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Empaths: how to be okay when someone doesn’t understand you

Bevin Niemann-Cortez

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There are very few human needs stronger than our desire to belong, to be heard, to be understood and accepted. Ok, maybe food, shelter and safety, but feeling understood is a close fourth.

Feeling misunderstood hits empathic people especially hard.

As a temperament minority, we grew up feeling different than others. Not better, but definitely different. Your brain, nervous system and energy field is more tuned-in. You notice everything, pick up the subtleties, sense beneath the surface, feel shifts in energy. You’re like a high-amplitude antenna.

Perhaps you were accepted for your sensitivity as a child. If you were not, it’s common to carry that childhood wound forward into your adulthood relationships.

Revealing your rich, inner world to others can feel very vulnerable. Like all along you’ve had to wear a mask to fit in to ‘normal’ culture and now that you’ve taken it off, you’re naked and exposed for all to see.

When you finally summon the courage to reveal yourself as a perceptive soul, anything less than complete, unconditional acceptance can feel devastating.

However, I invite you to at least consider an idea.

What if you don’t need their approval?

What if it actually doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about you, how you live, what you say, who you are?

I hear you.

‘Sounds ideal, but what about my tender, caring, compassionate heart? You’re not suggesting I turn off my heart, are you? When someone puts down who I am, doesn’t accept me or worse yet, bullies me for it — it hurts!’

Yes, it does.

Because that moment triggers your past. All those times before when you felt rejected for your way of being come bursting to the surface for your re-examination.

So, how can you shift this repetitive pattern of feeling misunderstood?

First, it’s important to recognize — everyone is biologically and energetically wired differently. Some of us are more tuned-in but the majority of people are not born as sensitive. They quite literally do not experience the world the way we do.

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Bevin Niemann-Cortez

Social-Emotional Healer | Sacred Space Designer | Budding Herbalist