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Can a person like other people but not want to be around them due to too much empathy?

I enjoy people when I am around them, but at the same time I don't want to be around them. I prefer to be alone because around people I feel overly empathetic. As long as the experience with them is happy, I'm good. But anything bad for them feels bad to me too. So I avoid interaction. I'm not mad at anyone. I love everyone to the point it actually hurts me emotionally and sometimes monetarily. Should I do something other than avoid people?

Michael , 15.01.2013, 02:34
Idea status: under consideration

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Anonymous, 27.01.2013, 20:30
Actually, there's quite a lot you can do. The trick is finding what might work for you, since everyone is different. Here's what worked for me, in no particular order...

1. Codependents Anonymous (aka CoDA) — excessive empathy might also be a sign of codependency. CoDA meetings aren't on every streetcorner like AA, but if there's one near you, go for a month and see if it brings you any relief.

2. Find out how long your social "gas tank" is good for and make sure you never run out of gas. I'm usually good for 2-3 hours of group socializing at a time. One-on-one interaction is more like 4-6 hours. But not all day. Knowing that, I try not to exhaust myself.

3. Try meditating. This is something I don't actually do myself, but from what I've read, it definitely has a grounding effect, which is the best thing those with excessive empathy need.

4. Practice self-compassion! This might be the most important of the bunch. And there's a great site that already has free guided self compassion meditation recordings,
http://www.self-compassion.org/guided-self-compassion-meditations-mp3.html By increasing compassion for yourself you're more likely to have compassion for others 'failings, too.

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