Social Anxiety - Misdiagnosis Of An Empath
Updated: May 8
Early years development of self-awareness is essential for young empaths in avoiding a life of self sabotage and destruction.
As a child how can you distinguish the feelings you feel are your own, or if your sensing them from those around you?
Well thats what I faced for as long as I can remember and it nearly destroyed my life.
In this article we are going to explore the very real dangers of lack of self awareness can have on young developing empaths.
The 32 Traits Of An Empath
Please click the link or on the picture to read this amazing article produced by The Wellness Universe if you are unsure what actually is an empath.
I had to include there page here its packed full of incredible insights and informative articles, well worth a visit.
Life as a young empath is confusing, exhausting and incredibly lonely.
Being able to spot the signs early really can be a deal breaker for an already overwhelmed youngster trying to make there way.
Once we start to learn self-destructive coping strategies and unhealthy belief systems such as social anxiety, depression and substance abuse to name a few. All in the hope of blocking the avalanche of emotions we are bombarded with 24/7; the job of later getting myself on the correct path became a whole load more difficult.
I spent a lifetime observing my thoughts and reactions to social interactions, trying to find clues of why I was different. There was never a time that I was unaware of my perceived social inadequacies.
Until finally in my mid 30's I settled on the closest diagnosis the phycological sciences could offer, which was Social Phobia or Social Anxiety.
Though it still didn't totally explain what I was really going on inside, it was refreshingly pleasant to think I wasn't alone and I wasn't broken forever. Maybe I could fix this.
I remember finding it very difficult to make friends because I knew they were being 'fake'.
I just couldn't tolerate inauthenticity.
I had a built in lie detector or emotional barometer that I could never switch off. However even that couldn't stop me from wearing my heart on my sleeve. I couldn't help but fully disclose my inner feelings to anyone new, a possible friend.
In my mind thats how everybody communicates and bonds, you know authentic, real, more often than not, deep. How wrong I was.
When another friend had dumped me, or another had use what I had disclosed as a weapon against me, I'd ask my mother through floods of desperate tears (again), how do I play the game?
What I meant by the 'game' is that everybody seemed to be pretending to be something when they weren't. I was told thats just how it is, thats how people get along, and thats what I'm going to need to learn to 'fit in' if I want to make friends. What?
This always upset me deeply because not only did I not want to be 'fake', it was completely impossible. I really didn't know how to pretend on a full time basis. Oh god, is this really what life's about. I felt like I was faulty.
I'd wish that I would rather not have friends if it meant not being real, but the truth of it was that I was desperate for friends. I just couldn't stop myself from opening up fully, I never learnt, It would always end in tears.
Why Empaths Find It So Difficult to Make Friends
We can be reflections of others we interact with and sometimes others don't like what they see.
We are often misunderstood and read as 'fake' ourselves because of our chameleon like personalities.
Our behavior can be extremely unpredictable, changing from one moment to the next.
We know when others are being dishonest and find it difficult to keep this injustice to ourselves.
We need to spend time alone and can appear reclusive or anti social.
We can be overly sensitive to criticism or rejection and take everything personally.
Some can think we are just to much work.
Now I need to follow this up with some of the things having an empath companion is so damn special. If you can accept our eccentricities and honest tongue you'll find it hard to find anyone a better friend. I'm not blowing my own trumpet, its true.
Why Having An Empath Friend Will Enhance Your Life
We value friendship very highly and don't disregard a connection very easily.
We make great listeners and often are way more interested in hearing about what you have to say than the other way round.
We have a unique view of the world around us which can be enlightening for some.
We just know stuff. You cant hide anything from us but we don't push to hard and know just the right thing to say.
We have a direct line to our higher selves, so listen to our advice its often spot on and way before you realize its an option.
We are free spirited and love adventure.
We are trustworthy and loyal. If we wouldn't do it to ourselves we wont do it to you.
As a child I had no clue what an empath was.
I genuinely believed everybody felt this way, only they were much better at than me.
There must be something wrong with, me. Why was it that I knew when someone was upset or feeling left out for example but nobody seemed to recognize it in me. May be they did, only I started to think that they just didn't care. It had to be me, I wasn't likable.
My ability to read people and situations was a curse I couldn't turn off. I didn't want to know others true intentions because often it didn't tally with what they showed on the outside. Nobody seemed to realize this but me. I couldn't live a lie and It made me very unpopular.
Another thing was that because everyone else was playing this game of make believe, they assumed that I was as well. When I said anything it would always be received in the wrong way or I was making it up. I couldn't win.
The more I grew the more I began to believe that my perceptions where wrong, I was crazy and had a mental problem. Never did I consider that what I was picking up was true.
I learned very early on that alcohol and drugs turned my psychic antenna off. I had found a way to exist in this world.
People actually told me that they liked the high Steph way more than the straight one. I could make friends, using that term lightly. Anything was better than nothing in my eyes.
Empath Traits That Don't Match Social Anxiety Symptoms
Selective ability to communicate with different people in the same group, feeling anxious with some and not others at the same time.
We can read people very well and generally the socially anxious are unable to do this.
We can be in the same social situation on different days but have very different reactions.
We are so intuitive that we know we are not socially anxious and will try to find what it is that we really are.
We need alone time as much as we need connections with others. It can become very overwhelming if one or the other isn't balanced in our lives.
All of our senses are highly tuned including smell, taste, noise and touch.
So as an adult when reviewing the causes and symptoms of Social Anxiety I realized I could check off all of the emotional and behavioral symptoms, I could Identify with some of the causes, but nothing else seemed to fit.
With some people (or situations) I was a textbook social phobe, and with others I was the charismatic, outgoing and bubbly person I knew I was inside. Even explaining away my unstable behavior as just a part of being a Gemini, which isn't true.
I had developed chronic Social Anxiety (along with several other mind health issues) in my later years because of the experiences I endured through life.
With this realization I knew I could heal myself.
I learned meditation methods and dabbled with yoga among many things. I started to be proactive with my recovery of my Social Phobia symptoms and began to heal.
As I healed my gifts got stronger.
Now I have reached a point of development and acceptance where I use my energy receptors as a reliable stream of information. My spidey senses are on full power 100% of the time, I'm hyper aware of the energies and messages I am receiving.
I now love and accept myself and my abilities.
I wonder how different my life would have been had I known this as a child?
I walked the path I did for a reason, I'm blessed to be an empath even though its tough sometimes. One of my goals now is to shine a light of awareness on what could happen if these extra sensory gift are missed in our youth.
Things Empaths Can Do To Make Life A Little Easier
1. Accept that your soul chose this life for a reason, stop fighting it! You have a job to do.
2. Learn to meditate and commit to a daily practice, this will help you to identify which of the feelings are yours or someone else's, you will also develop a clearer understanding of what the messages are. Often your attention on something particular is brought to focus for a reason, with a quiet mind and detached awareness you will begin to understand what these are.
3. Understand that you choose who's energy you have in your life, if it doesn't feel right walk away. You don't need to explain yourself. Take care and be selective.
4. Eat well and Exercise. Both of these are essential in balancing your energy and spending any excess. It has to go somewhere.
5. Avoid toxic substances like nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and recreational/pharmaceutical drugs. These will only play havoc with your chemistry and In the long run you will pay.
6. If you need to address your mind health or mental wellness issues stopping you from doing what you want to do, address this now! Seek support from a qualified professional or follow self help guides/courses. Most mental wellness issues (i.e low confidence and/or esteem, anxiety, depression) are all fixable, make a choice to choose life.
7. Find what makes you happy, and do more of it. Have a think and access what you have going on in your life, work situation, relationship, social life or lack of. Whatever it is, start to make plans and goals that include this in your life more. Your intuition is telling you something, listen.
8. Balance. Over indulging in anyone thing at the cost of other areas in your life is often alerting you that you are out of alignment. Getting your mind, soul and body on the same page will help a great deal with limiting overwhelming energies and avoid overloading your system.
9. Trust & Listen. I'm no spring chicken and I can tell you that I have been proved right more times than I can mention. What you are receiving is real and true.
10. Accept others imperfections and be patient. Try not to react without thinking when you receive insights. Most people don't realize a lot of what they are doing. They are humans on there own path of learning just as we are. Like I said before, if you don't feel good about something move away from it.
Hopefully this will help you get a handle on your gifts.
Remember we are unique beings with exceptional powers. We are the way showers and the healers, embrace it.
Look after yourself.
If You Have A Child Who You Believe To Be An Empath
If Your Child Has Any Of These 12 Traits They Are Naturally Born Empaths....
Please click the link or picture to read this brilliant article from The Life Code Of Happiness, this was the best guide I found (and I read many).
Fly over to there site and show them some love they have got loads of really great articles and news you will enjoy.
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Im new to to all this and have been guided by my higher self to share my story, Id love to read your thoughts.
Please leave a comment in the box below so I am able to keep improving, I would really appreciate it.