Written by: Corie Chu
Read Time: 5 minutes
Empathy is key to more meaningful human connections – it helps you understand people on a deeper level. With empathy, an increase in trust and love can develop.
But just like anything else, too much empathy can be toxic to our mental health. When empathy goes out of hand, the giver can experience distress and suffering that can hinder their ability to function on a daily basis.
Practicing empathy is good, but knowing when to stop, and what to do when too much empathy becomes emotionally and mentally overwhelming is also important.
When Does Empathy Become Hyper Empathy Syndrome?
Empathy is an integral part of emotional intelligence. The ability to empathize is one way to express that you care, and in this world where everyone wants to be seen and heard, empathy is in high demand. But when does empathy become toxic and dangerous?
Positive empathy happens when you acknowledge a person’s feelings and emotions without getting too overwhelmed by them. Hyper empathy syndrome happens when you let other people’s emotions overpower yours.
The act of empathizing can often cause you to feel another person’s pain, struggles, concerns, and fears. Because empathy is about openness, it often requires you to be open to the emotional energy released by another person. This explains why, with emotional empathy, you can literally feel the emotions in your heart and in your gut. Imagine when this goes out of hand – hyperempathy is toxic because when left unchecked it could cost us our peace of mind, and our mental and emotional health.
It is essential that empaths know when too much empathy is bad to avoid the debilitating effects of hyperempathy. Caring too much can backfire.
Signs of Hyperempathy
Are you giving too much empathy? Here are some signs of excessive empathy disorder to check if you are veering toward unhealthy empathy.
When someone opens up about their hurt, you carry their hurt with you. You also begin to notice that you find it hard to shake off the heavy feelings after a stressful conversation.
You become frustrated when you can’t totally help someone. Feeling inadequate, you are then filled with guilt. Thoughts of “I don’t deserve the happiness I feel because someone is suffering” could also occupy your mind.
When in a crowd, you’re hypersensitive—you know who needs a friend, who hates being there, and who’s looking for company.
After leaving a big gathering, you end up feeling emotionally exhausted rather than emotionally recharged. If you’re not aware of it, you may find yourself vegging out for long periods on the couch. If you are more self-aware, you will feel as though you want to release other people’s emotions that seem to have taken a hold of you.
Extreme empathy also causes you to justify another’s actions – even if they’re bad – because you know deeply where another person is coming from.
Hyper empathy easily makes you frustrated. You want to help everyone – a beggar on the street, the kid who lost his mother, the father who was fired, even a stranger who was bullied. You feel as if there are no boundaries as to who you give your empathy to anymore.
You become addicted to finding ways to release overwhelming emotions through the media. You may find yourself constantly searching for the news, reading personal stories or watching shows that may make you feel extra emotional. For example, stories about a child or pet who has been abandoned, a person who took his own life, a woman who has been sexually assaulted.
You may even attract a lot of drama in your life.
The Cost of Hyperempathy
Most empaths offer non-reactive understanding. However, hyperempaths open their hearts and souls to others, which eventually makes them feel as if another’s problems are also their own.
Can you imagine carrying the weight of another person’s emotional struggles? You might feel joy one moment, and extreme sadness the next because of how your emotions are “tied up” with one another.
Despite not having major problems on your own, your emotional well-being can be compromised because of how easily you can feel another’s emotional problems. Having to deal with so many emotions, also known as “emotional ties”, can drain us mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
Most empaths assume that this is a natural part of empathy. Unfortunately, it is not. Empathy is a power, not a liability. One way to claim back the joy of empathy is through Intuitive Energy Healing.
Intuitive Energy Healing for Hyperempathy
When we open up with other people – and vice versa – it could potentially create something called an “emotional cord”. This happens when specific emotions between two or more people are felt at the same frequency. An emotional cord can funnel negative emotions between one person and another, and vice versa at any given time, anywhere they are, regardless of geographic location.
Person A in Hong Kong could be having a bright and sunny day while Person B in Alaska starts crying, triggering Person A to suddenly feel a wave of sadness or even start tearing up out of the blue, simultaneously.
Emotional cords are unhealthy because they are seen as an energetic act of suffering through the emotions together when it is not necessary. Emotional cords can be seen as an act of hoarding negative emotions that are passed between two individuals. It allows a person to easily feel depression, sadness, exhaustion, fatigue, jealousy, and fear when those emotions shouldn’t even belong to the other person in the first place.
In the long run, these emotional cords can wear out the person targeted by these negative emotions.
In some cases, it may even make two individuals grow even more attached to each other, when going their separate ways has been long overdue.
Empaths often mistaken emotional cords as a kind act of carrying someone’s weight with them, potentially making both people emotionally disabled.
When in reality, it might be more helpful to allow one person to vent emotionally while the other mindfully listens with healthy boundaries in place and remains emotionally functional to lend better support to the other person.
If you or someone you love is experiencing the emotional costs of too much empathy, emotional cord-cutting sessions can be of great help. I personally practice this under the name Intuitive Energy Healing.
Cord removal empath doesn’t mean you cut ties with your relationship with that person. It means that the energy knot that created the cord is untangled and that you are able to take your energy back from someone, while they are able to take their ownership of their own energy again, and both people are able to live more holistically and healthfully again. If anything, removing emotional cords is beneficial for the two people involved to evolve in the way they are meant to, respectively.
You will no longer need to carry emotions for each other in the same way, unless you energetically choose to again. It IS possible to establish emotional cords with more than one person. I’ve seen a forest of cords attached to an individual.
It’s also possible to reestablish cords with the same person or other people if your energy field is rather weak, making it difficult to establish healthy boundaries.
Finding Release, Finding Freedom
Being able to let go of the emotional cords that weigh us down will enable us to be better empaths. When we are overwhelmed with the emotions of others, the ability to listen, and understand becomes a burden more than a blessing.
This could cause us to withdraw from people, missing important, healthy connections along the way.
With an intuitive healing session, you will find release from negative emotional cords caused by carrying other people’s emotions.
This will allow you and the other individual to both feel lighter and freer again.
It’s also incredibly helpful for those who wish to develop their own energetic boundaries to prevent interference in the future.