In this article, we will talk about the disadvantages of being an empath.
Being an Empath is a blessing in many ways and comes with many benefits. It can also feel like a curse and be a source of great suffering.
Most Empaths tend to sense negative emotions and pain stronger than positive emotions and joy.
According to Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, feeling someone’s pain may lead to painful dilemmas; empaths are exposed to these situations every day.
Armed with this knowledge of the cons of being an empath, I hope you can manage your emotions better and live a more fulfilling life.
Below are the top 10 disadvantages of being an empath.
- Empaths are Averse to Criticism
- Empaths are People-Pleasers
- Empaths tend to develop a victim mentality
- Empaths suffer from Sensory Overloads
- Empaths have friendship and relationship issues
- Empaths tend to be lonely
- Empaths tend to develop addictive personalities
- Empaths have a constant need for stimulation
- Empaths suffer from loss of self
- Empaths tend to be moody and needy
1. Empaths are Averse to Criticism
Other people may be able to look at the disapproval positively. They may even use negative words to improve themselves. But for an empath, the same words blow out of proportion.
Our minds give negative feedback such as “I am not good enough” or “I am a failure.
Empaths are their worst critics. We can mule over our heads, accusing ourselves of what our minds perceive as inabilities. Our dread of failure stops us from trying again.
For instance, an empath who performs well academically drops in one particular exam. The teacher comments that they could have done better.
A typical student will pick up their footing and recover. However an empath’s mind may register this as an inability to perform well in studies.
No wonder empaths can do anything to avoid criticism.
We become more eager to please other people to our extent. The more people approve of us, the more we become addicted to the approval.
And when that approval suddenly dwindles, we feel lost. We can do anything to have it back. This yearning may spiral back to the feeling that we are not enough.
We are subconsciously attached to those who praise us.
2. Empaths are People-Pleasers
Because empaths gravitate toward pleasing people, they are prone to be taken advantage of. We will do anything to avoid confrontations. We often find ourselves apologizing even when we are not at fault.
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you agree with things that you do not like to keep cohesion with other people?
These tendencies may steer us from our personal goals to pursuing what other people want for us. Sometimes we feel like we are walking on eggshells, lest we make mistakes.
People take advantage of us, and we are aware of it. But our nature keeps us from reacting.
With time, an empath may become exhausted. He/She is too busy trying to fulfill other people’s expectations. Even then, we still opt to suffer and continue suppressing our own opinion.
3. Empaths Tend to Develop a Victim Mentality
Empaths give away their power. So, we are susceptible to having a victim mentality. We tend to think nobody treats us right.
It is important to speak out when you feel victimized.
But people-pleasers have no push to move from abusive relationships. Sometimes to the detriment of their health. We spend all our lives feeling like victims.
So, reclaiming our purpose and taking risks is challenging.
When empaths develop a victim mentality, they give the abusers a chance to continue having their way.
Most empaths experience abusive relationships in the course of their lives. We have the mind of a donor, not a taker. So, forgive the abusers for their actions and often tend to blame ourselves.
In his book, Narcissist and Codependency Cycle Recovery, Richard Holeman notes that empaths are attracted to narcissists.
We see beyond the abusive behavior of narcissists to their wounded souls. Because of their healing nature, empaths readily forgive the narcist’s manipulation.
4. Empaths Suffer from Sensory Overload
Empaths and highly sensitive persons suffer from constant overloads. We are constantly overwhelmed and overstimulated by what we sense around us.
Each empath has a certain radius of perception. Some highly sensitive empaths sense emotions from across the globe. Others feel things over time and space.
Empaths experience overloads in different forms. It could be because of too much empathy, noise, work, or crowds. Sometimes it is the surge of negative energy lingering in the air.
Some empaths can smell death. Others report seeing death shadows lingering around a particular person.
The media is the most destructive form of sensory overload for an empath today. Ugly news keeps popping up from one place to another.
And it is disturbing for an empath to see depressing news and violence now and then.
Sensory overload can also come from our concern for other people. We struggle to separate from other people’s emotions, especially those in emotional need.
Caring for the terminally ill is another reason for an empath’s sensual overload. It worsens if the patient is related to us.
An empath’s empathy enables them to feel the patient’s pain. That, together with the care involved in taking care of the patient, overwhelms them.
Sensory overload does not just register in an empath’s mind. We also feel it in our minds and bodies.
We manifest the symptoms of our surroundings, be it people or environment.
Due to this constant overstimulation, we tend to feel tired all the time. Empaths struggle with mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue. We are constantly absorbing energy from other people.
If you are an empath, you must not neglect self-care. Ensure that you take constant breaks and naps. Retreats and vacations will also help you to recharge your body.
5. Empaths Have Friendship and Relationship Issues
Empaths often need time to recover. And being alone is not enough. I like being far away from people, noise, and pollution.
At such times, nature draws us to itself. The whispering trees and the waterfall provide much-needed relief. Some empaths want to go to the beach and listen to the sea waves.
In those places, we merge with the universe and find our true selves. Like other star seeds, empaths get healing from nature.
But this seclusion often leads to withdrawal from society. Friendships and relationships suffer the most.
All relationships need a connectivity tissue to remain strong. By going to solitude, we break the connection.
It does not help matters that empaths can see through sham friends. So intuitively break off from superficial relationships. We also tend to avoid large gatherings.
The result is that people tend to find us antisocial.
Moreover, we want to reach out to our friends who are in secret pain. In our quest to heal them, we may push hard and tell them things they are not ready to hear.
This misunderstanding may sabotage the friendship.
6. Empaths Tend to Be Lonely
An empath needs time in solitude. But we also have a desperate need for deep connection. When these two desires crash, they become a double-ended sword in our lives
An empath desires to have people who will open up and let them in. We see the inside of our neighbors’ lives. It’s like standing outside the door and watching a warm scene inside.
But no one allows us in.
We also feel the pain of those we don’t know. We want to get into their lives and embrace them. Our sixth sense cries to connect with them.
But to these people, we are strangers. And when we try to get into their lives, they put their protective shields up.
So, the next option is to stand in solitude. Every human being has the desire to be understood and connected to others. And most of the time, this need in an empath’s life remains unsatisfied.
7. Empaths Tend to Develop Addictive Personalities
Sometimes empaths try to escape the high sensitivity traits. We want to escape from our surroundings, always reaching out to us. We want to silence the noise in our heads.
Some empaths seek this escape through addictive substances such as drugs and sex. This tendency is more common in empaths unaware of their true nature.
They constantly feel abnormal. But they don’t understand why they don’t behave like other people.
Sometimes these addictions can snowball into more challenging problems. The empaths become more sensitive as they know they are on the wrong path.
Understanding yourself empowers you with the skills that you need to protect yourself. You do not have to turn to substance abuse to protect yourself.
8. Empaths Have a Constant Need for Stimulation
Empaths get bored quickly. They feel a need to engage in activities that stimulate them. Their jobs, relationships, and hobbies must be interesting enough to keep them focused.
If not, they are likely to become distracted. They could also lose interest in these activities and drop them off altogether.
Empaths are also natural wanderers. It is hard for us to settle in the same place for a long time. After some time, the areas we once cherished feel strange.
Changing our routine helps as we always look for ways to express our passion. Society does not understand these tendencies.
Our partners may not comprehend our desire for frequent change. Most people’s needs are to get a good job, settle down and retire peacefully. Our desires are the complete opposite.
This trait further alienates us from the world.
9. Empaths Suffer from Loss of Self
One of the most challenging states in life is not understanding who you are. Other people may suffer mental instability if they lose their state of being for a short period of time.
But the loss of self is not a state of being for us. It is an everyday occurrence.
We experience everyone’s emotions and thoughts as our own. Their pain and anxiety become a part of us.
Our feelings become jumbled up with those of our surroundings.
One moment I was happy. Then, without any warning, I get angry or feel depressed. My mind comes up with a reason for my emotional change.
“I have remembered something unpleasant.” ” my mind says. But the real reason behind it is that a person entered my radius. I am experiencing their emotions.
I will continue suffering from self-loss. This trauma will end when I manage to separate my mind from the source of these emotions.
Empaths often feel lost to the world. Sometimes we don’t understand the end of ourselves and the beginning of our surroundings.
Empaths can also take on the mental and health state of others. These states may manifest to them as sickness. You end up going to the hospital, but there is no diagnosis made.
For an empath’s peace of mind, they should train their minds to tell the origin of every energy and take a balance. They may otherwise put their health at risk.
10. Empaths Tend to Be Moody and Needy
Empaths experience regular mood swings. We also have unpredictable behavioral patterns. People tend to mistake this roller coaster of emotions with bipolar tendencies.
But this results from picking the emotions of other people within the surroundings. These constant emotional changes could lead to depression and confusion.
To top it off, we sometimes feel like nobody understands us. We do not know why nobody thinks about us, yet we always put others first.
So, when an empath gets a person who understands them, they tend to be needy around them.
Our intuition can also throw us into anger sprees. It hurts us when those we love and care about hide things from us or lie. We know and feel that they are not being authentic.
But we cannot prove it. In such situations, frustration builds up, resulting in angry outbursts.
Disadvantages of Being an Empath: Final Thoughts
We have looked at the top 10 disadvantages of being an empath. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Empaths encounter many other challenges.
But being an empath is also a privilege. You are lucky to help others and have empathic abilities.
You can reach out, heal and connect with people at deeper levels through your incredible empathy.
The good thing is that with self-awareness, you can control the negativities for your mental and emotional well-being.
Meditation brings back the calm in my life. Other empaths report taking up artistic hobbies as their best remedy.
What works for you? You are welcome to share your experiences in the comments section.
Featured photo by Eric Ward
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.