll see what people are looking for in response to those needs.
Talking to people from all walks of life can give you a greater toolbox of options for how you can respond to an emotional need when one is presented to you.
Give yourself plenty of "me" time.
For so many of us, our heart chakras are out of balance. We give, give, give, but we never sit back and receive and do anything for ourselves.
When I first started this website, I was feeling really burnt out, and my partner asked me to develop a list of my favorite things. I snapped and got testy about it because I didn't even know what I liked enough to put on the list.
Up until that point, I had never really thought about my likes and preferences. I had spent so much of my life in pursuit of work goals, I hadn't even considered my own likes and dislikes.
When we don't give to ourselves or have the time to figure out who we are, we get burned out. Burned out people can't empathize with others because they are so focused on their own survival needs.
Looking at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, physical needs are the baseline, and safety comes next.
Empathy, which starts at tier three - belongingness and love needs - doesn't develop until after we've met the first two need categories.
Spend time meeting tier one (food and rest) and then focus on tier two (safety). Then the upper-level needs of connection, esteem and self-actualization come more easily.
What this means is that if you just got done going through a challenging experience, you may not have been too empathetic towards others.
When we transcend our physical hardships, we can return our focus to our care for others. In this process, our empathy can spring back to life.
Core needs not being met is partly why I think the country is having trouble with mass violence right now.
So many people are just struggling to get by, that they aren't able to focus on their upper-level human needs, such as empathy. Baseline needs, such as food, shelter, and safety in the healthcare system, are not being met for the vast majority of people.
The more of these needs are being met for more people, the more loving the country will become.
Identify which type of empathy you have.
It is believed that there are three types of empathy - emotional, mental, or compassionate.
Emotional empathy is where you feel someone's feelings. Mental empathy means you know what someone may be thinking. Compassionate empathy means that you act on what you feel or perceive.
Heightened emotional empathy is called clairsentience in the supernatural world.
By clarifying what you receive with the person you are picking up the emotions or thoughts from, you can identify which type of empathy you have, and become more helpful to those around you.
For example, I know that for the most part, I am very good at sensing feelings, but not so good at picking up on a person's thoughts. My ability to feel from my heart seems to be my clearest psychic sense when I'm out and about.
I've been able to identify this by asking others around me if they want to share when I sense something in my heart.
When you identify if you are more of a thought-perceiver or an emotional-perceiver, it'll give you a better idea of what's in your energy field.
This way, when it is time to act on what you pick up and apply your gifts, your actions when you do will be more well-received and better placed.
Is your empathy overactive? Are you picking up on too many thoughts or emotions?
How To Decrease Empathy
If you are wondering how to control your empathic abilities and you tend to be an over feeler, know you can decrease an overactive connection to other humans.
This is important if you feel you've been co-dependent in the past or if others are dependent on you. To reduce empathetic burden, or the burden of feeling too much, also known as caregiver burden, here are a few ways to decrease empathy:
Set your boundaries.
In the article, Strengthening Empathic Gifts, I talk about how to tune out overactive noise, so we can tune in to what matters. When we are too tapped into draining sources, it can fry our ability to feel.
When we feel fried, we are less able to provide help and care when it matters - such as at work, with clients or in emergencies.
Giving yourself a cool-down time every night can help you re-charge and prevent drain.
Use natural remedies.
You can use painkillers, such as acetaminophen, to decrease your ability to feel, though this is not what I recommend.
I've found that essential oils such as Cedarwood and Ylang-Ylang can increase positive and relaxed feelings, counteracting any emotional and mental burnout feelings caused by caring too much for the needs of others.
Ask Source to redirect you.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I like to lay down and ask the Angels to come and take the energy away, and redirect me to a way to clear it. You can do this whether you believe in God, Source, Angels, or any form of Intelligent Power.
Anna Sayce uses this prayer for clearing overactive energetic stimulation,
I now call on the power of Source/God and the Archangels to remove from my energy field all energies that do not belong to me. It is done, it is done, it is done.
So to recap:
Empathy can be developed and tends to peak after our mid-twenties.
We can enhance it by connecting with others from different backgrounds, giving ourselves “me” time, and by identifying what type of empathy we have, so we are better able to use it and thus strengthen it.
It's essential to tune empathy out once in a while, to give ourselves time to rest. Without a break from the concerns of others, we can burn out, which can decrease our ability to empathize at all.
When it comes to developing empathy, it's vital to remember we must all strike a balance between the care for others and care for ourselves.
If our inward focus or our outward focus is out of balance in either way, we can lose our ability to empathize and to act from empathy itself.
Empathy can be an incredible gift that bonds us socially and romantically. When we learn to see the emotions and needs of others, often, what truly happens, is we get a more in-depth view of our own.
So developing empathy is a matter of enhancing a more profound awareness for ourselves and in turn, those around us. Moreover, when you enhance your own self-awareness, ultimately, it becomes easier to see that same self, in others - and that's empathy.
Seeing the self in the eyes of all that we meet. Some call empathy, seeing the God-self in all that we meet for this reason and it can be a very beautiful thing.
For more tips on developing empathy, or if you think you might be an empath, someone who's gifts of empathy are very strong, check out the links below -
Amanda Linette Meder
The statements regarding the emotional use of essential oils in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA and represent personal experience and opinion only.
Last Updated 2019.09.04
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