Hyperempathy: 10 Signs Of Living With Excess Empathy

What is hyperempathy? Is having excess empathy really a problem? Discover why having too much compassion and empathy can be a problem for your health and how to remedy it.

What is hyperempathy and how does it affect us?

Do you tend to worry too much about others? The hyperempathy or excess empathy It can make people feel overly overwhelmed and/or overwhelmed in front of others. Therefore, it can be a problem of equal magnitude to a lack of empathy or a disorder with the same symptoms. So how can we if we have too much empathy?

What is hyperempathy?

Within psychology, two types of empathy are recognized. The first of them is cognitive empathy, which consists of our ability to understand the mental and psychological states of the people around us. On the other hand, affective empathy consists of having a greater capacity to feel and experience a person’s emotions, something that allows us to be more compassionate.

When we talk about the hyperempathy This arises from our affective or emotional empathy. In these cases, people tend to ‘absorb’ other people’s emotions. This extreme level of empathy is known as empathic reactivity and is often related to high emotional sensitivity.

How do I know if I have excess empathy?

In the same way that happens with the people without empathy, those who have hyperempathy usually have characteristics that define that they are experiencing excess empathy with others. Among the most notable signs, we find the following.

  1. Social exhaustion: Typically people with too much compassion and empathy They often feel very exhausted when they spend time with others. This sensitivity can lead to social anxiety problems, that is, experiencing too much anxiety when being with other people.
  2. Lack of personal boundaries: On many occasions, those who feel identified with hyperempathy They often leave their needs aside because they find it very difficult to refuse a request. In fact, they are usually people who find it difficult to say ‘no’ to others.
  3. Vulnerability to abuse: When it exists too much empathy Some people may allow others to treat them poorly simply because they feel compassion for these individuals.
  4. Disproportionate emotional responses: People with a excess empathy or hyperempathy They tend to react in a very disproportionate way to injustices or acts that they perceive as unpleasant.
  5. You absorb the emotions: When faced with other people’s problems you feel like you are a sponge. In fact, you usually experience this pain for a long time and even suffer from anguish because of it.
  6. Humor changes: The people with hyperempathy They often have problems regulating their emotions. Given this lack of emotional control, they can suffer frequent mood swings, something that is usually a source of stress.Signs that you have too much empathy
  7. Pain sensitivity: The hyperempathy It often involves an excess of negative feelings when faced with images or videos of pain.
  8. Resentment and isolation: By having a excess empathy People usually invest little time in helping others. This can end in voluntary isolation, due to not being able to refuse the requests of others.
  9. Emotional dependence: The hyperempathy and emotional dependence They can be very related. This happens because, being very sensitive, these people can put the needs of others before their own. In fact, in toxic relationships they can end up suffering emotional damage from a narcissistic personality or certain toxic behaviors.
  10. Physical reactions to other people’s discomfort: Seeing or hearing the problems of others, people with hyperempathy They may end up experiencing different physical discomforts.
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These are some of the signs that could indicate that you have too much empathy. The hyperempathy It is not in itself a problem for your mental or physical health, but the reality is that many people with this type of personality often need methods to manage their emotions because of it. The reason is that excess empathy can end up causing a person to suffer from different psychological problems that can affect their daily life. In these cases, it is important that you consult with a mental health professional.

How to deal with hyperempathy?

How to deal with an excess of compassion and empathy?

To put an end to all the damage that excessive empathy can cause, psychologists recommend the following tips.

  • Disconnect: Dedicating time to leisure or your hobbies can help you balance your emotions. This way you can put aside the frustrations, worries or excess stress that you may feel due to hyperempathy
  • Meditation or relaxation exercises: By calming our mind, worries also decrease. Through meditation or relaxation people can subvert the effects of feeling a excess empathy
  • Put distance: Learn to develop a distance from problems, whether they are your own or those of others. This does not mean being cold and distant in front of others, but rather trying to take a more practical attitude towards these thoughts. If it’s not in your control, you can’t do anything.
  • Learn about emotional intelligence: One of the pending subjects of our society is emotional intelligence. For those people who feel they have a excess empathy towards others, learning about it can be a way to cope with the stress or burden of this emotional sensitivity.
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The hyperempathy It is an ability that can end up affecting those who possess it. For this reason, it is important to know ourselves and try to learn how to take care of ourselves. In these cases, consulting with a mental health professional can help you.