A letter from a highly sensitive person or an empath to her loved one…
Being in a relationship with me can be fulfilling and challenging at the same time.
I can be sensitive at times.
I grew up believing that I was too sensitive.
There were times when I thought that something was wrong with me.
I’m learning to embrace my sensitivity and reconnect with my gifts and strengths.
I am easily misunderstood.
I am writing this letter with an honest and vulnerable heart, and I ask you to be open and curious as you read it.
Here are 8 things you need to know about me:
I care deeply. Sometimes too much.
When a good friend, a colleague, a family member, even a stranger is going through a hard time, I care deeply. Hate crimes, world disasters, and even TV series or movies can keep me awake at night because I identify with other people’s suffering and pain and tend to take it on. I want to tone down the over-caring. I’m learning how to detach emotionally. But through this learning process, I still have times when I care too much
I feel what you feel, sometimes before you know how you feel.
There are different types of empaths. Physical empaths feel the physical sensations of other people. Mental empaths pick up on the thoughts of others. Many of us are emotional empaths. We feel what other people feel. Our intuition is active and alive. It’s not always easy to know and feel what other people feel. That’s the reason why sometimes I pick up on your sadness or fear before you get in touch with your own feelings and name them for yourself.
I’m a natural giver. Sometimes a fixer.
My calling is to help others. I’m a beacon—a source of light and a guide to others. I tend to say “yes” to people who ask for help, and I’m the first one to provide support even when people don’t ask. Sometimes I say “yes” when I mean “no.” I tend to attract people who need help. I’m a good listener. I often jump too quickly into “fixing” mode. People become dependent on me. I’m working on strengthening my boundaries. I’m doing the spiritual work so I can accept people’s journeys without taking over responsibility for them. This is another lifelong lesson for me.
I go through unexpected mood swings.
One of my challenges is identifying which feelings are mine and which belong to others. It’s not easy to know, and many empaths struggle with finding the difference. I’ve learned that a sudden change in my mood is a sign that the feelings are not mine. I might feel heavy because my boss felt that way this morning. I might be sad because my friend felt down when we spoke yesterday. I’m explaining this phenomenon so you understand when it happens. I want to feel heard and understood.
I crave connection. But I also need to disconnect. That’s why I “disappear.”
I absorb joy, excitement, happiness, and hope from you. But I also absorb your pain and difficult emotions. When we fight, the heaviness stays with me. I am an emotional sponge, and that’s the reason why I need to “check out” sometimes. I need time to process the emotions and release the heaviness. I love being connected with you. I love our conversations. But because I take in more than just the words we exchange, I get to a point where the conversation becomes too much for me. My “checked out” facial expression is not a reflection of my not being interested in you and what you say. Withdrawing is a temporary response. I will emerge again when I’m ready.
I need my alone time.
It’s not that I don’t want to be with you. I do. But I need time to process and clear the emotions that I absorb from others. When we go to a social event, especially if it’s crowded and there are loud noises or lots of interactions, I need to spend some time alone and recharge afterward. When I come back from work, I need to decompress. Even after being on the phone with my mom or my sister, I need to spend some quiet time alone if the conversation was intense.
I have a rich world inside me. I’m complicated. And I overthink.
It took me years to realize that the richness I experience within me has its beauty and its limitations. I feel strongly. I overthink. I’m an expert in making up stories in my head. I have vivid dreams. It takes me time to recover from a heartbreak. There are times where it’s exhausting to be…me. Feeling depleted and emotionally exhausted is no stranger to me.
I’m not selfish when I choose ME.
Serving as a beacon is my purpose. I put a lot of energy into nurturing relationships and helping others. I tend to take care of others before taking care of myself. One of my life lessons is learning to make myself a priority and practice self-care. For many years, I felt guilty every time I took a nap or a walk, got a massage, or attended a workshop or a class. I know now that I can’t give from an empty cup. Taking care of myself is not a luxury. I’m nicer, kinder, and more pleasant to be with when I practice self-care. I can only thrive and find balance when I make self-care a priority.
I value our relationship.
I want to show up in our relationship, embracing my sensitivity and being real.
I want to have the courage to feel the way I feel and to be who I am meant to be.
I’m devoted to learning and growing.
Thank you for being my teacher.
I appreciate and honor you.