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Empaths have this natural ability to feel other people’s energy.
It is a gift. We are able to sense that our loved ones are feeling troubled, upset, or sad and offer them support.
We know when an environment or a person gives off a negative vibe and this information can help us make better choices.
But it can also be a curse when we are constantly overstimulated and overwhelmed by other people’s emotions and energy.
Learning to protect yourself and your energetic space is important for an empath.
When you are not aware of how to use your gift in a beneficial and conscious way, it can easily lead to empathy burnout and fatigue. Everyone’s problems will become your problems, and you feel responsible and obligated to make others feel better. You will start to attract narcissists and energy vampires into your life. Also, your mood will be greatly affected by the people around you.
In this blog post, you will learn how to protect yourself as an empath. But first, let’s understand why we are constantly feeling other people’s energy. This will help you understand the empath protection strategies better when we discuss them in the following section.
Why Are You Always Feeling Other People’s Energy as an Empath?
1. We match other people’s energy too easily.
Have you experienced this before? Initially, you are happy doing your own things. Then, your loved one is grumbling in the other room and all of a sudden, you begin to feel irritated too.
Non-empaths are able to tell their emotions apart from others. When someone feels unhappy, they don’t feel unhappy themselves. They can empathize with others and even understand their pain but they don’t absorb their energy. Empaths, on the other hand, have unclear and highly permeable boundaries. We are like energy sponges. So we are sensitive to the environment and quick to match other people’s energy.
We do this so unconsciously that it feels automatic.
For example, I can go into a room and immediately feel a bad vibe or tension between the people. I don’t have to talk to anyone to know something is up. Or someone can be smiling but yet I feel they are hiding their sadness. Feeling other people’s energy is great if the people around you are happy. But if they are negative and we are not selective with who we are interacting with, we can easily get dragged into their dramas without realizing how we get there.
2. Our aura is large by default.
Since I was young, I hated crowded places. I remember once my mom brought me to a crowded temple and I felt so many, different kinds of energy coming toward me, I was overwhelmed. So I prefer to be alone most of the time. I feel more at ease and calmer when I am alone.
As an adult, I learn that people are stepping into my energetic space because my aura is too large. By default, an empath has a large aura. We want to connect with everyone and feel the Universe as one. It’s great when we are appreciating nature. I love to go to scenic places and it feels so wonderful to feel the vastness of the sky and the landscape.
But we can’t live in a populated city with a large aura.
People are bound to cross our boundaries if we leave our aura in default mode. Furthermore, when we don’t adjust our aura, we will keep feeling other’s people energy. We don’t get to choose when to use our gifts. They are switched on all the time. We will start to resent or blame the people around us and always feel a need to be alone to prevent others from affecting us. That is not a good way to live.
5 Empath Protection Techniques to Protect Yourself From Negative Energy
A few of the techniques stated here I learned from Jeffrey Allen’s Duality. In his course, he teaches more than creating healthy boundaries. He also teaches about energy awareness, healing, intuition, and more. If you are interested in this program, you can check out his free masterclass or course (these are affiliate links but at no additional cost to you).
1. Adjust your boundaries accordingly.
When it comes to protecting ourselves, most empaths pay attention to their physical boundaries and personal boundaries. We remove ourselves from an environment that has messy energy or stay away from people who are negative. But we don’t pay much attention to our emotional and energetic boundaries. Unlike our physical boundaries, our energetic boundaries (or aura) are dynamic and flexible. Even though empaths’ aura tends to be large by default, we can adjust depending on the situation.
For example, if you are in the city or indoors and you don’t have enough physical space from others, what you can do is visualize your aura shrinking to arm’s length from your body. When your aura is close to you, you will feel more inwardly focused. You will find it easier to discern what emotions are yours and what emotions aren’t yours. People also don’t feel like they are in your space or intruding on you.
Shrink your aura whenever you sense negative energy.
In this way, you can protect yourself from other people’s negative energy. You will still notice that they are unhappy but you don’t absorb their energy because they are not in your energetic space. And when the other person leaves, you can expand your aura to the size of a room again. It’s a neat little trick! And the best thing is you don’t have to tell the other what you are doing.
2. Create a shield between you and the other person.
There are many ways to do this. In Duality, Jeffrey Allen uses something called a “permission rose.” What you do is create a virtual rose at the edge of your aura between you and the other person. Having a shield like a rose in front of you automatically acts as a boundary and a reminder of your seniority. It tells you that you have 100% permission to choose whatever energy between the rose and you.
You get to choose what kind of energy you want into your aura.
Negative energy doesn’t enter your aura because your rose absorbs the negative energy. You still know what the other person is feeling but you don’t become or absorb their energy. Nobody can dictate the energy you allow into your space. Likewise, you also give others 100% permission to choose their energy and you don’t try to control their mood.
I love creating the “permission rose” instead of something like a wall because the wall is too rigid. Empaths are helpful people by nature. We want other people to be well and grow. We just don’t want their negative energy. Creating a wall cuts this connection we desire with other people. You know how sometimes people are so guarded and protective of themselves that they are constantly lonely and unable to connect with others. We don’t want to be at this extreme.
The rose is more about seniority and permission. It makes us realize we have more control over our own space than others. It will give you the balance and flexibility you need.
3. Release the negative energy you absorb.
If you have unconsciously absorbed the negative energy from another, don’t need to worry. You can easily release the energy into the ground or into your rose. Just visualize the negative energy flowing from your body into the ground or your rose. The ground and your rose will know how to transform the negative energy into positive energy. Sometimes, I also imagine a beam of white light coming into my crown and helping carry the negative energy out of my body.
Alternatively, you can imagine using your rose like a cotton bud and cleaning up your energetic space. Dust away unwanted energy in your aura or clean your chakra with your rose. Your rose will absorb all the negative energy that you have previously absorbed. And if you feel that your rose has become a little wilted, you can always create a new one.
Energy flows and there are many ways to release your emotions.
The only time you get stuck with negative energy is when you have resistance.
If you have the intention to move your energy, releasing negative emotions is not difficult at all. But if you keep blaming the other for passing the bad vibe to you or holding a grudge, it will be much harder to let their energy go. So we always have to be mindful of how we perceive the situation and not become a victim of circumstances.
4. Release any energetic cord you have with another person.
There are some people who you have a deep bond or a long history with. Sometimes, it’s challenging to detach ourselves from them. They might have already developed the habit of sharing their negativity and problems with you. Or they have hurt you in the past and you have unresolved issues with them. It can also be that you care a lot for the other person. You want them to change but they don’t wish to change.
In such cases, check to see if there are any chakra cords attached to the other person energetically on the front or the back of your body. For example, if you feel that your heart is constantly yearning for love from someone, you might have an energetic cord connecting from your heart chakra to the other person. It’s then your choice to release the cord or not.
These energetic cords create bondage and restrict your freedom.
Personally, I prefer to be free of these chakra cords because it always feels like bondage. When you have such a strong attachment with another, their mood is constantly affecting yours. And because everyone has free will to decide how they want to live their life, changing them is not an option. It often just leaves me with a sense of powerlessness. So I would rather set them and myself free.
To remove the chakra cord, just run your hand gently in front of your chakra and pull lightly on the cord. Wait for it to slowly release and return the chakra cord and the energy back to the sender. Doing so will not harm them. In fact, it will be healthy for them as you are giving them back their power. It’s better to do this than to have them be dependent on you and create a codependent relationship with you.
5. Know yourself and be more of yourself.
One reason why empaths are so quick to match other people’s energy is that we don’t have a strong sense of self. We are not that grounded and so we are very impressionable.
Being alone is great for empaths. It’s not because we are hiding from others. And it’s not merely a way for us to recharge. But it’s also a good opportunity for us to get to know ourselves better. When we are away from others and in our own space, we are not influenced by others and we have a better sense of what we like and dislike, what our needs and desires are, what we are feeling and thinking, etc.
When we are with others, we tend to focus on their needs and neglect our own.
We tend to say “yes” too often.
Schedule regular time for meditation, being in nature, and self-reflection is crucial for an empath’s well-being. We are as important as everyone else and we deserve our own love, time, and attention. Also, when we filled ourselves up with more of ourselves, we will notice that other people’s emotions have less of an impact on us. We will also be able to tell our emotions apart from theirs more clearly.
Featured Photo Credit: Lucas Pezeta