empathy — the emotional responsiveness which an individual shows to the feelings experienced by another person; the ability to identify with another’s emotions and understand what they are feeling
^is that annoying for anyone else? One of my top five strengths (waddup StrengthsFinder) is Empathy. When I found this out, I didn’t even know what it meant. I thought it was the word sympathy at first and I was flabbergasted, because out of all of my friends, I was the least sympathetic. I’m not the nurturing friend (seriously, ask anyone, I have no maternal instincts at all). I wasn’t typically the friend you would go to if you needed a good cry. I was the friend who would awkwardly make jokes (the Chandler Bing, if you will) whenever there was any amount of sadness or tension in the room.
However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been experiencing what I like to call empathetic crying. I rarely find myself crying just to cry (unless it’s about animals or out of pure frustration…) ((yeah, I’m an angry crier and it really doesn’t help make a point)). I define empathetic crying as when you cry because someone else is crying. Being an empath like myself (don’t worry, I rolled my eyes too), I can understand why people feel things when they do. And I find it annoying to be just so in tune with others and their emotions. So, I’ve devised a list as to why it’s the worst to be an empathetic crier.
You literally can’t help but cry when other people cry
This is not a joke. If someone is crying, once the tears start rolling, I’m there with you. Are you my worst enemy? Are you crying right now? Yep, me too. Are you my best friend? Oh and you’re crying too? Great, here come the water works.
It shows you have emotions
Most people know me as a happy go lucky gal. Well guess what, I feel things with you, so when you’re sad, great, now I’m sad. Before I realized I was empathetic (and truly just started embracing this life), I thought I was someone who just never cried over almost anything. Until one day my best friend got her heart broken and I sat there crying on the floor with her. Or until the day I watched Grey’s Anatomy and cried along with Callie over the loss of McSteamy (don’t “no spoilers” me, this is the longest running medical drama in TV history, keep up). I put myself in their shoes and could easily feel that pain with them and that’s no fun. I miss being Chandler Bing.
You cry when it’s any emotion, happy or sad
Today, I cried for two reasons. One was when I saw someone be so genuinely happy over a choice they were making and embracing who they were and I thought, “wow, look at this TV character go, if I were her I’d feel the exact same way.” Then, I cried over a fictional couple breaking up, thinking “geez, that’s really tough, I couldn’t imagine going through that.” I mean, it’s all ends of the spectrum for crying.
You don’t want to watch TV shows or movies with other people
If a show that classically makes people feel any type of emotion, I am CERTAIN I will watch it alone. Grey’s Anatomy? That’s an alone show. This Is Us? Alone. Bachelor/Bachelorette? I’ll probably watch the finale alone. When someone asks me why I don’t want to watch with them, well, listen here, Connie, I don’t want to cry in front of someone, because I like to pretend that I don’t feel things. Back off.
Some of you may argue this is actually sympathy shining it’s light right on through, but I don’t think it is. When I’m crying along side of you, only sometimes is it a feeling of pity or compassion. Majority of the time, like when it comes to watching TV shows, it’s because I can honestly feel how these people are feeling or I can identify how something can make someone feel. It’s a blessing and a curse. Now, there are times I’m crying along side of you because I am sympathetic to your situation, don’t fret, I’m just less likely to cry if it’s a feeling of sympathy and more likely to Chandler Bing the situation.
And if you, reader or fellow empath, find these things as a gift and you feel lucky to experience life in this way, then great for you. I’m proud and happy to be an empathetic person, I truly think it’s keeps me well rounded, but all in all, I am sick of crying just because I see a tear on someone else’s face.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. StrengthsFinder didn’t pay me to promote them, so I don’t care if you end up spending money or not on their product. I took mine for free back in college, so counting my blessings baby.
P.P.S. I just want to emphasize again, being an empath is one of my strengths and I’m very proud.