Why You Keep Absorbing Other People’s Emotions (And How to Stop)
Being empathetic is a trait that allows us to feel others’ emotions and feel compassionate and considerate of what they are going through. It’s a trait that is not inherited (at least not always) but can be honed and crafted with patience and effort. However, empathy is also a trait that can make you absorb other people’s emotions and leave you feeling exhausted.
So, if you keep feeling drained of energy or emotionally exhausted after interacting with people around you, then you might be absorbing other people’s emotions and energy as your own.
Because of this emotional absorption, it can become difficult for you to separate your emotions from those you take in from others, leaving you feeling confused about emotions.
If you’re familiar with this experience, then let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons you might be internalizing other people’s emotions and how you can stop absorbing other people’s emotions.
“Why Do I Absorb Other People’s Emotions?”
The first thing you need to know is that it is possible to absorb or attract other people’s energy, moods, and emotions. While this occurrence is OK and even normal in certain situations, if this keeps happening to you regularly, then it can be a sign that you have sensory processing sensitivity, or in other words, you might be a highly sensitive person.
A highly sensitive person or anyone with sensory processing sensitivity can have traits such as;
- An ability to process deep information
- Increased emotional sensitivity and empathy
- Getting overstimulated easily
Other reasons why you absorb other people’s emotions can include a sensitivity to trauma or trauma-related events. Even your personality type can make you sensitive to others’ emotions. For example, introverted people are more likely to get easily drained of other people’s energy whereas extroverted people might rejoice in the energy of others.
Sometimes, it could be other people’s strong presence, especially how they present themselves, talk, and even their communication style, that can affect you and drain you of your energy. It is also believed that if you have an anxious attachment style, a dependent personality disorder, or poor self-esteem, then you might also find yourself easily absorbing other people’s emotions.
The Difference Between Empathy And Energy Absorption
Empathy is a human trait that can help you feel a connection with others around you and put yourself in their shoes. Seeing things and feeling them from others’ perspectives can make you feel more sympathetic toward others. We live in a world where empathy exists but is not practiced as much as we’d like to. Even then, many people strive to stay compassionate and caring.
And when they do, they get easily absorbed in other people’s emotions without finding a balance between what’s theirs and what’s others. Energy or emotion absorption is different from empathy. Where empathy brings us closer to understanding what another person is going through from their perspective, energy absorption is allowing ourselves to take on another person’s emotions as if our own and letting it affect us as it does them.
Here are some signs that you’re absorbing other people’s emotions and have gone beyond being empathetic;
- Your emotions are influencing the quality of your life
- After social interactions, you feel drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed
- You stay in relationships even when you’re mistreated
- Social interactions feel “too much” to you after a while
- It’s hard for you to separate your emotions from other people’s emotions
Stop Absorbing Other People’s Emotions…
If you keep finding yourself drained of your energy after absorbing other people’s emotions, then here are some ways you can stop absorbing other people’s emotions;
1. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries can not only protect you from unwanted feelings and thoughts but also protect you from being drained by others’ emotions. The idea isn’t to stop being empathetic but to be intentional in what you take in and what you leave behind. You can start with simple boundaries such as saying “no”, limiting your social interactions, or avoiding talking about certain topics.
2. Check-in With Your Emotions
Another way to stop absorbing other people’s emotions is to keep a regular check-in system with your emotions. Notice what you’re feeling (what you constantly feel) and see how it changes when someone else comes into the conversation. Do you feel more uncomfortable, agitated, or anxious? If yes, then you may be picking up their energy and emotion. If it isn’t your base emotion, then simply let that emotion go. It’s not your responsibility to take on others’ emotions.
3. Try Grounding Techniques
Grounding exercises and techniques can also help you maintain a connection with your emotions only. When you practice these techniques, you feel grounded in your emotions and avoid absorbing other people’s emotions as your own. You can try;
- Mindfulness meditation
- Intentional living
4. Focus on Post-Social Interaction Care
If your social interactions leave you drained of your energy and emotions, then you can consider starting a post-social interaction care routine. This routine can assure you and help you maintain a separate space between your emotions and what you absorbed from others. You can use journaling as a tool or take a warm bath after every social interaction, especially when it’s a huge crowd.
5. Take a Break
Another way to stop absorbing other people’s emotions is to take frequent breaks from interactions and allow yourself to bask in your presence. You can take a quiet walk in a nearby park or take a walk in a garden, bare feet. The idea of this exercise is to give yourself time to process the emotions you’re experiencing. Do what feels right for you but make sure that at the end of it, you feel only your emotions and not others.
6. Speak to Someone
If you are struggling to separate your emotions from others, then you can consider speaking to someone about it. A therapist can be a good option as they can offer better insights into the reasons you keep absorbing other people’s emotions and what to do to stop.
More power and strength to you…
Absorbing other people’s emotions can leave you feeling emotionally drained and uncomfortable. While it’s good to remain empathetic and compassionate towards others, absorbing others’ emotions can be too intense for you. If you find yourself too overwhelmed by what others feel, then you might be a highly sensitive person or may have a sensory processing sensitivity.
The above-mentioned ways can help you stop internalizing other people’s emotions and feelings. If they can’t, then it is recommended that you speak to a professional therapist for additional support and resources.
I hope this article helped you learn why you keep absorbing other people’s emotions and how to stop them. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on our social media.