Can anyone tell me how to cope with having too much empathy for other people? I cry about other people's problems, or when I see bad things happen on the news. To me and the people around me whether at work or home, these tears are extreme and I am embarrassed. Even my family looks at me like I'm losing it.
Is there a psycological reason for this? I've been this way since childhood and am 47 years old now. I don't want to cry for everybody for the rest of my life, it is too stressful!
I was looking for sites to help me deal with this same or similiar problem. I realize it is healthy to feel empathy for peoples needs and emotions to a healthy extent but off and on for a good portion of my life I take on like a sponge this emotions and feelings of those around me. For the last several years I have been going through my own situations and now that things are getting much better/happier for me I am going back. Today I was supporting missionaries going to Africa, (I don't know any of them personally) and I cried. I was at a funeral home last night, my girlfriend is going thru a rough time and was talking to me about it and my daughter as well. Today for a slight reason I got upset with my husband in whom we get along great as a rule and felt down and depressed the remainder of the day. In years gone by I would get very depressed and feel suicidal and after it would pass I would find out that someone nearby or someone in the community had in fact committed suicide or there was a crime. Why me? Is there a name for this kind of behavior? Can anyone help me?
It is not a particularly pleasant way to experience life. I don't know about those folks who say they "take on" other people's emotions....I don't know if that is the same as the way I am. I am deeply affected by the emotions (especially the negative or painful ones) of every one and every thing around me. I feel bitterly sorry for them, and feel pain for them that reaches way down into my soul. Animals affect me the most, I think. And I know it sounds crazy, but even plants, and sometimes inanimate objects, affect me.
Just an example: I read a book about a stray dog, told from the dog's perspective. It took me months to pull myself apart from the sorrow enough to just function normally again. And I have heard others speak with apparent joyfulness about this same book! The sad parts of it, and the sad experiences it contained, were just too much for me to bear. You see what I mean? A book about a fictional character....and it devastated me emotionally for months.
My boyfriend once brought me a bouquet of flowers to my office. He wanted me to leave them there, since they brightened up the office and all the customers would get to see them. But when I was closing up on friday and leaving for the weekend, I turned around and looked at the flowers and felt like they did not want me to leave them there all alone all weekend. I felt like they would be lonely and sad, and I would be guilt-ridden if I left them there.
The "hurt feelings" of others, whether real or imagined, completely devastates me. I have been this way all, or most, of my 40 years. It can be an incredibly painful way to live. I guess I must have something terribly wrong with me, but I know that there is nothing I can do to change it and it will never, ever go away. It is actually my essence. I can only hope and pray that there is some truth to those biblical words.."...those who mourn will be comforted". Both for my sake, and for the sake of all those whose pain I feel.
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Today's date: Mon, 26 Feb 2024 02:51:32 +0100