Empath sabotage type 2: confusion

In my last blog post, I wrote about Empath sabotage type 1: energetic starvation. You see, empaths need and thrive on emotionally reciprocated love as their primary fuel. It’s what gives them the energy to keep going both mentally and physically. Starving them of this leads to utter psychological and physiological chaos. Because empaths operate on the assumption good energy for good energy, starving them of good energy causes existential crisis. Trust me, there are solutions to this problem (see the link above). Unfortunately though this is but one tactic used against empaths to keep us stressed and sick.

Today I’m adding onto the ideas discussed in that last post because there are many ways empathic people are hurt, used, and targeted so others can get ahead — or so that we can’t. The next big one is confusion. Mind games, misleading information, alternative storylines, red herrings, subconscious suggestion, groupthink, “abusive fallacy”, “tone policing”, “traitorous critic fallacy”, appeal to fear, Bulverism, straw man, etc. etc. etc. In other words, these tactics and many others are used by narcissists in order to confuse empaths and the people around them in order to deflect from whatever the real issue at hand is, or in order to throw a wrench in the life of an empath so they cannot be successful.

In all honesty, I wish I didn’t have to tell you these things and I wish they were not really happening. The truth, if you want it, is that is it real and it does happen very often. It will happen every time you try to “up level” and improve yourself or something big in your environment. Every time you try to shine, speak your truth, get away from the drama and trauma, heal yourself, improve the world around you, and remember your magnificence. It is truly the “crab in the bucket” syndrome. If you up level, you are going to have others try to bring you down first — or make you so traumatized it feels impossible to succeed. I know because I have lived this and because my clients live it too. It causes a great deal of confusion which can make us sick and immobilized. 

First, I want to preface this by saying that we all play mind games with each other — whether we realize it or not. The difference is some people do it on purpose to get ahead and some people don’t know they’re doing it. It’s all about intention. Until one has identified their ego (that is, the desires for control and pain) and worked to tame it, you’ll be floating in and out of your ego all the time. In one moment, you’ll be deep in the ego without even realizing it, and in the next moment you’ll be striving to be your higher self — vacillating between the subconscious and conscious mind, base and holy, holy and base. Narcissists do this on purpose to hide their desire for power and control, while everyone else does it without realizing or because they are truly trying to grow and evolve (which is a hard process). 

As I said, there are, however, people who are aware of this phenomena and purposefully hide their ego in order to throw others off, or to appear as their higher self when it is self-serving for them. They may hide behind good words and deeds but use common fallacies to serve devious desires. The people around them don’t recognize this and continue trusting them (only seeing the higher-self version they have put on display for the world), while the empaths become very confused because they see through this facade. We recognize their cognitive dissonance or hypocrisy in their words and actions; it’s simply in the nature of an empath to see through bullshit. 

I’ll give you an example. You’re part of a spiritual community promoting love and peace. Therefore, naturally, you expect love and peace from them. Maybe you even pay them a tithe, or for classes or services, or some kind of extracurricular activity. You hope it will enrich your life and the life of your family. You work hard to build community within this group and get involved. And although there are many other people in the same boat as you, lovingly being of service to the group and motto, there are others who engage in more base activities like gossip, defamation, groupthink, coercion, and negativity. While people are saying they want love and peace, their actions tell you otherwise. You can’t make heads or tails of it. 

A common scenario that creates confusion is when a group member starts asking questions or observing the baseness going on on a deeper level within the community, they are punished with isolation, bullying, threats, intimidation, etc. “They’re not spiritual enough”, “they’re depressed”, “they aren’t like us”, “they’re just trying to cause trouble”, “stay away from them” you will be told. You are observing one thing but being told another through logical fallacies — you feel utterly confused. 

As Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes in her wonderful book ,”Women Who Run With The Wolves“, it is as if there is a door you have been subconsciously told you cannot peek behind. In her book, Pinkola Estés tells the story of Bluebeard — a charming king figure who woos women with lavish gifts, intellectual conversation, and supposed generosity. Although one young woman has been warned about his true violent nature, she ignores the warnings and takes a liking to him anyway: “he can’t be that bad — after all, he has been so kind and generous” she rationalizes to herself. He gives her a key ring with keys to open all doors of his castle — except, he tells her, don’t use that one key. Of course, she becomes so curious that she just has to open the door that goes with that key. To her shock and horror, she finds the bones of his ex-wives that have also opened the door, that he has killed and hidden. Then he comes for her too. 

Here is the metaphor: should you open “the door” they don’t want you to open, you face proverbial death. The door leads to the truth and it is an initiation into intuition, should you follow it and seek it out — but the truth, sometimes, is horrific, which is why narcissists use tactics to confuse you and deflect the truth. The “door” is ultimately the ego of others that has been hidden on purpose. This is why Bluebeard warns the woman not to enter — only “bad” girls open the door so if you opened it, it must be because you are a bad seed and deserve punishment.

Do you see the confusion? I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me with this same scenario. Situations like these will cause empaths a great deal of cognitive dissonance, which leads to stress and physical symptoms. First you will feel confusion and stress/pain because chances are no one — or very few people — will admit to what is truly transpiring because they don’t want to be singled out or punished, so you feel alone in the pain. Secondly, it’s because you had the expectation of good energy for good energy and that was not met — and in fact, it was likely completely annihilated and then you were shamed for ever having that expectation to begin with. 

If you want to avoid the confusion that causes empathic sabogate, learn the games and fallacies others use to get their way. Remember, it is not a straight line to the truth because there is a near constant game of deflection and projection happening in groups or relationships where narcissists are in control of the social setting. While you may observe one thing and watch the trail of deflection occurring, it is easy to talk yourself out of it when you are the only one seeing it or are the only one caring that it is transpiring in the first place. Trust yourself, trust your body’s reaction, trust your instinct and intuition. Not everyone wants to be awake to these things, and some already know it’s happening but either don’t want to be singled out, or are participants. 

Once you have seen the truth, you cannot unsee it. Trust yourself first and foremost in order to avoid confusion. 

Read Empath sabotage type 3: amnesia

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Liz’s interview with “The Empath Guy” Dave Markowitz

For the last seven years, I have primarily been working with women with thyroid and autoimmune conditions get to the root of their health conditions with tailored, optimized nutrition. 

However, the last couple of years, I began noticing many of my clients were dealing with so much emotional stress and this stress was actually a root cause of their physical problems. In fact, they weren’t just stressed –  they had a certain personality type and had no idea. They weren’t just stressed, depressed, anxious — they were empathic and were being controlled and left powerless in their lives. So I began offering spiritual services to help people overcome these stressors. And it worked.

I’ve become so interested and engrossed in researching this personality type and helping those who are born empathic because I see how healing it is to one’s physical health when a person understands themselves on a deeper level. 

So today I bring to you an interview I recently had with someone who has been on this empathic path for quite some time and who has also noticed how much stress affects people who are highly sensitive.

So let me introduce to you Dave Markowitz. Dave is an empath and intuitive and has been working with highly sensitive souls for many years, helping them achieve better health, vitality, and spiritual awareness.

He is the author of several books, including Healing with Source, Self-care for the self-aware: a guide for highly sensitive people, empaths, intuitives, and healers, and Empathipedia. Dave has lectured with Deepak Chopra and Gary Null and he also gets empaths and their unique struggles.

Tune in here to hear us speak about empaths, absorbing other people’s energy and problems, a victim mentality, the ego, narcissism, health challenges and their root causes, spirituality and more!

Listen here <——-

 

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The assumptions that are causing you empathic burnout

Empaths have a completely different operating system from the rest of the world. They process things primarily through the right, creative, emotional brain whereas the dominant system on Earth up until now has been the opposite left-brained, strategic, less emotional thinking. (Remember, empaths only make up approximately 15-20% of the population). 

People who are empathic also operate under different assumptions than the rest of the world. We expect the best from others, get disappointed when they don’t live up to our expectations, desire compassion, seek to help, believe intention is more valuable than visible actions alone, want to meet others’ needs, and process information through our bodies and hearts rather than just the mind. While these are positive traits, they also cause empaths to run a high risk for burnout, fatigue, methylation problems (stress uses up nutrients), hormonal imbalances, and immune dysregulation. 

This is because empaths are constantly draining their own energy to send to others, even if others are not able to reciprocate, and even if others are not energetically sensitive and therefore cannot feel our good intentions. We are stubborn and think if we just keep trying, someone will get it. 

In fact, many empaths have a servant energy archetype in which they have learned from early on that the way to love others (and hopefully get that love reciprocated) is to constantly be of service to them, in denial of their own needs.

An unawakened empath may spend an entire lifetime doing this without realizing they have another option. Take, for example, the mother who primarily shows her love through cooking the meals, dishing out the hugs and words of encouragement, cleaning up the messes, and doing the emotional labor to constantly mentally prepare for what could come next, keeping lists of what needs to be done, and keeping things afloat because she knows no one else will step up. How many mothers, grandmothers, and caretakers in your life come to mind?

While beautiful, it is a one-sided energy trap that we need to get out of for our health and healing. Because deep down, even that mother sometimes gets resentful that no one offered to help. Or she sometimes gets overwhelmed with so many responsibilities. Sometimes she would like to sit down and take a break, but that isn’t an option because the assumption has always been that she is the reliable one, she is independent enough to do it on her own, no one else can do what she does, and she can handle this by herself. 

My job as a coach is to encourage you but it is also to tell you the truth so you can stop the cycles of stress and sickness that you didn’t know were affecting you. So here’s the truth: your assumptions are burning you out. Your assumptions are draining your energy — figuratively and quite literally. I see it over and over again with clients. 

In order to keep your energy for yourself, in your body and soul where it belongs so you can find total healing, you have to make peace with these assumptions. This doesn’t mean that because someone doesn’t reciprocate their energy that they’re a terrible person and you cut them off. It means you accept that you two operate differently and stop expecting them to “get it” or send the good energy back. It means you may need to stop wanting to go deeper with this person, or find boundaries in your life. You deserve to give to others because it feels good to you, but also to find people who are capable of allowing you to receive. If one person cannot do this, it’s okay and the sooner you make peace with that, the quicker you’ll stop the energy drain and find people who understand the basics of energy. 

The biggest assumptions that are causing empathic burnout: 

  1. “They will see my good intentions”. Though we all communicate through the written word and spoken language, empaths also infuse unseen energetic intention into these two forms of communication. In other words, empaths often communicate in a third way — hidden, less-than-precise, or less-than-direct. We intrinsically understand someone else’s intention even when they do not actually communicate it. So we believe others are doing the same for us. This just isn’t true. Remember that others may not be able to get gut instincts about your intention so you have to literally say or do these things so they get it. You have to be very clear with what you say in important situations because your good intentions may not be picked up by the receiving party, which can leave you frustrated, questioning yourself, and disheartened. Be clear, be direct, be honest. Other people need this just as much as you do. I believe this is one reason empaths have largely been resigned to a subordinate role — we have to actually show people our worth because they won’t feel it. This will help you feel less misunderstood or overlooked which will save you tons of stress. 
  2. “I sent my good energy so they will reciprocate.” This is very similar to the above. For example, I was an acquaintance of a very left-brained logical woman who was also very friendly. Every time we tried to speak, however, it seemed like we were speaking two different languages. She dyed her hair, and I noticed and liked it a lot and told her, “I like your hair! It’s different!” To which she replied with a snippy condescending defense, “Different is good, right?” The irony was, the color she dyed her hair was close to my natural hair color — surely she would see I wasn’t being catty, right? But I realized she couldn’t read my good energy and to a left-brained logical thinker, telling them something is “different” is a really bad thing. For me as a right-brained creative thinker, I thought I was giving her the highest compliment but it wasn’t received that way. There was too much left up for interpretation because she couldn’t read energy, and that caused tension in the relationship. My assumption was good energy for good energy but that isn’t always the case. Instead of internalizing that, I made peace with it because I know I had good energy towards her. Let go of the expectation for reciprocated energy because you may never get that from people and until you do, you’ll stay stressed, resentful, and frustrated. 
  3. “Someone will come to my rescue.” Because many empaths have an attachment wound, in which they have been taught they have to work hard to get love from external sources, they do not believe they are capable of rescuing themselves. When times get tough, we continue to seek external sources of support and love. You are fully capable of helping yourself, no matter what comes your way. The expectation that someone else will save you in your time of need is not helpful because many people will not. They lack the attentiveness or compassion. Some people will, though, especially if you are surrounded by great people. But you have to release the expectation because first, it prevents you from doing the “life lessons” yourself (which you are here to do), and secondly, it generates anger towards others which will keep you sick. One day we will all be able to act in a community-oriented mindset and see what is good for one is good for the whole, but until that time, let it go. 
  4. “I am the only one who can do this.” Because empaths often have a servant mentality, we take the brunt of the load in life by ourselves and get trapped under huge amounts of stress as a result. You want so desperately to help and save everyone because you see how much you have needed it yourself. As I said above, there may not be anyone coming to rescue you from the problems. In some cases, this is necessary so you can learn the lesson fully. But, that doesn’t mean you have to take the burden of responsibility for other people’s concerns by yourself. If it is not your own obligation, let it go. If you are already overwhelmed, sick, or stressed, remember that if others need something, they are capable of taking some of the responsibility for themselves. You can still help if they want it, but you don’t have to do it all for them.
  5. “If I explain myself, they will understand.” As I said above, empaths and left-brained thinkers communicate and understand the world in entirely different ways. Empaths infuse their unspoken energy and intention into every interaction, whether in person or through the written word. Because of this, we often feel there is an assumption that we have to do our own P.R. work to explain how we work to others. It becomes exhausting to try to get people to understand us. Here’s what you want to remember: those who are interested will ask, listen, and process. Those who are not will jump to conclusions, take things the wrong way, or dismiss you. Do not chase them when they show you their intention here. Understanding can only come from a desire from within. You cannot make someone have a desire to understand. 

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