Do people often come running for you when they need someone to talk to? Perhaps they are attracted to the inner light of your empathetic spirit. It’s a gift that you may still be trying to understand. However, as much as others rely on you, perhaps you lack a sense of belonging. That’s a common trait of empaths.
Empaths Help Others But Often Feel a Lack of Belonging to This Universe
If you ever had the privilege of meeting Amelia, her unassuming presence wouldn’t overwhelm you. Although she doesn’t have movie star glamour, her girl-next-door beauty is attractive. She was raised in a loving family and worked through nursing school.
After chatting with her for a while, you’ll notice that she is different. She is a bit reserved, but she’s still an excellent conversationalist. Amelia is usually much more interested in hearing your story than sharing her own.
Don’t be surprised if you feel like you’ve known her forever. She puts folks at ease, and they often say that she gets them on a very personal level. Due to her empathetic nature, she has many friends in her inner circle.
Amelia’s rapport with her patients, families, and coworkers is remarkable. Without interruption, she listens intently as they explain their medical history and current situation. As an empathetic nurse, she connects with her patients holistically for a care plan.
She chose hospice nursing to enrich the lives of those with limited time. Her excellent medical knowledge and honest compassion are a blessing to terminal patients and their families. She’s held the hands of countless patients as they passed and is a source of strength for grieving loved ones.
While she has the gift of making others feel more comfortable, Amelia deals with a sense of not belonging. She spends so much time absorbing and interpreting other people’s emotions that she doesn’t have time for hers. Instead of enjoying a social life like most people her age, Amelia usually takes on extra work shifts.
Does the story of this compassionate nurse resonate with you? Why is it that highly sensitive people often feel alone in the world? They work well with other people’s feelings but aren’t always in tune with themselves.
Empaths and the Sense of Not Belonging
Perhaps you’ve struggled for years with your heightened sensitivity. Do you feel comfortable in your own skin, or are you a wandering old soul? Here are seven reasons that may make empaths question their sense of belonging.
1. You’re an Emotional Sponge But a Sense of True Belonging Eludes You
If you’re an empath, you recognize the overpowering rush of emotion when you enter a crowded room. You take in the room’s ambiance before you begin interacting with the other folks. You’re like a life-size sponge absorbing their deepest emotions.
This essential characteristic of an empath often leaves you with an impression of not belonging. The lines are blurred between your emotions and theirs, and you feel out of place. This is one of the many reasons that empathetic people like you are often introverts and prefer solitude.
2. You Become Frustrated and Overwhelmed Easily
Absorbing emotions and spiritual vibrations around you are enough to make you feel overwhelmed. Having difficulty sorting other people’s emotions from yours can easily frustrate and frazzle your nerves.
You may feel like you’re losing your identity or sense of belonging. While your powers of empathy can be a blessing, they can also become a burden. If you don’t have the right coping tools, such distress can threaten your entire well-being.
3. Empaths Have a Constant Urge to Help
According to an article published by Personality and Individual Differences, research demonstrates a link between empathy and helping others. In fact, people with high empathy levels are more likely to pursue careers in fields where they help others.
Whenever you see someone in trouble, are you compelled to reach out to them? You’re just as apt to help a stranger as you would a friend or family member. You’re often at your best when you’re lending someone a hand.
It only becomes a burden when people take your empathy for granted. Usually, you feel like a failure and lose your sense of belonging when you can’t save everyone.
4. You’re More Supportive than Others
Another situation that affects your sense of belonging is the rarity of true empaths in this country. An article published by Nature Neurosciences states that only approximately two percent of the population fit into this category. Many people are empathetic, but not all are empaths, which is confusing to understand.
Many people in your circle would probably agree that you’re one of the most supportive people they know. You’ll be the first person to call when they’re hurting because you offer words of encouragement. They can count on you to step in and help, whether it’s for a school bake sale or lending a hand with moving.
However, your love and support may not always be reciprocated. You’re often frustrated and resentful because others don’t always go the extra mile for you. You don’t have a sense of belonging because you may feel that these people don’t care enough.
This is often the case for empaths who are chronic people pleasers. The need for approval and acceptance are basic human needs. You may always say “yes” to everything because you’re afraid that the person will reject you if you refuse.
The more you try to please everyone, the more they’ll expect from you. Soon, you’re harboring bitterness, and your self-esteem falters. The best way to deal with this problem is to learn to say “no.”
5. You Can Usually Tell When Someone’s Lying, and It Adds to the Feeling of Solitude
Wouldn’t it be nice if a little buzzer would sound, and a light would flash when somebody lied? There would be no more scams and few broken relationships in the world. Unfortunately, that’s a fantasy, and people still rely on words, body language, and gut instinct to detect a forked tongue.
On the other hand, those with heightened sensitivity are more aware of subtle clues of dishonesty. When someone is lying, you might notice a little shift in their body language or a slight change of tone. You’re not always a 100 percent accurate living lie detector, but your sensitivity gives you an advantage.
Dishonest people may feel uncomfortable around you because they perceive your gift for seeing right through them. Their indifference may make you feel inferior, and you question your sense of belonging. The unfair feeling will begin to fade once you realize they are the one with the problem.
6. Your Other Senses Heighten, Leaving You in Another Sphere
Understandably, if your senses work together, one heightened sense will affect the others. Empathetic people not only have a stronger intuition, but they often have issues with their other senses. Everybody is different, and your case may be more severe than others. Many sensitive people experience sensitivity overload, explains an article published by UCLA-Berkeley. Specific lighting, sounds, smells, or tactile sensations may overwhelm you. The medical community previously labeled women with sensory overload as “hysterical” and mentally unstable.
Fortunately, these old and cruel assumptions have been exchanged for sound mental health science. Maybe your sensitivity overload has made you avoid certain situations, like being in a crowd. The good news is that your sensitivities can usually be successfully treated.
7. You Think You Would Feel More Belonging in Another Time and Place
As an empath, you’ve probably always known that you were different. You never felt quite comfortable in your own body as a child. You’ve always had an unexplainable sense of belonging to another time and place.
For example, you’ve always dreamed of visiting Italy, and you finally get your chance to explore this great nation. While touring a lovely countryside village, you might feel a sense of familiarity. You can find your way around the streets as if you were born and raised in the town.
If you have the chance to share stories with other empaths, you’ll find that you’ve got a lot in common. Empathy and intuition often work together, so most true empaths feel this isn’t the first spiritual journey they’ve experienced.
Think of the many times you’ve been overwhelmed by déjà vu when you meet a stranger or visit a place you’ve never been. Advocates of reincarnation cite this phenomenon as evidence of past lives. You have an innate knowledge of past people, places, things, and facts because they are part of your former incarnation.
Your feelings of déjà vu may involve all your senses as if you traveled back in time. Something or someone triggers a memory that comes alive at the moment. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, your sense of belonging in another place and time can’t be denied.
Final Thoughts on Empaths and Sense of Belonging
If your heightened sensitivity has made you feel like a stranger, you needn’t stay that way. Things change when you offer yourself the same compassion and understanding you do to others. It’s a hearty welcome back to the body, mind, and soul you call home.