empathy engulfed.

have you ever noticed that when you’re talking to someone, you start to feel exactly what he or she is feeling?  and then are taken aback after the conversation is over to find yourself stuck in a flood of some feeling that doesn’t feel like it belongs to you?  or maybe you have made it yours.

others don’t know that I feel what they’re feeling.  but I know.  and sometimes too late.  I have a gem of a trick to feel everything when I’m focused completely on the person who is sharing their thoughts, troubles, triumphs, or even excitement for what they had for dinner last night.  it does not matter.  if they are feeling something strongly, I feel it too.  fo’shizzle!  we learned about this habit in life coach training; turns out peeps attracted to coaching…play with this kind of engulfing empathy.

sometimes, I am curious how much I’m in my head when this happens.  huh.  will sit on that tonight.

anyway this happens to me.  a lot.

since I know this happens, I have a daily reminder on my bathroom mirror to zip up my disco-ball (diamond encrusted) catsuit.  all the way to my chin.  I require super-power to protect myself from taking on too much. absorbing too much that isn’t mine.

this happened to me at work today.  but I forgot my suit.

I called a customer back who had asked to speak to me directly. never good.

I knew of this customer’s troubles yesterday, and I felt so bad for the guy.  and then he wanted to speak to me.  after not receiving what he wanted from anyone else.

he just wanted me to hear him out after sharing his surprise that I called him.  and so I did and listened to his story from beginning to end.  despite already knowing what went wrong.  my eyes welled up at one point I was so saddened by how sad and baffled he was over this issue.  and it wasn’t even a life or death situation.

as soon as my eyes started stinging, I realized at that point, that I was in his business. and too far by the looks of it, after I stepped into the role of the watcher.  and cleared my throat saying that I would re-read all his emails and figure out what to do about the tremendous lack of empathy everyone else had given him.  once we hung up – I had to leave the building and get outside.  to breathe.  refocus.  and shake it off.  I’m still exhausted by that event from this afternoon.

and then…my eyes dampened on the way home from work tonight while attempting to continue my refocus.  so started thinking about my characters and from whose point of view I’m going to write the book. which I have been tapping around for days now. and then it hit me head on; I could feel Anya drawing me to her when I began to feel what she feels and how all the misery in the world gnaws at here.  no boundaries there.  um.  really?

note to self:

zip it up all the way, honey.  please.  but when writing…might be acceptable to edge the zipper down just a tad.

when have you found yourself muddled up in someone else’s mess?



6 thoughts on “empathy engulfed.

  1. Merry Christmas Erin! This post was good timing as I have been engulfed three times over in past several days with talking about ME, the uninteresting parts of me to the wrong audience. (To the right audience my stories are fascinating!!! Haha!!). Anyways, I could TOTALLY feel their boredom!!! Which felt like ‘my bad’ and the spiral down. One of my favorite quotes…from Michelangelo at an advanced age…”I am still learning.”

    • merry Christmas, Monica!!

      my hunch is that you would like to find a bigger ‘right’ audience? 🙂 my other hunch is that you might be looking for this particular topic to become boring so you can let it go…? remember…you are more that this story! hope you have found your spiral UP!

      great quote!! xo

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