Empaths detect things in human behavior that others miss.
For those of you who don’t know, an empath is someone who is considered hypersensitive. No, this isn’t someone who gets triggered by everyday conversations or who you have to say all your nice and polite politically correct words around, it just means that they are highly sensitive to emotional reactions and situations and there is proof behind this claim.
In 1991, a psychologist by the name of Dr. Elaine Aron studied this characteristic and came to the conclusion that as much as 15 to 20% of the population could be considered hypersensitive, or empaths. This meant that the highly sensitive would react more noticeably and emotionally to an outside stimulus when compared to other non-highly sensitive persons. More and more, researchers are noticing that these hypersensitive people come to a crux when they are confronted with the disingenuous or simply put, fake people.
Highly sensitive people respond deeply to their environment, and can easily pick up on people that are not genuine. They need honest, deep, meaningful relationships with others, and usually feel on edge around fake people.
Why Empaths Freeze and Close Up Around Fake People
Have you ever spent time with someone who on the surface seems as nice as a pie, but when you are with them, you feel uncomfortable and have trouble even forming a sentence?
Did someone ever give you a compliment that made you feel angry and irritable rather than happy? If you are an empath or a highly sensitive person, then you know exactly what it is about.
When an empath meets someone who they perceive as fake, they tend to either stay totally silent or stumble over their words. Anyone who does not emanate true vibrations will put an empath on high alert.
Empaths can see right through a fake person, and this sends them into a state of alarm. They start to experience physical and mental symptoms that wouldn’t make sense to those who don’t identify as an empath – sweaty hands, fast heart rate, feelings of dread, and exhaustion, among others.
Empaths feel the pain that people sweep under the rug and try to hide behind a fake person. Empaths know that these fake people don’t necessarily mean any harm, but they just have a lot of healing left to do here on Earth.
Empathic people have their way of handling these fake people, and it is usually by keeping min when they talk or just trying not to say much to them. The sensitivity of an empathic person can only take so much before it begins to be very affected by whatever it senses from these fake people and so it would make the empath prefer to leave the person’s presence or wait for the person to leave.
Reasons that Might Cause Empaths to Freeze
1. People are friendly for self-interested reasons.
You know the type. The kind of person who walks into a room and launches into their very own PR campaign. They’re friendly to everyone and everyone reacts well to them.
Your heart sinks as they approach you. You know they’re more conscious of themselves when they’re speaking to you than they are of you. They don’t seem to absorb anything you’re saying, but they look right at you and smile and nod all the time. You know they don’t really don’t give a damn about you, so why bother having the fake conversation?
Empaths and highly sensitive people might find themselves avoiding engaging in this kind of conversation at all. When they have to, they may end up seeming flat, dull, and unwilling to share.
Lack of trust causes a mental block that prevents them from expressing themselves openly. This could be in response to the lack of feeling in the interaction that they can sense beneath the friendly exterior.
Empaths might mirror the behavior by being equally fake, but this has an exhausting and draining effect on them and could leave them feeling anxious and ill afterward.
2. The dramatic attention seekers.
One of the characteristics of an empathic person is that they avoid the limelight as much as possible and as such, they hate people who act melodramatic as a means of drawing attention to themselves.
3. Compliments aren’t always genuine.
There are times when people genuinely compliment you, and there are times when people compliment you without meaning it. People sometimes compliment you through their teeth, while really feeling envious. And there are times when compliments are criticisms in disguise.
Highly sensitive people can tell the difference between all these kinds of compliment giving, and if your compliment isn’t genuine, better not to give it at all.
It’s typical for an empath or a highly sensitive person to be more attuned to non-verbal signals in behavior. Therefore, these types of people understand the feeling behind the compliment more than the words actually used. For that reason, anything other than a genuine compliment is certain to offend rather than please.
4. Spineless people would do anything to be among the cool crowd.
Yes, it is no secret that an empath is most probably going to be a pushover for every sob story one hears, but then they exercise strength in their decisions and try not to get walked over. Most importantly, they don’t try to be among the elite and just prefer to stay on their own.
5. People adopt personas to hide their authentic self.
In cases where people are hiding their real personalities because they have an unstable sense of identity, it can be frustrating for an empath. In this situation, highly sensitive people might feel a good deal of compassion for the person hiding because they know it comes from a lack of self-assurance.
But it can make it difficult for them to go any further with the person. If you know you’re not engaging with the real person but with someone who doesn’t really exist, you can’t form any real bond with them.
In some cases, the empath might make the effort to coax the real person out – if they see that it’s worth the trouble. Otherwise, they might just find themselves in stunned silence at the performance they’re watching.
6. Some want to fit in so bad but can’t.
Nothing is more off-putting to an empath than a person who tries so hard to fit into someone else’s box by trying to lead a fake life, and it gets even worse when said person cannot even make the cut at the end of the day.
7. Others flatter everyone to be liked.
An empath is a firm believer in a person being themselves. They believe that if you remain true to yourself that other people would like you for who you are. Lying to other people to make them like you is not the type of trait that empaths associates themselves with.
8. People mask pain beneath a tough exterior.
Empaths know all about the reasons people hide their suffering from others and are likely to do it themselves, too. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make it any easier for them to be around people who are covering up their pain with a mask.
Empaths will pick up on the pain the person they’re speaking to is feeling regardless of the efforts to keep it hidden, and the fact that it’s hidden makes the feeling all the more powerful.
They might not be aware of it until afterward, suddenly feeling sad and desperate for reasons they can’t explain. Or, if they’re aware of it, they know they can’t broach the subject out of respect for the other person’s privacy. They feel like there’s an elephant in the room the whole time, and this can make interaction strained and stilted, or block it altogether.
We all have reasons to be inauthentic at times. In some cases, when inauthenticity hides toxic intentions, empaths should avoid fake people altogether.
But at other times, they could use their gift of heightened sensitivity to unmask the pain of others gently, without exposing them, and help those who are suffering.
Typical Reactions of Empaths to Fake People
How do empaths deal with all those fake people? They will usually react like the following.
1. They avoid them.
Empaths do their very best to avoid people that are fake.
2. They don’t respond to them.
Empathic people try as hard as possible to limit their interactions with fake people simply because they don’t have the time nor the strength to waste people who cannot be themselves.
3. Deep down empaths fear fake people.
It might sound a bit funny at first but consider it from an empaths point of view. They are very sensitive and can absorb the energy being given out by other people. This means that whenever they are in the presence of a fake person, they most probably would feel a lot of negative or conflicting emotions.
4. Sometimes they get sick.
It is so bad that a very sensitive empath might even puke if they stayed around a fake person.
5. They feel guilty.
As much as empaths want to avoid these fake people, they still feel a need to help them, and at the end of the day, they feel guilty and confused.
6. They don’t want to stay around fake people.
Empathic people try very hard to avoid fake people and the conflicting emotions that they can generate.
How to Confront Fake People
Empathic people have a different view of the world. Because of their highly sensitive natures, they can easily get affected by the aura emanating from the people around them.
They constantly have to be on guard so as not to drain themselves too much from the negative energy impacting on them. This is why they avoid certain people as much as possible. It’s not because they don’t want to help such people, no, they even with those people the very best and would have loved to help them.
However, they have to avoid exposing themselves to such energy that would quickly drain their own emotions and leave them ill at times. They are human beings and do have to take care of themselves occasionally.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO.’
Many times, empaths feel they can’t maintain their sensitivity while also speaking up for themselves and possibly letting others down. Remember, though, when you say no to someone’s request, this doesn’t make you a bad person. It simply means you have a lot on your plate, and can’t possibly make everyone happy.
In life, we have a limited amount of time each day, and can’t always get everything done that we’d like to. However, prioritizing things can help you knock off the important tasks on your list, and saying no further aids you in managing your time wisely.
If someone gets hurt because you said no, remember that they have the responsibility to choose how they want to feel, and your response shouldn’t dictate their emotions.
Selfishness is good once in a while.
Empaths are the most unselfish people to ever grace the earth. They constantly live their lives for other people’s comfort and happiness. They are ready to give up their last means of sustenance to someone else. Yes, they are that caring and loving.
But sometimes, it does have its drawbacks, and one of those is that the empaths do not live for themselves at all and most time end up ignoring their own needs in favor of the needs of others.
Learn to live for yourself once in a while. You should not see it as being selfish rather you should see it as recharging yourself because constant selflessness would lead to a breakdown.
Don’t be a people pleaser.
People pleasing might seem harmless, but in reality, it can quickly become dangerous and self-destructive. When you try to bend over backwards to please everyone, you push your needs to the back burner.
Be careful, doing this too much can make you feel exhausted. If you have high self-esteem, you’ll realize that you need to meet your own needs first before you can possibly take care of everyone else.
Ignore all forms of flattery.
Empaths have to learn not to be moved by flattery and sweet words. They should learn not to always listen to sob stories because some people are very good at manipulating hardier people with well-crafted sob stories much less a soft hearted person like an empath.
Yea, they can survive a lot more stress than other people and would most probably keep being selfless and giving until they have given of everything that they have to give and crash. Empaths need to learn to take care of themselves so that someone else can benefit from their empathy too. Burning out is not going to do them any favors.
Empaths are very wonderful people who should be cherished by everyone. They also deserve to have really good friends who would help them establish limits to avoid them giving too much and burning out.
Always follow your heart.
Empaths can often get swept up in the idea that they have to do what others want because they have a duty here to heal the planet and everyone on it. Empaths, in a way, have the qualities of a superhero, but often don’t take time to look after themselves properly. Never sacrifice your dreams just to please others; this won’t lead to fulfillment in the long term.
Following your heart means bravely stepping into the path of your dreams, and not letting anyone stand in the way. Just focus on improving your own life and doing things that feel good to you, and this will help you become more assertive.