I am not an empath. I’m pretty dense. I’m like a rock when it comes to energy. Not lead, but maybe pumice. Some stuff will get through, but not a lot. But I have lots of friends and family who are like sponges – they suck everything up around them, positive or negative, neutral or chaotic. They feel it all, and they often feel it with ferocity.
That’s when I usually start feeling stuff, too. In my experience, empaths can sometimes act like amplifiers to the mood and general energetic feel of a moment. So that means if an empath isn’t having a good time, no one in a mile radius is going to have a good time. Or similarly, if an empath is bouncing off the wall, it might be no time at all before the whole room is going spastic.
I first realized the power of emotional energy when a former friend of mine was having a hard time. She’d come to my house and cry and cry and cry and after a few months of this we all were exasperated with her. Sure, we felt bad about her situation, but it had reached such an extreme low that we all were going down with her. One time, a non-Pagan walked into the hosue right after this girl had finally gone home for the evening. We were all busy on the computer or doing homework, minding our own business when he walked in, stood at the door, and exclaimed “wow, the energy in here is just terrible! What the hell is going on?”
Even as a "non-believer" he knew something was up. I often find myself in this position, and sometimes it can be exhausting, or even annoying. So what can a non-empath do when dealing with empaths? Here are some things that have helped me when dealing with highly-sensitive friends and family. Maybe some of this will help you, and maybe you have some stuff to share as well!
- Eat some food, not just sugar. Sugar will help replenish energy, but you need something more substantial. Eat something with some fat and especially some protein. The protein will help ground you.
- Drink water. Don’t drink soda. Don’t drink tea. Drink water. Drink a lot of it. If you are ding a ritual, drink a glass of water before starting and drink a lot more after.
- Wash your face. This will refresh you and clear your energy. It feels good. It’s a re-set button. When I am feeling energetically unclean, I splash cold water on my face three times, rubbing around my eyes and nose and especially on my forehead. Washing your face and hand works wonders.
- Carry hematite or some other grounding stone. Keep in mind that hematite is said to bounce energy back to the sender, so while it’s grounding it might not be the best to neutralize energy.
- Touch the ground with your bare feet. Take deep breaths, but not so many that you start to feel light headed.
- Knock on wood or on the bare earth. Touch your finger-tips to wood or to the soil.
- Don’t let your empath-friends get carried away. This happens all too easily. Lovingly remind them to stay grounded in reality. As fun as magic and energy can be, often times empaths escalate energetic situations into an atomic explosion, and this isn’t always appropriate. Empaths often can seem to over-exaggerate or even be drama queens, so be sympathetic to their experiences but keep them grounded in reality. Sometimes empaths can get carried away about ghosts and demons and angels and portals and visions and all sorts of fun/scary things. These experiences can be valid, but can also be exaggerated and blown way out of proportion. This can be confusing and annoying for non-empaths, so be patient but also be grounded in reality. If an empath-friend is getting carried away, encourage them to ground and center themselves. Encourage them to think with logic rather than emotion. Emotions can be vitally important and useful, especially to magic-users, but they can also dilute the reality of the situation.
- Help your empath-friend to know themselves, to know their strengths and limitations, their successes and their triggers. Help them to avoid potentially negative situations. Sometimes empaths seem to get themselves into messes, both in the magical sense and in the mundane sense. Helping your empath-friend to explore their potential while maintaining clear limits and boundaries will help them control their own emotions and abilities, which in turn will help you and others when interacting with them. Help them to explore techniques that help them ground and center themselves, and help them to realize when something might be a bit too much.
- and importantly... Have fun! Joy and positive emotions can often act as a shield and a protective barrier. There's strength and power in laughter. Also, an empath can be a great contribution to a ritual or a party. (Just be safe and sane!)