Setting boundaries for empaths

By Casey Cheah, 12 July 2021

Setting boundaries for empaths

If you are an empath, setting boundaries can be quite challenging at times! I know, because I am also an empath. And after a recent mindset coaching session, I had a breakthrough in determining my boundaries, calling my energy back in, and recognizing when I was giving too much.

What is an empath?

An empath is a person who is highly sensitive to other people’s thoughts and feelings. Empaths are usually very intuitive, and are highly emotionally intelligent. Some benefits of being an empath is that they usually make for a great friend or partner, as they are fantastic listeners. They can understand others on a deep emotional and intuitive level. Empaths also tend to be big hearted, care a lot about others, and are fiercely loyal and generous to the people around them.

However, they are often sensitive to loud noises and big crowds. They can be prone to giving too much and taking on the emotions of others. Empaths also often feel drained after being around others for too long, and need alone time to recharge.

Am I an empath?

Dr Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, offers this short questionnaire to find out if you are an empath or not:

  • Have I been labeled as ‘too emotional’ or ‘overly sensitive’?
  • If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
  • Are my feelings easily hurt?
  • Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
  • Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
  • Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
  • Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?

Dr. Orloff says that if you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you are at least, part empath. If you answered ‘yes’ to 3 or more, this indicates you have found your emotional type. Recognising this can be a relief, as you can now start to understand what you need in order to feel at your best.

Setting boundaries for empaths

Setting boundaries is vital, especially if you are an empath! Healthy personal boundaries means taking responsibility for your own actions, emotions and needs. It also means NOT taking on responsibility for the emotions, needs and actions of others. Think of boundaries as your standards of what you will and won’t accept for yourself. Putting yourself first is necessary in order to preserve your energy. That way, when you do choose to help or support others, you are doing so from a positive, healthy and high-value place, rather than out of obligation, guilt or fear.

How to set healthy boundaries

First, get clear on your needs. For example, if you need to be in bed by 9.30pm to ensure you get a good night’s rest (vital for empaths!), then ensure you make choices that allow that to happen.

Secondly, remember why boundaries are good for you! Setting boundaries and taking responsibility for your Self is the ultimate self-care. You are no longer allowing others to drain your energy, take advantage of your kindness, or letting them walk all over you. You are no longer on someone else’s time, you’re not bothered by what other’s think of you, and you no longer get caught up in drama.

Thirdly, communicate your boundaries firmly, with love and compassion. Avoid using victim language such as ‘can’t’ and ‘should’, and instead use more empowering language such as ‘won’t’ and ‘could’. For example, ‘I can’t come to dinner tonight, I should really do my homework’ is disempowering and being a victim. Instead, ‘I could go to dinner tonight, however I won’t as finishing my homework is more important right now’ is taking back control and responsibility for yourself.

Of course, when communicating this to your friend, you might like to be both firm and kind! For example, ‘Thank you for the invite! Dinner sounds great, however my homework is due tomorrow and it’s important to me to finish it tonight. How about next week instead?’

Mindset coaching for empaths

If you are an empath, and find setting boundaries challenging, you might like to get some mindset coaching on this. I did myself, and it’s helped me enormously! Life coaching is a great tool to help you become more self-aware, more self-empowered, and communicate your boundaries from a position of kindness and compassion.

Book in for a coaching session

If you would like to find out more about mindset coaching, or book in for a Coaching session, don’t hesitate. It really can change your perspective and your life.

Recent Posts

Raising awareness is key

17 January 2022 | Coaching

Raising awareness is key to living a happier and more contented life. Awareness is the state or quality of being […]

Happy New Year 2022!

4 January 2022 | Coaching, Reiki

Happy New Year! The start of a new year always feels new and fresh and full of possibilities. The year […]

Enjoy the journey to your goals!

25 November 2021 | Coaching

Enjoy the journey to your goals is something I think we all need to be reminded of at times! We […]