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Beware of empathy fatigue — it can happen to you

Being empathetic is good and fine. In fact, it is one marker of a good person, I'd you ask me. 
Empathy is about being able to listen to a person's problems, understand them, and proffer solutions or offer some level of comfort. Empathy occurs sometimes because you are able to put yourself in the person's shoes.
Inasmuch as empathy is an admirable quality, it is not everyone that knows how to show it. But if you are then you should read this article. 
If you have found that people naturally gravitate towards you to share the challenges then that is most likely because you are empathetic. However, over time it can get exhausting. Being ever-available for everyone's emotional baggage can take a toll on you emotionally too because it can dampen your mood considering over a length of time and it can also deprive you of the opportunity to have others listen to your own issues. If you keep this up, emotional fatigue could set in. Emotional fatigue is that point when you are so emotionally drained that it impedes your ability to deal with your own issues. 
This is why you should prioritize yourself. Mind you, I am not saying you should be selfish or refuse to be there for others because you fear to take on 'too much baggage'. Prioritizing yourself in this context is about recognizing that you are just as important as the others around you and that you must know yourself, to know when you need to withdraw to take care of yourself so you can be strong for others. 
You can withdraw by turning off your phone for some hours so you can reflect on or assess your emotions or you can go on a vacation. The point is that you are tuning others out for a while. 
Therefore, as you demonstrate altruism, remember that you matter too!

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