7 Struggles You’ll Only Know If You’re Terminally Empathetic


Empathy, as defined by Merriam-Webster Online, is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions, or have the ability to share someone else’s feelings. If you have been blessed with this curse, you probably find yourself torn between loving and hating this personality trait. It defines you. It hurts you. It helps you. It makes you anything from ecstatic to dejected simply because those around you are experiencing these emotions. It’s beautiful, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain struggles that come with it. The following are things that the empathetic individuals of the world experience on a virtual daily basis.

1. You’re more likely to cause physical harm to those that hurt your friends than those who wrong you.

This means infinite opportunities for jail time because you’re looking out for multiple handfuls of people, instead of number one. If violence isn’t your answer, then you just get way angrier when your friends are done dirty than when you are. This is just inconvenient, no jail time involved.

2. You don’t just walk by a crying stranger.

Work, school, and other previous engagements can wait. Someone needs help.

3. You physically can’t watch starving children/abused animal commercials.

This, ironically, ends up being counterproductive for the foundation running the commercial. You never make it to the phone number you’re supposed to call to donate because you’re focused on trying to change the channel, despite the blurry pool of tears that you’ve managed to work up in five seconds. This also includes the inability to go into any animal shelter without taking ten animals home, or at least leaving a small piece of your soul there because you can’t have ten more animals.

4. You are extra sensitive to violence in the media.

Yes, you know it’s not real, but someone, somewhere in the world, has gone through it. And that’s heartbreaking enough for you.

5. The phrase “forgive and forget” has a-whole-nother meaning for you.

Everyone has their limits when it comes to the number of times they’ll accept excuses, but it only takes a halfway thought-out excuse to convince you to love the wrong-doer like you did before their wrongdoing. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a strict policy for some things, like cheating. Just that most things are forgivable. This obviously adds up to being taken advantage of frequently, but you think it’s worth it for the few people that end up being genuine.

6. Watching sad movies in theaters is out of the question.

One, you can’t cry in front of strangers because you don’t just cry, you sob. Two, you will be tragically affected by this movie for at least the next week because you can’t help but feel like you lived the experience yourself. Sure, you can watch these tragic tales at home, but you’re risking a severe sad spell. Only the ones you truly love and trust get to watch sad movies with you. It’s just not a pretty sight.

7. Your empathy probably stems from the traumatic events you have had to endure throughout your life.

You’ve felt true pain, loneliness, abandonment, etc. and that’s why you can’t stand to let anyone suffer alone. Even if you can’t console them, you can give their misery some company.

Despite all of this, you would never change the fact that you feel what others feel because your capacity for love goes beyond the average individual. You make an amazing lover, friend, family member, coworker, and acquaintance. And you wouldn’t have it any other way because making those around you happy is the be-all and end-all of your existence.

Own that empathy. You are a super hero.