Who Is A Broken Empath?

In this article, we talk about who is a broken empath, the signs of a broken empath, and how a broken empath can undergo healing.

Empaths are highly sensitive individuals. They are emotional sponges who absorb other people’s positive or negative emotions. 

Moreover, empaths are some of the most compassionate, kind, and optimistic people worldwide. Kim Egel, a San Diego-based therapist, further explains that empaths feel deeply and bring a lot of heart and care to the world. 

But one of the greatest weaknesses in an empath is that they lack filters. Sometimes they care so much that they do not know where to draw the line.

In particular, empaths and narcissists have a fatal attraction whereby empaths become victims. As a result, the empath becomes broken inside and turns into the narcissist’s puppet. 

So, who is a broken empath, and can they be healed? Let’s discuss this further. 

Who is a Broken Empath?

A broken empath is an empath who has undergone extensive damage at the hands of an abuser. The abuser manipulates them to the extent that they adopt their (abuser’s) behaviors. 

As a result, people often mistake broken empaths for narcissists. But in the real sense, broken empaths are not narcissists. 

But how do empaths get broken? 

Empaths are super sensory souls who help to bring about healing and change. They struggle to understand the cruel dynamics of the world they are living in.

In addition, they have to endure their family’s and society’s trauma. Growing up, empaths are easy targets for personalities such as narcissists. They often suffer abuse and endure it silently because of their passive nature. 

As a result, they often feel misunderstood, unloved, and alone. This void creates a need to feel loved, which sows into codependency. The emptiness carries into adulthood which makes them attract abusers. 

As a result, abused empaths force themselves to disassociate from their feelings to survive. Disconnection only creates further fragmentation, voids, and a need for acceptance.

Broken empaths often adopt behaviors that make others notice them. Others go for extreme escapisms such as drugs and alcohol.

These self-centered adopted habits are what make others mistake them for narcissists.  

Signs of a Broken Empath

1. They lose Enthusiasm 

Empaths are some of the most enthusiastic people you will ever come across. They attract positive vibes to themselves and the people around them.

This positive aura attracts many people, including prey such as narcissists. But an empath’s Enthusiasm depends on his environment. They may lose it swiftly when around negative people. 

If an empath stays around people and feeds off their energy, they absorb their negativity. Naturally, empaths are flexible and understanding people.

But a broken empath can suffer an extreme lack of enthusiasm which can last for extended periods. They lose interest in life and relationships and become withdrawn. 

In their attempt to heal their abusers, empaths suffer from emotional fatigue. Sometimes these emotions can be so painful that they cannot fit in with the rest of society.

They end up feeling physically and emotionally drained. They also become helpless as there is no one to help them the same way they reach out to others. 

2. They Become Irritable 

Naturally, an empath is a calm and quiet person. They are good communicators who always listen to understand and help. 

A healthy empath always tries to mediate and maintain peace during conflicts. They will logically reason the worst situations and quickly apologize to maintain peace. 

But when an empath is broken, these positive attributes diminish. They become irritable and may tend to use sarcasm or hurtful words. They become impatient and angry and often feel bitter.

Empaths are peace-loving people. So, they end up feeling guilty after a confrontation. They can call the people they think they crossed at night to apologize. 

Usually, empaths are open people who welcome others into their world. But a broken empath tends to pull his walls up and protect their space. 

So, they become unapproachable to preserve the virtues that remain in them. 

3. They Become Emotionally Numb 

Broken empaths can do anything to rid themselves of their emotions and those of others. Often, they squeeze themselves to the extent that they become emotionally numb.

Such an empath has been sucked off all their feelings. As a result, they no longer respond to external stimuli, whether positive or negative.

This lack of engagement makes other people perceive them as heartless or cold. As a result, the empath suffers from declined sensitivity and becomes emotionally unavailable. 

4. They Suffer from Sleeping Disorders 

A healthy empath needs quality sleep to rejuvenate and recover from sensory overload. But a broken empath is likely to stay awake for long durations of time. 

They spend time tossing and turning, reliving the abuse from the narcissists. Sometimes they hold themselves responsible for their woes, making them feel more distraught. 

Other empaths go on the reverse and tend to oversleep. They use sleep to escape the pain that they are currently going through. 

A healthy empath will wake up refreshed after a long night’s sleep. But a broken empath wakes up feeling exhausted and disturbed. 

5. They get into Co-dependent Relationships.

Empaths find their purpose in life by helping and healing others. A broken empath cannot reach out and help others, so they often feel empty and unfulfilled.

Such empaths need a good support system, which they often don’t have. In the end, they get into co-dependent relationships with other broken people. 

Broken empaths see their broken selves in their partners. They feel confident they can heal the brokenness and create a successful relationship. 

The empath thinks it’s their responsibility to stabilize and improve their partner. So, they end up forgetting their own needs in the relationships. 

Do you find yourself jumping from one co-dependent relationship to the other? You need to step aside and check yourself. You might be a broken empath seeking solace in healing others. 

6. They have eating disorders. 

Some empaths use comfort eating as a coping mechanism. They eat in response to negative feelings and emotions such as anxiety. 

In such cases, they turn to food and drinks they love to feel better. They often crave high-sugar foods as it releases dopamine, making them feel good.

Whenever they feel depressed, they eat more sugar to get a boost. As a result, they enter a vicious cycle they cannot escape. This habit exposes the empath to health disorders such as obesity and diabetes. 

Other broken empaths suffer from a lack of appetite. They feel so low that they do not have the energy to eat, even if you give them their favorite dishes.

This puts them at risk of high acidity, impaired metabolism, and a lower immune system. As they get into poor health, their anxiety increases, throwing them into depression. 

7. They Get More Attracted to Narcissists 

Empaths have a fatal attraction to abusers. But broken empaths are easy targets for narcissists. The more broken an empath is, the more likely they will fall for the narcissist’s manipulation.

Narcissists know the needs of the broken empath. So, they exhibit loving and romantic gestures that make them appear like heroes. The broken empath lowers their guide and makes them more vulnerable.

The narcissists then suck up the empath’s energy to feed their narcissistic appetite. The empath becomes drained, trying to please the narcissists. But he is too exhausted to pull away from the relationship.

By the end of the relationship, the narcissist leaves the empath more broken than before. 

8. They Isolate Themselves from the Society

A broken empath has trust issues. They have suffered manipulation, betrayal, and pain from the people they trusted most. 

So, they become suspicious of anyone trying to get close to them. These empaths no longer use their instinct to guide them to meet the right people. 

They isolate themselves to shield themselves from further pain. They see themselves as victims and develop feelings such as self-pity and despair. 

But over time, an isolated empath can learn to love solitude and enjoy it. 

They can recover and learn to feel again with time. Solitude gives them space to think about the events that pushed them to insanity. 

They accept themselves, forgive others and learn to build boundaries. When they open themselves up again, they know how to shield themselves from abusers. 

9. They lose Themselves 

A broken empath often suffers from a lack of self-identity. They no longer recognize themselves and do not understand who they are. 

The empaths only view themselves through the eyes of the abusers. So, they lose focus and doubt their empath abilities and skills. 

As a result, these empaths convince themselves that they have nothing to offer to anyone. Their helping heart recedes inside them, and they struggle to stay hidden. 

A broken empath can no longer offer comfort or compassion because they don’t know who they are. Broken empaths have suffered many negative emotions that hit them hard.

As a result, they suffer from immense mental health leading to depression. Some broken empaths may find no joy in living and prefer death. They feel that nobody cares about their existence. 

Healing a Broken Empath

An empath has the most generous heart, but it might be hard to heal when broken. If you are a broken empath seeking healing, below are some tips that can help you. 

1. Inner Healing

Dr. Judith Orloff advises that one of the healing steps is overcoming your past traumas. Journal down your past traumas, even if some of them may feel too insignificant to count. 

Further, Dr. Judith Orloff explains that you can retrieve your inner child. Go back the memory lane and remember the exact events as they happened. 

How did it make you feel? How old were you? 

After recalling the trauma, apologize to your inner child for not taking care of them then and promise to protect them. 

Sometimes, you will need a therapist to take you through inner healing. You may go through the same pain you had during the trauma. As a result, you might react by blocking the memory. 

This reaction is counterproductive to the healing process. So, try remaining as vulnerable as you were when the trauma occurred. 

As the healing takes place, all the bottled-up emotions will surface. Allow yourself to feel these emotions to release them from your system.

2. Meditate 

A wounded empath is a victim of energy vampires. These people feed off your positive energy leaving you feeling drained. That’s why an empath needs to learn how to meditate. 

Meditation helps empaths to reconnect with their divine source of health. It also helps release the build-up of negative energy, calming down the nervous system.

As a result, it brings back calm and tranquillity into your life. You get more self-awareness and can differentiate emotions. 

3. Create Boundaries 

The main reason empaths become broken is that they open too much to other people. So, in the end, they become people pleasers and forget themselves.

Empaths are highly intelligent and fully aware that others are using them. But they are afraid of hurting or disappointing others. 

If you are a broken empath seeking healing, you must learn to say “No” whenever necessary.

Remember that narcissists will use gaslighting techniques to make you feel guilty. Learn how to stand up for yourself and avoid situations that drain you. 

It will help to tell yourself that you are not a people pleaser. You are a unique individual. You don’t need to tolerate situations that you are uncomfortable with.

If you are confident that you are on the right, do not hold yourself responsible for others’ actions. You do not have to sacrifice your well-being to make people comfortable and happy. 

4. Heed Your Own Advice 

Empaths excel at looking at other people’s situations and giving applicable advice. But they rarely take their advice. 

They tolerate abusive relationships more than they tell others to do. Sometimes they feel that they did something to deserve the ill-treatment. But they would never advise anyone else to take the same guilt trip. 

As an empath, it is important to look at your situation through the eyes of an outsider. If you wouldn’t advise a friend to do something, do not do it. 

Final Thoughts on Broken Empath

Broken empaths must remember that what they have gone through does not define who they are. They should stop thinking that others can set standards for them. Instead, empaths should set standards for themselves.

If you are a broken empath, you have gone through hell, but you can survive. Do not leave your heart and strength there when you come out of the pit.

Photo by Ismael Sánchez

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