How good are you at “reading” people?
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that sometimes I share the work of Joe Navarro, an FBI agent who is an expert in body language. Joe’s fascinating insights span a 25 year career, meaning he can share “cues” and “tells” that enable us to ascertain if someone is genuine (or not). The rest of us, without the skills of a seasoned law enforcement agent, rely on something else.
I mentioned in a recent Mojo that Jamil Zaki says empathy is a skill, it’s something we can learn. It enables us to “pick up” when someone’s not ok, reach in to their experience and respond helpfully with kindness and compassion. But what about when that’s more a hindrance than a help?
This article explains that for some, the level of empathy felt can be intense. Often known as “empaths”, you may feel truly affected by other people’s emotions or the constant news cycle, to a point where it becomes disruptive, even painful. While empaths are often deeply caring and form strong connections, it can be challenging to maintain well-being when you often feel overwhelmed.
Whether you identify as an empath or not, empathy fatigue is real. If you’re always there for others and the day often leaves you drained, here’s something that might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Plan for Overload. As the restrictions ease you may well find those around you want to share their sense of dread or excitement, neither of which you may be ready for. They may try and put on you their thoughts, feelings and worries when they’re not yours to own or manage. You may even feel overwhelmed or tired at times yourself, as more and more “unlocks”.
Handling some of this will involve boundary work, others will need a recovery plan, such as keeping the day after an event free for rest and self-care. Visualising yourself in a calm and peaceful place can also help manage difficult moments. Mindfulness can be useful, alongside keeping a note of your thoughts and fears, maybe in a journal. And knowing when you’re “triggered” by others can help you plan your exit to a safe space when the time is right.
For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here
Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021