Do People Choose to Be Empaths?

I wanted to start this blog by beginning to explain what an empath is, in case anyone reading does not already know. I tried looking up the definition, but I don’t like it’s wording. I am still going to provide it, but going to clarify some. The definition I found is “a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual”. I feel like using the word paranormal makes it sound like it is not real, and I do think it is real and will explain why more later in this blog. The definition of paranormal is “beyond the scope of scientific understanding”. This sounds like something either out of a scary movie, or a superhero movie. The only way I think that may be true is how even superheroes often feel their power is a burden at first, until they learn how to control it. Even once they do it is a burden in the sense that they are expected it to use it for good to help others even when it puts them in danger. I personally think an empath is someone who has a lot of empathy. They overly feel and overly care. They constantly pick up on the emotions of others, whether subconsciously or not, because they care about other people and what they are feeling and why, so in a sense, they often feel what the other person feels. If someone else is sad, it might make them sad, because they want everyone to feel happy and often try to take on the burden of doing so.

I have researched and I think everyone is born with the ability for empathy, but environmental factors, and maybe even genetic ones can affect how much someone has. The more I research, it doesn’t seem like anyone really knows yet. I was reading the comments section of a post the other day (I know, always dangerous) and someone commented that they chose a long time ago to stop being an empath and have been happier since. Of course many other commented that you do not choose whether or not you are an empath. Although, I wonder if these same people do not think those with less empathy could choose to have more. Most people who consider themselves an empath will argue that they were born like this, it is a burden and they would never choose this. I tried to research this myself and that is undetermined as well. No one knows, do you choose it, whether subconsciously or not or are you just born this way and stuck this way? I personally feel like an empath, and I remember me being this way as long as I can remember, and so do my parents. They tell me stories from when I was younger, like how if they took me to the store and my siblings were not with me, I would want to get them something, but they did not normally do the same for me.

I have always loved giving gifts, donating things and helping people. It usually brings me a lot of joy. As I age, I feel it makes some people more suspicious of you at first and I do understand why. I have come across people in my life who tried to appear really charitable and nice who turned out to be deceiving or conning you, so when someone is genuinely like this, people are still suspicious of it until they get to know you. I used to think I was just born with more empathy, and maybe I was. However, as I have aged and having so much empathy has become somewhat of a burden at times, I do feel like I have learned to reign it in a little, and I have learned that can be possible for me at least, to an extent. If nothing else, I can try to be around certain people, or people in general less when it drains me and I am able. I am not saying it is easy, and I never want to stop being empathetic, but there are times it may be a waste, like when someone does not want your help or maybe does not want help from anyone right now. Why put your own mental health at risk for this? Like with anything else, you still have to look out for you. Even when superheroes are injured badly enough, they can’t help anyone.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

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