What is different about extremely empathic people ?
Empathic people can read the emotions of other people. They feel those emotions and can internalize what someone else is feeling.
What other skill often goes along with extreme empathy?
People that can feel other people’s emotions can also predict the emotional responses of the people that they know fairly well. In being able to predict how other people will feel about things, empathic people sometimes foresee what the reaction of the other person is going to be.
In this was empathic people are intuitive and somewhat psychic, but it is based on empathic skill and thoughtfulness, rather than supernatural powers.
Why would this skill of being able to predict the future and how someone is going to react to something, be the cause of severe anxiety?
Well, the empathic person who already has an anxiety disorder, sometimes will obsess over a predicted negative reaction of a person.
Let’s say that the empathic person has to deliver bad news to someone. The empath can predict the reaction of the person, and most of the time it is accurate. They can feel what the person is going to feel and then make an educated guess, as to what the reactive behaviors will be.
The empath is not always right, but is usually very close. They can hear what the person will say to them and how they are going to say it, ahead of time.
The reason this causes severe anxiety about the future, is that the empath can see the entire scenario. If they already have an anxiety disorder, or OCD, they will play this scenario over and over in their head.
The scenario and the predicted course of the future conversation, will become an obsessive thought. It will play , like a movie, over and over. The empath can try to stop thinking about it, but once it becomes an intrusive thought, it will keep playing anyone.
This intrusive ” mini movie” can play nearly constantly, over and over , until the actual confrontation takes place. This happens to me. The anxiety increases, as the movie keeps playing for hours or days.
What is the typical reaction of the empath, to protect their brain for this mental torment?
Avoidance is the typical tactic. I will try to put off the event, in order to not deal with it. This is not a great tactic because the longer it is delayed, the worse the anxiety becomes.
Getting it over with quickly, is another way to go. Forcing the interaction to take place sooner that it was scheduled or anticipated to happen, can lesson the amount of time for the mini movie to play and curb the length and intensity of the anxiety.
Annoyed or impatient attitude
. The empath with severe anxiety disorder, can become very annoyed and irritable, as the intrusive thoughts about the future confrontation become louder and more frequent.
They feel like the person is inside of their head. The negative words and actions, and possible retaliation that it is predicted that the other will have, creates a feeling if being attacked over and over again.
What effect does this have, when the confrontation / conversation actually takes place?
By the time the actual face to face meeting, or phone conversation occurs, the empath is so tired of seeing it play out, that they might be very irritable with the other person, even before the person has the chance to react or say anything.
Why is this a problem?
When the empath comes into the conversation, to deliver the bad news, they are already ready for a battle. The feel that they know what the person is thinking, and sometimes they are correct.
Of course they are not always correct, but a high percentage of the time they can predict what the other person will say.
There is an impatience with waiting for the conversation to slowly play out. You want to blurt out the words for the other person, rather than waiting for them to come.
It feels very painstaking to wait for the other person to come out with the words, or consequences that they are thinking through.
This impatience is not always easy to hide. If the other person senses your impatience with them, then this will only serve to make them feel attacked by you.
There is a tendency to want to speak for the person and just tell them what they are thinking, because then you can get it over with. The longer you are waiting for the person to say what you already know they are going to say, the more the anxiety builds and the intrusive scenario is still playing.
The intrusive scenario, that had played over and over for days, is still running through your head,while you are sitting there, awaiting the other person to respond. This makes you have an attitude with the person, before you even get to them.
Many times the person reacts and says exactly what I thought they were going to say. I feel impatient , as I have to wait for them to say it. In my mind , I am already a few steps ahead in the conversation.
My impatience makes me seem disagreeable and rude sometimes. It is hard to already know what the conversation is going to be, and then have to wait for them to catch up.
It is difficult to be in the my own mind, in these situations. It is like I have to watch the same annoying movie that I already watched.
I am not saying that I always know that someone’s reaction is going to be. Sometimes I do not. It is mainly in situations which will involve confrontation, and only with people I know reasonably well. This is generally with people that I am not close friends with, but more like people that are supervisors at work, or people in authority positions.
Some people are easier for me to read than others. If it is someone that is confrontational , authoritative, and dominating, I can often see what they are going to say and do, in situations before I get to the situation.
This is just a weird thing I wanted to post about. I am kind of wondering if there are any other empathic people that have had the same experience.