I’m happy to share this selection from Thriving as an Empath with you:
Many of us have received messages from parents, teachers, friends, or the media that being sensitive is a fault or weakness. It’s important to gently re-evaluate old ideas about yourself such as “I’m too sensitive,” “There’s something wrong with me,” or “I must develop a thicker skin.” These shaming messages are not true. You are a strong, compassionate person, a blessing to others.
Although society may say you’re “too sensitive” and suggest that you “toughen up,” I encourage you to develop your sensitivities even more, yet stay centered with them. Being an empath is a huge asset when you learn to manage it. You’re not crazy, “neurotic,” a hypochondriac, or weak. You are a wonderful, sensitive person with a gift.
Your intuition and your refined sensitivities are healing. I want you to appreciate yourself, your openness, and ability to feel. Realize how special and perfect you are. When you really see yourself, you can connect with the wholeness and depth within. Then you can enjoy your empathy–that’s the point. Not everyone will understand you, but that’s okay. Search for kindred spirits who will, and you will understand them too. It’s a beautiful feeling of connection.
Empaths often develop low self-esteem from society’s putdowns. Whenever someone criticizes your sensitivity, don’t believe them. You might even respond with kindness, “I value my sensitive side. Please respect this.” Or, if these critical voices arise in your own head, take a breath and regroup. Simply say to them, “Stop bothering me. Go away!” Then immediately tell yourself, “My empathy is a strength.” Saying “no” to these inner and outer negative voices will build your self-esteem. Take some quiet moments to reflect on your empathic gifts: your intuition, depth, creativity, compassion, and desire to better the world. Let yourself experience their worth.
It’s crucial to realize that nothing on the outside–no substance, person, job, or amount of money–can make you feel comfortable with yourself and your sensitivities. Happiness is an inside job. You must learn to know, love, and accept yourself, a life-long process of discovery. Loving oneself isn’t always easy, but it is a worthy goal. With self-compassion, you can thrive as a sensitive person and enjoy your gifts.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior but yourself.”
Here is an excerpt from Thriving as an Empath.
I am enough.
I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone
I don’t have to be someone I’m not.
I don’t have to pretend I’m not sensitive or smile when I’m unhappy.
I am pleased with myself.
I love myself
I am grateful for the opportunity of my life
Set your intention. I will not buy into any belief that doesn’t affirm the worth of my sensitivity, compassion, and love. I will be empathic in my own life and advocate these values in the world.
13 thoughts on “I Am Not “Too Sensitive””
Thank you Dr. Orloff! I’m a very sensitive empath and I learned to hide my true feelings when I was younger. I would often look back and think angrily “Why did that upset me so much?” Now I am starting to see that my sensitivities are not something to be ashamed of but it’s hard to retrain your brain. When I tell people I’m an empath, I get three main reactions. The most common is that the person either doesn’t know what empaths are, or doesn’t think they really exist. This is a harsh reaction that makes me feel like empaths are overlooked and neglected. The second reaction is that people tell me that they are also an empath. This is also annoying as most of the time the person does not strike me as an empath and I just want to roll my eyes and say “mhm”, but who knows, maybe that’s how they feel. The third reaction is that the person will get this sappy look in their eyes once I’ve explained what an empath is and they’ll tell me how gifted and amazing I must feel. And while in some ways that is true, them saying that makes me feel like they don’t really get how hard it is to be this sensitive. It’s nice to hear that there are other people who are going through the same things that I am and I hope that you all will find a way to love who you are, no matter what.
Ms. Orloff, I’m so very glad to have come across your video on YouTube regarding: “How to Survive as an Empath.” I cannot say enough to express my deep gratitude for people like you in this world. So much so, that I am often compelled to say it to people I find to be like Angels on Earth. Sometimes I’ve been met with strange looks and humorous comments about my “high” type outlook on life, as it is optimistic and positive. Oh, I’m not perfect nor do I believe anyone to be. I’m only grateful to have learned over time that I cannot change everything or anyone. I can only inspire and I do it by example. Simply put, I treat others how I wish to be treated. Thank you for your wonderful energy of positivity and Shari it with everyone! ~Adriana ❤️🙏🏼
Wow all I can say I am 65 my daughter and I are empath people. She is the one who sent me this book to read I have been this way all my life and now I see her the same way. My granddaughter is showing the same at her young age if 7. It has been a blessing to know that this is a blessing that I am not crazy and I do feel when my daughter is hurting and sad we talk all the time to support each other as we understand what we both feel and understand when we feel so sensitive when our husbands yell or demand that we get a thicker skin and stop crying. So blessed to have my daughter by my side. Still leaning with the help of the books from Dr. Orloff and my daughter.
This is beautiful and beautifully written. Thank you for your words.
I feel lost. I my mother is is probably a narcissist (I just discovered). I used to be a nurse (16 years). Can’t do it any more. What are possible occupations that an empath would find fulfilling? I love the outdoors. Thanks
Read Dr. Orloff’s blog on the best and worst jobs for empaths. You can also learn more about this in her book The Empath’s Survival Guide – https://drjudithorloff.com/empath-survival-guide-description/.
Boy, I really needed to read this today. I live with a man who is so loud and I can certainly relate to what people here have shared. I am learning to be insistent with my need for peace and quiet. I am fortunate that I am surrounded by nature for she is my escape.
I am a powerful empath with a sharp intuition and an abundance of love for everyone I meet. I use my power as a catalyst for transformational healing in the world. I harness all of it in my work as a therapist and I love every minute of it!
I really needed to hear this today. I am enough.
Synchronicity. Grateful for you.
Thank you for your affirmative attitudes and practices toward being an empath – an important resource
for those like me who have carried it as a burden of being “ flawed” and an inconvenience for others who want to negatively label me for my sensitivities.
I read one of your books a while back with great interest, I remembered you from a video
I am in woodland hills Ca wondering if there are any empaths groups near me.
Thank you in advance.
When I got in trouble as a kid I would often cry and my Dad would say, “Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about!” As an adult I found myself crying a lot and thought that I was immature. I kept telling myself I need to grow up already. In hindsight I find it outrageous that my Dad would threaten to beat me simply for being upset that I disappointed him. Fortunately he never followed through on those threats but his message clear – I shouldn’t cry. Now I am 42 and thanks to Judith’s book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, I now embrace my sensitivities instead of fighting them. The scariest part is my 14 year old nephew is like me and his mother is like my father. I hope I can make him understand how special this gift is so he doesn’t have to experience what I have.
Thank you for publishing this I am constantly told that I am too sensitive. It’s far back because I didn’t remember. And it was in the last half decade that I’ve discovered that I’m actually a highly sensitive person and an empath. To have discovered this feels so validating! Thank you.