Have you heard about triggers for empaths? Do you know what it means to be emphatic? If you’re not aware of these things, don’t worry, we’ll get there.
You’ve probably been called a sensitive person, or people told you multiple times that you’re a great listener. If strangers ever approached you and simply started sharing their life story, ending it with “I don’t know why I said all of this, I just felt comfortable“, rest assured that you’re one of these special people.
I like to believe that we, empaths, were put into this world to make a change, to help others. I mean, just look at those world-famous empaths: Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, and many more. Don’t you agree with me?
They believed in themselves enough and they tried to change this messy world of ours. All of them made an impact many generations will talk about. Being an empath can be a blessing and a curse at the same time, so let’s discover what it really means before we start talking about emotional triggers for empaths.
What does it mean to be an empath?
We’ve previously mentioned that an empath is someone who listens carefully and someone who’s sensitive. But what else? Let’s start by saying that, if you’re an empath, it means that you can walk in someone else’s shoes.
You truly understand people and you can feel their emotions as well. They have an impact on you, whether you like it or not. Even though some will say that only introverts are empaths, that’s not true. A decent amount of extroverts fall into this group as well.
Empaths have a strong gut feeling, high EQ, and are your biggest supporters and best friends. However, they need some alone time to recharge their social batteries. Sensing other people’s feelings, taking care of others, and being a human lie detector drains their energy – a lot.
There are three main types of empaths: emotional, physical, and intuitive empaths. Emotional empaths pick up other people’s emotions, physical empaths feel the pain of others as their own, and intuitive empaths have heightened intuition.
You have to know that having empathy and being an empath is not the same. People who are empathic have the ability to understand what someone’s going through and the will to support them in tough times.
Being an empath, on the other hand, means that you actually sense everything that’s happening with the other person as it’s happening to you. Whether it’s their energy or emotional or physical pain, your body will absorb it.
Contrary to popular belief that only women can be empaths, around 50% of all empaths in the world are men. Surprised? I was too. Anyways, we need to talk about triggers for empaths, so without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.
What are the most common triggers for empaths?
Okay, so what can upset an empath? Of course, some past traumas may trigger you, but the situation doesn’t necessarily need to remind you of some traumatic experience. Empaths can be triggered by simply seeing some scenes of violence, hearing loud music, or stressing too much about something.
Most empaths learn how to control these triggers with time, so you’ll do it too if you haven’t mastered it yet. Be patient with yourself as you go through the process of self-revelation.
I know it may sound silly to some, but if their senses are overwhelmed or other people’s emotions get the best of them, empaths may struggle big time. Recognizing triggers will make life easier for empaths and learning how to control them will be extremely beneficial.
So, what are the most common triggers for empaths?
1. Crowded and noisy places
Think public transportation, festivals, carnivals, markets – anything with A LOT of people and diverse sound effects. You’ve been triggered just thinking about it? Yeah, me too. Being in this kind of environment can put you in agony. I’m not even exaggerating.
When you’re surrounded by people you may feel trapped because you’ll sense all of their emotions and it’s like you just can’t stop them from coming your way. Adding loud noise to that means that two of your senses will be overloaded and you’ll become extremely sensitive.
Every new trigger (for example different smells or people rushing to buy tickets) will only make it feel worse and your empath self will have to run away from everything as soon as possible.
2. Traffic jams
The honking of car horns, high temperatures during supper, and people cursing from everywhere. The pressure of all those who are late somehow transferred to you and you’re getting really nervous. You may even have a panic attack because of your sensory overload at that moment.
The whole driving thing makes you feel anxious. You have to be the one reacting quickly, and there are all sorts of idiots behind that steering wheel. What if you accidentally hurt someone, or you witness a car accident?
3. Tight schedule
Too. Much. Pressure. Of course, a lot of work, overscheduling, rushing and even multitasking can be some of the triggers for empaths. Most people have this problem, but empaths acknowledge it on another level. You may lose your focus and feel helpless, which may drive you crazy.
Take care of yourself and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t take up a lot of tasks and try to improve your task management skills. This may help you feel a bit calmer during working hours and you may actually enjoy your work more.
4. Other people’s emotions
As an empath you’ll go through everything the other people sense; that’s why you are an exceptional companion throughout life. It’s not an easy task to be a highly sensitive individual in such a heart-wrenching environment, am I right?
Being like a sponge that literally absorbs everything from its surrounding is a tough job. You may not be able to differentiate your feelings from someone else’s and you can be distressed and confused at times. Also, if you have to deal with narcissists, they will drain every ounce of positivity that you have within.
First things first, you have to set boundaries for other people. Having a lot of your own struggles and going through stressful situations may be really damaging to your mental and physical health. Therefore, one of the essential skills you have to master is stress management.
Even happy events can make you stressed, like getting married or going on that long-expected holiday. Some minor situations like failing to find the keys to your apartment because you’ve misplaced them or things around you simply becoming too much to handle – that’s when you’ll be triggered as well.
6. Not enough me-time
Me-time is essential for an empath and I guarantee you that if you don’t dedicate enough time for yourself, you’ll be triggered. You need to recharge your batteries and refill your energy tank, in order to be that magic person you are.
You need time to process all those feelings and get back on track because otherwise, your motivation will drastically decrease and you may shut down. In these situations, you’re prone to burnout which may lead to depression. Take care of yourself, stay away from people for some time, and balance all those feelings.
7. Fatigue and other health issues
Any kind of exhaustion, emotional, physical, or mental can trigger empaths. When you’re feeling exhausted, you’re easily irritated and that can lead to a never-ending circle of oversensitivity. You’ll sense everything more intensely which may scare you.
If you’re not feeling well and have some health issues, you may not be able to concentrate and give your best. Low blood sugar may make you worried as well, so you have to make sure you eat regularly. Also, try to avoid any stimulants, like coffee, energy drinks, or alcohol since all of them can boost your anxiety.
15 everyday situations that can trigger empaths
Did it happen to you that a simple sentence triggered you? Did you want to run away from that person, or burst into tears? No matter how close you are to them, your friends and family members can upset you without intention.
I’ve been there multiple times. They’d say something to me and my eyes would get watery in a matter of seconds. It’s not easy to control these triggers for empaths, because you can’t directly have an influence on them. Others have to pay attention, but if you say something, you’ll be the one who’s overly sensitive, right?
Here are everyday situations that can trigger you, just get ready, because this may be one tricky experience you’re willingly going through.
1. “Just get over it.”
I’ll always hate this sentence. You can’t get over it, you won’t. It’s not easy to forget the bad thing that happened, or that you’ve heard. You’ll need time to process it. Do it at your own pace, don’t listen to others. You’ll never be too much for the right person.
2. “I didn’t expect that from you.”
Is there anything worse than when you hear this sentence from your parents, siblings, or someone you’re really close to? Maybe you failed an exam and after seeing those awful results you’re welcomed by this sentence. Perfect, isn’t it?
3. “You’re too emotional/sensitive.”
Yes, and? What are we going to do about that? Please try to ignore when someone tells you something similar. You’re not too emotional or sensitive. You’re perfect just the way you are.
4. “Nobody needs so much alone time.”
Empaths do and the person who told you this clearly is not one. You need to recharge your batteries if you want to socialize again. I know it gets tough, but choose meditation, or do some yoga. It’ll help you maintain mindfulness.
5. “You have to stop putting the needs of others before your own.”
Like that’s an easy task… You’re well aware that you should make yourself a priority, but somehow you end up putting the needs of others in the first place. I know it’s easier said than done, but try to change that. Take one step at a time and you’ll get there, I promise.
6. “It’s not possible that you feel so much.”
How could you know when you can’t feel it? Sometimes I wish I could talk back to people and tell them what’s exactly on my mind whenever they give me some “advice”. Process everything that you’re feeling and try to liberate yourself from the negativity.
7. “Stop overreacting; there are not many people here.”
Yeah, right. They’ll see how you’re overreacting when a panic attack bursts in. When you’re in a crowded place, remember to breathe and try to keep your focus on the people you came there with. It may not be easy at times, but you can do it!
8. “I don’t need your help.”
As an empath, when someone turns down your help, your emotions overflow you and you feel sad. You may not feel validated or appreciated. Your level of self-esteem may decrease and you may think you’re worthless. It’s not a big deal, I promise. They simply can do it on their own, so be proud of them.
9. “I don’t understand you at all.”
It’s not easy for us to understand ourselves either, but when your loved one tells you that he doesn’t understand you at all, that can be devastating. One of the worst fears you have is exactly that one – not being understood.
10. “Why are you whining? Heartbreak is not a big deal.”
Okay, it’s not, but did your heartbreak feel like someone’s ripping your heart out of your chest? Did you feel emotional and physical pain at the same time? Your love, as an empath, is so profound and your fear of leaving the one you love is intense, so how can you pretend like nothing’s happening?
11. “You’ve got nothing to be insecure about.”
We all feel insecure about different things in our lives, so you are allowed to feel that way too. Insecurity may show up in the moments when you’re self-conscious and in a group of people that you don’t know.
12. “You should stop avoiding conflicts; it’s not healthy.”
You know that conflicts are healthy and needed in every strong relationship, but you simply cannot get into one. Your senses simply can’t handle it all and you don’t want to say something you may regret later. Hurting your person is the last thing you want to do, consciously or not.
13. “I really need you.”
Another sentence that is a clear trigger for empaths is this one. You don’t want someone to be constantly there, to drain your energy. This may sound a bit harsh, but you don’t need clingy people in your life, so try to avoid them if possible.
14. “Can you please stop overthinking?”
Of course, thank you for reminding me. Let me just press this button and it’s done… I wish it could work like this! Do they really think we enjoy overthinking our own overthinking? No, it’s not interesting. There are some tricks that can help you with this, so try to reduce it to a minimum.
15. “It’s absurd; everybody can say no.”
Such a simple and short word, yet so difficult to vocalize. This sentence will trigger empaths because you’re aware that everybody can say it, and you know that you do things that you don’t want, simply to make others happy. But, it’s what makes you… you.
Just remember, there’s a thin line between helping others and letting them use you, so make sure everybody’s aware of your boundaries and respects them.
You should really toughen up…
Next time someone calls you excessively sentimental tell them to use “schmaltzy” instead. It sounds fancy, doesn’t it?
I assume you were triggered by simply reading this subtitle and I’m sorry about that. I know this is the worst sentence someone can tell you.
Triggers for empaths are all around us, but it’s up to you how you’ll control your emotions. Remember to always be self-compassionate, because to help others you have to feel good. You have to be kind to yourself as well – you deserve it the most.
If you’re facing difficulties with handling emotions, please, don’t hesitate to ask for help. And one more thing, don’t let anyone tell you that you have to change. Put a smile on your face and always remember this: you’re marvelous, you are superhuman and the world needs more people like you!