Most parents and grandparents can relate to rushing around and fretting to get a kid off to school. Meanwhile, kid yawns, takes 48 minutes to eat breakfast, and has forgotten how to tell time. In the same way, Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) can relate to feeling negative emotions FOR those who would rather not feel.
But they're good with you feeling for them.
Until you complain.
Then its, "Well, I didn't ask you to get all worked up about that, did I?"
Perhaps the solution, Darling Empath, is to care less.
Why Care Less?
Let's take a look.
Regarding all undesirable situations, consider there are 3 types of Business...
your business, and
Of course God's business (weather, unexplained sickness, stuff you or I can do nothing about) is really out of our hands. All we can do is accept, minimize any suffering and sort ourselves out in response.
FACT: We can't control other people. We can't change them. That is their business. All we can control and handle is our own business.
In caring less you aren't officially caring less you are stepping away from the business of others and letting them handle it.
Sounds like tough love, right? It is. And tough love provides a powerful message. By not rescuing someone you honour them. When I step back and let you handle your shit, it says,
"I respect you and I know you're capable. You've got this."
Note: A true cry for help may follow and then you can help. Incidentally, never help someone unless they ask or they're unconscious or in diapers). Remember, even if you help, they still get to carry their negative emotions, ok?
So what if you've been trained by a narcissistic parent since before you were 4 years old? In this case, your default is to prioritize their business over yours and to actually take the blame for whatever happens to them. Like a sad, emotion-laden sherpa, you carry the crap they don't want to feel. Unaware of the pattern, many sensitives find themselves in draining relationships perplexed and exhausted.
What if, for most of your life, rescuing others from their negative emotions felt like your job?
Well...It's NOT your job anymore.
Reality... Your job is managing, accepting, surrendering, avoiding or whatever you chose to do with, your feelings. The feelings of others? Not your job. Period.
I know right? THIS could be one of the most energizing moves you make in your life. I mean just imagine for a moment how much energy you'd have if it wasn't being drained out by you doing all that emotional heavy lifting.
For an HSP, learning how to disengage with the emotions of others is high level stuff. It takes know how, practice and self-discipline. But believe me, the rewards are worth the work.
If you're ready to take a baby step, here's one.
Today and tomorrow, notice all the times you make other people's negative emotions your job. When you catch yourself doing this, take a deep breath and accept they are struggling and it's not your struggle. If you swoop in with your shitty feelings wheelbarrow poised to scoop up their misery, you rob them of learning how to do this for themselves.
I repeat, You rob them. And, it's not your job.
Kid: I missed the bus!
Parent (carefree): I see that.
Kid: It sucks.
Parent (relaxed, sipping coffee): Yup.
Hey you got this!