6.7
August 2, 2022

“No, you’re not an Empath. You’re better than that.”

“‘Empath’ is the opposite of ’empathy.'”

Today, Michelle and I were talking with one of our monthlong Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor yoga teacher training roommates, dear Gizem.

​She announced, “I’m an Empath.”

I was sitting in the dining room, they were preparing lunch in the kitchen.

“Hmmm,” I said, eloquently. “You’re much braver than that. You showed up for and checked in with that cashier yesterday when a customer was unleashing a probably-racist tirade at her. You care about people, about others—you don’t avoid them. You are sensitive

(she had been talking about how unsettling that experience was)

but that’s a good thing, especially since that doesn’t stop you from caring.”

We went on to discuss how empathy is the world’s most powerful emotion, and a wonderful thing.

But “Empath,” the term, places self-importance and territory around empathy, and turns its caring-for-others on its head, making “Empath” a thing where you avoid toxic people out there, instead of being fearless and caring.

Yes, we have healthy boundaries. We don’t let everything in, not if it’s bad for the person we’re trying to help or care about.

No, we don’t avoid fear or chaos or challenges.

 

Read more, here.

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